Was This Designed for Another Body?

Yikes! This outfit is made for someone else’s body!

You have this great new outfit. Then you notice that it doesn’t look quite like it did in the dressing room!

Fit! It can make or break your image. In reality, few people can walk out of a store with a new garment and have the perfect fit. Each of our bodies is unique. None of us has the perfect proportions to match those used by a designer. Each brand of clothing uses its own design specs which explains why one brand will fit you beautifully and another will not even be wearable. You may have chosen a beautiful garment well styled for you but it doesn’t look great on you. It is probably fit. This is when you check with the alterations person and see if it can be adjusted to fit well and if the alteration are cost effective.

Some of the most common fit issues are:Too tight–Too loose in certain areas–Sleeves too long or short–Sleeves are too tight or too loose–Pants have pull lines, especially in the crotch area–Proportion is not flattering to your build.  Notice how much better the right image on the bottom  looks with some fine tuning.

This suit does not fit! The shoulders appear to be too wide and the sleeves are too short. Obviously, the skirt on the left is too tight. And we haven’t even seen the front!
This looks more like a bath robe than a dress. It is too    blousy and makes the wearer appear pounds heavier. I would suggest something more tailored to give her a stronger, trim looking vertical line.
These pants pull in the rear. The rise is too short. This cannot be altered to fit properly so take care in choosing jeans and trousers that fit your rise.

It’s Officially Fall!

With fall officially here, I am getting fashion magazines featuring new fall clothes that are arriving in the stores.  I was really disappointed to see Vogue flooding the pages with plaids in every iteration.  It
looked more like a magazine for lumberjacks to choose their wardrobes to transition into cooler weather!  The lumberjack look has a place–think hunting,  cutting trees and many hardy outdoor activities.  Fashion for every day is a bit of a stretch.

Plaids give an outdoor image.  The larger the plaid, the more masculine it looks.  Plaids work very well for the person with a square jaw when appropriately sized to your features but they are not flattering for rounded features.  Most of the garments that I noticed would have been appropriate for a Bohemian look but not serious daily wear.  I can’t imagine wearing these selections to work unless you work in a very casual setting.

There were a number of various sized check as well.  I mean like one often sees in an Italian restaurant in red.  Do you want to look like the tablecloth in a pizza restaurant?  Even if the check is black and white, it still reminds you of a tablecloth!  Carolina Herrera, known for her beautiful refined, feminine clothing, featured an evening dress in about a 1″ black and white check.  Wouldn’t you feel more appropriate at a picnic?

You will be happy to know that there are many other choices to help you choose the right look for you.  Wisely, the buyers for the stores chose more wearable pieces that do not represent the extreme choices of Vogue.  Lets here it for the buyers!

Images from Saks.

How Do You Choose the Best Hair Style?

 
 
How Do You Choose Your Best Hair Style
Have you ever taken a picture of a new hairstyle that you just love to your hairdresser asking to have the style copied for you?  If you are like me, you have experienced having your hairdresser respond with all the reasons that particular style will not work for your hair.  However, your hairdresser may not have considered other factors that can make or break a good hairstyle.
When I met Rubina, she had been referred to me so she called to interview me before embarking on a closet edit.  She dropped by my home early one morning, right after having gone to the gym, still wearing her gym clothes with her dark hair pulled back in a pony-tail.  As we got to know each other, I asked if she could let her hair down.  She promptly removed the rubber band and shook out this magnificent hair, framing her face with soft curls.  Rubina transformed before my eyes from attractive to stunning!
Several weeks later, after we had transformed her closet from the enemy to a friend with many choices at her fingertips, I asked if I could  take pictures of her new image.  She invited me to come to her upcoming hair appointment so her hair would be perfect.  When I arrived toward the end of  her appointment,  I discovered that she had asked her hairdresser to give her a “straight” look.  Gone were the curls that supported the lovely soft lines of her face.  There was a complete disconnect between her rounded facial features and the straight lines of her hair.
I took several picture but they simply did not do justice to Rubina so I did not use them.  Recently I was going through my photo library and ran across these photos.  Rubina was kind enough to give me permission to use these photos to illustrate how using the lines of your face are every bit as important in choosing a hair style as are the characteristics of your hair.
This is Rubina showing off her unique beauty with which she has been designed.

Prints Return to Old Favorites

Polka dots and stripes are in abundance on the fashion scene.   All polka dots and stripes are not created equal.   Let’s look at them more closely and see which iteration might have a place in your spring wardrobe.

Polka dots just shout “fun”.  Their shape reminds you of   balloons and balls.  When I took classes at UCLA my professor said polka dots were frivolous.  I have come to the conclusion that tiny polka dots with little space between are, indeed, frivolous while  larger polka dots with more space between them have much more stability.   These polka dots are still fun but become less frivolous.

Stripes in women’s fashion are often horizontal, projecting a serene message.  Think of a landscape with the many horizontal lines. Turn the stripes into a diagonal, and they project an active, dynamic image.  Picture the contrast between the serene field and jagged mountains.  Vertical stripes project an erect, soldier-like image.  Men’s pinstripe suits have a formal, business persona.

 

This diagonal stripe incorporates several different design features. This dress is not for the quiet, shy person. She must be dynamic!

When stripes are used in women’s fashion, they can vary in width as well.   The wider the stripe, the more impact it makes.  I noticed the first stripes that appeared in the fashion cycle this year were in black and white.  This contrast is dramatic to begin with so a very wide stripe in black and white can only be pulled off by a wearer with a lot of attitude.  By softening the color palette, a wide stripe loses much of its drama.   Today, I was looking at a new magazine picturing a soft pink and white, wide horizontal stripe. It was perfect for the blonde, feminine model.  Black and white would have completely overpowered her.

With polka dots, varied colors become more frivolous and whimsical.  If your facial structure has lots of angles or your brows are straight, stripes will be excellent for you.  If you face is soft with lots of rounded lines, polka dots will be your friend.  If you have a combination of rounded and straight lines, you can wear either print.

Have fun choosing the size and shape that best says YOU!

Need some guidance in choosing the best stripes or polka dots for you?  That’s what we are here for.  Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-428-2527.

But It’s So Comfortable!

 

 

Are they wearing a uniform?
Are they wearing a uniform?

I hear this phrase often from clients. Does this sound like you?

It seems that more and more ladies are choosing athletic wear for their every day attire.   Athletic wear is often called “activewear” and I have seen numerous articles promoting “activewear” as a staple for daytime casual wear.

Activewear is excellent for exercise class but I don’t like to see it worn to the grocery store, running errands, taking the kids to practice or any of the myriad activities we all do every day. If you are wondering why I feel this way, let’s look at the image it projects.

Be comfortable with style.
Be comfortable with style.

The first thing that jumps out is these ladies are not showing their personal style. Look at these two ladies in the first picture. Although they do not to appear to be together, they appear to be wearing a uniform.  Unless you work for a car rental company or fast food restaurant, most people are not excited about wearing a uniform.

Then there is the issue that not all ladies look their best in activewear. Athletic clothing is usually loose and baggy or it fits the body like a second skin. Neither look is becoming to the majority of ladies. I frequently see ladies who are quite full through the hips, wearing thin stretch tights to places other than the gym.  One always holds their breath for fear of a seam bursting open!

A jeans jacket is always good with casual. Option of a longer look for more coverage.
A jeans jacket is always good with casual. Option of a longer look for more coverage.

What if you could choose something “comfortable” that is flattering to your build, reflects your personal style, and draws compliments? Let’s look at some possible options to help achieve this.

If you prefer wearing athletic wear, how about pairing the tights with a regular top? There are exercise pants that fit tightly or have straight legs. Choose the style that is the most flattering for your build and select a top that comes down over the hip line to avoid being too revealing. The addition of simple jewelry or a scarf can go a long way to give a charming casual look and not look like you just came from your yoga class.   Adding a casual jacket will complete a finished look and add the warmth you need for cooler days.

Great longer stylish top. Could wear with tights or jeans and flats.
Great longer stylish top. Could wear with tights or jeans and flats.

Jeans are another great option to being comfortable yet attractive and practical. There are so many different cuts that most women can find a style that fits nicely. The most wearable will be a dark wash without distressing.  Complete the look with an attractive top or even a white blouse and add a jacket for a more polished appearance.

There are many options to finding something comfortable. Remember, the more you look like the person you are deep down inside, the more comfortable you will be!

Turn Up the Volume

 

 

It may be comfortable but is not flattring!
It may be comfortable but is not flattering!

If you are a little weary of skinny jeans and slim, tailored slacks, you will welcome the volume look. Designers, always searching for the “outside the box” look, not to mention designs to entice you to buy new clothes, have jumped on the volume bandwagon.

The volume look is tricky to wear and have it be flattering. Many people choose over-sized clothing to try to hide extra pounds or to be “comfortable”.  In truth, oversized clothes usually make you look sloppy and heavier than you are.

Let’s look at some examples of how to wear this look with aplomb!

Without one portion of the look fitting closely to the body, it visually adds pounds and looks unkempt. This full black skirt and loose white top is a perfect example. The full skirt would work with a fitted top and I would prefer it worn with heels to add height. This would be especially good for a triangle build.

Could make a fun statement for the right build.
Could make a fun statement for the right build.

The white shift dress would hide the lack of waist definition for a rectangle build. It will be best worn by a tall, slender person with long legs and a slender build. The splashes of color giving a vertical detail adds visual height. I would shorten the hem slightly to show more of those long legs.

Carolina Herrera designed this black and white jumpsuit. This is a bit of a departure from her traditionally refined creations. The wide stripes draw attention to width but the closely fit top helps with balance. This, too, would work nicely on someone with a small waist with wider hips.

Add some drama!
Add some drama!

There is no way you could make a quiet entrance with this dramatic black and white and you would have to have a strong personality to pull it off. Another thing I noticed, is that all the pants with this look appear to touch the floor. From a practical point of view, the bottom would get soiled in one wearing and would be impossible to clean. To wear them much shorter would ruin the look.

The volume look is not one of my favorites. It will be flattering for very few people but if you are one of them, have some fun with a new addition to your spring/summer look!

Images from Saks

Warm Up with Yak

 

 

Yaks at home in the Himalayas
Yaks at home in the Himalayas

With temperatures hovering around freezing in the daytime and dropping to the teens at night, my focus is keeping toasty warm. Who would have thought that the humble Yak could come to the rescue!

Yaks are natives of Tibet and are essential to the nomadic herdsmen. They are in between the size of a goat and a cow with all of the sure-footed ability of mountain goats. Their coats are designed to protect them from the bitter cold of the Himalayan winters making the discovery of using their soft wool under coat for clothing an ideal solution to keep people warm.

Yak blend by Vince (at Saks)
Yak blend by Vince (Saks)

Sportswear designer Kora has discovered yak wool is warmer than merino wool. It is more breathable, odor resistant, and transports water vapor most effectively—perfect for underwear and winter sports clothing.   Outdoor Retailers founder, Michael Klinwort, discovered the advantage of using Yak while on a winter excursion to the Himalayan region. He supports the local herdsmen in exchange for them providing him with wool.   Yak shed their wool each spring and the locals collect it to be used for clothing. Sounds perfect to me!

0400092038509-fir-84b9a6ecSeveral designers are using Yak wool in their sweater collections. Some use blends with cashmere or other wools. Yaks are dark in coloring so most of the garments you will find are darker. Some of the lighter colors are blended with other wools.

The only down side is that Yak is generally more expensive than woolen garments but then, so is cashmere!

Shoes Take the Spotlight in 2017

 

Let's go dancing!
Let’s go dancing!

Our grandmothers would be aghast seeing today’s shoes! If you have ever gone through old pictures and broken out in gales of laughter seeing the styles from the flapper era and before, you can understand why. Long gone are the days when anyone in the “grandma” category wore only a lace-up oxford with a sturdy 2” heel. Times have changed and women have become passionate about their shoes!

Combat Boot
Combat Boot

When my daughter was about 20 she used her last dime to buy a pair of black pumps with uniquely designed high heels – a very fashion forward concept at that time. When she called me to tell me that her car had been stolen, she was far more upset that the shoes were in the back seat than the loss of her car! Fortunately, the car was retrieved a few days later and more importantly, the shoes remained safely in the back seat.

Ready for a long walk?
Ready for a long walk?

Manolo, Louboutin, and Jimmy Choo lead the way to awaken client’s lust for new, off the charts designs, accompanied by matching price tags. By 2017, there are dozens of designers joining the trio.

This needs just the right dress.
This needs just the right dress.

This is great news for retailers. Clothing manufacturers have struggled for several years to make a profit but the popularity of designer purses helped fill the gap. Shoes have now replaced purses as the favorite added accessory. I appreciate many of these artful creations on other people but I still don’t get combat boots! If having one or more pair of these designs on your bucket list, go for it.Extreme business Just remember that you need to be able to wear them (how could they be comfortable?) and whatever you wear with them, must be subtle and allow the shoe to take center stage!

 

What Are You Wearing to Those Holiday Parties?

Do You have the Perfect Dress for that special Holiday Party?

 

Beautiful LBD with some flair. The jeweled lace adds a touch of sparkle and lightness to balance the dressy velvet. This dress can take you to any dressy event and is flattering for most figures.
Beautiful LBD with some flair. The jeweled lace adds a touch of sparkle and lightness to balance the dressy velvet. This dress can take you to any dressy event and is flattering for most figures.

How would you like to have a dress that just says “YOU” and makes you look and feel fabulous? I have had the privilege of working with Atlanta designer, Joseph Plata, who provides just that. His collection offers some off-the-rack and many choices for custom.

For that glamour evening, this eggplant silk says it all! The dress in cut on the bias so it skims over the body creating a stunning elegant simplicity.
For that glamour evening, this eggplant silk says it all! The dress is cut on the bias so it skims over the body creating a stunning elegant simplicity.

If the dress is not in your size or you prefer a different color, he will make one just for you. How perfect is that? The great news is that his prices are affordable despite the fact that he uses excellent fabrics

This beautiful teal lace dress is flattering and truly elegant. Joseph just made this for a mother of the bride who had driven in from out of town to have a fitting. Perfect for theatre, party or wedding.
This beautiful teal lace dress is flattering and truly elegant. Joseph just made this for a mother of the bride who had driven in from out of town to have a fitting. Perfect for theatre, party or wedding.

from New York suppliers who also are suppliers for top designers. You will meet his small team of seamstresses and watch them turn out beautiful work.

What an adorable red dress to take you to most any occasion! Joseph's signature roses make this dress unique but keep the design simple enough that it can be work to dinner, or most any dressy daytime occasion or an evening party.
What an adorable red dress to take you to most any occasion! Joseph’s signature roses make this dress unique but keep the design simple enough that it can be worn to dinner, most any dressy daytime occasion or an evening party.

Last week we had an invitation to a party stating dressy casual or cocktail dress. The host is a friend but we knew almost no one in attendance. I decided to wear navy slim trousers and a dressy blouse that Joseph had made for me. When we arrived, I discovered that the choice struck exactly the right note. The trousers fit me beautifully and the blouse is truly unique, resulting in many compliments. We will all have many invitations so I wanted to share a sampling of some of Joseph’s creations.

You can reach Joseph at 404-404-351-4004.  His workshop is at 2025 Peachtree Road, Suite   B.  That is in the Darlington right across from Piedmont Hospital.  If you would like for me to meet you there to help with color and selection, just call and we can arrange a time.  There is no charge for this.

 

Spotlight on the Young, Fashionable First Lady to Be

Jackie Kennedy in her classic sculpted styles with pill box hat.
Jackie Kennedy in her classic sculpted styles with pill box hat.

When Jackie Kennedy became First Lady, fashionistas couldn’t get enough of what she was wearing.  She was only 31 when she became First Lady but she had an amazing sense of style for a woman of any age, let alone someone as young as she.   Of course she grew up in “blue blood” society but her sense of style was extraordinary.
Jackie’s skeletal figure was complemented by garments tailored as a pieces of sculpture; the perfect choice for her shape. Of course she was beautiful and poised, always presenting the ideal image for the First Lady. When President Kennedy traveled to France, she introduced him to the audience with her perfect French.  She had the crowd in the palm of her hand.

Classic and Tailored
Classic and Tailored

Our First Ladies have each had their own style and have played an important role in supporting their husbands but there is something special about a beautiful, young leader in the spotlight. The British love their queen but Kate and Will capture the majority of press.

Now we have another young – age 46 – and beautiful First Lady elect. Having been a model, Melania Trump understands which styles look best on her curved hourglass figure. And, just as Jackie Kennedy, it has not been her custom to shop at Target or Walmart. Melania’s wedding dress is reported to have cost $200,000!  Born in Slovenia, Melania  speaks six languages fluently. She follows Louisa Adams (1825-1829) as the second First Lady to be born outside the United States.

Worn during the campaign.
Worn during the campaign.

Now we will be waiting to see what Melania chooses for her inauguration dress. Michelle Obama chose unknown designers for her inaugural gown and other gowns, helping to launch their careers.   Based on her role in the campaign, I would anticipate that Melania will not seek to be in the spotlight but the spotlight will undoubtedly seek to be on her!