What’s in Your Wallet (oops!) Closet?

 

What’s in Your Wallet (Oops) Closet?
Most people wear only 20% of what is in their closets.  That is truly shocking.
Are you a 20%er?
                        
My daughter called me a week ago very excited. She was going to a girlfriend’s and going shopping.  It was Sunday and most of her favorite resale shops were closed so I was a little puzzled.   Then she explained that she was going shopping AT her friend’s home in HER closet!  Her friend had accepted a new position across the country and was selling her large home.  One entire bedroom had been transformed into a closet, affording additional space for her other large closets.  She was inviting friends to come and help her eliminate hundreds of pieces of clothing.
But they were so cheap!

What a great adventure!  But then my image consultant ‘s heart took over and all I could think of was, “How could she possibly wear all those clothes?”  “Wouldn’t it just make your head explode to have hundreds of choices each day?”  How much money is wrapped up in items of clothing that might get worn once a year – or not at all?”

That is an extreme case but working in many of my client’s closets I find similarities. Many of my clients are avid shoppers.    Put the word SALE in front of that and you have catapulted the adventure from enjoying the fun
 shopping to a buying frenzy.
I was going to wear this where??
One of my clients had a huge closet full of clothes, many of which looked just like the next item.  She had found a certain looks that worked very well for her but the need for 15 similarly styled tops is questionable.  Another client had over 10 black wool skirts but she tended to wear more casual slacks to work, leaving these beautiful skirts hanging, unworn, in the back of her closet.
Then there is the client who just loves a sale without analyzing how the garment looks on her.  It may not be a good color or style for her, but it was such a bargain!  Unfortunately. This garment will usually hang in the closet with the tags still attached.
When we moved from a large home with custom walk-in closets, to our condo, I was confronted with having to scale back my clothing to fit two much smaller closets shared with my husband.  We recently installed closet organizers and I now have one of those closets to myself.  I realized that I don’t need lots of clothes.  I only need  well-chosen key basics and a wide variety of versatile accent pieces.  Each of these is in my color palette and coordinate with other pieces.  They reflect my individual style, fit perfectly, and will take me to any event from theatre, casual, important business meeting or other occasion.    The good news:  I never have to spend time in my closet wondering what to wear!

What’s Your Favorite Basic Color?

What’s Your Favorite Basic Color?
I received a call from a client last week asking for guidance in choosing the best color for shirt and tie for an important interview.  Since he works in the tech arena, the basic dress for work is jeans and a polo shirt.  However, even this casual environment expects candidates to up their game for an interview.  Since this is a question I frequently am asked, I thought I would share a few guidelines to help you choose your best look.
 
Black is the most frequently chosen basic color.  It is strong and powerful-the ideal color to convey an image of power–a great choice for a CEO leading an important meeting but not so good for an interview.   Black is a complex color that sends different messages.   We associate black with grief signaling withdrawal but that can also apply if one is under pressure to finish big project and simply doesn’t have the energy to wear colors.  Black is a good basic if you have very dark hair and/or dark skin but you will appear more approachable using a colored blouse or shirt.   Notice the models pictured above.  The burgundy blouse keeps a business look but brings lightness and softness toward her face.  The man has a more relaxed appearance with light slacks and blue shirt.  Blue is an excellent shirt color, flattering to most people regardless of whether they are cool or warm toned.
 
Gray is an excellent color for business.  The lighter the shade, the more casual it appears while a charcoal gray which has black added, becomes more powerful and formal.  Gray can be accented by most colors.  Since it is a combination of black and white, it projects compromise, especially in the lighter shades.  It is a wonderful choice to wear into a situation of conflict.  You appear to be ready to negotiate.

Brown has an earthy vibe and is a good choice for people with warm toned coloring.  The addition of black to the brown fabrics makes it more formal business.

Navy blue is my all-time favorite as a wardrobe base color.   Blue is the most universally liked color.  It has a psychological impact of success and spirituality.  We “shoot for the moon” and “reach for the stars” and God is in the heavens.  Navy is formed from blue and black together, giving it the positive attributes just mentioned while adding the power of black.   Thus, navy is a strong business image yet is approachable.  Most all colors complement navy.  Whether, pink, red, orange, yellow, lime green, light teal or lilac or raspberry, you will be able to wear many of your best colors with navy.
Oh, the client who needed some help in his interviewing attire.  He had two job offers, one being the job he really wanted!
Beryl Pleasants
President
Style With Aplomb
404-428-2527

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.

Does Everyone Really Need a Little Black Dress?

As long as I can remember, fashion articles have promoted the concept of the LBD being the most important item of clothing in your closet. I’m not totally in agreement but the concept definitely has merit.

My LBD is actually navy. Black is too harsh for my fair skin and blonde hair while navy blue is one of my best colors and is an excellent basic color for most anyone. If your hair is dark, black will probably work well for you. If black is not a great color for you, choose a neutral color that brings you many compliments and that will work coordinate with many other items in your wardrobe.

The ideal LBD is a simple design that flatters your figure and fits beautifully.  I have chosen an example with cap sleeves, making it a bit more appropriate for a business setting.  This dress could be worn without a jacket or sweater in the office for a less formal look.

 

Just keep in mind that your LBD should be one of your best basic colors. Then coordinate accent pieces with each other so they can be worn interchangeably. You now have a core wardrobe to take you anywhere with only 7 pieces. How easy is that?

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.

I like pink, Gamma! It’s my favite color!

Beautiful soft pink. Add a jacket for the office for a more professional look. Be careful the soft color doesn’t wash you out.

When my granddaughter, Juliet, was three or four, she and her older brother, Patrick were spending the day with me. Juliet somehow got on a kick about pink and proceeded to follow me all over the house repeating, “I like pink, Gamma. Pink is my favite color! Patick doesn’t like pink. He says it’s a gul’s color but I like pink!” She may have had an issue with pronouncing her “r’s” but she certainly knew her own mind.

Pink is a big focus color this spring so don’t limit yourself to just thinking of pastel pink. There is a shade of pink for most any color palette. Even if you are warm toned with a peach skin undertone, you can sneak in some pink with a little orange added making a coral tone.

Lovely for office and out to dinner afterward.

Adding a note of cheer to the spring palette, pink projects femininity and warm sensitivity. I have found that most men who enjoy wearing pink are more thoughtful than the macho guys who look on pink with disdain. This is the man who brings you flowers and remembers cards for special occasions. My husband enjoys wearing pink and it looks great on him.   Yes, he is the one who brings flowers and does thoughtful things.

Pink is flattering to most skin tones and serves as an excellent accent for both office and social. It can be worn with gray, navy, white, and black as a base color.   Certainly, one would not wear a light pink suit for an important business meeting but you could wear a beautiful blouse or scarf in pink as an accent.

The myriad shades of pink each send their own message. A soft pastel pink is feminine and youthful but lacks power, whereas a deep raspberry pink projects a more powerful image while still projecting femininity. A muted shade of pink has some gray mixed with it. It is subtle and is especially lovely worn by a more mature lady.

If you aren’t ready to fully embrace pink, try a scarf or some fun jewelry as an accent for something different. Enjoy!

P.S. Juliet is now a junior in college and still likes pink. Patrick is finishing his masters and wears pink shirts. Both of them can now pronounce their “r’s” !

Images from Saks.

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!

Eye Candy for Fashionistas

Presidential inaugurations are a bit like the Oscars in that it is an opportunity for those participants to show off their very best attire. Last Friday was exceptional considering the cast of ladies in the spotlight.

Left:  Melania Trump  Far right:  Karen Pence
Left: Melania Trump Far right: Karen Pence

Melania Trump, new First Lady, was a professional model before she married Donald Trump. What a training ground to learn what looks best on you and to know how to show off what you’re wearing to the best advantage!   Ivanka Trump is not only an accomplished businesswoman but she has her own shoe line and a business-wear for women clothing line. Donald Jr. is married to a former model and Eric’s wife is a business executive. Tiffany Trump, the youngest of the Trump women, chose a younger look that worked well for her.   All of these ladies created beautiful images of being appropriate for the occasion and looking fabulous.  Of course, they have the advantage of having attended many important events and a budget for doing it right.

Jackie's classic elegance style an Melania's
Jackie’s classic elegance style an Melania’s

Not since Jackie Kennedy, have we had a First Lady who captured the country with her elegance and superb sense of style. Melania worked with her designer in the creation of her ball gown for the inauguration. Jackie took ideas from European designers and worked with Oleg Cassini, an American designer, to create a similar look for her so there could be no criticism for not choosing an American designer.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s choice of the burgundy coat and dress ensemble was excellent. She set the president of choosing a little known designer. Melania followed suit with the choice of Herve Pierre to make the gown for her inauguration ball and other little-known designers for several of her other outfits. The sky blue cashmere dress and jacket, which she wore for the inauguration ceremony, was by Ralph Lauren. Lauren also designs for Hillary Clinton. We are getting a better sense of Melania’s style. She chose an elegant look, simple, yet with beautiful design details.  

Inaugural ballgown by Herve Pierre
Inaugural ballgown by Herve Pierre

Karen Pence’s black princess coat over a simple dress was perfect. The princess coat with a flaired skirt creates a nice waist definition while black boots complete a one-color look adding visual height. Her dress showing at the neck adds an interesting detail and draws your eye to her face.

I’m sure the next four years will provide a banquet for the senses as we watch this classy lady take her role as First Lady and have cameo appearances of other ladies in the family.

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!