About Administrator

Our founder, Karen Lucas, has a degree in Textiles & Apparel and worked in the Fashion industry for many years. She has experience as an Accessories Buyer, Assistant Store Manager and Department Manager for several Specialty stores and a major Department store in the Washington, DC area. Karen has been trained in the art and science of style by the guru of style, Stacy London of “What Not to Wear”. As a trained stylist, Karen continues Stacy’s Style for Hire belief that “everyone – not just the rich and famous – should be able to get personal help with style.”

Another perspective on finding your perfect style!

This was a post in the Baltimore Sun in December that I wanted to share…..

 

“The closet of our dreams would be organized, clutter-free and purge itself every year. Even better, this dream closet would only be filled with clothes that make us look and feel amazing. Think about it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to love every piece you have? Wouldn’t you love to never frown at a piece again, wondering what you were thinking when you got it because it doesn’t go with anything? Well, those goals might be more achievable than you think. Try these five easy steps to make sure that from now on, you only buy what really works.

Step 1: Go try on one or two of your favorite outfits. If you’re anything like me, you have more than one or two favorites. Think of the outfits that get tons of compliments or make you feel confident every time you wear them.

Step 2: Stand in front of the mirror and really think about why you look and feel so good in your outfits. Is the cut of the jacket perfect for your long waist? Maybe the jewel tone flatters your complexion. Is it the feel of the fabric that you really love? Since these are your favorite outfits we’re talking about, chances are it’s a combination of several factors that make the clothes work for you. If you’ve tried on a few favorites, analyze the common factors among them.

Step 3: Think of any new trends that you have been inspired by lately. Can you add elements of them to these favorite outfits? You may be able to create new looks that become your new favorite, or you can mix and match pieces from your favorite outfits to make things even more interesting. The main goal in this step is to work with what you have to make changes in your wardrobe. So, you shouldn’t need to completely overhaul your closet once you complete this step. You’d be surprised what you can come up with when you push yourself to think outside your comfort zone.

Step 4: Create a budget. While this may not be the most enjoyable part, it is the responsible part of the process. Having a budget will keep you on track with what you can afford to spend and what pieces you truly want to invest in. It will also keep you from doing any impulse buying that might take you off track of your mission.

Step 5: Now here’s the fun part — go shopping! Use your outfit research to guide you toward new clothes that share some aspects of your favorite outfit(s). Don’t buy things that are too similar (we’re going for range here) but if you look great in certain shades, stock up on different styles of clothing in those tones. If you realize you love pencil skirts, grab a few more in various colors and prints.

Once you have a foundation for what looks good on you, makes you feel great and fits your budget, your closet and wardrobe will be a fashion gold mine!”

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Your skin is glowing!

 

 

 

 

 

Now that’s a woman who knows what colors look good on her!

It’s not your tan or new makeup, it’s what you are wearing!  Using the right color for your hair and skin tone makes a big difference in how you look.  Try this test:

In natural light, these are the indicators to look for when selecting the color of an item.

• Does the skin glow? Does the color cause skin imperfections or wrinkles to be less noticeable? Does it cause the face to have fewer shadows?

• Does the color bring out the highlights in hair?

• Do the eyes sparkle with this color?

Color should be an important part of creating an outfit.  It can change the look in an instant and it’s a great way to create balance in your shape and make you look great. First, some insight into using color.  Do you know the easy way to determine if colors go together?   Some people have an eye for that, but if you don’t here are some tricks.

Colors that are opposite on the color wheel are complimentary colors.  This means they work well together in your outfit.  Colors that also work well for an outfit are adjacent colors.  These colors are usually found in nature and have you ever see anything clash in nature.  They will create harmony in an outfit.  And last there is the concept of color families.  They give you a great monochromatic look that creates a long slimming effect. Take a look at the color wheel below.

Color Wheel

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there is still the old rule of white and black are considered neutral, but also gray, brown, navy and cream.

Now let’s move on to color in relation to your skin, hair and eye color.  There are some colors that should just not be worn by some people.  I personally cannot wear most shades of blue.  You want the color up against your skin to make it glow.  Some of you may have heard of the concept of “color me beautiful.”  These were usually in-home shows that determined what category you were – spring, summer, fall, winter.  I can still remember attending one of those parties in a stunning black pinstripe skirt suit I had just bought, at a discount of course, from the store I was working at.  I was crushed when they determined I was a spring and should never wear black.  Up against my face, true, never, false and this is where accessories come in.  Add a scarf that complements your skin tones and that great bargain can be added to your wardrobe with confidence.

Tips:

• Use a contrasting color to your hair (on the standard color wheel) next to your face.

Example: Green with red hair, purple with blonde hair. And of course if you have purple hair, yellow would look great or you just decide to go punk and have organ hair, wear blue!

• Combine a dark or bright color with a neutral.

Example: Light pastel with dark brown hair or skin.

• Repeat a large amount of the same color in a lower intensity (in a more muted tone or one that is less bright) near it.

Example: Grayed blue with clear blue eyes

• Repeat the same color in a brighter intensity, but in a small amount.

Example: Emerald green scarf with green eyes.

If you love a color that doesn’t work well, find a different shade in the same color family, try incorporating it into the outfit via accessories (an orange shoe, a red belt or bag), or use the color far from the face.

Universal Colors

Jewel tones: emerald, sapphire, ruby, turquoise work well with virtually any hair/skin/eye combination – and they’re versatile enough for both foundation and accent clothing pieces.

Coral is a color that works for almost everyone. It flatters every skin tone!

Black and white does not go out of style; they are timeless, classic and versatile. They are, however, extremes on the color wheel. As such, they can be harsh on older skin and reveal imperfections, so use it carefully. Maybe add a red scarf at the neck.   Grey, charcoals, navy, chocolate brown and creams may be better options for those of us starting to show lines of experience.

And last, colors for your body type:

    • Bigger on Top  – use a light color on the bottom and dark on top
    • Bigger on the Bottom –  put that bright splash of color on top
    • A little extra in the middle – focus color around the face
    • Curvy  – you can use color to the extent you want to accentuate
    • Not Curvy  – use color to add volume

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

 

I’m ready to get away!

Summer officially starts on Thursday and in this area the kids will finally be out of school today! That means a summer getaway is probably not far behind.  So what can you do to make the escape easier on you from start to finish? Pre-planning and packing light.

If you are going by car with endless room you may not worry about it, but if you are flying, packing can be a challenge.  I always want to take things I usually don’t wear at home; you know that cute maxi-dress you bought on your last tropical outing that’s a bit on the wild side for wearing out to dinner at home. Let’s see if we can squeeze it in.

Let’s start with the pre-planning. How many days and how many outfits can you realistically wear?  Do you plan on an outfit for day and change for the evening?  Think back, did that really happen the last time?  If you are in a bathing suit all day are you really going to get dressed for dinner and is the location you are going to require something more than a casual outfit? These are the questions to ask yourself.  If you are not going to the beach, is it a climate that might need a heavier layer than a t-shirt?

With these answers we move on to selecting what to bring. Also think about creating your own travel checklist.  I started one several years ago and tweak it every time we come back from vacation.

First pick a neutral shade as your base color.  You can do this for either the tops or bottoms, but I would suggest it be your bottoms for the most flexibility.  According to where you are going that may include jeans (dark is preferable as they can go dressy or casual), a skirt or dress and a pair of slacks (again maybe a pair of the trendy soft pants or an ankle pant). In tropical locations, I always bring a denim skirt and opt for sun dresses over shorts for comfort.  And remember, neutral does not always mean black and tan.  Gray and navy work really well to maximize your options. I always use the fewer bottoms to tops ratio when packing and if you are going to a warm destination, always consider that you will only wear the top once (unless it’s a layering piece), particularly in the summer..

Select tops to add color and interest to your outfit.  If you brought along a pattern bottom, you can opt for a solid top or you can really go trendy and use another pattern as long as both patterns have the same dominant color.  No matter what tops you select be sure that each top goes with at least 2 bottoms to give you maximum options.

Now add the accessories.  Scarves and jewelry can change the feel of an outfit from casual to dressy in an instant.  I would recommend gold over silver jewelry if going to the beach to avoid damage to the silver, but whichever you choose, only take one metal color. Or opt to bring your costume jewelry and leave the good stuff at home.  Patterns in a lightweight scarf can pull together a great outfit that has a solid top and bottom. A belt in either silver or gold is a great way to accentuate the waist and dress up jeans for an evening out.

Did you remember a small purse for evening and shopping? And don’t forget your pashmina for the plane, train and evenings out.

There is plenty of debate on the best way to pack all those clothes; fold, roll, bundle or investing in wrinkle resistant clothing.  A recent article I read suggests the best method is a combo and I would agree.  I started using packing envelopes over 10 years ago and just loved them particularly for a trip that moved around a lot.  Then 2 years ago I was given a set of packing cubes by the tour company we were using to go to Europe.  These were even better.  I had one for undergarments, sleepwear and scarves and another for dresses, pants, shorts and tops (in this one I rolled the bottoms and folded the tops). It keeps your clothes neatly folded, maximizes space and you really don’t need to unpack.

Put jewelry inside your shoes so you use every inch of space.  Swap out the jewelry for dirty clothes on the way home.  And if at all possible, wear the bulky item on the plane. Trust me on a long trip the only people that will notice that you wore those same jeans 4 times is you because you had tops and accessories to make it look like a totally new outfit.

Enjoy!!

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Trends for Spring/Summer 2018, Color and Style

Color Trends

The color trends for spring are moving away from the traditional shades that one associates with spring and are moving to a more expressive trend.  The Pantone Institute has expanded the color selection to be used as another form of self-expression.  In addition to the 12 colors for spring, for the first time this year, the report also includes four classic colors, which transcend seasons and provide structure to any wardrobe. The classic colors are a wonderful way to keep continuity in a wardrobe and push the boundaries to color outside the lines.


Meadowlark

This bright yellow shade speaks spring.  It’s a color that says I am confident and outgoing.

Cherry Tomato

This color is a mix of orange and red that will make any outfits come alive and exude energy. If you are bold, I could see this mixed with Meadowlark.

Little Boy Blue

Similar to a clear blue sky, it’s calming.  This color mixes well not only with Meadowlark, but some of the pastels and neutrals in this season’s palette.

Chili Oil

This color is an earthy brown based red that adds flavorful definition to the spring 2018 palette.

Pink Lavender

Pink Lavender is a soft and romantic violet rose that will have you thinking of soft spring breezes and blossoming trees.

Blooming Dahlia

A wonderful mix between peach and pink, it mixes well with some of the bold colors of the season like Arcadia and Chili Oil.

Arcadia

This color is cooler than green yet with some blue undertones which makes it a color that works for more women.

Ultra Violet

This Pantone Color of the Year, is a bold statement and not for the faint of heart.  Not a bold person? Add a splash of this color in a scarf or belt will look great or pale it down to a shade of lavender, another important color this season.

Emperador

This rich chocolate is a great neutral to mix but can also stand alone.  Mix it with Blooming Dahlia or Pink Lavender if you don’t like to wear brown tones alone.

Almost Mauve

This color adds a sense of nostalgia to the spring 2018 palette. It works great as a neutral in lieu of white.

Spring Crocus

A more toned down shade of fuchsia, it works well with Emperador and Arcadia.

Lime Punch

This sharp color is another one that makes a bold statement. 

Spring 2018 Classic Color Palette:

Sailor Blue

This and any shade of navy is always in style

Harbor Mist

Shades of gray have been important for many years.  This hint of gray will be seasonless.

Warm Sand

Warm Sand is a comforting neutral shade that effortlessly connects the seasons.

Coconut Milk

A great alternative to white or off-white that can carry through the seasons.

 

Style

Many of the spring trends this year are a throw-backs to trends of the 90’s.  Here are the ones that I think will be around for a few seasons and seen in many ready-to-wear fashions.

Rubber

We are not just talking accessories here, but entire outfits.  These items are made out of 100% Nitrile / Synthetic Rubber.  I don’t know that I am ready to try one of these as I can just feel the sweat rolling off me during the steamy Maryland summers.

 

 

 

Ruching

This is not just in small sections of the bodice but will be found over the entire dress as well as down the sleeve.  Done right, it can enhance the balance of an outfit based on your body type.

 

 

 

Asymmetrical Necklines

Fashionable for several seasons, the trend continues strong.  It’s not just about exposing a shoulder, but having various cut-out areas of the garment.

 

 

Square Necklines

If the asymmetrical neckline is not for you, how about the square neckline?  It is very flattering and will be found in everything from cocktail dresses to everyday tees.

 

 

The Fanny Pack

I remember the last version of this well; it was a staple for the skier in years gone by.  Now it is showing up as a mainstream accessory. It does give you the convenience of freeing up your hands.

 

 

 

Lavender

I have already seen this wonderful color in garments in my NYC preview a few weeks ago.  It is definitely color for day or evening.

 

Dark Denim Sets

This wash is not just for casual wear and is by no means replacing your light-wash jeans.

 

Black and White Polka Dots

If floral prints are the number one pattern for spring, these dots are number two.  Don’t be afraid to mix them with your favorite floral that has a predominant black or white in the pattern.

 

 

White Tank Top

The basic white tee will always be a staple, but for this season, add to that the white tank.  Wear it either alone for under a top for layering and you can’t go wrong.  Although they will be seen with screen printing, I prefer the basic with no pattern.

 

 

 

So check out your closet before you run out the door to shop for spring.

 

What outfits are hiding in your closet?