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?

 

Vacation Closet Postscript

 

If you have been following my posts in the month of January, you know that I was away in a much warmer climate; Apache Junction, Arizona which is east of Phoenix.  During that time I shared what I packed in my suitcase and the outfits I created from those items for the month.  Now that I’m back I decided to do a review of what worked well, what didn’t and things to consider for the next time.

The temperatures were predicted to be in the 40s at night and upper 60s to low 70s during the day which was pretty close to true with a few mornings being a little colder and a few days being upper 70s to low 80s. This is a place where you can be busy all day, or just sit by the pool and read.  My husband and I chose the former.

As a reminder, these were the items in “my vacation closet.”

Here is the suitcase (25” hard side) I used. I also carried a backpack on the plane and a cross-body purse.

 

In addition to all the clothing pictured above, I packed in there 5 days worth of undergarments, 2 bathing suits, a hooded sweatshirt, lounge PJs and the items pictured below.

 

For just about all my travel (plane, train or car) I always layer an outfit and wear leggings, for this trip it meant black leggings, bronze colored tank top, denim shirt and a cashmere wrap.  I also always wear my sneakers on the plane as they are bulky to pack and no matter what, they always come with me; experience has taught me that.

When I packed, I chose colors that were versatile enough to mix and match just about everything in “my vacation closet.”  As you could tell from photos, there was a lot of mixing and matching and although I brought several scarves to add patterns and upper interest to my outfits, it just wasn’t that dressy of a place to use them.  I had anticipated eating out maybe once a week, but instead we rotated fixing dinner among 3 couples and only had dinner out once.  But we did have a dance once a week and a concert once a week, so that was considered the evening casual looks.

I got it right items:

Daytime Tops – All of the casual cotton short sleeve tops, top and center left in the “My Suitcase” collage, along with the black/white top center bottom worked well either alone or, if it was a little cooler, layered with my hooded sweatshirt or the denim shirt.

Daytime and Evening Bottoms – All of the bottoms worked well, from the casual gray shorts, beige capris to the 2 different weight leggings, skinny Chico’s pant and jeans.  The jeans, Chico’s pant and heavier weight leggings were good for the cooler days and evenings as this is a place that has very little humidity so as soon as the sun goes down, so does the temperature.  A tip for your leggings, they can do duel duty as capris if you pull them up to create a “seam” just below the knee as I did in bottom left picture of the “Mix and Match” collage in the Facebook post.

Evening Tops – Here is where the mix and match came into play a lot.  The tops in the center and bottom right of the “My Suitcase” collage were my staples along with the cashmere wrap.  I used these a lot, both alone and layered with a camisole underneath.

What I didn’t use:

I got very little use out of the 3 tank tops.  It was a little too cool to wear alone during the day and only used a cotton one once as a layer under the denim shirt for a very casual evening.

I also didn’t need the pair of bronze colored flats.  If I needed shoes, the short boots worked fine.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t get much use out of the scarves, but I would continue to pack scarves in the future as they take up very little space and add interest to your outfit.  This was true for the belt as well.

In lieu of the purple long sleeve top pictured in the “My Suitcase” collage, I would have packed a different top as it would have been more versatile.

What did I need but not pack:

I originally had a denim skirt out to pack but changed my mind.  Go with your first instinct, I should have brought it.

I also would have gotten use out of additional leggings to go with the burnt orange tops and denim shirt.  I did purchase 2  pair from LuLaRoe  when we went shopping at Mesa Market Place Swap Meet (great place to go if you ever get out that way),  They are a nice pattern, go with both tops and are oh so comfortable.

As I mentioned earlier, I should have packed another long sleeve tunic length top (to take the place of the purple top) that would have given me more options with leggings (butts covered please).

All in all, the amount and type of clothing worked well, but there is always room to refine the selection.  I will admit I like a lot of variety in what I wear so towards the end of the trip I got a little board with my options.  The addition of the LuLaRoe leggings was a nice boost.

Remember, pick either a pattern for your tops or bottoms to give you the most possibilities to mix and match, always bring your sneakers, pack some accessories (belt and scarves in addition to jewelry) and go with your first instincts when pulling clothes for a trip.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

You look thin. Did you lose weight?

Aren’t those the words every women loves to hear?  If you did drop a few pounds;
congratulations on the hard work!  But if, like me, you are still a work in progress, there
are a few things you can do to look thinner without hitting the gym more often or passing on some of your favorite foods.   No matter whether it’s the time of year for your spring/summer or fall/winter outfits, as you have heard me say many times, the goal of the perfect outfit is to give you the hourglass figure.  This could be in reality, if you are one of the lucky 7% of the population, or by illusion by balancing your natural figure.  But you can also look thinner by illusion.  Below are tips and tricks on putting together outfits that will make you look taller thus thinner.

Vertical Pattern – using a fabric with stripes, lines or a vertical pattern makes the eye
travel up and down, thus making you look thinner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monochromatic Outfit – using one color family for your entire outfit does the same
thing as a vertical pattern.  It creates a unified look making the eye travel vertically
creating a visually unbroken line.  And it’s not just about wearing black.  Any
monochromatic outfit will make you look thinner.  Pick a color that makes your skin
glow and you can count on getting compliments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hemlines – you may not think the position of your hem has an impact on how you look,
but it does.  It could be the difference between  looking slender or adding attention where you don’t really want it.  The rule of thumb should be: the skirt hem should hit at the slimmest part of the leg.  For most women, that is either just above or just below the knee. If you are wearing a midi length skirt or capris, it should be just under the heaviest part of the calf.

Accessorize– heels or flats with a pointy toe and a sharp crease in your pants are other tricks to have in your style toolbox, but accessories also play a role.  Chandelier earrings and/or long chain necklaces (particularly the current trend of multiple strands) make you look taller.  Adding a color to your neckline (necklace or scarf) that coordinates with your skirt or pants will help the eye move around your outfit.   Are you on the petite side?  Smaller bags can help you avoid visually overwhelming your frame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

It’s almost time for vacation.

This weekend kicks off the unofficial start of summer.  Soon the kids are out of school, which means it’s time to think about that summer getaway.  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 pair of shorts you bought on your last tropical outing that are bit on the wild side for wearing out to a casual dinner at home. Let’s see if we can squeeze them in.

Let’s start with the pre-planning. How many days are you away 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 your destination 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. This is where creating your own travel checklist can help. 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  (maxi would be great) and a pair of slacks  (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).

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 and there should be tops that can be layered.

Now add the accessories.  Scarves and jewelry can change the feel of an outfit from casual to dressy in an instant.  Patterns in a lightweight scarf can pull together a great outfit that has a solid top and bottom. For jewelry, I would recommend taking only one metal color.  Because the beach can be harsh on metals,  bring your costume jewelry and leave the good stuff at home. A metal belt is a great way to accentuate the waist and dress up jeans for an evening out.  Now on to footwear.  I have made the mistake of not taking sneakers on a trip; never again.  I always wear them on the plane and pack a pair of flip flops (good for the pool and as slippers in the room) and another pair of casual shoes based on my destination.  For my upcoming cruise to Alaska that will be a pair to black patent flats, for a beach resort it would be a pair of dressy sandals.

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. I have used  an envelope packing system such as the one from Eagle Creek for years. It keeps your clothes neatly folded,  maximizes space and makes it easy to pick out items without unpacking the entire suitcase; handy when you are on a multi-location trip.  You can find other versions on Amazon and at Target and Walmart.

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. Avoid the urge to throw in one more thing as you are about to walk out the door with your suitcase in hand.  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 every time.

What outfits are hiding in your suitcase?