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?

What colors will you be wearing for Spring 2017

Pantone’s spring colors for 2017 have been described as bright and vivid yet with a feel of earthiness.  These colors were very prevalent in the styles showcased in the New York Fashion Week shows presented last September.  This translates to the colors you will see in ready-to-wear for spring/summer 2017.

The first group of colors are those that are found in awakening of the coming season.  Primrose Yellow reminds you of a sunny day, and Kale reflects the desire to get outdoors after a long dreary (and not so cold) winter.  Another outdoor color is Greenery.  Its yellow-green brings to mind the shades we see when leap buds start to form on trees that have been dark and gray for the winter.  Another color that reminds you of the entrance of spring is Pale Dogwood.  The pale pink shade is great for many skin types as a primary or accent color to add a feeling of tranquility.  Rounding out this group is Hazelnut as the anchor neutral of the season.  It is a color that can bridge many seasons.

Continuing the outdoor theme in the form of tropicals for this season is Island Paradise; who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by a wardrobe piece that reminds you of a warm inviting sea.  Pink Yarrow is bright and sassy to spark fun for your wardrobe.  Flame is another color, with its red-based orange to add a fiery touch, particularly as an accent color.

No season palette is complete without a shade or two of blue.  Front and center is Niagara.  It is a classic denim-like color that will be the most prevalent color for spring, and speaks of a desire for ease and relaxation.  And finally Lapis Blue, which unlike Niagara will energize any outfit and exude confidence.

So as you start to pull out those spring/summer wardrobe, organize your closet by color.  Do you have pieces in these colors?  Is there a shade or two from Pantone’s list that you might want to add to freshen up your look?

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?

Flower Power

 It’s not surprising that floral patterns are everywhere given the 70’s influence in this season’s fashions.  But are you thinking outside the box when it comes to adding a floral to your outfit?  Sure, adding a flowered skirt or blouse to your outfit will bring in that touch of spring we are all yearning for.  Enough of the cold, I want warm breezes and flowers.  Maybe you don’t like to invest in a patterned item because it limits your ability to mix and match, or maybe you can’t find the right size floral patterned style that speaks to you; remember a floral pattern should always take into account your body type.

How about a flower as an accessory.  No I’m not talking about in your hair, but on your blouse, over your pashmina or on the lapel of your jacket.  I have found them inexpensively in craft store or you can easily make your own from a floral stem with some wire cutters, a hot glue gun and safety pin (or even a magnet strip).  That’s the easiest way to find the perfect match.

I have several floral pins.  I once used a large hot pink flower pin at the waist of a black chiffon halter dress, or I have used a large white flower on a white ruana for additional texture.

 But one of my favorite styling tips is shown below.

Polyvore - spring flowers

You have this great print bottom (it could be a skirt or even pants).  It’s cold in your office or it’s just to chilly outside to think about going without sleeves, so you put on the jacket from that skirt suit you have hanging in the closet.  It’s ok, but people will get stuck looking at the skirt/pant and not see the rest of your outfit, or that great smile you have.  Add a flower to the lapel and it will immediately force eyes to travel around your entire outfit, not just the bottoms you are wearing.  An easy accessory that won’t break the bank.  This is a great way to balance color in you outfit by pulling some of the color from a dominant piece to the other half; whether it be with a pin, scarf or flower.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?