Are you ready to find your ideal style?

So you made friends with the tape measure from our last “Style Tips” post and now you know what body type you have.  As with any body type, the ideal is to create the illusion of having an hourglass figure.  Trust me, it’s easy to work with once you key in on the styles and style tricks that will work best for you.  Here is a quick rundown.

Bigger on Bottom –

Tops – structured, accentuate the waist, end at the hip

Skirts – soft, falling nicely from the hip and hemmed to hit around the knee, whether just above or just below to accentuate your leg, particularly if you are petite.

Pants – a mid-width leg straight from the hip. One of my favorite pants for this body type are the ones with no waistband and a side zipper.

Legging  – yes these will work for your body type if you add emphasis to the top, of course covering your butt and pair with a nice flat or tall boots that have some room at the calf (this will give the appearance of thinner legs).

Accentuate the waist, and put emphasis on your top, whether with a structured or layered top or with a color that looks good on you.

Scarves and statement jewelry are great ways to keep the emphasis on the top. The last tip is a pointy shoe.  It will add length to your image to make it look long and lean.

Bigger on Top

Tops – Show skin around the neck, no soft fabrics

Skirts – A-line that hits just below the knee

Pants – fall away from the hip rather than skinny silhouette and definitely not leggings.

Jackets – button jacket that cinches at waist and end at hips.

Scarves and necklaces – long to give you the illusion of additional height.

If prints are used in the upper half, they should be small rather than bold which also applies to colors. If a bold color is on top it should be repeated on the bottom in some form.  Keep in mind that you are trying to minimize the top and add to the bottom.

The absolute must, a great fitting bra.  Before you buy your next bra have a professional fitting by a staff member at the store, whether it is a Department store or a local specialty shop.

A little extra in the middle –

Tops – structured, meaning no soft fabrics.  A top with princess seams (seams that run vertical on a garment from the shoulder across the bust and shoulder blades to the waist) or v-neckline work well for this body type.  These will also give the illusion of elongating your body.

Pants – slightly wider leg and a crease will increase the illusion of height.

Jackets – fitted and hit just above the waistline or have a silhouette that hits at the hip with a 1 button closure to create a waist.

Dresses – empire waist.

Statement necklaces will add interest to the face along with pendant necklaces and chandelier earrings that will add length to your frame. The same concept for scarves should be followed; colorful scarves across the shoulders to add interest or oblong to add length. A glimpse of a colorful belt is a great addition peeking out from under a structured jacket.

Curvy –  

Tops – a blousy top should be accented with a full flowing bottom.

Pants – skinny work well with a close fitting top or cropped at the waist.  You still want to keep the emphasis on the waist to maintain that hourglass figure.

Jackets – structured, boxy, or even duster length (if worn open for interest)

Dress – simple wrap a la Diane Von Furstenberg or one with a waist seam.

Accessories – use to maintain your proportion; oblong scarf to maintain length and no large volume of scarf at the neck.  Balance a statement necklace with a trendy or eye catching shoe.

This body type can wear just about any style as long as the proportions remain in line.

Not Curvy –

Tops  – from body hugging to volume adding, such as tops with sleeve interest, diagonal or even horizontal stripes.

Pants – from body hugging stretch jeans to volume adding wide leg pants like the ones that are great for summer.

Skirt – look for the pencil skirt that tapers in at the hem or a full skirt.

Accessories – emphasis at the waist with belts, which  can be of any width to give the illusion of the hourglass figure.  You should also use other accessories like scarves and statement necklaces.  But be sure to counter the volume on top with volume on the bottom.

Remember, volume can be created by style, color or pattern.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Shop Like a Pro…

Being a stylist, my job is to help you find the right look for your lifestyle and your comfort zone.  It is not about me trying to get you into the latest fashion or subscribe to my look.  It’s about you and what image you want to project, whether it is at work or at “play.” Now I will tell you to push outside of your comfort zone a bit.  You never know, you may find an inner you who has been longing to get out.  I know I did when I got out of the world of being a Federal employee and back into the fashion business which is my true passion.

In my style tips last month, I talked about the first step in finding the right styles for you by clearing out the things in your closet that don’t bring you joy.  This will simplify your morning dash out the door. Are you ready to move on?

The next key to looking great in everything you wear is to identify your body type.  Yup, this means you have to get out the tape measure. It’s not about the number, but about the proportion.   Are you bigger at the bust than the hips?  Do you have a little extra in the middle? Whatever the case may be, this body typing is key to knowing the styles that will compliment your body.

You need to take 3 key measurements.  Using a fabric tape measure and a friend takethe following measurements:
Bust    –  Measure around the shoulder blades, under the armpits and over the fullest part of the bust.
Waist  –  Find your natural waistline and measure.
Hip      –  Measure the fullest part of the hip (usually about 7-9 inches below the waist)

This is not designed to determine what size you should wear but what styles to look for when you shop.  For example, if you are bigger in the hip area, you don’t want to buy pants that sit at the hip.  This will only add volume where you don’t want it.

Armed with this information, you can now classify what body type you have:
§    Bigger on Top – proportionally broader in the bust then the hips and waist
§    Bigger on the Bottom – proportionally broader in the hips, thighs and bottom
§    A Little Extra in the Middle – middle is wider in the middle rather than hips and  bust
§    Curvy – top and bottom are proportional with a smaller waist
§    Not Curvy – waist is in line with the hips and shoulders

From this information you can use clothing style, color and accessories to create balance in your body type and the illusion of having that perfect hourglass figure which only about 7% of women have.

In my next post I will give you some tips on style for each of the body types and how to create an illusion.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Your Closet Called ….

 

 

The weather in the Washington, DC area is not going to be pleasant for anyone without ice skates this weekend.  And since your closet called – it could probably use a review of what is working and what is just hanging around.  There are outfits lurking in there, you just need to discover them, but in order to find them, it’s time for a bit of housecleaning and organization.  It’s time to stop pushing around pieces that don’t work anymore.

Now that you are a few months into your Fall/Winter wardrobe, take a second look at everything you own (the first should have been when you brought out this season’s options).  Are there things you have not worn yet?  Why? Are they too big/small? Are they out of fashion?  Answer these questions on every piece.  Even though most styles come back into fashion at some point, there is usually just enough change that you may not be able to use it again the second time around.  Or is it an item you just can’t find anything to go with?

As you sort through things, make several piles.  Ones that you consider past any hope of being worn again as they are torn or stained, ones that just aren’t right for you anymore; whether style or size, and those that are good, but just do not fit the style image you want to project.

Once you get through this exercise, organize the items left in your closet.  If you have not already done so, your closet should be organized by tops, bottoms and dresses.  Within these groupings, organize by color.  This is the best way to take a fresh look at what you have, what you may need to add and what may truly be a new outfit right in front of your nose.

With the January sales in full swing, think about items you may be able to pick up at a great price that will create an entirely new outfit or 2. The items in your closet should not be a one-to-one relationship.  And don’t be stuck on always finding a garment to create that new outfit, look to accessories to make the difference.

Here is some insight into your options for what to do with those items you took out of the closet; don’t look back and don’t second guess yourself.

Donations –
There are many options for donating usable clothing, some with pick-up service that are nationally known such as Vietnam Veterans of America and The Salvation Army. These are 2 of my favorite as the clothing is used for a good cause.

For donations that have seen better days, don’t just throw them in the trash, recycle them and get a discount in the deal. H&M offers H&M Conscious in their stores. They will accept any clothing, not just an H&M brand, to be recycled. You can bring into the store up to 2 bags/day and in return get a 15% coupon toward a purchase. What a deal! And H&M is a great place to pick up a new trendy item at a great price.

Swap some clothing –
There are many sites on the web that offers this type of deal but what about throwing a swap party with your friends? This is a great idea for a girl’s night out. It would also be a great place to swap not just clothing but scarves, belts and jewelry. If you want a little education added to the mix, Your Style IQ would be happy to join the fun and give you a mini session on the accessories for each body type.

Earn some extra spending money –
True you invested in every one of those garments you are about to send out the door, but there is no reason not to recoup some of that as spendable cash rather than a tax deduction. Every town has local consignment shops with varying percentages of what you will earn on clothing they sell for you.  Check the web for a local list as some of the shops my clients have used in the past no longer exist. There are also many options on-line with their own app. Be sure to check carefully as every store or site has a list of “labels” they will accept.

Now you are ready to find new outfits right in your closet.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Tales from an “I love my wardrobe” session

 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with a new client. I have known her for several years through a networking group and over that time she has expressed an interest in my services.  Well, she finally felt the time was right to delve into her closet.  She had a great basic wardrobe along with some fun dresses and jackets. One of my goals was to add more color to her outfits.  She had it, but just didn’t know how to make it all work.  Here are some photos of what we put together and what she had to say afterwards.

“I had a session today with Karen / Your Style IQ that was amazing!  I was afraid going in that I had nothing she could work with.  She created over 30 outfits that when worn with different shoes, necklaces, pants and jeans offer over 100 combinations! “

What outfits are hiding in your closet?