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?

If at first you don’t succeed try, try again

Growing up I would hear this from my parents when I tried to do something and it didn’t go as planned.  I use these same words when working with a client.  We may have to get a few misses before we hit a home run with a great style that’s right for you.  Today, I’m going to make it personal and talk about my recent shopping experience.  We’re going to talk about cardigans.

  Twin Sweater set1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I first have to admit, this was never a staple in my closet.  I tend to lean towards a contemporary, almost eclectic wardrobe, particularly since I got out of the rat race of being a Federal employee.  Even in the days of my “former career” I was never a suit person; optioning to show my more artistic side in my fashion selections.  But last year I decided I needed to add a cardigan to my wardrobe to wear with capri pants or my favorite denim skirt (indigo, white and hot pink).  I failed miserably.  Maybe I ran out of energy or patience, but I ended my hunt. Yes, me the person who is supposed to be a pro at this.  Determined that I still wanted this look (I have a secret desire to put together an Audrey Hepburn look for my travels later this year) I set out again to the mall.  I headed into a store known for their classic looks.  Success!!!  I have picked out this great sweater that will mix and match with a multitude of pants, skirts and shorts in my closet.  Isn’t that what it’s all about, being able to create at least 3 new outfits from one purchase?

Classic Cardigan

 

 

 

 

 

What outfits are hiding in your closet?