Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Category: Accessories

How to Wear Colored Shoes

How to Wear Colored Shoes

I love colored shoes! I may have a bona fide problem, but I’m not interested in recovery. I know some people think colored shoes weird, or impractical, but I have never found them to be so. Many women will wear colored tennis shoes and flip flops, but buying a colored “dress shoe” strike fear into many a heart. If you have been on the fence, here are some pointers…

Pick a Color You Love!

You are more likely to wear something if the color is one you love. Applied to the matter at hand, that would mean buying shoes in one of your favorite colors. Ideally, you will already have other pieces that will coordinate with your new shoes. They don’t need to be an exact match. Let me say that again: They do not have to be an exact match! As long as they coordinate, or look like they are from the same family, you will be fine. Your shoes are not going to be seen up against your blouse or scarf. Also, shoes are likely to be made of a different material than your clothing, and the different textured surfaces would make even dye-matched items look different. The other plus to a color you love is that if someone does compliment you on your shoes, you have the perfect response… “Thanks, it’s my favorite color!”

Keep The Color in Your Palette

If your new shoe color is one of the colors in your personal color palette, or your wardrobe’s color palette, you will find it easier to mix and match with the pieces you already own. Why does this matter? It will save you from spending money on shoes only your closet will wear, and make it easier to work them into outfits and look pulled together. The exception to this rule would be if you are buying a color that you love but is unflattering on you. For me that would be bright yellow or olive green. I love them, but they don’t love me! I would buy them in a cute shoe though, to get a color fix and wear them with my neutrals for a better look.

Repeat the Color Near Your Face

Beauty Bundle: PinkThey key to wearing colored shoes and not having everyone staring at your feet is to draw the attention back up to your face with your shoe color. Some stylists call this topping and tailing. When looking at a person, humans start at the face and move downward toward the feet. This is a natural progression. When we get to the bottom, if there is a similar color at the top, our eye pops back up to the face. This is why wearing a shoe in your hair color will always work, because the color is already there at the top of your head. Now, if you want to wear pink shoes, there is no need to dye your hair pink! Just throw on a pink necklace, scarf, or earrings , or even a bold pink lipstick will help.

This is where the genius of Beauty Bundles comes in. When you buy a shoe that is not a color you already own and wear, grab an inexpensive scarf, pair or earrings or a necklace in that same shade. You will have the beginnings of a Beauty Bundle. If you decide you love the color and it loves you back, you can grow your bundle in bits and pieces over time. If you decide that color isn’t for you, you can gift the shoes and jewels together and start someone else out with a sweet bundle that might be just perfect for them!

A Last Note

If you have very challenging-to-fit feet, and would love to buy colored shoes, but they only make shoes that fit you in black, and if you are lucky: tan or white, don’t be discouraged! I am happy to introduce you to Angelus Shoe Paints. This versatile product is for leather shoes, and can change any shoe color to the color of your choice.  I am incredibly craft-challenged, and have successfully painted at least 3 pairs of shoes. A friend with “difficult” feet decided to paint her old and worn orthotics-friendly shoes, and is very happy with the results. She feels like she has a new pair of shoes, and a new lease on style.

Do you like colored shoes, or are they out of your comfort zone? What is your favorite pair of shoes? I’d love to know! Please share in the comments below…

Thanks to Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb for the link up!

Choosing Accessories

Choosing Accessories

A few months ago, I listed questions that can help narrow the search for a handbag. They fell into Know Thyself questions, and Know Thy Bags questions. Know Thyself is key for all purchases! Accessories covers a lot of ground, but for simplicity, I’ll limit this post to jewelry. Frequently, a client will ask me about choosing jewelry to complete an outfit. Most women have no issues with putting together a top and bottom they like, but find themselves flummoxed when it comes to completing an outfit with accessories. This is a pity because accessories can give you variety with very little investment.

The reason I love accessories is that they can change a look in just a few seconds, and are a great way to play with your style, or try on a new personality. If it’s time to let out part of you that normally doesn’t see the light of day, fashion jewelry is a great way to go! Now, if you are a woman who wears only fine jewelry, and genuine stones, this kind of play may not be for you. The expense of your preferences makes experimentation less likely, but I would still encourage you to try out some fashion pieces for a travel jewelry capsule. Taking your heirloom pieces on a cruise, or to the beach is not always good for your piece of mind or wallet.

Personality

As with all other fashion items, your personality should be the main driver for what you buy and wear. What is popular at the moment, or will be next year shouldn’t be much of a concern, unless trend chasing is a sport you enjoy. If you have a very feminine and relaxed/natural personality, biker bling and skulls are probably not for you. Likewise, the rebel is unlikely to feel called to wear a delicate pearl drop on a fine chain. Jewelry is very personal as it is often worn right next to the skin, so if a piece doesn’t reflect an aspect of your personality, it’s likely to stay in your baubles box.

Levels of Refinement

Many clothing items are wearable across levels of refinement. We see jeans everywhere from hiking trails to offices on Casual Friday, but it’s what you wear with it that makes them fit in either environment. The accessories we wear tell the world what our level of refinement is for the day. The single strand pearl bracelet above with the leather lacing is far more casual than the the triple pearl necklace. In the watches illustration, you can see how the sparkly evening watch would look out of place on the hiking trail, and the red silicone could be worn to the office, but may not have enough gravitas to keep your jeans looking professional. The leopard band women’s watch is deceptive. The gold finish and leopard band look more Level 2, but the cat ears and kitty collar bling give it a more juvenile feel.

Coloring

What is your personal coloring like? Do you look better in silver or gold? Cool colors or warm colors? An outfit of warm tones will look more harmonious with warm toned jewelry. Last spring, I watched a bride-to-be shop for a pearl necklace to wear with her wedding dress. The bright white pearls were too cool for her warm coloring; they didn’t look right on her. The coloring disconnect make them look cheap. The ivory toned pearls she tried on were lovely with her warm skin and honey hair. She was struggling, because the ivory pearls would look “funny” with her white gown. (Lesson for brides: Buy the dress that makes your skin look amazing! Not just the bright white because that’s what you (or mom) thinks the bride should wear!) Is your personal color lower color contrast, or high? Colored jewelry is a great way to add extra color to your outfits. If you are a lower color contrast woman, colored jewelry may work better with clothing in a similar shade, or with neutrals for balance.

A second color aspect to consider is the colors already in your wardrobe. Do you have a defined color palette? Do you own more neutrals or colors? Are most of your tops colored? If so, you may want to focus on finding metallic and/or neutral toned jewelry. On the other hand, if most of your tops are neutral, colored jewelry is a fabulous way to bring attention to your face where it belongs! I find that I wear more neutral colored tops in the summer because neutrals “feel” cool to me, so I try to remember to bring out my colored jewelry for summer. Other people wear more neutrals in the winter, so should look for those colored pieces to bring some brightness to grey winter days.

Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry? Are you a jewelry lover, or does it never make it onto your body? Please share in the comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Perfect Handbag

The Perfect Handbag

I spent years looking for the perfect handbag. I don’t literally mean years wandering the Earth in pursuit of the perfect bag, but I might have had a wee obsession. Pretty much anywhere I went that had anything vaguely resembling a handbag, I would look. This led to some amusing, and some incredibly practical purchases, and quite a bit (Oh, let’s just say a lot!) of wasted money. It wasn’t until much later that I thought to spend  time thinking about what I thought made a handbag “perfect.” Let me make something clear; I despise (No, that is not too strong a word.) the tyranny of “perfect.” There is only one perfect, and it’s not found on this Earth. I prefer: Ideal for you now. This is where I struggle with the what-every-woman-MUST-own lists discussed in a previous post. At some point I discovered that there is no perfect handbag, or even ideal, but there is the handbag that best works for at this point in my life, and for particular occasions.

Here are a variety of questions to ask yourself before exchanging your cold hard cash (or credit card) for a new bag…

Know Thyself Questions

  • What is my life like? Do I need a bag that is easy to clean? (Maybe that cute suede hobo isn’t such a good idea…) Where will it live at home or work? On the floor? In a drawer? In a coat closet? On the dining room table where spills happen?
  • What do I want this bag for? Everyday? A special event like a wedding? Travel?
  • How much do I like to carry around with me daily? Am I the kitchen sink woman, or a  phone, credit card, and lipstick woman? Or am I  somewhere in between? (If you are the kitchen sink woman, know that you will spend more time and money at the doctor’s office later!)
  • Do I want a bag du jour (the latest trend), or one that will stand the test of time?
  • Do I want to change bags often, or have one that goes with “everything”? (Note: There is no bag that goes with everything. There are bags that go with your everyday everything!)
  • How much do I have to spend? How much do I want to spend? (These are two very different questions!) Am I willing to spend more than I want to get what I really like? (Note: I would NEVER suggest you spend more than you have to get what you really like!)
  • What size and shape bags are best for my personality, body shape, and scale?
  • Is brand important to me? Do I like carrying a recognizable bag? Do I like logos? Or do I prefer to go stealth? (Be honest here…  It is a pity to spend a fortune on a bag just to find out you don’t want to be advertising for a particular company. And it is OK to want a bag with someone else’s initials if that makes you happy!)

Know Your Bags Questions

  • Do I prefer a shoulder strap? How long? A cross body? Maybe a handheld satchel is more my speed. Or does it need to be convertible to handle all these options? Some women prefer a wristlet or clutch.
  • How much structure do I want? Soft and squishy, or more structured? What shapes do I like best? Soft and rounded? More angular? Taller than wide (North/South) or wider than tall (East/West)? Frequently there is a connection between angularity and structure, but lately there are structured round bags everywhere, and square squishy totes, so be sure to keep your structure and shape preferences defined.
  • What materials do I prefer? Fabric and PVC (even when called Vegan Leather) are, for the most part, less long wearing than leather. If you have issues with leather bags, expect to replace yours more frequently.
  • Do I have a hardware preference? I have seen a woman reject her (otherwise) ideal bag because the hardware was silver colored and she only wears gold.
  • What colors do I like best? What goes with the majority of my outfits? Do I want a bag that blends with, or stands out from my outfit? (Hint: A black or camel handbag stands out like a sore thumb on many women; a handbag in the same color as your hair goes with all your outfits, because you wear your hair wherever you go.)

If this seems like an awful lot of questions to ask before heading to the shops or to your computer, take a moment to think about what else you could do with the $25-$2,500 (or more!) one can spend on a handbag. (Movie, or family vacation…) Spending time thinking through what your ideal bag looks/feels/smells/carries like is well worth the time it will save you shopping. Think of it as the shopping equivalent of Measure Twice, Cut Once.

Do you have a favorite bag? Or did you, but it is no longer right for your life? Please share in the comments below!

 

            

 

Style/Fashion Myths

Style/Fashion Myths

Myth: Black shoes go with everything.
Reality: Black shoes go with everything only if you have black hair! Otherwise, shoes the color of your skin or hair go with everything!

Myth: Don’t wear navy and black together.
Reality: Navy and black worn together can look very chic when combined intentionally! The same goes for black and brown.

Myth: Never wear white after Labor Day.
Reality: If you look good in white, wear it all year long!

M: Don’t mix metals.
Reality: Mix away! To make it look like you meant it, make sure to choose at least 1/3 of one metal.

Myth: Flats are more comfortable than heels.
Reality: A low heel can be more comfortable (and better for your feet) than flats!

Myth: You shouldn’t repeat an outfit during the week.
Reality: If the outfit is made of neutral basics, no one will notice, especially if you change your accessories!

Myth: Clothes need washing after each wearing.
Reality: Clothes last longer the less they are washed. Many clothes only need an airing before wearing a second or third time.

Myth: One size fits all.
Reality: One size fits no one well!

Myth: There is something wrong with my body; I can’t find clothes that fit.
Reality: There is NOTHING wrong with my body; there is something wrong with these clothes!

Myth: A $5 shirt is a good deal.
Reality: A good deal is defined by Cost Per Wear. If you only wear that shirt one time, it cost you $5. But the $100 dress that you wear once a week for two years costs you less than $1 per wear. Think CPW, not cost!

Outfit Recipes

Outfit Recipes

Do you feel bombarded at the grocery store checkout by the magazine covers? I often do! Quick and Easy Family Meals… 30 Minute Dinners… Shortcuts to Supper… (And have you ever noticed that for every diet/slim down article, there’s a Best Dessert Ever recipe? So unfair!) Literally millions of recipe ideas at our fingertips, but we frequently default to the family favorites we cook so often that we need no recipe at all. The best are the ones that have some wiggle room for adaptation. Maybe we are out of chicken, but it works with ground beef, too. Or, we have no taco seasoning, so we swap in Italian seasoning, and serve it over pasta instead of with tortillas. These are the best kind of recipes, endlessly adaptable, and never boring! Wouldn’t the same kind of recipes for your closet be fabulous?

What’s An Outfit Recipe?

An Outfit Recipe is a dressing shortcut. The best recipes are quick, easy, and adaptable, not the ones with ingredients you can’t pronounce, let alone find at the store (in your closet). I am not talking about the black pants with the pink blouse and heart necklace, that’s too specific and gets boring very quickly. I am talking about those flexible recipes, the ones that with a little spice can keep your wardrobe feeling full of variety. Everyone has their own favorites. Mine change with the seasons, and with my activities for the day. When I was teaching in the classroom, my winter default recipe was dress+boots+cardigan+scarf. With just 3 dresses, 3 cardigans, 3 boots, and 3 scarves, you could go on for quite a while before repeating! (If they all mix and match, you have 81 outfits. That’s 4 months worth of work outfits!)

My Recent Recipes

This month I have been doing the Inside Out Style Daily Picture Challenge. Reviewing one week’s photos startled me. I wore almost the same outfit all week long, but it didn’t feel like it. My recipe that week was Column of Color + Scarf or Necklace for contrast. Some days the column was blue, other days it was white. It could be an inner column (shirt and trouser) or an outer column (trouser and jacket) but CoC + SoN 4 Contrast it was! (Maybe these should be Wardrobe Equations instead of recipes!) My apologies for the selfie… I don’t have an Instagram Husband!

Some Recipe Ideas to Try

Simple Dress + Bold Necklace + Jean Jacket + Shoes/Boots (appropriate for the season)

Slim Cropped Trouser/Jeans + Loose/Flowy Shirt + Layered Thin Necklaces + Ballet Flats

Wide Trouser/Jeans + Slim Fitting Top + Bold Necklace + Wedges

Column of Color (top and bottom of the same color) + Scarf/Necklace and Shoes (of a second color)

The great thing about recipes is their flexibility. Don’t wear trousers, sub in skirts instead! Can’t stand necklaces, sub in bracelets and earrings for interest. Scarves are too complicated? Try the necklace option! Too hot for trousers, sub in shorts!

What’s a favorite recipe that you return to again and again? Please share in the comments below!

And thank you to Katherine of Not Dressed as Lamb for the Linkup!

Fall Dressing in Hot Weather

You are tired of your summer clothes. Fall fashions are in the stores. Fall outfit inspirations like this one by Kotnourka are in magazines, and on websites everywhere. (Yes, Pinterest, I see you!) These looks are lovely, but where I live, daytime temps are still pushing 90 degrees (hurricane notwithstanding), and even the thought of a sweater causes heatstroke. Inspiration boards abound with knee high boots with jeans tucked in, plaid scarves casually thrown over tee shirts, leather jackets, turtlenecks, long duster cardigans over another sweater, chunky knits, and ponchos. Where I live, just trying these on in the store brings on a rash. So what’s a girl to do? Here are a few ways to get your fall on when your climate is just too darn hot…

Darker Colors

Maybe you will be wearing sleeveless tops well into November. (We certainly do here!) Sort through your closet (or drawers) and pull out the darker ones, the more traditionally fall tones. If you are cool complexioned, try wine, navy, dark turquoise/teal, deep raspberry, spruce green, or purple. Warmer complexioned ladies might like brown, mustard, pumpkin, olive or loden green, warm turquoise or teal, warm navy, or red-violet. These feel more like fall than the brights, pastels, or whites and creams that so often take over a hot weather wardrobe. Even something as small as a darker nail polish can give you the change you crave!

Gold Jewelry

I don’t know why, maybe it’s the reference to turning leaves, but gold jewelry and less shiny pieces look and feel more fall to me than silver. If you don’t wear gold because it doesn’t suit your coloring, then try rose gold, pewter, or hematite finshes. I am a cool complexioned girl myself, and don’t look my best in gold, but I pull a few pieces out and wear them to death in the fall, and then tuck them away again until the next year. Layering a few necklaces can be a great way to get a layered look without the heat.

Rock Those Boots

I know, didn’t I say boots and heatstroke just above? Rock booties for a fall look with less heat. Or if you are a knee-high boot lover like I am, as soon as the daytime highs drop low enough (everyone has a different number for this one–mine’s between 75 and 80 degrees) wear those boots with bare legs and a dress. No one needs to know you have little cotton socks on keeping your feel cool and dry!

Suede

Here’s another material that just shouts fall, and the color doesn’t really even matter. Dig out that cute suede bag, or go hit the craft store and wrap some suede cord twice around your neck for a choker. Suede fringe or tassel necklaces are everywhere. I love the new Pearlsueded by Premier Designs ( I get nothing for this plug, it’s just a darling piece that is adjustable, so you can wear it short, too. How cool is that?) If you don’t have a PD jeweler, let me know below, and I can connect you with mine. (She’s so fabulous, my husband jokingly calls her “my dealer”!)

What are your favorite fall cheats for hot weather? I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below…

Saturday Reading/Listening

Saturday Reading/Listening

Saturday is here again, or should I say FINALLY here? I was in bed last night at 8:30. Social butterfly was not my descriptor yesterday! I know lots of you have already headed off for the weekend. I am determined to have a quiet and uneventful weekend. (Note to my children and grandchildren: Do NOT make this weekend eventful! Be holy and wise. +) So if you are having a quiet weekend yourself, and are looking for some reading, here are my picks for the week.

First off–from the amazing Janice Riggs (you will see her a LOT here!): I love to see how she takes an inspiration piece and builds a wardrobe around it! Each month brings a new installment, so the wardrobe grows and evolves over the year. This is the second year of this series, and now that fall is coming you can really see how these are shaping up.

Anyone who knows me, knows I wear a lot of scarves. Actually I wear a few scarves, a lot of the time. They are one of my signatures. I was perusing the Echo Designs website (It gets harder and harder every year to find silk scarves at a reasonable price point. They still manage!) , when I ran across this bit of history… As a scarf lover, I love to meet the people behind my scarves!

If you are interested in the history of dress/fashion/style or whatever you wish to call it, the next two links may be right up your alley. The Lost Art of Dress is a fascinating look into the history of dress, and some of the amazing women who blazed a trail for women in academia and business in the only place they could make inroads in their time. Linda Przybyszewski also shares a wealth of information about the development, and loss, of American style. If American style is of particular interest, Claire McArdell’s What Shall I Wear is a beautiful book showcasing her designs and affording the reader a peek into her sources of inspiration, and perspective on practicality. What Shall I Wear was originally published in 1956, (the newer edition dates 2012) and still bursts with practical wardrobe advice.

Last, but certainly NOT least, a blog post/video from Imogen Lamport and Jill Chivers about Owning Your Style. This is not so much a primer on how to do so, but more of a philosophical reflection on what Owning Your Style means. I frequently notice an Own Your Style age gap. Small children do it naturally, and many older men and women rock their own style with confidence, but so many people seem to get lost in the middle.

Enjoy your weekend, and be safe!

My Wardrobe Musts

My Wardrobe Musts

A few weeks ago I published a post about all the Must Have lists, and thinking about your lifestyle to determine YOUR Must Haves. Everywhere you look are wardrobe must have lists. I enjoy reading what others think are wardrobe musts, but these lists do not send me running off to the shops, because usually the writer’s life is very different from mine. One of the most comprehensive (beautifully illustrated and witty) is Nina Garcia’s 100.  but since my life is not nearly as jet-setty as hers, that 100 doesn’t work for me. Tim Gunn has an interesting list, as well, and I especially love his “sweatsuit alternative” (something comfy cozy and still presentable). In the interest of transparency, and satisfying some askers, here’s my 10.

#1 Narrow Trouser: I’m short. No euphemisms necessary. (Although I do like “fun-size” and altitudinally-challenged.) For me the standard trouser needs to be narrow, even when I am carrying extra weight. Wearing big pants just makes me look bigger. Most other lists have a skinny jean here, but I’ll throw my denim on with #10.

#2 White Knit Top: I have cool coloring, so mine is soft white. I love a white top for how cool it feels in May-October. (And for the fact that I can bleach it to get out all the food I drop on myself.) A nicely fitted white tee is harder to find than it should be, and unfortunately needs replacing frequently. (It’s the Goldilocks thing, people: not too loose, not too tight; not too thick, not too thin; not too long, not too short; not too high-necked, not too low-necked.)

#3 Colored Shoes: I know, everyone says you need a black pump, but unless your hair is very dark, they are not the most flattering choice. I love colored shoes, because most of my clothing is neutral.

#4 Sparkles: I would grab my big silver hoops if evacuating. Yup. Trivial, but they always make me happy and I love how they look with #9. If not those, then a fun necklace. Most likely turquoise.

#5 Big-ish Tote: This one is all about scale. If you are a large scale person, your large tote will dwarf mine. My current fave is 14.5 in X 6.5 in X 10.5 in. That wouldn’t be large on someone who is 5′ 10″, but on me, it’s plenty large. Bigger than a handbag, smaller than a tote, my everyday bag. Much bigger and I look like a child carrying Mummy’s handbag.

#6 Day Dress: Throw and go. That’s one of the reasons I love me a dress. That and the fact that in our unbearably-hot-for-6-months-of-the-year weather, a dress means less places the fabric is touching your body. No Waistband=More Coolness. Air circulation is a godsend.

#7 Short Cardigan: The long boyfriend (or grandpa) cardie is too long for me. (See shortness issue in #1) I opt for short; then, it also looks better with a dress. I am still looking for one I can turn around and wear buttoned up the back…

#8 Watch: Yup, again. I am old-school. Yes, this is a generational thing. Most of the under-30’s I know don’t wear a watch (unless they are medical personnel.)   I like a watch. As a matter of fact, I love my watch. It’s old, scratched, and sturdy; it has proven to be the best clothing/accessories purchase I ever made. Thank you LLBean!

#9 Neckerchief: Anyone who knows me, knows that this is a signature for me. Maybe you prefer long scarves, or maybe a scarf would never grace your neck. I can’t explain why they make me happy, they just do. Ideally, this neckerchief would be the same color as item #3 above!

#10 Denim Jacket: This is another signature item for me. Mine is years old, from Target. The one before that was Levi’s. Who knows from where the next one will come? It casual-izes any dress or trouser, and wards off the chill in frigid air conditioned spaces. Layered with a cardie underneath, it handles most of what qualifies for winter here in the CSRA. Other items move in and out of my wardrobe with the seasons, but the jean jacket is there 12 months of the year. Some day, heaven forfend,  I will pull it out of the washer to find it has come from togetherness. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. And a halt to all superfluous activity until a suitable replacement is found.

Looking over this list, everything here is rather mundane, and would certainly be the first things I would throw into a suitcase for almost any trip. It just goes to show that it is the personality of the wearer, and how she chooses and combines her basics that makes all the difference!

What are your top ten? What would you throw into your bag if you had to leave home in a hurry? Please share in the comments below!

AUGUST GIVEAWAY!

AUGUST GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the launch of Closet Play Image (AND my acceptance as a Skilled Member of the Association of Image Consultants International — Woo Hoo!), I am giving away a Personal Style Consultation OR Wardrobe Audit ($300+ values) to one local winner to be selected at the end of August. The winner will be drawn on September 1, 2017. (Yes, Aiken is local. So is Grovetown. And Burke County! Even out Clark’s Hill Lake way…)

To help you decide which of my services would be best for you, here’s a taste of what the winning options include…

Personal Style Consultation

This comprehensive (3-4 hour) style consultation includes:

  • Personality, Lifestyle, and Values Analysis
  • What’s Working Now Breakdown
  • Physical Presence Awareness and Education
  • Somatype and Fabric Choice
  • Line and Design
  • Facial Evaluation: face shape, defining features, and other related aspects and includes recommendations for jewelry, necklines, hairstyles, makeup based on your unique qualities
  • Body Evaluation (No Measurements!): body shape, proportions, variations, clothing shapes to flatter your unique assets, what to avoid and how to camouflage, scale and how to use it to your advantage
  • Business and Social Dress Codes
  • Style File: your own customized 50+ page style portfolio with an overview diagram showing what to look for when shopping, and other reference materials for review
  • Mix and Match: a short session in your own closet, evaluating some favorite pieces and how to make them work even better for you

Wardrobe Audit

This 3-4 hour wardrobe review includes:

  • Personality, Lifestyle, and Values Analysis and
  • 3 hours closet work including:
  • What’s Working Now Breakdown
  • Piece by Piece Assessment (Fit, Potential, Modification)
  • Wardrobe Capsule Creation
  • Wardrobe Gap Evaluation
  • Shopping List for Future Purchases
  • Mix and Match: a session in your own closet, evaluating some favorite pieces and how to make them work even better for you
  • Closet Organization
  • Wardrobe Therapy File: your own customized 13 page style portfolio with capsule wardrobe worksheets and other reference materials for review
  • Removal/Donation of Unloved and Unwanted Items

How to Win

To enter, please comment below, and feel free to share with your friends! The more the merrier!

Imitation is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery?

Imitation is the Most Sincere Form of Flattery?

The familiar quote above is from CC Colton, although others have said similar through the ages. In our social media (especially Pinterest) age, where are the lines between imitation, inspiration, and cultural appropriation?

Imitation and Inspiration

I will say flat out, that I have no answers here! This is all interpretation, unless you are dealing with patent law, and piracy, neither of which involve flattery, merely profit. For fashion or style, I define imitation as the the duplication of another’s look. Maybe, you are trying to duplicate one of Kate Middleton’s maternity looks for a baby shower. You find the same dress, and the closest possible shoes, but alas, you cannot duplicate the jewels! Understandable, so you go for a matching set you have that is similar. You are trying to recreate her look. That says imitation to me. Pre-teens do this all the time; I am sure most of us have seen two or three together, (sometimes more!) wearing matching outfits.

Inspiration works on a much looser principle. You like someone’s look, and you take something from that look, and make it your own. Maybe you use the color scheme, or the proportions, or the way she mixed her jewelry, but you do it using your own items, in a way that works for your personality, shape, and lifestyle. I have a client who loves Katherine Hepburn in her wide legged trousers and crisp white shirts, and Nicole Kidman’s modern interpretation of that same Elegant Chic. My client would be swamped in wide legged trousers, and does not wear woven shirts, but she takes her inspiration from the color combinations, and simple accessories they use.

Cultural (Mis)Appropriation

Talk of imitation and inspiration often leads to a discussion on cultural (mis)appropriation. This is a messy topic, and much like the author of this article in The Atlantic, I do not want to only live the culture of my Irish, German, and Alsatian ancestors; I would look silly running about in a dirndl and shawl. (Although a pint of Guiness would not be a strain…) I can see how taking elements from another’s culture, using them for profit, and not giving credit is a problem, as the author of this Thoughtco.com article elucidates. Years ago, I was astonished when a folk-dance enthusiast and instructor commented on a necklace I was wearing. She recognized it as an antique Kuchi Wedding Necklace (I think…) and asked how it came to be in my possession. She told me these necklaces were very special pieces, and rarely left the family. When I put on the silver necklace that was a gift from my mother, I was not pretending to be an Afghan bride. My mother saw it at an estate sale, and thought the craftsmanship beautiful; it is a work of art.  I wear it with that same appreciation. I appreciate its beauty even more, now that I know more about it.

Most of us are past the imitation phase in our lives, so, where do you find inspiration for your outfits? Please share in the comments below!