2017 Six Tips To Make You More Stylish All Year Long

Being stylish isn’t hard or mysterious BUT it is a form of art and like any other art form it requires discipline and attention to detail.

Use your body, clothing and accessories as an artist does in creating a painting. Study some of your favorite paintings or photographs to see what the artist did to focus your attention on a certain area or subject. Note the other subtle elements that you don’t see at first but that give the picture more depth and contribute to the overall message. What makes a masterwork is that you can look at it again and again, always finding something that interests, entertains or makes you think in a new way.

For the more practical mind: This approach to dressing allows you to be an individualist, put the viewer’s attention on your assets and ignore those areas you don’t want others to notice.

Master your individual style by choosing one or more of the tips below and using them to create the backdrop and points of interest in your unique work of art.

  1. Always dress to put the attention first on you and then on what you are wearing. YOU are the subject of this piece of art, the star of your show!

Example: You have a beautiful neck (but you don’t love your derriere) so you use a soft cowl neck top in one of your flattering colors and decorative earrings to bring the attention that area.

  1. Choose one item in your outfit to be your focal point and assemble the rest of the outfit around that piece so that everything else reinforces that focal point.

Example: Wear all one neutral color and accent the outfit with one bold-colored accessory such as a scarf, shoes or a necklace.

  1. Have an unusual piece of jewelry or a bag that you wear with everything. It will upgrade the rest of your wardrobe. Others will associate it with you and remember you.

Example: a pendant with a jewel the same color as your eyes, a bracelet that is a one-of-a kind and exemplifies your personal style.

  1. Use your hair as an accessory.

Example: An unusual cut or style, witty or eye-catching hair accessories, a streak of color that is your favorite or matches your eyes or brings out your eye color.

  1. Decide on your style theme for the year, write it down and put it where you can see it when you are choosing your clothing to use for inspiration. Use the current styles that work with your personal style so that you stay true to you.

Example: Right now you love the idea of living in a forest cabin. Your might call the style “earthy and cozy”. The colors would be the woodsy tones from your personal colors – your best soft neutrals plus some of your blues and greens. Every time you dress, imagine your forest cabin. You can use Pinterest or magazine pictures of cabins and clothing to inspire you and keep the message clear to you.

  1. Be a collector of all things YOU. Put away or let go of the things that do not represent your style message right now.

Example: Last year you were in love with dresses, printed and solid, this year only monochromatic separates attract you. Put away the dresses or wear the solid ones belted with leggings to get to the look you want.

 

The 9 Outfits You NEED to Have in Your Closet

Closet-II_0

When it’s time to get dressed for the random occasions that occur in all our lives you have to have the right outfit in your closet or you will be running to the department store to buy something just to get by. The point of this list is to have you examine your wardrobe to see that you can put together a complete outfit for each of these events. If you can’t, make a list of what you need to complete each outfit and keep that in your purse.

The List:

1) A formal dinner or awards ceremony
2) A wedding
3) A funeral or memorial service
4) An interview or important presentation
5) A cocktail party
6) A gala
7) A Western party, rodeo or C/W dancing (Texas must-have!)
8) A beach/lake/pool party
9) Proper pajamas, robe and slippers for travel

The clothing for some of these events may be part of your day to day wardrobe. Some of the outfits will be quite specialized. Note that you would likely have to duplicate parts of this list for your summer and winter wardrobes.

These are the components for a complete outfit:

  • Dress, Suit, Skirt or Pants and Top
  • Undergarments: Bra, Panties, Shapewear, Tights or Hosiery
  • Shoes or Boots
  • Purse
  • Accessories: Jewelry, Scarf, Belt, Hat
  • Coat or Wrap

Not every outfit will need all of the above. But if you don’t have all these items needed for a particular outfit you can’t call the outfit complete. You will be “making do” and being self conscious about the fact that you don’t look as polished as you might. One example is wearing the purse you carry daily with a cocktail dress. It spoils the mood of the dress and just looks a little off. A cute beaded clutch would make all the difference. I believe in having a pro-active wardrobe that is always ready to support you in all the activities of your life.

When you are shopping, use this list when you see a sale. For example, I found a great evening dress in a flattering champagne gold (one of my best colors!) for pennies on the dollar, had it altered so that it fit me perfectly and now it is there ready to go when I need it. So far I have worn it twice in the two years I have had it. If I had waited until I needed such a dress I would have been lucky to find it for under $600. What I paid including alterations was less than $50. I already had the shoes and bag and wrap; how serendipitous to find the dress that made it all into my “gala” outfit.

Here’s a TIP to help you plan these outfits. Go through some magazines and find pictures of outfits you LOVE (never just LIKE) that would be appropriate for each of the occasions. Cut these out and make a lookbook, putting your pictures in plastic sleeves. Then you will be able to see and list out what components you need purchase to make up each outfit. You can go so far as to have several pictures for each occasion and use dividers to help you organize.

Finally, keep in mind that how many outfits of each type are needed will vary from person to person depending on lifestyle. The point is to be prepared for whatever occasions come your way so that you can put your mind and energy on the event rather than on rushing about to find something to wear. Or, horror of horrors, turning down an invitation because you don’t have the right clothing, that would be dreadful!

Start planning your proactive wardrobe now!

rejuvenate!

rejuvenate (verb: def. 5) return to life; get or give new life or energy, from WordNet

Great word! In the dead of winter here we are creating goals for a new year – stretching out to embrace the year ahead with our dreams and plans. The question in the back of most of our minds is how to keep that energy, that feeling of inspiration and possibility going all year long.

Hmmm, one way is to begin every month or even every week freshly. Many people use the end of the week or month to wrap up unfinished business and paperwork. That’s fine but it’s not known for inspiring anybody. So how to launch yourself into a new year, month or week? Look ahead to what occasions and appointments you have planned or what you want to accomplish and dress for it. That’s right, plan your outfits including the accessories for each of your events for the upcoming week. For special occasions such as weddings or major presentations, look at the next six months and plan well in advance.

This is what I call a Pro-Active Wardrobe and it can make the difference between you walking out the door serene and confident or frazzled and stressed. Most people don’t realize how much stress they are giving themselves by not having their wardrobes planned. There’s something about having a week’s worth of ensembles that boosts your confidence and helps you start to visualize your outcomes for all your events. And it’s a major stress reliever for special events and presentations when you can put your attention on the real work – and fun – of your life.

You have the chance to rejuvenate yourself every week. Give it a try and see if you are more productive and satisfied with your outcomes. Let me know how this works for you!

#1 in the Series: Create, Adjust or Reinvent “Your Look”

What will be your image and wardrobe goals in the New Year?

Over the next few weeks I will be guiding you through the process of creating a “New Look”, organizing and cleaning out your closet and preparing your wardrobe for the coming year. Let’s get started!

Week One:

Tools to Assemble:
A large poster board
Several current fashion magazines
Scissors
Releasable tape or glue
Magic markers (some with glitter if you are that type of person)
A notebook and pen

This week you will begin to create, adjust or reinvent “Your Look” so that it is consistent with your life goals for 2011 and makes you feel enthusiastic and confident about the Personal Image you are projecting to the world.

FIRST:
Set aside an afternoon or evening to tear out pictures that attract you from the fashion magazines. Don’t spend any time analyzing whether the look is right for you or how much the items cost. Just tear out what strikes your fancy. Don’t be stingy or edit yourself – BE BOLD! Consider photos of accessories, hair and makeup too.

SECOND:
Spread out the pictures you have chosen so that you can see the common concepts. It may be a certain color palette or a style that calls to you and will help you define the message you want to send to the world. Use the poster board to assemble the pictures you have selected and magic markers to write words that describe what made you choose those pictures and what you are envisioning. This will start your creative juices flowing so that you can begin to define your new look.

THIRD:
Now put your creation in a place where you can see it daily and notice
your reactions. Post a copy of your 2011 life goals next to it to help you get a stronger vision of how you will use your wardrobe to help you reach your goals. As the week goes along, take down the pictures that were just a passing fancy and revisit the magazines to find more of what is really speaking to you. Post those pictures too. Repeat as necessary until you are happy with all the images posted on the board and how they correspond to your life goals.

Throughout the week, keep the notebook close by the poster board to write out your observations as you define and refine what you envision for “Your Look” and your wardrobe for 2011. Hint: If you have set a  specific goal such as winning an award, make sure you post a picture of the type of outfit you will be wearing at the awards ceremony!

Jean’s Note:
Enjoy luxury of creating just for the fun of it…DON’T clean out your closet yet! This week is for creating, NOT for confronting the reality that is your closet. We will tackle that project and more next week so look for Part Three, coming soon.

#2 in the Series: Create, Adjust or Reinvent “Your Look”

Welcome to Week Two of your wardrobe makeover!

This Week, Clean Out Your Closet
This takes some time and can be mentally intense so set aside at least an afternoon or two evenings. Put on some favorite music to keep your spirits up and make a pot of your favorite tea or coffee.

First:

Set up the poster board you made last week so that you can refer to it as you clean out your closet. And keep your notebook handy to remind you of the special outfits you will need for this year based on your goals.
Take everything out of your closet so that you can see what you have. A portable clothes rack is very helpful but your bed will do. Have a full length mirror handy.

Second:

Try on everything!
Separate all the items you haven’t worn in the past year and categorize why you haven’t worn them. Here are the usual categories: dated, doesn’t fit, no longer my style/color, worn out, needs cleaning, alteration or repair, no longer works for my current lifestyle.

Sort your clothes:

  • Remove all dated items so that the remaining clothes, shoes and accessories are current.
  • Remove any items that do not fit your body as it is right now.
  • Remove any items that are not worthy of you because of poor quality, wrong colors or just worn out.
  • Decide CAREFULLY which items are worth storing. Here are some valid reasons to keep a few items:
  • Fine quality, classic pieces that you can use again in another way, for instance: a suit with a dated jacket but pants that are still great on you.
  • A memento, this usually applies to accessories rather than clothing but it belongs in your memento box, not in your current closet.
  • If you are on a weight loss or weight gain program: Fine clothing that you can reasonably (key word is reasonably, not hopefully) expect to fit into within the next season.
  • A piece that is just too cool to let go but is not appropriate for your current lifestyle; if you love it you will find a way to work it into your life in the future.

Put your discards and items to be stored in another area so they won’t distract you from your current closet.

Third:

  • Test the items you are keeping in good lighting against your face to make sure they are in flattering colors that make you look vibrant and healthy, especially those pieces worn next to your face.
  • Organize your closet, hanging all pants together, jackets, dresses and so on. Subdivide your closet into business, casual, evening and activewear so that you can easily find what you need when you need it.
  • Now you can see what you are missing. Refer to your poster board and goals for the types of outfits you will need. You may find that you have lots of pants and no skirts or dresses, or lots of tops but only two pairs of black pants and a pair of jeans.
  • Set aside clothes to be washed, cleaned, altered to fit you perfectly or to be repaired.
  • Make a list of clothing and accessory items to be purchased to replace worn out favorites or to complete existing outfits. This will be your first shopping list.
  • Be mindful of your goals and events for the year! If you have an important meeting in March, now is the time to plan that outfit, not the week before the meeting when your attention needs to be on preparing for the meeting!

Fourth:
If your closet consists of just one clothing rack, wire clothes hangers and a bureau that hides everything, you need a clothing organization system that allows you can see all that you have and get to it quickly and easily. Make a list of closet organizational items that will make your closet more functional such as double clothing racks, clear boxes for jewelry storage, scarf and belt hangers, padded hangers, clear storage boxes for sweaters, etc.

Fifth:

  • Take discarded clothing to a consignment shop or your chosen charity.
  • Wash, iron or take clothing to the cleaners as necessary.
  • Take clothing to tailor to be altered or repaired.
  • Purchase the closet organization items you listed above.

Jean’s Note:

  • Refine the shopping list you started above by adding the accessory items you need to complete your outfits such as jewelry, scarves, shoes and undergarments.
  • Also add any additional items or outfits you have discovered you will need to help you achieve your goals. (Ex: You have set a goal to learn to play golf so you will need the proper hat, shirts, pants, shoes and accessories.)

Enjoy the process and get your list together, next week you WILL go shopping!