Monthly Archives: March 2017

Incorporate the Colour Black into Your Look

Black is slimming and the go to colour in many of our wardrobes, so it’s easy to wear, right? Not so fast. If your clothing is ill fitting then it won’t look good, no matter the colour. In addition, black can easily wash you out and (gasp!) make you appear older and even (insert another gasp here) make you look frumpy. Think of all the famous women in history who really made the little black dress. Close your eyes for a second, can you picture the dress exactly or rather was it the whole ensemble including accessories, hair and attitude that made them a classic?

HOW TO WEAR BLACK

The Cut. Let’s give black the respect it deserves. Black is, after all, a colour that exudes drama, elegance and mystery. This is a colour that protects us from the outside world (think hiding a little bit of weight gain) but because of this we need to learn to master its strength and use it to make ourselves feel fabulous. The key is to show some skin. Be honest with yourself, if black washes you out then it’s probably a good idea to wear pieces that aren’t directly next to your face. Also, a black on black on black outfit can look boring and drab. Don’t be afraid of mixing textures and looking for soft fabrics that drape beautifully on your body and accentuate your best features. Give yourself shape. Instead of reaching for over-sized pieces define a waist with a belt or opt for an off the shoulder top or an open neckline.

Accessories. Since black is the absence of light and white is associated with light, a string of pearls, a la classic Coco Chanel, will always make a statement. For a less formal but just as sophisticated look try wearing a dramatic statement necklace. Drop earrings will bring more colour to your complexion and are also an excellent choice. Of course, jewelry isn’t your only option as tying a scarf around your neck or in your hair will also have that brightening effect, as will a beautiful hat.

Shoes. An all black outfit paired with black shoes can be a little much and you risk looking like you are on your way to a funeral. An eye-catching pair of heels or flats can change all of that. There’s nothing more dramatic than a pair of red stilettos with a LBD or an expertly tailored suit. That being said, any colour will do, just make sure to add some glam, think sparkle, for night.

Hair. Black is an elegant colour and both your hairstyle and colour should reflect that. Of course, we can’t all be expected to get a professional blow out every day (wouldn’t that be a great treat) but we can make sure that our hairstyle is flattering. If you colour your hair then take the time to ensure that you aren’t going too long between salon visits or at home colouring. There are so many amazing products that will help keep your colour looking fresh and shiny that there really isn’t any excuse.

Makeup. Just like you would adapt your make up for an occasion, you will need to be selective with your makeup choices. You will want to start with a luminous light reflecting foundation and concealer if needed, so that the intensity of your outfit doesn’t draw the light from your face. Play with colour by using deep plums and greys when creating a smokey eye. When wearing all black, don’t forget your lips as they need some colour and shine. For day, a pink lip is ideal and for night you can’t go wrong with a bold red

How To Dress Yourself

Raise your hand if this sounds familiar…

“I’ve got a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear.”

“I go shopping but come home empty handed or buy the same things.”

“I get dressed but never feel put together.”

“I don’t feel comfortable in my own clothes.”

“I’m confused, frustrated and a little discouraged.”

Whether you’ve raised your hand or not, I can pretty much guarantee that at least one of these statements rings true. Hey, as a Stylist even I can relate. Sometimes you know what the problem is but don’t know how to solve it. So, what do you do when you don’t know what to do? You go back to basics.

Step 1. The first thing to do is get clear on your style. You need to know what’s you and what’s not. This isn’t something anyone else can help you with. It’s got to come from within. You can always get help fine tuning later, but the likes and dislikes need to be all yours.

Not sure what your style is? Start observing others, browse through the shops, take a look on Pinterest or Instagram. Start compiling photos or images of items that catch your eye or that you like. Once you’ve got a number of them, look for similarities or try defining them with words that describe the look or feel of the style.

Don’t worry if you find that you have more than one style. Most of us do. Just get very clear on the absolutes or you’ll never be able to shop effectively, dress in a way that feels like you or feel comfortable in your own clothes.

Step 2. The second thing to do is learn how to dress for your body shape. If you’re wearing something that doesn’t suit your shape or if you don’t know how to wear it so that it does, it’s not going to look good on, and you won’t feel good in it.

Furthermore, if you don’t know which cuts or styles suit your body shape, you won’t know what to buy. Shopping will continue to be a challenge and you’ll end up doing what you always do – buying the same things and being disappointed when you still feel like you have nothing to wear.

Step 3. Once you’ve got the first two steps sorted, it’s time to clean out your closet. Get rid of all the clothes that aren’t suited to your style or your shape. Leave behind only the very best pieces for you.

The last thing you need every single morning is to rifle through a bunch of clothes, trying to figure out which work for you and which don’t. How frustrating and time consuming is that?

Step 4. The last step is to learn how to put outfits together. If you consider yourself completely useless when it comes to this final step, don’t be discouraged. Either get some help or do some research. Flip through some magazines or hop onto the internet to find outfits that you like and dissect them. Break them down to see which pieces are used and how they’re worn.

When it comes to creating outfits, the key words here are layering and accessorizing. Many women feel that their outfits are incomplete because they don’t take this final step. Think of it this way — putting clothes on and being dressed is like a simple, plain cake. Layering and accessorizing are the icing and decorations. Sure the plain cake will do, but how much better will the fully iced and decorated one look?

Can you see how important it is to go back to basics when you’re feeling stuck or struggling? If you don’t have the fundamentals figured out, you can’t possibly shop or get dressed with ease, and you definitely won’t feel good in your clothes.

So the next time you find yourself standing in front of your closet, confused, frustrated and a little discouraged, remember this — go back to basics, start from scratch, and you’ll be the best looking cake on the block. With sprinkles of course

Tips To Layer Your Wardrobe Into Fall

It’s that time of year again. September rolls around, kids are back in school, and the weather starts to cool. Regardless of the fact that Toronto is currently experiencing gorgeous, warm sunny days, the mornings and evenings are getting a little nippy and it’s time to start changing the way we dress. So what’s the best way to transition your outfits from hot Summer weather to the brisk days of Fall? Layers.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to stop wearing my summer clothing — that time will come soon enough. So for now, while the days are still warm and we’re merely coping with minor fluctuating temperatures, the best way I know how to deal (and what I recommend to my clients) is that we layer up.

Layering can be as simple as throwing on a cardigan or a long sleeve shirt over your outfit when it’s cool and then taking it off or tying it around your waist or hips when it warms up. Or it can be adding another topper like a vest and then throwing a blazer or jacket (bomber and varsity are big for Fall) on top of that. All depends on the thermometer and what look you’re going for.

 

Or you can do the whole dress-over-pants thing. Just make sure that if you do attempt this look, that you take a good look at yourself in the mirror (front and back) to see how the pants sit underneath (that they’re not making the dress bulge in bizarre and unflattering ways). Also, make sure that you’ve got your proportions in check and that there’s a method to your madness (so to speak). You want it to look like it’s an “outfit” kinda thing as opposed to a “my mom made me wear my pants under my dress cuz it’s cold out” kinda thing. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Generally speaking, when layering, you’ll want to vary textures and fabrics. Typically, the layers closest to your body should be the thinnest fabrics and sit closest to your body. You then increase thickness and bulk the further you move away from your body. If you wear something extremely thick and bulky underneath a thinner, more streamlined or form-fitting garment, it can look odd and like you’re bigger than you truly are. You’ll also want to vary lengths too. If you’re layering, don’t hide it. Let people see what you’ve got going on. Varying the lengths of the pieces you’re wearing makes if obvious that you have multiple items on.

Accessories are also part of the layering equation (and can complete an outfit), so don’t forget them when getting dressed. Scarves are great to throw on when the thermometer drops and are just as easy to take off when the day gets warmer. Tuck your scarf into your bag when you don’t need it, or wrap it around the handle. Super versatile.

Layering’s great – not only does it serves a purpose, but it adds interest and depth to what could be a very simple or plain outfit. One of the best things about layering is that it stretches your wardrobe. Gone are the days of having to completely switch out your Summer and Winter wardrobe. When you layer, you can easily wear some of your warm weather clothing into the cooler months. A stretched wardrobe means a stretched dollar. And who doesn’t want their dollar to go further