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Even if you have a “perfect” body (nobody does!), swim suit shopping is probably one of your least favorite things to do. Even when I have felt my best physically, shopping for a swim suit has been like drudgery. Swimsuits are the least favorite, most difficult clothing items that women shop for. However, just like all the other items in your wardrobe, if you know what you are looking for, you can make the process easier and much more enjoyable.
What do you want to communicate at the beach, a pool party, or while lounging away in the sun? Are you sporty, sexy, romantic, elegant, classic, creative, exotic, or bohemian? Your personal brand can be complimented by is a suit that tells your unique story. Start by asking yourself what you want to communicate, then look for swim wear that matches that statement.
Each of these tells a unique story and should tell you something about the woman who wears it. Are any of these styles… you?
When shopping for a swimsuit, do you find yourself saying any of these?
If you would like to minimize your chest and still have the support you need there’s help for you.
Swimwear comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes and it comes with built in support. Check out Townshop: they have lots of great options for busty women and you can choose your swim suit based on your bra size.
Triangle cups with larger straps are a great choice, by design they will provide you with more support.
Try a swim dress if you want to add volume on your lower half to create that coveted hour glass shape.
Wear darker colors and solids to diminish bringing attention to your chest and wear a bright bottom to balance things out.
Go for a top with bright colors, embellishments, ruffles or padding to add visual weight and bring attention to your top.
If you are blessed with a curvy booty, you’ll need a suit with enough fabric in that area so you’re not constantly tugging at your bottoms or getting a wedgy.
Designs with solid bottoms and printed tops will help balance you and give you more of an hourglass shape.
For those with a compact sporty body, you may want to create the appearance of curves with all pieces in your wardrobe and that also goes for your swimsuit. This is easily done with a top with padding and gathering, and by picking brighter prints and colors. Don’t go for straight-across bandeaus, boy-cut briefs or shapeless full-pieces, unless you wish to enhance your athletic figure.
If you are a bit hippy, not to worry. A high-waisted bottom works wonders or of course, a one piece will take care of that issue immediately.
The trick is to elongate your waist and lift the bustline. Low-rise bottoms make your torso appear longer and halter straps or bright colorful tops will draw attention upward.
Try a suit with thicker straps to reduce the bulge.
Go for suits with that are high cut.
Opt for bottoms with a little bit more coverage. Bottoms with a skirt can help to conceal part of your upper leg and solid colors will draw the attention elsewhere.
Hiding a tummy is actually much easier than you would think. Peplums, for example, aren’t just great to wear to the office — they are also perfect for a day at the beach. A full-piece with ruching can also help to conceal your stomach. Choosing any one-piece with a plunging neckline with help to keep the focus upwards, rather than on your midsection.
Really, don’t you want to enjoy the sun, the sand, and the water? Don’t you want to go boating, hang out with your kids and your friends? Stop with the body shame and show up with confidence. You are truly beautiful just the way you are; if you think about your style rules, what colors, shapes, and patterns are best for you and apply them to your swimsuit you will show up looking terrific. Use the tips above, shop and dress with intention and enjoy your time in the sun!
Traditionally, we use our “spring cleaning” time to spruce up the interior and exterior of our home. But what do you do about your wardrobe? Do you typically “spring clean” your closet? I’m here to say, if you don’t, you should. My recommendation is to go through your wardrobe twice a year; once as the weather begins to get warmer and when you know that much of what is hanging in your closet won’t get worn for the next four to six months, and once again as the cooler months approach to swap out your warm weather clothes. I know it takes time, but this process will help you get more familiar with your wardrobe. If you want to have a closet full of clothes that you love and look amazing on you, then you need to know exactly what clothes you have and what works well for you. You can accomplish this by actually touching every piece of clothing in your closet twice a year. If you really want to be thorough, consider also going through your jewelry, scarves, belts, and shoes.
Your wardrobe tells the world a lot about yourself. I believe you should bond with your things. Know what you own, what looks good on you, and how to wear things in a lot of different ways so that the cost per wear is of great value.
If you followed my earlier advice, your spring and summer clothes are out of sight in your closet. Now we get to set some time aside and plan to go through last year’s items. Do they still fit? Do you still love them? Do they match your brand image and your style rules? If so, freshen them up and welcome them back to your closet.
Spring is all about newness, and that includes refreshing your wardrobe. If this sounds fun, read on to learn what’s in style for spring and summer of 2017. Should you shop the trends? My answer is always the same:
I have clients that ask whether a work brand is different than a personal brand. Under most circumstances, I don’t think it has to be. If you have a dress code or other reason to show up in a certain way at work, you can do that while still being true to your personal brand. That’s why I have been doing a video series, my Personal 30-Day Challenge. I am taking short videos every day to demonstrate how I show up as my personal brand for every occasion of my life.
My goal is to share how I show up (even when feeling under the weather!) and inspire others to do the same. My 30-Day Personal Brand Challenge is on my YouTube channel, or even better in my Success thru Style Facebook group. In this closed group for women (which you are invited to join if you aren’t already a member), I’ve also shared the videos. You are invited to post pictures of yourself and ask questions about your brand. Many women are participating and receiving invaluable feedback. I’m up to Day 13 of the series, with more to come!
Think about the people you know, your friends and colleagues you can rely on all the time. You know they will return your phone call promptly. They will help you if you are in need. They send you cards on special occasions, check in on you when you are down and not well and they always have a kind word.
How about your brilliant friends, those you can count on them for words of wisdom? Are they well educated and informed? Do they always do the right thing? Are they benevolent and give back during the holidays and donate time, money and used goods to a good cause? Are they spiritual and go to church every Sunday, or crafty and give out homemade cookies and gifts? Are they authentic and tell it like it is? Are they athletic or health oriented and always encouraging others to live a peaceful, healthy life?
I can also paint a picture of those people who let you down. Can you think of a friend who is always late? Maybe you know someone who is critical and judgmental or who gossips about others. They talk about themselves and always need to be right, or they don’t do what they say they will. You count on them to show up for parties or events that are important to you but they always have an excuse as to why they can’t come and usually at the last minute. Or maybe they don’t show up at all.
All of these things make up who a person is. They are the behaviors that make up a personal brand. They are commonly not intentional. Most people don’t say this is who I am or how I want to be perceived by the world and then go about communicating that.
It’s even simpler than that. When you meet someone new they decide what kind of person they think you are in less than 7 seconds. Once you know how you want to be perceived you can visually communicate it through your hair, makeup and the clothes you wear. That’s what my video series is all about. I hope you join my Success thru Style Facebook group, follow along and start to share your personal brand. I’d be happy to give you feedback for your own, 30-Day What’s Your Personal Brand Challenge!
The single easiest thing you can do to change your style is to add color to your wardrobe. My clients tell me just making this one change can have significant results. I have been working with one client, Dorri C. Scott, for just over a year. She already had a beautiful style that she credits to her life experience as a church-goer. Dorri has a larger-than-life personality and therefore felt it was appropriate to downplay the vibrancy in her wardrobe. She wore a lot of neutrals and mostly black. I shared with her that this approach doesn’t usually work.
Unconsciously, we expect people to mirror on the outside who they are on the inside. If you are in vibrant colors, we expect a vibrant personality. If you are in soft, muted colors, we expect a soft muted personality. Unfortunately, if you wear dull, neutral colors we expect you to be dull. If you are NOT dull, as in Dorri’s case, it is psychologically jarring to see you in nondescript clothes. Today, Dorri wears vibrant colors, she looks amazing and is received as the successful, vibrant and powerful woman she is.
Dorri knows what colors to wear because I gave her a professional color analysis and she has a great eye. She mixes and matches colors in interesting ways. Popping a cobalt blue dress with red shoes and a red patterned shawl for example.
Are you stuck in a fashion rut? Ask yourself these questions:
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may indeed be stuck in a fashion rut. If this is you, don’t feel bad, you are in the majority. It’s like diet, time management, and self-care: these things are habits. How you dress and look, what you eat, how you spend your time, whether you take the time to prioritize yourself, are all habits and behaviors we have grown up with. If you want to make a change you need to change a long-established behavior – that’s easier said than done!
If the answer is no, the next question is do you care and why do you care? Do you want to grow a sales team, move up the corporate ladder, get more business? Are you ready to feel better about yourself, attract your partner… get a partner? For real change of any kind, you need to have a reason to want to make a change.
Once you know WHY then we move onto HOW. How do you move past your fashion rut and gain that closet full of clothes that you love? You can hire an image consultant like me to help you get there, but you can also start with going through your closet and thinking about which pieces you love. If you no longer like any item/s in your closet, then move them aside or give them away. There are countless women out there who would love and need them.
Forget the fashion rut! Why not have a closet full of clothes that you love and learn to put them together so you feel fresh, vibrant, confident, your personal best every day?
1. Style: Let’s start with the Skinny Jean. They have been popular for years now, but are they right for you? Mostly likely, NOT! Skinny jeans are a stylist’s nightmare. Why don’t designers make clothes that actually fit the average woman? Do they really think we want to emphasize our hips and make it bigger by contrast, giving us the look of an ice cream cone? Also, it’s not attractive to wear a tunic to cover up those skinny jeans, unless you want to look like a lollipop – a stick on the bottom and a wide, shapeless blob on top. How these became popular and why they are still around is beyond me. Who DO they look good on? Well, just as the name implies, if you are tall and skinny you can get away with them. Even so, I much prefer the skinny flare.
What’s a Skinny Flare? This is a very flattering pant. It fits well around the waist and is slim along the legs but just above the ankle it flares, creating width at your feet and a balance point for your hips. This is a great look for women with lean trim legs but some width around their hips. It is also great for a rectangle body type that needs to create curves wherever possible.
On the other end of the spectrum from the skinny we find the Trouser Jean with spandex. I love these for women over 40. They are comfortable, they give where you give, they come up over your tummy holding it in, so there’s no muffin top hanging over the waistband. Not My Daughters Jeans, were the first to introduce this concept but it is now available everywhere. If you are self-conscious of your weight, this is a great jean to consider. They are more refined and sophisticated in appearance than most other jeans out there.
Then there’s the Bootleg Jean. This is the standard stemming from the old west where the pant leg needed to fit over cowboy boots. This is a flattering style and can be found in low-rise as well as high rise, dark wash, stone wash, distressed, you name it. Because the pant is a little wider at the shoe it helps to balance out a gal’s hips avoiding that inverted triangle look that is common with the skinny.
2. Color: Jeans are blue, but they are also white, black, gray and every other color you can image. When you add color to a jean it takes the style up a notch. It is still a casual look but much more of a statement. If you love the practicality and comfort of jeans but want something a bit more interesting I recommend looking into jeans in a color.
3. Wash: Over the years we have seen acid wash, stone wash, faded, torn, and of course a dark wash jeans. I suggest thinking about your personal brand or style identity when it comes to this. The dark wash is not a fad and is a classic style. It is best for someone who wants to be perceived as elegant, sophisticated, classic. If you are more trendy, sexy, bohemian or youthful, some of the others can be a fun addition to your wardrobe.
4. Pockets: I’m sure you have seen a large variety in the size, shape and design of pockets on jeans. Rhinestones, details, colored thread, all bring attention. If you wish your bottom was larger these are great. If you wish it was smaller, then stay away from embellishments in that area. Also, a small pocket can make you look large as can a large pocket. If you want to deemphasize this area I would go with a pocket to scale.
5. Rise – The final factor is the rise of the pant. Knowing your body proportions will help with this decision. For example, if you have a long torso you will want a mid to low rise jean. If you wear a low rise be sure to also wear an untucked top and a layered look. If you are self-conscious of your belly, a high rise pant is a good choice to hold it all in.
The designers are artists; their styles are about an art form and not necessarily about making women look beautiful. Let’s face it, if size 2, 6’0″ supermodels don’t look good in the first revolution of these styles, neither will we. So why follow these styles? Because a toned-down version of the outlandish trends that are showing up on the runway are what shows up in the stores.
I have chosen one of my favorite designers http://www.worthnewyork.com/ to show you runway (images on top), Worth’s take on the style (bottom).
I love this trend. It comes in many shapes and sizes so that the jackets and pant styles will fit all body types and proportions. Plus, the monochromatic style is great for almost everyone. If you are petite and want to look taller, if you are thick and want to be thinner, this style is for you. It can work with any style personality and any many fabrics.
Bring out your sweet and romantic side with sheer fabrics, ruffles, florals and flared sleeves. If you are a romantic feminine style type or just want to bring out your pretty side these will be great additions to your wardrobe.
It may not be as practical as other options, but fringe or tassels can update classic styles with a bit of fun. A client asked me, “but won’t this go out of style soon, is it worth spending money on trends such as this?” I agree it is on the trendy side. But if you stick to classic styles and mainstream designers, you have years to wear it. Fringe and tassels are a new trend and women are practical, so it will take years to go out of style (but it will go out of style). If you are looking for long term investment pieces, I would not add this to the top of your list unless you absolutely love it and know you will get a lot of use out of it in the next couple of years.
Capes are classic and they are everywhere right now. They can be found in both practical and not so practical applications. Some are built into sweaters and dresses with a bit more trendy feel. Others are great for covering up. If you are tall or heavy, a longer cape is a good choice for you when you want to bring attention to your face. If you have smaller breasts, a smaller capelet can be fun.
This one shoulder, both shoulders or cold shoulder trend has been around for a while and the designers don’t see it going anywhere soon. I especially like this look when you want to show a bit of your arm and are self-conscious and/or no longer like to go sleeveless.
Gray isn’t for everyone, but it is a great neutral for women with cool coloring (blue and pink undertones). If that’s you then now may be the time to shop; you will find gray dresses, jackets, slacks, skirts and pants suits. Checkered prints are especially on trend. This is a smart investment. These pieces will not go out of style and can be easily incorporated into a capsule wardrobe.
It’s not just for evening anymore! We saw this last season and it’s back with a vengeance. From jumpers to jackets, shoes, skirts and dresses you can find velvet in any color and design. It’s a fun trend to bring a bit of pizzazz into your wardrobe.
Anything you like can be found in leather. Soft leather and stiffer leather, traditional colors and wild colors, dresses, shorts, tops, skirts: if you like leather now it the time to shop. In general, this fabric is best for those of you that have a trendy, dramatic, edgy style personality.
September is the end of the sun filled, lazy days of summer and the beginning of a more serious, focused season. From kindergarten to college graduation, the year begins in September – kicked off with back to school shopping! Fall is a favorite season; filled with a sense of newness, and possibilities.
Most of my clients are not fashionistas. You are women who have busy lives; you’re successful, and you know how you look is one of your most powerful communication tools. You, like most people, might have little knowledge or interest in the fashion trends. But if you do wear the trends or the colors of the season you are among a small group of individuals who appreciate that same fine sense of fashion.
So why bother? Color speaks volumes to communicate who you are and showcase your best features. If you’ve had a color analysis you know what I mean. When you know what colors best complement your skin, hair and eyes you see what a difference it makes. By knowing what colors are on trend you know whether they are YOUR colors and it’s a time to shop.
So what are the colors of the season? Leatice Wiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute™ put it this way, “Blue skies represent constancy as they are always above us. Grays give a feeling of stability, Red tones invite confidence and warmth, while the hot Pinkish Purples and Spicy Mustard Yellows suggest a touch of the exotic.”
4. AuroraRed: Is bold, sensual, exciting, dynamic and exudes confidence.
6. Dusty Cedar: A fall and winter version of the Pinks we’re used to seeing in spring. Exudes warmth and welcome.
7. Lush Meadow: A beautiful rich emerald gem color, elegant, vibrant and sophisticated.
10. Bodacious: A bright, rich purple, with pink undertones. A color that lends itself to expressive color combinations and projects creativity as well as loyalty.