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Jeans: Finding Your Perfect Fit (Without Throwing One!)

cyndy-porter-perfect-jeans-fitJeans are a staple in most women’s wardrobes;  you can dress them up or down, wear them rarely or you may feel you can never have too many pairs. But one thing I am sure we can all agree on is that we aren’t happy if our jeans don’t fit perfectly.

A great fitting pair of jeans makes all the difference. So what’s right for you: skinny, trouser, faded with tears and rips, dark wash, boot cut, flare or curvy?

5 ways to find your perfect fit:

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation How to find your perfect jeans1. 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.

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation How to find your perfect jeansOn 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.

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation How to find your perfect jeans2. 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.

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation How to find your perfect jeans4. 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.

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation How to find your perfect jeansHaving jeans in your closet can be a great go-to for comfort, versatility and style. Learn which style of jeans are right for you and think of it as your formula. Once you know your style or styles, the best color, wash, pockets and rise, you will no longer struggle to find the right pair of jeans for you. My favorite tip: figure out which designer makes the best fit for you and buy multiple pairs.

WANT MORE TIPS, TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

It’s Not You, It’s Your Clothes!

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation It's Not You It's Your Clothes

You’re perfect… But your wardrobe may tell a different story.

Has this happened to you? You go to the mall or worse your own closet and NOTHING looks good on you.  The pants are too tight in the thighs and loose at the waist or butt; the dresses hug your hips but bunch up at your tummy.  You look frumpy and feel fat.  You tell yourself, you need to work out more, diet. All things you have told yourself before. Maybe for years.

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation It's Not You It's Your ClothesIf you can relate to this, you are not alone.  Many women feel exactly like you do.  Some feel too curvy, others too flat, too skinny, short or fat.  The one thing I know is very few women are happy with the body they have.  They struggle to find clothes that look good, buy clothes they never wear, waste time looking for something that looks great and leaving their closet frustrated and deflated. Believe me, this was my story before I got trained as an image consultant.

Guess what? It’s not us, it’s the clothes.

You are perfect just the way you are.  Look around,  women come in endless shapes and sizes.  There are just over 3.5 billion women in the world and no one looks just like you.  How can we expect the mass clothing designers to make clothes that fit all of us.  Including plus sizes, there are fewer than 20 sizes of clothing available for billions of sizes of women.

Clothes are designed for the mass market.  They are not made for you as an individual, to fit and flatter. They are made to sell to as many people as possible. They are made to make money, not to make you look and feel great.  Just because a piece of clothing looks good on a mannequin, your friend, the salesclerk, doesn’t mean it will look good on you.  Your job is to find a garment that is as close as possible to your size and have it altered.  Yes, you should plan to alter all of your clothes; consider it lucky if you find a garment that fits you perfectly off the rack.

I recommend allocating a portion of your clothing budget to making sure clothes fit you properly.  Before you wash them or wear them, take them to a great seamstress or tailor to make sure they can make the needed changes so all items fit you perfectly.  If not return them. If the fabric may shrink with washing be sure to wash them before they are altered.

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation It's Not You It's Your ClothesMy top tips for altering your clothes:

  • Don’t cut costs when it comes to alterations.  I’ve had pants come back hemmed to different lengths and one was too short which left me no recourse.  Your seamstress will permanently alter your clothing for the better if you find someone with the right skills.
  • Stay away from the dry cleaners, instead find a dressmaker or tailor.  If they know how to make clothes from scratch, they will know what it takes to precisely alter your clothes to your specifications.
  • Don’t worry about the size of the clothes you buy.  I know we all hate it when we find that great new item and it is in a size larger than we want.  There is no standardization in the fashion industry.  One designer’s size 4 is another designer’s size 10.  If you find the perfect item that will help complete your wardrobe, it looks great on you and it fits you (with simple alterations), buy it and ignore that number.
  • Make sure all of your garments fit you nicely at your widest parts and have the garment tucked, hemmed, taken in as needed.

My clients have found that it is better to have fewer items of clothing that fit perfectly and meet their personal style rules so the color, shape, scale and proportion are right for their personal brand and image.  You really can have a closet full of clothes that you love.  You can leave your house every day knowing you look your personal best.  You are beautiful just the way you are, you just need to find clothes that fit.

WANT MORE TIPS, TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

How to Frame Your Face with Color Contrast

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation Framing Your Face with Color Contrast

What is your color contrast level, and how can you use it to frame your face?

Think about someone who has a fair complexion with light eyes and hair.

framing your face with color contrast by Cyndy Porter DC Image Consultant

Or, a woman with a darker complexion, dark hair and eyes.

framing your face with color contrast by Cyndy Porter DC Image Consultant

Perhaps, someone with dark hair, a light complexion and red lips. framing your face with color contrast by Cyndy Porter DC Image Consultant

 

Which woman can best wear bright or patterned clothing? Who will look washed out when wearing light, monochromatic colors? 

When I tell women it is best to match their clothing to their natural contrast level, they typically look at me bemused.  But if you think about it, if you put a bright color or a strong pattern next to something that is monochromatic or muted doesn’t the latter just visually disappear?

The same principle holds true for us. Our contrast level can be used to frame our face, naturally and quite beautifully!

The goal is to bring attention to our faces not our clothing or our body.  Even if you have a rockin’ hot body, that’s not what you want to lead with.  You want people to pay attention to what you have to say, to look into your eyes not elsewhere.  Supporting your face with the clothes you wear is just one of the many principles that should make up your personal Style Formula™.  Your formula of what to wear and not wear so you look your personal best every day.

Are you high, medium or low contrast?  Grab a mirror and map it out:


On a scale of 1 – 10 with 1 as very light and 10 as very dark what are your:

Eyes

scale-1-10 face contrast mapWhites of your Eyes

Hair

Skin

Teeth

If you fall within a few points on everything (you are all light, all medium, or mostly dark) then you are low contrast. 

framing your face with color contrast by DC image consultant Cyndy Porter

If you are all over the map with dark hair, light skin, white teeth, and dark eyes, for example, then you are high contrast.

framing your face with color contrast by DC image consultant Cyndy Porter

If you are pretty balanced or in-between those
two levels, then
you are medium contrast.

framing your face with color contrast by DC image consultant Cyndy Porter

So, now what?

You will find if you match your natural contrast level you will look harmonious.  Your clothes will support your facial features and you will not draw attention away from your face.

If you get dressed and you aren’t sure, try this trick: look in a full-length mirror and close your eyes. When you open your eyes, do you see yourself or your clothes?  If you see your clothes they are too strong for your face and should be toned down.

There are always exceptions to the rule. If you have worked with me you know I always start with your personality; your personal brand.  What if you have a high contrast personality with low contrast features?  Then this is a factor. If you are the life of the party with a big personality, then you can wear bigger bolder prints and colors.  People will expect your personality to match your visual presentation.  It is a bit confusing if you don’t.  Personality as well as the occasion matters; if you are shy or bold, if you are presenting to a group of 500 or a librarian, make sure your clothes and their contrast are in sync. 

Cyndy Porter Style Conversation Framing Your Face with Color ContrastIt is easy for a natural “high contrast” woman to wear lower contrast clothing and still bring attention to her face.  But if you are a “low contrast” woman you will want to consider darker hues in your hair, brighter lipstick colors and statement eyewear to balance things out.

If you want some more examples check out these Pinterest Boards:

https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/high-contrast-clothing/

https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/medium-contrast-clothing/

https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/low-contrast-clothing/

Want more tips, tricks and information on upcoming workshops and speaking engagements? Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to Cyndy’s e-mail list and JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

 

 

Six Products to Save You From a Wardrobe Malfunction

I recently put together a wardrobe malfunction kit.

Bag-7707I call it an Essence of YOU® Wardrobe Emergency Kit. It has great, inexpensive products that can help you look your best and present your best image. No, I don’t sell the kit, I give it away. Sometimes at charity events, sometimes as a door prize.

A wardrobe malfunction can include an unraveled hem, a gaping neckline, a deodorant smudge, fuzz on your sweater, or a stain on your slacks.

Hollywood TapeSo, what’s in the Essence of YOU® Wardrobe Emergency Kit?

 

 

1) Have you ever had a gaping neckline that wouldn’t stay closed??? What about a hem that unraveled halfway through the day? This always seems to occur right before an important appointment, a job interview or presentation! That’s why I recommend Fashion Tape. It is double sided and sticks on fabric and has saved the day for many of my clients.

ZIPP-BLOSSOM-LAYDOWN-white_background

2) Okay, what about that zipper you just can’t get up on you own. I love, love, love this item by The Peach Company.

Tide

3) There was a time, back in my corporate days when I had a one-day business trip. I flew to New York and back the same day, I didn’t have a change of clothes with me. While on the plane I dribbled coffee all over my white skirt. I had no way to cover it up. For those unforeseen mishaps, I now carry Tide to Go with me.

 

 

Static Guard

 

 

 

4) What about those clothes with static electricity that cling to you at all the wrong places? Static Guard will save the day!

 

 

deodorant sheets

 

5) What about those white smudges from deodorant gone awry? A special sponge or sheet can wipe it away.

 

 

swater shaver

 

 

6) The best cashmere can leave fuzz balls on your sweater. They can ruin your look. A gentle once over with a sweater shaver will leave these items looking brand new.

 

Try out these products and let me know what fashion malfunction you were able to avoid.

WANT MORE TIPS, TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

 

What’s Your Your Image and Style IQ?

Does Your Image Pass the Test?

What's Your Style IQ?You have 10 seconds to make a first impression. How you dress and groom yourself speaks for you even without you saying a single word. It’s not just what you’re wearing but how your clothes fit you.

How do you score on this image and style test? Give yourself two points for every statement that you can say “yes” to.  This quiz applies to men and women so go for it!

  1. I know my personal brand, I always shop and dress with this in mind, I never wear clothes without thinking about what image they will project.
  2. I know about my body proportions and my body shape; I know what clothes look best on me.
  3. My clothes fit me very well. There is no pinching at the waist, my pant length is right where it needs to be, the cuffs of my jackets are just right.
  4. When people look at me they can tell right away that I’m someone who takes care of details. My shoes are polished, my purse or briefcase is of good quality, and my belt doesn’t show any hints of wear or change in waist size.
  5. My hair is more than cut, it’s styled by someone who knows how to make me look my best.
  6. My clothes are always clean and if a shirt or jacket needs pressing, it’s pressed. No one has to say to me, “Hey, did you know you have a stain on your shirt?”  I take care of my clothes. I always present myself in a respectful way.
  7. When I shake someone’s hand, I’m never self-conscious. I groom my fingernails and don’t have chipped polish.
  8. I know which colors make me look the best. My wardrobe consists of only clothes that help me reflect my best self. Colors that don’t flatter me left my wardrobe long ago.
  9. My tailor knows me by my first name. When I purchase clothes I visit my tailor right away because he knows exactly what to do to help me get the best fit. I take pride in knowing that I’m someone who walks out the door every day in clothes that fit well. I never look sloppy or disheveled.
  10. I don’t wear too much cologne or perfume, people are comfortable around me.
  • If you scored 18 to 20 points, read no further, you are most definitely conveying a strong, polished image that is making heads turn. I’m sure this will impact both your personal and professional success. Great job!
  • If you scored 12 to 16 points, you’ve got some understanding of how image works for you or against you in the workplace. With a few tweaks, you’ll be on top of your image game in no time.
  • If you scored 8 to 10 points, your image is not working in your favor. Don’t panic.  But if you want to project a winning image you might want to consider making some changes.  There are people who know how to do this and can help you along the way.
  • If you scored 0 to 6 points, hmmm, I recommend you stop everything and find some assistance.  Your personal image is your brand and your brand needs updating.

Thinking about yourself as a brand is a powerful concept and dressing this way is something you can do on any budget.  It all starts with knowing who you are and deciding what image you want to convey.  Getting to the point where you have a closet full of clothes that work for you takes time.  By shopping with a plan, spending the time to think about how you look now and where you want to take your personal image will pay off. It will leave you feeling empowered and you will exude self-confidence.

WANT MORE PERSONAL STYLE TRICKS, FASHION TIPS, AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

First Vlog: “What’s Your Why?”

 

Why I’m Passionate about being an Image Consultant.  My Why. 

WANT MORE PERSONAL STYLE TRICKS, FASHION TIPS, AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

 

11 Spring Styles for 2015 You Might Already Have in Your Closet

W151_038The headlines are screaming about spring fashion. The stores are filled with the new spring styles. Have they gotten your attention yet?

I recommend starting each new season by educating yourself on the trends, then check out your closet for things you may have from a time past that you may be able to revitalize.

Next, make a list of things you can easily add to your wardrobe that will spruce up your look, provide you with a current, youthful image while staying within your budget. Being mindful of the trends, and of the clothes and accessories you already own will allow you to shop and dress with intention, saving you time, money and allowing you to look your personal best.

Here are some items that are trending now that you may already own:

1. Obi belt. This Asian inspired simple belt looks great wrapped around a fine-gauged cotton or silk dress. A great look to show off your waist.

2. Small bucket bag. If you held onto your smaller bags when the big bag trend came

3. Clutch. Clutch bags are great for nighttime outfits. Clutch bags that are leather and not too bedazzled are perfect for daytime outfits when you don’t need to carry so much with you on the scene, you may have some bags that are currently in style.

4. Fringed items. Ankle boots, booties, handbags, and clothing come with fringe benefits this spring season.

5. Small silk scarves for a neckline accent. Remember the small scarves that flight attendants wore around their necks in the ‘70s? That style is back and is perfect when worn with open necked shirts.

6. Mid-calf skirts. This length, ostensibly gone for good in the 1980s, is back.

7. Bohemian long skirts or dresses. Anything long and flowy is back in high fashion.

8. Peasant tops. Loose fitting tops are a great alternative to the cropped tops that are being shown this season. If you kept any loose-fitting peasant tops from years back, they’ll be perfect over flared pants.

9. Stripes.They aren’t for everyone but if you love them, pull them out and you will fit right in. Look for vertical stripes which will do wonders to elongate your frame.

10. Shirt dresses. This was a classic style that had a long shelf life before it was pulled. It’s back again and looking modern, not stuffy.

11. Denim skirts. Denim is fashion’s best friend this season. Fabric technology has advanced, however. If your denim skirt is as stiff as cardboard, you may enjoy the softer fabric choices that are available now.

A word of caution: be sure you know the fashion before you resurrect your clothes of yesteryear.

Know what image you wish to project and which styles are right for your body silhouette. Need help? Attend my Socialize with Style event February 21 at 11:00 AM. The topic: What’s In Style for Spring – and How to Know What Styles are Right for You. You should have received an invitation. If you haven’t, let me know.

WANT MORE TIPS, TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

7 Shopping Tips to Create your Best Image on a Budget

7 budget shopping tips wardrobe clothingYou know your professional and personal success largely depends on your overall image.  You’ve heard the statistic that people judge us in the first 10 to 30 seconds they see us and it has everything to do with how we package ourselves.

Maybe you’re daunted by the idea of spending mega bucks on a new wardrobe. The following 7 tips will show you how to acquire an amazing wardrobe without breaking the bank. 

First, know what image you wish to project and how to dress your body, then jump in with both feet following these strategies:

1)      Shop Off-Season.  That means now!  It is the end of January and what’s in the stores?  Spring clothes.  Buy now for the rest of the winter season.  Buy that new coat, winter dress, or the beautiful designer boots and statement pieces you’ve been eyeing – the cost of which may be hard to justify!  You can get it now for 40%, 50% in some cases 70% off.  The selection may be limited but there are “finds” out there.  Here’s a tip: many major high-end stores allow you to pre-order sale items up to 13 days before they go on sale, even over the phone.  What’s your favorite store?  Ask your personal shopper or get to know a sales associate who will tip you off when the sale is about to occur.  You’ve missed it this time around but keep that advice in mind for fall shopping (June or July).

2)      Shop Sample Sales.  Direct sales companies like W by Worth, have sample sales twice a year.  The merchandise from these companies is sold in a private individual basis from samples.  It’s a terrific way to shop during the season and at the end of the dual fall/winter and spring/summer seasons; the samples are available for purchase at up to 50% off.  There is often new inventory leftover as well, which can be ordered at a discount.

3)      Shop Outlets. Premium Outlet Stores have risen in popularity and they are everywhere.  They used to carry leftover inventory that didn’t sell.  Now clothes are made for the outlets.  They are commonly a lower quality product but if you stick with the designer outlets you are getting a great quality product at a reduced price.  If you really want a deal, see #1 above and shop the outlets off-season where their already low prices are marked down.

4)      Check Prices on Amazon.  Download the Amazon Shopping App and check out the items you want before buying.  You can often save 20% or more by purchasing online.

5)      Consignment Shops.  They are fun, they are great for the environment, it is basically recycling clothes and you can get some great finds at amazing pricing.  In a future blog, I am planning a DC Metro Area consignment shop review.  But for now, I say do it.  Here’s the caveat emptor:  you will find a lot of outdated clothing in consignment shops and the proprietors are not usually fashion savvy, so take a personal shopper with you if you don’t know what’s in style or shop for classic timeless pieces.  In addition to your local consignment stores, check out www.realreal.com, an online designer consignment shop.  Look for those really special statement pieces at huge discounts.

6)      Shop on Specific Days.  Did you know you can actually save on specific items by shopping on certain days of the week?  You can, according to Shopittome.com, a San Francisco company that analyzes more than 750,000 sales items a year from more than 200 online retailers.  By running averages, the company found the following patterns:

  • Mondays: Shoppers can save nearly 50% on men’s and women’s dress pants, and about 55% on sunglasses.
  • Tuesdays: Expect to save more than 40% on men’s apparel.
  • Wednesdays: Shoppers save about 40% on shoes and children’s clothes.
  • Thursdays: Save 36% on handbags.
  • Fridays: Pay 42% less for jewelry, belts and scarves.
  • Saturdays: Lingerie can be found at 37% off and jackets/outerwear at 51% off.
  • Sundays: Swimsuits at 52% off.

7)      Use this app.  Check this out… Shop it to Me, www.shopittome.com, the same company mentioned above has a terrific website where you can identify your favorite designers and items of interest, tell them your size and you will start to get daily emails on items on sale in your size by your favorite designers.  How cool is that!

WANT MORE TIPS, TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!