Archive | June 2012

Cream – A Special Treat for Special Occasions

Cream is white with a touch of yellow to make it softer and warmer than the cool white that clothing manufacturers love. It is not the easiest colour to find in the shops.

Cream contains the purity of white combined with the optimism of yellow. Those who love cream love new ideas and unusual experiences. On the negative side, wearing too much cream can lower your self-esteem.

When worn as a contrast or as a highlight on another colour, cream projects a polished and confident impression. When worn as a single clothing colour, it can come across as quite passive.

Cream is a lovely contrast to warm reds, browns, olive and warm purples and looks great on those with a spring or autumn colouring. Cream pearls always added a touch of elegance to any outfit.

As one of the skin colours, when you wear cream, check to make sure you do not look naked from a distance. Cream is a great neutral shoe colour as its skin tone lengthens your legs. Naked on your legs is fine.

(Article sent to subscribers of ‘The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 2 June 2011. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)


Book Review – ‘Does This Make Me Look Fat’

‘Does This Make Me Look Fat’ by Leah Feldon was published in 2000.

It claims to have ‘the definitive rules for dressing thin for every height and budget’.

Leah calls her rules ‘camaflouge chic’. They’re all good basic rules that still apply although Leah leans towards a wardrobe based on classics in dark neutrals and monochromatic colours.

She does cover hints for all body shapes as well as nine pages of camaflouge tips for men.

The book is peppered with inspiring quotes. Check Leah out at

(Book Review sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 23 September 2010. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Book Review – ‘Going Gray’

Going Gray’ is written by Anne Kreamer.

This was published in 2007 and is the story of an American journalist’s journey into letting her hair go grey.

Anne also look at current and entrenched attitudes to grey-haired women in the workforce, family and dating. Along the way, she learns from some Image Consultants that having grey hair doesn’t mean she couldn’t be stylish. (Yes! I totally agree!) And Anne discovered that men of all ages do find a confident grey-haired woman extremely attractive.

While the book ends on a positive note, Anne reminds you that choosing to go grey comes with challenges. Check her out at

(Book Review sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 23 September 2010. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Oh No! It is Professional Photo Time!

These words above can bring dread to your heart especially if your last lot of photos did not live up to your expectations.

I have had my share of good and bad professional family and business photos. The good ones hang happily on the wall or are on the web. The bad ones are hidden away or deleted. Unfortunately I have seen other people’s family and business photos that also need to be hidden away but are not.

The better professional photographers give pre-photo advice on your setting and your poses so that you feel comfortable and relaxed. It is rare to get dressing advice for a photo shoot.

Clothes can make or break a photo. A great photo has three elements – setting, pose and clothes.

Here are my tips to help you get the dressing element of professional photos right for you.

Family Photos

The best and most interesting family photos have harmony and contrast. Let me explain.

Harmony and contrast are created through colour and style.

When you clothing is in harmony it draws people’s attention to the faces and personality of the subjects. Have a discussion with your partner or family to choose a colour. White is popular but it does not suit everyone. Blue is second favourite as most family members have a shade of blue in their wardrobe. Ignore the skin-tone colours of beige, apricot or brown as you can appear naked in the photo as happened to a very upset acquaintance of mine. Co-ordinate colours below your waist especially if full-length photos are to be taken. Blue jeans fit the bill perfectly.

Next look at clothing styles. Everyone in a centre-buttoned shirt or V or round necked t-shirts or tops will create family harmony. Patterns may be different but make sure they blend not clash with each other.

Contrast creates a focal point. Put your only child in a textured top or a different style to everyone else. A mother or father wearing the theme colour plus another colour draws your attention to them. Everyone in white with mum wearing coloured or textured jewellery also creates a contrasting focus.

Business Photos

A business photo needs to show your personality and draw people to you.

Wear colours that focus attention on your face and eyes. That is easy if you have had your colours done and know what your complimentary, contrasting and signature colours are. You also need to be photographed against a plain or natural background colour that enhances you not merges or clashes with what you are wearing.

Your choice of clothing and accessories need to appeal to the type of clients that you and your business want to work with. Will you attract corporate clients, soft gentle clients, achieving go-getters or quirky artistic types? You clothing can show that as long you feel comfortable with that unspoken impression.

Be aware that photos will be cropped and shrunk for promotional material. I have had business photos that looked fantastic in full-screen but I faded away in the smaller version.

Special Occasion

For wedding photos you want to be your best but not overshadow the bride. Talk to all involved. This is a day for a perfectly fitted outfit. In the dressing room, stand far away from the mirror. Some colours may merge together or fade. Some can make you look naked. Some dress features can dominate the outfit. Choose a colour shade that suits you and a style that reflects your true personality. Your joy or your discomfort will be there for all to see.

For award dressing, it is your time to shine. Do the same dressing room mirror checks or have your photo taken in the clothes before the event so that you can make adjustments or changes. If dresses have a solid colour background with a contrasting colour design feature, make sure the feature lengthens not widens you. The Queen’s dresser got it right. Racheal Leahcar’s dresser for promotional photos for the final of ‘The Voice’ got it wrong.

Last Words

Your photographer will help you get your setting and pose right. There is more to dressing but this article is a start towards creating your best professional photos so far.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 28 June  2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Decorating Your Nest

Have you ever had arguments with those who share your home or unit when it is time to decorate or re-decorate?

Look at yourself or the other person closely and you will find that we all gravitate towards colours and materials that fit with our individual colour personality and profile (except for teenagers who often seem to go through an ‘everything black’ phase).

Those with warm colouring will usually want warm colours, natural surfaces like timber and patterns that suit their fashion personality. Those will cool colouring will usually want cool colours, sleek surfaces like stainless steel and patterns that suit their fashion personality (Yes, men do have a fashion personality too).

Cater for both and you will have a happier home life. Or if you live alone, surround yourself with colours that please and suit you and your home will be a place of rest and revitalisation.

If you need help finding those best colours, textures and patterns for your home, call me.



The Colours of Xmas Food

As Christmas approaches, let’s look at the colours of Christmas food. Red is the colour of energy and green is the colour of balance and calmness. They are complimentary colours ie opposites on the colour wheel. Too much red food and drink on the table (and that includes seafood) and you’ll have hyperactive guests.

White foods like milk and yoghurt contain green energy. So add some green and white foods to calm everyone down. Add some purple foods for contentment. Yellow foods create happiness and orange foods aid the digestion. Blueberries, black cherries or olives help everyone sleep a little calmer after the Christmas feast.

In short, add as many coloured foods as you can to the Christmas table to create the balance that everyone needs at this time of year.

(Article sent to subscribers of ‘The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 16 December 2010. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Magenta – a Practical Colour for Spiritual People

psychology of the Colour MagentaMagenta is an outgoing colour. When you are feeling ‘down in the dumps’, wear magenta to help your spirits soar again. Magenta is a combination of red and purple with a touch of black. It is the red side that gets you into action. Magenta is great for those working in alternative health fields who love to find creative solutions for life’s problems.

On the negative side, magenta can make Introverts too relaxed and stuck in their ‘down in the dumps’ state.

Magenta can be warmed up or cooled down. It is wonderful combined with basics like black or grey. If you want to be a little more adventurous, combine magenta with olive green, aqua blue or yellow depending on whether you want to keep it elegant or make it dramatic.

(Article sent to subscribers of ‘The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 5 May 2011. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)