Archive | July 2012

How to Love What You Buy & Wear It More Often

Aaah! The weather is changing. It is time to go looking for some new clothes to wear over the next few months.

You head off to your favourite shopping mall or suburb. You have your trusty credit card. This time you hope you are certain that you will find some modern clothes you’ll love to wear. After four hours you come home with nothing or with clothes that look exactly like what you already have. Your heart deflates and you reach for the coffee and tim tams.

Why is it so hard to find modern clothes for us women over 40!

I have faced the same problems as you. So let me share some things I have learnt that may help you.

Ask for Help and Advice

Itis very easy to go to the same shops you always go to. You wander around waiting for something to jump out and say ‘pick me’. If the saleswoman comes, you say ‘I’m just looking.’

Not this time. This time you are going to walk straight up to a saleswoman. Your goal is to pick her brains. Ask for help and advice. Listen to what’s new. Look at it. If itis too long, too revealing or too anything, ask if there’s a different way of wearing it. Let the saleswoman show you these ways. Then you can decide how comfortable you feel in it. If there are many ways to wear it, get pictures or instructions or you will forget them. I have.

I would love to see this on retail web sites. I am living in hope.

You will buy it and wear it often if you have learnt how to look modern and stylish in it.

Alter Where necessary

How often has ‘how it fits’ been a challenge for you?

That top, pants, skirt or dress is just a little too long, too baggy or just not quite right. It sits in the sewing cupboard waiting to be taken up. Or it hangs forlornly in the wardrobe and never worn. Or you wear it temporarily folded over, pinned up or pinned in and it always needs adjusting every time you put it on.

If you love the item and it needs adjusting, are you prepared to pay to have it done? If yes, buy it. If no, put it back. Clothes that are altered to your body shape will be worn over and over because you will feel good wearing it.

The shop may alter it for you. If not, there are often alterations services in the big shopping malls or you can search for someone local.

Experiment to Find More Choices

Remember the old articles – ’57 ways to wear 7 items of clothing’. This is not quite that. Make sure you look to see if the item you bought can be worn with a few other clothes in your wardrobe. The more choices you have to mix and match, the more you will wear it especially when the favourite thing you wear it with is in the wash.

My mum’s generation has outfits. This only goes with that. They were never taught how to mix different colour and pattern combinations with basic colours. A Modern Dressing Expert, an Image Teacher or any good image book can teach you that there are more basic colours than black and navy for mixing and matching.

So if the new season’s shopping expedition ends with a smile rather than a long sigh, congratulations. You are on the way to loving what you buy and wearing those clothes more often.

 (Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ in 2009. Click here to Signup for ‘The Fashion Translator’ eZine.

Joining a New Group at a Networking Event

Have you ever gone to a Networking event and tried to join a group where you did not feel welcome. Here’s some hints to make joining a group of strangers easier.

If you want to join a group of two, watch their body language. If they move a little further apart and their bodies turn slightly to create a triangle that includes you, stay. They are welcoming you. If they only turn their heads and don’t move apart, find an excuse to leave. They are too engrossed to include someone else in their conversation.

In larger groups as each new person is welcome, the others move slightly to create a welcoming space in the circle for the newcomer.

One indicator of whether someone is interested in you or what you have to say when you are talking to them is if one or both of their feet are pointing towards you.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ in 2009. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Encouraging Eye Contact for Business, Networking & Speaking

We have all met those people with eyes like magnets that draw us in – sparkling blue, deep brown, sea green to name a few colours – and the rest of us wish for such fascinating eyes.

Here are some hints everybody can use to draw people into eye contact with you wherever you do business or speak. Be aware that there are cultural differences with eye contact conventions and these tips are given to help you where establishing eye contact is important and relevant.

Drawing people’s attention to your eyes
To do this either wear a colour which brightens the existing basic colour of your eyes or wear a complimentary colour which intensifies your eye colour. The complimentary colour is the diagonally opposite colour on the colour wheel. Smile a few times during the conversation to keep the other person’s focus on your eyes. When you are the Speaker at an event, meet people individually before the event so that they are subconsciously on the same wavelength with you when you speak.

How to use these Colours to advantage
The aim with colour is to wear your special colours close to the face (shirt, top, scarf, tie, earrings, necklace or whole outfit) as this draws the attention upward towards your eyes. If the colour you choose also compliments or tones with your hair colour (and an Image Teacher can help you with this) you are doubling the impact

A softer version of your basic eye colour calms people and gives an impression of gentleness and a willingness to listen. This is great for those whose business is in counselling or healing or where a calm attitude in the face of turmoil and hostility is required.

If your business aims to energize people, wear a deeper or brighter version of your eye colour. Add an accessory in the same colour or one that includes your eye colour and you double the impact. This is great for those whose business promotes vibrant health or a positive change in any area of life or business.

Wearing the diagonally opposite colour that compliments your eye colour attracts high achievers to you. You project an air of self-confidence and those who are self-motivated will be attracted to you because they ‘want what you have’.

If your eyes are different colours, it’s your choice as to which eye colour to intensify. You can use both colours in a pattern close to your face.

Those who like to change their eye colour with coloured contacts will find that choosing colours which brighten or intensify the new colour will make the contacts appear more natural.

Don’t stop with clothing choices
For added impact, use your particular colours for items on your work desk, your office or even your choice of car colour. You may have already incorporated these colours with your coffee mug or business cards or other items in your office.

Now that you have people making eye contact with you at business, networking or speaking events, repay the compliment by noticing and commenting sincerely on the colour of their eyes. We all like to be treated as worthwhile individuals and noticing the colour of someone’s eyes helps establish a comfortable rapport.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 19 May 2008. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

Shopping for New Additions to Your Wardrobe

Is this woman you or someone you know?

I cannot singlehandedly change the cramming. I can give you some tips to help you find your treasures amongst the haystack of store clothes.

Here is my system for finding new additions to my winter wardrobe. They are three modern dressing skills you can apply and adapt when shopping for clothes.

Colour and Pattern

It is usually the colour or the material pattern that first attracts your attention. This is great when searching for a colour you like and that looks good on you. The downside is that you can end up with a wardrobe of one colour only. Purple looks good on me and I own lots of purple clothes. I do not get bored with them because they are all slightly different shades of purple and I have both plain and patterned items. This is the secret to wearing a ‘looks great on you’, signature colour – not just different shades but also pattern variations.

Wear only one shade of colour and one pattern style and you will be lamenting ‘I have nothing to wear’. Your colour swatch gives you your variety of colour shades as well as telling you which pattern types are in harmony with your colour season. This knowledge gives you the confidence to wear patterns beyond the usual ‘safe’ striped or check patterns.

I am always looking for a new colour or new pattern. Medium shades are best if you are not sure of the colour. Try it on. Trust your intuition rather than a pushy salesperson. Do listen to their advice for ways to wear it.

Necklines and Hemlines

You have found a colour or pattern. Now look at the neckline and hemline. The best necklines leave some space for your accessories and face to shine. Classic necklines like V, U, round, square and boat necklines are fine if you can add your favourite or special accessory that attracts people to you. An unadorned classic neckline or a centre-buttoned plain shirt will do little to make you feel good about yourself. Keep your wardrobe modern and interesting to you by looking for different variations on basic shapes eg centre or side twists, off centre V shape, crossovers or an embellished neckline.

Different or interesting hemlines are often an easily overlooked feature that can lift a simple top, jacket or dress. Asymmetrical, slightly curved, peplums, frills and pleats are all features that cover or enhance your arms, waist, hips or thighs. Today’s fashions, like this Simplicity 2148 pattern, are exploring all these options. Go window shopping on http://www/ezibuy.com.au, http://www.chicos.com or http://voguepatterns.mccall.com.

Texture

Winter is most definitely the season for texture that keeps you warm. Texture, though, is not confined just to winter.

Our first association with texture is in the materials we wear. When shopping, look for something that has texture rather than a smooth, flat, matt look and feel. Embossed fabrics, velvet, faux fur, some knits and corduroy are obvious ones. Then go beyond that and search for pintucks, embellished necklines or decorations, ribbon or bias strips, pleats, ruching or decorative buttons. This Debenham’s top with centre front ruching is an example of this principle. Fabric has to feel comfortable against your skin. If it passes that test, then something with texture can feel great and stand out in a sea of women wearing matt clothing.

Winter is a great season for finding and wearing a lovely soft, warm, textured, winter scarf.

There you have it – colour, pattern, neckline, hemline and texture. This is how I choose new clothes for winter or any season.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 26 July  2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

The Benefits of Baldness

I am sitting here at my computer writing this article while looking at the photo of a bald man. Why? You ask.

Well it was prompted by a reply I got from a male friend to my last Newsletter about women going grey. And he said ‘At least women don’t go bald!’ That set me thinking about baldness.

He is right. There is a condition, which I cannot spell correctly, about the few women who do go bald but it is generally something that we women don’t think much about for ourselves. The photo of the bald man is my husband and he was going bald when I first met him in my early twenties. He had the dreaded comb-over which thankfully most men have given up these days. I have taken less notice of his hairline than he thinks but that comment from a male friend got me thinking.

Some men have embraced the totally bald head as their personal statement. And some temporarily shave their heads for charity.

Whether it is or isn’t a choice, how do you make the most of a receding hairline?

All change is a chance to bring out a new side of yourself.  Over many years of being aware of what bald men do, here are some of my suggestions for making the most of what God gives you.

Go for it and emphasise your eyes. People will be attracted to you as a gentle person if you wear shirts or ties that are the same or deeper than your eye colour. For some men a beard and a moustache is a way to soften the angular lines and any deep wrinkles on their face. Choose a beard shape that suits you. And sometimes it’s interesting to watch what colours appear in your beard, especially if it’s red. It may be a chance to add new colours to your wardrobe.

And if that’s not enough our youngest son’s comment to his dad years ago might help you –‘I wish I had your hairstyle’ he said, ‘then it wouldn’t get in my eyes when I’m swimming.’

I have read that scientists claim that the baldness gene comes through the mother not the father. So it is our fault girls. Sure!

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 9 December 2008. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

What Your Neckline Says About You

Most people do not realise that it is the neckline of the clothes you wear that is really the bottom frame of your face.

When you leave skin space at your neckline below the collarbone, you draw positive attention to your face. There is now enough space for light to reflect off your skin and this accentuates your smile and your eyes (as shown in this Khaliah Ali SimplicityPattern1945). All of this gives out the impression that you are an open-minded person.

Wear a high neckline or a shirt buttoned at the collar and people can get the mistaken impression that you are rigid and set in your attitudes. A dark coloured neckline right under your chin can also cast unflattering shadows on your face.

Your face shape as well as the length of your neck determines the best neckline shapes for you. Forget the wrinkles and trying to hide them. An open neckline in a woman over 40 shows your self-confidence in being a modern woman.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ in 2008. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)

The Emotion of Your Hair Colour

Quite a lot of women and men these days get themselves all caught up emotionally about the colour of their hair. Your hair is the largest feature on your face and people can’t help but see it or the lack of it.

Once we get to our 30s our need to dress and look exactly like our peers is replaced by a desire to be individual. When we branch out to entrepreneurship, small business or network marketing, we are strongly expressing a desire to be different from the herd. People buy ‘you’ and your hair is an expression of your personality as are your clothes, shoes and jewellery.

We often cling to the hairstyle of our previous job or the style that has become a habit because we know how to do it. Then we use colour, foils or streaks to be perceived as what we think we are now. That is fine until we choose or through circumstances, are forced to go grey.

You can’t dye your hair grey: so it has to run its natural course. Sometimes the face in the mirror is not the person you know you are.

It always was about the haircut not the colour. It is your personality that is reflected in your hairstyle (or total baldness or beard/moustache for men) that draws people to you. It takes courage to discover how you want to express the different parts of your personality and be a partner with your hairdresser. Keep quiet and your hairdresser will be as frustrated as you are.

Talk to me or any other image consultant if you don’t know the elements that make up your personality for this is the key to feeling confident and looking good every day.

The right hairstyle for you is Step 1.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ in 2009. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)