Archive | April 2013

Wear Your Secret Inspiration

I read this hint in a “Threads’ magazine and thought it was worth passing on.

Inspiring Words on your shirtFor a little bit of secret inspiration, consider adding a symbol or words to an item of clothing that you wear regularly. A blouse or shirt is a good place to do it just below the last button. The example in the article (as seen on the left) had the 3 words – Create, Inspire, Discover – embroidered on the bottom of the shirt.



Inspiring Picture on your shirtI searched for commercially prepared words of inspiration to sew on my shirt (embroidery is not one of my skills). No luck! But I found this star on a rainbow. So ironed it and then sewed it around the edges to make it secure (as seen on the right). A symbol works well as pictures are supposed to be more powerful than words.

If you can machine embroider or have a friend who can do it or even pay an embroidery place to create one for you, it is a great way to wear your inspiring words or pictures. Every time you wear it, you will smile and be reminded of your goals.

At the very least inspiring words or pictures personalise your store-bought clothes. Try it. You may find it delights and inspires you.

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The Power of Contrast

Dressing well is simple but not easy.

Having said that, most women fret and worry about what to wear and usually end up either going too simple or too over-dressed. The middle road is the stylish woman who looks put together whatever her budget.

One of the problems is that girls are not taught how to dress well. Fashion magazines are often no real help because they only show you how to put one or two outfits together. The result is a wardrobe full of single-combination clothes and accessories. It is easy then to fall victim to spur-of-the-moment fashion buys that you later regret.

While there are many tips and tricks to help you dress well, there is one that, if you learn and apply it, you will always feel great, look fabulous and receive lots of genuine compliments.

That key tip is CONTRAST. You can dress well all your life by following this one tip. And it allows you to really enjoy dressing and fashion.

Here are three ways to tap into the power of Contrast.

Past & Present

Have you ever harboured a secret desire to copy the ‘Mad Men 50s Look’ or go Vintage or Retro but are scared that you will just look silly? Fear no more!

Simplicity pattern 1777, Retro 40s fashionTap into your stylish side by using the power of Contrast. Go all Retro, Vintage or any TV fashion style and you will look costumey like this model dressed in 1940s retro style using Simplicity pattern, 1777. Her classic accessories reinforce the costume look. This works for the young. For the rest of us, especiall Baby Boomers,  take a leaf from cosmetics founder, Poppy King, and wear past fashions with obvious, modern accessories to tone down the look. Choose very modern shoes instead of basic court shoes and you show your modern attitude rather than your desire to relive the past. A modern jacket, trench coat, handbag, necklace or hairstyle will have the same positive contrasting effect.

An alternative way to mix past and present fashions is to wear modern clothes and add one Mad Men 50s, Retro or Vintage accessory. The accessory needs to be large enough to be obvious like those mentioned in the paragraph above.

It is the unequal proportions that make both these combinations work. Never go half and half.

Cheap & Expensive

Contrast is also very effective when you have bought a cheap item and are not sure how to wear it so that you look and feel great. I am not talking about a quality brand name bought at a heavily discounted price. Quality brands will always look quality. Just never reveal the price you paid.

I am talking about a no-name brand item that suits you and you want to wear it with confidence and style.

The secret to making cheap look expensive is Contrast. Wear the item with quality accessories. That means wearing a quality pair of shoes or boots, skirt or pants and quality matching or contrasting accessories. It is amazing how good a cheap chain store item can look on you when the eyes are drawn to your accessories rather than your clothing. I know from experience, past and present, that it works.

Two Plus

Now to the one area where most women struggle when it comes to dressing – how to wear two colours so that you feel fabulous and shine confidently.

Black and White Obi BeltAny colour goes with an all-black outfit. BUT the colours that make you shine are those that provide a definite contrast to black. Any light or shiny colour will provide the most powerful contrast because they stand out against a dark background. Light colours or mid-range colours in a shinier fabric or metal make the light-dark contrast more intense and pleasing to you and to others. Gold, silver or white accessories look great with black. The contrast is more effective when one of your accessories has black and the other colour in it (eg this black and white obi belt as featured in a Threads magazine or black and white shoes or necklace).

When your clothing consists of two plain colours, use the power of Contrast by wearing jewellery or an accessory that combines the two colours in unequal proportions. As most of today’s clothes are a flat matt texture, adding a shiny metal or textured necklace, a silk, woollen, chiffon or lace scarf or textured or patent shoes is a very simple way to add a colour and texture contrast that makes you shine with confident self-assurance.

Last Words

In the world of fashion and dressing, Contrast is a simple and powerful word. Use these tips to remind you to think ‘Contrast’ every time you get dressed to go out. Then play and see how many other ways you can apply Contrast to your dressing.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday.)