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2014 Colour of the Year

What the 2014 ‘Colour of the Year’ Means to You

2014 -Royal Orchid - Colour of the YearA colour is chosen each year by Global Colour Authority, Pantone, to represent the feelings, moods and attitudes of world-wide consumers. It is not necessarily the hot fashion colour of the moment. It is all about gauging the world’s emotional health.

Radiant Orchid is this year’s colour. It is a confidence colour that is said to ‘encourage creativity and originality’.

Pantone calls it a versatile shade. I disagree.

It is a subdued colour that will suit women with soft and cool colouring. It will look fine on them but it lacks the flattering ‘wow’ element, especially as they are suggesting teaming it with grey, beige and taupe as in the illustration. For Baby Boomer women, it is close to a dull ‘menopausal purple’ shade.

Diana Ferrari "Nina' dressThe colour will appear in cosmetics, paints and home wares and appeal as a soft and gentle shade. Some international designers may use the colour. For most of us it will mean that retailers may stock purples and fuchsia colours (like this Diana Ferrari lace Dress) which are the more attractive versions of ‘Royal Orchid’.

There will still be a variety of colours around. We will not be swamped with royal orchid, purple or fuchsia clothes and accessories.

Pantone has chosen a colour which says that ‘originality & creativity’ are becoming more valued by society. As the Internet shrinks the world, those who are original will flourish. Take the message.

Dress to be an ‘original you’. Appreciate what makes you unique and share that with quiet pride.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion advice every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

Which One? Both Suit Me

Which One Do I Buy When Both Colours Suit Me?

Ezibuy Blouses & CamisHave you ever faced the choice when you find a style that suits you and two of the colours or patterns look good on you?

The first challenge is – Can I afford to buy both? If the answer is ‘yes’, the simple solution is to buy both. Before you clutter your wardrobe, stop and think a minute.

Buying Both – Whether the items are for work or casual wear, consider –

‘Will I be happy to wear both colours (or a plain colour and a patterned one) regularly so that I get value from my purchase?’

‘Can I wear each so that they look a little bit different from each other?’

‘Does it worry me if other people see me wearing a favourite style in two different colours or patterns?’

‘Are they in my favourite colours or colours that make my eyes and face sparkle so that I will feel good wearing them and get compliments?’

‘Are they well-made & am I happy to look after them according to the care instruction label?’

Buying One Only – If you have to choose between two choices, ask yourself these questions –

‘Am I buying this for a special occasion and which colour or pattern is best suited for that?’

‘Which colour or pattern reflects the impression I want to give about me eg sensual, energetic, calm, dependable etc?’

‘Which of these will go with the clothes and accessories I already have?’

‘How many items do I already own in this colour or pattern and am I happy to add one more to my wardrobe?’

By stopping for a minute and asking yourself these questions before making a buying decision, you can avoid decisions you will regret later. You will also have clothes and accessories that you enjoy wearing regularly.

PS – These blouses & matching camis are from www.ezibuy.com.au and on the whole, have got good reviews with many purchasers buying more than one colour.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion advice every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

Fads and Trends and Modern Classics

Fads, Trends & Modern Classics – What Do they Mean?

Fashion can be a fickle world. Some come and go quickly. Some stay for a short visit and some become our new best friends.

When you understand how fashion works, you can learn to make wiser fashion choices.

Military Style  JacketFads – are fashions that come and go quickly, usually in a season or a year. They are styles that appeal to a small group of women. Mostly aimed at the young, they repeat in long cycles. Young women see them as something new to experiment with while older women say ‘been there, done that’ and usually ignore them the second or third time round. Military styles are an example of this.

Jane Lamerton - Colour BlockingTrends – are fashions that stay for a short visit, on average 3 years but may stay a few years longer like visitors who decide to extend their stay in your home. The first year will be the more extroverted and dramatic version of the fashion. It will be toned down slightly in the next few years. It’s stay depends on retail sales.

An example of this is the current ‘colour blocking’ Trend which is in its second year (This one a Lane Lamerton design). Short front and long back skirts are another Trend. This Trend is in its dying stages as it goes very conservative with only a tiny variation between the front and back hem to entice older women to buy into the trend.

Vogue 8390Modern Classics – start out as Trends. Sales of them soar as women of all ages, shapes and sizes embrace them. Designers for the retail market are on a winner. Crossover tops like this Vogue pattern 8390 are an example. They become Modern Classics because they can be re-invented in slightly different and flattering variations year after year.

Fads are usually for Extroverts. Trends start being for Extroverts and then get toned down for Introverts. Modern Classics make both Extroverts and Introverts feel and look great.

Accessories like shoes and handbags also have Fads, Trends and Modern Classics.

 (Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion advice every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

Combining Blue and Green

Blue & Green Should Never Be Seen – Wrong!

After the last ‘Spots & Stripes Together’ article, I posted a comment re other old dress rules on my ‘Fashion Over 40’ Group on Facebook. A member added ‘Blue & Green should never be seen’.

Here’s how you can wear Blue & Green Together by following these three principles.

Contrast – Cool Blue with a Warm Green
Unequal Proportions – More of one colour, less of the other
An Irregular Pattern – see below

Blue Dress, Warm Green Cardigan - from 'Threads' magazineContrast – Cool Blue works best when combined with a Warm Green. Turquoise is the best Warm Green for all women. Cool Blue combined with Olive, Chartreuse, Avocado or similar shades like this dress & jacket combo from ‘Threads’ magazine works best for Extroverts who like wearing High Contrast combinations. On the left you will see it has a blue handbag but is toned down a little with all gold accessories.

Check your Personal Colour Palette for Blue & Warm Green colour combinations that are perfect for you.

Blue & Green W Lane Blouse & CamiUnequal Proportions – More of one colour than the other is pleasing to our eyes because the world around us is not perfectly equal. The W Lane model is wearing a medium Turquoise cami with a blouse that has Cool Blue & Navy with splashes of Turquoise in it. She is wearing Turquoise accessories.

Client with Navy dress & Turquoise necklaceNavy is a cool classic colour that always works with a medium Turquoise. When recently styling a client’s wardrobe, she was happy to see she could combine her new Turquoise necklace with Navy and how great it looked over her dress.

Mc Calls pattern 6073Irregular Pattern – Like the W Lane shirt or this Mc Calls 6073 pattern, Cool Blue & Warm Turquoise are combined with navy to create irregular patterns which are not as stark as the Blue dress and Warm Green cardigan above. Your eyes flow over the pattern. The model is accessorised with all soft Cool Blue accessories except for one soft Turquoise Green bangle for effect.

Blue & Green should never be seen. Of course, they should and now you know how to do it.

 (Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion advice every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

Combining Spots and Stripes

Combining spots and stripesYes. You Can Combine Spots & Stripes

Can you wear spots and stripes together? Yes you can.

Here is the way that you, a modern Baby Boomer woman, can wear them stylishly so that you look ‘Wow’.

Basic Rule 1 – Black & white is easier to do than any other colour combination

Basic Rule 2 – Spotted skirt, solid colour in the middle, striped top

Basic Rule 3 – The middle solid colour is always the same colour as the background colour of the spotted skirt

Basic Rule 4 – Small to medium spots and stripes are more slimming and look better than larger ones

Combining spots and stripes - from Trend Report catalogueEASY WAY – The model on the right from the Westfield Trend Report catalogue is wearing a spotted skirt teamed with a white blazer and a striped top. A white blazer has been chosen because her skirt has more a white background. Her striped top has an equal amount of black & white. The secret is in only seeing a small amount of the stripes so that the combinations are in unequal proportions. With no matching colour in-between, spots & stripes together can look ‘clownish’.  You can wear matching black an white accessories. A spot of colour in your accessories eg her yellow ballet flats modernises the look and keeps it from being too old-school classic.

Striped Black CardiIf your spotted skirt has more black than white in it and you have darkish hair, wear black as the middle colour. I once had this black cardigan which has a small amount of black & white stripes at the round neckline. This had the same effect over a dominant black skirt with small white spots as the white blazer and striped top on the right.

Basque design Spot skirt & striped top from MyersHARDER WAY – The model on the left and in the title graphic is wearing Myer’s signature brand (Basque) clothes. Her skirt is a diamond pattern (same effect as spots) and the diamonds get smaller near her waist. The skirt has a medium-width black waistband which matches the dominant black background of the skirt colour and the greater concentration of black at her waist. A medium-width black belt would do the same job. Her striped top graduates from wider to smaller equal colour stripes at the neckline. The pleated neckline breaks up the stripes into an interesting pattern. Note the block colour black & white handbag. This is a harder look to pull off. Buy that total outfit or keep the picture as your guide.

Now, should you choose, you can combine spots and stripes with confidence.

 (Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion advice every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

How to Wear Accessory Sets the Modern Way

Today I am writing about how to make your accessories give you a modern and ‘with it’ edge.

The old rule of wearing matching accessory sets has gone. It will date you as old and old-fashioned. Wearing each piece separately with other similarly-coloured pieces will modernise your look and expand your accessory options.

But you can break the matching accessory rule.

Here’s how – wear your matching 2-piece set or any two pieces of matching accessories with a third smaller piece that highlights one of the colours.

Imagine your three accessories as a ‘mother, daughter & son’. One piece is the stand-out or larger focus and this represents the mother. This can be a necklace, belt, bright-coloured or patterned shoes, scarf, large earrings or a beautiful brooch. The two other pieces you add are the children. Think of the daughter as matching the colour, design and pattern of the mother but smaller. Think of the son as different and small but still related to the family.

Fuchsia, Black and white necklace & earrings & fuchsia ringFuchsia handbag and ring and olive & purple necklaceHere’s my family set. – On the left, my necklace & earrings are matching (mother & daughter) and my fuchsia ring (the son) is in the same pink family but a deeper colour. A coloured or patterned handbag only counts if you wear it the whole time and you want it to be a ‘mother’ focus. So, on the right, I have paired my fuchsia handbag with a fuchsia ring (daughter) and an olive & purple necklace (son).

Animal print belt and bracelet + black bracelet & gold earrings - from 'Weight Watchers magazine. Aug 2013The photo (from Weight Watchers magazine, Aug 2013) has a lady in a navy dress with an animal print belt (mother), hard-to-see in this photo narrow animal print bracelet (daughter) and a black bracelet & almost hidden gold earrings (sons). Two sons are acceptable if they follow the family colour theme.

PS – Black shoes and handbags are neutral and don’t get included in the formula. A coloured or patterned handbag only counts if you wear it the whole time and you want it to be a ‘mother’ focus.

NEW MODERN RULE – For accessories, think ‘mother, daughter & son’ ie large, small, small with two matching and one co-ordinated. It will always work and you will look stylish and modern.

 (Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion advice every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

Dress Size Insanity

Chicos Sizing Chart

While checking out fashion styles recently, I came across this women’s sizing chart on the Chico’s website – http://www.chicos.com/store/page.jsp?id=45 . There is also a Petite Size chart underneath it.

They are saying that ‘because size is just a number’, they have made it simple to find your size when ordering. Yes, women’s dress sizing is confusing all around the world and we need conversion size charts to buy either from the Internet or when on holidays in another country.

But to me this is just going a step too far. It is sizing gone mad. You will note that their sizing starts at 000. I can’t get my head around that as to me, and maybe you, size 000 is for very small newborn babies. To me, a size this small is not a mark of pride but is saying that you are no size (ie an invisible woman). Maybe young girls want to be that but as I grow older and as a Baby Boomer Woman, I want to be a woman not a girl or a newborn.

I do know that there are certain genetic traits we are born with and that some nationalities have smaller body shapes than others. Part of our challenge as women is to find labels that cater to our particular height and shape as well as offering garments that are modern in style and colour.

To their credit, Chicos does include 3 explanations for each size they offer eg ‘Size 00 (2, XXS)’ for items of clothing. Their Chicos size always comes before the conventional sizing. They do include chest, waist and hip measurements and these are truer indicators of what size to buy than the number or letters before them. For petites, you have the same sizing starting at 000 but just with a letter P after every size (eg 000P). Sounds more like a mistake than a size.

If the sizes at least reflect a range of healthy genetic shapes, that is fine. When they are introduced to allow women to hide being unhealthily underweight or overweight under low numbers, it is encouraging self-deception. What do you think?

PS – I have just smiled as I noticed the Spanx Sizing Chart underneath the normal sizing charts. Now that is another topic.

 (Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion advice every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)