The people of Seattle don’t want you to know how gorgeous the weather is a lot of the time. I’m serious. All you hear about Seattle is the rain, but have you once heard about how beautiful it is in spring and summer? That is half of the year, by the way. My apologies to the natives of the Pacific Northwest, but the secret is out. Now you know. The sun can be out all day here, and the mercury won’t reach above 75 – 80 degrees on most spring and summer days. That is my definition of perfect, people.
Speaking of perfect, look at my fabulous street style star Julie in this rich yellow sweater, printed top and white jeans. Many blonds think they cannot wear yellow, and here Julie proves them wrong. It is all about finding the right tone of yellow for your skin, hair and eye colors. This saturated yellow works nicely with Julie’s body colors. Another nice trick she is applying here is she has placed the yellow a little bit away from her face by choosing a top with a neckline that is closer to her face than the sweater. Therefore, the yellow is there to make a happy spring statement without overwhelming her look. A+!
Stay tuned for more fabulous fashion from the Seattle streets.—Bethany
A client recently asked me, “I am giving a presentation to a group of single parents who will be dressed casually. How should I dress to appear polished yet approachable and relate-able?” Great question! Anyone who has worked with me knows I am a big believer in the “third piece” to create a finished look. The third piece can be a jacket, a blazer, a cardigan or a statement accessory like a belt or a large necklace. When giving a presentation, a third piece is crucial, regardless of your audience. It helps you appear more “in the know” and credible.
For a casually-dressed audience, I suggest the speaker dress in soft fabrics, approachable colors and casual styles of top, bottom and third piece. If you have had a custom color analysis done with me, you know your approachable colors. I suggest wearing your light neutrals, as well, for a slightly more relaxed look. Dark neutrals like black, charcoal and navy are somewhat intimidating and are more appropriate for presentations to professional groups. Your light neutrals are also pinpointed in a custom color analysis. I am a big believer in jewelry to complete a look and pull it all together. Just be sure your jewelry is on a smaller scale to make it less noticeable and not as likely to be distracting to your audience. Wearing your best colors or metallic colors by your face is a great way to keep the audience focused on you.
I created the following set on Polyvore to show you one way this person could dress for her presentation. While the sweater I chose for her is a dark blue, it is made in a sheer fabric and does not appear as dark as a navy blazer would. As you can see with this ensemble, nothing is distracting, yet it is pulled together, approachable and modern. The light neutrals offset nicely against the blue. Do you think this look is appropriate for a casual audience?
One more tip about your appearance: if you polish your nails, polish them in a light neutral like Revlon ColorStay Bare Bones. Your audience will follow your nails if you wear a dark or a brightly-colored nail polish, and they will not hear your message. Good luck to my client on her presentation!
What style rules have you imposed upon yourself? Perhaps you think you can’t wear a particular color or a certain shape or maybe you are still of the mind that one can’t wear white after Labor Day or before Easter. We all have rules we like to follow, but as the saying goes rules are made to be broken. I surprised myself this week by breaking two of my rules in one outfit. I wore a “jean suit,” a fitted medium blue jean jacket with black skinny jeans. I told myself I would never wear two pieces of denim in an outfit, and here I’ve done it. And I sort of liked it. I never enjoyed the fact that my jean jackets could only be worn with a limited number of pieces. Sometimes I just wanted to throw on a jean jacket with my *gasp* jeans! So, I finally did it. Will I make a habit of it? Maybe not. But I’m glad I broke my rule, which frees me to break it again if I’m so inclined. The key to wearing a jean suit is to be sure the two pieces of denim are different colors, depths or tones, and if possible, it helps if the denims are different weights so that it does not look like you are trying to wear a denim suit.
The second rule I broke in this particular outfit was I wore skinny jeans, which I have always sworn are completely wrong for my body shape. I am a slender person, but I do not have slim “model” legs. My legs are the muscular sort, shaped by years of dance, weight lifting and running. A straight leg jean is better for me, but these jeans are black, which are slimming and are much more forgiving than a skinny jean in bright yellow or stark white. Are skinny jeans my best shape? No, they are not. However, now that I am a mom to adorable twin toddlers, skinny jeans make sense for the toddler-type activities in my life like playing on the floor, chasing them in two different directions or pushing them on the swings in the park. Skinny jeans look a heck of a lot better than yoga pants or gym shorts, which I strenuously believe belong in the gym. Skinny jeans are my stylish compromise.
How about you? What style rules are you ready to break? Give yourself permission to get out of your style box from time to time. It opens your eyes to greater opportunities to wear and enjoy your wardrobe in different ways you had not previously considered. If you need help seeing the possibilities, call me. Outfit making with my clients’ wardrobes is one of my favorite things to do. Have a fun, stylish weekend!