New Website!

It is with great pride I announce the launch of my new website with an updated logo by New Orleans based BethanyHeadshots2015-8804Sea Level Design and photos of me by Dallas based Christina Childress. This website looks and feels like the woman I am today. Please look around and leave comments here (constructive criticism is welcomed).

For those of you familiar with my former website, you may notice I am paring down my services. Gone are the custom color analysis, the image & style evaluation and makeup lessons. When I moved to Seattle, I wanted my business here to focus on my greatest strengths and the services I most enjoyed, closets and shopping. I have rolled the style evaluation into the wardrobe consultation as it is crucial to understand the client’s style before working with their wardrobe.

I have added photography as a service. It began as an idea to do street style photography for my blog. Then a couple of people used my photos on their website, and the idea to offer this service was birthed. The photos are web-ready for use on social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

I continue to do public speaking as the opportunities arise. I have always enjoyed speaking and educating groups of all sizes, and I would like to see this part of my business grow. Stay tuned!

Last, but certainly not least, my new website features a new blog! I will be adding an e-mail subscription to that blog soon, and once it is complete I will let you know so you can follow me there. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Here’s to the next chapter!—Bethany

Fall 2015 – The Confident Woman

MenswearIf you were to look at a list of fall trends year over year, you would notice a lot of repetition: leather, fur, black, gray, red, tweed, belts, boots, smoky eyes, etcetera. To get to the heart of the season, you must look beyond the list. The wide array of designs which walk down the runways of Milan, London, New York and Paris magically come together each year to convey an overall mood. Fall 2015 is all about confidence.

The Fall 2015 woman blazes her own path and she calls her own shots. She wears what she loves, and she masterfully combines masculine with feminine in a way that makes sense and looks very relaxed and easy. She is not trying too hard. Rather, she is perfectly imperfect. The Fall 2015 woman is returning to a more sensible way of dressing, as well. We are seeing large tote bags to hold our stuff, a relaxed fit so we can eat lunch and not pop a seam, and chunky heels so we can stand comfortably for long stretches and not tip over in a strong gust of wind.

For the most part, the fall woman is covered up and she leaves much to the imagination, yet she remains extremely sexy. How is this possible? In short, sexy is all about attitude and presence. A confident woman is a sexy woman.

Several trends which are newer to this fall season (though they are not completely new) include long vests, stocking boots, chokers, flares, high waist and pastels. The Pantone 2015 color of the year is marsala, an earthy brown-red. Thus, it should come as no surprise that red is a standout (yet again) for fall from bright red to deep, dark tones. Red fits perfectly into the fall 2015 mood since it is without a doubt a color that conveys confidence and passion.

Style confidence is easy to achieve if you are willing to forget about the expectations of others. There are many who are more than eager to advise you on what to buy and where to invest most wisely for your fall wardrobe. Instead of listening to them, focus on what you want and focus on the woman you are. Greek philosopher and mathematician Thales is credited with saying, “The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.” I hope it will not be the hardest thing you have ever done, but it does take much effort.  Check in with yourself often and trust your gut regarding what is right for you and what is not. The more you trust yourself, the more skilled you will become in choosing pieces that speak to your heart and work for your life.

Have a great fall season, and call me if you need a confidence boost. I am here to help!

Fall Trends 2014

OrangeDoorAt the end of each summer I produce a card of fall trends, a reference of the biggest trends of the season, in anticipation of fall fashions which begin hitting the stores at about that time.  I simply love fall fashion, the rich colors, the textured fabrics and the beautiful leather goods.  To me, fall fashion is worthy of investment.  Trends come and go, but if you purchase wisely (read: not too trendy) and you take care of your things (yes, pay attention to care instructions), your investments will last you several years (at the least!). 

If you love something but cannot afford it, look for the best version of the knock off or scour vintage stores for something similar.  As you know in fashion, everything old is new again, so it is quite possible what you love has been done before in a previous decade.  One fall I really wanted a moto jacket, but I did not have the budget for a leather jacket.  So, I purchased a pleather version and wore the heck out of it.  A few years later, I got the real thing.

My fall 2014 trends card does not cover all the trends, so below is an extensive list .  If you would like a trends card and a couple of extras for friends, message me.  I would be delighted to send them to you!

Colors:  cobalt, steel, dark red, moss green, pastels, orange and jewel tones

To see a list of the Pantone fall 2014, click here.

Fabrics: shearling, leather, tweed, knits, fur, metallic and velvet

Prints/Patterns: plaid, abstract, color blocking, patchwork and diagonal lines

Oversized: coats, collars on coats, dresses, sweaters (including turtlenecks) and pants

Office:  midi skirts, pant suits, sharp blazers, pin stripes, menswear and neck tie blouses

Details: feathers, accordion pleats, fringe, sequins, western and puffy sleeves

Top layer: ponchos, capes, varsity jackets, bombers, blanket coats and fur-trimmed parkas

Bags: bucket, totes, jeweled clutches and fur top-handle handbags

Shoes: sneakers, flats, ankle boots, brogues and ankle-strap heels

Beauty: ponytails, braids, oversized buns, colorful cat eyes, nude and berry lips and nude and Bordeaux nails

Whew, I probably missed a few, but not many.  If you need assistance finding what suits you, call me.  I love making the shopping experience quick and easy.  I especially enjoy helping people find pieces they would have never considered if they had shopped on their own!  Happy Shopping!

Alternative to Shorts

Some of you face a dilemma this time of year.   The temps are creeping up, but you are not a “shorts” person. What is a gal to do?  Allow me to suggest an alternative, which is universally flattering.  Enter the circle skirt.  This skirt has ease around the hips because of its slight a-line shape.  This is great for the gal with more down below who needs a bit of room for comfort, and this is also great for the gal who lacks shape to give her the appearance of curves.

The ideal length is to the knee (either just above or just below).  I realize the midi skirt is very popular right now, which goes to mid-calf.  However, this length is extremely difficult to pull off if you are not particular tall or thin as stops in an odd place at mid-calf (much like the Capri pant), creating a shorter leg line and visually widening the wearer.  The last time I checked, no woman has ever told me she wishes she looked shorter and wider!

I created the following set in Polyvore to provide you with a couple of ideas for wearing this skirt.  I paired both skirts with a button front shirt, which looks a bit more dressed up than a simple t-shirt is able to accomplish.

ButtonFrontSkirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two pieces of advice on the top: roll the sleeves and make sure the hem of the top ends around your hip bones.  If you do not tuck your tops, and the top is too long, ask your tailor or dry cleaner to cut it, a very simple alteration.  Rolling the sleeves is heightening, and it certainly makes sense now that the mercury is rising.  Finish the outfit with your favorite sandals, bag and jewelry, and you are done.

So easy, right?  Hop to it!  Happy Friday and thanks for reading!

I Want To See Your Closet

CommeSkirt“I want to see your closet,” stated a client of mine as we were wrapping up her makeup application/lesson.  The way she said it led me to believe this was not a question but a matter-of-fact statement of what would be happening next.  You see, this client is a lawyer, and I may not know much about the practice of law, but I know enough about lawyers to know you do not waste a single moment of your life arguing with one.  “Okay!” I quickly responded, rather surprised.  No one has ever asked to see my closet.  Perhaps others have thought of it and just didn’t have the guts to ask?  Honestly, I was looking forward to showing it off, and I was keeping my fingers crossed I had not left it in a wrecked state.

When it comes to my closet, I try to practice what I preach.  For starters, I keep it organized by category and then color: blouses, knits, trousers, jeans, dresses, etc.  I also use clear shoe boxes on the top shelf for my off-season shoes.  The shoes in the current rotation are either kept on a shoe shelf on the floor of my closet or in a hanging shoe organizer for quick and easy access.  I own less than 40 pairs of shoes and boots.  Taking both summer and winter into account, that’s about 20 pairs I must wear per season, very doable.  I wear and love every pair I own.  I hang my boots as you’ll see in the photo below.  Most of my handbags are stored in a cloth dust cover, and many pieces of my jewelry are stored in a hanging pocket organizer so I can see what I have.  If you don’t see it, you won’t use it.  Scarves are on ringed hangers, and my pants and skirts are hung on tiered hangers to save space.

I like to think my wardrobe is well-purged, though I admit I have more clothes than a girl needs. What can I say?  I love to shop!  However, I am constantly casting a critical eye on my wardrobe, including shoes, bags and jewelry.  I try to stick to the “one item in, one item out” rule.  Let’s be honest, if you are shopping wisely and only purchasing items that are a step up from what you already have, the odds of wearing a piece you once dearly loved decrease as you bring in new items that outshine it.

Before I took my client to my closet, I stopped in the hallway so she could see my jackets and overcoats.  I can’t explain why I love coats and jackets so much, especially since I live in Dallas where it is cold maybe 4 weeks out of the year.  Alas, I just love a great coat.  My client ooo’d over a wool overcoat of navy, black and metallic threads, a favorite of mine, as well.  I keep many of my coats zipped in a fabric cover so it can breathe but dust doesn’t get on them.

The tour of my closet started badly as I had to apologize for the unmade bed, which honestly does not happen often.  Thankfully, my client was forgiving and said her mother told her unmade beds were a sign of healthy priorities (or something like that).  Then I opened my closet and started the tutorial of how it is organized, and I pointed out the tools I use to keep it looking orderly.  I especially love the black flocked hangers.  Absolutely nothing falls off them.  What a difference it made to get every piece on the same hanger.  My closet looked like a boutique!

I wasn’t sure what my client thought.  I wondered what anyone would think of my wardrobe upon seeing it.  Is my wardrobe too large, too boring, containing too many neutrals (I am notorious for telling others to wear color)?  I think she liked it.  She said it was not as many clothes as she thought and she thanked me for letting her view it (as if I had a choice).

I felt relieved.  Since I assess wardrobes for a living, I now know on a small scale how it feels to have someone come into my closet.  Tell me how you feel about your closet.  Is it a happy place where you keep things you love or do you have some downers and bullies in there?  Get to work!  Now is the time to start thinking about switching your wardrobe from spring to fall.  Be brutally honest about your spring/summer clothes before packing them away.  If you didn’t wear an item this season, do you think you’ll wear it next year?  Perhaps not…

If you need help, give me a call.  I love clearing the clutter for my clients!

Here is your photo tour of my closetIMG_2638:

DustBagsShoeBoxeshangersShoesBoots

Karen Walker Candy Bar Comes to Dallas

KarenWalkerModelsThursday night at Nicole Kwon Concept Store in Dallas’ West Village, there was much reason to celebrate.  Nicole Kwon Concept Store was marking its one-year anniversary of opening, its recent naming by D Magazine as Best Women’s Clothing Boutique and it is currently displaying Karen Walker’s traveling display of fabulous eyewear:  Karen Walker Candy Bar.  How lovely!  Cheers to all of that!

If you’ve not visited Nicole Kwon Concept Store yet, as I must confess I had not prior to Thursday night, you should definitely pop in.  She carries not only her own line of clothing, which is beautiful, but she also features NKwonShoesa great collection of jewelry, shoes and clothing from such companies as PJK (Patterson J. Kincaid), A.L.C. New York, Thatcher Collection New York and A.P.C. Paris.  I was definitely in heaven as I perused the well-curated racks of clothing and the artfully displayed jewelry collection.  If you want pieces for your wardrobe no one else will have, this store should be one of your haunts.

Thursday night’s event featured models from Wallflower Management who were delectably made up in brightly colored abstract makeup and puffy cotton candy KarenWalkerModelwigs to commemorate the arrival of Karen Walker Candy Bar.  The brains behind the models’ styling, makeup and hair, as well as the Karen Walker Candy Bar display, are (1) freelance makeup artist extraordinaire Lorann Schindler, whose celebrity client roster includes Dallas’ own Hilary Kennedy, and (2) branding, styling, art-direction genius April Graves.  As it turns out, April and Nicole studied at sister schools in the U.K. (April at Central Saint Martins and Nicole at London College of Fashion).  April visited Nicole Kwon Concept Store recently to make Nicole’s acquaintance, and the collaboration for last evening’s soiree was born.

Karen Walker Candy Bar will be on display at Nicole Kwon Concept Store through September 23.  Do not miss it!  I tried on a fabulous pair of animal print cat eye frames, and instantly fell in love.  Alas, I am on a shopping diet.  *sigh*

Pinterest – What Is Your Purpose With It?

home pg getty imageI admit I am rarely on the early side to sign up when the latest social media websites pop up. By the way, are we calling Pinterest a social media site? It is so fun, I can’t decide. Less than a year ago I was told by a friend about it, and not more than a few days later, it was mentioned to me again. So, that’s how it got started, and now I am hooked. I have created 17 boards holding a grand total of 1,446 pins as of the time of this writing. It will no doubt have climbed by the time you check my Pinterest page.

At first it started as pure fun for me, then I realized this could be a powerful educational tool for my image consulting business. I often hold images in my mind of what sorts of things I believe my clients would like to buy for their closets; however, the last time I checked, none of my clients are mind readers. Therefore, I have created a number of boards with my client in mind including: Creative Office Attire, Great Basics, Favorite Beauty Products, Personal Styles and Makeup. Coming soon, I would like to create several boards with body shapes in mind so I can show you how to attractively dress your shape, as well as boards for vertical body styles such as the petite woman, the tall woman, and those with long legs/short torso and vice versa.

The uses of Pinterest are limitless. For instance, I could see this being useful for gift-buying and giving. You could send your “Wish List” board to your significant other and keep your fingers crossed! I’d love to hear from you. In what ways are you presently using Pinterest and how do you see it assisting you in the future? In the past, I’ve asked my clients to create a Style Book of images of things they love prior to our image and style evaluation. Now, they are showing me their Pinterest boards. Future, here we are! Thank you, Pinterest!

Makeup – A Powerful Tool We Aren’t Using

makeup closeupThe American Economic Review did a study in 2010 that showed a makeup wearer makes on average 30% more than a non-makeup wearer.  Many similar studies have been conducted over the years, most reflecting a pay gap of 25 – 30% in favor of the makeup wearing woman over the non-makeup wearing woman.

Harvard University conducted a study in October 2011 in which women were judged bare faced and in various levels of makeup.  Makeup wearers were perceived as more amiable, trustworthy and competent.  Nancy Etcoff, assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School, led the study and she started wearing more makeup after the results of the study were released.  Pre-study, she had generally worn only lipstick.  She said, “The effects were very strong.  Makeup really can boost the way people see you.”

So, why are some women still not using this powerful tool that is easily within their grasp?  I think for some, it is a personal style preference not to wear makeup.  They prefer to look and feel natural, and likely their past experience with makeup (if any) has made them feel unlike themselves (too made up).  For others, I think they don’t wish to spend the time on it.  To this group, I’d say a little time spent on makeup goes a long way.  It does not take much, and (as evidenced by the stats above), it makes a BIG difference in one’s salary and how you are perceived by others.

You’ve heard the stats about first impressions taking 5 – 15 seconds to be set.  What you may not know is the first three things people notice about us are (1) our face, (2) our hair and (3) our posture.  And our face is usually where someone looks first, and it is where people look the longest!  Makeup contributes a GREAT deal to a first impression.  Not only that, wearing makeup makes us feel better and it boosts our confidence.  If you are not presently wearing makeup, you are doing yourself a great disservice.

I think some women don’t know where to start.  They’ve been to makeup counters, and they’ve walked away looking like a harlot version of themselves, not at all desirable.  Let me help.  I am a trained makeup artist, and I enjoy showing women how to look like the best version of themselves in makeup, no wild colors or severe anything.  You still look like you but somehow amazingly better.

Allow me to show you one of my favorite before and after photos.

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My client felt very pretty and confident after our session.  I teach you as we go, so you are able to recreate your look at home.  Call or e-mail me to set up an appointment.  Your salary literally depends on it!

Be A Red Tulip

RedTulip3My family and I enjoyed a lovely outing to The Dallas Arboretum last Saturday to view the annual Dallas Blooms.  The flowers were out in full colorful force, and everywhere you looked the view was breathtaking.  Yet, the one thing that most affected me during this visit was the sight of one red tulip blossoming in a sea of yellow daffodils and tulips.  It made me smile and root for that sweet red tulip to be proud of not looking like the others.

Each of us is a red tulip in a field of yellow flowers, beautifully created as a unique individual unlike any other person in the history of the universe.  Despite our fine, special design, we often cover up the things that make us unique so we will look like the yellow flowers around us.  Why do we do this?

Downplaying the things that make us different is counter to the greater plan for our lives.  When we celebrate ourselves just as we are, we are opening ourselves up to the opportunities we were made for and the people we were meant to know.  When we relax in our skin, we feel better, we are happier and the result is evident to everyone around us.  To make ourselves into the yellow flowers is a wasteful exertion of energy and, quite frankly, a sad way to live one’s life.  Embrace your differences, be assured you look like you do on purpose and enjoy being a red tulip!

Threading – Have You Done It?

ImageA couple of weeks ago, I attended a Girls’ Night Out at Dry Bar in Dallas, which I told you about a few weeks ago in a post.  Dry Bar is no cuts, no color, just blowouts for only $35.  Add a 10-minute scalp massage, and it’s only $10 more.  It’s heavenly, but I digress.  Whilst I was at said GNO, I witnessed Suki of Arch by Suki doing threading on some of the party goers.  My girlfriend who was in need of brow shaping sat down for her first threading experience.  It was amazing to watch.  With super sharp accuracy and incredible quickness, Suki used a twisted thread to remove the stray hairs along my friend’s brows.  I had heard of threading, but I’d never witnessed it. 

The thing I love about threading is how quick it is, less painful than wax, and certainly more natural than applying hot wax to your face and ripping it off.  Right?!  I’ve always wondered what I was doing to my skin when I waxed.  Suki said the hair removal lasts longer, too, because of the way the hair is removed by threading (even better than tweezing, she said).  I think I’m going to start doing threading instead of waxing. 

So, what do you say?  Have you done threading?  What do you think?