The beginning of a new season always calls for a refresh, and the easiest way to instantly and inexpensively update is getting back to your basics. So, if you had to pick, what do you consider your most important accessory??? If your thoughts are going straight to your favorite shoes, piece of jewelry or glasses, put on the brakes, shift gears and get way more personal. Your most important accessory really isn't any of those "material" things - it is YOU. Your hair, skin, and nails are with you all day every day no matter the season. That means before you pay attention to any of those other great accessories that really help complete your look, you need to make a detailed analysis of YOU.
Just start from the top! First up is your hair. Wearing the same style for too long can put you in a rut, so check out the newest on trend cuts and hit the salon for an update – even if it’s minor. This spring, your perfect look just might be the wavy lob. It's easy and breezy just like the weather!
Next up is your skin, Take advantage of the pros at makeup counters for skin care and makeup advice or check out YouTube tutorials for a few tips and tricks. A pretty option showing up on spring runways and in beauty magazines is a pink face palette, with the same soft and rosy hues on eyes, cheeks and lips. Remember that a change in season often also necessitates a slight tweak of your cleanser and moisturizing routine. What works in dry, cold air might not be as effective in heat and humidity, and your makeup always looks much better when applied to a perfectly prepped and primed surface!
Moving on, take a close look at your nails. They should be clean and shaped and if time is an issue and you can't do the upkeep, don't be ashamed to go clean and bare. No polish is always better than chipped polish! We really like the new rainbow pastels but a super practical and always appropriate alternative is a great neutral and the newest offerings in mixed neutrals go with everything!
When you tweak the details of your personal appearance to reflect seasonal trends you are off to a fabulous start! Then, once you have YOU in order, it's really the icing on the cake to concentrate on all of the other fun accessories that help keep you on-trend. Hot looks to consider adding to your shopping list right now include colorful eye shielding sunglasses, top handle bags, bucket hats, hair clips and belts with significant buckles.
Spring is a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be. Cheers to taking some time to make it all about YOU!
V & T
Happy FebYOUary! We are making it all about YOU this month! Have YOU been watching too many celebrities walking the red carpet, scanning Instagram and Facebook way too much, and sitting for far too many episodes of Tidying Up? Is it making YOU exhausted and bored with your winter wardrobe?
We hear YOU. Spring can't come soon enough, so to get through, here's what YOU should do: Pull out any items YOU haven't worn this winter season and place them in the front of your closet. Next, make a serious effort to wear each of those items at least once before winter is up and ask yourself why YOU have been overlooking them up to now...This will be the nudge to help YOU decide what stays for next year and what goes! Remember those all important questions, too: Does it fit? Does it flatter? Is it appropriate? By the time Spring finally arrives, YOU will have done some serious de-cluttering and, in the process, might also have found some long lost treasures.
This is also the perfect time to nab great sales on a few basics to replace items YOU have been wearing hard like like boots, coats, sweaters, etc..When you devote this month to keeping only items YOU really wear and refreshing key items YOU always wear, YOU will truly ❤ your clothes next FebYOUary!
V & T
With the Polar Vortex in full swing, we'd like to take a moment to extol the virtues of one of our personal clothing favorites: the turtleneck. Though this clothing item is not for everyone, there is no doubt that when the temperatures drop, it's always a smart choice to help keep you feeling warm and looking chic!
The turtleneck gained initial popularity back in the 1860s when English polo players began wearing them as practical protection from the elements. As the years passed, women started wearing them, too, and they made the transition from being viewed as strictly utilitarian into also being considered quite fashionable. Socially, wearing a turtleneck in the 50s and 60s (especially in black) became associated with a bohemian cool vibe (as exemplified by Audrey Hepburn in the movie Funny Face). Today, the iconic T-Neck has come full circle. It is still cozy, it is still stylish and has definitely earned its place as a timeless classic that merits consideration for a spot in anyone's "working" wardrobe.
If we still haven't convinced you, consider this: The turtleneck really did get its name from resembling a turtle's neck coming in and out of its shell, and a turtle is known as a survivor...So, isn't it especially fitting to pop one on when you want to elegantly endure the chill as the temperature plummets??!!?? We vote YES!
V & T
With all of the buzz lately about the Facebook 10 Year Challenge, we thought it would be fun to add a DTI twist...In addition to looking at how you have changed physically over the past ten years, how about also reflecting on how your personal style has or has not evolved? We call it The Dress to Impress 10 Year Wardrobe Challenge.
Reflecting on our personal style journeys as seen in the above THEN and NOW shots, we can honestly say we still would (and do!) wear the outfits we were sporting ten years ago. Why? Because they were basic pieces that can be worn time and time again...smart classics. For Tracy, a crisp white shirt and black pant suit continue to remain core elements of her "working" wardrobe. Why not?!?! They are always appropriate and mix and match with other pieces to create endless possibilities for endless social and work situations. For me, a simple dress like the off-white knit number from 2009 is always a favorite. I especially like when a dress can pair easily with a blazer or sweater for a pseudo suit look. That dress fit the bill perfectly then and can still be found in my closet to this day. It's a great example of the longevity of purchasing smart investment pieces. Cost per wear in action!
Of course, we've both fine tuned our personal wardrobes from year to year to stay current. Our closets aren't exactly the same as they were in 2009. We continually purge any items that don't pass our FIT, FLATTER and APPROPRIATE test and add a few key trendy pieces each season to keep our looks fresh and fun. That being said, it is probably a safe bet to assume that if we do the same comparison ten years from now, we will still find that we haven't deviated very much from our fashion road maps. That's because once you have established a solid wardrobe based on classics and fine tuned your personal style with items that make it your own, you don't find yourself making many wrong turns :).
Are you happy with the wardrobe evolution you have made over the past ten years? Hopefully, your answer is YES. If not, our best advice is very simple: GET BACK TO BASICS! If you need a little help finding your way, our style strategy webinars will give you a jump-start. They are available FREE of charge on our menu tab. Select SOS! if you are a young man or woman just beginning to develop a working wardrobe or WYW! to access dressing tips for women of all ages, sizes and lifestyles.
Help is also available if you find you need individualized assistance. We'll get you on course with a one-on-one style consultation, personal shopping services or a customized closet re-organization.
So, what are you waiting for? Let The Dress to Impress 10 Year Wardrobe Challenge begin!
V (& T!)
When recently perusing the website net-a-porter.com, we came across this fabulous animal print coat and the following quote regarding winter outerwear:
In cold weather, your coat is the most powerful piece that you can show. It’s the first thing that people will see, so it’s important to have a really beautiful one in your wardrobe
Amen to that! It just so happens that today is the first cool day we've had in our neck of the woods for quite some time, so that pearl of wisdom has prompted us to offer some suggestions on the trendiest cold weather cover-ups out there...
For starters, if you're like us and that great designer animal print featured above is slightly out of your price range, why not consider something more reasonable like this leopard print version from Kate Spade at Macy's? It's simple, chic and still offers plenty of animal magnetism!
A softly belted coat is also totally on-trend. This one from Zara, hits several hot spots: belted, oversized, and fringed - a topper trifecta!
Leather is another great option that never goes out of style. This classic notched collar single breasted version from Wilson's will look just as polished with your weekend jeans as your workday clothes!
To really make a statement, consider an oversized plaid. It's definitely the case that "bolder is better" this season, and the hooded version from South Moon Under shown here perfectly illustrates our point!
Bigger is also better when it comes to the latest puffers like this one from Avec Les Filles at Nordstrom. Function meets feminine in this coat with its soft pink tone and bow tie closure.
Of course, if you prefer something a bit more traditional, you can never go wrong choosing tweed. Classicly cut, this Beverly tweed from French Connection elevates any look with an air of subtle sophistication.
That's a wrap on our sneak peak at the newest coat trends that will keep you warm as you stand out in the cold this winter!
V & T
Attention all parents of back to school shoppers: COMPROMISE is the word of the day when preparing your son or daughter's wardrobe for hitting the books. Your first step is to check their school's dress code and discuss any potential red flag areas before shopping. Then, once you have a clear understanding of what they need (and want!) to buy, the hunt can begin. As you're browsing the racks together, try to only purchase items that make you both happy but choose your battles carefully. It's normal that you might not always like the same styles, but if an item meets dress code requirements (and also fits and flatters!), why not say yes? If you're the student, keep in mind that your parent or guardian has your best interests at heart (and is usually footing the bill!) so being willing to look a bit harder to find something they can live with, too, never hurts either. The bottom line is that everyone can pass the back to school shopping test with flying colors by remembering that a little give and a little take goes a long way! #COMPROMISE
V & T
With the 4th of July coming up fast, here's our take on patriotic attire: Don't dress "head to toe" in the fabulous colors of our American flag unless you're under the age of 5! We're really not being party poopers but do think it's infinitely more stylish to be strategic when you want to display your patriotism. With that in mind, here are a few simple options for you to consider!
Add a red and/or blue scarf, purse or accessory to an all white outfit...(It adds just enough pop!)
So, wear less flag for more swag and have a fun and fashionable 4th!
V & T
When making any new clothing purchases this spring, follow our FFA rule and you can't go wrong. Just ask yourself these three easy questions and be sure the answer is YES to all three before making your way to the register!
#1: Does it FIT? No cheating allowed. Check the sleeves, waistline, length and rear view. Your goal is for it to feel (and look!) not too tight and not too loose. The only exception to the FIT factor is when you commit on the spot to having an item tailored properly in spots where it isn't quite right.
#2: Does it FLATTER you? Consider what looks best with your skin and hair tones. Simply shifting to a different shade of a color really can make a huge difference. Also consider your shape and remember that every trend is not right for every body type. If you truly feel good in something, that's usually because it's checking off the "flattering" box. You know it when you see it.
#3: Is it APPROPRIATE? No matter how much you like something, it will be of no use to you at all unless you have someplace suitable to wear it. For example, if you work and socialize in a conservative crowd, a daring piece of clothing is not likely to ever make it off the hanger. Be realistic and keep looking.
It really works to use the FFA analysis for every purchase. When you make sure everything you buy passes this test, your closet becomes fashionably functional with only clothes that you will wear often and confidently!!
V & T
Now that Spring is officially here, you're probably thinking of blooming flowers, Easter baskets and making some colorful seasonal wardrobe additions! Before you rush out to refresh your closet, analyze what you already have and then plan carefully to add shades that truly FLATTER you (your complexion and hair really do make a difference). Don't stop there...also take some time to consider how the colors you want to wear might make you FEEL. To help with your planning, here's a quick look at a few new looks for the season based on COLOR PSYCHOLOGY also known as the study of how hues impact human behavior. It's not an exact science but it definitely makes for some springtime fashion fun!
BLUE is associated with calmness and tranquility. Hmmmm. Maybe that's why it's considered the world's favorite color...
YELLOW symbolizes confidence and optimism in moderate amounts, but if you over-do this color, you might begin to feel fearful and anxious. That's where the saying "yellow streak" originated!
GREEN, the color of nature, is indicative of balance, freshness and safety.
RED stands for strength and energy. It is also known to increase respiration and blood pressure, making it the color of passion and desire. Think Valentine's Day and you get the idea!
ORANGE is invigorating and denotes fun. It's also reminiscent of sunshine and the tropics because it gives the sensation of heat.
PURPLE symbolizes power, luxury and ambition and is the color of royalty. In spring's lighter tones, it becomes nostalgic and romantic.
PINK is nurturing, physically soothing, and is considered representative of the feminine principle.
WHITE is the color of cleanliness, perfection and positivity. It's not considered "touchable" because of its hygienic association and is definitely a challenge to wear without soiling but nothing looks crisper!
Now that you know what some of the best warm weather shades signify, we challenge you to wear any (or all!) of them well and enjoy a very COLORFUL Spring!
V & T
Spring is coming, so get ready, get set, and be sure to STROLL before you SCROLL!
The secret to smart online shopping is to plan a "see and feel" real shopping trip BEFORE you allow yourself to peruse the millions of fashion choices so easily available on the net.
While doing your homework browsing through the newest trends at your favorite brick and mortar stores, take time to educate yourself on how various brands and styles actually fit you. Don't get "fixated" on being one size because when a designer changes fit models, that can affect how its sizing will work on you. In other words, what used to be an 8 might now be a 6 or a 10! Be flexible and willing to size up or down to look your best.
By taking your fashion field trip, you set yourself up for more successful online shopping. A purchase that fits and flatters upon arrival means no need for time consuming and inconvenient returns.
Oh, and did we mention the added bonus of burning more calories??? No doubt about it - strolling the mall before scrolling on the couch is a very healthy habit that makes total fashion sense!
V & T
Vicki & Tracy
We're professional actresses and models showing you how to "dress the part" for all the roles in your life!