All you need to know about Denim…

 

August is usually the month when all fashion magazines focus on denim.It is the number one seller for back to school with distressed denim being the big trend right now.I have been designing denim for all most 25 years and here are the most frequent questions I get.I have answered the questions briefly so you get the essence and do not have to spend hours reading all the August issues.

Here is how to Jeans that flatter your body and give you the look you need!

My Workplace now allows me to wear Jeans to work. What are the rules to follow?

  •  Go for a Dark Wash with Minimal Decoration
  • Dress up with Dressy Tops, Sweaters & Jackets
  • Add Elegant Accessories
  • Keep it Smart with a Casual Vibe
  • Pick the Right Shoes

With so many different types of denim, what should I look for in a Pair of Jeans that will be Versatile?
  • Stretch – Comfort & Fit
  • Poly Cotton Blend – Easy Care
  • Great Hand with a Clean Wash
  • Mid Weight (8 ozs to 10 ozs) – Great all Year round weight
I have heard so much about having the Right Fitting Jeans in order for them to be Flattering. What should I be looking for when I try a pair on?
  • Contoured Waistband
  • Waist – Not too Tight
  • Rise – 1 to 3 inches below your Belly Button
  • No Whiskers in Front
  • Fitted through the Thigh and Knee
  • Flared or Straight depending on your Body Shape
  • Check out you Rear View
What is the Correct Length for my Jeans?
  • Front – Slight Break not too much fabric
  • Flats in the back -Touch the Floor
  • Heels in the back -1/4 inch off the Floor
  • Better to have separate pairs to wear with heels and flats,but an H on the label for the ones that are hemmed for heels
In order to get the Best Fit from my Jeans what should I wear under them?

Magic begins with the Right Foundation,make sure your underwear is:

  • Not creating any Visible Panty Lines
  • Not too Tight
  •  Has a Lower Rise than your Jeans
  • Nude in color is best specially under white jeans
  • Tummy and Thigh control if your jeans are supper skinny
What Leg Shapes work for different Body Types?
  • Pear Body Shapes: Bootleg
  • Apple Body Shapes: Straight Legs that is cropped with a higher waist
  • Strawberry Body shape:Wide leg
  • Hourglass Body shape:All leg shapes work but avoid boyfriend jeans
  • Pencil Body shape:longer length straight or flared legs

So these are the top five issues that come up in most minds when they shop for denim.

 

Win at the Game of Style

Style is a great game and just like any game it can be mastered,it takes insight,planning and practice.Here are 5 steps that can up your style game.

Step 1-Know the Game

Before you start planing the game you should know what the objectives are:

The Objectives are to Look

  • Confident
  • Beautiful
  • Pulled Together
  • Chic

While achieving this you should make it look Effortless and be Comfortable.

Step 2-Learn from the Women who are part of the Style Hall of Fame.

I have studied these women in great detail and these are the strategies that standout:

Great Style is the A List

  • Age Appropriate-they always dressed youthful but as they got older their style evolved.
  • Area Appropriate-they dressed for their surroundings and what they were doing from sailing to the red carpet.
    fits your environment
  • Anatomy Appropriate -they took in to consideration their best attributes and showcased them.
    dress for the body you have
  • Attitude-they always stayed true to this personality.
    – bring out your personality

Also once they found out what worked they stuck to it but they constantly updated a good example is Princess Diana’s hair it was always short but always current.

I often get asked to you have to be dead to be inducted in to the Style Hall of fame and the answer is yes,that way you cannot make any mistakes.It is ironic that these four women are most mentioned when it comes to being an inspiration to today’s women.The good news is there is a current group of women you can look to for inspiration who are proving to be grandmasters.

Step 3-Know your self-The Main Player

  • What are you playing with?
  • Your Strengths
  • Your  perceived Weakness

So know your body and what flatters you,take the time to find out what really looks good on you.

Ask your self the following questions:

  • What colors suit me the best?
  • What clothing do I feel the most comfortable in?
  • What clothing do I feel the most confident in?
  • What am I wearing when I receive the most compliments?
  • Whose sense of style do I identify most with?

This will help you ascertain your strengths and weaknesses,for example if you get a lot of compliments when you wear a short dress your legs are your asset so you know you should always showcase them.If everybody raves when you wear red,make that a signature color.Make sure you know what your body type is.Here is a quiz you can take.

Step 4-Get the Right Equipment

Just as any great athlete take the time to research and invest in the best equipment that works for you:

  • Clothes-The right pieces for your body type, personality and lifestyle.
  • Accessories-Get the best that you can afford specially for shoes and handbags Keep things classic and elegant
  • Hair and Make up-Keep it simple and easy to maintain but constantly update it do not get stuck in a particular decade

If you are not sure what flatters you check out this video.

Step 5-Come up with Winning Strategies

  • Find your key looks for each component of your like Travel,Work,Casual or Night on the town
  • Pull them together with the right accessories
  • Complement them with the right hair and make up
  • Practice them until you get them perfect

Here are some examples of Key Looks:

Your perfect 10;

This is an on point look that always gets you a perfect 10 when you wear it,it should be quintessentially you.

Your jack of all trades;

This is an outfit that can take you from day tonight with just switching out your accessories.You wear this on a really full,busy day to look effortless.

Your Queen of the Day;

This is your sexy sassy outfit that will make all the men in your life treat you like a queen.You bring this out when you need something done.Nothing wrong in using your feminine strength and charm.

The Ace up your sleeve;

This is your power wow outfit that makes you feel on top of the world.You wear this when you have a deal to close and it usually says”Don’t Mess with me Fellas”

With these simple strategies you can win at the game of style with a little effort and energy.

 

How to get a perfect Wardrobe!

 

Summer is firmly with us but in the stores Fall is starting to make an appearance,you are also starting to get your Fall catalogs from your stylists.Before you start shopping for your Fall Wardrobe,it is good to take a minute to establish what your body shape is and how to dress and accessorize it.Your body changes over time and I recommend you review this before the Fall and Spring seasons. This will help you make the right decisions when  planing and purchasing your new pieces.

Now is the time to refresh your knowledge and remeasure your self.Remember it is important to dress the body you have right now, not the one you had 3 years ago or the one you plan to have next year.It is also important to express your self and make sure your wardrobe reflects who you are as a person. Do not define your self by your body shape as we are all truly unique but use it to find what is flattering.You are one of a kind just like a fabulous masterpiece.Just like any great masterpiece you need the right frame that will flatter and show case you.Here are some important steps you can take to plan and execute on a perfect wardrobe this Fall.

Step 1-Measure your Self.

Step 2-Determine your Body type.

Step 3-Define your sense of Style.

 

Step 4- Find what is Flattering to you.

 

Step 5- Plan your Wardrobe and Start Shopping!

If you are more verbal than visual you can create shopping index cards with the color,type of item and price.

 

With a little effort and energy you can have a fabulous new wardrobe.
♥ Sunil

You can download a PDF with all the worksheets below

WARDROBE PLAN

Caring for your Wardrobe.

Your clothes are a major investment and by taking care of them they will last longer and look better.Caring for your clothes is simple with these 10 tips:

  1. Equipment…Invest in a top of the line washer and dryer;you will be surprised at how much money it will save you in the long run.Read care labels and follow instructions as closely as possible.
  2. Stains…take care of stains ASAP! Time is the enemy here.Over 100 items can stain clothing and each one needs to be treated differently.Find a good stain removing guide and hand it in your laundry room.I use this one from Real Simple magazine and it is on the inside of my laundry room door.It eliminates the guesswork.Create a small box with all the products you need to lift stains.Carry a stain removal pen or wipe in your handbag at all times for quick pre-treating.Stains are the number one reason people have to get rid of their clothing.
  3. Ready-Set-Wash…use cold water as much as possible,not only is it good for your clothes it also great for the environment and your budget.
  •  Wash delicates on a gentle cycle; use a mesh bag with a floating disc.If you do not have a gentle cycle,use a large salad spinner specially for silk scarves and lace tops.Just add a mild detergent to cold water,spin gently,empty,add water to rinse and lay flat to dry on a towel.
  • Go with the mildest detergent possible.If your clothes are not heavily soiled use half the amount of recommended detergent.I recommend staying away from heavily scented detergents.Avoid fabric softener sheets as it can cause a residue to build up.
  • Goes with out saying always wash whites,lights and darks separately.Always wash denim jeans separately,they can bleed and the metal trims can damage knit garments specially sweaters.
  • I recommend not using a chlorine bleach on whites;look for a gentler bleach alternative.
  • Turn all garments inside out before you wash them and close all zippers.
  • When washing cashmere,merino or other delicate knits,use a detergent formulated for delicates or in a pinch a baby laundry detergent.

4. Dryer Begone…try not to use the dryer as much as possible,heat is the biggest enemy of spandex.Many new dryers have a cool setting and do not shrink your clothing,I once saw a woman’s sweater come out of the dryer as a kids,that process is irreversible.Never completely crisp dry your clothes.Remove them when they are 95% dry and hang at once.If something fits you just right make sure you always lay it flat on a towel to air dry.

5. Folds…make sure you fold your laundry as soon as possible with the right folds,use the seams as a guide if you are not sure.

6. Into the Closet…ideally keep a space of one hanger width between each piece,I know this is hard but it is important for each piece of clothing to hang correctly.This is very important specially for suede,leather and shearling.Invest in good hangers that do not create points on your clothing.Make sure your closet is cool and dry.Humidity and light can damage clothing so keep your closet door closed when you are not picking out your clothing.I have seen many one sleeve faded garments when people leave their closets open all the time.Never hang knits specially sweaters always keep them folded.

7. Storage…properly store off season items in a nice cool basement if you have it.Avoid storing garments in plastic bags specially if they have just been dry cleaned.Use sealed plastic containers for sweaters to avoid moths and breathable garment bags for others.

8. Ironing..never iron the face of a fabric always the back.Use brown paper or a pressing cloth to prevent the color from changing.Make sure your iron is always clean specially if it is a steam iron and on the right setting for the fabric.Never iron fabrics with a pile,velvet in particular.

9. Dry Cleaning..I avoid it as much as possible specially with fragile fabric,there are now eco cleaners that use gentler processes and chemicals.I usually prefer to hand wash or spot clean only dry cleaning when absolutely needed.

10. Fast Freshening…only wash clothes when they are dirty.Our natural tendency is to wash clothes more often than actually needed.My habit is to put something in the laundry basket as soon as I take it off even if I have had it on for 5 minutes.Try some of these quick,wash free garment fresheners.

  • If you are planing to wear something again,get in on a hanger as soon as you take it off and put it in an airy space.
  • Invest in a steamer,a lint brush and a pill shaver use them to quickly freshen up a garment.
  • Keep a small mister with water handy.Spray your garment a couple of times(add a touch of lavender if you like)and toss in the dryer on a fluff cycle.You can also use a wrinkle release spray if your garment is crushed.
  • Hang your clothes behind your bathroom door while you shower as it will steam away the wrinkles.This works great for knit jersey fabrics.

All of these tips are my personal observations throughout out the years and many of you have better methods so feel free to share in the comments.I believe to buy the best you can afford and take good care of it.In the long run that turns out to be more economical than constantly replacing items that are of a poor quality.This is true for the items that are the back bone of your wardrobe like tanks,camis and leggings.A bonus tip invest in 3 of them in the basic colors like black one to wear,one to wash and one to have(at rest) spandex fits better and last longer when it has time to recover.With all the sales going on right now this is food for taught.

 

 

Sale Mania

As sale season is upon us and with retailers throwing all kinds of sales nearly every week it is all about the deal.It is  way too easy to catch “Sale-Mania” shop frantically and then watch your “Deals”hang in your closet for months on end and going to Goodwill with tags attached.Walking around NYC it seems that almost every store is dangling a crazy deal.Here are tips on being a smart shopper right now.

Be a “Thriftanista” by avoiding the most common pitfalls and searching for truly great pieces that will enhance for Fashionista status.

     Common Pitfalls!

  • “When I loose 20 pounds it will be perfect”
    STOP, only buy what fits you now.Go on a shopping spree to celebrate once you loose the 20 pounds.

    It is important to dress the body you have right now!

  • “I may need it someday”
    Unless,you have a need for it in the next 6 months put it back,you will always find something better, trends can change.
  • “It is a steal”
    OMG it is 90% off ,they are giving it away.If you never wear it that is still money you flushed down the toilet.

    Wise Buys!

  • Layering pieces-Use this opportunity to stock up on Tanks,Camisoles and classic Tees in Black,White and Nude.You will have to freshen up these pieces on a regular basis.This is specially true of anything you wear in white.Also a good time to stock up on basic leggings and jeans for the fall.
  • Classic Pieces-White button Front Shirts,Classic V-necks sweaters,a Little Black Dress and Great blazers are all items that are worth the investment.These are pieces that are timeless and are the building blocks of your wardrobe.Look for clean lines and timeless fabrics.
  • Investment Pieces-A fantastic black leather handbag,timeless nude pumps,a beautiful evening clutch.Think of these as items you will use in your life time and then pass down with your daughters.
  • Bathing suits-If you are planning a winter get away this is the time to buy a new bathing suit as the next time they will be available is February.Chose a classic style in black,navy or red that fits well but has some ease.Make sure you pick up a great cover up as well.Store them in a breathable bag and you will be all set for your next getaway.
  • Trend Pieces that go in to Fall-At this point we know what the top trends for fall are.We are seeing some of the trends carrying forward.As far as color goes both red and pink are very strong this Fall.Florals specially on darker grounds with roses leading the way are going to be the must have going forward.Menswear inspired pants and jackets are a key wardrobe item come September.Pieces that fit these trends can be snapped up for a bargain and remixed in the fall with velvet and corduroy to create on trend looks.

Always be a Smart Shopper
♥ Sunil