The Perfect Fall Wardrobe in 5 Easy Steps!

As we head to the Fall and dream about having that perfect wardrobe.The one that is fully integrated  and well edited that epitomizes your style and fully covers all your needs yet manages to look fresh and exciting every time you step out.

Some swear it is just an urban myth and is impossible but with these 5 easy steps you can attain  wardrobe nirvana.The biggest mistake people make is buying one offs,a cute top or a great outfit or some divine shoes and when you bring it home and add it to your closet it just does not give you a cohesive wardrobe.My definition of a dream wardrobe is one that you can get dressed completely in the dark and when you step out into the light you look like a million bucks.

This is the perfect time to do a little planning,Fall is not quite here but we pretty much know what is coming in the next two weeks.Here is what you need to do.

Step 1-Be honest about your body and lifestyle.

As we age our body shape often changes so does it if you have lost or gained more that 15 pounds your shape changes.It is important to dress the body you have,not the body you have or the body you plan to have.Take a few minutes to measure yourself and confirm your body type.Here is a cheat sheet to help you.

Be honest about your lifestyle,if you work from home buying a whole lot of dresses and suits is not going to help.Take stock of what you wear 80% of the time.Do not buy something because you friend is wearing it and loves it.

Step 2-Stick to a Color Story

For the majority of what you wear stick to 4 complimentary shades and work with them.This allows for optimal mixing and matching.For the Fall I like mixing two dark tones with a mid tone and an accent.If you are a print person do add one great print.You can have a color story for work and another for casual if you like.Here are some on trend color stories for Fall 2019.

Step 3- Go for Quality and Fit over Quantity

As Americans we love variety but here is where we should take a lesson from our European sisters.French women tend to have less but it fits them perfectly and is the very best quality they can afford.This is very important when it comes to Outerwear,Bags and Shoes.Quality pieces tend to last longer so in the long run they actually cost less.

Step 4-Create your Core or Foundation

Just like a great house begins with a foundation your wardrobe is built on core pieces or essentials.These are the work horses of you wardrobe that multi task in many outfits.Depending on your lifestyle you may have different core pieces.Make a list of what your items are and make sure you have them,that they fit and are in good condition.Create a checklist and if you do not have it make sure you acquire these pieces first.Here is an example for a professional who works in a casual office.

You should add some on trend fashion tops to balance out your selection.The general rule is that you should have 3 top options for every bottom.Make sure these pieces flatter you really well,if not go out and get a piece that does,here are some guidelines.

Step 5-Work with your Budget

The best way to do it is to follow the 80/20 Rule. 80% of your funds go to carefully planned items to fill your wardrobe gaps.The balance 20% goes towards impulse buys,whims and sales.Here are 10 wardrobe basics that are always in style and give you the best bang for your buck.

So with these five simple steps,a little planning and some smart shopping with a dose of self control you can have an amazing wardrobe.

Love,Sunil

 

 

 

 

How to do denim right!

August is usually the month when the fashion industry from magazines to stores focus on denim.Jeans are a great way to transition from Summer to Fall and a great pair is the building block to a versatile wardrobe. It is important to update your jeans to flatter your figure and reflect current trends.I have been designing denim for almost 25 years and here are the most frequent questions I get.I have answered the questions briefly so you get the information you need and do not have to spend hours researching.

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

  •  Go for a Dark Wash with Minimal Decoration or a Crisp White
  • Dress up with Dressy Tops,  Light Sweaters & Jackets
  • Add Elegant Accessories
  • Keep it Smart with a Casual Vibe
  • Pick the Right Shoes
  • Here are some images of denim being done right for work at this time of year

2.With so many different types of denim, what should I look for in a Pair of Jeans that will be Versatile?
  • Stretch – Comfort & Fit(Look for a 4 way stretch)
  • Poly Cotton or Cotton Spandex Blend – Easy Care and shape retention
  • Great Hand with a Clean Wash
  • Mid Weight (8 ozs to 10 ozs) – Great all Year durability
  • Classic Style
3.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 you should be comfortably insert two fingers into the waistband
  • 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 and preference
  • Check out you Rear View should be snug but not too tight
  • The side seam should be straight( if it is distorted your jeans are too tight)
4.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
5.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 super skinny
6.What is the most flattering jeans for my body shape?
  • Pear Body Shapes: Bootleg with dark wash,medium rise
  • Apple Body Shapes: Straight Legs that is cropped with a higher waist
  • Strawberry Body shape:Wide leg or flare is a lighter wash,decorated below the knee
  • Hourglass Body shape:All leg shapes and rises work but avoid boyfriend jeans
  • Pencil Body shape:longer length straight or flared legs,slightly higher rise
  • See cheatsheet for other flattering details

6.What should I be looking for right now?
  • The Good news is that  Skinny,Flared,Baggy and Straight Legs are in this season
  • We are seeing a wide variety washes from super light to deep darks,go with a light wash light now and darker towards winter
  • The high waist straight leg jean is a must have right now so if you do not have one do get it
  • Pintucks and Ribbon are big details and the do flatter and lengthen your legs so do pick up a pair
  • Embroidery is a must have and really adds a touch of fun to your jean wardrobe.
  • Hem details are a great way to bring some drama when you wear jeans in the evening or on the red carpet

So these are the top seven issues that come up in most minds when they shop for denim.Take your time to find the right pair for you.It is worth the effort.I say have 3 pairs,a great pair that you can wear to work,a super comfortable and cute pair for weekends and a dressy pair for evening.

 

 

 

 

Hi Summer,Hello Shorts!

Shorts season is upon us as Summer is almost here.Some of you love them and others hate them.For a lot of women finding the right pair of shorts can be challenging.Shorts are now a Summer fashion staple and a must have in every woman’s wardrobe.They are versatile,simple and so comfortable as the temperature rises.Do make shorts a staple of your Summer wardrobe.

Here are some simple tips to help you find the right pair of shorts and then to rock them.

1.Make sure they fit-

They should be comfortable.The waistband should sit smooth and flat.There should not be any bunching in the rise and they should not cut in to your leg at the hem.The shorts should never end at the widest part of your thigh.Always make sure they sit below that point in you are tall or above that point if you are petite.Check the rear view,they should not pull across your hip and the top of the waistband should sit against the curve of your back.Plumbers crack is not sexy so if you are seeing some,the rise is too short for your body type.

2.Find the right style that flatters your body type-

Apple-Look for slightly shorter options with higher waists.Keep details and embellishment to a minimum,stay away from prints.No waistband flat front styles in a stretch fabric work best for you.Do not tuck in your top under any circumstances.The key to pulling off shorts for you is to showcase your legs.Always wear them with wedges or a sandal with a small heel.Always wear your shorts with statement sunglasses,you will be amazed on how it will elongate you.

Pear-Look for shorts that are roomy in the thigh.Aline shorts in dark colors work best for you.Try longer Bermuda or Boyfriend shorts that just skim your hips and thighs as they are very flattering.Culottes and Skorts are a great option for you as well.Do wear slightly longer length tops in prints and bright colors with them.Pair them with a nude shoe and complete your look with statement earrings or a great scarf.

Pencil-Your goal is to add curves to your lower half.So paper bag shorts,bubble shorts and ruffle shorts are all perfect for you.You have the body shape that can rock a romper.Do not be afraid to show off your long legs.Prints,textures and pocket details all flatter you.Make sure you always wear it with a blousy top tucked in and cute ballet flats.

Hourglass-Your body was made to rock shorts,nothing is off limits to you but make sure that your top is tucked in and your waist is always showcased.Wider contoured waistbands and waist detailing will always flatter you.Do opt for bright colors and prints.Shorts look best on you when paired with an open toe sandal.

Strawberry-Mid length shorts work best for you.Prints and bright colors will help balance your top.Cargo shorts and Embellished shorts are the most figure flattering.Do pair them with dark top and bright shoes.Accessorize with lots of cuffs and even a cocktail ring.

If you are not sure of your body type here is a quick cheat sheet.

 

3.It is all about balance-

The key to pulling of shorts in style is to balance your bottom with your top.Do not wear long tops with shorter length shorts.Pair longer length shorts with a tank or a tee,never a long sleeve shirt.

If your shorts and fitted and shorter wear them with a top that has volume.If your shorts are loose and baggy wear them with a fitted tank or camisole.

Shorts are a great daytime look and give out the perfect casual vibe.

  It is perfectly acceptable to rock shorts from day to night.Here are tips on how to do it well.

 

Anchor your look with the right accessories.Shoes are the most important.If you are not sure on how to anchor your look here is a post on the best accessories for your body type.Make sure you carry the right bag as well.

Make sure the skin on your legs is glowing and a great pedicure helps as well.

 

No matter what body shape you have,you can look amazing in shorts as long as you know what works best with your frame and you rock the hell out of them.”Attitude is everything”.

Here is a quick cheat sheet that you can take shopping with you.

 

As the words of a well known song go“She has legs and she knows how to use them”

♥ Sunil

 

 

Say yes to a dress!

Yes,it is finally here Spring has arrived and with her arrival time to say “Yes to fabulous Dresses” No you are not getting married but a great dress will make you feel special. Get out of those big sweaters,baggy sweats and heavy coats and have some fun.

Easter,Mother’s day,Graduations and Wedding season are all upon us.So what do you wear? Divine one piece,sweet,romantic and so girly a great dress is your  universal answer to all questions what do I wear right now? The great thing about a dress is that it takes 30 seconds to put on and needs minimal accessorizing so it is very time efficient.

When you find the right dress or it finds you it is a match made in heaven.  I believe whatever your body type,age or style you can find the right dress for you.

1.Body type

The key points are the details,the shape and the neckline.If you follow these simple rules it will help you find the right dress for you.

Not a fan of color and print or color get a simple navy or grey dress and brighten it up with some bold or printed accessories.

Here are some of this season’s bags and shoes that will go perfectly with a solid dress.

2.Age,remember it is just a number so go with a trend you relate to!

The good news is there are so many trends this season that there is a trend for every age group to rock.

20’s and 30’s-sweet and girly is the way to go,Ruffles or Polka dots are the best trend to rock this season.Pink,Yellow and Blue are your go to colors.

 

30’s and 40’s-Floral dresses with a little structure are your thing, If florals are not your thing rock a great lace dress with sharp lines.Plenty of dresses with sleeves and collars out there if sleeveless is not your thing.A classic  printed wrap dress is a great option as well and they never go out of style.

 

40’s and 50’s Animal is the trend for you to rock this season.Look for a sophisticated version with great details.

 

60’s and 70’s,I love the Shirt Dress it offers great structure,style and coverage and is so chic.

70’s and above opt for a modern streamlined sheath dress with sweet details.

 

 

3.Style-Find the dress that reflects your personality!

The good news is even if you are not a dress person there are styles out there this spring that will reflect your personality.The way you accessorize a dress can also make it your style.

Classic-Shirt dresses and Sheath dresses in crisp cottons or linens.Gingham and seersucker are great options as well.Accessorize wit a simple flat shoe,a leather belt and a classic cardigan.

Sporty-Polo Dresses and  Tee Shirt dresses in soft cotton jersey.Look for active dresses as well.Pair with a great sneaker and a visor or a striped tote.

Bohemian-Ditzy printed Floral dresses in cotton gauze or voile.Look for this season amazing scarf print dresses.Mix with an embroidered shoe and a straw bag.

Fashionista-Ruffles in sheer chiffon is your go to option this season.Match it with a feather shoe and an art inspired clutch.Set it off with an over the top statement earring.

Avante-Garde-All about zany mixed dots or stripes in innovative fabrics.Contrast it with a bold shoe in yellow or bright blue and pair it with an oversized bag.Feel free to mix prints for the season’s edgiest look.

 

“Now you have no reason not to try a dress this season.”

Happy Easter ♥ Sunil

 

 

3 Fashion Resolutions you must keep!

Yes,it is that time of year that we all make resolutions and then forget about them in the next few weeks.There are 3 style resolutions you must make and keep for the rest of your life.

1.Never ever dress your age.

You may think I am going to be 50 or 60 or 70,so I have to tone down my style or may be it is not as important to pay attention to what I wear specially since I am now retired.Women are living longer and are in amazing shape and there is no reason to let your style age.Here are the steps you can take to maintain Ageless Style.

a.Be inspired by the new guard.

Most of us look to our mothers or even grandmothers for inspiration on how to dress when you get older.Do not do that!Fashion rules have changed dramatically.Dressing your age is an absolute No! No!.Look to our current crop of stylish women who are breaking every rule.60 is the new 40 and some of my fashion icons are well into their 70’s.

We take care of our bodies more nowadays with better nutrition and fitness so there is no need to give up and buy some shapeless housecoats or mumus.

If you are celebrating your 80’s this year look to someone like Carmen Dell’Orefice who at 85 is one of the world’s most sought after supermodels,she is booked months in advance.

 I love these 3 women,they make 70 seem like an age you must get to so that you can be this fierce.

Like I said 60 is the new 40 and these 3 icons prove it over and over again.

b.Constantly Evolve.

You must constantly assess yourself.Style is a lifelong journey.Your body changes as you age,so take the time to measure your body even if you have maintained the same weight.Know your body and always dress the body you have.Take stock of your strengths and showcase them.Take what works for you but constantly update it.One of the reasons women look old is because they are stuck in a rut specially when it comes to hair and makeup.On most women the tops of the shoulders always look amazing make sure you showcase that.Legs are another part of the body that never seem to age on most women, so do wear short dresses and leggings.

c.Pay attention to Color.

As we age our skin becomes more translucent so certain colors wash us out.Do not fall in to the all black trap,yes it is flattering but it can create a harsh contrast especially in the winter.Go for earthy neutrals like Chocolate,Warm grey and Rich Camel.Jewel tones are the way to go Ruby Red,Sapphire blue,Amethyst Purple and Emerald Green should be your go to colors.Stay away from Yellow,Beige and Neon colors they can wash you out.Also pay attention to your hair color and makeup colors.Brunettes should get warmer with their hair color as you grow older and lips reds should get softer.Stop into a department store every 2 years or so and have your makeup colors reevaluated by a professional.

d.Invest in Timeless Pieces.

Fabric,Quality and Cut are what you need to look for.You need fewer pieces as you get older but they should be the best you can afford.They should also fit you to a T.Do splurge on the services of a good tailor or find a friend who can sew.Here are some great basics you should build on.

  1. A Hero Jacket that goes with everything.
  2. A perfect black dress that can work for a wedding,an interview or a funeral.
  3. An amazing pair of pants in black and navy.
  4. An outstanding coat.
  5. A couple of flawless cashmere or merino sweaters.
  6. A crisp tailored white shirt.
  7. Soft silk blouses in red and blue.
  8. A great pair of jeans in a dark wash.
  9. A flattering black skirt.
  10. A quality black shoe and bag.

These become the foundation of your wardrobe and you can pair them with less expensive pieces.As we get tailoring and structure look better on us that loose oversize drapey clothing.The most flattering outfits are ones that mix a tailored piece with a soft piece.This is how french women look so amazing at every age.

e.Pile on the accessories.

Take a lesson from Iris Apfel who at 95 is one of the most influential fashion icons.As you grow older your clothing should become simpler and your accessories should become wilder.Go big and bold do not be afraid of making a statement.When looking to being current trends into your wardrobe first do it with an accessory and if you love it then go for it in a piece of clothing.This works great with print and pattern.

f.Understand trends and how they relate to you.

Trends come and go and in your lifetime you will see the same trends over and over again.You can wear most trends but each time you wear the trend you have to do it in a different way.

g.Rethink your Shoes

As you age your tendons in your heel are less flexible so it becomes really hard to wear heels,most women give up at that point and switch to shoes that are all about comfort.There are several shoes out there right now that do not sacrifice style for comfort so take the time to find the right shoes.For  daily running around invest in a good hybrid sneaker,it is a sneaker that is made of materials reserved for dressy shoes like leather and suede,it is usually very chic and simple.For work a girly loafer ot a slight heeled bootie adds polish and for evening opt for a sweet kitten heel.Do pay attention to your shoes as they are the pedestal that displays your whole outfit.Do try to wear some kind of a heel.Most clothing other than activewear is fit with some kind of heel so your clothes do look better with a slight lift.

2.Dress the body you have

We always tend to dress the body we had or the body we plan to have,so take the time to assess what your body actually is and then dress it accordingly.

Current research is showing that there are close to 12 different body shapes out there but a majority of women fall in to the 7 body shapes listed below for each body shape I have given a brief do’s and don’ts.These are just suggestions based on my experiences working with all kinds of women over the last 30 years.The only rule is to is know that you are truly unique and beautiful and it is all about loving what you have and rocking it.

These are just guidelines to help you showcase and understand your uniquely beautiful body.So have fun with this and just know something’s may be better for you and others may be better left alone.

This most common body type close to 40% of women rock this shape.

This is the most desired body shape by both men and women.

Dolly Parton celebrates this shape in song

 

Fashion loves your body shape

May be one of the more challenging body shapes to dress but looks amazing when done right.

Well as they say you are destined to catch someone’s eye.You do find tall Apples but it is most common among petite women.

One of the least common body types but fun to dress.

3.Make your wardrobe simple.

Clothing should be a source of joy never a point of stress.So organize your clothing into groups.

1.Your everyday staples.research has shown that Women wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time.Identify this clothing for you and then organize it by color in the center of your closet.

2.Take a hard look at the rest,if you have not worn something in 2018,you are not going to wear it in 2019 so get rid of it.

3.Organize your special occasion clothing to one side of your closet by category dresses,pants,skirts and tops.Do the same with your weekend clothes and put it at the other end.

4.All basics like underwear,t shirts,leggings etc should be folded organized by color and put away in a dresser.

5.Same logic applies to shoes,put the ones you wear daily in the center of your closet right under your main clothes,special occasion organized by color goes under that section and weekend goes under that section

This will make getting ready a lot less stressful,so be ready to tackle this year with 3 fashion resolutions firmly in place.

Love,Sunil