Fashion Resolutions you must make!

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.Create an easy capsule collection,here is one I have created for you https://storylinecollection.com/

2.Take a hard look at the rest,if you have not worn something in 2019,you are not going to wear it in 2020 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

Introducing Storyline Collection

I am back! After a long 5 year hiatus my designs are available once again.I have always been a fan of beautiful classy pieces that a woman can wear over and over again and stand the test of time.I am proud to introduce my debut Holiday/Travel capsule with Storyline Collection a company started by my dear friend Amy Lamphere.This has been in the works for about 18 months and finally launches next month.

Here is the website https://storylinecollection.com/ Do check it out and sign up for some fun updates and style tips.

Here is what the collection is all about.

Design Philosophy

We are all about bringing you those essential pieces, the foundation of your wardrobe that you wear day in and day out, seven days a week.

Research shows that most women wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time. We are all about creating those items and showing you how to wear them. Flattering Fit, Gratifying Comfort and Adaptable Versatility are the cornerstones of our collection.

We believe that every woman is a perfect masterpiece and we create the frame to showcase her. We want you to enjoy the fabrics, the cuts and details as they are all their to delight you. Fashion is about fun; your clothing should never be a source of stress but a source of great joy.

Why did we call it Storyline Collection?

At Storyline we are all about telling you stories, we as humans are always fascinated by compelling stories and love listening and telling them. We sometimes tend to forget that our clothing speaks volumes long before we ever open our mouth.

Just look at our history and some of the most famous women of all time and the wonderful tales they spun with their outfits, accessories, hair and makeup. Both Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette told stories of extravagance, luxury and being so out of touch. Where as Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth told tales of power, strength and austerity. In modern times we have many famous women that mesmerize us with the tales they spin from their wardrobes, We see stories of grace, competence, rebellion and seduction I have to say I am completely fascinated by Meghan Markle and the stories she is telling right now.

Have you stopped to think about the story you are telling? Are you aware of all that you are communicating? Fashion is a powerful tool and many of us are really not versed in it.

At Storyline Collection our aim is to give you the vocabulary to tell your own unique and compelling story.Share with me what fabulous fashion fable you want to spin, but remember the best stories are the ones that are authentic to you.

A good story needs a great editor and our desire is to provide that editor for you. Our fabulous editors have years of fashion savvy and experience dealing with real women.We are starting out with 10 great editors who will help you find the right vocabulary to tell your story.

Our first collection focuses on Holiday with 5 easy pieces that help you find some comfortable and stylish outfits to perfect fit any occasion.Works really well if you are traveling as they can come right out of your bag be given a quick shake and co right on your body.

Stay tuned as we continue to explore this journey together.

Love Sunil

 

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.

 

 

 

 

How to Mix Prints!

One of Summer’s Biggest Trends is to mix your prints in the same outfit.Now this is not everyone’s cup of tea for some of us just one print is way too much but if you want to push yourself,here are 5 simple ways to pull it off.

Mix different prints in Black and White.Stripes,Dots,Checks or Floral in monochromatic hues are easy to mix and look very chic.This is flattering and can be used to enhance your body type.If you are a Pear shape you want to wear a Black background on the bottom and a White background on the top.If you are a Strawberry you want to do the opposite.Then mix in a bold red,cobalt or yellow bag and shoe and you have this seasons “Wow”look.

Stripes and Dots are the neutrals of the print world and are easy to mix in with the busiest floral prints.Pair with a solid shoe or an animal print shoe to finish your look.

Having a common color in each print helps to pull them together creating a unified story.make sure you mix the scales and do not choose more than 3 different prints,2 is ideal.

Keeping to the same theme like geometrics,florals or abstracts and then mixing the colors and scales provides a visual anchor and prevents your outfit from going off the rails.Anchor it with a solid neutral shoe and bag.

Leave it to the experts and buy a dress or a jumpsuit already print mixed for you.Several designers are offering you this option at every price point.I love the ones from Kate Spade,Free People,ASOS and Zara.

So do step out of your comfort zone this season and have some fun shaking up your summer looks.