Welcome to Autumn’s Fire!

Autumn Fire CollageThe rich, warm colors of Fall are irresistible: flaming oranges, bold yellows, spicy cinnamons and forest greens. Mother Earth is vividly alive with intense color. Having shifted her wardrobe from the softer hues of Summer, she is filled with fire, and urging us toward bolder expression.

Living in Los Angeles, I must be content with the “spirit of Fall.” Although still warm in Southern California, I’m preparing for Autumn. Pulling out sweaters, organizing scarves and looking for patterned leggings to pair with my “foundation pieces” (basic skirts and dresses).

Shopping Tip:

Ideal time of year to find the darker colors on your palette in the stores. Deep rich browns, greens (from olive to blue-greens), and of course black. Also a great time to find the more opulent, textured fabrics that are the hallmark of the Autumn woman’s design style.

Wardrobe Tip:

If your palette doesn’t support the fiery colors of Autumn, you can still celebrate Autumn by wearing your shade of red in clothing and cosmetics.

I believe we have a bit of all the seasons within, so stoke your fire light and enjoy Autumn.

Determined to experience the seasonal shift, I am bound for Massachusetts and Maine where my friends and I will have front row seats as the leaves change into their brilliant golds and greens. Stay tuned for Facebook photos. Be sure to “like” my page so you’ll receive my colorful updates!

Summer is GoneWalk in Beauty,

Denise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wearing White After Labor Day: Letting the Myth Die

Tips for Wearing Your Right White

Your Right WhiteThere are many ways to chronicle the passage of time, but nothing more dramatic and certain than the shifting movement of Mother Nature every three months when the light changes, temperatures rise and fall and landscapes blossom or lean down against the cold and rain! And it’s almost time for another seasonal shift, as we think about rolling up the beach towels, storing the picnic baskets and packing away the pastels to make room in our closets for the rich colors of Fall.

Summer certainly brings out our desire to wear white, as it psychologically represents a lightweight and airy feeling which is ideal for the summer months. I don’t know about you, but where I’m from (and my mother, her mother and her mother), white was not right after Labor Day. What? It’s a color — not like giving up chocolate for Lent or Thanksgiving without some form of celebratory meal.

This myth got started by society ladies who felt the need to define fashion rules: you can’t wear white after Labor Day if you were “in the know” or part of the upper class. White was for resort wear and weddings. The beginning of summer was after Memorial Day and end of summer was the first weekend in September. So, if you wanted to be fashionable and a member in good standing of the elite, you had better vacation and get married between the end of May and the beginning of September! Like Coco Chanel, I believe that we can wear white any time of the year.

There is one thing Mother Nature won’t be changing come Fall – the color White. Let white claim it’s right place in your wardrobe all year long.

Your Right White

All whites are not created equal when it comes to wearing the right white. The right white will look best and be most complimentary if it is keyed to your teeth and whites of your eyes. If you have bright, clear eye whites and white teeth then you will look marvelous in a snow white. If your teeth or eye whites are ivory or creamier, then do not wear a snow white color, at least not close to your face, as it will make your teeth and eye whites look dull. Wear an ivory or cream color and you will look harmonious and fantastic. Remember to take a quick look in the mirror before purchasing your right white!

Quick Tip 1:  White has a “friendlier” and “approachable” quality when it is paired with another color, especially warm colors or when it is not a pure bright white.

Quick Tip 2:  If you are whitening your teeth, be careful not to over whiten, thus losing a natural look.

I would look best in the ivory. Which one is best for you? We’d love to hear how you are wearing your whites all year. Let us know in the comments section below.

Walk in Beauty,

Denise

“White is gently romantic or starkly modern, depending on how you use it.” – Hilary Mandleberg

As Within, So Without

As Within So WithoutSeveral years ago on my evening walk along a busy and trendy Los Angeles street, I stumbled upon a woman’s boutique.  It sat back from the street, surrounded by a manicured lawn and pristine white flowers.  The beautiful wood floors and Shakespearean décor beckoned me.  I tiptoed in.  Once inside, I was instantly overcome with the beauty this room held. Can you imagine being overwhelmed with beauty?  Awed.  Dumbstruck.  Frozen.  Only my eyes moved — slowly around the room.  The Marie Antoinette-style chandelier, the floor to ceiling mirror with the gilded gold frame, the plush ottoman, and those gorgeous clothes elegantly hanging like works of art on gold painted racks.  Nope, not even breathing now.

The lovely saleswoman walked over and said “Hello, may I help you with something?”  “Ah, no, thank you, I’m just looking.”  Her friendly smile and warm demeanor calmed me, yet the level of beauty emanating from the room surrendered me motionless.  It’s almost embarrassing to admit, but I couldn’t even turn around to walk out the door – I simply backed out of the door – backed out!  As I continued my walk home, I could still see the glorious vision.  Skirts in a shiny “bling” fabric, wide leg cotton pants with pockets from hip to hem and bronze studs.  A bright red jacket with intricate beading along the arms and down the back.  Dresses with floral necklines in soft, romantic colors.  Luscious blouses with ruffled collars and wrists.  Pants in “wrap-yourself-up-in” jersey, with matching tops, shrugs, jackets and coats.  It was like looking into a room of divine deliciousness!

Why couldn’t I walk into this boutique?

I didn’t have the capacity to hold and contain such beauty within me.  Shortly after this experience I had my personal color palette and style profile created.  Now, armed with “my colors” and clothes chosen for me, I still didn’t have access to my inner beauty (value of self, confidence, knowing me).  It took another 3 years of personal growth work, classes, reading and a willingness to journey deep within before I began to understand the expression “As Within, So Without” and the relationship between what you carry inside being reflected back to you in the outside world.  The world mirrors what we are modeling and returns it to us – when we least expect it!

I have since become a color consultant and stylist.  I know that I cannot tell a woman what colors or clothes to wear.  I can only suggest, guide and support.  She must be willing to take her own journey and discover her inner beauty.  It is an organic process, not a linear one.  It isn’t always an easy process, but a rewarding one where you can emerge with strength, clarity and the ability to approach your beauty from a place of authenticity.

The saleswoman in the boutique is now a friend.  My closet is host to many beautiful garments from the boutique and I feel radiant when I wear them.

What stops you from expressing, feeling or tending to your inner beauty?  How does that affect your outer beauty?

I invite you to leave your comments below so we can continue the conversation.

Walk in Beauty,
Denise

50+ Style and Comfort, Can They Co-Exist?

Rachel Zoe

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According to Fashion Stylist Rachel Zoe “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”  This means Style is completely within your reach, on your terms.  Dictionary.com defines comfort as “to make physically comfortable.”  So, Comfort in your clothing is possible.  That’s exciting, isn’t it?

Can you achieve your personal Style while still maintaining your Comfort needs?  I think you can.  You will need to do some homework (including determining your comfort factor), but it will be worth the effort.  I promise.

Although this blog is addressing the 50+ age group, Style and Comfort goes beyond age and is ultimately a concern for women of all ages.

I recently ran across a picture of myself around age 6 all dolled up in a lace frock.  I immediately remembered the scratch of the stiff fabric against my skin and I swear I could see a wince on my face in the photo.  My quest for comfort was born!  To this day I don’t wear taut or scratchy fabric.

Let’s talk about the Comfort Factor.

When I think of clothing comfort, #1 on my list is my feet.  They must be comfortable.  This means the fit, the height of the heel, the material of the heel (no wooden heels, please), the quality of the fabric (will it stretch out too much), the placement of the straps, buckles or bows, the look of the shoe within my overall Style profile (no Uggs for me) and, of course, the color.  That’s a lot for a single shoe to live up to, but I have it down to a science now – with one swift look it’s either a joyous YES or a definite NO.  With each yes, I expand my wardrobe on my terms.  With each no, I reinforce my core requirements of comfort over fashion (not to be confused with style).


 Style and Comfort</center?

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The #1 Comfort Factor for some is temperature – their clothes must provide them with warmth or keep them feeling fresh and cool.  Natural fabric will help solve this problem.  For others, it’s all about keeping it simple.   Rely on a great fitting garment and simple accessories to accomplish a simple, elegant look.  Still others feel their best in pants.  Find the perfect fit and focus on wide leg or straight leg, depending on your body shape.  Experiment with tops, vests and jackets.

The key is to know thyself!  What type of clothing allows you to move freely and feel at ease?  What fabric feels good?  What type of shoe best supports you?  Are you more comfortable in long sleeves?  Skirts vs. dresses?  Casual over Sophisticated?  Light and bright colors rather than deep or dark?

What about the Style Factor?

Since Rachel has given us permission to create our own Style, I say let’s go with it!  Do you know the types of shoes that best support your style profile – flats, boots, pumps, Mary Janes, platform wedges?  Are your shoe choices comfortable?  Be honest or you will never accomplish the Casual Chic Look, which is built on Style and Comfort.   A recent client and I successfully crafted a 3-week traveling wardrobe built exclusively on style and comfort – it CAN be done!

Spend some time contemplating what makes you happy (style) and what feels good (comfort) in your clothing.  Put your style, next to your comfort and see what happens.  Maybe you need a tweak here and there, but you are on your way to Style and Comfort, no matter your age!

Go ahead, speak YOUR style every time you get dressed.

Love Only

Closet organized by item and color.  Oprah.com

Closet organized by item and color. Oprah.com

Stand in front of your closet.  Take a deep breath and slowly observe everything in front of you. Dresses.  Skirts. Pants.  Shoes.  Scarves.  Everything.  Now pull out ONE article of clothing.  Do you love it?  No, I mean really love it.  Do you look and feel terrific when you wear it?  Your confidence and personal power is palpable when you show up in this garment.  If this describes how you feel about your choice, then Congratulations! you are on the right track with your wardrobe.  Repeat this process with every item in your closet.

For each piece that earns the “wow” or “I love this” response, put it to one side of your closet.  Continue until you have gone through your entire wardrobe.   Tip, the best way to determine how a garment looks on you is to see it in a photo.  Have a friend take photos of you in all the clothing you love.  It will amaze you how much a photo can reveal.

 

Next, take a second, more scrutinizing collective look at the clothes hanging on the “yes” side of your closet.

    • Review the colors that still work for you, even though you’ve changed your hair color.
    • Is the fit still flattering?
    • How is the condition of each garment? Does it need cleaning, repairs or is it just way past its shelf life?
    • What about the style or theme? Does it still express who are are?
    • What about the energy of the garment? Are you holding on for sentimental reasons and it’s just taking up space in your closet?  Did your former boyfriend buy it for you and if he’s no longer around, do you really want to wear this garment?  Yes, sometimes love deserves a second chance, but that’s people, not clothing.

To love every item in your closet, you must put aside the emotions, the financial value and sentiment.  True love is a tall order.  The color, fit, style, fabric, line and design must all be working together to create this fantastic garment that does not upstage you, but highlights you.  That’s love!

What would it be like to feel this way about every article of clothing in your closet?  Imagine waking up each day to a wardrobe that makes you feel Attractive, Confident and Powerful.  A closet where  Love Only  lives.

Should It Stay or Go?  The chart below was featured in the August 2013 edition of InStyle magazine.  It will help you with the process of finding only love in your closet.

I thoroughly enjoy guiding women of all ages through this process of finding true love in their wardrobe.


ShouldItStayOrShouldItGo
 

The Job Interview – Your Age vs. Your Attitude

Job_Interview_borderI recently had dinner with a lovely younger friend who is concerned about maintaining her good looks as she ages. Aren’t we all? We discussed hereditary issues, along with skin care, hair greying prematurely (that means anytime before 80!), health and well-being — all as factors that contribute to our aging well or not.

Tomes have been written about how to manage our aging bodies. What about our attitude, our outlook on life, our thoughts, our energy? How does that effect our aging process or our experiences in life? My friend works in retail and shared a story of a woman she recently spoke with who was 52 years young, looking for an outfit in preparation for a job interview, all the while expressing her doubts about ever finding a job because of her age. Any chance she was “front loading” her experience and could show up for this interview already “believing” that she is too old and won’t be considered? What are the possibilities that her future employer could feel this attitude on the interview? (more…)

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