Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How to lose 5 kg by changing your hem length

This post is based on the assumption that you want to look taller & slimmer & not shorter & fatter.

If that’s true, keep reading.

The pants from this catalogue show the SS 2013/14 Andiamo Clothing basics range. Andiamo has been doing these cuts for forever. Perfect actually, because there is something for everyone.

I picked up the hard copy of this catalogue today from Corfu Blue in Beecroft. It struck me as a terrific learning tool about the impact of hem lengths. Why? Because it shows the same style/shape of pants on the same model with the same shoes & same other clothes.  That makes it easy to compare the impact of various lengths.  Its what scientists love to call a control environment or “all other things being equal”.

WHY? The unbroken line of the pant leg all the way to the foot creates the strongest vertical eye movement.

WHY? The pant hem cuts horizontally close to the widest point of the calf creating a strong fattening line. Plus, the shoe ankle strap creates a second strong fattening line. The more places you break the leg line, the fatter & shorter you will look. That's a promise.

Notice also it’s the only photo where the model has turned 30 degrees and isn’t facing the front.  I think that’s deliberate because a front shot will always make you look wider than an angled shot.

WHAT ABOUT #2, #3 and #4?
The closer you bring the pant hem to the foot, the more continuous & unbroken the leg line looks - hence the more slimming. So #4 is more slimming than #3 which is more slimming than #2.


Change the style
Obviously everyone has a different body shape – so selecting a different leg style (skinny, wide, boot) can and will make a different impact to the Andiamo classic cut shown here.

Change the brand 
Of course, one brand’s classic may not have the same impact as another brand’s classic.

Remove horizontal straps 
If you wear shoes without a horizontal ankle strap is a high contrast colour, then you will look taller & thinner.  In fact this applies to any horizontal straps and even more so if they are in contrast colours to your skin/clothes.

Change the colour
If you wear a shoe in a colour close to the colour of the hem of your skirt or pants, then you will look taller & thinner.

Go nude
If you wear a nude shoe, then you will look taller & thinner. Make sure nude is as close to your skin colour as possible for maximum impact.

Go for heels
Heels will make you look slimmer & taller than flats.

Go for pointy toes 
Pointy toes will make you looks slimmer & taller than round toes.

Go for a short vamp 
A short vamp will make you look slimmer & taller than a long vamp. Wide feet beware.

Go for a cut out side
Cut out sides (D'Orsay style) are often more flattering & leg lengthening than a shoe with high sides. Wide feet beware. 

Try ons are a must 
Ultimately you need to try on & compare & to do this in one session so that all other things remain equal.

Friday, October 25, 2013

10 Ways with Ear Cuffs

You may be shaking your head now, but these babies have become mainstream.

What's your ear cuff style?

1. Sleeper rings

2. Chains

3. The hobby

4. The ring

5. The bow

6. Botanical

7. Minimalist

8. Spikes

9. Bling

10. Medieval

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shopping: The sweet bliss of UNSCATHED

SIA has always loved the buzz of shopping. Forget the beach or the snow or the bush. She's an indoors gal and the mall was always her favourite place to go & not because of the movies or other entertainment which it includes. Mind you when she was a nipper, malls didn’t have all that entertainment they do these days – they only had shops. Hard core shops. And that’s what she liked.

The thrill of the shop (using the word as a verb here) is always a buzz. When the SA wraps the item in tissue, puts it in the bag & gives it to you. It’s a rush, a high and as any addict will tell you, its just wonderful.

But ever since I started to "get" the fashion flattery stuff – colour, cut, fabric & proportion, I have gotten a really perverse sense of PEACE every time I walk out of a shop UNSCATHED.

Unscathed means resisting buying something which I touched, tried on or twirled in. Yes, I twirl, but when I do it outside the fitting room, it means the item follows me home. In the fitting room? Generally it stays on the rack.

And its never been about the money. Not that I have bucket loads, but I do subscribe to the theory that if you REALLY want it, you'll find a way to make it happen by re-prioritising other stuff, like food, rent, electricity, petrol, holidays and other small bits & pieces which are after all, just incidental to life.

Unscathed means I figure out WHY something is WRONG so that the LOGICAL side of me takes over from the HEART side, sufficiently that the item stays on the rack. The colour makes me look ill – why would I want to look ill? It has too many horizontal lines which make me look fat. And short. Why do I want to look fat & short? Its too directional. Why do I want a one season wonder when my whole ethos is about investment dressing? It doesn’t fit me well even though it’s of great quality & a bargain – why do I want to buy something that needs such a massive overhaul in alterations? If I buy it, I would need to buy bag/shoes/bling to wear with it because its not in my normal colour palette – so when I factor the extras, its double the price. No, no, no, no & no.

Unscathed gives you a terrific sense of closure - as long as you already have some basics in the wardrobe and arent walking around naked. In day time. Its about no longer losing sleep over something. Its about wishing that the item goes to a good home that will love it and knowing that wont be you.

Unscathed is about holding off looking OK (now) because you value look amazing (soon in the future).

99% of the time I am world class Olympic gold medal at unscathed.

I did fail once last week (still have to tell you about that…).

Today I got 2 more medals in unscathed.

UNSCATHED MEDAL #1: This Trenery shirt

I already have the Trenery shirt – looks like a school shirt but is sooo me in a crisp cotton poplin. Now that its on sale ($90 to $60), I was contemplating a back up. 

But instead of being my best white (stark), it is slightly off white – but so slightly, that I didn’t realize when I bought it. Now, I am not slipping – well, sort of. Its just that none of the white shirts in the store at the time were whiter – so I assumed it was stark white. Plus I was in a hurry. That doesn’t help. Oops.

I wore it today with a vibrant Hermes scarf which was 110% in my colours, so all was good with the world. 

But a back up? I realized that it isn’t appropriate if the colour isn’t spot on perfect. A back up has to be 100% perfect for you. Otherwise you end up with a so-so wardrobe times two because not only is the main not prefect, so too is the back up.

Maybe if it was $30. Hahaha. Just kidding. Not.

UNSCATHED MEDAL #2: This Zara top

I had saved this Zara picture from the US site many months ago. Because I loved it. 90s grunge in a 2013 mix. How could one not love it? 

Today I saw it at Zara in Bondi Junction. So I grabbed both available sizes for a try on. So excited. My dream top. 

As soon as one went over my head, I looked in the mirror & felt like dialing for an ambulance. Hospital colour.
Specifically, the maroon is a hospital colour for me as it is a burgundy with yellow mixed in. Burgundy likes me. Yellow does not. Hence maroon does not.

Being unscathed can be very liberating & not just on the purse.
Understanding what doesn’t work (& why) simply helps you make better decisions going forward.

Have you had any unscathed shopping incidents lately?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Shopping - How SIA's brain works.

It constantly surprises me that readers want to hear what I am thinking. 

Not what I am thinking about a question they asked.

But rather what I am thinking about my own choices, my own opinions and ideas.

Its a good thing I dont tell them about all the voices in my head: "buy it", "dont buy it", "maybe it'll work" etc etc. 

Here is a sample of what went on today. In my head.

Bear in mind that I need nothing. Everything is a want.

I already have a million striped tees in every remotely nautical colourway, fabric & style ever imaginable. 

And then some.

Apart from some insight into the fashion voices in my head, you may get some value from this post if you have similar colouring to me. I have darkest hair, very fair skin and light blue eyes. My undertones are cool. Under most colour analysis, I am somewhere between a winter & a summer. Specifically I used to be a winter and my colouring has softened as I have gotten older (this is not unusual) into a summer palette. 

That means my colours remain cool but while I used to wear striking jewel colours fabulously (burgundy, cobalt, emerald, fuchsia, black), now, these colours are too strong for me. I look infinitely better in rasberry red, cornflower blue, mint green, rose pink and navy (never black).

Never have I been able to wear browns, yellows, creams, citric shades and that has never changed. These are all warm shades and they are all hospital colours for me. Meaning when I wear them, someone calls for an ambulance because I look ill.  

So here are the options which caught my eye.

First stop, Trenery.

At Trenery this one jumped up at me & did a dance. In neon with flashing lights. I loved the fabric which was thicker than most high street linens. 

$60, 90% linen, 10% nylon
I loved the colour named seafoam (more pale turquoise than aqua) and the contrast band which looked like a watermelon - but when you look at the overall item, it was almost turning a rust shade.  

Verdict: No
Why? I could live with the seafoam even though I know I look better in aqua (blues) than turquoises (green).
What I couldnt live with was the contrast band turning rusty. It was such a strong colour & it was just reflecting off my face & it wasnt a pretty sight.

What about its sister tee?

This baby was overall too pale for me, even though I liked the seafoam contrast neckline. In this case, because the neckline was a soft colour & such a small part of the tee, the rest of the item took over. I have pale skin & dark hair - so when a pale colour takes over, I run in the other direction.

Next one which caught my eye?

Trenery, $50, 100% cotton

White with red spots & a taupe ribbon finish. Gorgeous in reality - the photo does it no justice. But again too pale & too pale combined with taupe near the face just makes me look ill.

Always on the look out for blue tees....& linen is my fave tee fabric.

Trenery have a range of linen tees, including one in baby blue. Shoulders, sleeves, neckline, hemline, everything was good. But for some reason I wasnt doing cartwheels.

Trenery, $50, 90% linen & 10% nylon

Then I spotted its cousin plain blue tee, an almost identical colour but in a cotton/elastene fabric.

The web shows them as different shades of baby blue, but they are not - they are virtually identical. 

Trenery, $35, cotton/elastene

So I put one over one shoulder & the other over the other shoulder. The impact was instant. The cotton tee had a clear even colour by virtue of the weave. The linen was mottled & muted. Same colours - but different depth. 

So whilst the linen colour was great, when I compared it to something better, in a clear version of the same hue, it didnt rate for my wardrobe.

So next was a trip to Sussan, as you do...or as I do....

This "aquamarine" linen tee said "hello" to me. Nice cut, shoulders, hemline, sleeves etc.
But I decided it was too green for me. As a cool toned girl, I wear blues well. If you add yellow to blue & start the journey to aqua, then to aquamarine then to turquoise, I am best stopping at aqua.

Sussan, $50, 100% linen

On the same table at Sussan, was this 100% linen tee in a stripe. 

Sussan, $60, 100% linen

The orange & the pale colours didnt do me any favours & the cobalt certainly wasnt bright nor had enough coverage to look good on me.

And a swing by Target before going home, as you do......

This Hot Options baby was on the web - I havent seen it in real life yet....but noticing some similarities with Sussan...

Target, Hot Options, $20, 100% cotton

Target also had a beautiful marine blue tee in a lightweight polyester. The listing called it a "box tee". I think it was $29.

In reality, the tee was very long in the body & boxy. No wonder its called a box tee even though it has no boxes. Not flattering. But nice on the hanger. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

The smartest floral dress ever.

A very smart plus size dress at Target, $50.
Available now.

1. In daily life, a dark background always looks more expensive than a light background.

2. Add a mid size floral in bright colours & it can suit any body type.

3. Ensure it has fluttery sleeves which cover our jiggly bits.

4. The scoop neckline will suit both big & small boobs.

5. There is no definite waist, merely 2 pieces of fabric sewn on each side to act as belt loops. These can be unstitched & re-sewn depending on whether you are short or long waisted. 

6. The self belt can be replaced by a classy leather belt.

7. The skirt is made up of soft pleats which ease over lumps & bumps & dont add bulk. 

8. Its fully lined.

9. Its 100% polyester so its easy care.

10. A floral dress is a summer staple.

Available in sizes 16 to 26.

Run, dont walk.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

10 Ways with Hair & Ribbon = Pretty

1. The high end 
(a) twilly scarf

The high end
(b) silk twill scarf

2. The high end packaging ribbon

 3. Simple & braided

4. The genuine hair bow

 5. The ribbon half braid

6. The loose bun

7. The bold bun & bold ribbon

8. The messy pony 
(a) low

The messy pony
(b) high

9. The ribbon thread

Using a metallic lace ribbon

10. The Blair Waldorf

10 Ways with Black Dresses for Everyday

1. The Wrap dress 

Always appropriate

 2. The tee shirt dress

Girly? or street?
Black doesnt tend to be a bohemian colour but if you want street cred rather than girly, style the soft tee dress with boots & some serious metal hardware. 

3. The pleated dress

This style looks fantastic with a tan belt
& either a tan bag or tan shoes.
Short versions are terrific for petite figures.

Here's the tan accessories.

A more structured version becomes a bit dressier.

4. Waisted with fitted torso

 5. 50s style

Love a low front & halter style

A modern dress in a 50s style.

6. Lace

Lace tends to be dressy, so if you want it for a
casual dress, try cotton broderie or small sections of lace trim.

7. Sculptural 

Roland Mouret's Galaxy dress - perfect for busty girls

RM by Roland Mouret Moon dress - perfect for the not so busty girl who wants a hit of Roland

8. Super modern

graphics and modern prints

cut outs

exposed mid riff McQueen

& then there's Anna

9. Pinafore style

 10. Long & loose

As long as you have height - you'll find a way to pull this off,
either with or without a belt.

The peasant style dresses it down, but the accessories can amp it up.

PS: Cant wear black near your face like 50% of women who are fair? 
Then try navy, charcoal, bottle green, maroon - anything dark which will give you the same slimming effect.