I'm speaking to high school students in a fashion merchandising class. One of the students in the class does not look happy to be there. With his baseball cap hung low, nearly covering his eyes, and a dark baggy sweatshirt and jeans, he avoids all eye contact. During the presentation, I pass out a blank square of paper and ask the students to write down what they want to communicate before they ever speak a word. "Think of an instance when you want someone to accept your ideas and take action. In one or two words, what do you want that person to know about you?" I say. The students write down one or two key words. Some write words such as capable, successful, creative, confident, a few notes have a dollar sign written on them. When our under enthused student notices that I'm walking around collecting the papers, he quickly grabs a marker from the class marker jar and writes, "I want to look like myself". I'm thrilled! Not only does he write something, but what he writes is exactly what so many people struggle with. In a world of nebulous dress codes, fast fashion, and pressure to look current with quickly changing trends, it can be hard to actually be you and be taken seriously without becoming an imitation of someone else.
Judy Garland said it well....
There's only one you! No one else on the planet will have the same fascinating combination of matter that makes up who you are. The lion in the Wizard of Oz adds richness and variety to the movie because he looks like the lion he is and also the lion he is aspiring to be. Remember the flower pot crown scene? How odd would he feel and act if he were to put on the tin man costume. No way would he look as good as the tin man...and the movie would seem redundant with two of them. Being you can be fabulous, wonderful, powerful and absolutely harmonious. It's not about standing out or getting noticed, this usually ends with you looking silly or like you're trying too hard. No, it's about taking the "uniquely you" features and repeating them in your clothing. Is about learning how to make the elements of design speak for you.
It's those who understand how to look genuine, how to emphasize their eyes and powerful facial features, that will instill immediate confidence in others.
- Dani Slaugh
If my sweatshirt wearing friend holds to his belief in being genuine and becomes confident enough in himself to help others, who knows? Maybe he'll be the kid who comes to the 20 year reunion as a successful CEO who everyone asks, "Is that you? The kid who looked down all the time, hiding under a baseball cap?" Maybe one day he'll see in himself what I see. A lion who's about to take off the hat.
Which is what I love most about my job, the transformation process...watching my people become the very best version of themselves.
It's time to gear up for swimsuit season ladies! But before you add the warpaint, get a spray tan, and starve yourself for 2 weeks just so you can face trying one on, take an objective look at yourself and follow these fitting tips.
1. Bust size – Full-busted women need some extra support. Try under-wire tops or a suit designed for long torsos as your use will take up some of the extra fabric. If you are smaller busted, try a halter neckline or a high boat neck style.
2. Torso - one solid line of color (below left) visually elongates a shorter torso, while two pieces (below right) causes a longer torso to visually appear shorter.
3. Waist size – If you’re wider than you want to be in the waist, look for diagonal stripes, rouching, or color blocking with the dark panel on the outside. Design details like the grommets on the right draw the eye up and around the face while the extra fabric camouflages fullness in the waist.
4. Side thighs - There are two options with this one as well. You can wear a longer swimsuit with a skirt or shorts but also bring the focus up with design contrast on the top half with darker, duller colors on the bottom.
Floating in water is calming, almost euphoric to some, it's definitely my happy place. What you put on your body should put you in the mood for the mental rest that's sure to come. When you learn how to dress for your shape, and confront those troubled areas head on, you'll be on your way to a vacation just by donning your swimsuit.
Not sure how this applies to you specifically? Let's talk fabulous fit! Get more information HERE.
There are so many questions about sleeve lengths. “How do I know if the sleeves are too long, too short? Should I roll them up, leave them down, or just wear short sleeves to avoid the issue all together?” You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers….
How do I know if the sleeves are too long, too short?
A long sleeve length should end at the wrist bone when the arm is bent (at the base of the pinky/ring fingers). The shirt sleeve cuff should show 1/2” below a jacket sleeve. The cuff should also touch or cover your watch whenever you wear it. Wearing it too long, may appear childish, as if you're wearing your dad's shirt that you haven't quite grown into. Too short, and you may communicate a lack of attention to detail as if you've outgrown your clothes and haven't bothered to replace them with the correct size. Yes, you could roll the sleeves up but if you're investing in a good quality dress shirt you want it to be as versatile as possible. You'll want the option of a proper fitting sleeve.
You may already have a preference on this, if not, it’s helpful to understand the message communicated by each one. In general, the more skin you show, the more casual the message becomes. Short-sleeved sport shirts may appear more youthful, more approachable and relaxed because the more skin you show, the more casual the message becomes. The long sleeved version may have a more refined appearance, communicating knowledge, experience, and leadership. (Of course the color, fabric and pattern will also influence the message conveyed.)
Fashion forward short sleeves will have 1” or less of ease around the bicep and end 2-3" above the elbow. This creates a fuller, more athletic appearing bicep. Sleeves in the image below are longer and more traditional, better suited for a boxier shirt shape.
Cuff your sleeves 1-2” wide and roll anywhere from 2” below the elbow to just above the elbow. Fabric generally gets too bulky to roll up to the bicep, unless it’s extremely light-weight. For the relaxed 50s look, pictured above, higher is better. Or roll up the sleeves on the short sleeve shirt.
Short sleeve? Long sleeve? Not sure how persuasive you’ll need to be that day? When in doubt, go for the long sleeve and roll up the sleeves to relax the look when needed. Notice that an unbuttoned collar also visually relaxes the appearance as opposed to the collar buttoned up to the neck. (See images above.) Yes, clothing communicates before you even say word. To get your specific non-verbal communication strategy that will lead to your version of success, contact me HERE.
Did you have the same tradition I did growing up? A new dress for all the girls on Easter? Although matching my two sisters is something I wasn't so keen on... and probably influenced my need for a style all my own.... I still love buying a new dress on Easter. But dresses can be so hard to find when you have to have one! Don't worry, I've got your back on this one. Check out my Spring Dress Guide for a dress sure to fit your figure, personal style and coloring HERE.
Hangers: Good quality hangers will keep your clothing investment looking better longer. Avoid plastic tubular hangers that stretch your clothes. Hang sweaters by folding the sweater up the center and draping it over the hanger, near the hook, between the sleeve and side of the sweater.
Shoes: Reconsider where you put your shoes, a high shelf may be the best place for your tall boots. Cut a foam swim noodle the same height as the boot and insert into the boot to help retain its’ shape.
Jewelry: Keep your jewelry in the closet with your clothing, if possible. Put earrings, necklaces, rings, etc., in a plastic zip lock bag, poke a hole in it, and hang it over the hanger with the outfit or cluster it works with. Or maximize your wall space by creating a jewelry board. Take foam core, cut it to size, cover it with muslin, and hot glue the fabric to the back. Nail jewelry board to the wall and use straight pins (as for sewing) to hang necklaces, earrings, and bracelets according to color.
Lighting: Good lighting is essential and often overlooked in the closet. If lighting is dim, replace the bulb with a high wattage option and use the eco-friendly dim bulb to add“ambiance”in the living room.
Looking to add an extra half hour to your day? With a professional wardrobe evaluation you'll experience efficiency that puts time back on your side!
Summer seems oh so far away! And so does that healthy sun-kissed complexion. Before choosing a bronzer or contouring makeup that leaves you looking unnatural, try a nice blush. Blush adds warm color to the cheeks and imparts a healthy glow to your whole face. After all, who doesn't love a rosy glow, a pinkish hue? We all know how George Costanza from Seinfeld feels about it. (Video below.)
Draw attention up to your eyes, emphasize your eye color, and create illusions about your defined facial contours with blush. Here’s what to look for and how it’s done:
To learn more about practical make-up ideas check out the Make-down, Make-up, Make-over session HERE.
Seinfeld's Costanza describes the rosy glow on his ideal girl in the Fix-Up Clip here:
Written by Dani Slaugh, Style By Dani and Judith Rasband, Conselle
What are you wearing on Valentine's Day? Some say "Pink is the color of love", but not all pinks are created equal. Too bright and you risk looking like Barbie or Ken, too dull, and the pale zombies may emerge. Finding the perfect blend of a warmly subdued pink, that warms up the cheeks and draws attention to the lips is the ultimate goal here. Find that pink blush that's a titch on the orange side without looking like peach and you'll nail it. Think fabulous sunset pink, what could be more lovely than that?
Here are a few of my picks for getting in a lovely mood for Valentine's Day. Ladies first...
And now for the guys...
Pair your blush pink with black, shades of gray, herringbone or even burgundy for an unexpected twist.
Check out my catalog for more ideas HERE.
For more personalized style advice, I'm just a click away.
Not enough pink for you? Here's my favorite sunset pink kinda song....
You have to wear clothes, it’s an innate basic physiological need. The reality show, Naked and Afraid, is based on stripping people of this basic human need. The first thing many contestants do is find shelter, water and something to cover their skin. Your clothing, your second skin, is vital to your everyday function both physically and emotionally. Leading us to another basic human need, the social need for love, appreciation and acceptance.
When was the last time you were complimented on your appearance? Has it been a while? After the job interview, my client said this...
“Nailed it. Seriously. First time ever…after the interview…he asked me how many kids I had. He said WOW. You look good :) No one has ever told me I look good in a job interview.”
For this particular client, getting dressed in the morning was the most depressing part of his day. How sad! Because it’s how every one of us begins the day. Why start it off feeling depressed by the drab, faded, dated, clothes that don’t fit you? When you could start your day off being excited because you love how you’re going to look and feel that day. This is not superficial fluff here! It doesn’t take loads of time or money. Like most things worth doing, you just need to learn the process.
Step 1 Know what works for you - with clear guidelines based on your shape, personally color, and personal style. Not entirely based on current trends, but with enough variety and precision to identify the “oh so you” styles as they change. Clearly define what works for you in one-on-one personalized sessions for women/men or a group workshop.
Step 2 Half yearly wardrobe evaluation - much better than going to the dentist! But if you let it go too long, you’ll begin to feel the pain. In subtle ways at first, such as feeling a little self-conscious or being completely overlooked instead of complimented versus feeling confident and able to look outside of yourself to help others. Do it yourself with these guidelines or schedule a few hours with a pro.
Step 3 Shopping - create a list of gaps in your wardrobe during the wardrobe evaluation. (You know, the top to go with the two pairs of pants that you have nothing to wear with. Based on the cluster guidelines.) Keep this handy, on you phone, for example. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a store with a great sale. Having that list will help you stay focused on building a quality wardrobe instead of contributing to the unworn impulse buy pile you’ll be donating next time you clean out your closet.
Start your new day and new year, because each day is the beginning of another year, feeling energized by making one simple tweak to your morning routine. Understand what it feels like to finally say to yourself, “I love getting dressed in the morning!”
(Cue the Spice Girls) Now that the mayhem of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has passed, it’s your chance to contemplate the real spirit of Christmas and the gifting that is a lovely part of it all. When I think back on the best gifts, those that I have both given and received, a few things stand out. There was a personal touch, the gift wasn’t absent-mindedly purchased because it was a Black Friday special. The gift truly enhanced life and was often an experience, something that loved one and I could do together. With that in mind, I give you three special ways to give the gift that they will not only cherish, but put to good use.
One of my all time favorite Christmas gifts! Every month Dani gives me new ideas for what to wear, inspiring me to wear more of what I already own in new ways. Plus she helps me understand what to buy and why it works for my figure and coloring. I save time in the morning because my outfits are already planned out. Awesome for a busy mom like me! - Lauren Hoyt
WHY SHOULD YOU GET THEM A PERSONAL STYLIST THIS HOLIDAY?
Because eventually they'll need another hair cut, manicure or pedicure. The Christmas sweater will one day become old news. But the education they gain about themselves and their wardrobe will continue giving year in and year out. Their reaction to this gift is guaranteed to be "YES!"
CALL/TEXT 385.229.6297 OR E-MAIL DANI@STYLEBYDANI.COM
Boot weather is here. I'm sure you’ve already pulled out your favorite pair. Yes, the ones that are oh so comfortable all day long. Are you looking for new, slimming ways to wear them? Or a new pair to add to your Christmas list? Behold the possibilities that follow! And don’t forget to check out my top boot picks at the end.
Wear with pants that reach the top of the boot to create a longer visual line and elongate the leg.
Avoid gaps between the hem of the pants and top of boots that create a horizontal focal point and visually shorten the leg.
Wear shorter skirts and dresses, knee length and above. If there is more space between the boot and hem, legs appear longer.
Avoid mid-length skirts that end at the widest part of the calve. Unless, of course, your calves are modelesc and could use a little filling out.
Wear longer skirts and dresses that reach the top of the boot and give the appearance of longer legs.
Wear with fitted jeans to minimize hip curve. The weight of the boots create a focal point on the boots and away from the hips.
Wear with mid-length skirts, dresses and culottes. The clothing silhouette becomes dominant and camouflages the widest part of the calve. Shorter skirts will have a similar effect if the boots are the same color as the stockings.
Avoid short skirts with bare legs or mis-matched stockings. The socks, or the pasty white knees, become the focus, shortening the length of the leg.
Knee & Over the Knee Boots
Wear with fitted pants. Choose those that are the same degree of lightness or darkness in color as the boots and have no contrasting pattern. You may also want to add a longer jacket to camouflage any hip curve.
Wear with a shorter skirt and/or long jacket that reaches the top of the boot. The long vertical line of the boot transitions seamlessly to the garment above creating a long-looking leg.
Wear with longer skirts, below the knee, and high-low skirts…my personal favorite.
Looking to pick up your next favorite pair of boots you’ll want to wear all day long? Check out my boot guide below.
Still not sure how to make your boots work for you? Stop wondering…
Image consultant and personal stylist. Dani is happily married, the mother of 3 hip kids, and owner of an young pup named Josie Wales.