After speaking at a conference on Friday, I was approached by a man who was in the audience. He was in the minority in this particular meeting and the presentation had been focused more on the hundred or so women there. He had been standing up in the back of the room the whole time. He looked like someone in charge, he was dressed more formally than the other men there, wearing a sport coat and dress shirt. So I was expecting some kind of reprimand for something...although I wasn't sure what. Changing my clothes on stage maybe? Discussing what the word casual really means in the dictionary? Or my high school friend's experience with ripped jeans? But no, I was pleasantly surprised when he said he resonated with my message. Straight out of college, he began working for the D.A.'s office. In his first meeting with the office staff, wearing his pressed shirt, tie and jacket, he was met with comments like "check out the new guy" and "you must be new here". Everyone is the room wore cotton knit polo shirts and khaki pants. For this young straight outta college kid, a jacket and tie were his way of looking more mature and capable despite his young age. He kept on with this look because as he said, "I have always looked younger than I am. Others take me more seriously when I dress up." Within the year, he was put on the D.A.'s close team, promoted over the knit polos in the conference room. He had no idea what he was doing, but learned fast and became the D.A.'s right hand man. Despite the lack of experience, his appearance instilled confidence in others who felt he must be capable. He learned at a young age how a jacket can expand your visual boundaries and create a more professional, "I'm serious about my job" appearance...aka street cred. Are you looking for an update in the jacket department? Here you have my top picks for jackets this Fall with a more relaxed style: (See the complete catalog for women here and men here.)
There's more where this came from. See the full catalog women here and men here. Looking for something other than a jacket to boost your image? How about a custom, unbiased approach? Let's chat!
I'll be the first to admit that make-up is not my first love. Yet there was always that lady with the 60's era blue eye shadow, working at the grocery store, to remind me that make-up is as trendy as clothes. And the last thing I wanted was to be was stuck in time by my stagnant face paint. The truth is that make-up can be as classic as clothing. Learning what works for your facial features and personal coloring will never go out of style, unlike the blue shadow. (And yes, it's gone and we're not bringing it back...for good reason.) My job, as your personal stylist, is to save you from being a fashion victim. And I don't take my job lightly. I'm also relying on you to spread the word. You may have a friend or family member who is at high risk of falling into said traps. You have been warned...the following are likely to be the millennial version of "stuck in the 60's" blue eye shadow.
Lash extensions can be just the ticket for fuller, longer lashes. If you're up for the monthly maintenance, then go for it. But don't take a break from mascara all together. The bottom lashes need to be anchored with a little mascara to balance the weight of top-heavy lashes in order to create a reasonably natural appearance. You wouldn't frame the top half of a painting, why frame only the top of your eye? The result looks off somehow. Instead of noticing the brilliant color of the eye, we focus on the visual confusion. We may even envision a heavy black butterfly that's about to fly off your eyelid. Eek! The solution is simple, apply mascara to the bottom lashes when wearing lash extensions and create a visually pleasing appearance.
I spent 45 minutes having my make-up done with this lovely make-up artist for a photo shoot. With an array of colors in dozens of round pods she would switch from this pod to that one, then change brushes and add something else. She would spray a misty something every now and then to set it all perfectly and start again. I was feeling like I should be looking very made up. After all that effort, my eyes looked very natural, a little too natural. There was no visible shadow, it was nude colored shadow. Is that like the invisible gold threads in the Emperor's New Clothes? What's the point of applying eyeshadow to make your eyes look like there's no shadow on them? Why spend 45 minutes fussing over my eyes to make them look the same as they did after I washed my face this morning? And no, the nude shadow did not enhance my facial features. My smallish eyes seemed to fade into oblivion. Dark / light contrast is vital to creating the illusion of larger eyes. If you want your eyes to appear bigger, a duller, darker shadow does the trick. The basic laws of artistic design come into play here. The rule of simultaneous contrast tells us the dark colors make light colors look lighter and advance or appear larger. When we wear darker shadow, hence the name "shadow", the lights of your eyes appear even lighter, they appear to advance and look bigger. Notice the image below, our model has nude colored shadow on the left and soft brown on the right. In which picture do her eyes appear larger and brighter?
Heavy, dark eyebrows have been in the Pinterest spotlight of late. Fashion magazine models are also celebrated for having thicker eyebrows. Should you adopt this trend? Many of us don't have a choice in a naturally bushy brow, but we can choose the brow shape, its outline and how much to fill it in. Here in lies the trap. Draw in an outline too big to be within any realm of natural and the appearance is fake and greasy. Leave out the arch and we risk looking angry.
Creating visual harmony and balance in your make-up and hair is as important as it is in your clothing. Your face is the "money-maker" after all, according to Ashton Kutcher in Cheaper By Dozen. Don't ignore it and definitely don't overdo it and you may escape this decade looking classy, fabulous and oh so you!
Wondering how to make the most of your facial features? Book your Fresh Face & Hair session here. We'll also discuss best hair styling ideas and glasses for your face shape.
Looking for hand picked clothing selected just for you? Your shape, coloring, and personal style?
Do You Have a Pair Of These? Formerly white, currently yellow soled...because you love to wear them so much...shoes? Here's how to clean them.
Do you have a pair of shoes with white soles? That magical combination of dressy shoe top meets comfy sneaker bottom? They come in so many different varieties. Gold on the top for women and classic brogues for men. These shoes are the perfect double threat of classy meets comfort. The problem can be the white sole. If you wear them often, the edges of the sole tend to turn brownish yellow and destroy the sharp looking image entirely.
An efficient way to clean them is to put a little Comet and water on an old toothbrush and scrub around the white edges, careful not to touch the leather or canvas, which may cause discoloration. White clean with a sponge. Looking to pick up a pair of these snappy looking shoes? Now is a great time to find them on sale. Here are a few choices...
This is the time to shop for summer clothes on sale. Go through your clusters in your closet and write down what you're missing in order to have a nice functional cluster/group of clothes. (Get the process here.) Then start shopping! Of course I'm happy to guide you, talk you through what's working, what isn't and why and give you new mind blowing style ideas perfect for you unique figure type, coloring, and personal style.
Who doesn't like to capture happy moments? The phrase, "take a picture, it lasts longer" came from somewhere, after all, but it's true. When you're enjoying yourself, you want it to last forever. Maybe that's why we take a picture, write about it, or paint it. It really does last longer. And it's often the memories that were recorded in photos that tend to stand out the most, there may be a scent or a song that brings back a memory, but more often than not, it's an image. Maybe that's why Mom and Grandma were so pushy about having family pictures taken. I have to admit, those planned photos were not my favorite. But now that I have growing children of my own, who will soon be leaving, I understand how these people become my happy moment that I want to keep close. So I have become the pushy mom and will one day be the pushy grandma yelling to gather everyone for family pictures. Whether it's a family photo, you may or may not be excited about, or you discover an artsy wall downtown, or a breathtaking waterfall off the beaten path, here are 5 ways to look your best as you capture that happy moment.
While some men might wish they had a more comfortable chair to sit in, a.k.a. Jerry McGuire's father, most men I know wish they had more comfortable shoes. Based on my client focus group these are by far the most comfortable shoes they have ever worn - the kind you can wear all day on the concrete floor of a convention center without your feet screaming for mercy at the end of the day. I've put them into two categories: on the casual side - meaning wear them with anything from shorts, to jeans, to khakis (I highly recommend the Lululemon variety), and on the dressy side - meaning wear them with suits, trousers, nice jeans and khakis (again the Lululemon variety never fails.) Oh and did I mention that most of them are on sale at Nordstrom's for their half-yearly sale? Which means great quality, easy returns and you better pick them up quick before they're out of your size.
Wondering how to style these bad boys? I'm just a click away!
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.
Image consultant and personal stylist. Dani is happily married, the mother of 3 charming children, and an Aussie named Josie Wales.