Ask me about my top ten childhood moments of drama and my answer will likely include family photos. The pressure for everyone to wear matching colors when the person choosing the colors has vastly different taste, looks, and personal style. Color schemes are pulled from midair and look good on maybe one person in the group - but not everyone - and the color I'm assigned to wear doesn't fit well in the clothes I have in that color. Instead of feeling fabulous and smiling like a movie star, I'm left feeling like my personal expression has been completely stifled for the sake of the group photo, the photo that will grace the wall with my presence for years to come. Maybe that's why it took ten tries to get a good photo of me. Sound familiar? Now that my job (aka professional stylist) includes choosing clothes for joyous family photo moments, here are a few golden tips I have learned to have your photos not only turn out lovely but also preserve each family member's version of personal expression.
1. Know what the photo shoot location looks like. What are the colors in your background? Which do you want to emphasize? When you repeat these colors in the clothing, you will also highlight them and your people in the photo will become more in harmony with the surroundings. We knew this photo would be taken at sunset and chose to focus on the pinks, blues and dark greys. (Favorite colors of each family member.) It was helpful to have a photo in advance to know which colors to work with.
2. Find a patterned inspiration piece - a print, stripe, or plaid that includes a color scheme. The ideal inspiration piece will have a color in your home’s decor, where you will put said portrait, and/or the colors in the background of your photo, and should be enjoyed by the wearer. The color schemes for the examples below happen to both be inspired by the mother's scarf. (Yes, the inspiration piece can be something other than a scarf.) In this case, the scarves are very different from each other, and both contain colors from the background, the people and even the dogs. Who knew?
3. Choose clothing colors that have the same colors in common with your inspiration piece. These pieces of clothing should reflect the personality of the person wearing them, to a degree, or they may look and feel grumpy wearing them for the picture. (Not ideal.) They don't all have to be solid colors, hello creative expression. Mixing patterns is more advanced however, check out my guide to mixing patterns HERE.
4. Create your ideal figure when you opt for more fitted clothing for a slimming look and less fitted to fill out or enlarge. We come in many different shapes and sizes after all. Keep in mind that dark, dull, and cool colors tend to minimize and fade into the background while light, bright, and warm colors will appear to advance and maximize the place you put them. If you want your hips to look slimmer, put the dark, dull, cool color on your hips. If you want the adorable little girl/boy to stand out, put the light, bright, warm color on him/her. Tie the light, bright, warm color back into your look by putting it in a place you wish to emphasize.
5. Plan your outfits, don’t forget the accessories. The more time you give yourself, the less stressed you’ll be when the big day finally arrives. It helps to lay the clothes and accessories out on the floor, scarecrow style, to see how they all fit together.
6. It's also helpful to consider where your picture will be placed in your home. “Since a few of these photos will most likely be hanging in your home and on display for a long time, make sure that the clothing you select blends with the color scheme of your home.” Thank you Shutterfly for this tip.
Does the task of choosing clothes for your family photo op still seem daunting? Click below to take the stress out of family photos and truly enjoy your photo perfect memories.
Looking Portrait Perfect In Your Face Mask - How to Look Lovely In This (HOpefully) Trendy Accessory
Apparently this whole mask thing is here to stay. For better or for worse, it's time. Time for a little face mask enlightenment. Time to embrace this unfortunate masked experience that has become a reality and time to be as portrait perfect as the Mona Lisa in our masks. Like it or not, your mask now says something about you and can enhance or take away from your lovely visual appearance. With kids going back to school and many returning to a hybrid virtual/in person work environment it's time to educate. While masks can be a fun way to express yourself, they can also detract attention away from you, making it difficult for others to focus on what you have to say. Here's how to bring the focus back to you and look good doing it.
1. Match the color of the mask to what you're wearing - pretty simple when your mask and clothing are exactly the same color or pattern.
2. Coordinate the pattern in the mask to your clothing - a more advanced technique but I believe in you. This trick to pulling this off is to (a) choose patterns that have one or more colors in common and (b) select only one strong pattern, then a softer – more subtle – pattern, so that the scale of the patterns don't compete with each other. In the example below, the mask and top have red and white in common. The mask is a larger scale, stronger pattern, with the top as a smaller scale, less strong pattern.
3. Repeat your hair color in your mask. Fairly simple, unless you're unsure about your hair coloring in which case an in-person or virtual brilliant color session is in order.
4. Repeat your eye color in your mask which is a great way to bring the focus to your eyes for better visual communication. Again, fairly simple unless you're unsure about your eye color in which case an in-person or virtual brilliant color session is in order.
You now have the creative tools to make your face mask work for you. I realize that sometimes it may be all you can do to just have a face mask in public places. If that's you, great. Honestly, I used to be that way...until I saw my husband wearing a lavender mask (you know every Kindergarten girl's favorite color). That's when I realized it's time to speak up. Face masks are not an expensive accessory, and are much more easily available. There's no excuse to wear masks that make you look silly or anything but YOU. I haven't met anyone who loves wearing a mask, tbh they're the lemons. I'm here to help you make the lemonade. Click below to get options for masks perfect for you.
It's summer. It's hot. There's a pandemic. You're not seeing as many people in person. So who cares about what you wear? Maybe no one. But you do. Think about it. If you were to switch wardrobes with your neighbor, and could only wear their clothes, would you feel like your normal self? Of course not. It would be comical really. The clothes wouldn't fit right, the patterns would be off - not like your favorites, colors would be too bright or too blah, and when you put them on you just feel like something's off. Kind of like dressing during Covid. How has the pandemic affected your clothing choices? Maybe you haven't switched wardrobes with your neighbor, but you may have put on some weight and the clothes aren't fitting right. Maybe you've gotten so used to comfy athleisure styles that you've forgotten how nice it feels to get dressed up, losing an aspect of who you are, and becoming much more one-dimensional in the process. The truth is, what you wear truly does affect how you feel about yourself. How has your Covid clothing choices affected your mental health? With so many things beyond our control right now, what you wear and how it makes you feel is one of the few things you can control. So I'm giving you three ways to get out of the Covid style rut and enhance your mood using something as simple as your clothing.
1. Start your Style File using Pinterest or your online closet (which you most certainly have if you've work with me in the past). Never underestimate the power of envisioning how you want to look and who you want to be, even if the next couple of months are uncertain. Using a few online tools is a great way to collect images of how you see your future self with or without the Covid restrictions.
2. Create at least three different looks with some of your favorite standbys. You might try a different accessory, a different color combination, a new look in layering pieces. Be creative and have fun.
3. For a period of one week, put together a different look with your clothes and try to project a different image each day. Forget trying out styles you obviously don’t like or obviously don’t fit.
With a bit of self analysis you'll become more in tune with your personal style and confident creating the image you've dreamed of. And of course I'm here to assist you, in person or virtually, my mission in life is to help you look and feel like a million bucks no matter what you're doing.
Get out of your style rut and feel amazing again with the help of a pro. Your very own image consultant is just a click away.
CALL/TEXT 385.229.6297 OR E-MAIL DANI@STYLEBYDANI.COM
Tips above have been inspired by Judith Rasband, Conselle Institute of Image Management.
1. Wearing Dad jeans
Please don't! Mom jeans may be making a come-back but sorry, it's not happening with Dad jeans. That's not to say you should adopt a Jonas brother style skinny jean or a rock-a-billy rhinestone studded jean. Like dogs, well fitting jeans are a dad's best friend. Here's what to look for.
WRONG. There's power in knowing your best colors.
Can your say visual confusion? Your shirt and pants should send a consistent message. Wearing dressy shirts with casual pants sends mixed signals about your purpose and maybe even your attention to detail.
Oof! They may have cool yellow shoe laces or be super expensive Air Jordans, but if they don't relate to the rest of your outfit, you risk looking like a fashion victim.
Swing and a miss. Ever noticed the belts pro golfers wear? They're usually as sporty as the rest of their outfit. Your belt should also repeat the mood of your look that day.
Looking for an easy gift for you or the dad in your life? Find the perfect gift HERE.
Not sure which is the best option? Let's talk it through.
The above quote describes how I feel about this Covid Coaster we've been riding for the past few months. The highs and lows have got me focused less on the anxiety expressed in the news and more on what I can do to support my family and my extended tribe. Which includes you! I wish I could give you a real-life big hug, but for now, know that I care and hope you're finding ways to improve yourself during this global PAUSE. A wise woman once told me of a friend who had been left standing at the alter. All of her dreams of the perfect husband, marriage, and "happily ever after" quickly vanished out the window as she stood there alone. After wallowing for a few days, she decided she couldn't change the world but she could change herself. So she made her top ten list, her bucket list of everything she wanted to do in her life. From long term dreams like visiting the Eiffel Tower to learning how to make bread. Although the Eiffel Tower was not in her budget at the time, learning French was. So she started there with the help of an online app. Chipping away at the other 9 bucket list items came next. Those things she could change until she changed enough to become a more complete version of herself. Eventually she found another guy, who didn't stand her up at the alter. It turns out that her "happily ever after" was more about becoming than the chaos happening around her. How are you taking advantage of this Time Out? What's on your top 10 list that you can chip away at? I'm here for you! Does your list include comfy at-home looks other than the sweats you've already worn twice this week? How about the clothes you should keep versus those to let go of as the weather turns warm? Those pieces with colors that enhance your best features and help give you positive vibes? How about the clothing styles that will hide and/or take attention away from all the pandemic comfort eating?
I've been working hard to convert all of my in-person sessions to virtual sessions. Because I care about you, I'm offering a substantial discount. Each session below will cost $59 instead of the normal $95. And I've added an additional session for video calls. Gift cards are available for Mother's Day with group discounts. (Offer expires June 1, 2020.)
Which one fits into your pandemic self-improvement plans?
All the best for a wonderful Mother's Day and a productive Pause!
What does your quarantined to do list look like? Is it similar to mine?
√ Do the dishes
√ Clean garage
√ Do the dishes
√ Clean out closet and cluster clothes (click here for instructions)
√ Do the dishes
√ Make bread
Put on pants that button
√ Do the dishes
√ Organize linen closet
Yes, washing dishes seems to be a common theme around here. And I've learned from my sister, who has worked from home for years, that wearing pants that actually button is a good way to keep yourself honest and feeling good about yourself. Since many of us have extra time to organize and spring clean, harnessing your energy on that vital accessory that can make or break your day seems natural. After all, you may have searched hard to find the perfect pair of boots that are comfy, chic, and classy all rolled up in a soft buttery leather exterior. You owe it to yourself to take good care of this investment that keeps paying you back. Here's how to give those winter shoes a lovely summer vacation.
1. Clean them up. They may be covered with salt stains (yes, that’s what the white residue is), dirt, and muck. The salt stains can be removed with a soft-bristle toothbrush and a solution of water and vinegar. Mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water. Gently rub the mixture into the salt stains using a soft cloth or brush. Keep adding the mixture to your shoes to remove the stain. This method will also strip your shoes of wax polish if you have buildup. Once you've tackled all the salt stains, use a leather cleaner to clean any remaining spots.
2. Deep Condition—specifically your leather boots—to be done immediately after you clean them. Camp Dry milk oil or Dr. Martens Balsam are great products to rehydrate the leather that may be way to dry for comfort.
3. Do they need to be repaired? If your boots are worth repairing, don’t wait until the Fall, or for the first big snow to realize that you can't even wear your boots until you've taken them to the shoemaker. Yes, my favorite shoe repair shop is open now with limited hours. Apparently shoes are considered vital during a pandemic.
4. Keep them in shape. Before putting your boots away, stuff them with either a shoe tree or acid free tissue paper so that their shape is maintained. Use foam swim noodles, cut to size, or boot shapers to help keep the boot's shaft standing upright. If moisture is a problem, using desiccants (silica gels) or cedar shoe trees is the best option to prevent dry rotting. The cedar absorbs the moisture and has anti-bacterial and deodorant properties. Not only will it keep the mold away, and any bugs that may attack your shoes, but your shoes will also smell nice. Since shoe trees last forever, and they are quite cheap, investing in a pair of cedar shoe trees might be the smartest investment you can make for your shoe care. Find shoe trees here.
5. Get them smelling good. You can either purchase a shoe deodorizing spray, or fill a sachet with baking soda and put in your shoes.
6. Give them a summer vacation. Storing boots upright on an open shelf is ideal, but you can also store them in their shoe box with acid free tissue paper. If you are planning to store them together in a large box, make sure you lay the heaviest ones down first. Lay a cloth or old tee between every pair, or place them into a dust-bag. Dust and sunlight can alter the color so it’s best to protect your investment from both. Don’t store your shoes in a plastic shoe box as this will prevent natural air circulation and create the perfect environment for moisture that may lead to mold.
What's on your Spring to do list? To get organized? To get educated? This is great time to zero in on what your personal style actual is. Did you know that you can learn what your shape is and how to create the illusion of your ideal figure? What your best colors are with tangible color swatches? How to be uniquely you, genuine and age appropriate in your clothing choices? All done virtually! Contact me here to get started.
Does anyone feel like you’re in a reality show where the host is going to jump out of the bushes at any moment and yell, “Psyche! You’re on hidden camera!” Does your show include waving to your neighbors, those you have been social distancing for years, and notice something’s a little off? Wait, are they wearing sweats? He looks like he hasn’t shaved since….the quarantine started. She didn't put on make-up? Now that's a change! It’s almost like that Batman movie where the joker infected all of the makeup so no one could wear any. The news people had rashes from it and sunken eyes.
Is this where we’re headed? Is the Joker behind the camera? Apparently not, and the WHO says WFH is the way to go. But a hidden camera reality show is almost more believable. So here we are, keeping the show going until the hidden camera stops rolling. And yes, it’s time to keep up appearances, both for your own mental health AND job security. If you are one of those fortunate souls able to WFH (work from home), it’s important now, more than ever, to maintain your polished appearance and send a message that’s consistent with your in-office persona. After all, people are used to seeing how you look in the office. Having a crumpled, frumpled appearance at home is sending mixed signals about your consistent behavior, dedication to your goals, and attention to detail. Consider your next video call as a made for TV moment you can use to your advantage, to shine as much during video calls as you do in person. Here’s how…
1. Keep design details near the face
As Ashton Kutcher says in Cheaper By the Dozen, “my face is the money maker”. This is where you want the focus. How can you keep the focus on your face? Wearing a shirt with a collar is a great way to bring the focus near your face. Angular collars will appear more polished and purposeful than rounded collars. A third layer piece will also add some visual authority and help your appearance to be more consistent with your message. The third layer will also provide contrast in the center of your body leading attention up to the face. A row of buttons on your shirt, a necklace or scarf will also draw their eyes up to the "money maker".
2. Fit matters
You want your shirt or jacket to fit well. How can you tell? The shoulder seam line should line up with shoulder joint. Collars and lapels should be in scale with the frame of the person wearing them, narrower collars/lapels on a narrower person, wider collars/lapels for a wider person. This same principle of scale applies to accessories such as necklaces, scarves, ties, etc.
3. Grooming is important
You want the focus of the video call to be on your face and what you have to say, not the wrinkles on your shirt, the grease spot, or bed head. Make sure your clothes look neat, ironed, hair is done well and make-up looks naturally enhanced. (Ex nay on the Joker infested not gonna wear make-up today look.)
4. Wear the right colors
Not much has been written about this one and yet it’s a simple way to create a strong message. Repeat your eye color in your clothing and others have trouble focusing on anything but your eyes. Repeat your lip color and others will focus on your mouth. You could also take one of the colors in your background and repeat it in your clothing. For example, if there’s a green plant in view, wear emerald green to coordinate with it.
5. What about the background?
Eliminate as many distractions as possible. Keep the background simple, neat, and organized. The last thing you want is for them to see the dirty clothes on the floor or a cluttered, dated room. If that’s not possible, search for an app that allows you to change the background. You in front of the Bay Bridge is much more fun than you in front of a sink full of dirty dishes.
6. Good lighting, strategically placed
“Proper lighting eliminates unwanted shadows that may skew a person’s facial expressions or appearance. Sit facing a light source. Sitting with your back to a window or bright light source can negatively impact the quality of the video call by giving you a harsh silhouette effect. Whenever possible, sit facing a window, desk lamp, or other light source to ensure your face is well illuminated and clearly visible.” Natural lighting it great. If possible, sit facing a window, if not possible use soft directional light, the closer it is to you the better. You may even want to set up two lights. If you imagine a clock in front of you, position one light at at 11 o’clock and one at 2 o’clock. Using a lot of white or bright surfaces and walls in your room will brighten up the space by bouncing light around. (Lighting tips provided by lifesize: https://www.lifesize.com/en/video-conferencing-blog/video-conference-lighting)
Not sure how to make your clothes work for you?
I'm just a video call away!
The ultimate date night is almost here. Do you feel clueless about what to wear this Valentine’s Day or any date night for that matter? Do you feel like it’s easier to just throw on that sweater and jeans than spend precious time nailing the perfect look? The truth is, you just need to understand a bit about the psychology of clothing to know which pieces communicate softness, fun, motion, gracefulness, and approachability verses strength, force, and authority. And yes, btw, it’s important to know both and when it’s appropriate to use them. Look for these details in your date night look and brace yourself for the magic that’s soon to follow.
1. Put a little curve in your shape with puffy or rounded sleeves.
Or hourglass shapes fitted at the waist.
2. Rounded patterns are an easy way to bring out the lovey-dovey soft side in you. Try them in floral prints.
Or heart shaped patterns. If the heart sweater is too overt for you, try the heart pattern in a smaller scale.
3. Warm colors are an easy way to spark the love. Try burgundy, pink sapphire, deep red, rose coral, even a rich chocolate brown. For more ideas on color check out Showing the Love in Your Valentine's Day look and my Fox13 video with Big Budah HERE.
Feel free to combine all of these elements in the same outfit, but for a subtle date night vibe you are wise not to overdo it. Using one or two of these strategies is sure to get you and those around you feeling the love. Don't forget the accessories, you'll want them to repeat the same curvy shapes and textures you're wearing in your clothes. Wondering how to adapt what you have to fit your date night or any other occasion? You'll love a wardrobe evaluation, the perfect, sweet, calorie free gift you'll enjoy every time you get dressed.
Are You Making This Mistake When Organizing Your Closet? Find Inspiration In Your Closet When You Follow This Professional Stylist's Step By Step Process
This is the perfect time to declutter and organize your wardrobe. Now that the holiday mayhem has subsided you may even find yourself with a little extra time on your hands. And who doesn't love walking into a well-lit, well-organized closet that gets you excited to start your day? Or are you one of those people who wears the same thing every day? And when you do venture out of your same outfit comfort zone, do you spend 20-40 minutes putting together something new? If you organize well, putting together new looks that make you feel inspired will take you 5 minutes max. Here's the system...watch out for the biggest mistake you may be making.
Looking to add an extra half hour to your day? With a professional wardrobe evaluation you'll experience efficiency & inspiration that puts time back on your side! Learn more HERE.
Don't you just LOVE plaid? It's one of those classic patterns that will always be around, especially this time of year. Because of the often larger, bolder horizontal and vertical lines, the effect can enlarge the figure...looking like bricks on a house. The right colors for the holidays? Yes. And who doesn’t want that “homey” feeling this time of year? I’ll never forget that December when I found myself wearing red and green plaid flannel pjs. I felt so warm and cozy, and oh so….plump. It wasn’t completely holiday weight, it was holiday pattern arrangement and placement. The wide horizontal and vertical lines on the top and bottom made my silhouette appear about a foot broader than it really was…truly like a brick house. (Cue the Commodores...video below.) If you're interested in rocking the plaid without looking like a brick house, check out these smart, slimming ways to wear your favorite plaid.
1. Wear the plaid diagonally. Diagonal lines tend to be more slimming than vertical/horizontal lines. Look for clothing pieces with diagonally placed plaids and watch visual weight disappear. You'll find this strategy applied to tops, bottoms, dresses, breast pockets on shirts, and even scarves. If you have a plaid scarf, twist it so that the plaid is turned diagonally.
2. Wear a smaller scale pattern. Plaids and checks are similar with their vertical/horizontal design. In general, expect smaller check patterns to minimize the figure and larger checks to maximize or enlarge the figure.
3. Wear plaid on your slimmer area to balance the fullness elsewhere.
Is the bottom half of your body larger than the top? Or do you want your shoulders to appear more broad? Try wearing the pattern on your top to balance bottom-heavy weight, creating the illusion of a more balanced, ideal figure.
Top Half Appears to Be Bigger/Broader
Is the top half of your body larger than the bottom? Try wearing the pattern on your bottom half to balance top-heavy weight, creating the illusion of a more balanced, ideal figure.
Bottom Half Appears Fuller
For more on figure balancing techniques, check out my post The Beauty of Balance.
Looking for more slimming ways to wear your favorite patterns? You'll LOVE a Fabulous Fit session. Appear taller, slimmer, and leaner with techniques customized for your figure type.
Call/text 385.229.6297 or message Dani@StyleByDani.com
The one, the only, Commodores doing She's a Brick House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrBx6mAWYPU
Image consultant and personal stylist. Dani is happily married, the mother of 3 charming children, and an Aussie named Josie Wales.