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Underwear Essentials: Your Guide To Flawless Style

Good underwear essentials are the foundations of flawless style.

Get it right and your clothes will appear to fit better, you’ll look great and you’ll be comfortable!

Get it wrong and ill-fitting underwear will ruin your day and ruin your outfit.

Can you remember a time when your bra was digging into you so much that you couldn’t concentrate, it made you grumpy and as soon as you got home you threw it in the bin? And, what about when your undies were so tight they achingly dug into your skin creating lumps and bumps that had never existed before? Or undies that rode up and ‘disappeared’ because the elastic had given up the ghost?

Here’s how to stop these annoying situations ever happening again.

Underwear Essentials 1: Your Bra

History’s not clear about when the bra (as we know it) was first invented. In 1889 French born Herminie Cadolle separated a corset into two pieces. The upper part supported the bust using ‘rubber thread’ shoulder straps (the equivalent of modern day elastic). A few years later Marie Tucek introduced the forerunner to the underwire bra by using metal support plates in her design. But, it was Mary Phelps Jacob who patented her lightweight, soft ‘Backless Bra’ in 1914 that paved the way for the bras we wear today.

Underwear Essentials blog. Two ladies wearing 1950s bras.

I highly recommend having a professional bra fitting every year. Our breasts and bodies are constantly changing. Your bra needs to be comfortable, fit perfectly and support you every day. A professional bra fitter will ensure the band, cup size, straps, hooks and wires suit your body shape and proportions.

It’s amazing what a great fitting bra can do for the way clothes hang on your body. When your bust is lifted you look more youthful and, if you have a large bust, your waist looks slimmer. A few times during personal shopping trips I’ve recommended we start with buying a new bra. Clothes looked so much better when their bust was properly supported and shaped.

Large department stores like David Jones and Myer offer fitting services. Storm in a D Cup in Sydney’s Bondi Junction specialises in D to K cup bras.

Have you found that clothing sizes vary dramatically? Well the same applies to bras. ‘Try before you buy’ is my motto. A Berlei 14C will be different to a Victoria’s Secret 14C or a Simone Perele 14C.

Invest in a couple of ‘workhorse’ bras. They’ll have no lace or embellishments and will be nude in colour. Both practical and versatile, they can be worn under most of your clothes, even finer fabrics and tees.

If you’re prone to nipples that protrude, wear a slightly padded bra or invest in reusable nipple covers from B Free or Cotton On.

Underwear Essentials 2: Your Undies

Panties, undies, knickers. Whatever you call like to them, choose wisely. A visible pantie line (VPL) is a sure-fire way to ruin the look of your outfit. VPLs happen when the outer edges and seams of your underwear show as a ridge or depression in the clothes you’re wearing.

Underwear Essentials blog. Image shows 6 pairs of laser cut panties.

Laser cut panties

 

How can you avoid it? If you find g-strings and thongs uncomfortable the answer is laser cut underwear. No elastic in the leg, waist or sides creates a smooth, nearly invisible appearance under your clothes. For hygiene and comfort reasons look for brands that stock undies that have a cotton crotch like Berlei, Triumph and Uniqlo.

Laser cut undies come in all shapes and sizes.

Underwear Essentials 3: Your Shapewear

Underwear Essentials blog. Picture shows ivory silk satin and whalebone corset circa 1900

Excruciatingly restrictive whalebone corsets, and old-fashioned girdles worn from the 20s to the 60s have thankfully morphed into the shapewear we know today.

Think of period movies like Gone With The Wind, Titanic, Elizabeth and Marie Antoinette that give us an insight into how gruelling it was to get into these devices and how uncomfortable they were to wear. The options we have today trim, smooth or lift virtually any area of your body, encourage natural curves and are comfortable.

Underwear Essentials blog. Model wears a modern day version of a girdle - the OnCore mid-thigh bodysuit from Spanx.
Underwear Essentials blog. 1942 advert for a Berlei girdle.
Underwear Essentials blog. Model wears a modern day girdle: the Strapless cropped mid-thigh bodysuit by Spanx.

 

The most important tip I can give you is to buy the right size. Too small and you’ll create bulging lumps outside the shapewear area (and be screaming on the inside). Too large: you’ll add wrinkles to your outfit fooling no-one about what’s going on underneath.

Putting shapewear on is easy if you wait a few minutes for your body to cool down and dry completely after you shower. And a small amount of talcum powder dusted over your skin will help too.

These days there’s an abundance of underwear brands offering a huge choice of styles, fabrics, sizes and fits to suit your preferences and needs. Update and invest in your underwear essentials for ultimate comfort, confidence and flawless style.

What is your favourite underwear brand and why?

 

Image Credits:

vintagedancer.com

Philadelphia Museum

Lacy Hint

eBay

Spanx

 

 

 

Sticky
January 12, 2019

Palazzo Pants – How To Wear Them Well

Move over skinny pants, palazzo pants are back in!

Coco Chanel wore them in the 20s and Katherine Hepburn wore them in the 30s. But it wasn’t until the 60s and early 70s that palazzo pants were embraced and worn by the masses. One of the reasons they became popular is because some of the ritzy restaurants in Europe insisted on enforcing the rule that women had to wear skirts or dresses to their restaurants. The women wanted to wear pants, so they found a way around it by wearing long, loose, floaty pants that looked similar to the dresses and skirts.

If you’re keen to wear this latest fashion trend read on…

Palazzo pants can be tricky to wear for those of us who are ‘vertically challenged’ and for anyone who carries weight on their hips and thighs. The volume of fabric and the full, broad leg can make you look wider and shorter.

3 pairs of palazzo pants. The first pair features floaty fabric. The second pair of palazzo pants feature a hemline that covers the shoes. The third pair is too short. It makes the wearer look short and wide.

Soft, floaty fabrics and longer hemlines are best.

 

Here are my top 6 tips to wearing palazzo pants well:

  1. Wear heels to visually elongate your legs. Wedges are a comfortable option.
  2. Choose light floaty fabrics.
  3. Hem them as long as possible (but not too long that they’re a trip hazard 👍).
  4. Wear lighter or colourful tops, and jewellery to draw attention up to your face.
  5. Choose solid colours or small dense patterns.
  6. And, as well as the suggestions in point 4, you could also wear the same colour or a similar colour to your pants to make you look longer and taller.
Striped palazzo pants with a bright top. the bright top brings attention to your face.

Stripes elongate and the bright top brings the eye up to the face

Black palazzo pants teamed with a black top and high heels makes the wearer look taller and slimmer

Look taller by wearing a top in the same colour and heels

There are plenty of colours and styles at online stores like The Iconic

If you want more info on how to create stylish outfits using loose, baggy clothing like palazzo pants, you can read my article on the Principle of Volume.

 

Sticky
November 16, 2018

This Capsule Wardrobe System Will Make Getting Dressed A Whole Lot Easier

What is a capsule wardrobe, and why would you use one?

Do you ever waste time in front of your wardrobe wondering what to wear? No matter how organised you are, the chances are you have. It’s stressful! As you stand in front of your clothes you can feel time ticking away. All you want to do is create an outfit that looks good and get out the door.

That’s where creating a capsule wardrobe can help. Susie Faux, owner of the London boutique ‘Wardrobe’, created the phrase in the 70s. The concept is to build your wardrobe around a few core pieces of clothing: pants, skirts and jackets that are classic and timeless. Then add seasonal tops and accessories to keep your wardrobe up to date. So that your clothes can mix and match, they need to relate to one another. If you can do this you’ll be able to create coordinated outfits in record time.

Capsule wardrobes gained popularity in 1985 when Donna Karan released her 7-piece workwear capsule collection. These days it’s used as a popular way to get great versatility and functionality from your clothes while reducing clutter, creating space and helping with our planet’s sustainability.

I’m showing you just one example of a capsule wardrobe, but there are many different variations. You decide how many items you need to make it work for you and your lifestyle.

How to create your capsule wardrobe

This combination of 10 garments will give you 26 outfits. Mix those 26 outfits with the sneakers, ballet flats and sandals (I’ve left the thongs out) and you have 78 outfits.

Start by choosing 2 or 3 neutral colours like navy, grey, black, white, brown, beige, tan or khaki. Buy your jackets, pants and skirts in these colours. They could be matching pieces or separates. I’ve chosen cream, khaki and denim/navy. (See diagram below) All of these garments coordinate well together. Then you add 4 tops and a dress and the capsule wardrobe is complete.

A Capsule Wardrobe of Casual Wear with Accessories. It includes 10 garments, 3 pairs of shoes, 2 belts and a handbag as well as jewellery.

A Capsule Wardrobe of Casual Wear with Accessories

You can expand or subtract from the template I’ve shown here, but this is a great start. And, you can increase the outfit combinations from 26 to 32 just by adding 1 more top.

Stock up on smaller items like jewellery and scarves that can inject elements of interest if you’re a person who needs more variety.

Use the capsule wardrobe system for your work wardrobe too (if you don’t wear a uniform). It’s also handy to use when packing for a trip (Less in the suitcase = less to lug around and more room for shopping!).

If you have any questions about creating your capsule wardrobe feel free to email me ann@imageconfidence.com.au or call 0408 108 804. And, if you know anyone who could benefit from this article feel free to share.

What are your tips for a compact, functional wardrobe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky
October 28, 2018

Improve Your Style using the ‘Principle of Volume’

There are many ways to improve your style, and one of them is by using the principle of volume. It is a simple technique that makes every outfit look good. You may be using it already without knowing it.

This article explains the principle of volume and how you can use it when combining your clothes.

Improve Your Style using the Principle of Volume

A garment is voluminous when it is oversized, bulky, full or wide, very gathered or flared, or there is a large quantity of fabric. Think: palazzo pants, culottes, loose billowy blouses, tops and skirts with ruffles, peasant tops and box pleat or full circle skirts. Here are some examples:

These garments are voluminous. They are bulky, gathered, pleated, full, wide or flared. Use one of these garments and team it with a slim or tapered garment to improve your style. Combining a loose garment with a slimmer fitting garment is called the principle of volume. When two voluminous items are worn together the look becomes boxy and shapeless. The fabric swamps you and makes you look larger. The picture on the left (below) shows examples of this.

Now look at the image on the right. I have replaced the full skirt and loose, baggy pants with a tapered pencil skirt and straight cut black jeans. The slim lines of these garments balance out the oversized top giving the wearer some shape which creates a more flattering and visually appealing look. Other fitted garments that will show your shape include slim leg jeans and capri pants, high waisted straight skirts and tube skirts.

Two outfits featuring voluminous garments. These looks do not improve your style.
Two outfits featuring voluminous tops and slim fitting pants and skirt. Wearing this type of clothing combination is a way to improve your style.

The last picture shows the combination in reverse. The original voluminous skirt and pants have been teamed with a red-orange slim fitting top. Tip: If you are petite wear heels to elongate your legs.

Improve your style by wearing a fitted top with a voluminous bottom. This is called the 'principle of volume'.

The principle of volume works with all body shapes and for outfits for all occasions i.e., casual, smart casual or dressy. Just by using the simple formula of mixing a slim fitting garment with a voluminous one you will create a stylish look. Add accessories to complete your outfit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky
September 24, 2018

5 key Corporate Styling Tips for Spring 2018

Corporate styling can be a groan. Thank heavens the ‘rules’ around what to wear at the office has relaxed over the years. As we move towards Spring the mood around dressing fills us with a sense of optimism with the promise of brighter colours and lighter fabrics. As soon as the first Spring buds show on the trees, we think of warmer weather and longer days ahead. Nature spoils us with colourful flowers and sunshine, and this year the fashion industry has wholeheartedly embraced colour, floral motifs and organic patterns.

You might have noticed these trends arriving in the shops already. Spring 2018 offers something for everyone. Here are the 5 key corporate trends to add to your classic wardrobe staples to take your workwear from ‘groan’ to fresh and up-to-date for the warmer months.

Corporate Styling with Colour

Accent colours to include in your Spring 2018 workwear wardrobe should include: Purple in all its variations especially lilac and lavender, medium pinks, red-orange, sky blue, and yellow.

Dominant neutrals will be white, ivory, chocolate, sand and khaki. Find out if warm (yellow-based) or cool (blue-based) colours suit your complexion so you look healthy, fresh and vibrant. If you’re unsure about your best colours invest in a personal colour consultation.

Alternatives to the earthy hues could be navy and dove grey which are more acceptable as corporate colours and less severe than black.

The sliver grey and lilac coloured garments shown in this image are on trend for corporate Spring/Summer styling.

Silver grey and lilac in Witchery

Examples of powder blue and red orange - on trend colours for Spring/Summer 2018

Examples of powder blue and red orange

Florals

After a long absence, florals re-appeared in the Spring of 2017 and now they are back in full swing. Brighten up your plain basics (i.e. jackets, skirts and trousers) with a floral blouse, scarf or handbag. As mentioned before, ensure the colours compliment you, and keep the scale of the pattern in harmony with your body size.

Trent Nathan floral blouse for Spring/Summer 2018

Trent Nathan floral blouse.

Soft pink and florals are on trend for corporate wear for Spring/Summer 2018

Soft pink and florals at Witchery

Dresses

Oh so easy to wear and a ‘no brainer’ when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, dresses are perfect for your Spring corporate wardrobe. Use one of your smart blazers to complete the look. This is corporate styling made easy!

Spring/Summer corporate dressing: Shell pink floral Perri Cutten dress

Shell pink floral Perri Cutten dress

This floral Country Road jumpsuit fits into the corporate styling theme for this Spring

This looks like a dress, but is actually a hibiscus print jumpsuit (Country Road)

Ruffles

For those of you whose style personality is feminine, hearing that there is a ‘ruffle revival’ will be music to your ears.
The corporate suit can often appear quite masculine with straight lines and stiff fabrics. Ruffles offer an element of softness in the form of curved lines and fluid fabrics.

Balance the ‘yin’ of the ruffles with the ‘yang’ of a structured blazer in a darker colour such as navy or charcoal to maintain the corporate look.

Corporate style trend for Spring/Summer 2018 is ruffles. Lilac coloured dressed features in this image.

Add a more structured, light weight navy or charcoal blazer to maintain the corporate look

Subtle ruffles combine with a floral pattern in this Trent Nathan top.

Subtle ruffles combine with a floral pattern in this Trent Nathan top.

Block Heel Shoes

Versatility, increased stability and foot health are some of the attributes of block heel shoes.  They are touted to be more comfortable and better for your posture that flats, and, not surprisingly, stilettos. Block heels team perfectly with skirts, dresses and trousers, and have a level of femininity that works perfectly with ruffles and floral prints.

Patent leather nude block heel, Leona Edmiston

Patent leather nude block heel, Leona Edmiston

These scalloped edge block heeled shoes are on trend for corporate attire this Spring/Summer

Scalloped edges are the focal point of these shoes.

Statement shoes in red- orange suede

Statement shoes in red- orange suede

Stylish and versatile neutral coloured slingback shoes perfect for corporate outfits

Stylish and versatile neutral coloured slingback shoes

These corporate styling tips are 5 ways you can add interest to your workwear wardrobe. Pick and choose the ones that suit your style personality. Have some fun with them! Buy one or two pieces to keep your corporate look modern and current.

If you have any comments or questions about this article or any of my offerings please feel free to contact me or message me using the comment box below.

Sticky
August 14, 2018

Cartier Exhibition Highlights from the NGA Canberra

As you might have guessed, I have more than a keen interest in style, design and colour – so my recent visit to the Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra was a real treat. It is a beautifully curated wonderland of sparkling jewels, exquisite timepieces and luxury items. Every piece was meticulously created and crafted for royalty, celebrities and society’s elite.

The exhibition finishes on the 22ndof July and is definitely worth seeing.

Here are some of my favourite pieces:

Necklaces

Cartier diamond necklace, Nizam of Hyderabad

The Nizam of Hyderabad was a gift from the Indian prince to the Queen for her marriage in 1947.

Cartier Bib necklace 1955

The 1955 Bib necklace features plaited gold, brilliant cut diamonds and turquoise cabochons

1936 Necklace boasting total of 198.45 carats of emerald-cut peridots!

Mystery Clocks

These Asian-inspired Cartier Mystery Clocks give the illusion of floating minute and hour hands. All of the mechanisms that move the two hands are made from transparent clear crystal – amazing!

Cartier Chimera Mystery Clock 1926

Chimera Mystery Clock 1926

Cartier Striking Mystery Clock 1931

Striking mystery clock with deity 1931 – 19th century Chinese white jade

Stunning Tiaras

There were so many beautiful tiaras on display at the Cartier exhibition that I found it difficult to decide which ones to show you. I chose these four because of their intricacy of design and the amazing coloured stones.

Cartier Tiara 1905 featuring 7 pear shaped diamonds

This 1905 tiara features 7 pear shaped diamonds

Cartier diamond and aquamarine tiara 1937

Diamond and aquamarine tiara 1937

Cartier Tiara 1932: baguette-cut diamonds and emerald-cut citrines

Tiara 1932: baguette-cut diamonds and emerald-cut citrines

Cartier Indian tiara, 1923. Platinum, diamonds, sapphires and pearls

Indian tiara, 1923. Platinum, diamonds, sapphires and pearls

Brooches

Cartier Lace ribbon brooch 1906

Lace ribbon brooch 1906

Cartier Palm Tree Clip Brooch

Cartier Palm Tree Clip Brooch

Cartier Bird Brooch 1948

Uma Thurman wore this Bird Brooch to the Met Gala in 2016

Cartier and Celebrity Glamour

For me, the Twentieth-Century Icons room personalised the exhibition. The photos and stories of celebrities and royals, and the special pieces Cartier had made for them, really bought the pieces to life.

Grace Kelly wearing a Cartier necklace

Grace Kelly

Necklace worn by Grace Kelly

 

Wallis Simpson wears her Cartier peacock brooch

Wallis Simpson wears her Cartier peacock brooch

Cartier - Wallis Simpson's peacock brooch
Elizabeth Taylor wears a Cartier necklace

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor wears a Cartier necklace

If you’ve enjoyed this article I have also written articles on luxury brands Hermes and Dior.

Here are the links: ‘Hermes at Work’ Exhibition: Artisans share their talents and skills

and

Australia and the House of Dior 70 Years On

 

 

 

Sticky
July 10, 2018

Your Wardrobe Audit in 5 Easy Steps

Your Wardrobe Audit in 5 Easy Steps is for anyone who leads an outrageously busy life, and isn’t that most of us? It’s also for those of us who have stood in front of our wardrobes thinking, ‘I’ve got nothing to wear!’

The solutions I’m offering are simple, yet very effective. Complete them at your own pace, it’s entirely up to you. Getting dressed will be quick and easy after your wardrobe audit. Less time spent in your wardrobe equates to more time for life’s adventures.

A selection of coloured coat hangers for the blog Your Wardrobe Audit in 5 Easy Steps

Where to start -Step 1

Only keep what fits you now. Most of us have experienced fluctuations in weight at some time in our lives. Items that are too small or too large for our current body size are taking up valuable wardrobe space and wasting your time.

What do you do with them?

Donate

Alter

Sell

Gift

Stow in a storage tub or in the spare room wardrobe

Step 2

Let go of any items that are ripped or damaged beyond repair, any woollens that are close to threadbare, and any clothes that are permanently stained. Collars and under-arm areas are notorious for stains. Try soaking them in a bucket with Australian made, Sard OxyPlus Laundry Soaker or a pre wash stain remover  to see if they can be revived. Reminder: Check the care label on the garment beforehand.

Step 3

Remove any garments, shoes or accessories that haven’t be worn in over 2 years or that still have the shop tag attached. (Evening wear excluded) You may have spent $300 on that shirt, but if you never wear it, for whatever reason, it’s time release the guilt and any other emotions and let it go. Refer to Step 1 for ideas of how to move it on.

Step 4 of Your Wardrobe Audit

Multiples. Yes, 7 white tee shirts are too many! Think about the items you gravitate towards and keep those. Find a new home for the others. If they are in great condition, stow them away until your current supply becomes unusable, then bring them out. Or, if you feel you can part with them you know the options (listed in Step 1).

Lastly…

Only keep the clothes you love and feel good wearing. You know, the ones that when you look in the mirror you get that, “Yes, that’s a winner” feeling, and it boosts your confidence which equates to a having a good day, feeling less nervous about the meeting or job interview or having an amazing time at the party. Feeling good about yourself works from both the inside and the outside. Simplifying the ‘what to wear’ part of your outside promotes positivity and confidence for you as a whole.

Well, your wardrobe should be looking considerably less cramped by now. Let me know how you went with your wardrobe audit. Did you find it easy or challenging?

Does the mere thought of doing your own wardrobe audit fill you with dread? Ann at Image Confidence will help you declutter your wardrobe, make better use of your existing clothes, create order and function in the space, and identify ‘gaps’ in your wardrobe i.e. items to purchase. You’ll feel lighter, refreshed and energised within three hours. Read more

Book your Wardrobe Audit with Ann today.

Messy, disorganised clothes in wardrobe before Your Wardrobe Audit in 5 Easy Steps
Tidy, organised clothes in wardrobe after Your Wardrobe Audit in 5 Easy Steps
Sticky
June 30, 2018

Your Top 10 Winter Style Tips

These top 10 winter style tips will have you feeling cosy and looking fabulous all through the chilly months. It doesn’t matter how cold it gets in your neck of the woods, these tips work for mild, cooler weather right through to freezing cold temperatures.

A woman displays her winter style by wearing an elegant coat, scarf and gloves.

Layering adds an element of flexibility to your     winter style.

1. Embrace Layering

Layering adds an element of flexibility to your winter style. Use layers to create your outfits. Start with a light weight undergarment like a cami or singlet. Add a three quarter or long-sleeved top, maybe a light weight jumper (cashmere is my pick) or cardi, a jacket, scarf, hat and gloves. You can add or subtract pieces depending on the weather.

2. Get smart with scarves

Scarves add an element of interest to any outfit and will have you looking stylish with a minimum of effort.  They take up very little space in your wardrobe (or suitcase if travelling), and can be used as a source of inspiration for the hat and gloves colours you choose.

Winter style tips: pink beanie, sunglasses and watch with pink numbers go with the multi coloured scarf

Winter style tips: The golden colours in the scarf inspired gold loop earrings and tortoise shell sunglasses

 

3. Invest in a great pair of boots

Boots rate high in the winter style stakes. Not only do they keep your feet warm and dry, there are just so many to choose from: ankle boots to calf length, long to ending above the knee. Flat heels to stilettos – there is a boot to suit everyone.

4. A quality coat is essential

My personal favourite of my winter style tips is to search high and low for your perfect winter coat and when you find it be willing to pay the price – this item will be in your wardrobe for a long time, so quality is key. Find it in a colour that compliments your hair colour, that way it will be truly versatile. When trying on coats make sure there’s enough room to accommodate the layers you’ll have underneath.

Winter style tips: this wool blend coat will keep you warm

Trenery wool blend coat in dark plum

5. Slim fitting jeans

A pair of skinny or straight leg jeans (depending on the shape of your legs) will be a great way to keep your winter style current. With all of the bulk and volume you’ll be creating with your tops and jacket, the narrow fitting bottoms will create a slimmer silhouette.

Tuck jeans into your boots or have them hemmed to where they hit the upper foot area of the boot on the outside.

6. Love Leather

If you don’t already own one, put ‘leather jacket’ on the top of your winter style shopping list. They are versatile, durable, timeless and classic. Consider colour, fit of the jacket, texture of the leather and comfort factor when buying. This is another item that will last for years, so invest wisely.

Winter style tips: woman wearing a sand coloured leather jacket.

My favourite ‘go to’ leather jacket is a soft sand colour.

7. Stylish Sneakers

For running errands, comfy weekend wear and for travelling, a stylish pair of sneakers will give you a break from your boots and keep your feet warm and dry.

All leading high street shoes outlets stock stylish sneakers. Remember to take your socks when going to buy – depending on their thickness you might have to go up a size.

Winter style tips: 3 sneakers from Sam Edelman

8. A Slouchy Sweater

A loose-fitting jumper will tick the ‘warm’ and ‘comfy’ boxes as well as looking on trend. You can choose from the finest merino wool to more bulky cable knits. Add accessories such as a scarf to elevate the look.

9. Terrific Turtleneck

Also known as a roll neck or skivvy, these knitted gems are the epitome of style. Think Jackie O (Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), Marilyn Monroe or more recently Taylor Swift and Rihanna. They are great as a stand-alone garment or as a layering piece.

10. Stunning Statement Earrings

The last of our winter style tips is to complete your outfit with some statement earrings. They will be the centre of attention whether you’re wearing high necks, low necks, scarves or cover-up jackets and coats. Your outfit will look complete and you’ll be ready to brave the cold weather with panache!

There is often a sea of black, white and grey that dominates the clothing stores during winter. That’s great if you can wear these colours well, but what you if can’t? In winter when we are at our palest it is especially important to wear the colours that harmonise with our hair, skin and eyes so that we appear healthy and look our best. I offer personal colour consultations and small group Colour Your Life workshops so that you can discover the best colours for you. These sessions are great fun and are a ‘gift to self’ that lasts for years.

Are there any items you feel should be added to my top 10 winter style tips? Let me know in the comment box below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticky
May 28, 2018

Women’s Accessories – Your Essential Guide

In this month blog, ‘Women’s Accessories – The Essentials’ I share the key items you need in your wardrobe to transform a basic outfit into a stylish one. The choice of colour, size, shape, pattern and style of these items is entirely up to you, so allow your personality and preferences to shine.

Women’s Accessories – Jewellery

– Real or fake diamond stud earrings. These are good all-rounders – you can dress them up or down.

– A pearl necklace or bracelet. These will always say style and elegance like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Women's accessories: Thomas Sabo fresh water pearl bracelet

Thomas Sabo fresh water pearl bracelet

– Some statement necklaces. These will turn any plain outfit into something ‘wow’ and interesting. Experiment with wood, metal and semi-precious stones.

Women’s accessories – Shoes

– Nude or black pumps. Select a medium to low heel so they match nicely with pants or skirts.

– Ankle boots. You choose the colour, style and heel height. Ankle boots will see you through autumn, winter and the early stages of spring.

– Stylish Sneakers – for dashing to the supermarket, travelling to and from work etc.

– A pair of nude coloured strappy sandals with medium to high heels will be very versatile and take your outfits from day into night.

Women's Accessories: Strappy sandals by Stuart Weitzman

NuNakedStraight Sandal by Stuart Weitzman

– Stylish low heeled sandals. Elevate a basic outfit of tee shirt and jeans from your feet up!

– Beautiful ballet flats. These are your comfy ‘go tos’ and like your pumps, they will go perfectly with pants or skirts.

Women’s Accessories – Bags

– Tote bag. Your everyday bag should be made of good quality leather to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Invest in another more structured bag for work.

– A beautiful black or metallic evening bag. Stick to these options as they will go with everything.

– A wallet that is in good condition. If yours is tatty around the edges or falling apart, it’s time to replace it. Think of cost per wear. If your wallet cost $300 and you used it for 300 days that equates to it costing you $1 a day!

Women’s Accessories – Other

– Sunglasses. These should suit your face shape, compliment your natural colouring and have good quality lenses.

– a silk scarf. These are the perfect weight: light enough to wear in summer and warm enough to use during the cooler months.

– 2 lipsticks: 1 for day and 1 that is a little bolder for night. Find your perfect shade here.

Women's accessories: Lipsticks on black background

– Shapewear. Not for every day use, but perfect for under clothes where you want to create smooth, sleek lines. Ensure your shapewear fits comfortably: it’s about flattering your figure, not about making you look a size smaller.

– A good quality leather belt. Use it with your pants and jeans or over a loose blouse to cinch in your waist.

– A Pashmina – Great to wrap around your shoulders when the nights get nippy or when travelling on any form of transport that is airconditioned to subzero temperatures.

– Leather gloves – a must for those who feel the cold, and they are a stylish addition to any coat and scarf ensemble.

– Hats. There are so many practical reasons for wearing hats, like protecting your face, hair and scalp from the harsh sun’s rays, but they are also a great opportunity to make a style statement.

Woman modelling accessories - sun hat and pearls.

Source credit: bikinimuse.tumblr.com

 

Want to know more about how to create stylish outfits using your accessories and a small capsule of clothes that all mix and match together?

SAVE THE DATE because 2nd June is the next Shop Your Own Wardrobe workshop. If you are ready to look and feel fabulous with less clothes and be able to travel lighter and still look stylish, this fun 3 hour session is a must attend.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Get 25% off your Shop Your Own Wardrobe tickets when you book with a friend before 14 May 2018. This offer is only available if tickets are purchased directly through Ann: ann@imageconfidence.com.au (Pay just $112 each – saving more than $35 off the regular price of $149.75)

After this date, tickets can be purchased at Eventbrite for $149.75 per person.

I’m always interested to hear the style topics you would like me to cover. Send me your suggestions in the comment box below.

 

Sticky
April 26, 2018

Guo Pei: ‘Legend’ extravaganza at the NGV

The National Gallery of Victoria’s impressive inaugural Triennial exhibition features displays of contemporary artists from 32 countries. A stand out for me was the collection of extraordinary creations from Chinese born fashion designer Guo Pei from her 2017 Spring/Summer ‘Legend’ couture parade.

All of the ‘Legend’ pieces are on loan from a private collection. These amazing gowns are feats of one woman’s remarkable imagination and design prowess. Bringing her phenomenal concepts to life took hundreds of skilled artisans thousands of hours to complete.

Pei’s inspiration came from her visit to the baroque cathedral of St. Gall in Switzerland. She was mesmerised by the stunning ethereal murals, its dome and the rich gold ornaments. And so began a two year journey of inspiration and creation leading to these impressive haute couture gowns.

This display is a feast of sparkling crystals, sumptuous embroidery, silk, feathers, metal, PVC, dazzling gold thread and organza.

If you are in Melbourne and have some spare time I highly recommend a visit. Entry is free and the exhibition runs until 15 April, 2018.

Here are some of the photos I took during my visit.

Ensembles

Black chest piece and lace gown Guo Pei

Black chest piece and lace gown

Lantern sleeve gown Guo Pei

Lantern sleeve gown

Deep green and gold dress Guo Pei

Deep green and gold dress

Feathered gown Guo Pei

Feathered gown

Angel gown with gold Guo Pei

Angel gown with gold

Skirt of Angel dress with gold Guo Pei

Skirt of Angel dress with gold

White Goddess Guo Pei

White Goddess

Luminous spirit Guo Pei

Luminous spirit

Fantasy Footwear

Suede and beaded shoes from Guo Pei's Legend collection
Feathered fantasy footwear Guo Pei Legend collection
Gold fantasy footwear Guo Pei Legend collection

Fabulous Fabrics

Sequinned and beaded lace Guo Pei
Red Goddess dress metallic fabric Guo Pei Legend collection
Heavily embroidered fabric Legend Collection Guo Pei
Dazzling emboidered fabric from Guo Pei's Legend collection
Silk, polyester, pvc and emboidery used to make a Guo Pei Legend collection dress
Feathers on fabric Guo Pei Legend collection

The Finale

Guo Pei’s ‘Legend’ couture fashion show ended spectacularly with this Red Goddess gown. Carmen Dell’Orefice, octogenarian and American model, paraded the gown which is said to symbolise blood.  Made from metallic fabric, silk, crystals and embroidery, this sculptural piece makes a dramatic statement as you enter and exist the exhibition.

Guo Pei Legend collection Red Goddess ensemble
Close up of Red Goddess dress Guo Pei
Red Goddess ensemble with train Guo Pei Legend collection

 

Ann Vodicka is a Sydney based image consultant and personal stylist. She believes that all her clients have their own unique sense of personal style and she delights in helping them express it!

Image Confidence was created to help you look your best with minimum effort and maximum impact.

Contact Ann to start your transform to image confidence.

Sticky
March 21, 2018
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