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Your Perfect Fit: Top Tips For Buying a Jacket

These tips for buying a jacket can be invaluable when you go clothes shopping.  We’re all different shapes and sizes, so finding clothes that fit perfectly off the rack can be quite a challenge.

Why is getting the perfect fit so important? It’s kind of like a ‘three bears’ scenario. Too loose and the garment looks like it belongs to someone else. Too tight – people might assume you’ve put on weight or the garment has shrunk. But, when it’s ‘just right’ you look polished and stylish. People can see you’ve made an effort.

Jackets can be expensive items to buy, so you want to get it right. They are investment pieces that stay in your wardrobe for many years. So, it’s better to own one great fitting piece that costs a little more than owning three less expensive ill fitting ones. Whether it’s for work or play a jacket elevates your look creating positive first and lasting impressions.

Sometimes when you’re clothes shopping instinct tells you if an item is working or not, and sometimes it doesn’t! Use this checklist to be absolutely certain the jacket is a great fit for you.

Top Tips for Buying a Jacket

  1. Sleeves should finish just under your wrist bone, and no more than 1cm below it. You can roll or push up longer sleeves of casual jackets.
  2. Fold your arms across the front of your body. Does it feel too tight, too loose or just right?
  3. Vents (slits that open at the back of the jacket) should lie flat.
  4. Even if you think you are never going to wear the jacket buttoned up test to see that you can close them and that the buttons are not pulling.
  5. No pulling across the shoulders.
  6. The seam where the shoulder and arm meet should sit right on the edge of your shoulder bone. If you notice divots, wrinkles or pulling try another size or style. Alterations to the shoulders are costly and they can change the shape of the garment.
  7. Lapels should lie flat – not pucker or bulge. Lapels are the folded back pieces of fabric either side of the front opening.
Woman wears red jacket and carries black handbag
Man wears good fitting blue checked jacket.

So, you’ve followed my guidelines and your new jacket looks great, but the sleeves are too long or the waist area needs tapering. My advice is to find a trusted tailor who can make those minor adjustments for you. It’s worth every penny to achieve your perfect fit.

If shopping for your wardrobe seems like a daunting task contact me to have a conversation about helping you find clothes that suit your personality, lifestyle, colouring and proportions, and boost your confidence.

Image credits: Nordstrom for Women, Nordstrom for Men, Pagani, Pinterest, Just Jeans

Sticky
June 23, 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

1 Top 3 Ways

1 Top 3 Ways

 

How often do you wear the same outfit over and over again without seeing the full potential of each piece of clothing?

Sometimes it’s hard to see past our favourite combinations: we get stuck wearing the same things the same way.  ‘1 Top 3 Ways’ is about rethinking how you mix and match your clothes. It’s also about getting creative with what’s in your wardrobe. By styling a garment in different ways you’ll make it more versatile and in the process create new outfits.

 

In the collections below I’ve used 1 top to create 3 outfits that could take you from day to night and casual to dressy.

 

Think of 3 different occasions where you could wear one of your tops and start playing!

 

Tip: Accessories are an inexpensive way to change the look of an outfit.

 

 

1 shirt 3 ways: Deep blue shirt with shorts, red pants and black pants.

 

 

1 top 3 ways: off the shoulder, cool blue summer top with shorts, shirt and jeans.

 

 

If you’d like help creating stylish outfits from the clothes you already own, contact me for a fun and enlightening Wardrobe Revival session.

 

 

 

Sticky
December 02, 2017
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