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4 Secrets You Can Learn About An Elevated Wardrobe From Coco Chanel

The Devil’s in the Detail

Gabrielle Chanel was a fashion trailblazer. She designed timeless, elegant, luxurious clothes and accessories that are still used to create garments we buy today. Her personal style, individuality, and how that translated into her designs are beautifully displayed at the ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia).

I hadn’t realised before my visit that Chanel’s genius lay with her apparently simple designs paired with divine attention to detail. We can use her creations as a source of inspiration. ‘Simplicity with a twist’ is something you might consider when creating your own outfits.

Excerpt from L'art et La Mode, 'Chanel's creations are always the epitome of grace and youthfulness, and delight through the simplicity of the line and carefully considered details.'

Excerpt from L’Art et La Mode, September 1932.

Look at the skirt and top ‘sportswear ensemble’ below. The outfit appears unadorned, but cast your eyes down to the arrow-like features on the skirt – so subtle, yet very distinctive, and a luxury design detail that elevates the outfit to a whole new level.

This Chanel soft white sportswear ensemble consists of a sleeveless, collared blouse and a straight skirt with distinctive 'arrow-like' details on the front.

Over to you: What are the components of your outfits that make your look elevated?

How Chanel created outfits for her lifestyle

Coco Chanel designed garments to suit her lifestyle. She was active (thus the short skirt in the image above), forward-thinking, had a strong practical side, yet had a deep appreciation for elegance and femininity. She loathed the restrictive clothes of the past; tight corsets, long skirts, high necklines, and layers of fabric. Instead, she favoured styles that allowed freedom of movement and comfort and allowed for the practicalities of everyday life.

Photo of a white Chanel dress made from cotton chiffon. It has spaghetti straps and eleven ruffled tiers from hip level down.

Over to you: What’s not working for you in your wardrobe?

Chanel was the master of the timeless wardrobe.

One huge room in the exhibition featured dozens of Chanel’s iconic suits with their collarless, buttoned, boxy jackets and straight A-line skirts. Yes, they all had similar lines; however, each one was unique due to the interesting details that had been added.

Three Chanel suits. All are cream in colour with different red and black trim details.

A selection of nine classic style suits and coats in khaki, coral and cream colours.

Over to you: How much of your wardrobe is classic and more timeless, and how much is looking dated?

Practical Chanel

Gabrielle Chanel was free-spirited, was a rebel, and she enjoyed experimenting with style. She created garments on a mannequin rather than sketching them first. Fabrics such as jersey that had only been used as underwear were now outerwear in garments such as the Breton tee. Jersey fabric is easy to wash, with no special care required.

The quilted 2.55 bag – She threaded a fine stripe of leather through the metal chain, so it didn’t make any noise and was quiet to wear. Inside the bag was a special compartment for your lipstick (How often has your lipstick got lost in the bottom of your bag?)

A classic, black Chanel 2.55 bag. It is quilted and features a metal chain strap that is threaded with a fine strip of leather to minimise noise.

Chanel’s two-tone slingback pump was beige, so it’s elongating and very versatile. The toe was black, so it was easy to polish if it got dirty or scuffed.

Prototype of two-tone slingback pump in beige and black.

 

Over to you: Is your wardrobe working in the practical way you would like it to?

What have you realised about your current wardrobe after reading this? Is it as elevated and stylish as you would like it to be? Is it a pleasure to wear because it’s comfortable? If you’d like some help curating the wardrobe that really works for your life and style, discover how you can work with me. I’d love to help you create a beautiful wardrobe that makes you feel stylish, comfortable, and confident.

Sticky
March 15, 2022

Statement Necklaces to Liven Up Your Outfits

Statement necklaces provide an attractive focal point and turn a boring outfit into something special.

Eye-catching necklaces are a simple way to express your personal style. From classic to quirky, feminine to playful, there are plenty of designs, colours and styles to choose from. 

Are you finding it hard to find accessories to go with your outfits?

People often ask me to find unique jewellery pieces for them or want to know where to find them. I thought you might like to see some of my suggestions. 

Here are 10 statement necklaces to add to your jewellery collection.

Tip: Click on the image to take you to the source.

This handmade necklace in cool blues is made from Tagua nuts. It would look gorgeous with a scoop neckline. I love the organic shapes and adjustable cord (which can be lowered or raised depending on the top or dress you’re wearing).

Blue handmade necklace with five organic shaped flat beads with an adjustable black cord.

 

Here it is in beautiful warm greens.Green necklace made from Tagua nuts. It features five large organic shaped beads.

Now here’s a very versatile piece! Multi-coloured links made from resin. I can see it working with a great variety of outfits from super casual weekend wear (tee and jeans) right through to an office environment.

Colourful link necklace with adjustable length.

It’s handy to have a long necklace in your accessory stash. This style comes in 13 different colours including sunny orange, tradition black, and warm and cool reds combined. Don’t get too hung up on the silver beads if you suit warm colours – it’s far enough away from your face and in such a small quantity not to matter. Just make sure the coloured beads are in your palette.

Long statement necklaces with silver and resin beads. There are 13 colours to choose from.

If you’re looking for feminine sophistication, this Kate Spade ‘Lady Marmalade’ short (16″) necklace is a perfect choice. It will team nicely with a V neckline or an open collared blouse.

Kate Spade 'Lady Marmalade' 16" necklace in gold and diamonds.

‘Glamour personified’ is how I’d describe this statement necklace. Don’t you just love the glittery bits?! The shape is perfect for everyone because it’s not quite square and not totally round. Perfect for special occasions, the office or when you need a little sparkle in your life 🙂

Yellow gold soft square pendant necklace by Kate Spade. Beautiful glittering cubic zirconias are pave set on the square shape.

Statement Necklaces from Nature

This gorgeous bib necklace is made from strands of black onyx. The same style comes in seven other stones including lapis lazuli, turquoise, tiger eye, and amethyst.

Multi strand black onyx bib-style necklace with a silver ring clasp.

There’s so much to love about this cultured freshwater pearl necklace. At its shortest length the strands are 45 centimetres (18 inches) long and at their longest, 58 centimetres (23 inches) long. This stunning piece comes with a certified Seal of Authenticity. These silvery grey pearls are perfect if you suit cool tones.

multi strand cultured freshwater black pearl necklace.

I couldn’t leave my warm sisters out of the pearl party. Here’s your version of the multi-strand cultured freshwater pearl necklace. I love it!

Cultured freshwater pearl necklace in warm tones. It has nine strands.

So romantic! Swarovski’s Infinity Heart necklace features a white crystal heart and a rose gold infinity symbol that intertwine elegantly together. It may not be big, but this necklace really makes a statement – it’s a very special piece.

Swarovski Infinity Heart necklace featuring a white crystal heart intertwined with a rose gold plated infinity symbol.

 

 

 

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Sticky
February 11, 2022

Versatile Tops for Work and Play

What does your dream wardrobe look like?

I’m guessing there would be a few key factors you would mention:

Below you’ll find a selection of versatile tops for work and play. They’re items that can be worn in many different ways, for many different occasions.

Ideally, you want to be able to wear your clothes often, so you feel good about the money you’ve spent and you know you’re getting great cost per wear from each item. Because you love that item or outfit so much you’ll feel amazing in it and will happily to wear it over and over again – WIN!

Versatile Tops for Work and Play – Cool Undertones

How to Style Your Tops

You can easily team these tops with a tailored pair of pants and ballet flats or a more structured skirt and pumps for work. For casual Friday, you could wear the blouse with a pair of dressy denim jeans. And always remember to accessorise with some statement earrings or necklace.

Then, on the weekend, combine them with capri pants, a denim jacket and sneakers. If you have a defined waist, why not highlight it with a fabulous belt.

Swap the sneakers for a gorgeous pair of sandals or some stylish boots, and you’re ready for drinks and dinner with friends.

Off to a ritzy restaurant or the opera? Choose one of your shiny skirts or a 7/8 length skirt with some elegant heels.

One top – multiple uses 🙂

Versatile Tops for Work and Play – Warm Undertones

Sticky
November 23, 2021

Perfect Maxi Dresses for Summertime Bliss

Down here in Sydney Australia, it’s Spring, moving into Summer. And with that comes the call for dresses: for parties, the races, hot days, and warm, sultry nights.

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to wear. So, I’ve put together a collection of my favourite maxi dresses for all occasions.

But, before you spend any money, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your maxi.

  1. Maxis are often loose and flowy, so if you have a defined waist, show it off by adding a belt.
  2. Are you petite? The hem should be ankle length.
  3. Depending on the occasion, you can wear heels, sandals, wedges or sneakers with your maxi. Boho styles look great with cowboy boots.

Tip: When I refer to sneakers, I mean slimline white, neutral, or coloured ones that relate to the colours in your dress and not anything chunky or heavy-looking.

  1. Avoid maxis with volumes of fabric unless you are very tall.
  2. Look for solid colours, dense all-over prints, or vertical prints if you want to look taller and slimmer.
  3. Choose prints that are proportional to your scale. (We cover proportions and scale in a Personal Style Consultation)
  4. Soft, floaty fabrics will be cooler and more flattering.
  5. If your maxi is too long, i.e. hits the ground or fabric pools on the floor, shorten it. This is mainly for safety reasons. Tripping on your long dress is only going to end in tears!
  6. Dresses in plain, solid colours lend themselves to being accessorised. If your dress features a busy pattern, allow it to be the focal point and go easy on the jewels.
Seven maxi dresses in cool colours. Five of the dresses feature floral and paisley patterns.

Click here to shop this board.

How to Accessorise your Maxi Dress

Let your imagination run wild!

You could go understated with stud earrings, a simple necklace and a daytime tote. Or, you could add larger jewellery pieces to make more of an impact. How about some bling earrings and a statement bag for the evening?

Seven maxi dresses in warm colours. Five of them have either a floral or paisley print.

Click here to shop this board.

Now’s a Great Time to Buy

Are you (and your wardrobe) ready for all of the fun get-togethers and parties that happen this time of year? Don’t find yourself stressed out with the “I have nothing to wear” syndrome. Shop early so you’ll be prepped for summer – stepping out in style.

Watch the video to see why I’ve selected these maxi dresses.

Do you need help sorting out your wardrobe, creating new outfits and shopping for the new season?

Sticky
November 09, 2021

Funky Flat Sandals for Easy Spring and Summer Style

Flat sandals are so handy to have in your wardrobe for spring and summer.

They allow your feet to breathe, and you can wiggle your toes (LOL)! They’re such an easy ‘grab and go’ option for the warmer months.

Nude coloured flats that are close to your skin tone are the most versatile. Then, neutrals like tan, navy, white, grey, brown, and black are handy because they mix and match with every colour. And finally, fun, interesting colours such as green, red, orange, purple etc., are the least adaptable but will add an element of interest to any outfit.

If you have skin with warm undertones, choose yellow-based colours. And, if your skin is ‘cool’, then select blue-based colours. I’ve included a range of both warm and cool coloured flat sandals, as you can see in the shoppable boards below.

 

 

 

Watch this video to see why I chose these flat sandals:

If you’ve had your colours done, you’ll know if you should be focusing on the warm or the cool range of colours. If you’re at a loss as to whether you suit yellow or blue-based colours, a personal colour analysis consultation will take all of the guesswork away.

What To Wear with Flat Sandals

  1. A maxi dress
  2. Jeans
  3. Casual skirt
  4. Knee or above the knee length dress
  5. Culottes
  6. Shorts
  7. A jumpsuit
  8. Cargo pants
  9. Casual pants made from light-weight fabric like linen

Let’s just look at #1 and #4. Flat sandals and casual dresses are a match made in heaven. These are two wardrobe items that require minimum thought and time, with maximum impact. No worrying about which top and bottom coordinate together – just slip on your dress, slide into your sandals, grab your handbag, and you’re out the door!

Here are some long and short dresses that would look great with your flat sandals.

Sticky
September 10, 2021

10 Easy, Chic Ways To Style Your Winter Knits

These 10 easy, chic ways to style your winter knits will have you looking up-to-date for every occasion. Jumpers (‘sweaters’ in America, ‘pullovers’ in Europe) and short and long-line cardigans keep you warm and cosy on chilly days. They are versatile investment pieces for your winter wardrobe – perfect for layering when the temperature plummets. Mostly, I choose knits made from natural fibres like merino, alpaca, and cotton – not just to keep the cold out but because they are soft, comfortable, and breathable.

You can find my favourites in the shoppable boards and video below. Some of these styles come in other colours. My picks are based on cool and warm colours. If you have already had a colour analysis with me, you will know your best colour palette (whether you are warm or cool). You can wear all of these knits to create stylish outfits like the suggestions listed below.

 

Watch the video to see why I have selected these cosy winter knits.

10 Easy, Chic Ways To Style Your Winter Knits

  1. Jeans, ankle boots, jacket or long-long cardigan. Swap the ankle boots for sneakers.
  2. Team your knit with a skirt. Half tuck or belt your knit to show your shape.
  3. Add a textured vest over the top for extra warmth—for example, faux fur or quilted styles.
  4. Ankle boots, slim-fit jeans, and a long jumper with a long necklace.
  5. Wear a collared shirt underneath your knit. Allow the collar and hem of the shirt to peek out at either end.

 

  1. Skinny jeans or Ponte pants with long boots and a long scarf.
  2. A straight skirt, tights, ankle boots and an oversized winter knit.
  3. If your winter jumper is oversized and long enough, wear it like a dress with tights and long boots.
  4. Wear your oversize V-neck or boatneck knits off the shoulder with jeans, pants or a skirt and long boots.
  5. For a chic evening look, pair your light to medium weight jumpers with your darkest denim jeans or culottes and high heeled boots or pumps.

Have fun creating some of these easy ways to style your winter knits.

Sticky
July 24, 2021

7 Fashion Mistakes Sabotaging Your Style

Interested in knowing 7 fashion mistakes that could be sabotaging your style?

Let’s start with ‘style rules’.

Do you like them to stick to them when you create your outfits, or do you favour flexibility as I do?

I think it’s beneficial to know the theory and fundamentals of colour and style, but things get more exciting when you bend the rules, play outside the box and express your individuality. After all, fashion is meant to be fun!

There are, however, some general guidelines that can save your outfit from falling into the “What was she thinking?!” category. Knowing these fashion faux pas will help you dress with style and feel more confident about your outfit choices.

Fashion Mistakes Stealing Your Style

1.  Insisting you are only ever one size in clothing. “I’m always a size 12. I couldn’t possibly go up to the 14.”

Not all sizes are created equal! Make allowances for the huge sizing variations from one brand to another.

Last week I was on a personal shopping trip with Katie, who usually wears a size 14/L. She purchased an oversized top in size 12 and a skirt that skimmed her curves in size 16. Both garments fit her to perfection.

2.  Buying one item in every colour, especially anything that is worn near your face. I have seen this sooo many times during wardrobe audits!

The chances are that only one or, at a stretch, two colours will suit your ideal personal colour palette. The other colours will be unflattering for your skin tone. You may innately recognise this when you look in the mirror. Consequently, you only wear one colour ‘to death’ while the others will be a waste of money and take up valuable space in your wardrobe.

Model wears 4 tops that are all the same style but in different colours.

These 4 tops are all the same style but in different colours. The soft pink and pure white tops are great options if you are light with cool undertones. Black will suit those with deep colouring. The marine blue top will look fabulous on you if you have warm undertones.

 

Fashion faux pas to avoid

3.  Wearing wide horizontal or vertical stripes across areas you want to hide, e.g. your tummy, hips, bottom, bust or shoulders. Stripes, especially large ones, are focal points that add extra volume and width.

4.  Wanting to look taller and slimmer, but wearing very dark pants with a very light top (or vice versa).

This combination is called ‘high-value contrast’. It visually cuts you in half. If you are tall, that might not be such a big deal. But, if you are average height or less, it will make you appear shorter and wider. Notice that the line at the model’s waist area is less obvious in the image on the right-hand side.

2 images: in one picture the model wears a white top and black pants. In the second picture, the model wears a caramel coloured knit and black pants.

5.  Fashion mistake no. 5 is wearing white, bright, tight, coloured, dark or patterned underwear beneath your white clothes. No one needs to see that! 😳 Nude, flesh colours are the way to go.

Tip: White pants are especially unforgiving, so when you wear them, make sure your underwear fits perfectly.

These Fashion Blunders could be your Style Undoing.

6.  Buying into extreme fashion trends. They lack staying power and date quickly. Examples include micro bags, padded shoes, and mega-ripped jeans. These high turnover pieces deplete your bank balance and contribute to unnecessary waste and pollution. Plus, if you wear them for too long, others will perceive you as outdated or stuck in the past.

 

3 images: extremely ripped jeans, micro handbags and padded shoes. All of these fashion faux pas should be avoided.

7.  The last of the fashion mistakes warranting a mention is ill-fitting clothes. Wearing garments that are either too tight or too large draws attention for the wrong reasons. I think the former is the worst offender – think muffin tops and breasts spilling out of a super tight top. This scenario reminds me of something I read ages ago, “Just ‘cause it zips doesn’t mean it fits.”

Woman wears jeans that are too tight exposing rolls of fat that hang over the top of the jeans.

The other side of the coin is trying to hide your perceived problem areas (like a tummy) with large over-sized clothes. Excess fabric only draws our attention to that area.

Clothes that skim your body shape are most flattering.

 

 

Image credits: Mollini, Portmans

Sticky
March 17, 2021

Eyewear Colours: What Colours are Best for You?

Choosing eyewear colours can be tricky – there are so many shades to choose from!

An easy way to narrow down the options is to choose glasses that complement your hair, skin and eye colours.

There are 2 important factors to consider before you start choosing the colour of your frames:

  1. Do I suit warm or cool colours?

Your answer influences the undertone of the colours you choose. How do you know which colours suit you? Coral suits people with warm, yellow-based undertones. Fuchsia suits cool, blue-based undertones. Or, you can use your comprehensive colour swatch to guide you.

  1. Do I want my glasses to work with my natural colour palette or do I want them to make a bold statement?

Below you will find ideas about how to choose frame colours that work in harmony with you. If you have a style personality that enjoys creative, more dramatic, or fun looks – go ahead – break ‘the rules’!

Eyewear Colours – Take Inspiration from Your Locks

Look at the different variations of highlights and deeper colours in your hair. Any of these shades will look fabulous as a frame colour.

Tip: Do you have a wide range of light and medium or dark tones in your hair? Tortoiseshell frames could be a great choice.

Black and dark brown hair – deep, dark colours, including black, will look striking on you. Avoid pale, ashy colours.

Light brown hair – If your hair is warm brown choose russet tones, camel, deep taupe. Cool brown hair? Select rose brown, blue-greys.

Red hair – rich tans and umber, reddish and chocolate browns – colours inspired by nature (think Autumn leaves). Brighter orange hair will tolerate more vibrant hues.

Blonde hair – Warm blondes suit honey, caramel, cinnamon, peach, and gold coloured frames. Whereas, cool blondes shine in rose beige, deep taupe, soft pink and silver.

Tip: black can look harsh if your overall colouring is light.

Woman with blond hair wears light coloured eyewear. Woman with black hair wears complementary black framed glasses. Girl wears rose beige coloured glasses to match her hair colour.

Grey hair – Is the undertone of your grey warm or cool? Warm (yellow-based) grey will look terrific in brushed gold glasses (a lacklustre version of yellow gold). Cool greys suit silver frames. Avoid yellow and brown frames.

Best Glasses Frames To Enhance Your Eyes

Have a close look at your eyes. What colours do you see? Choosing frames that are like the colours in your eyes will make them ‘pop’. These are called eye enhancers.

Image of an amber coloured eye and two pairs of glasses that will enhance that eye colour.Picture of a teal blue eye and two pairs of teal blue glasses which will enhance the colour of the eye.

Eyeglass Frames That Complement Your Skin Tone

Does your skin have a pinkish hue or does it appear more yellow? Wearing glasses in your optimal shades of red, pink, burgundy or purple will make your skin glow.

Tip: If you have a warm, yellow-based undertone you will also suit orange.

Woman in red floral dress and two examples of eyewear that will suit her warm skin tone.Woman wearing maroon top with two pairs of glasses that suit her cool colouring.

By choosing frames that complement the colours of your hair, skin and eyes you’ll be well on your way to selecting the perfect look for you.

Eyewear images were sourced from Specsavers.  This brand also operates in the UK, Ireland, other countries in Australasia and Nordic countries.

 

Sticky
October 25, 2020

Quick Styling Tips to Hide a Tummy

As a personal stylist, I’m often asked for quick styling tips to hide a tummy.

Successful dressing really is the art of illusion. By making clever colour and style choices you can highlight your assets, as well as play down areas you’re not so keen on. What I love about clever styling is that the magic happens without succumbing to radical surgery, crazy dieting, or hours sweating at the gym. Hallelujah to that!

In this blog, I share 12 ways you can minimise your tummy area by being selective about the clothes you wear.

 

How to Hide a Tummy with Clever Styling

  • Wear tops, dresses and skirts that skim rather than cling to your tummy. Fabric that drapes softly will cleverly conceal what’s underneath. Tip: Clothes that are too large and voluminous will totally hide your shape. They will visually add extra kilos making you look bigger – so take care of the fit.

 

  • Tops should hang below the area you are wanting to hide. Your ideal top length will depend on your body proportions. Tops that end on the roundest part of your body will attract the most attention. So too will tops that sit above the waistband of your skirt or pants.

 

  • Rounded and diagonal hemlines are flattering for a rounded stomach. And, they give the illusion of longer legs.

 

  • Choose soft drape, stretch or flowing fabrics. This is definitely something to be mindful of. Crisp or stiff fabrics add unwanted bulk.

 

  • Matte fabrics are your friend. Shiny fabrics are attention-grabbing and can reveal lumps and bumps making you look larger.
Shiny fabric draws attention to your tummy

Shiny fabric draws attention to your tummy

Matte fabric is better for disguising a tummy

Matte fabric is better for disguising a tummy Images: Nordstrom

  • Another way to disguise a fuller tummy is to keep the focal point above or below that area. So avoid belts, large pockets on blazers, border patterns on tops, wide stripes, double-breasted jackets, and long necklaces that sit on your belly.
Woman wears long, golden yellow top with a necklace that sits below her bust and on her belly.

The necklace should sit above the bust.

No gathering or pleating at the waist

  • Play down your tummy area by wearing pants, skirts, and dresses with minimal or no gathering or pleating at the waist. Folds of pleats will open over the rounded area, rather than lying flat. And, gathers will add extra fabric, creating visual ‘bulk’. Flat fronts are ideal.

 

  • High rise jeans and pants are trending now, and if you have a long rise they are great for hiding a belly – no muffin tops in sight! For most women with a tummy, mid-rise pants will work best. Make sure that the waist of the pant sits near or on your belly button. Slimline pants are ideal if you wear loose tops.

 

  • Longline cardigans and vests create the illusion of length and flow over the sides of your tummy area.

 

Dresses that a great for concealing a tummy

 

  • Empire dresses that sit under the bust with no gathering are very flattering styles. Tip: Avoid baby doll dresses because they have lots of gathering under the bust.

 

  • Dresses with ruching help minimise a tummy.

 

  • Trapeze, A-line and shift dresses work well too.

 

These are some of the simple styling tips which will ensure you feel comfortable, look great, and hide your tummy all at the same time. The ‘aim of the game’ is to help you feel confident inside and out.

Would you like to know everything there is about what to wear for your personality, body shape, proportions and lifestyle? A one on one Style Session will answer all of your questions and make getting dressed easy!

Do you have any other tips about this topic? Please feel free to share.

Sticky
June 19, 2020

16 Tips for Looking Good On Video Calls

Video calls have become a common way of connecting with each other. Online platforms like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime are very convenient. Now we can schedule business meetings, webinars and personal catch-ups with people across the globe. You can look your best on virtual meetings and virtual get-togethers by following these quick and easy tips.

Looking good on video calls: Colour

1. Wear mid-tone colours. Very light or very dark colours have a tendency to make you look washed out.

 

An assortment of warm and cool medium value colours that are perfect for looking great on video calls.

An assortment of warm and cool medium value colours that are perfect for looking great on video calls.

 

2. Choose clothes that are different in colour to your background.  On a recent video call, someone I was talking with was wearing black, and the curtain behind her was black, leaving ‘just a face’ on the screen.  That might be a great look for theatre, but video meetings shouldn’t be that dramatic!

Bonus tip: Have a look at what’s behind you. Keep your background uncluttered, and clean and tidy as possible. You want everyone to be focused on the conversation.

3. Solid colours are easier on the eye. And, it’s best to avoid stripes as they tend to look fuzzy on the screen. Also, loud, multicoloured patterns can be distracting. Patterns that are dense and small to medium in size work best.

 

Woman wears striped blouse.

Stripes can appear fuzzy on screen.

 

4. Wear colours that work in harmony with your hair, skin and eyes. These colours will ensure you create maximum visual impact. Before you have a chance to speak, people will subconsciously judge your appearance and your non-verbal cues (posture, facial expression, body language) – make yours a positive first impression.

Style suggestions for looking your best during online calls

5. Your main focus should be dressing your portrait area. From the top of your head to about your mid-section is generally all we’ll see. But I recommend considering what you wear below that area as well. If you have to get up in a hurry and don’t have time to turn off the camera you want to dress so that you won’t embarrass yourself and it won’t be a shocking sight for everyone else on the call.

6. Dress authentically so you feel confident and comfortable is very important. So too, is dressing appropriately. For example, if you are on a business call, wear an outfit that you would normally wear to work. That way your mindset is in work mode, you look the part and your work colleagues and/or clients know it too. (A blazer and a solid coloured top always look professional.)

Remember, your clothes send subliminal messages. Think about how you want to be perceived when you’re dressing for video calls. Even if the call is for social reasons it’s a great idea to look ‘put together’. You’ll feel more confident and everyone else will appreciate the respect you’re showing them by making an effort.

7. If you wear jewellery to keep it fairly simple: The focus needs to be on your message, not on your adornments.

8. Still on the topic of jewellery: avoid wearing stacks of bangles which can be noisy when you move your arms. If you’re using headsets, dangling earrings could hit the earpiece and cause noise distraction.

Grooming

9. Hair should be neat and clean. If you’re really pushed for time just make sure that the front view of your hair is the way you want it. No one will see the back of you. If you’re prone to playing with your hair, pull it back in a simple ponytail or low bun to stop yourself from playing with it.

10. Not everybody likes to wear makeup, but a mid-tone lipstick or lip gloss and a bit of blush will help define your features. It also helps to keep the focus on your primary communication zone.

 

Three lipsticks in assorted colours

Wearing a mid-tone lipstick draws attention to your face – your principle communication zone.

 

11. Be wary of your neckline. If it’s too low, you might feel self-conscious and find it difficult to concentrate.

Look your best for online calls; Lighting and camera position

12. Make sure there’s optimal light. Natural light is best, but daylights, softbox lighting or a ring light can produce similar results. The light source should be in front of you. Avoid sitting directly under a light source as it will cause deep shadows (especially under your eyes).

13. Position the camera at eye level or slightly above. This gives others the feeling that you are sitting opposite the person you are talking to – just like a face-to-face conversation. An easy way to achieve this is to position your device on a stack of books or a small box. If the camera is below you it will create an unflattering, distorted view. This angle can create double chins that you didn’t know you had!

14. Even lighting is key. Use a portable ring light if you are unable to move your seating position and one side of you is in shadow. These are inexpensive and widely available. Just like the way you elevate your computer or phone, you can set the legs of the light on a stack of books or a box to achieve optimal height.

15. Clean the camera lens before the video calls start so that the image others see is clear.

16. Finally, check yourself on the screen before turning the video function on. This gives you time to make any adjustments or tweaks to your appearance before you are in front of others.

 

 

Image Credits: Andriyko Podilnyk, Honest Company, Visuals – Unsplash

 

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May 12, 2020
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