Archive for the 'Fashion Tips' Category

Page 4 of 4

Workin’ Day and Night . . .

MJ never said truer words.  How many times have you planned to go home after work to change clothes before going out only to realize that there’s no way you’re going to make it home AND make it to the restaurant, bar, or your PTA (sorority, board, [you fill in the blank]) meeting on time?  The thing about going from work to play is that you don’t necessarily want to look like you just came from the office when you meet your blind date for the first time.  You want to look professional, but more like a night time version of your professional self, right?  We’ve all seen the woman at the bar or restaurant, waiting for friends or her date, who looks like she must work at an ad agency or in PR because there’s no way she could be that fly and work at a law firm or a consulting firm.  You might be, right, she may have one of those cool creative jobs or NOT.  She just may be one of those people who knows how to go from day to night in a jiffy.  You too can be that woman.  All it requires is a little planning on your part.

Rule No. 1 – The IT Factor.  If you cant afford the latest “IT” bag, find a small funky purse or clutch bag to hold your essentials.  Check your tote or briefcase when you arrive at your destination if leaving it in the car is not an option.

Rule No. 2 – Get a Leg Up. Bring a pair of heels with you (no, not your work heels. Going out heels).  Take those Manolos, Jimmy Choos or Jessica Simpsons out of the box and bring them to work with you.  A nice pair of heels gives shape and definition to the leg and immediately dresses just about any outfit up. (If heels aren’t your thing, try Insolia shoe inserts to take the weight off the ball of your foot and make standing in heels much more comfortable).

Rule No. 3 – Change the face.  There should be some distinction between your daily face and your going out face.  If you don’t wear make up regularly,  put on some blush, lip gloss and mascara to brighten up your face a bit.  If you do wear make up regularly, re-apply and do something a little different – rather than a nude lip, go with color or go with a smokey eye, for example.

Rule No. 4 – The Sweet Smell of Success.  Spritz on a bit of perfume stashed in your Desk S.O.S kit to freshen up a bit.

Rule No. 5 – Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize.  Let go of the safe “work” jewelry and funk things up a bit with a cool necklace, headband, bracelet or earrings that might border on wrong for work, but will be great for going out.  JCrew, H&M, TopShop and Forever 21 have some great moderate to low priced options to select from.

Rule No. 6 – Go out and have fun.   “Easy breezy” is your mantra.

BLT, It’s More Than Just a Sandwich …

You’re running out of your office late for a meeting. You grab a notepad, a pen,  your ID tag and make a beeline for the elevator. Standing in the elevator bank you catch a glimpse of yourself in the doors’ slightly reflective exterior and wonder if there’s a piece of popcorn stuck in between your teeth or if it’s just a weird shadow. The doors open and the elevator is filled with colleagues; not the best time to pick your teeth.  So, do you make a pit stop on the way to the meeting and risk being late or go to the meeting with food in your teeth? . . . These little dilemmas happen to the best of us. Believe it or not, a BLT can help you avoid some of these problems.

No, not a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich … just a little reminder with the same initials. Buttons. Lipstick. Teeth. BLT. It’s a quick mental checklist to run through each time you leave your office, do your last look in the mirror on the way out to meet friends or land at your final destination (you know when you should be doing some last minute primping).  Take a deep breath as you check the following:

BLT.  Short and simple, sweet and to the point and most importantly, it’s foolproof. Yes, a BLT is more than just a sandwich.

The Change Over

closet-main_FullIt’s October, Summer really is over despite what the thermometer says.  If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to pack up your Summer clothes and pull out your Winter wardrobe.  Below are a few of my savvy stylist tips to help you organize your closet this Fall.  I promise if you follow these 10 steps, getting dressed this Winter will be easier because your clothes will be in great shape and you’ll actually be able to find them in your closet!

1. Wooden hangers save the shape of clothes and make your closet neater because everything hangs uniformly.

2. Keep your blue jeans blue.  Wash your blue jeans inside out and let them air dry. Throw in dryer for 5 min to soften.

3. Back in black. Wash black garments together & use detergent specifically for black clothes.  I love Perwoll Black Magic Laundry Liquid Soap.

4. Never ever put brassieres in the dryer.  Mesh lingerie bags are a great way to prolong the life of your unmentionables.

5. Keep the girls lifted!  Rotate brassieres daily to insure that the arms don’t get stretched out.

6. Dry clean your cashmere sweaters, but do so sparingly to preserve the fibers and shape, and invest in a sweater shaver.

7. Keep jewelry neat and easily accessible in a jewelry box or jewelry organizer.

8. Prolong the life of your favorite handbags/totes/clutches by storing them in dustbags.  If your purse didn’t come with a dustbag at purchase, wrap it up in an old sweathshirt or t-shirt.

9. Store shoes on shoe racks or in clear plastic shoe boxes so that you can see what you have.  Almost all of my shoes are sorted and stored in them – so much easier to find what you’re looking for when you’re rushing in the am!

10. Organize clothes in your closet by garment type.   Shirts with shirts, dresses with dresses, suits with suits and so on.  Once you get everything organized by garment type, go back and organize each type by color.  Trust me, it’s time well-spent.

Happy Organizing!

Looking Good 24/7

We all have one.  You know, the friend who always looks perfectly put together no matter how little sleep she’s had or how much stress she happens to be under.  It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it, right?  What’s her secret?  Basically, her monthly maintenance routine is paramount to her well-being (like maybe chocolate is for you).  The maintenance routine varies from woman to woman, but generally consists of working out, eating properly, going to the hair salon, regular waxings and the like.  She may be working a gazillion hours a week, but she gets her eyebrows done like clock-work.  Her constitution wouldn’t allow her to behave otherwise.  No worries if your inner-peace is not contingent upon having your ‘stache (if you have one, you know what I’m referring to) done regularly, but if you want to make sure you put your best foot forward professionally and personally, here are a few tips to help you.

  • Maincures&Pedicures – If you have time for nothing else, maintain your nails.  Unkempt nails and chipped polish are no-nos.  No time to go to the salon?  Try Sally Hansen’s Insta-Dri Nail polish, $5.
  • Signature Scent – If you don’t already have one, take the time to select one.  Here are a few tips to aid in the search for your signature scent:  ➊ Don’t wear cologne when you go to shop for a new fragrance; ❷ Narrow your choices to 3, spray them in different places on your arms and wrists; ➌ Get samples of the 3 and use each at home to figure out which works best with your body chemistry; and ➍ Over the course of time, build a “Fragrance Wardrobe”: day, evening & special occasions.
  • Looking a little too dewy in the middle of the day?  Blotting tissues are a great way to control oil production, you’ll never be too shiny or too matte.
  • Standing Appointments – Treat yourself to a day of beauty.  Make yourself feel special and insure you dont have to worry about remembering to make an appointment by making standing appointments with your hair dresser, your esthetician,  your colorist, your bikini waxer and your eyebrow gal.  TIP:  Make sure you have a contingency plan for when these folks go out of town.
  • Beat the Face – This is what the professionals call it.  Learn to put your perfect face on in 10 minutes so that you always walk out the door looking polished and put together.
  • Desk S.O.S. Kit – Keep a stash of your beauty essentials at work.  Just dupe everything in your cosmetics bag.  That way, if you leave it at home,  you are good to go.  Include deoderant, stain remover wipes or stick, perfume, blotting tissues and a curling iron or flat iron.

Follow these tips and the next thing you know, you’ll be the friend others use as their standard!

Hankie Pankie

Dabbing at tears and wiping away beads of perspiration are facts of life.  How many times have you found yourself in one of these situations and not had something to properly dab or wipe with?  If you’re lucky, a loved one, a friend or a perfectly good stranger stepped in and offered you their hankie. Handkerchiefs, paper or cloth, are something one should never leave home without.

Fellas, before you walk out the door you check to make sure you have your essentials – keys, wallet, Blackberry, iPhone – is a handkerchief on your check-list?  If not, please add it.  If nothing else, having one on your person will win you big points with the ladies (those you want to impress as well as those whose respect you hope to gain).

My grandmother taught me that a lady never leaves the house without her hankie. Most days I live up to her credo – I’m lucky I have her old hankies, which are a lovely way to carry a little bit of her with me every day.  Carrying a hankie is also a little Holly Golightlyesque for me – pulling out a beautiful little piece of embroidered fabric to dab a tear or stiffle a cough usually brings a smile to my face.

Now, I’m old school.  I believe in cloth hankies – cotton or linen – embroidered with pretty flowers or initials.  I started my collection with my grandmother’s, but over the years friends and family members have helped me to amass a nice collection of my own to pass down.  But, my mother, like many of my friends who’s grannies drilled the same lesson into them, prefer the paper tissue packets — there’s something about their disposable nature and no need for ironing that makes them so appealing.  Kleenex of course, has tissue packets available in spades; guys, these are a great alternative to cotton handkerchiefs. But for you savvy stylistas, Sniff has cornered the market on the die-for tissue packets of the moment.  You’ve seen them – zebra print, leopard, denim-like and beautiful florals to boot.  Beware though these are a bit pricey. My mom has been known to dole these out judiciously (she needs to know that you really do have a runny nose) as if they were $20 bills not to be parted with lightly. Now, if you’re really special and don’t want the muss and fuss of cloth hankies, but want what you carry to be personal to you, there are all kinds of websites out there ready to personalize your tissue packets for you! Who knew, right?  Just Google “personalized tissue packs”.

And you thought Hanky Panky was just a great brand of underwear. (Bet you didnt know that the company got started when one of it’s owners gave the other a beautiful pair of underwear made out of hand embroidered vintange hankies).

White After Labor Day

White after Labor Day?  Why not?  I know it used to be taboo, but rules are meant to be broken!  Think about how great your white jeans will look with a black turtleneck this Fall when you’re out at your friend’s country house – very Jackie O’esque.  Or if your goal is to look like a Michael Kors model, pair those same jeans with a beautiful oatmeal or off white cozy cashmere sweater and a snakeskin bag. Let your imagination run wild …

White Summer clothes were originally the province of the wealthy.  The light color combined with the lighter fabrics were the perfect accompaniment to their Summer homes by the sea.  The “Season” began after Memorial Day and ended with Labor Day; hence the rule was born.

While the lines have blurred and yester-year’s fashion dictates are no longer the driving force behind today’s trends, there are a few things to think about if you are going to be bold enough to break the rules.

  • If you choose to wear white after Labor Day, stay away from linen and other light fabrics that are strictly Summer materials.  Just as you wouldn’t wear a black linen dress in November, nor should you wear a white linen one.
  • Winter white is a great way to add an unexpected pop to your Winter wardrobe.  A beautiful winter white wool or cashmere coat over a black, charcoal grey or camel dress is stunning.  The same holds true for a sleek winter white suit under an amazing black coat.
  • If you wear white in the winter time, make sure that you have the appropriate undergarments. (This holds true for the Summer too!)
  • If you live in a warm weather climate, there really are no rules with respect to white.  Just trust your gut.

The only steadfast rule about wearing white is that female guests should not wear white at a wedding, lest they look as though they’re competing with the bride. (Neither should they wear black, unless they’re mourning for her.)

So, go ahead, Possess Your STYLE and push the envelope – incorporate white into your wardrobe this Fall!

TechStylish

It’s all about being tech savvy, right?  I Twitter, I’m on Facebook (kind of, I check it 1x a quarter) and hey, you’re reading my blog … I am able to do all of these things thanks to my wonderful media guru Nicole.  But, I must confess – I am a little technologically challenged.  Ok, well probably a lot.  But, when I put my mind to it, I can figure out what’s vitally important to me.  Not that my business isnt vitally important, but I know Nicole has me covered there.  I’m talking about my gadgets – Blackberry, iTouch, iPod, Kindle … My friend Portia made sure I learned how to IM on my Blackberry (yes, something I was loathe to do initially but now I love it and have even figured out how to use the face symbols!).  I try to get everyone I know on Blackberry Messenger (you folks with open invitations know who you are).

I was spoiled from working at a law firm and got quite used to having a FAB secretary who answered my phone and screened my calls for me – I didn’t realize how much time she saved me.  No one could ever replace Michele, but PhoneTag does a great job of fielding my calls for me. I don’t have to listen to voicemails anymore (even Nicole had to ask me about this one) because they come into my email inbox as transcribed messages.

Now to me, the Kindle is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I read voraciously and I travel a lot.  Schlepping books on flights is no longer necessary in my world. I have a cool purple pebble leather case by M-Edge for my Kindle that always garners a “wow, you’re case is so nice, I didn’t know they had any color other than black.”  I’ve figured out how to buy books, download samples, archive my collection and search for my place in a book.  Next on the horizon for me is adding periodicals to the mix.

So, what does all of this have to do with style?  Loads.  I hope you’ve chosen a ringtone that makes you smile and makes other people say, “ok, that’s hilarious – perfect for you.”  If you haven’t, and you own a Blackberry, check out Crackberry for free ringtones and alert sounds.  If not beholden to all things blackberry,  just Google “free [NAME OF SONG] ringtone” – tons of sites will pop up.  Choose wisely and be sure that you are getting a FREE ringtone and not signing your life away.

Does the skin or cover you’ve chosen for your PDA reflect you?  What about your iPod cover? Whether you are blinged out like Kimora or have chosen to adorn your device with something a little more simple, what you chose speaks volumes about your personal style.  And yes, if you’ve chosen not to choose something that speaks volumes too.  Maybe go for the headphones with a little sparkle or a phone or headphone charm (you didnt even know those existed, right?).  Or what about a memory stick that others salivate over?

Go ahead, take a step on the wild side.  Get that new Black Eyed Peas ringtone and make sure you are “so 3008″ and not “so 2000 and late!”

The September Issue . . .

In addition to being a much talked about documentary following Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and the assembly and shaping of the 2007 edition of The September Issue, as it is colloquially referred to by those in the know, is the holy grail of all things fashionable for the upcoming year – the latest trends, colors, textures and hot new designers.

Since everyone from fashionistas to recessionistas are feeling the pinch this Fall, below are a few tips to help make this season’s trends a part of your wardrobe without breaking the bank.  Before you hit the stores (online or actual retail shops) remember to shop in your closet – you may rediscover some true gems.

  • Make an edgy statement by incorporating studs – on your shoes, studded leather bracelets, earrings, anything with a little metal pyramid on it is definitely in.  A little bit of a good thing can go a long way.
  • Carol Channing said “I dont mean rhinestones” in her homage to diamonds, but rhinestones are the hottest thing since sliced bread this season.  Big clunky rhinestones, the bigger the better, in all shapes sizes and colors to wear with everything from your LBD to your favorite cashmere cardigan. Nothing like adding a little sparkle around the neck to illuminate and give you an instant glow!
  • Neon is back.  Incorporate it in small doses.  A clutch bag, for example, is a great way to fashionable without being trendy.
  • If you’ve got a few camel pieces in your wardrobe along with a few pieces of gray, start wearing them together.  Camel + Gray is THE color combination of Fall 2009.
  • Viva la sequin! Embellishments done properly are fantastic.  Add some color, texture and depth to your daily routine with sequin enhanced handbags, purses, headbands, bracelets, and cuffs.
  • Red, red, red, red.  Need I say more?  It’s the color of the moment.  Add a splash of color with a fab pair of red heels, a great handbag or  a funky belt.

The goal this Fall is to stay hip and relevant by revving up your look with statement pieces that will allow you to re-invent clothes you already own.

What Can a Stylist Do for You?

If you’re looking to take your game up a notch, you know do a true overhaul of your wardrobe, you may want to hire a stylist.  Stylists aren’t just for celebrities – a stylist can help you hone your sense of style and teach you how to edit and refine your wardrobe.  Think about the best-dressed person you know – She’s not particularly trendy.  He’s not flashy. But they are well put together, their clothes make them seem polished and poised before they even open their mouths.  And we all know that first impressions are lasting impressions.  Someone once said, you dont get a second chance to make a first impression … Those who stand out from the crowd are people who’ve created consistent signature looks for themselves. Some just have a natural flare for it. Others hire folks like me to help them get there; it doesnt matter – well dressed is well dressed, right?

The biggest complaint I hear from clients is that they have a closet full of clothes but never have anything to wear.  Unfortunately, too many of us find ourselves in this dilemma on a regular basis.  Having too much to wear is almost worst than having nothing to wear.  There’s nothing wrong with a little retail therapy every now and again, we’ve all engaged in from time-to-time. Having new things provides a momentary high, but shopping for the sake of shopping often leads to a closet full of clothes, not a wardrobe.  I teach my clients to shop strategically so that they have exactly what they need for just about any occasion.

I cant speak for all stylists, but the goal is to help you out by providing you with the tools you need to look good on a daily basis.  My Wardrobe Evaluation is nothing like what you’ve seen on TV, or at least I hope it isn’t!  My job is to take away your anxieties and worries about getting dressed in the morning.  I want to learn about you and who you are so that I can help you make the clothing decisions that are going to be best for you.  I view this as a collaborative process.  So, I ask my clients to be open to the possibilities of new styles and to contemplate stretching their comfort zones a bit … all in all, my intent is to make this a fun and positive experience.  It’s just clothes after all, not rocket science.  I’m successful when a client calls to tell me they followed my advice and achieved their signature look on their own.

On November 13, 2008, I had the opportunity to work with SheFinds.com’s Guy Friday.  Check out what he had to say about my Wardrobe Evaluation at:  http://www.shefinds.com/blog.

To learn more about my Wardrobe Evaluation go to www.kalynjohnson.com/services.html. Questions? info@kalynjohnson.com

STYLE Tips

  • Buy accessories that make your heart leap! Invest in pieces you love and enjoy wearing – who knows, that fantastic vintage watch or really cool ring may become a signature accessory for you;
  • Get to know your tailor well. Have pants hemmed, waists taken in, pockets cut out and slits sewn, sleeves shortened, ugly buttons changed, whatever needs to be done to make something you love work for you;
  • Underarm Sweat Stain Removal. Mix baking soda & white vinegar in a small dish to create a paste. Coat stained area with mixture & let sit for a few hours. Rinse mixture off and launder as normal; and
  • Very few of us are our ideal size or weight. Don’t get hung up on size, buy clothes that fit you well and if you have to cut the tag out, cut it out and move forward. Vanity sizing has run amok!
[image courtesy of Phillipe Audibet]