Tag Archive for 'style'

Defining Style

Coco Chanel

Do you have a signature accessory?  Is there something that friends and colleagues associate with you and only you?   If you’re having a hard time identifying your signature accessory, take a moment out to really give it some thought.  Honestly, if you have to think about it, you probably don’t have a signature accessory.  If  you come up with nothing, fret not, here are a few tips to help you define your style.  To be clear, your signature accessory can be anything from a watch to the scent you wear. Whatever it is, it should be something that others associate with you. For example, for my friend Susan, it’s her great short haircuts.  As you contemplate what to choose to help further define you, find something you love.  Something that makes your heart leap! Think about that well-dressed friend, is there something about her that makes her stand out from the crowd?  Is it her beautiful watch, that fact that she always wears danglely earrings, her cool red eye glasses or her funky silver jewelry?  Coco Chanel’s was pant suits and bunches of long dramatic pearl necklaces. Stacy London’s defining style is the grey streak in her hair.  Niecy Nash wouldn’t be caught dead walking up to the messiest house in the country without her signature flower tucked behind her ear.  Anna Wintour’s signature accessories are her bobbed hair and big sunglasses. Cardigans have become synonymous with Michelle Obama.  What’s synonymous with you?


Shopportunities!A Shopportunity is a shopping opportunity.  A good deal.  One of those deals that makes you think that tomorrow or 6 months from now I’ll regret not having purchased this dress, pair of shoes, handbag , you fill in the blank.   A shopurtunity equals beautiful clothes that fit you well at a fraction of the retail price. It’s not a shopurtunity if the price is right but you don’t love the look or the fit. Remember to keep this little nugget in mind as you hit the racks or the online sales. Our economy has taken a turn for the worst, but the economic downturn is a fashionista’s paradise.  

Yes, I know it’s Spring, almost Summer, but now is the best time to get great deals on things like furs, cashmere and leather boots because designers and stores are trying to get rid of inventory to make room for their warm weather merchandise. Right now, buying a pair of snakeskin boots when you’re thinking about those reasonably priced JCrew t-straps seems incongruous. But, when you’re at the store ask yourself , “When November hits will I regret not having gotten those boots?” Right now they’re a steal for $125.  This Fall, a similar pair might be as much as $775.  Think about it …  

So, while you’re surfing the net or doing a little window shopping, don’t forget to look for the shopurtunities!

What’s HOT for Spring 2009, part 2

6. What’s great about a lot of the clothes coming out this Spring, is that there’s detail, detail detail – beautifully intricate blouses, sequin embellishment, ethnic accents, coral and turquoise stones on the t-straps of high and low sandals, ruffles, you name it.  You can find this sort of detail from high-end to low end designers – Anne Fontaine, Caroline Herrera, Jason Wu, Tracy Reese, Malene Birger to the Gap, Ann Taylor, JCrew and Banana Republic.



7. Bling-a-ding-ding!! If you like metallics – this is your season to shine – silver, gold, bronze … they’re all over the place.  Dresses, tanks, anything that glimmers and catches the light.  If bling’s not up your alley, or if you’d prefer to tone it down a bit, add a bit of “WOW” with your accessories.  Find a great metallic clutch, a pair of strappy sandals or some beautiful bangles to take your uniform of dark jeans and a white t-shirt from good to great.  Metallics are here to stay – and you can always put a good metallic clutch to use!  Designers like Prada, Yves St. Laurent, Lanvin, and Zac Posen have some absolutely fabulous to-die for bags out.


8. April showers bring May flowers and this Spring is no exception.  Florals are all the rage and can be found on just about everything.  The most popular floral print items are dewy romantic dresses, but there are blouses, and jackets, skirts and even Capri pants.


9. Add a POP! of color to brighten any outfit.  Look for hot pinks, bright yellows, beautiful corals, neon greens – think of the new Louis Vuitton Tribute collection to Steven Sprouse (the Punk Glamour God who did the original graffiti bag collaboration with Marc Jacobs in 2001) with the bright roses or orange/fuchsia/neon green graffiti.  The traditional brown monogram canvas takes on a whole new persona with the bright pops of color – and so will your wardrobe with a bright pink cardigan,an  orange bathing suit or patent leather green wedge sandals.


10.  This Spring there’s a trend that appeals to the taste and budget of just about everyone.  If color’s not your thing, neutrals and metallics not in your budget this Spring, florals a little too girly for you and lace – even the edgy kind – isn’t to your liking?  No worries, because the staples black & white are going to be more popular than even this Spring.  If you want to look polished, chic or sophisticated and don’t have the time or wherewithal to navigate the hot new trends, you can’t go wrong with classic black and white combinations.

Don’t fret if your ability to keep up with the trends is a little more Ugly Betty than Carrie Bradshaw – you can still wear the latest trends without depleting your bank account each season … How? It’s simple, be picky.  Flip through a few catalogues and the Spring books (that’s what the publishing industry calls magazines) to figure out what the new trends are and what tickles your fancy.  Identify items that will work with your figure and can easily be incorporated into your current wardrobe.  Maybe it’s that new pair of deliciously high 5” heels or maybe it’s that fabulous necklace made of silver chains and beads that will upgrade even your most basic t-shirt.  Whatever it is, it should make you feel good when you put it on.  If it looks great in Vogue but not on you, leave it at the store and find something that makes you feel like a million bucks.  The worst thing about the changing seasons is that the latest trends aren’t for everyone.  Don’t buy something just because it’s in, buy what you love.  And if you don’t fall in love during a given season but feel the need to purchase a few items, shop sparingly at stores that wont charge you an arm and leg. 



Inauguration Fever!



Accessories, accessories, accesories!

Are you going?  Do you have tickets to the actual inauguration?  Which balls are you going to?  There are still tickets available?!??!  Where’s your hotel room?  How are you going to get around DC?  Did you hear there all of the car services are booked?  ….  The devil is in the details, you’ve decided to go and now you dont have time to find that oh so perfect gown.  Yes, gown – this is one of the few occasions that calls for a sweeping floor gown.  Every girl should have at least one in case just such an opportunity arises.  No ball gown and no time to find one or money to buy one after the mint you just spent on tickets?  Not to worry.  Dust off your LBD, Little Black Dress for the uninitiated.  Whether you’re trekking to DC or going to inauguration festivities down the street, an LBD is the perfect dress to don for such a momentous occasion.  The devil is truly in the details.  You may not have time to find a “ball gown”, but you do have time to go to Banana Republic, H&M, Bendels, Bergdorfs, Forever21, JCrew, Saks, Neimans, Mango, take your pick to find the perfect accouterments to take your LBD from good to GREAT.  



Accessories can make or break an outfit; I cannot emphasize this enough.   Finding the right shoes, handbag, earrings, necklace (if the outfit calls for it), bracelet and cocktail ring makes all the difference.  Look for pieces that make your heart go pitter patter.  Half the battle in looking good is feeling confident in what you have on.  If your heart leaps when you find that perfect piece, you’ll wear it proudly.  Go for something that will be sure to spark conversation; the inauguration is not the time to let your inner wallflower come out.  As you sparkle around the party, a dazzling sight to behold, let others wonder where your verve and confidence come from.  Ball gown, be damned!

Gild the Mistletoe – Spice up the holiday season by adding a little bling!


Elizabeth Cole

Conventional wisdom from the styling gods dictates that one should twirl in front of the mirror before leaving home, take off whatever catches your eye and not look back as you sail out the door in a cloud of perfume.  Throw caution to the wind for the month of December and sparkle until you cant sparkle anymore!  You should be the belle of the ball whether entertaining chez vous or heading out for a nite on the town.  Jewel tones were all the rage this Fall, especially purple, and can be easily dressed up with a little bling.  Caution and the wind don’t mix in your world?  The LBD is foolproof, chic, and downright sexy when worn with the right attitude.  Faux fur, fun fur, or the real deal, if it comports with your politics and your budget, is a must for any fashionista worth her weight in platinum.  Whatever you wear, wear it well this holiday season and you’ll be sure to turn heads wherever you go.

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