May 21, 2015
By Melrose Fisher
Summertime is normally a time of slowing down and relaxing. Some people are better than others at actually utilizing the summer season to relax and re-charge. Reading seems to be the one summer activity everyone engages in. One easy read that JoEllyn Slott (ETCETERA Style Consultant in Memphis, TN) has recommended Style Consultants read this summer is, Change Your Clothes Change Your Life by George Brescia*.
George Brescia is an image consultant based in New York. He has worked with fashion leaders including Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Tommy Hilfiger, and the fashion directors of Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Lord’s & Taylor. Brescia states in his introduction that this book is not about fashion, style, shopping or rules, it is a book about communication and discovery; saving time, money, and energy and giving you freedom.This is what caught my attention because this is what our Lots of Luxe team is all about….saving you, our client, time, money, and energy while building a wardrobe that will serve your need and your psyche. By allowing us to help you with your wardrobe needs, we’re giving you the freedom to pursue other things you enjoy instead of shopping.
I don’t know that you will run out and buy Change Your Clothes Change Your Life, for your summer reading so I’m going to give you a review/summary blog to evaluate yourself, your wardrobe, and your needs based on the book. This will also give you an idea of how the style consultants at Lots of Luxe can help you with this area of your life. Women have been known to receive promotions when following these tips and allowing us to work with them.
I have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear!
I need to lose weight before I buy any new clothes.
I only buy black; I really need to add color to my wardrobe.
Do you identify with one or more of these remarks? Let’s begin by honestly evaluating YOU!
WHAT DOES IT SAY? This is the golden question to ask of every single outfit you put on your body. On page 15 of the book it says… “does your clothing communicate success, happiness, hopefulness, and confidence, or does it betray insecurity, bashfulness, confusion, and fear”? To begin your self-evaluation, consider the following:
- What are your assets: what instantly stands out about you and makes you you — your eyes, your smile, your coloring, your curves?
- What compliments do you regularly receive?
- What are your liabilities, areas you’d prefer to downplay?
HAVING A BAD HAIR DAY? HOW ABOUT HAVING A BAD OUTFIT DAY? In a hurry and no time to change? The feeling of walking out the door, knowing you haven’t put your best foot forward? All of these can affect your attitude and for that reason can determine whether or not you are productive on that day. According to Brescia, you should try to look great every day.
What does it take to have great style?
1. Make sure it has harmony. When we see an outfit that is confusing, our eyes register visual noise. When your outfit enhances your assets and de-emphasizes your liabilities, you and your face are most visible. Magazines illustrate this with, “who wears it better” and “fashion dos and don’ts.” The Carlisle | Per Seand ETCETERAcollections that Lots of Luxe represent, work in “groups” providing us with many options to offer our clients so their outfits are in harmony. We do not want your outfit to scream “look at me” when you enter a room. We want to make sure you’re in harmony.
2. Make sure it fits. All your clothing should fit as though it were tailor-made for you. The more we see of your shape, the better you will look. The easiest way to lose 5-10 pounds is wearing clothes that fit properly. It’s a misunderstanding that loose-fitting garments in fluid fabrics “camouflage” those extra pounds we put on. Wearing clothes that fit and that show your curves are more complimentary than loose-fitting ones. We schedule fit appointments once your purchases arrive to make sure when they FIT and you will wear them. We have a tailor that we work with and is a vital part in helping us with fit. Practically no one has that perfect size 8 fit model figure. By encouraging fit appointments and working with our tailor, you receive a customized garment and one that will give you confidence and excitement every time you wear it.
3. Make sure it flatters. No matter what your body shape may be, some universal principles apply: define your waist, choose a monochromatic outfit for slimming, elongate with heels, and create balance. Great style has very little to do with size, and everything to do with the choices you make. Starting with a “column of color” is always easy and flattering.
4. Make sure the color suits you. Brescia uses a simple system based on hair color and includes a palette for blondes, brunettes, redheads, and silver/white hair. When a color is right for you, you will look healthier, more vital, more alive and rested. Own a closet full of black? It may be time to purge and consider navy as a more flattering dark neutral (navy is going to be big this fall). Start integrating color into your wardrobe by using a pop of color to accent your neutral column. “Begin using color as your accent in tops, shoes, and accessories, and work your way up to pants, dresses, and colorful pieces of outerwear as you become comfortable.” (pg.155)
CRITERIA FOR THE CLOSET CHECKLIST
Every single item in your closet should be a perfect 10. Wait, what? What about those comfy clothes for the weekend? A 10 can be casual, or it can be formal. A garment is considered a 10 if “it fits and flatters you perfectly, highlighting your best features and downplaying your problem areas. It includes one or more of the colors that make you look well rested and healthy, drawing out your eyes and complimenting your hair. It is always in tip-top condition, with fabric that still looks fresh and new. A 10 is that item on which you get the most compliments.” (pg.102)
22 MUST HAVES – paired down to 13
LBD or LND (little navy dress)
The pencil skirt
An immaculate pair of black dress pants
The ultimate pair of jeans
The silk blouse
Perfect tees in a range of silhouettes (see Etcetera’s Necessities & Tops)
The cashmere sweater, including several cardigans
A fitted blazer (see Etcetera’s Eve blazer)
A classic fitted trench
A great winter coat or spring topper – (see Carlisle’s Pinkshell)
The giant black wrap
These 13 pieces are endlessly useful, providing a solid baseline on which to build a wardrobe that expresses your unique sense of style. Ask us about our Carlisle | Per Se and ETCETERA Advantages where we can show you how to look like a million for less than a couple of $100s simply by taking 7+ key pieces and coordinating them into 18+ outfits. We have a multitude of options, sure to fit into the closet must-haves and perfect 10 category.
A good rule of thumb is for every bottom (skirt or pant) you should have 5-7 tops to go with it. That way you expand the number of different outfits you can make with 6-8 pieces; as a result giving you more bang for your bucks. It’s not a matter of whether or not you can afford well-made, designer clothes…it is about being educated and trained on how to get the most price/unit wear out of your clothes. The Advantages below, demonstrate that with 8-9 pieces you can create 18 – 36 units(outfits) for $93 – $144 per unit. Lots of Luxe can educate and help you build your wardrobe in the most economical and practical way. Shop with us and you’ll not have items in your closet with tags on them and you’ll feel confident each day you step out your door.
With your self-evaluation underway, we hope you’ll allow the stylists at Lots of Luxe help you look like a million with only a couple of $100…after all, “you can’t go naked.”
*George Brescia, Gallery Books, New York, 2014, 278 pages
Blog content -JoEllyn Slott (Etcetera Style Consultant in Memphis, TN) & Melrose Fisher– (Carlisle | Per Se & ETCETERA Style Consultant in Chapel Hill, NC
Photo credits: thinkstock.com, fairfieldcountylook.com
Layout and polyvore graphics: Barbara Bisel & Melrose Fisher
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