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A Wardrobe Consulting, Styling and Personal Shopping service catering to women in  the New York City area. We are the fashion solution, to save you time and empower you to feel confident in your style. We specialize in petites.

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How To Get Bang for Your Buck

Diane Pollack

Recently I was fortunate to do a collaboration project with Hipsilver. They challenged me to take a simple black dress that they sell and create outfits for multiple occasions.

Of course I was up for the project and just love to accessorize!

Prior to shooting the video, I rummaged through our volunteer’s closets to utilize what she already owned to create these looks.

Here is an excerpt from their blog.

"Ever feel you wear the same suit of clothes every single day? Ever wonder if you’ve made the most of your wardrobe? At HipSilver, we pondered how to make the best of a single dress. To this end, we enlisted the aid of Diane Pollack of Stylempower fame to show us how to make the most of our HipSilver closets....

...Diane did not disappoint. She mixed and matched the simple, black dress with various HipSilver accessories "


Below you will find the full video. For the full write-up and the video broken down into mini videos, you can go HERE.

Opening Party

Diane Pollack

Last week, my husband told me that he got an invitation to an opening party for a restaurant. He was not able to make it and suggested I invite a friend.

The event was the following evening and he noted to me that the invitation said cocktail attire. Now I always love a good event to have an excuse to dress up for, so I was excited. (I am not going to kid you, I also love the free drinks and food).

I thought about the options in my closet and decided on a one sleeve, off the shoulder black top with a silver sequin decorated black skirt.

STYLIST TIP #1 - Try to always have something in your closet for a last minute invite to an event.

STYLIST TIP #2 - If you don’t, don’t panic. A basic, dress, jumpsuit or even separates that you may wear to work, can be jazzed up. Black is usually a safe bet. Here is where accessories are key. Pull out those fancy shoes, jewelry and/or bag and make day-wear festive.

I met my friend that evening to go to the event and noticed that she was wearing what I would call office casual attire.

Our outfits were drastically different.

I said that I thought that the invite said “cocktail attire” and she remembers something like “dress well”. UH-OH!

As we traveled downtown, we tried to open the invite on our phones and were not able to do so.

Who was going to be dressed properly and who was not?

Dia+party.jpg

It turns out, the invite did say cocktail attire, which frankly, I too might not have noticed, had my husband not mentioned it when passing off the invite to me.

My friend was not wrong either as she had seen at the end of the note, that the sender had written “dress well”. Turns out, that was just his sign off and it would be as if I had written “stay empowered” or something similar.

As the crowd started to fill in, one thing became apparent, there were people in cocktail attire and people who were a lot more casual like my friend.

STYLIST TIP #3 - No matter where you go, there is always a range of appropriate attire. Just don’t go outside that range and whatever you wear should be fine.

STYLIST TIP #4 - This event was not a traditional event such as a wedding or business related cocktail party. Therefore, you have even more range to be creative with your attire. Wear that jumpsuit or fun piece of jewelry that you are never quite sure when to wear it.

STYLIST TIP #5 - Whatever you put on, make sure you feel great in it. “Stay empowered!”

Need help with your next event outfit? Contact me and I am happy to help.

FUR- Real

Diane Pollack

Back in the day, a fur coat was a woman’s fashion staple - both luxurious and warm. But many years ago, we were made aware of how many animals it took to face a cruel death in order for people to stroll around in these fancy coats.

Remember when PETA started throwing red paint on them?

We are now even more aware, and many people consciously choose not to wear fur for these reasons.

Very recently, many of the top luxury brands (Gucci, Burberry, Channel, Versace, Chole and many more) have made a commitment to go fur-free.

Even cities are taking a stand; Los Angeles is now the largest city taking steps to ban fur.

Fortunately, we now have technology to create beautiful looking faux furs. Some are hard to distinguish the fake from the real and it has become perfectly acceptable and even trendy to wear fun faux furs of varies colors and patterns.

As you can imagine, this is bad news for the fur industry and their livelihood. They have created an entire marketing campaign that suggests that real fur is better than fake fur.

Wait What?

Read on to hear their surprising twist on the controversy.

The Real Fur campaign as seen in Women’s Wear Daily

The Real Fur campaign as seen in Women’s Wear Daily

Fur advocates say that in this fast fashion world, inexpensive faux fur is used for trendy items and quickly disposed of when that trend is over..

What happens then?

The faux fur is not Eco-friendly, it is made of plastic materials that clogs up land-fills.

Fur proponents state that fur items can be cherished family heirlooms, passed on from generations (sometime re-worked and updated).

When real fur is disposed of, it is totally bio-degradable. One real fur advocate, had this to say in Women’s Wear Daily: Fur is the “ultimate free-range, organic and locally sourced clothing material,”

Real fur advocates have launched multiple campaigns, including the ones pictured. Their hashtags: #GETREAL #SHOPNATURAL

Furthermore government regulations are getting stricter to monitor and oversee the supply chain of fur for transparency. New regulations are being enforced regarding the treatment and slaughter of fur providing animals.

Personally, I think they just need to work on bio-degradable faux fur which would then make the fur industry’s point mute.

So I am curious to hear from you.

What do you think? What would you choose?

Is existing fur (from a thrift shop or hand-me-down) acceptable, but new fur purchase not?

What about shearing? What about leather?

The campaign for real fur as seen in Women’s Wear Daily

The campaign for real fur as seen in Women’s Wear Daily

Style Goals 2019

Diane Pollack

Well as they say “New Year, New You”. 

What are your goals and resolutions for the new year?

I know that most of us come up with one big one or perhaps a long list. Many of them take planning and hard work to achieve. Often we “fall off the horse” and sometimes we get back again or sometimes we fall short of our goals.

I would like to make your style goals easy!.

Virtually no time and no money. So here you go; my quick and easy assessment to set the foundation for a better wardrobe. Let's get started.

1) Think about your favorite items that you love to wear and always feel great in. Try to identify what it is about these pieces that you love. Is it the color? Is it flattering? If so, what specifically makes it so flattering?

      A) Don’t let these items sit in your closet. Wear them as much as you can and feel amazing/empowered when you do.

      B) When shopping look for items that are similar color or shape that you will also love to wear. Be careful not to be redundant, this is a common mistake that wastes money.

IMG_2010.jpg

2) Now a daily task that will take you no time at all. While you are in the shower, brushing your teeth, journaling or any other daily activity where your mind is free, think about what you wore that day (or the day before) and how did you feel in that outfit.

A) YOU LOVED IT! - take a picture for future reference (and go back to point #1 and identify why and wear it often)

B) You are on the fence…Was it just an OK outfit?

a) Does it serve a purpose? Hold on to it, until you find something better to serve that purpose.

b) Was it nice pieces but you didn’t style it well? Wrong shoes? Need a belt? Try new styling options.

TEST - What if you ran into an Ex or an old schoolmate you hadn’t seen in years. This is the snapshot that they are seeing you in. How do you feel? If you do not feel amazing, maybe this will convince you to discard or replace the outfit. The possibilities of this happening are real. So don’t regret having looked better.

C) You did not feel good, are over this outfit and don’t really need it as you have so much better. - GIVE IT AWAY!.

That was easy. - little to no time invested and perhaps no money.

This is your first self-analysis test for the new year. Repeat as many times as needed with each outfit.

Want to take it further? Contact me for personalized help.

Also, don’t miss my Buy-one-get-one-get-one Closet Rejuvenation deal with a friend.

It is 50% off for both of you.

If you grab a friend and each sign up for a closet rejuvenation, then it is buy-one-get-one-free or essentially 50% off of regular pricing for both of you. This is the only time I have ever offered a BOGO deal, so contact me to get yours now!


Would You be Fooled!

Diane Pollack

Did you hear the one about…actually this is a true story that happened last week.

Payless shoes opened a pop-up shop in a California mall and invited influencers to attend. They called the brand Palessi, gave the pop-up an upscale presentation, created a real website and put a high price tag on their very inexpensive shoes.

So what do you think happened?

Those suckers fell for it!

They thought that the shoes looked elegant and sophisticated and were happy to shell out hundreds of dollars for shoes that sell for $20.

Crazy right?!!!

What does this say about our culture? Our perception?

Do you really “get what you pay for”?

Well personally, I have a lot of thoughts on this topic…

Cnn.com

Cnn.com

I am the queen of finding inexpensive items that look really expensive. And how do I know this? Because I get numerous compliments on these items and often chuckle to myself about my little secret; how affordable this piece was and yet, it stands out enough to be complimented.

Caution - for those without a keen eye, this kind of work is better left to the experts.

That is one side of the story. Sometimes you do get what you pay for in regard to quality and elegance.

I have seen the product that Payless generally carries and it is few and far between to find a gem that would stand out like this. So my thought here is, “shame on the influencers for being lured by a nicely branded store and the price tags that hang on it”.

But before I get too judgmental, I must add that I have not seen the specific items that were in this pop-up and if Payless has re-branded and up-leveled their look, well then see ya… gotta go shoe shopping now!

So what does this little experiment prove?

1) You don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good (and I could have told you that).

2) Branding and presentation can alter your perceived quality of an item.

3) Don’t get fooled by thinking something is better because the price tag is higher. Sometimes it is, but don’t just pay more for a brand or label.

For the full article and short video check it out HERE.

Oh No! Did You Ruin it?

Diane Pollack

I  hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday and still fit into your clothes.

I was busy traveling and enjoying New Mexico, so I didn't have my usual time to sit down and write you some great new content. 

However, I realized that tv shows have re-runs all the time, why can't I?

Either, you enjoyed the show so much that you want to watch it again, you know you enjoyed it but can't remember exactly what happened or you missed that episode or are a new viewer. Same concept applies here, right?

I don't want you to forget about my "show" so I am popping in with a few helpful tips to keep your wardrobe sparkly for the holidays and fresh for 2019,



1) Clean your metals. Beer cleans gold, ketchup cleans silver.

2) Makeup stain on your clothes? Use baby wipes.

3) 409 removes stains from clothes like wine, makeup and grease.

colorful paintbrush.jpg

4) Got salt stains on your boots? Remove with 1/2 water & 1/2 Vinegar solution.

5) Lingering odors - try vodka & water.

6) Nasty deodorant marks on your clothes - wipe with the foam of a hanger.

7) Got your leather stained with grease or oil? Try some baby powder.

What does the rest of your holiday season look like?
Need to shop your wardrobe for party attire?
Need to know how to take your outfit from office to holiday event?
Other wardrobe issues?

 Let STYLEMPOWER help you.
contact me today!

What are you afraid of?

Diane Pollack

I hear comments all the time like “you provide such a valuable service” and “I often struggle with what to wear for xxx”.

Sorry for your struggles, but that is exactly what I am here to help you with. So just ask for help. (Wait, isn’t struggling for asking for help a guy thing? LOL)

Although your concerns are valid, they are actually counter-intuitive and may be stopping you from achieving a stress-free and empowered relationship with your wardrobe.

 Concern #1

“My closet is a very personal space”, “It is a mess” or “I don’t have fancy labels”.

Whatever your exact reasoning, you feel like you will be judged.

 No judgment, I promise!

I have seen it all and whatever you have is probably not the worst thing I have seen.

If you go through my closet, it is not about fancy labels either.

And honestly, I am secretly happy when my clients aren’t totally organized, not only do I enjoy the organizational process, but the results for my clients are even more pronounced and their closet is transformed into it’s potential.

Death_to_stock_photography_Wake_Up_5.jpg

Concern #2

“Maybe Diane won’t get my style”. Whether it is because my personal style is very different than yours or because you are tall and I am short, or you have extra curves in a certain area – have no fear, I get you.

Let me remind you, or perhaps you didn’t know, I spent the bulk of my career as a clothing designer. Most of the product that I designed was for woman whose tastes were nothing like mine.

Understanding other women’s tastes is essential as a stylist. And that by the way, is why you may have a friend with very good tastes, but when you go shopping with them or ask them for wardrobe advise, they may be seeing it through the filter of their own personal tastes and not what is right for you.

Oh and by the way, did you notice my tagline? “Style for your lifestyle”.

Concern #3

And now we come to the money part…

Where you might wonder is it too much, is it necessary and/ or is it worth it?

Not only is it worth it, but you may end up actually saving money. 

What????

If you are one of those people who

  • Buys items of clothing and never take the tags off

  • Buys clothing that you like, but have no idea how to wear them, so you don’t

  • Buys items that you decide later you don’t really like so you never wear them

Then investing in a stylist will definitely save you money.

If you are one of those people who

  • Randomly goes out shopping with no clear vision of your wardrobe needs

  • Buys things because they are a bargain (although it might have been cheaper to not buy it at all)

  • Tends to buy multiple versions of the same items that serve the same purpose (totally unnecessary)

Then investing in a stylist will help you create a targeted shopping list so that you don’t waste money on these mistakes again. 

Finally, what about the values of your time and the feeling of confidence and empowerment with the right items that could help you succeed in other areas of your life?

 Isn’t that the best investment of all?

Stop making excuses. Contact me to make this the year where you wardrobe is finally working for YOU.

 

The other 1 %

Diane Pollack

We all know that there are some old-school fashion rules that no longer apply.

  • White after Labor Day

  • No suede in spring and summer

  • Matching your bag to your shoes

  • Not mixing metals (OK, I am still a fan of wearing 1 metal)

No more rules - What I prefer are guidelines

There are many guidelines I recommend to my clients (and I adhere to myself) for what I think is a more stylized look. They help keep proportions, don’t compete with other items you are wearing and can simply be the touches that make an outfit look substantially better.

Oh sorry, are you asking for those tips?  Because that is not really the focus of this piece. However, if I have whet your appetite, you may want to check out   How to Style a difficult item in 5 easy steps.

So what do we think of the picture below?

Image from The Zoe Report

Image from The Zoe Report

Did I hear “Yuk” to a few things going on here? And yet she is a fashionista. All of the “Yuk” is intentional !!!

So who should go by these guidelines and who can break them and still look fabulous?

Sometimes I call this the “Kate Middleton” effect. So many people are enamored by her style, but if you saw some of those items on a hanger or even tried them on yourself, would they look great?


Probably not. So getting over the fact that she is “royalty,” the other helpful elements are that she is young and pretty with a good figure. She carries clothing well and can get away with a lot more than the rest of us.

I know another woman who fits under the young, pretty and good figure category and always seems to look great. On closer look, if I check out her outfit, I think “why would she ever choose to wear those shoes with that dress” and “her necklace is the wrong color and competing with her neckline” and yet I have to agree, she is someone who can just get away with it and looks great despite that.

Another example is a beautiful woman I used to know. One day she shows up wearing Timerlands - yes, those construction boots and somehow she still oozed sexy.

Don’t get me wrong. Do I think you need to be young, pretty and have a good figure to be able to pull off tricky outfit choices. Not necessarily, although it doesn’t hurt. Also, note I did not use the word tall in any of my examples (although Kate Middleton is indeed tall).

So here is the thing - these ladies are part of the other 1% (in fashion), Who knows, maybe it is 2 or 5%, but nonetheless, a very small percentage of people who ooze style and can get away with some things that would look pretty terrible on the rest of us :(


If you would like to find out more about my guidelines and what I would suggest for you personally, email me to discuss.

6 plus Stylist Tips for this falls trends

Diane Pollack

Last time, I presented you with the some of the top trends for fall. It is up to you to decide which ones will work for you and which ones you will take a pass on.

BUT THERE IS MORE TO IT THAN THAT.
Maybe you like the trend but are not quite sure how to wear it or what to wear it with.

Or maybe you don’t like the trend. I am sure there are many of them that you might have said “I am too old or it is too bold”, “been there, done that” or simply “no thanks”.

And that is all fine.


However, I wanted to give you some more tips, information and suggestions for a few of them and then you might say “Oh, I never thought to wear it like that” or “that seems doable”. You may still say “no thanks” and that is okay too :)

WESTERN

Western details are great, you may want to invest in some cowboy boots that you can wear with jeans and can also be worn back to your new prairie skirt or dress.

Although one of my main style tips is to dress and accessorize with the theme in mind, in this case western, here is what I CAUTION you about.

Image from InStyle Magazine

Image from InStyle Magazine

Stylist Tip #1 -Going overboard on a theme. Too many western details can end up looking costume-y. But hey, you can wear it at the end of the month - LOL

ANIMAL

Stylist Tip #2 - Animal prints never really go out of style. Some years they are just more in then others and this year that is the case. So don’t give away animal printed items unless the styling is dated or they are in crappy shape.

Stylist Tip #3 -A leopard print always looks nice with a pop of bright color especially red or orange. So if the print is on your bag, try the colored accent in a shoe or vice versa. Got a leopard coat? Maybe wear the accent in a brightly colored sweater.

Stylist Tip #4 - Some consider leopard a neutral, although it can mix with other patterns quite well, if you are are not a master of mixing, proceed with caution.

‘80s

One of the overriding themes I see here is volume and frankly it scares me. Anybody experience trying on an old coat from the ‘80s and feeling like, “how did I ever wear this, it looks 3 sizes too big?” And the problem here is with all that volume one could look like they have put on 10 lbs without having the pleasure of indulging in that brownie a la mode.

The good news is that I think that there are new ways to wear some of it. So if you choose that big shouldered top, I am happy to say that currently the baggy pleated pants you may have worn with it are not trending now.

Stylist Tip #5 - Wear skinny bottoms back to the big shouldered top for better proportion.

Do Neons scare you? Is this is where you are saying “I am too old and it is too bold.?’ Let me suggest some more manageable ways to wear it.

Stylist Tip #6a -Wear it as a fun accessory like in a small leather good, even a coin purse or phone case.

Stylist Tip #6b -Perhaps it is an accent color in a print.

Stylist Tip #6c - Wear it as an underpinning to your outfit: peaking out at the neck, cuffs or hem of a jacket or sweater.

Stylist Tip #6d - Pair back to grey for a more sophisticated and toned down look.

Stylist Tip #6e - And finally, probably the easiest way to wear neon is in your workout wear. That energetic color may even energize you.

Not ready for fall yet? Let me help you with that.



Trending for Fall

Diane Pollack

Have you started Fall shopping yet?

The season is just at that point where warmer clothes are starting to look cozy. As your personal wardrobe consultant, I would be remiss if I did not point out to you some of the key trends for Fall.

No, this does not mean that you should go out and buy all the new trends; I don't believe in that and don’t plan to buy them all either.

This will make you aware of the latest trends and you decide if you like them. As I always say, “trends are suggestions and not mandates.”

So with that, I have to say that this season really came on strong with so many new trends.

This is also not to say that some of your things from past seasons are not still in style.

If you would like to find out when trends go out of style you can read about that HERE.

Now, what is new?

What has been interesting to me, in addition to what feels like a large number of new trends this season, is that many seem to fit into four main categories.

What are they?

WESTERN

We have been seeing fringe for a few seasons, and now we're adding prairie skirts, * prairie dresses and cowboy boots to the western look. We are seeing traditional style cowboy boots, ankle versions and new creative takes on the cowboy boot.

* Note the scarf print and handkerchief hem on this dress, which are two additional trends. Many of the other prairie skirts and dresses include lots of tiered skirts.

Altazurra on Net-a-porter

Altazurra on Net-a-porter

ANIMAL

Snakeskin looks are everywhere, especially on accessories like bags and boots.

The hottest animal print is the leopard. Be spot on with these fun prints on blouses, skirts, shoes, coats, scarves and more.

Furry coats, faux furs in an array of colors, “teddy bear” coats and shearlings.

Max Mara “Teddy Bear” style coat

Max Mara “Teddy Bear” style coat

THE '80s

This is a huge category. Oversized everything, big poufy sleeves (think Lady Di’s wedding dress), shiny bling, neon and even acid washed jeans.

Magda Butrym dress

Magda Butrym dress

CHECKS AND PLAIDS

So if you are more classic than some of the '80s trends or perhaps feel like “been there done that,” here is a category that may seem more manageable to you. We are talking glen plaids, checks and standard tartan plaids, but of course more unique versions and non-traditional colors are also added to the mix.

Simonetta Ravizza in Bergdorf catalog

Simonetta Ravizza in Bergdorf catalog

As I mentioned before, many items from past seasons continue to trend. Here I would include many '70s trends such as bell bottoms, bold stripes, peasant blouses, prints and new this season slouchy boots.

No that is not even everything, but enough to put you in the know and decide from there, which trends you would like to incorporate into your personal style, if any…..

Need help? That's what I'm here for! Contact me to set up a consultation to discuss your personal needs.

Black

Diane Pollack

During fashion week, I went to 2  panel presentations put on by Women's Wear Daily about upcoming trends. As the moderators and panelists walked, out the first thing that struck me was that all were wearing black head-to-toe.  

As they started to show slides of the upcoming trends; bold stripes, tie-die and neon, to name just a few, the irony was really blatant.

IMG_3829.JPG

The following week, I was a guest on a radio show where one of the hostesses was wearing head-to-toe black and the other was wearing a print which was black and grey. I showed up in a neon yellow top, which was well noted and the conversation started about why people, especially in New York, wear all black.

Coincidentally, Berdorf Goodman currently has a curated area (including the window displays on 5th avenue) dedicated to all things black and entitled NOIR.

So I decided to discuss dressing in black as the topic of this month's insider news.

What does black stand for?

Photo inside NOIR AT Bergdorf Goodman

Photo inside NOIR AT Bergdorf Goodman

 - Edgy

- Eternally stylish

- Sexy

- No-brainer chic

- Blending in

- Some may say it goes with everything, - my thoughts on that.

I do think that most of the New York obsession with black, especially in the fashion industry, has to do with the first two. And after visiting the NOIR curation at Bergdorf's, sexy should also be added to the list.

Well I am a fashion person, how come you will rarely ever see me wearing all black?

Although I admire the chicness when others wear it, for me it would be like a funeral for fashion. I so much enjoy deciding what my outfits will be everyday and get uplifted by color and print. Wearing head-to-toe black would be the no-brainer for me, which would suck the joy out of my love of styling.

So you won't find me as one of the fashion types in all black. I am the one following those trends that the panel reported on and joyfully strutting the ones that I choose to work for me.

But this is not an either/or choice. You may choose to wear a colorful outfit on one day and all black on another.

No commitment necessary.

Be you and do what works for you!

 

Finding Fall and Fall Finds

Diane Pollack

Well, I hope everyone had a nice Labor day weekend.

This is the time that kids go back to school and we mentally feel like it is Fall. However, there is a bit of a disconnect with the seasons these days and the cool weather may not come for 6-8 weeks. (And I have no doubt that it will fluctuate between hot and cold in between.)

Nonetheless, fall fashions are in store and every month has its opportunity for a deal. I know that you are aware of all the great Labor day sales, so I don't feel bad that I missed that. 

Each month there are special deals, so check out the best sales times and items that get special pricing during the fall months.

SEPTEMBER The stores these days will always find an excuse for the next sale. So the day after Labor Day I came home to a Lord & Taylor flyer that was promoting a "back to Fall sale" for Sept 5-10. Other than the general sale pricing backpacks are often over 30% off at this time.

If you missed out on these. See what is in store for the following months.

 

                  Image from freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

                  Image from freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles

OCTOBER  is the time for friends and family sales, usually starting in the second half of the month. This is when resort collections are coming in, so if you have a trip planned later, get a start now. Also, jewelry is discounted at around 40%.

NOVEMBER is the time when fall clothes, start to go on sale leading up to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday blowouts. Key items to buy then are sweaters, boots, coats, evening dresses, and bags. And sandals, to go with your resort wear.

Happy deal shopping for fall!

Look for Stylempower's fall trend report to key into Fall 2018 trends.

9 Tips to Flatter Your Figure

Diane Pollack

If you are perfectly happy with how you look in clothes and don't have at least one area that is not your favorite, don't bother to read the rest.

Are you still there?

Great, most of us would like a little help in knowing how we can look and feel our best in clothes. So as summer winds down, take a re-stock of your summer wardrobe and see what works.


Then keep this on hand when you are ready for fall.

1) Large expanses of fabric can make you look large. Color Block and vertical panels will trick the eye to break up these large areas. Break up a higher neckline with a scarf or necklace.
 
2) Flared / bootcut pants will balance out wide hips (trending NOW!).
 
3) Shoes that match pants, are skin colored, have low cut toes, or cut out sides, will elongate legs.

       Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net by Ambro

       Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net by Ambro

4) Wrap dresses, loose, untucked, drapey tops will all help to hide a tummy.

5) If you have a long torso, wear empire or cropped tops or jacket. If you have a short torso, wear drop-waist items, low slung belts or tunics. These will help balance your proportions.

6)  With a tight bottom, wear a loose top. Two too tight pieces might be overtly sexy. Tight jeans and a tee are Ok, But totally clingy pieces like leggings, pair best with fuller tops. 

7) With loose bottoms, wear a tight top. There are many women who falsely believe that if they wear two baggy pieces they will camouflage the curves or rolls in their bodies. Here you may be doing yourself a disservice and actually making yourself look bigger. (Think tent-like).

8) To enlarge a small chest, wear a higher neckline like a crewneck. To minimize a larger chest wear a neckline like a v-neck or a scoop neck. Boatnecks are good for narrow shoulders and wide hips.                                                                                                                                    

9) Don't let items cut you at the largest part of your body. For instance, cropped pants look best at the ankle and not calf. If you have wide hips, don't wear a top that falls at the widest part of your hips. And finally, if you dare to wear short shorts, let them at least come to the hollowed out area of your leg.

Feel free to print this page as a quick tip sheet.

For additional more personalized help, I am always here for you.

 

 

Summer Soup

Diane Pollack

 

It sure has felt soupy lately!


As we come into muggy August and many people are taking a vacation, I thought I would just throw you a few light tidbits. 

3 Easy Ways to get dressed quickly AND feel great

1) Lay out your outfits the night before. (Ok, I know you knew this, but maybe you just needed to hear it again.)

2) Have go-to outfits that you know you love and in a pinch can throw on.

3) If you are wearing an outfit and decide that you really like it, take a picture of it. This can then become a great go-to outfit.


So we have been talking about age and style and I always want to shout out to Bazaar Magazine "Sorry, you got this wrong".

 They have a section called "Fabulous at every age".

So far, so good.

Here is the thing. Sometimes, I look at the younger ages and I think "how matronly" or "I love it" and sometimes I  prefer pieces they have slotted in the much older age brackets. The truth is, what they are saying is very misleading and here is why.

                                                    Harper's Bazaar August 2018

                                                    Harper's Bazaar August 2018

So what they do is take a celebrity in each age category (which I think is great) and then they choose some pieces that are a similar style to what she is wearing.

The problem is that the style (in this case edgy/sexy for 20's and feminine/retro/ethereal for 30's) has nothing to do with their age nor would it necessarily be the style for everybody else in their twenties and thirties.  

So kudos to Bazaar for being age inclusive and showing celebrity at all ages. But how absolutely ludicrous to suggest that everyone in that 10 year age bracket should have even a remotely similar style.

A Right To Bare Arms

Diane Pollack

So last time I wrote that reaching a new age bracket is not a reason to automatically change your wardrobe or your style.

But don't get me wrong, there are various reasons why a woman as she ages may want to change the type of clothing she wears.

A big one might be a changing body. So if your arms start to wiggle a little more or your stomach bulges a little more, you may have more pouch in your tummy, or you have just expanded in general, you may very well choose alternate items for coverage or that are more flattering.

Now sometimes what you reveal, has nothing to do with your age. I will get a little personal here.

        This lady has personal style & she isn't afraid to show it!

        This lady has personal style & she isn't afraid to show it!

My whole life, not in my twenties, not in my teens or any other time, did I think I looked good in short skirts. So I choose not to wear them.

On the flip side, I am fortunate to have inherited my mother's arms. She rocked a beautiful halter dress at my wedding. And I will continue with my "right to bare arms" for as long as I feel good about it.

One area where I thought, well maybe age does matter was in regard to ripped jeans. After all, I wear them on occasion, but would not want to see my mother owning them. But the more I thought about this "exception to my rule", I realized it was not all about age.

Ripped jeans are a trendy item. When put together well and when appropriate, can be a cute look, for those who know how and when to wear them. If you are not a trendy / well-styled person, ripped jeans can simply look sloppy and unsophisticated.

For the rare few fabulously stylish women (like the woman in my last post, or the lady pictured here) I bet they could pull off ripped jeans... if they choose.

Although, I could continue to go on with more thoughts on "age-appropriate", I will leave you with these thoughts for now.

And most of all, I hope you make chooses that empower you at any age.

What is the Only Age Where a Woman Should Change Her Style?

Diane Pollack

Recently I had a landmark birthday. FIFTY!

Will I change anything about how I dress now that I must check off the next box down? Absolutely NOT!

I recall that Michelle Obama cut bangs when she turned fifty. Great! This was done as a new entree into an era. She actually choose a style that is more often seen on younger women. So absolutely, welcome an age with a change, if you like.

But, if you are thinking "should I  cut my hair to be more age appropriate"?  My answer is "no". This is where women may actually inadvertently age their look.

There is only one age where I think a woman should change her style.

Actually, this statement is misleading. It is not a number that you reach, but an age range where most women are probably going through a metamorphosis.

               Be a Fashionista at any age, if you choose.

               Be a Fashionista at any age, if you choose.

The age range I am referring to is early to mid-twenties. This is where a young woman really becomes a woman. She will start to shed her school attire and may have to wear more professional clothing. 

This is the only age where she may potentially be able to get by with some "borderline" clothing that may not seem appropriate for a woman older than she is. 

1) Because she is just making that transition and may not know better yet

2) Her less senior level job may not call for her to look like a boss yet.

3) She may not have the income to purchase some of the items her more senior co-workers have                                                                                                                                        

BTW - even if you work from home, it is still recommended to up-level your wardrobe to make some changes here, but they may not be as drastic or as important.

So that is it. That is where I draw the fuzzy grey line in regard to age. After that, if you are 30, 40, 50, 60 etc, I do not believe a woman should change her style solely to be age appropriate.

But of course, that is only the start of the conversation. There are other factors that go into a woman's choice of clothing and her age. Oh, there is so much more to tell you in regards to this. I think I will leave you waiting to hear more on this topic, So let's continue this conversation another time....

I just hope I leave you thinking, the next time you hit that landmark birthday, please don't do anything "age appropriate" .

 

Is Alexa Really A Good Stylist?

Diane Pollack

Perhaps you might have seen the below article in The Post a few weeks ago. If not, you are certainly aware of all of the Apps, platforms etc. that dish out style advice these days.

So if you read this article or heard about the apps, you might wonder, "is style advise as easy as asking an App"? 

Well, I can tell you, since this is what I do, that Alexa has a lot more to learn about fashion and style. Further, her rating outfits by number, gives very little insight into specifics of why she choose it, or advice to take to utilize toward other improved outfits.

If you look at Alexa's comment in the blue circle, she chooses the pants outfit because "colors look better together". Quite vague, merely an opinion and by the way, she is quoted as using the same exact qualifier for another outfit later on in the article.

Now if you asked me, I would also tell you

1) Why she looks so much slimmer in the pants outfit (and no, it is not a pant vs. skirt thing)
2) How you can take this slimming advice and utilize it for other outfits.
3) How to improve the outfit even more

                                           New York Post

                                         New York Post

So why is the pant outfit so much more flattering?

Three reasons.

1) The open jacket breaks up her body. A large expanse of fabric can make an area look large. Anything that breaks it up (color, fabrics, seams, accessories) will help the areas look smaller. Further, this is a vertical break which helps to elongate. The same effect can be achieved with an open cardigan.

2) Look at where her waist is across both pictures. Due to her proportions, she looks better bringing the top and bottom break lower by wearing an untucked piece. This can also be achieved by wearing, lower-rise pants or a belted dress or top on the hips. This works for her and her proportions. You have different proportions and how to wear things would be assessed by your proportions, curves etc.

3) The skirt outfit, although far from voluminous, has two fuller pieces. The skirt would look better with a more body-conscious top, like a knit.

Now let's talk about accessories.

Both outfits could use some help in this area. The huggable earrings feel a little serious and don't do much for either outfit.

The bright top on the skirt outfit is a really pretty color. But the neckline does nothing and all that plain fabric and no design detail really call for a great scarf or necklace. I would recommend a necklace with colored stones. Bonus - if she were to find a necklace or scarf that tied the colors of the top and bottom together, I wonder if Alexa would still say that the colors in the outfit don't look great together.

The earring for the pant outfit seems a little serious and more business-like. I would opt for a short necklace or a more casual dangling earring, probably a solid metal to go with the hardware on the jacket. 

So take that Alexa!

Next time you are looking for style advice. I believe you will get a lot more bang for your buck with a real live person.

 

Does White Go With Everything?

Diane Pollack

Last year I wrote a very popular blog called "Does Black Go With Everything" The short answer was that although it would never be considered a fashion faux pas, there are many times I see women pairing black back to items and it is not the most styled or fabulous pairing.

Often it is because there is no black in the print they are wearing it with or pairing back to pastels, black can feel heavy. Even a print with a fine black outline can look heavy when paired back to black.

Now that summer is finally here,  let's get back to white. 

Does white go with everything?

Here, in most cases, I would say "yes"!

Well, let me clarify, I do not like white paired back to heavy wintery items. Talk about looking too heavy. No, what I am saying yes to here is based on other summer items.

 

Pucci-like skirt.JPG

For instance, I have this fun colorful skirt pictured above. What would you wear with it? You don't want to wear any of these bright colors back to it. First, they would be very difficult to match. Even if you could, it would look too matchy-matchy. Black with it, to my point, is too heavy looking.  Here is where a nice white top is a great neutral. 

Funny right? You would think the same guidelines would go for black as they do for white. I can't tell you why it is, but I can recommend that if you follow these guidelines, you may have better outfit combinations.

So as you continue to look through your summer wardrobe at items that you are not sure what to wear them back to, see if white might be a better option than black.

This brings me to another question that you also might be asking. 

Do jeans or denim go with everything? 

The answer here is pretty similar to my "yes" to white. I say yes to denim as a neutral. And no, you do not need any blue in the item to make it work.

Here are some additional guidelines when pairing pieces back with jeans/denim.

Dark denim is usually dressier. The lighter the wash, the more casual it generally is.

However, I do break out my most faded washes in the summer. They look great with pastels. Dark washes look great with brights.

I hope these tidbits were helpful for your summer styling. If you are still confused and overwhelmed, please feel free to reach out so I can help you with your specific items and needs.

Say Bye-Bye To The Impulse buy

Diane Pollack

A few weeks ago I made an impulse buy. It was a light blue motorcycle jacket.  Doesn't everyone need one? Well although it was not something I set out to purchase, it turns out that I did "need" one and here is why.

The seasons have changed forecasts. It used to be that many people would buy a spring raincoat for those April showers and that would be enough. Unfortunately, that lightweight coat just hasn't been warm enough for some of our spring weather.

The weather has been increasingly cold throughout May and this calls for a fall weight jacket. The problem is that we have just spent months of dark colors, furry trims, wooly fabrics and this is so NOT what we want to be wearing in May.

I had previously realized that I needed a warm jacket for the weather in the 50's, but that looked springy. A few years ago, I did do a targeted shop for this item and came up with an orange coat, perfect!

After bringing home the light blue motorcycle jacket, I did an assessment and realized that this was another useful spring jacket to have and here is why.

light blue moto jacket

It was another warm spring jacket but was different enough from the orange one that there was room for both in my wardrobe.

1) Fabrication- one was fabric and the other was leather

2) Type of color - one was bright and one was pastel

3) Type of outwear - One was short and the other was long

4) One was very casual, the other a little nicer

No redundancies, my wardrobe had room for both.

Also of note is that you will need a neutral. I still wear my black leather jacket in the spring, when the outfit calls for something more neutral.

In order to avoid redundancies and unnecessary items in your wardrobe, you want to review if 

1 )They are different enough from the items you already own in that category

2) If it is also a color and/or style that you will have a use for in general

Go through the list above or similar, and say bye-bye to those purchases that are unnecessary, you won't wear or are redundant and hence a waste of money.

Orange coat.jpg

The Inside Scoop - When You Can Find The Best Deals

Diane Pollack

Well, it used to be that you would wait for the sales on Black Friday, Memorial day etc. to nab the best deals. The truth is, now many of the big department stores and chain stores are having constant promotions.

But you can still find out the best months to get that great deal on certain categories and even the best days.

So lucky for you, below I have outlined some inside scoop so that you can assure yourself that you got the best deal.

MAY

Coats, suits, cocktail dresses, bags and lingerie are ready for markdowns. Just in time...Swimwear, which has been out in the stores, probably before you could think about it, is now on sale. And yes, of course, Memorial day sales will be taking place, so you might want to hold out a little.

JUNE

Lucky for you, if you didn't get your spring wardrobe set yet, it is now on sale for wear-now. Blazers and shorts are key items to purchase at a discount this month.

JULY

Jeans are a hot ticket in July. Now the spring items that didn't sell on sale are at deep discounts. Some stores do not even get a new collection for July delivery as it is clearance time. Again, major deals for July 4th.

AUGUST

Fall pieces are arriving in stores. This is the time you can get the greatest deals on clearance if you have the patience to go through the picked through items and the fortune to find your size.

        Image courtesy of freedigitigalphotos.net by aechan

        Image courtesy of freedigitigalphotos.net by aechan

Now why, I don't know, but apparently, there is a secret system to getting bargains online.

Here is your list.

MONDAYS  - Sunglasses

TUESDAYS  -  Menswear

WEDNESDAYS - Shoes

THURSDAYS - Bags

FRIDAY - Jewelry

SATURDAY - Lingerie

SUNDAY - Swimsuits

Happy shopping!

And remember, it's not too late to up the ante on your Spring look.