I’ll never forget the woman who called me from California asking me if I’d come there to make sense of her closet. “You buy the plane ticket and I’d be delighted to come,” I told her. She did and I went. She had told me she had a lot of clothes. Well, that was an understatement. I teach about a closet being a “small room.” Well this closet was a big, big room! There was some sense to the way her clothes were neatly hung according to color on racks all around the room, just not good sense. The variety of reds didn’t go with one another. The blues, greens, and purple fought a battle royal, and so on around the room.
In this arrangement, my client couldn’t figure out which clothes went with which, and no wonder. All the reds together combined winter-weight wool gabardine with summer-weight eyelet. Among the blues there was casual cotton corduroy mixed in with dressy silk satin. Throughout the color groups there was assertive, weighty wool serge mixed in with approachable, lightweight cotton knits, romantic velvet, and sporty seersucker. There were sexy sheers hung next to fleece, flannel, tapestry, and tweed. Linen looked totally out of place next to dotted Swiss and suedecloth, not to mention hopsacking next to chiffon and crepe de chine.
It took me two full days to sort and coordinate the clothes into meaningful clusters and single outfits, all the while teaching my client that within any one cluster or outfit, the textures must work together. But what does that mean? Most people don’t really know. To work together means that to appear in harmony with one another, one texture must be dominant and all other textures must be subordinate. It means that the winter-weight wool gabardine overpowered and clashed with the summer-weight eyelet. The two communicate opposite moods and feelings. Corduroy and satin together communicate mixed messages. Satin and seersucker together make absolutely no sense.
My client had been totally overwhelmed by the visual noise screaming loud and clear from all around the room, and no wonder. Making sense of her closet meant sorting the style lines and shapes, colors, textures, and patterns into outfits that communicated one mood and message; into clusters that communicated one personal style type according to at-home, business, or evening occasions. To un-mix the fabric textures was the key to the initial sort. This my client learned to see for herself, and what an experience in fashion styling it was!
Read further for more points about personal clothing fabric selection and if you’d like the whole discussion of Fabric and Texture in Clothing Selection and Coordination strategies, order Conselle’s Wardrobe Strategy Book #6 Fabric and Texture at $27.97.
Taupe is a very hard color to wear. Not sure what color taupe is? Well if you can’t decide if the color is gray or brown, it’s probably taupe, a soft grayed brown. It’s a common personal body color, a muted wardrobe neutral, and tricky to work with. But for clothes to harmonize with light, medium, or dark taupe-colored hair, the degree of cool grayness in the taupe clothes must be the same as in the hair or they will fight or clash with one another. Taupe colored clothes and hair must repeat or match perfectly. This concept also applies to eye and skin coloration. Beyond direct repetition of a personal body color, you can wear warmer or cooler versions of nearly all other hues.
For personal color evaluation, Conselle works with a set of 300 personal colors in fabric tags for matching your clients’ personal body colors. To produce a full color fan, Conselle has a 1300 fabric tag set available. Call 801-224-1207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
There are some image consultants and fashion stylists who will teach you that if you have a straight body, you can only wear clothes with straight lines; that if you have a curved body, you can only wear clothes with curved lines.
Not so! If individuals with a rounded body type buy into that advice and wear clothes designed predominantly with rounded lines, they will make the person appear even rounder than they actually are – not likely what they are trying to achieve. Incorporating more straight lines and more structured clothing will counter the round lines already present in their body and firm up the appearance of the figure with firmer fabrics.
The same can be said for people with thinner tubular body types – wearing clothes with some rounded lines will help take off the edge, so to speak, and soften their look.
Check out Conselle’s Fit & Fashion Clinic for more ideas on how the right clothes can enhance your figure.
The stores are filled with pale colors this Spring. Some are wonderful when they repeat and therefore emphasize your personal coloring. Others are so pale they can’t repeat or contrast with your personal coloring. They reflect a lot of light and appear to wash you out. How can you know which colors will bring you to life? The answer is in your personal coloring.
Posted in become an image consultant, Clothing, color, health and wellness, people watch, Personal Style, Trends, what not to wear, Women | Tagged become an image consultant, color, Easter shopping, Spring trends | 1 Comment »
Recently I received another Spring fashion update put out by an image consultant which included photos of some of the outfits put together for a variety of clients. I was surprised — and disappointed. The clothes were classic, but the outfits were so plain and boring–solid color shirt and pants, solid color cardigan sweater and skirt, but that was it. There was no creativity, no finesse or pizzazz, nothing finished about the outfits. Anyone could have put these outfits together — no need to pay a professional for these ultra basic looks.
As image professionals, we need to offer something a bit out of the ordinary — something perfect for the client but something the client wouldn’t likely think of. When we hear the client say, “Oh-h-h, I’d never have thought of that,” we know we just earned our money.
Classics don’t need to look so conservative that they become boring. Include a perfect pattern in some of the outfits. Layer lightweight fabrics in an unusual way. Finish the outfits with unique or updated accessories, always with one dominant focal point in the outfit — remember Conselle’s Fashion Rule of ONE. Make sure your work delivers something out of the ordinary, an investment in perfect harmony with your client.
When contemplating a dress or skirt purchase, consider the width of the skirt in relation to its length. Attractiveness is a matter of achieving good balance and proportions. Generally straight skirts may be shorter to the knee and flared or fuller skirts may be longer from the knee. Flared skirts are generally flattering to most women. Short full or bouffant skirts worn by adult women “of a certain age,” tend to look childish, silly, and out of proportion, being too wide for their shorter length. The dress to the left begins to look more like a ballet tutu.
For a slimmer look, straight skirts in larger sizes can be tapered slightly, about a half to one inch on each side from waist to hem. Tightly gathered, straight-hanging dirndl skirts are most attractive hemmed below the calf to balance the width.