Nov 132014

Throwback Thursday. The pictures in this old fashion lab illustrate a good way for a woman with my body type and proportions (hourglass with short, curvy thighs) to combine color values when wearing jeans tucked into knee-high boots. The picture in the middle is, in my current opinion, the best: the sweater (too bad I don’t still have it) maintains the arc through the waist perfectly, among other things that are working.

In comments, my late friend Wendy mentions mid-calf scrunch boots for shorter women; since boot heights are currently in transition, I would like to mention something else I have been thinking about:

Boots which stop short of reaching the knee can be used to fool the eye into adding some of the lower leg to the upper leg, thereby optically lengthening the thigh.

When I first noticed the practice of tucking jeans into knee-high boots being revived, I thought to myself, “I’ll just sit this one out”. Until one day last week November 2006. Walking at noon with my husband, I happened to notice a lady on the other side of the street. Her boots were very like mine, and she looked quite normal wearing them with jeans tucked in. With the color value similarity of the dark jeans and brown boots, her legs looked like legs (not hams on pedestals, which was my fear).

The other thing I noticed was that her top was a light color, in contrast to the pant/boot combination.

“Ah ha!” Maybe that’s the trick.

So here you have it:

  • What I actually wore today. Since I was the greeting mentor at our MOPS group, I wore my Eddie Bauer Seattle Suede jean jacket over my sweater.
  • The look I am testing: dark jeans, tucked into knee-high boots, topped by a light colored top. I think it works!
  • For the sake of comparison, the same look only with a dark brown top.

What do you think of jeans tucked into boots? What techniques have you successfully used?

Oct 102014

Lately I have been playing around with my (stylist’s) stylus, modifying hair in pictures. This is where I think I am going with the length.

Sometimes it is easier to see proportional relationships is a small picture (like on your phone, rather than on the computer). I always feel like I want my hair a little more full, but in the little pictures the flat might be better.



Sep 262014


Refining my own look is part of the ongoing process of becoming a professional stylist. I can’t say enough about the power of pictures. This week I was working on an assignment concerning fit and alterations, and finished shortening the vintage white dress; I also put different accessories with it.

I also continue to shop. Designing and costuming for theater can be very consuming; without a more solid cash flow plan, I ended up not underfunding my wardrobe but not spending all that I had allocated. Now, I am building.

Honestly, although pants are often a little too long, it had never occurred to me try petite. That is, until I started being pickier about fit and saw that not all of the whiskering I was getting was due to the thighs being too tight. But what else could it be? Turns out too long rise will also cause whiskering.

Anyway, I will be shopping this weekend. Leave a message if you find any really good sales I should hit! (I got swim separates this week at JCPenney for $2.99 each, and two clients got alot of stuff at Dress Barn.)

September Exclusive: 15% Off Your Regularly Priced Purchase! Use Code: AFF914

Aug 142014

Early in my training to become a Stylist, I realized that alot of what I had believed was wrong. The reason belts at the waist rarely work for me is that my silhouette is hourglass (X), not figure-eight (8). Actually, dropped waist is a good option for me for a number of reasons. This post is from over seven years ago, but if I still had the pieces, I would consider wearing the look in the first picture. With accessories ūüėČ

Why did it just not work when one friend took her belt off the other night and put it on another friend in the same, low-slung position?

  • Scale: In general, the details (straps and so-forth) worn on the upper body should relate to the scale of the facial features. Details on the lower body relate to apparent body size.
  • Silhouette: My natural silhouette is Type 8 Type X (hourglass). In both the examples where the belt is worn at the waist, the shape has somehow been transformed into more of an I.
  • Frumpiness: Just what accounts for the frumpiness of the belt-at-waist looks? /li>

    Length balancing is the key to dodging the frump factor: 50/50 is boring.

    From the top of the turtleneck to the belt worn at the hip is 2 1/2 “units”, from the bottom of the turtleneck to the hem of the pants is 4. What’s in between, especially with the smaller belt, is accent and can be subtracted from the total. For the belt at the waist looks to work, the top would have to be tucked in.

I think …

Jun 122014

Just for fun, and because it is timely and useful, I am re-running this post from June 2008, with some additional commentary. Back then I didn’t like this length of short, preferring Bermudas; I also did not like to wear navy because it is a very dark color for summer AND it is very traditional. Now I am tired of Bermudas and this length shorts looks very fresh and flattering to me (high-waisted would be even more modern) and, while I prob’ly wouldn’t wear solid navy shorts, I am using it in prints and in brighter versions (now that I have broken up with the idea that I am an “Autumn”).

I was looking for something completely different when I was stopped in my tracks by what I saw in this first pair of compared pictures. Do you see what I see? Not that I like to wear this length of shorts, or navy …
Women: Cuffed tab-waist shorts - rublo taupeWomen: Cuffed tab-waist shorts - true navy
Women: Cuffed tab-waist shorts - new silver lakeWomen: Striped cuffed tab-waist shorts - yarn dye

What do you notice about apparent leg length as it relates to the color of the shorts?  Any other comments?

Obviously, these shorts are not still available – since the links are from 2008 – but if you are looking for shorts now, here is an offer that might be useful: Extra 20% off Everything with code FRIENDS20

Apr 152014

When is a look enough? When is it too much? After posting about the 16 12 point accessory “rule”, I got feedback from people who, like me, feel that is alot. I also feel like there is too much structure to these “rules”. What about creativity? Finally, there is the concept of personality within personal style idiom: some of us prefer to have our clothes carry the interest, rather than our accessories.
Save 20% on select Heels and Flats, valid 4/6-4/19

Sale on select Jewelry for Spring, valid 4/6-5/10

In the picture below, the pieces are strikingly simple. All together, the look is relatively complex, very interesting, and appropriate for an evening of Van Gogh and Merlot. In the high fashion jewelry business professionally, the girl pictured nevertheless chose to accessorize with only one extra ring and pair of earrings.

Her count:
– 2 garments and 1 pair of shoes = 3
– 3 accessories
– around her face: stylish, purple/auburn hair; beauty makeup; a crystal dermal piercing.


Without counting any of the interesting details in her clothes, this outfit would be a 9; adding an extra color, as per the previously-mentioned system, brings the total to 10 for this outfit. I suggest it should be higher.

I would add a point for each print (3) and a point for the studs on the shoes.

The takeaway: evaluate your entire look for points of interest.

Apr 142014

Simultaneous contrast refers to the change in the appearance of a color due to the influence of other color(s) nearby.

When I started wearing Maybelline New York Color Whisper by Color Sensational Lipcolor, Petal Rebel, 0.11 Ounce, I wondered if I could be imagining the effect: my teeth look yellower. I suspect it is the coolness of the color, which looks quite lovely against my skin. As long as I don’t open my mouth ūüėČ

Warm-Cold Contrast:

In the colour wheel, the warm colours with red and yellow components are located opposite to the cold blue hues. Green and magenta form the neutral transitions. The effect of a predominant colour can be increased when combined with an accent from the opposite colour. This combination makes warm hues appear warmer, and vice versa. (Cartouche)

To be honest, I am not exactly certain how to apply this observation. But I took some pictures. (The color on the right is: Maybelline New York Color Whisper by Color Sensational Lipcolor, Coral Ambition, 0.11 Ounce)
Petal rebel close upcoral ambition close up
Petal rebelCoral ambition
Now, if only I could figure out how to insert them right-side-up!

Jul 122013

This has been a less-than-glamorous week: I have baby-sat alot. ¬†Believe me, I remember well the “all I really want in the whole wide world is a SHOWER” days. ¬†Today was one. ūüėČ

Yesterday I caught myself in the mirror, wearing my slippers with mid-thigh shorts; the look reminded me of the trend I started seeing around here on 20-somethings: shorter dresses (or shorts) and shorter boots (mid-calf or less). With my shorter legs, I wouldn’t expect that proportion to work on me. ¬†But it didn’t look bad. (Except for the slippers.)

Here are the pics:

First, the slippers. Next, a pair of mid-high wedge heels which I think look the worst of all the looks (although I previously wore those shoes with longer shorts and thought they looked okay). Then, the ubiquitous Chacos, of course. And last, but not least, these cream-colored slip-ons, which I got at Goodwill for $5. They are an Italian brand I have never heard of which retails for around $200 and I wear them with everything.

That last picture is actually what I wore today, to Trader Joe’s, after my shower. ūüôā

May 292013

North of Spokane just twenty miles or so, Deer Park is the habitat of wildlife, firearms, and pickup trucks.  So, when the hero took a vacation day and we drove up to buy a little truck, I dressed with care, as usual.  My Deer Dynasty duds:

jeans (not too dressy, but with bling-butt) + thermal henley with sparkly buttons + colorful flannel 

My accessories were respectable, as well.

white gold hoops from Pounders (upscale local jeweler), Columbia reversible leather belt, Oliberte sneakers

Dd said my hair looked good; I had on makeup.  In Deer Park, I was perfectly well-received.

On return, we stopped at the little neighborhood auto licensing office, where we were treated with every courtesy.  The problem showed on our way out of the building; you see, just across the hall is a really nice consignment store.  While perusing their $5 rack in the hall, it occurred to me that I should go in and look for a nice dress for the upcoming wedding.  I should have known better.  (Still figuring out the picture thing; should be right-side-up if you click on it.)


I have become accustomed to being treated exceptionally well (read: spoken to in a friendly manner) pretty much everywhere I go these days. ¬†Not so @ The Reclothery! ¬†I had to get within 15 inches of one of the workers – and I was wearing one of their dresses! – for them to even acknowledge that I was there! ¬†(Ha ha! ¬†Is that overkill? ¬†Two exclamation points in one sentence? ¬†Clearly, this is an issue about which I have feelings ;).) And even then, I don’t think they looked me in the face.

Don’t read this as an absolute I-would-never-shop-there. ¬†Perhaps I will test them in the near future by returning dressed as my city-self. ¬†Perhaps I am alone in my preference for polite social interaction when shopping. ¬†But that, I guess, is a good question:

When you are out shopping or conducting other business, how do you prefer staff to interact with you? 

NORDSTROM - Shop Designer Clearance

Jul 132011

blackcottonshirtreversedyed1.jpgAs you may or may not know, I am not a huge fan of wearing black. I am, however, a huge fan of really cheap, natural-fiber clothing that fits fabulously.

Enter Contemporary Dyecraft: Over 50 Tie-dye Projects for Scarves, Dresses, T-shirts and MoreDye Craft Books).  This book explains simply how to use bleach to transform black clothing into a warmer and lighter neutral shade, similar to tie-dye.  Pictured here:  my first attempt.  (The shirt was 99 cents at Value Village; 55% cotton/ 45% tencel, it was faded-out solid black and features black stitching and a side zipper.)

This concept has tremendous potential!¬† For those on a budget, black clothing is abundantly available at thrift; for bleaching, who cares if it’s faded-out?¬† If the look were perfect for one’s idiom and lifestyle, indeed, an entire wardrobe could be built¬†around this one look.

Have you ever purposely used bleach to transform a garment? 

dye craft books)