May 032015

I’ve been thinking about how pattern can break up an area and make it look smaller. So, just for fun, I thought we’d look at swimsuits in prints! (The original 2009 illustrations for this post had disappeared, so I rebuilt it with swimwear from Modcloth. Pictures contain affiliate links.)
Wade a Minute Swim Dress in CactiWade a Minute Swim Dress in RougeIn the first pair, the print works well to draw the eye in, creating a column effect.
Wade a Minute Swim Dress in FlamingosWade a Minute Swim Dress in Marine Blue

In the second pair, the slimming effect of the print is diluted by the change of the strap color.

The third pair reminds me of the saying “round adds pounds”. Not that she looks large at all; it’s just that the navy and white polka dot isn’t significantly more flattering than the solid red.
Seaside Muse Swim Dress in Monochrome DotsSeaside Muse Swim Dress in Red

What are your thoughts concerning (slimming effects of) prints?

Apr 282015

IMG_3787.PNGAnother of the basic body shape elements is the arc waist. Basically, like the cinch waist, the arc waist is smaller than hips and shoulders; unlike the cinch waist, the arc waist continues in – ahem – an arc from below the arm to the top of the leg. 

Personally, until I understood this, I was very self-conscious about my thighs. When you understand your body type, it becomes just a body – not a collection of features that cause off-the-rack clothes to look bad. 😉

The hip shape that goes with the arc waist is called a low hip, meaning that the widest part is the top of the thigh. Styles that are fitted through the midsection and flare below the hips are natural for this body type.  

Apr 202015


When defining a body type and the styles which harmonize, I will sometimes use the term “cinch waist”. Anatomically, what I mean is a body featuring a waist nipped in above a high hip shelf, the high hip appearing wider than the low hip/upper thigh. 

A cinch waist is flattered by, among other things, garments which are – ahem – cinched at the waist. The high hip accompanying the cinch waist wears narrow skirts and trousers beautifully.

To illustrate, I built you this Polyvore. 

And here’s a special Earth Day offer: Get addl. 20% OFF to celebrate Earth Day. Buying used is green! Save on all your favorite brands like Lululemon, Free People, Anthropologie. Offer ends 04/22/2015.

Apr 172015

So, I have been having a ball, but also wearing myself out – in a good way. Alot is going on behind the scenes. As I have been working my tail off this week, I have also been thinking – the hero says that is my greatest strength 😉 – especially about how I can be most helpful.

One conclusion: There are some categories of high-value items that I seem to have a skill for finding, like fun leather jackets and cashmere sweaters; I may think of some others. In addition to continuing to offer coordinated outfits, I will start posting some of those items too. You might as well benefit from my finds.

(I know it is not sweater season, but it will be again. Did you know you can put your sweaters in the freezer to keep the moths out? And I wash my cashmere sweaters all the time – just don’t dry them.)

Eventually, I would love to offer mini-capsule wardrobes. Do you think that would be helpful?

Apr 132015

I’ve got that thrifty feeling. Literally. In the last week or so, I have added a little online thrift store (That Thrifty Feeling) to my life. Find it now in Facebook groups:, and Facebook page, and later at That Thrifty Feeling .com.

So, what does this mean for my other endeavors? I will still see clients for personal style coaching, but – truthfully – I haven’t been as busy with that as I would like.  And, while I had been considering  increasing my posting schedule here, I don’t think that’s going to happen. 

So, The Space Between My Peers will continue more or less as it has been: shortish posts containing useful and technical information aimed at people who have to get dressed every day 😉

This week, this will probably be the only post to show up here. In order to perform the technical work of adding and SSL and a cart to  my domain, this site will have to be down for three days. Hope to see you on Facebook!

Apr 092015

You walk outside, look down … aaaaghh! It “matched” in the house! Now what to do? Unfortunately, not much. Maybe mutter under your breath that you’ll never try to match beiges again.

Pairing orange and purple, or chartreuse and teal, is not usually the source of the stealth clash. No, usually it’s something like trying to put orange-brown with purple-brown, or wearing chartreuse-taupe with teal-taupe. They’re neutrals, right? And neutrals go with everything, right? Uh, not exactly. Even blacks don’t all go together.

This has been on the metaphorical front burner ever since my very practical daughter decided she wasn’t going to buy green pants, because she likes to wear green shirts (and she should – she has green eyes). The hero also avoids green trousers, either from fear of clash or fear of looking like a green bean 😉

Some thoughts on building a wardrobe without clash:

  • Always buy the coordinating piece if it’s available. Lol
  • Be very careful in trying to assemble a do-it-yourself suit. It may be better to choose another color the contrasts or blends.

  • Consider undertones. Interior design color expert Maria Killam says there are three types of beige: pink-beige, green-beige, and yellow-beige. They don’t blend; they clash. Grays and browns also have undertones. I recently ended up, via thrifting and the clothing exchange, with a (purple) gray pair of ankle pants and a three-quarter sleeve (green) gray blazer. So close, but yet so far …
  • Using a pattern with a small amount of the color you are trying to match allows being less precise.

What thoughts would you add?

Captain Obvious says: save this link and use it when you shop Thank you so much!

From 4/23/2007, originally. I am gonna go out on a limb here, in April, 2015, and declare my neutrals: yellow-beige (goes with my hair), purple-gray (for the ring around my iris), and orange-brown (the other day, one of my little grandsons saw my eyes in the sun and said they were orange!). Making the statement should clarify my shopping.

Apr 072015

Before considering how to mix prints, it is a good idea to examine whether you should mix prints. Is the idea exciting to you?

IMO, or perhaps I should say IMP (in my philosophy), style choices are driven by both external and internal indicators. In the case of wearing multiple prints together:

  1. External indicators: your appearance has alot of visual pattern (patterned smoothness), such as streaked hair and/or freckles. Sometimes texture, such as curly hair, gives an impression of pattern, as well.
  2. Internal indicators: a high-energy personality. Putting things together in less-expected ways is also indicative of a creative approach to life that can be supported by mixing patterns.

In the matter of the first, I do not qualify. Color-blocking (as seen here) works. Most anyone can wear one well-chosen pattern at a time. But my freckles are nearly gone and my hair is almost, but not quite, uniformly white. HOWEVER, I still feel more comfortable mixing prints than not. So I might do it 😉

Of all the technical aspects involved in styling, print-mixing is one of the only ones that comes somewhat naturally to me; therefore, it is more challenging for me to to explain the how. I refer you to such experts as Lauren Conrad, Tory Burch, and Clinton Kelly.

Do you like to mix prints?

Apr 022015

imageSome good ideas don’t get old, they just get forgotten. Like this one from 4/24/2007. The point of this post originally was modesty; HOWEVER, I would add now that frequently the first balance point and the armpit will be at the same “latitude”, so to speak, making this tip even MORE useful.

Make it practical: why not check yours right now? Is the length of your face, from hairline to chin, equal to the length from chin to the center of the imaginary line from armpit to armpit? If so, then that is a good place for some element of yr neckline or accessories. 🙂

Btw, I never got used to the comments being reverse-ordered, so I changed them back. Hope the whole experiment wasn’t too annoying!

Use this trick to see if a neckline will be too deep for you, without having to try the top on.

My daughter figured this one out:

Mentally draw a horizontal line from armpit to armpit. Is the lowest part of the neckline above or below the line? Chances are if your neckline extends to below your armpits, you may be displaying more than the watching world cares to see.

One more way I can tell if something will work without getting undressed.


Mar 312015

Could you use more time in your life? Lately I have been experiencing growing pains in my lifestyle. On top of the household responsibilities I have been accustomed to fulfilling, I have been trying to create space for the following priorities:

  1. helping women achieve their personal style goals,
  2. building the muscle I am gonna need when I am a little old lady
  3. repurposing various areas of the house to better serve the Empty Nest season

Running in the background are these concepts I heard from Rory Vaden, author of Take the Stairs and Procrastinate on Purpose. Basically, (click here for the official explanation) the idea is to focus on those activities which create more time. For example, consider #2 above: when I exercise in any given day, I typically get the time back immediately in sleep quality, and it is expected to multiply in longevity.

But, of course, it always comes back to how this applies to creating/curating the wardrobe and other elements of the personal style idiom. Because, when I became a Personal Style Coach, I kinda gave up the option to slack on getting myself ready as a way to gain time. I didn’t realize just how much I was relying on that one strategy! Lol.

Help me brainstorm!

What else?

Mar 272015

This post is inspired by people who are restricted in what kind of shoes they can wear. And by the changing season: today it is supposed to get to 70° here, the temperature at which I am comfortable without socks. 

Lately I have been thinking about a question I got via email, in which the implication was that it is necessary to wear heels to be stylish. Perhaps some think it is. I do not. Neither does Carla. Whenever I heard a student, including myself, ask if wearing heels would be the solution to a particular style challenge, she always answered something along the lines of, “it doesn’t have to be”.  

So I learned not to depend on heels to create a balanced proportion. 

While each person’s footwear challenges may be different, I suggest building a personal style that incorporates the shoes that work for you. 

While I was thinking about this, I stumbled onto the Crocs Sexi Flip. For the price (around $30 American), so much fun! I have never worn Crocs, but looking at these (and the ones I see on the ladies at the gym) I think I am gonna start! The following pictures contain affiliate links; if you click on them and make a purchase, I will make a little money 🙂

Happy Toe Liberation Day! Btw, do you wear Crocs?