Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shoes and Earrings Relate

When you are getting dressed, do you ever think ... these earrings go great with these shoes?

It's so true! Shoes and earrings are related. All the components of your outfit make a small statement that add up to the total look and tell your story for the day. 

Jewelry tells a story for me because I was a designer for so many years. I went on market trips to NY and Atlanta with boutique owners so that I could start creating appropriate jewelry for the lines they were buying long before they arrived in the stores.  Accessories that are not so much matching but complementing in color and attitude complete a look.

Think about the attitude of the pieces you are putting together. For example the navy strappy sandals say evening wear as do the navy drop earrings. The T-Strap suede shoe says fashion forward and a little daring... so do the suede hoop earrings. 

Accessories from head to toe should speak the same language. 

I hope that the hurricane has now passed and that you and your loved ones are safe. 

Thank you for reading!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Animal Print Vest

The weather was unseasonably warm for late October so my outfit for date night included light weight layers and black sandals. 

The long sleeve black tee is from Chico's. The pants are by Anne Klein in a wonderfully smooth heavy knit fabric from my fabulous haul at Ross yesterday. The animal print flowing sheer fabric long vest is from Coldwater Creek. I love these vests as a third element. They can be worn as a scarf, a wrap or a vest and will serve as a year round accessory. I've found them at Chico's and Coldwater Creek in several color combinations.

The necklace is by Erica Lyons from Belk. The black sandals are from Stein Mart and the pewter clutch is by Kenneth Cole Reaction via T.J. Maxx.

Thanks for reading! I hope the rest of your week is fabulous.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Formula

Do you have a formula for the way you dress? 

Long ago I realized that if I wore smooth flowing fabrics in a soft palette of colors I would be able to layer items or combine them in different ways to create outfits for many occasions. My closet includes basic pieces that can be worn with different accessories to elevate them from daytime work wear to elegant evenings with friends. I won't buy a wardrobe of clothes which serve only one purpose (such as evening wear). A silk blouse I might wear with jeans to run errands during the day can also be worn with a black pencil skirt or crepe pants for dinner with friends. Accessories are the key that make these combinations work for me.

Large scarves, wraps or shawls are a great way to add dramatic color and 'temperature control' as is so often needed at this stage of life. Sunglasses are a daytime staple for me. I never leave without them. Earrings with a button top and dangles or hoops are much more flattering than those little wires that pass through the hole in your ear. A large link bracelet or a stack of bangles (or both!) are great accessories to add to almost any outfit. If I wear a statement necklace, I balance the drama by letting it take center stage and wear minimal other accessories. 

Structured handbags and clutches are much more flattering than big shoulder bags that make you look lopsided and sloppy. 

Interesting but comfortable shoes are a must! Life is way too short to wear boring shoes. 

This is my formula for shopping and getting dressed everyday. I have soft contrast coloring and a subdued quite personality. These tips serve me well and have helped me get ready for any event for most of my adult life. 

If you have high contrast coloring such as dark brown eyes with an olive skin-tone and dark silver gray hair and a bold outgoing personality your formula would be very different from mine.

I hope that sharing my concept of a "Formula" for dressing will help you put together easy, fabulous outfits so that you can get busy enjoying life.

If you would like to shop for the exact pieces I use in my fashion sets here and on my Facebook page you may visit my Polyvore page.

Thank you for reading! I hope you have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Breaking Rules

You may have heard the saying, "You must know the rules in order to break them effectively." With my soft contrast cool coloring, I should not wear brown or warm animal prints... but I love both! 

Last night for date night I wore an animal print tunic from Chico's Traveler's Collection. I layered it over a sleek long sleeve tee with spandex and Lycra, also from Chico's last year. The slim black pants are from Stein-Mart last year. The high heeled booties are by Vince Camuto and they are from Nordstrom. In spite of their high heels, these booties are comfortable and easy to walk in.

The little evening purse is one of my favorites but it must be fifteen years old. The silver and clear rhinestone hoops add a touch of cool tones next to my face.

The tunic is a little too large but I would prefer anything which buttons to not fit too tightly across my bust. I often go up a size in tops for that reason. I will also be able to wear this light weight tunic over summer clothes with the sleeves turned up.

The key to this outfit is the balance. I would never wear these slim leg pants with anything but a long tunic and I would never wear this tunic with anything but slim leg pants or a pencil skirt. Never wear two pieces that visually add width together. Always balance flowing boxy pieces over slim fitting pieces or vice versa. (For an opposite example: a slim tank top over a flowing maxi skirt.)

Thanks for reading. I hope the rest of your week is wonderful!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wearing Tights

I love the look of chunky booties with tights and a pencil skirt for daytime in the cooler months. When the proportions are right for you and the skirt isn't too short you can still turn heads in a good way. 

Proper fit is always important but especially so in a skirt. If the skirt is too tight or short you will not be comfortable or appropriate. Wearing a skirt with tights during the day in the cooler months is a great fresh look. Tights are opaque leg wear that allow us to get away with so much more than sheer stockings would. I normally wear sheer black stockings for evening only. Wolford makes top of the line tights which are well worth the investment. (They create lots of other fabulous items we need too!)

Here I've paired a graphite skirt with a loose fitting graphite long sleeve tee and a scarf. The scarf brings in the other colors to add. Burgundy is the color for us! It's very flattering to the face and can be worn with all the neutrals so well.  Add a few gold tone bold accessories and you can seize the day.

If you would like to shop for the exact items I've shown here you can visit my Polyvore page where I create wardrobe and outfit ideas. I normally list only items that are less than $100. I don't shop for high end expensive items but I do want to look current and attractive. Those are the tips I share with you here and on Facebook

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beauty Routines After 50

Many of you have written to ask for tips on makeup and hairstyles that respect our changing faces. I am sharing my step by step routine with you here.

Permanent makeup, fillers, and plastic surgery are not options I am considering. I don't mind the character and expression lines that my face has developed over the years. I firmly believe that healthy eating, lots of water and regular exercise are the best beauty routines one can follow.

After fifty, some things became easier and for me, a hairstyle definitely falls into that category. I stopped coloring my hair after my fiftieth birthday and found a great stylist who gives me a softly layered angled bob cut that frames and slims my roundish face. Ask your stylist for a cut that works with the natural tendency of your hair and one that complements the shape of your face. A good stylist will also consider if your style is complementary to the size and shape of your body. For example, a petite woman peering out from a huge bush of long hair is not in balance with her proportions.

In the photo above I have just returned from my stylist. She gives me low lights about twice a year which keep my hair from appearing to colorless and dull. The chrome glaze she adds every five weeks gives it a nice shine.

As for styling products, I don't use anything but a gentle sulfate-free shampoo about three times a week. I sometimes just rinse my hair in the shower and then reshape it for the day, but skip the products entirely on most days. My thinning hair and dry scalp do not respond well to most products. A build up of styling products adds too much weight making my hair flat. It also gets trimmed about every five or six weeks. I don't allow my hair to get too long or get it cut too short. Both extremes add years to my face.

Warm water and a gentle skin cleanser remove makeup in the evening. Liquid Neutrogena in the pump bottle is my choice for a cleanser. I splash some warm water on my face to rinse it and then pat dry. I find that eye creams add puffiness and night time moisturizers cause me to break out so I skip those. One of my all time favorite moisturizers for my whole body is Coconut Oil.

My makeup routine has also been streamlined. In winter, I use a heavier moisturizer but in summer, I use only a tinted moisturizer or very light foundation that is appropriate for the texture of my skin. I apply the foundation mostly in my T-zone. (The T-Zone is the center of your face from your forehead down to your chin where most of us were a bit oily when our hormones were plentiful.) Use a small makeup sponge or brush to blend gently away from your nose and skip the area around your mouth so that you don't emphasize lines. This technique of starting your makeup in the center of your face and blending away helps to avoid the dreaded line of demarcation where your makeup stops and your neck begins.  

Here is a blog post including a makeup video.

I use makeup brushes rather than sponge applicators. They allow for better blending and less tugging on the skin. I use a liquid eyeliner applied into and under the base of my upper eyelashes (on the waterline). I don't apply liner or mascara to my lower lashes because this looks very harsh on me. My eyeshadow is always the same in varying degrees of depth of color for the day versus evening. The palate includes soft beige, a very pale shell pink, gray and rosy browns that complement my cool skin tone. I start with the darkest brown in my lash line and just above it. In the crease of my eye and just above it I blend a medium brown. I blend the lighter colors up to my brow and then blend. 

For more definition and drama, I add a smoky gray color at the outside corner of my eye. I use a blonde eyebrow pencil to fill in my thin brows, but I'm careful to blend and brush that out as well. I use a brown/black mascara and that's it for eyes. 

I brush on a bit of blush in a rose tone high on the cheekbones, the bridge of my nose and under my chin. If your skin is very dry cream blush might be best for you. Once again blend, blend, blend! Note: Do not smile and put blush on the apple of your cheek as we were taught when we were younger. When you stop smiling the blush will be lower than you want and not have the effect you want at all. 

I apply a lip liner over my whole lip and then a very similar color of lipstick. After blotting, I'm finished with my daytime makeup routine. During the evening, I may wear a brighter lip color but I apply and blot it several times while I am applying my make up so that it stains my lips rather than sliding around on top. I will use a similar color lip balm to touch up during the evening.

I almost always wear sunglasses when I'm outdoors and if I will be in the sun for more than a few minutes I also wear a hat. Skin cancer is no fun and I hope to never have it again. 

Thank you for reading!
I hope these tips prove to be helpful to you.

Susan Street is the President of VintageJewelrySupplies.com.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Confidence looks good on you!

Celebrating our fiftieth birthday often means a rounder body is the gift we receive. Hormones and lifestyle play a part in this new body shape but we still want to look nice and dress in a way that is both flattering and comfortable. I've been a larger woman for most of my life so these tips are ones that I have always used to conceal a tummy that will never be flat no matter how much weight I lose.

1. Wear a top and pants or skirt in a similar color. Always wear a scarf, an open jacket, a blouse or a sweater in a different color to add a vertical line. The top should never be tucked in. If it stops just below your tummy that's a very good thing. Look for pieces that have smooth finishes that flow across your body rather than clinging to it. Avoid anything quilted or bulky. Pants and skirts should fall from the widest part of your body. If your thighs are that point, pants should skim your body to that point and then flow smoothly from there. Skirts should end at the slimmest part of your leg which is normally just below the knee. Pants should stop at the bottom of your heel. If you wear Capri pants, always wear a platform wedge shoe with them to lengthen your leg.

2. Look for silky smooth scarves in oblong shapes. The idea is to add a nice long vertical line, not bulk. Don't tie the scarf around your neck so that it ends with even tails in front. Try tucking it under the collar of your jacket so that one end is shorter than the other. Avoid horizontal lines of any type across your body. If the scarf is long enough try looping it over itself to create a V below your bust. A V shape neckline is usually more flattering than a round one.

3.Try to always wear a thicker, low heel rather than a totally flat shoe. Carry a bag that isn't too small or puffy. A sleek and structured bag looks much neater and doesn't add width to your silhouette. Be cautious with shoulder bags that hang right there beside your hips giving you more width where you least want it.

4. Wear the biggest clip on earrings you can get away with. Earrings with strands or movement are a great friend to us. Never wear a pointless little button stud earring that barely covers the hole in your ear.

Hold your head up high and smile. Confidence is your best accessory!