Category Archives: Must Haves

Watch Where you Slit

I have this beautiful red skirt suit. As noted in my last posting, I am getting to know myself, again.

I have determined skirt suits and dresses are a great way to get me through the hot months while making friends with my new me. Unlike most, I tend to retain water and am actually larger in the warmer months. The water retention and my new shape-Wow!

Back to the red skirt. This beautiful red skirt had a fun slit over the left leg to give it an edge. When worn in the past, the slit gave just a glimpse of my thigh, but not in an unprofessional manner. Well guess what? When I wore it the other day, the skirt slid half-way up my leg and the slit opened for all to see. Talk about road maps!

This eye opener made me realize that not all slits are appropriate for real women.

I prefer all my skirts to have a slit knowing that straight skirts look best on me. I must have a slit in my skirt so that I can easily enter most vehicles, and so no one hears a seam rip while moving. But in trying on various skirts and noticing the cut and style of the garment, I prefer all slits to be in the back of my skirt. Not only does the slit maintain professionalism, it does not create a disruptive line in my overall look.

Real women styles are made with these facts known. Their styles are created with the slits, curves, and darts in the correct place. Buying a bigger size in a misses does not always provide the best overall silhouette as illustrated in my red skirt. It is a beautiful skirt, but not designed for my body.

Regardless of which department you purchase your skirts, make sure you watch your slit. You can’t go wrong with a back slit.

Stay Real,

Julia

 

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My Best Style

My daughter is a martial artist. She bows on the floor stating she will do her best, and she bows off the floor stating she did her best. I love this concept.

What if each morning when our feet hit the floor we say “I will do my best”? What a way to start the day. And each night when we go to bed we say “I did my best”? That alone should make us have a successful, accomplished day.  Do not say you will try to do your best, or will work on being your best, but do your best. One cannot ask more than that.

Now let’s apply this same concept to our style. Style is our individuality expressed in our fashions and actions.

Do my best fashion – remember that go-to outfit that is fail proof? Well, when you are facing a challenging day and need a “best” to start the day, wear that outfit. Don’t forget your artful application to your face, your smile, and your color. We all have challenging days, but we can always be our best. When you wake up facing a wonderful day, pump up the volume on your fashion while still remaining true to your style.

Do my best actions – style not only encompass fashion’s tangible items, but intangible items as well. Your fashion style is enhanced and contains your poise, confidence, and body-language. These items are strong definitions to your style. You want your body-language to match your verbal language. You want to appear confident and poised; if you are not now, with practice and best, you will be. These qualities enhance a person’s style, so make these your best.

Do your best style.

Stay Real,

Julia

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The Color Wheel

A color wheel is a definite closet must-have.

Think of getting dressed as creating art. You are the canvas, and your clothing is the color medium used for creating the work of art. The color wheel displays the colors, defines the various combinations of color, and shows how the colors work together.

Let’s look at some examples of how a color wheel helps me put together a wardrobe that uses my best colors, while putting together outfits that go.

I have a pair of dark purple pants that I adore. They are the starting point of my outfit. Now, what do I put with purple pants? I pull out my color wheel and see that the complimentary color to purple is yellow. Guess what? I have a yellow jacket in my closet and it pulls together my basic “suit,” so let’s move on to the blouse. Well, I have a silk blouse with gray as the background. The blouse pattern contains the colors blue, red, and green. The print is large, so the gray basically fades away. Blue and yellow makes green, so the yellow goes. Green is the complimentary color to red, so that color also goes. And blue is close to purple on the color wheel, so that combination also works. I have just created a beautifully-colored outfit that is uniquely mine.

Now, let’s pull out that color wheel and see how many other “suits” or outfits we can put with that one blouse. Since I am big on mixing prints with pinstripes, this blouse goes with a navy pinstripe with ease. I also have a gray suit, three if I remember correctly, so this is a no-brainer. Black or white suits would definitely pop with this blouse.

What if I were to pair the blouse with jeans and throw on a red cardigan or jacket? And let’s not forget the yellow jacket. What a color combination!

The color wheel saves many a closet meltdown. You are running late, and you grab the first suit available that happens to be navy. Grab a blue or green blouse. Those colors are beside blue and will look polished and understated.

Color is used in art. Color is used in nature. But mostly, color is used in creating a beautiful style – yours.

Stay Real,

Julia

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Closet Must-Have: LBD

Ah, the LBD. Where would “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” be without it? This is definitely a must-have.

You always seem to find just the right dress at the wrong time, and cannot find the perfect dress at the needed time, so here is my solution.

Think separates. Yes, Little Black Separates. My LBD is actually LBS. I have three basic bottom pieces: palazzo pants with an elastic waist, a floor length skirt with an elastic waist, and a ¾ length skirt with an elastic waist. The elastic waist not only allows for a smooth line under your tops, but it allows for water fluctuations when you need the “dress” to fit in a pinch.

The tops to my little black separates consist of a sequined tank, a silk ¾ length sleeve sweater, and a lace bustier. I also have a velvet evening blazer, and a knit bolero. With these separates I can create a myriad of LBD’s.

With the LBS system, I simply match a bottom with a top to create the specific look needed.  I am not limited to one dress, one style, or one dress size. The LBS system is tailored to you. It is a win-win system.

Don’t be afraid to look in the lingerie departments for tops. I find some of my best purchases in that department.

When looking for accessories for your LBS, be creative. You can use makeup bags, pretty coin purses, or even unique eyeglass cases for evening bags. Jewelry is just as flexible. A pretty pendant tied on a ribbon, a long strand of pearls wrapped around your wrist, or a brooch pinned on your waist. Think out-of-the-box.

I only need one pair of evening shoes to carry various looks, so this allows me great freedom in other areas.

And my last secret, the LBS can be any color of the rainbow.

Stay Real,

Julia

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Closet Must-Haves 4, 5, 6

Let’s move on to addressing three more closet must-haves. To review, my first three closet must-haves are a full-length mirror, a black suit, and skin care. I hope all of you have added these to your closets.

I notice that I keep reaching for these next three items, again and again, to get me through these blustery days of winter. So, I share them with you.

A Smile. A smile is a great item to wear. It lifts your spirits, it lifts other people’s spirits, but most of all, it lifts the corners of your mouth creating a more vibrant appearance. During this cold, winter season, so few people take the time to share their inner beauty with one another through their smile. Yes, it is gray and dreary outside. So wearing a smile is even more important. Smile when you answer the phone. It will show in your voice. Smile when you are with your family and friends. They will know you are enjoying their company. Smile, even when you don’t feel like it.

Coat. Most everything I read says a trench coat is a must for your closet. I agree that a trench coat is a very wise purchase, as it is a multi-functional coat. But here is an option that is also multi-functional – a cape. I purchased a cape about 15 years ago. Unfortunately, it went to clothing heaven as I used up every last thread. The cape fit my body regardless of my size. It was my winter coat during my pregnancy, pre and post. Due to the gliding nature of the piece, it gracefully covered my body as it morphed into different sizes and shapes. A cape fits over winter suits, weight gains and losses, and looks chic in most every situation. When running errands, put on cute shoes, an outfit, and Poof! You are chic and covered. But the main reason I prefer a cape to a trench coat is the fact that I do not have to tie a belt or wear a double-breasted coat that enhances my least attractive body parts. Yes, I purchased a new cape this year. It is gray, with a black diagonal zipper, and black buttons at the neck. It is perfect!

Hand Mirror. Hopefully, you added a full-length mirror to your closet. But do you have the hand mirror to hold at just that right angle to view your backside? How many people have you seen that look spot-on as you walk up to them, just to get an atrocious view of their backside as they pass by? There are many faux pas going unseen due to the lack of a view of the backside. Hair that looks like a rat attacked, jacket vents left uncut, jackets or sweaters pulling too tight across the shoulders, and OH NO! The dreaded VPL’s. Please do yourself a favor, and put a hand mirror in your closet so that your backside matches the beautiful you in the mirror.

Take a good look of yourself in the mirror, put on your winter coat, and smile.

Stay Real,

Julia

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Closet Must-Haves

I have been a stylist for 47 years. I have poured over countless magazines, books, videos, blogs, and websites. I have lived in Japan, Miami, and my current home-town Huntsville, Alabama. My profession as a CPA has taken me to New York, Chicago, D.C., Boston, Fort Lauderdale, and other stylish cities. In visiting and living in these various places, there has been one underlying style I have seen time again – mine.  You see, I have been a stylist for me.

I know myself better than anyone else. I know my favorite styles, colors, likes and dislikes. I understand every nuance of my body. I have a style that is unique, yet timeless.  My style belongs to me. I own it.

In evolving my style over the years, I have created a checklist of 25 items that all stylish women should possess.  Perhaps this list is not the customary list found in all the books and magazines that women study in the hopes of finding her style, but it is a list that is fail proof.

Here are the first three items on my list.

A full-length mirror.  A full-length mirror is your best friend.  It never lies. It does not try to sell you the latest fashion fad. It actually does the opposite. It tells the brutal truth. If you listen to it, you cannot purchase a poor choice for your style. The mirror saves you from yourself. This item will show up time and time again in my checklist.

The “Black Suit.”  My black suit is actually a charcoal gray pantsuit. The jacket has a one button closure, and the pants are straight-leg, no pockets, and sit low on my waist. The black suit is a staple that should be in all women’s closet, but it can be defined to the person wearing it. The color need not be black, but the color that looks best on you. The style can range anywhere from a skirt suit with a jacket made for your body, to pants with a cardigan as the jacket. Find the suit that looks best on your body. You know your body. Trust your instinct to choose your best “black suit.”

Skin Care.  The one item you wear every day, regardless of your outfit, is your skin. This item should be of the best quality your money can buy. Though you can hide a great deal of your skin under clothing, you can rarely hide the skin on your face. Look at skin care the same as you look at dry cleaning. Maintain the one item worn everyday as you would your favorite item of clothing. Treat it with the utmost care and it will be the classic that rewards you over and over.

I have covered the first three items on my style checklist and look forward to sharing with you my next items.

StayReal,

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