Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Missus Smarty Pants Blog: Is Your "Stinkin' Thinkin'" Holding Back Your Style?

The Missus Smarty Pants Blog: Is Your "Stinkin' Thinkin'" Holding Back Your Style?

Is Your "Stinkin' Thinkin'" Holding Back Your Style?

In today's Chatter newsletter I highlight an email that I got from "Amy". She is perplexed and wondering why others always look so much better than her. Why doesn't she have great style?

When she leaves the house in the morning she feels pretty good about her looks,(hair, clothes, makeup) then later in the day she feels she looks horrible. What is wrong with her? How come other women always look "perfect" 100% of the time and she doesn't??? What is the secret to great style?

Today on my Blog Talk Radio Show, I'm going to address this topic of image and how we see ourselves as well as how others see us. Should be an interesting hour!

Find out if you are sabotaging your style too!
How to improve your style and lose what Marla at Flylady.net at calls "Stinkin' Thinkin'"!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Who wears short shorts?

It's that time of year to expose our legs! I know it sounds scary at first but....

I am happy to announce the fashion gods have finally answered our prayers! A flattering length of short is “IN”. The Bermuda short! Yes, ladies the Bermuda short that hits at, above or just below the knee-- is a “hot” fashion statement! We can ALL finally wear something cute, comfortable--and trendy!  (I think the fashion gods are saying sorry for the impossible-to-wear “skinny” pants most of had the sense not to wear!)

Women wonder (and ask) what is the most flattering length for shorts, capris and cropped pants? Your pant or short length is often one of the first things noticed about you. So wearing the best length for your body type is important. Here are basic guidelines to get you started. In a couple of weeks a complete shorts guide for each body type (with pictures) will be listed at http://www.missussmartypants.com

Follow these guidelines to help you find your best length:

Bermuda shorts: Hits at the knee. This length is universally flattering. Look for a flat front (no pleats) straight cut for the leanest look. Inseam should be about 12”. Add a wedge heel or espadrille sandal for a long sleek and dressier look. A cropped or fitted jacket works well with Bermuda shorts too. For a more casual look, wear flats, a short-sleeved cardigan sweater and perhaps a pretty long beaded necklace.

Walking shorts: Hits mid-thigh and are loose, casual and comfortable. This style is best for women that are fairly confident with their legs and thighs. Best length is around 7” inseam.

Short shorts: These are also called “Daisy Dukes”. Short shorts are for ladies who used their Thighmasters all winter--or answer by the name of Jessica (Simpson). Inseams are a mere 3”.

Capris: These tend to run around the mid-calf area and can be hard to wear. Women love Capris because they are cooler than long pants and hide a multitude of “issues”. The best Capri silhouette for most women (unless they are tall and thin—then any length is okay) is above the calf. If capris are long, have them hemmed up shorter to add slenderizing length to your legs. Avoid capris that hit your thickest part of your calf.

Cropped pants: These are above the ankle bone. Cropped pants are very hard to wear. If you are heavier or shorter—your legs appear chopped off—like tree trunks. If you are tall, you appear even taller and like you are wearing high-water pants! Wear cropped pants with a heel for the most leg lengthening look. MissusSmartyPant’s advice is to avoid them all together.

Petites and plus sizes: Wear shorter lengths for shorts and capris, if you can. Find a length that is flattering (around the knee is best) and avoid the longer lengths that can make you look dumpy. The longer your legs look the better, tall, leaner, etc.—you get the picture!

One last thing before you get your legs out there…spend some time pampering. Groom your legs (shave) use tan-in-a-can (if you need a glow) and get your tooties looking terrific too! Now you are ready for flip-flops, sandals and of course--Bermuda shorts!

Love, Leslie

P.S. Are you ready to show off your gams?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Long & Short of It...

 Can you tell if I'm long or short in the waist?

For some reason women always think their bodies are not quite right, rather than--the clothes are not quite right. Do you try on pants only to have them rest practically under your bust? If you are short-waisted this can happen. On the other hand, if you have a long waist the pants are snug in the rise and you find yourself constantly pulling them down. Why do some jackets make you appear shorter or heavier? Or, why do some shirts never seem long enough?

It is all about your body proportions. How each part of your body relates to the other parts is what makes up your unique proportions. Generally speaking, you are always going to have the same basic body shape whether you gain weight or lose weight. That is why following the fit guidelines at MissusSmartyPants.com will  help you dress your best. Along with your body shape, there are unique proportions like a tummy, long arms, short waist, etc. These are also something you need to take into consideration when dressing.

The most common proportional issue that women face is being long or short-waisted. Knowing how to “correct” your proportions will help you know what to look for when shopping.

Grab a tape measure and decide if you are long, short or balanced in your waist line. Measure the area between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your hip bone.

Short-waisted—the space will be about 1-2 inches
Average-waisted—the space will be about 2-3 inches
Long-waisted—the space will be about 3-4 inches

A balanced body will have a crotch that is halfway up the total body length. Your waist is balanced when it is at the halfway mark between your armpit and crotch. If your waist is above halfway you are short-waisted, if it is longer, you are long-waisted.

Rule of thumb: when you have a body part that is short—look for long. When you have a body part that is long—look for short. For example, short-waisted? Look for a longer jacket. Get it?

Don’t forget your jacket. One of the best articles of clothing that a SYSter can have in her wardrobe--is a jacket. The right jacket for your body type (and waist proportion) can help correct your body imbalance and make it appear balanced and in proportion. Not only can you disguise an undefined waist, but you will make it appear more “hourglass” with a structured jacket that is “body skimming”. The right length of jacket can make your waist or legs appear longer. Generally speaking, if you are short-waisted, a longer jacket is needed. If you are long-waisted, a shorter jacket works for you. If you are petite in stature, then you do not want to go too long with the length of your jacket or it will drag you down.

Experimentation along with the fit guidelines for your body type will help you correct your proportional dilemmas. Learn more about long and short of your waist and dress better than ever before!

Love, Leslie

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dogs do the darnedest things!

My kids are grown and out of the house...so now it's my dog that steps up to the plate to amuse me.

My hound dog Ellie thought this ceramic Easter bunny was REAL...and she totally freaked out!

Once we figured out what she was barking at...my DH and I laughed so hard!!! Silly dog!

We moved the Easter bunny around to try and show her it was not real...but she was still scared of it...

Who wouldn't love a sweet pup like her? Thanks Ellie, you made my day!

I hope you enjoy your pet as much as I enjoy my sweetie-pie Ellie!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's good being a girl!

It is good to be a girl. However, there are many sayings that would say otherwise...like: "it is a man's world, there is a glass ceiling, women earn only 70 cents on the dollar compared to a man." All of this may still be true. And I've certainly seen plenty of women try to be more man-like--as if it's better or something? Some women try to dress more "manly" (by wearing asexual suits at work w/out feminine details) some women try to be more "manly" in their negotiating ways too. Why be something you're not?

I say it's great being a girl! In fact I say it's better to be a girl...and I'm proud of it. 

Now that the weather is warming up, here's how I'm showing off my feminine side...
I'm wearing my Jessica Simpson pink faux croc pumps I purchased last July ($59) at Nordy's Anniversary Sale while in New Jersey traveling on business. It's time to bring them out again and strut my stuff. 

Women are special...we get to wear skirts, dresses and a ruffle or two if we want. We also can wear killer heels if we feel like it! Can a man do that?! Hopefully NOT!

While recently at a "Girls Night Out" I enjoyed the saying this on a cocktail napkin:

Yup. Being a girl is great! 

If I'm wearing my pink croc pumps this week, how are YOU going to show your "girly" side?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why your style still sucks!

Doesn't she look darling!? Do you wish you looked this cute and wonder why your style still sucks? If this sounds like something you would say in your head (I'm sure you're happy I said it out loud for you, LOL!) Then read on...

The reason your style still sucks is because you continue to "settle" on clothes that aren't really right for you, and never ever truly get what your wardrobe needs! Yes, it is that SIMPLE. The end. 

Actually I'll explain further. I've worked with so many women and their wardrobes over the years, I've come to see a pattern of women trying to get by with a lack-luster wardrobe. It is a wardrobe that does NOT include enough basic pieces (your wardrobe should be 50% basic pieces)--they can't ever really dress well or put together outfits (and accessories) to look stylish--they are always MISSING KEY PIECES. Yet, they will turn around the next day and buy something on impulse that matches NOTHING they own! (SIGH)

Change your attitude, listen to your needs for once! No more It'll do shopping-wasting money on clothes that you desperately "need" suddenly for a particular occasion. Change your attitude and LET GO of the clothes in your wardrobe that aren't making you look and feel great.  From now on, if you ever find 'it'll do' sneaking into your mind when shopping, stop immediately, put it back where you found it, and keep on looking.  It's better to leave empty handed than clutter up your life (and closet) with clothes that aren't right for you. From this day forward, you MUST build a wardrobe full of great fitting basic pieces you love!

Your basics are your strength & foundation. The only way to have a fabulous wardrobe--is to start with the basics. Do you have the basics? Make a list of what you have AND a list of what you still need. DO NOT buy anything trendy until this list is complete. (I know it is tempting...but trust me on this!)

Good news! You are going to saving money. By starting your shopping with the basics, you'll find you need LESS of the trendy stuff to look great! That means you'll save money in the long run--because the basics lasts for YEARS! Woo Hoo! 

Here are the spring basics you might need to get your new spring wardrobe started. Colors and styles should mix and match with everything you already have:

White short sleeve blouse. Choose a style that you can dress up or down and one you can layer with.

Camisoles and shells in your seasonal colors. Wear these under sheer blouses.

Stylish and body skimming tee-shirts in fun colors. Have fun with these and remember fit is important. Nothing baggy! V-neck, wrap styles, crew-necks, ¾ sleeved, etc.

Cotton cardigan sweater set. Choose a neutral or one in your favorite color. Look for a lightweight knit that will take you into the warmer weather.

Cotton shorts. Look for classic styling and basic colors to match everything.   If you don’t like to show off your legs, pick capris instead. At the knee or right above is classic (Bermuda style) and also very “in” this year. The best length is around 12” inseam. At least 2 pairs of basic shorts.

Cotton skirt. An A-line is the best all around style. A skirt with fullness looks great with fitted tees on top. Look for a gauzy type of skirt with fullness. This style will pack well too. Keep in mind that a full skirt must be matched up with a body skimming top in order to keep the proportions balance.

A sundress. Get at least one. Dresses, any style are hot this season.

Anorak jacket. Great for sudden rain showers or unexpected weather changes early in the season. This is a classic style that is popular this season.

Straw bag. Why have only one? They can be inexpensive and are perfect for all spring and summer activities.

Large all-purpose tote. Pick a bright color. Haul everything around in a catch-all type of tote. Take on picnics, to the pool or gym, on a cruise, bike ride—if you can think of an activity—you probably are going to want a large tote—make it a stylish one. By the way, some celebrities have been spotted with very large oversized tote purses. Some are so large, they could almost crawl inside, lol.

Open-toe pumps. Peep toe pumps continue to be popular. Look for patent leather look (shiny). For a more casual lifestyle option choose a wedge pump shoe.

Nice pair of walking sneakers or shoes. Wear these for exercise or casual shopping trips. Try fun colors or tan or black. Your sneakers don’t have to be white. Check out www.zappos.com or www.thewalkingcompany.com

Flats. Got to love 'em! Pick open or closed toe flats—but make sure you get at least one pair! A basic black or brown pair plus a fun color that matches your wardrobe colors.

Sandals and flip flops. Look for style but don’t skimp on comfort. Styles with shells, jute roping, beading and gold or silver colors are hot this season.

Swimsuit. Yeah, I know this might scare you.  But if you require special sizing or want the best selection—now is the time to go try them on!

Advance planning this season with all the basics in your closet NOW will help you have what you need as the weather warms. 

This year you're gonna have fabulous style!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A welcome weekend...

This last week has been crazy-busy. Luckily it was very productive for my business. I just need some time to regroup and relax. Horray for the weekend! I'm ready to take it on and enjoy.

Are you ready for the new spring fashions? I sure am. I love the soft pastels of spring, they will be a fresh way to dress this spring...however I would never mix patterns of the same size (like pictured above). Would you? How do you successfully mix patterns? For me, I always let one print be big & bold, while the other compliments. I also make sure the prints have the same color palette. What are your tricks for pattern mixing?

4 Steps to Chic

1. Start with a feminine top 2. Pair with classy slacks 3. Ground with bold shoes 4. Finish with statement earrings ...