Saturday, April 30, 2011

I made an immediate comparison, did you?

I throughly enjoyed watching the Royal Wedding! The traditions, pomp and circumstance, the unique hats worn by all the ladies in attendance...and finally the revealing of Kate Middleton's beautiful wedding dress! They did such a brillant job of keeping us all in the dark until Kate walked down the isle to marry Prince William!



The first thing I did was make an immediate comparsion to the late Grace Kelly. She was the epitome of 'timeless elegance'. Always poised, graceful and charming no matter what. Kate reminds me of her because she is hounded by the press and photographers constantly...but somehow appears to not let it all get to her.

My first comment after seeing Kate's wedding dress was: 'timeless and classic elegance'...then I thought of Grace Kelly! Today, I see I'm not the only one making a comparison to the late Princess Grace.

What did you think of Kate's wedding dress? Were you suprised or was it a style you expected her to wear?


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Finding the Right Clothes for YOUR Proportions

It's All About the Right Clothes for YOUR Proportions...







For some reason women always think their bodies are not quite right, rather than--the clothes are not quite right. You are the way you are...therefore what you really need is to know what clothes are right for your unique proportions!


Do you try on pants only to have them rest practically under your bust line? If you are short-waisted this can happen. On the other hand, if you are long waisted pants can be snug in the rise and you find yourself constantly pulling at them. Why do some jackets make you appear shorter or heavier? Or, why do some shirts never seem long enough? Again, it's all about understanding your proportions--so you know what styles of clothes are best for you.

It is all about 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 fit guidelines for your body shape with help you dress your best. Along with your body's shape, you have 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 when dressing is being long or short-waisted. Knowing how to “correct” your proportional waist imbalance 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 (in front of a full-length mirror) along with the fit guidelines for your body type will help you correct your proportional dilemmas (like a long or short waist).




Your goal no matter your shape or proportional imbalances should be to 'appear balanced' through the clothes you wear. Let me help you do that each week at MissusSmartyPants.com!


Love, Leslie...your online fashion stylist

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Out With the Past, and In With New Style!


Early childhood memories of clothes and how you felt in them still play a role in your dressing choices today. You may remember one particular floral dress full of sunny colors that you just loved to wear. In fact, if your mom would have let you, you'd wear it every day! You may remember your favorite black shiny Mary Janes worn with the pretty white lace socks and how they made you feel so important--and girly at the same time.

Did you get any negative clothing messages at a young age? Perhaps you felt you never deserved nice clothes or ones that fit well. Was it because most of your clothes hand-me-downs? Do you feel you don’t deserve to spend money on clothes or yourself? You either bought into this thought or you rebelled against it. Recognizing this issue is a starting point of changing those negative thoughts to new ones. It will help you transform your style into something better.

Let’s examine how we got some of the old “mental tapes” of how we look and feel in our clothes. Think back to when you were young. What are your memories of what you looked like in clothes? Are they good memories or not so positive? Personally, I remember clearly, two things from my early childhood. I was probably in first grade and I recall shopping for “back to school” clothes with my mom. I remember feeling excited to get new clothes! We went to Sears during a big sale. I got new dresses for school, 3 for $10. Each one of them a different style and color and thereby allowing me the chance to show my style each day—it was an amazing feeling! Do you have a similar style memory or one about not feeling comfortable or pleased about what you were wearing?

As a girl, were you told a certain color or style did or did not look good on you? What makes you think this is still true or was right in the first place? Are there certain types of clothes you won’t wear today because of the negative feelings attached to them? Did you wear hand-me-downs most of the time or felt self-conscious because you were overweight? Or, perhaps you always had the latest styles, now you feel you have to always keep up with the latest.

All of these past experiences and old feelings can hold us back from truly expressing ourselves with our clothes. BUT these past experiences can also be helpful...if you let them. You can move forward simply by choosing to do things differently. You are all grown up now...not that little girl that once wondered what it would be like to be a grown up lady in pretty high heels! Show off that sassy style and attitude and earned confidence...I dare YOU!



Take some time this week and examine why you feel the way you do about clothes and shopping. Understanding your past experiences will allow you to change the way see yourself and let you try new styles. Concentrate on you body type and finding styles for you, you will change the “old emotional tapes” and explore new styles.

I think Calvin Klein said it best, “There’s no point in trying to look like a Vogue editorial every month. The way to find your style is to try to develop a look of your own.” Start with your own Personal Profile today and find out what flatters YOU!

If you need style help and want to know more about dressing for your body type...join me and lots of women who now know what it's all about at http://www.missussmartypants.com/ . You'll find this affordable weekly approach just what you need to get your style re-discovery started! Love, Leslie MSP



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shorts, Crops and Capris




Me and my family in front of the Bellagio Las Vegas...

I'm back from my vacation and my blog-cation! I've taken some time off from the blogosphere to re-connect with the real world and spend some quality time with my family. I've had a blast!

My family enjoyed a couple of thrill seeking adventures during our trip. We went snow skiing (just 45 minutes out of Las Vegas) and we went mountain biking in Red Rock Canyon...as well as a trip to the beautiful California Coastline!

My family is quite active...yet I found myself always one step behind them since they are all MEN and my daughter-in-law is not only young, smart and pretty--but quite an athlete too! Our adventures were challenging to say the least and I ended up a bit scratched and buised. 

I hope my family feels as I do our experiences created some great family memories to cherish!


At the Charlotte Airport heading to Las Vegas and California...


Me and my sweet daughter-in-law at City Center Mall in Las Vegas...




 Laguna Niguel California...view from my hotel room. It was sooo beautiful!




My son Blake and his wife Faith enjoying the ocean breezes...



 

Mountain biking in the desert outside of Las Vegas!!!
Red Rock Canyon (Blue Diamond Cottonwood trails)...this is the ONLY smooth flat area, LOL! 
That was the most rocky trail I've ever ridden!


How about talking fashion now? Are you ready to wear shorts?! 

Yes, I asked if you are ready to show some skin (scary, huh?) Now that the weather is getting warmer (for some of you...its still getting there) it’s time to think about wearing shorts, capris and cropped pants. If this frightens you because your Thighmaster has been collecting dust all winter…don’t fret because there is good news...there are some stylish options.


(photo: Nordstrom Eileen Fisher Cuffed Short)

There are stylish and do-able shorts, crops and capris for all this season! The walking short or city short! Yes, ladies this short style has been around a couple of season and it's still fabulous. A city short hits at the knee or just above--this is a great length for ALL. We can all finally wear something cute, comfortable--and trendy! 

Women wonder (and ask) what are the most flattering shorts, capris and cropped pants? Your pant or short length is one of the first things noticed about you. Where your shorts (or skirt or pant for that matter) stops on your leg creates a horizontal line and the eye is naturally drawn to this line on the body. So...wearing the best length for your body type is critical to looking your best in what you wear.

To help you find your best length I’ve listed all the different types of shorts and who should wear them:

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”. For more comfort, look for fabric content to include 2% stretch. HOW TO WEAR: 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.


(photo: Nordstrom Sanctuary Clothing Shorts)

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” or Hoo-chee mama shorts. Short-shorts are for ladies who used their Thighmasters all winter--or answer by the name of Jessica (as in Simpson). Inseams are a mere 3”. Only for the young gals (sorry if you are only 'young at heart') or the totally toned chicks.



Capris: These tend to stop around the mid-calf area. They can be hard to wear because the calf is the largest area on a woman's lower leg. 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.


(Nordstrom: NYDJ's Nicole Capri)

Cropped pants: This is this season's answer to the "skinnys" we've been wearing the last couple of seasons.These are skinny or slim cut pants that are rolled above the ankle bone. Cropped pants can be 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! HOW TO WEAR: Wear cropped pants with a heel in a NUDE color for the most leg lengthening look (like pictured below)


(photo: Nordstrom)

Petites and plus sizes: 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 aka MissusSmartyPants...your fashion stylist who also wants to put her best LEG forward this spring!