Friday, August 24, 2012

How To Wear White.

Hello. I hope you had a productive and happy week. Things have been busy here at headquarters. Anyway, since my last post was on how to wear Black, I decided to talk about how to wear White this time. So, what is the first thing to consider when deciding on whether or not to wear White?

Like in the case of Black, not everyone can wear crisp, clear White. Different shades of white suit different skin tones. Like in the case of Black, the best way to determine what shade suits you is to stand in good, natural light with the white placed next to your face. When you have decided on the best shade for you, the next question is "How practical is it?"

Because of the fact that dirt easily shows on White, It is advisable to avoid White if you have kids around, and avoid it as a bottom if you are on your period. Also, because of the fact that it becomes transparent when wet, avoid it on rainy days. Of course there is the thing about rain and mud. The fact that White is easily transparent, it is best, when purchasing a white piece of garment, to place your hand under the item in bright light to see if your hand shows clearly through the fabric. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that with White, the quality of the fabric usually makes a difference since inferior quality Whites tend to be more see through.

One very big issue with White in regard to transparency is under wear. We all know that wearing white under wear under white garments is a big no no. So we tend to wear it with black under wear. This however, also tend to show under White. The best color to wear under White is your skin tone. Always have under wear that is as close to your skin tone as possible. With Skin tone under wear, there is no contrast to draw the eye to the wrong place. Also, when wearing White skirts or dresses as with all light colors, wear a slip. It may seem old fashioned, but it is still very practical in today's world.

Another issue with White is that, unless you have the perfect, slim, hourglass figure, it is not advisable to wear White in the form of clingy clothing. This is because White tends to show every roll and bump on the body when it clings. Also it tends to make big women look even bigger. White just looks better when they are loose and flowy. Choose silhouettes that float away from the body. Just make sure that it fits close to the body at the waist. That will help to give an hourglass shape.

When accessorizing, White looks especially good worn with bright tones. Colors like Coral, Orange, Pink and Turquoise look beautiful against White. Of course, being a neutral, White goes well with every color, these just happen to give White a certain freshness.

For anybody who is not comfortable dressed in all White, try White as an accent. A white pair of shoes, handbag or jewelry can be used by anyone who is not ready to be adventurous. However, for anyone who is ready to take it a step further, white skinny jeans, pants, or blazer can really give that freshness to an outfit. I personally love the look of a white, well fitted suit. Think Bianca Jagger or Dianna Ross in the seventies. Another thing is that if you think an all white out fit is too monotonous, try layering different shades of White. The different shades give depth to an otherwise flat color story

I hope I have added some value with this post and I look forward to your stopping by soon. Remain fabulous.

Monday, August 20, 2012

How To Look Good In Black

Hello. It's been a week since I put up a new post. Things have been busy here at head quarters. Anyway, one of the things that have been on my mind lately is black clothing. For a lot of us, Black has become our go to color. We've all heard it before. Black is slimming, it's a classic, and it goes with every thing. True. But it only works if it suits your skin tone.

It is very important to make sure, before you rush out to fill your wardrobe with 'all black everything' to be sure that it suits you, because the black close to the face on the wrong skin tone can age you significantly. It can highlight dark circles around the eyes and also wrinkles for older women. Also, Black can leave your face looking ashy and dull if it doesn’t sit well with your skin tone. In fact, less than a quarter of us have the correct skin tone to look good in Black. Black tends to look good on people with cool skin tones. It just drains warm skin tones. The best way to determine if it suits you is to put Black next to your face under natural lighting in front of a mirror to see if it picks up your dark circles and wrinkles and if your skin looks dull aand lifeless. You may need a friend to help out with this.

So you’ve done the simple test and it turns out that Black doesn’t suit you. Does that mean that you can never wear that LBD that you had hoped would become your new go to dress for every occasion? Not really. If it turns out that black isn’t your color, you can still wear Black. All you have to do is to make sure that you put color around the face. You can do that with quality colored jewelry, say a lovely red statement necklace or turquoise chandalier earrings. Or a scarve/ pashmina. Just make sure that you have a more flattering color around your face to counter the negative effects of the black against your face.

Another thing is that the idea of the little Black dress comes from the fact that it is a neutral so it goes well with other colors and the fact that is slimming. Generally, darker colors tend to be more slimming than light colors. So a suitable alternative for Black is Navy blue. Navy tends to read better against the skin than Black and even many shades of Brown. And then of course, it’s also slimming.

I really hope this post is of benefit to a lot of you who read it. Thank you so much for stopping by. Remain fabulous

Monday, August 13, 2012

How To Look Expensive When You Are On A Budget

Hello. Some women know how to put clothes together in a way that makes you feel like they spend hundreds of thousands on their wardrobe, when in fact they don't. We see her all the time. Always crisp and well put together. Her hair is immaculate, her feet look so clean, like you can eat off them, her watch is Bvlgari and you can smell the leather that is her handbag a mile away. She wears white a lot and it never turns dull yellow or gets stained. She has you convinced that she must have a walk in wardrobe filled with every designer brand. That her look must take millions of Naira to achieve and maintain. What you may not realise is that this socialite look, this Lisa Folawiyo, Nike Oshinowo or Kate Middleton look can be achieved by just following a few basic rules.

The most important thing with this look is the quality of your clothing and accessories. Clean lines, good cut and finishing made with good fabrics are key. These cannot be compromised if you want to have that 'expensive' look. In this day and age, however, you don't need hundreds of thousands of Naira to get that well tailored look. With brands like Next, Zara and French Connection, you can get clothes that look expensive without the price tag. Keep the style simple, you want to avoid trends. Trends have an expiration date and will make you look dated after a while.

Another thing is to always calculate cost per wear. I for example, have no problem spending a good amount of money on quality Jeans. The fact that I will wear it all the time, that the fabric is luxurious and the cut is perfection means that I am very willing to see it as an investment. The same goes for my watch and my handbag. The key here is that to look expensive, there a few things that you cannot cut corners on. Know what they are and invest in them. The key, when you are on a budget, is to know when to buy. A quality leather handbag can be bought for the equivalent of $200 and less at the right time of the year. Look out for periods when shops are clearing old stock out to restock for the new season. Also, look out for people and brands that sell good quality clothes for very good prices. There is a lot to be said for people who sell from home, their cars or online because, in a lot of cases, since they don't have the overhead of big stores, they tend to be cheaper. A good number of online shops are now available in Nigeria so you can give them a go. A lot of them allow you to pay money into their account, for those afraid to give their bank details on a website. Just do your due diligence to make sure the site is legit.

There is a lot to be said for bulk buying. Say you have come across that perfect pair of Jeans that makes you look slim and your behind look fabulous. It's the right wash, length and the fabric is superior. It will be a good idea to buy a couple. The same can be said for all your basic; white shirts, ballet flats, tank tops. That way, you always have a new pair to bring out as they wear out. If it makes you look so fabulous, you never want to be without it and you never want to continue wearing it after it has lost it's luster.

Take proper care of your stuff. Always read the care instruction before you buy an item to be sure that you don't end up with clothes that you can't afford to maintain. The reason is that caring for your clothes and leather goods in the correct way help them last a lot longer. For example, hand washing your 'Dry Clean Only' silk blouse will wear the fabric out really fast. Also, avoid bleach as it is very harsh on fabric. Instead wash your whites in hot water with detergent and a bleach alternative like vinegar. Be very careful to separate and wash like colors together and if you use a washing machine, wash each item in the correct setting. Do not wash delicates and Jeans together nor should you wash them with the wrong setting.

When it comes to beauty, you need to take care of the basics. Have a manicure and pedicure every few weeks and style your hair as and when due to keep you looking clean. Also, taking care of your skin; cleansing, exfoliating, and using a good moisturizer help you look bright and beautiful. Your hair should always be shiny and neat. Make up should be natural looking and applied on a clean face. Do not forget your deodorant and perfume as nothing spoils a fab look faster than a bad smell.

Let me end by giving you a list of what I feel you should splurge on and what you can save on. You should splurge on your classic pieces; neutral colored Cocktail dress, handbag, sunglasses, wrist watch, blue Jeans and neutral Ballet flats or Pumps. These are the things that you will reach for all the time. You need to make sure that their quality will withstand the continuous wear. Besides, we can all spot cheap a mile off. You can always save on items that you will not wear so often. Colored shoes and handbags, tops, dresses and accessories because since you probably buy lots of different styles of them, you don't wear them as much. Like I said earlier, there are good brands that sell designer quality at high street prices. Look into that and find out where you can get them for a reasonable price.

I hope I have succeeded in adding some measure of value. Remain fabulous.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Organizing Your Wardrobe

Hello. I recently took time to (yet again) reorganize my wardrobe and based on the reaction of a friend to this information, I realize that a lot of women do not understand that the main reason it always looks like they have nothing to wear is because their wardrobes are so disorganized. It is important to, every once in a while, declutter your wardrobe AND organize it. That way, you are able to very easily remember what items of clothing you have.

Many of us have very basic wardrobe space. Our physical wardrobe is made up of a top shelf on top of an empty space with a hanger rod. This can be very limiting for most of us. We have more clothes and accessories than we have space for. Our clothes are hung and folded without much thought to their placement so we end up with clothes at the back of the wardrobe that we never wear because we've forgotten that we even have them.

To be able to keep track of what you own, you have to come up with an organization system that will help you keep track of what you own. What I do is to hang clothes with similar items together. In my clothing space, starting from the back, are all my cardigans, hoodies and jackets. Because Lagos is hot most of the time, they can be back there and I can be sure that when I need them, I will reach for them. And because they are all in one place, I can see what I have, when I do reach for them, and make an informed decision on what to wear.

Next to them are my formal dresses, followed by dress shirts and then blouses. After that are my polo shirts, then T shirts, then other cotton/ jersey basic tops. These are followed by my casual dresses, then formal skirts, then casual skirts. Finally my formal trousers, then casual trousers, then capris and then my shorts. Everything is arranged from lightest to darkest colors within their category. My jeans are folded at the bottom of the wardrobe according to color. From lightest to darkest. With my own system, I am able to find, very easily, whatever I need, to put together the look I am going for each day.

I hope I have been able to inspire you to organize and come up with your own system that will help make getting dressed every morning, an easier experience, enabling you to utilize what you already own. Remain fabulous.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Developing personal style


There is something about the way certain people dress that sometimes, when we see a certain clothing or accessory item or something else, we say " that is sooooo so and so". It's called personal style and it gives us (at least fashion wise) so much character. Think Mai Atafo in his fitted suits, Nneka with her bohemian chic, Kim Kardashian in her feminine, figure flattering clothes. There are so many ways and directions that one can go in developing personal style.

Of course the first thing to do is to assess your already existing style. What do you tend to lean towards? Are you are classic dresser, fashion forward or romantic? You need to understand what you are comfortable with so that you are developing your style in a way that is sustainable for you. You need to determine what it is that you are trying to achieve with said personal style. Do you want to be more memorable, or do you want to be more chic or to just be more experimental? It may help to study a lot of celebrities' style and you will begin to see that you prefer certain looks over others. It is important however, to know the difference between using someone else's style a template and being a caricature of the person

At first, you may have to follow the look of your favorite celebrities, but after a while, your confidence will grow and you will understand yourself and your preferences to begin to grow in your own direction. Just make sure that it suits your own personality or you will not be comfortable with it. Decide what you are comfortable changing.

You could decide that you want to change your hair, for example. You may want to try a new hair style or color for a while if changing your wardrobe is not what you want to do. Just be sure to change it in stages so that you get comfortable with the idea of change and to be sure you that it suits you. Or you could start to wear certain colors a lot. This is another way of being unique without changing the type of clothes that you are comfortable with. You can start out with a couple of shirts, or a few scarves to be sure that you really like the color and that it looks good on you. Another way is accessories. Chunky jewelry, a particular style of sunglasses or just always having sunglasses on or cocktail rings are another simple way of changing or developing style. Truly, the possibilities are endless.

Naturally, as you become sure of what you like and what you want, your confidence will grow and your style will develop. I really hope I have been helpful. Remain fabulous.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Getting out of a Style Rut.

Hello. Do you find that most of the time you reach for the same clothes over and over again? Do you have problems deciding what goes with what? Or do you always feel like you have nothing to wear despite having a wardrobe filled with clothes? If you answered yes to any of these, then you are probably stuck in a style rut.

Most of us have a fashion comfort zone that we feel safe within and try not to dress in a way that is outside of that.Unfortunately, it just keeps us from developing our sense of style and feeling bored with what we have in our wardrobe. Our style should always be evolving in the same way other parts of our lives evolve.We just have to be willing to try new things; new shapes and silhouettes, new colors and textures.

The key to getting out of your fashion comfort zone is to take the time to organize your wardrobe, and then plan your outfit before hand. Take the time to think of how you are going to put an outfit together. Don't just reach for the same old, same old. By organizing your wardrobe, you are checking to see the tools your have at your disposal to help create the look you are going for. You need to ensure that you have your wardrobe basics because that will give your options to build your outfit on. If you don't work on your essentials first, your attempts at being stylish will get messy.

Once you know what you have in your wardrobe, you need to put thought into how you put things together. The main things with putting an outfit together is your figure and your coloring. Stand in front of the mirror naked and decide what your best features are and accentuate them and what your flaws are and hide them. What ever you put together must flatter you. How you choose to do that is up to you. It is also very helpful to put colors that suit your skin tone around your face. The right colors will make you look prettier.

I really hope this has added some value to you in your quest to evolve your style. Remain fabulous.