Category Archives: Diva, fashionista

Grammy Award Style Icons in 2010

It’s red carpet awards season and one of my favorites is the Grammy Awards. This is one award show that holds my interest, especially on the fashion front. The styles on the red carpet tend to be more avant garde , bolder, more dramatic than the other shows and the outfits worn by the performers can be jaw dropping. I can’t wait to see what singers like Rihanna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Fergie and Kate Perry will wear.

First Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga makes a statement—but do we expect anything less?  Practical, of course not! But it makes us all go ga ga that she dares to pull it off. And so she does. I’ve been writing about personal style and Lady Gaga is the quintessential Diva. What makes a Diva? The Diva seeks attention and that ‘star quality’ by being overly dramatic in her choice of cut, silhouette, color or design. The Diva is all about standing out so she will break rules and march by the beat of her own drum just to command attention and create shock value. 

Describes Lady Gaga to a ‘T’. Tonight she wears a white  Armani gown that looks like a pop up hamper was the inspiration. Ultra short in the front and completely impractical. Poker face (pun intended). Crazy heels, wires, sparkles, glitter all make up her ensemble. I’m not sure how she’s going to sit down in it but it’s all about making an entrance, right?

Beyonce: Beyonce looked more demure than usual  in a blush satin gown from Stephane Rolland. The neutral fishtail gown with train  showcases her bronze complexion. The dress features  contoured details and construction emphasizing her famous curves. True to style, she is rocking oversized earrings this time in bold gold to match her nail polish.

There is a lot going on in this dress; construction, design and texture are all competing for our attention. The seaming details, longer sleeve and plunging neckline are other accents. I like this dress but I don’t love it on her. It’s a little too much. I much preferred her in Ellie Saab at the 2006 Grammy’s. Beyonce’s sense of style is dramatic and in that sense the dress does not disappoint. But the earrings are overkill and jarring to me.

She may not have won my award for best dressed but the singer has already won song of the year for ‘Single Ladies’ tonight. Up for 10 awards she is sure to take home many more Grammy’s.  Congrats!

The Image Diva, image consultant and President of Elan Image Management,

DC Scout Keeps the City’s Fashionistas in the Know and Celebrates its 2-Year Anniversary

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the second anniversary celebration of DC Scout at Barney’s Co-op in Georgetown. I had the opportunity to chat with its founder Zoey Rawlins and Editor in Chief, Janet Bennett-Kelly just before the event kicked off. DC Scout, the weekly fashion/beauty/style newsletter offshoot of the Washington Post, is the definitive go to source for the city’s fashion conscious women. With over 50,000 subscribers and counting in just 2 years, it underscores the fact that women (especially the 35 and younger crowd) are hungry for information, tips, resources, the latest trends and beauty scores and insider happenings in the Nation’s capital, which is fast becoming a real fashion destination.  Professionally, as an image consultant and personal shopper, I rely on sources like the DC Scout to keep me abreast of new designers, stores and services that I can then recommend to my clients.

Tim Gunn was quoted last year on a recent visit to the city as saying that there is no fashion in DC. And as much as I love ‘the Gunn’ I think he hasn’t taken a close look lately at the changes amiss in his old stomping ground. Just judging from the hundreds of fans, subscribers and shoppers at the celebration last night of mostly women, one thing is very evident; there is a surge of fashion and fashion awareness right here in DC and it’s only going to get bigger and better. These women were not only well heeled (pun intended), but fashion savvy, creative and bold in their ensemble choices, edgy, chic and everything in between. And guess what? Not a whole lot of black in view. So refreshing, and just another sign that this new crop of DC women are trying to make their own very distinctive fashion statements. Loving it!

Information sources such as DC Scout play a critical role at this juncture in solidifying DC as a fashion destination and getting ‘word out’ about all things fabulous and fashion related in the city. The readers and subscribers depend on it. And even in today’s fiscally challenged economy, there is no shortage of events, sample sales, trunk shows, store openings (and closings), fashion shows and fashion fundraisers to report on. After all, women still want to look and feel good and attend events with like-minded women who share their passion for fashion. DC Scout is relevant, relatable and reliable as a go-to guide, grounded in its solid start from Shop DC, which Zoey founded because she saw a need for a destination guide for women visitors to the city. DC style enthusiasts are a ‘sticky and hot target’ that the Post could not afford to ignore, according to Zoey. So using the same formula that made Shop DC a success, Zoey was brought into the fold. Two years later, DC Scout has grown and evolved into a valuable augment to the Washington Post’s style editorials, targeting the savvy and often affluent fashion conscious DC metro area woman.

According to Janet Bennett-Kelly, the newsletter prides itself on appealing to all tastes and price points: from the Tar-get shoppers to the Barney’s Co-op designer bargain hunters. As Janet astutely noted, looking good is not just about spending a fortune on designer clothing but on being a savvy and informed shopper and knowing how to effectively mix ‘high and low’ fashion in your ensembles. I love the DC Scout embraces that notion and I second it!

I asked Janet and Zoey what was the next logical frontier for DC Scout. We had a lively discussion about new media, social networking and creating a communications vessel where sound bites and valuable information could be communicated to readers using the latest in social media technology, while continuing to capitalize on DC Scout’s strengths of timely, reliable and relevant fashion, beauty and style information. Hmmm..sounds like something very cool could be in the works soon.

I am confident that as communications and media channels expand and evolve, that in the capable stewardship of Zoey Rawlins and Janet Bennett-Kelly,  DC Scout will continue to keep us in the fashion loop and leave its mark on DC fashion and style.

 Happy two-year anniversary DC Scout!

The Image Diva, http://www.ElanImageManagement.com
DC style, DC Scout, Fashion, Shopping, Washington Post Style, Personal Shopper, Barneys Co-Op, Designers

 

‘Tweak Your (she)ic’ with Elan Image Management

Dear Readers,

Élan Image Management is proud to sponsor, ‘Tweak Your (She)ic’ Image & Beauty Lounge, an exclusive event that offers fashion and image conscious women an afternoon of spectacular pampering, rejuvenating and empowerment while supporting a worthy cause: Suited for Change. This event is the materialization of a vision to provide women with access to a variety of image/ beauty/lifestyle service professionals at one event where the focus is on revamping and rejuvenating while supporting a cause that assists underserved women.

In these challenging economic times there are a number of events enticing women to engage in even more consumerism. The message is, ‘buy, buy, buy’. This distinctive event is different as the focus is on service and self care. The Tweak your (She)ic Image & Beauty Lounge tagline; ‘Empower a woman in need. Empower yourself!’ embodies the spirit of the event. The heart of the lounge  is about encouraging women to give back to themselves by taking ownership of their own self care and celebrating the beauty and inner ‘(she)ic’ in us all, while helping raise funds to aid underserved women.

Your admission ticket gives you all these privileges:

  •  Indulge in decadent mini mani/pedis, seated massages, facial massage and personal training pointers.
  • Mingle, Play and Network with other fabulous women with fun activities like the Accessory Swap (see details about participating on ‘The Tweaking’ page) or getting expert relationship advice.
  • Renew and Revamp by sampling fresh new makeup, lashes, hair styling, lingerie, the latest in skincare and more.
  • Get Glammed, styled and preened for your professional glamour shot, solo or with your girls. Get advice on wearing new fashion trends and optimal ways to dress your body.
  • Get Measured and learn how a proper fitting bra and the right foundation can improve the way you look. Understand your body measurements.
  • Relax and unwind your mind body and spirit in an inviting and luxuriating ambiance.
  • Give back to women who need our help getting back on their feet.
  • Score by winning ‘to die for’ door prizes from local area donors and ‘Tweakers’ each valued at over $100.
  • Leave with the irresistible ‘Tweak Your (she)ic’ eco- friendly, reusable SWAG Bag stuffed with fab goodies and treats in a stylish reusable tote.

 

With these incredible indulgences, don’t you think you deserve to get your ‘(she)ic’ tweaked?

Join us, on Sunday June 7th, from 1-5pm at Hotel George, Washington DC. Buy your tickets early as they can only be purchased online before June 5th at www.tweakyoursheic.com.

 

 

Let us get our ‘(she)ic’ on!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Color Me…Fuchsia!

Dear Readers,

Yes it is spring folks though it sure does not feel like it weather wise. I’ve been dying to share some of my fashion faves for spring/summer and I have to admit I’ve been neglecting my blog. (But I think about it all the time if that counts!) My last post on the topic is still relevant elanimagemanagement.com/html/elan-blog/ but I was ordered to add photos. So in this post the celeb photos (courtesy instyle.com) tell the story.

One trend I am really digging is bright pops of color, seemingly ubiquitous. I love color, I am surrounded by color, I am a color fiend. And this spring fashion does not disappoint. Interestingly, I’m usually drawn to warmer tone colors but f this season I can’t get enough of fuchsia! As in hot pink, va va voom, drop dead statement making (if executed correctly). The other day I went out to dinner and donned a fuchsia scarf, something I would not normally do. It felt fresh and stylish and I got compliments. So I’m gravitating to this color and can’t wait to get my fuchsia pedicure. 

So hot pink is, well, hot. Red is also popular this season and many celebs are rocking it. Lemon yellow, a spring fav is making an appearance as is pea green. Let’s check out some looks showcasing these bold color choices in new spring/summer ’09 fashion trends.

Fuchsia


 
Blake Lively rocks this one shoulder dress in (what?) funky fuchsia that is bordering on magenta. The shorter length, showing of her gorg gams, and the naked shoulder are fresh trends for the season.


 
Victoria Beckham in a true fuchsia tuxedo style dress. She looks quite chic (as usual). I love the strong shoulder line and structure, all hallmarks of the menswear inspired trend so popular now. And again a mini length. ‘Tis the leg season gals! And that ¾ length sleeve—makes everyone’s legs look longer (trust me on that one!)


 
Leighton Meister (she is SO pretty) is wearing a mini skirt in fuchsia coupled with a sheer blousy top. I love the  pairing of full over fitted—one way to wear this type of skirt. And gladiator sandals still rule—they were the rage last year and are still a fashionista must have. Want to add a funk to your look? Gladiators!

In my next post I’m going to highlight RED in the new spring/summer fashions. Here’s a sneak peek: America Ferrera strategically using an empire waist, ruching in the skirt of the dress and a deep V neck to create a perfect hourglass silhouette. Take note fuller figured ladies. And she looks amazing in red. Thumbs up!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Who is your Fashion Inspiration?

Dear Readers,

Fashion icons are icons for a reason. They inspire and encourage us to dare to make our own signature statements after their cues. Often when I am working with a client in an image consulting session to uncover their personal style, one of the questions I ask is if they have a fashion icon or someone whose style they admire. The answer is typically very revealing and helps the client crystallize who she aspires to be image wise. It’s a great question to ask yourself as you think about and try to define your own personal style.

Your fashion icon does not have to be a celebrity but certainly they come to mind more readily for most women. Your icon can be any woman whose style you admire, and would love to make yours. But to get you started, here are some celebrities who possess a signature style that is so distinctive, that they are all icons in their own right:

 

  • Audrey Hepburn. The queen of classic elegance and chic sophistication. Still the gold standard
  • Josephine Baker. A Diva ahead of her time who took fashion risks and bucked the system to make her indelible mark in fashion
  • Jessica Alba. Easy breezy, comfortable and understated. She always looks great but never goes over the top and has an amazing figure but prefers cuts that are less revealing
  • Sarah Jessica Parker. Very fashion forward and trendy. Likes to mix things up. Very creative in her ensemble combinations and very ‘girly’
  • Rihanna. Fresh, edgy and very fashion forward. Takes bold risks with her look that always pay off. Dares to be different
  •  Angelina Jolie. When she is in Mommy mode she sticks to neutrals and very clean flowing lines. When dressing up, she is typically in primary colors, simple silhouettes (typically long gowns) and always elegant (post Billy Bob)
  • Cher. Expect the unexpected. Very dramatic. Wants to be noticed. Very extreme
  •  Julia Roberts. Very classic. A lot of black gowns. Easy silhouettes. She looks amazing but you know she’s still comfortable
  • Jennifer Anniston. Effortless casual style—jeans and T’s with perhaps a scarf as an accent. Little  accessorizing and makeup with hair that is always picture perfect
  • Queen Latifah. A lady who embraces her body with such confidence that you do not care (or notice) what size she is. Always dresses appropriately for the occasion whether in a gown or more laid back in sporty separates
  • Marilyn Monroe. Allure, and coquettish sex appeal? Who did it better. Newcomer Scarlett Johansson is a close second
  • Beyonce. Bling and glamour all in one package. Beyonce’s style also epitomizes the woman who is not afraid of her curves and loves showing them off
  • Michelle Obama. Our latest icon. Conservatively classic with a touch of panache. Embraces color and loves clean silhouettes like the sheath dress. Poised and elegant

I think you get the drift. Each of these women embodies a style that is uniquely her own. What is yours?

Copyright: Natalie Jobity, Élan Image Management, image consulting. Author: Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It. Your Ultimate Guide to Effortless Style

Spring Trends in Bloom: 10 Hot Trends

Dear Readers,

If today is any indication, spring is definitely in the air. And in addition to turning my thoughts to daffodils, sunshine, Easter, and longer daylight hours, I get so excited finally to be able to rid myself of my winter skin (coats etc.) and show some of my own (as in legs and arms and necks). Which of course makes me dizzy with anticipation thinking of the new trends and fashions we’ll see being donned by the most fashion savvy amongst us.

Many trends are very similar to last spring but with enough of a twist so you feel it’s a different design aesthetic. And frankly some trends are pretty consistent year after year like the first on this list of ’10 Hot trends for Spring.’

 

  1.  Bright colors are everywhere!! Oranges, yellows, Gecko green, teal blue and warm reds will be splashed all across racks—in clothes, handbags, shoes and accessories. have you visited the mall lately? You’ll know exactly what I mean. Citrusy yellow will be the color of the season similar to last spring. If you’re going to buy a yellow top or dress just make sure it’s a shade of yellow that compliments you!
  2. Every spring there is some version of a safari trend. Whether it is showcased by animal prints, earth tones, rugged relaxed looks, safari inspired tops, chunky wooden or ornate accessories or a maxi dress with an earthy vibe, you can always count on being on trend for spring with a safari/global/ethnic look (all variations on the same theme).
  3.  Pleating, pintucks, panels and tiers will be a design element in a lot of this season’s fashions. It’s all about texture and lines baby! This can be a great way to camouflage figure flaws–use vertical lines to lengthen and thin, horizontal ones to widen or shorten. Make sense?
  4.  Beading and embellishment is back ladies!! On jewelry, tops, accents, shoes, bling is in! Want to stand out–wear that sequined camisole with a muted hued bottom for day. Or go for an audacious necklace or ring that only you can pull off.
  5. Pants whether high waisted, slouchy, rolled at the cuff or flat out harem style will all be popular. Gaining a following are jumpsuits too! A word of caution though: Catsuits and overalls are NOT in style. The trend is an all in one top and pant with a relaxed loungy vibe. It takes a special woman to pull this one off so be careful. When executed successfully it can be very chic.
  6. Bows and ruffles will be en vogue too—those pretty feminine detail that is so girlie on dresses, shoes and skirts.
  7. We will see more corset inspired tops and dresses this spring, a look so hot and so figure flattering. Look for lace up detailing on shirts, blouses and dresses.
  8. Another figure flattering trend that will continue is the cinched waist, so hourglass and so sexy. Whether you cinch with the ever popular wide belt from 2 seasons ago or with the more trendy skinnier versions the effect is the same–to showcase those curves girl! I personally LOVE this trend year round!
  9. Gladiator sandals, espadrilles, the wedge heel and shoes accented with bows, buckles will be hot all through spring.
  10. And last but not least, the simple shift dresses will make a serious comeback in spring. Shifts with pockets, cowl necks, thick spaghetti straps –you name it shift is on trend.

More to come with pictures. Catch me in a few days. And for those of you wondering why the frequency of the posts have slowed down, it’s because I’m operating with two fractured wrists for weeks. Yeah…not so hot 

 

Copyright; The Image Diva- Élan Image Management

 

A Reflection on my Own Self Image

Dear Readers,

I’ve been forced to eat a bit of humble pie lately. Me, the image consultant suddenly forced to go out of my house sans makeup and cute hair because of an accident that fractured both my wrists. Needless to say, in the first couple weeks it was all about getting through the most basic personal care tasks of the day,  so very quickly I had to get over my concern about my image. When both your hands are in splints you really have much bigger things to worry about than ‘how do I look?’ which all got me thinking about my own self image in general.  So let me back track a bit.

I’ve always cared about the way I looked, that has just been part of my DNA. I was wearing eyeliner and shadow and lip gloss in a Catholic high school in the Caribbean when such things were definitely frowned upon.  I saved up my allowance to buy not candy and other such nonsense but clothes because I hated what my Mother picked out for me. I did my own sunny blonde highlights (peroxide if you please) at 16 by pure experimentation and almost burned my hair all off. I even wore extensions in my hair at 17 (two long braids) before they were even IN and so ubiquitous! (See I was always ahead of the times).  Oh yeah, I definitely cared about my image from WAY back. By the time I got to college in the US I was definitely heading for the fashioinsta route in terms of my fashion sense—I had my own personal style and rocked it—I wore slouchy shin high boots with leg warmers and skirts. Mini skirts  with a big shirt cinched at the waist. Or the uber long skirt and sweater combo. Cool slacks with equally cool long sweaters in bright colors/patterns. I did the big hoop earrings (the bigger the better) and always a chunky necklace (folks we’re talking 80’s ok?). And I never left my dorm without makeup and my hair ‘just so’.

This is not to say I was ever superficial. I studied like crazy and graduated with a 3.8 GPA that earned me a full scholarship to attend Cambridge University. I was a  ‘deep’ thinker. I took classes in religious studies, art, psychology, literature to round out my business major and was always so curious about the motivations of people and the human mind. There have always been many facets to me, and for many years fashion and image was such a large part of me. But I never realized how passionate I was about this image business until I stumbled upon it and realized it was my dream career.

Ever since then, image, fashion, appearance, clothing, hair, makeup, accessories  and the impact of one’s whole visual package on one’s self esteem, confidence and even happiness and the need to share this reality has become my life’s mission. I don’t just talk the talk, I walk it. Which brings me back to the past 3 weeks when by dumb bad luck, my hands became disabled. My life routines and patterns were turned on their head. I still cannot comb my hair, wash my face, and shimmy into my skinny jeans without assistance. I’ve had to put vanity aside on many occasions lately and leave my house looking pretty much like a ‘hot mess’ hoping no one would recognize me because I could not do better. And it has forced me to take a step back and evaluate what my own image means to me.

It means a lot of course, this is what I do, this is my passion, and knowing I look good absolutely makes me feel good and confident. BUT…at the end of the day, behind closed doors, in my private life, I am me, unmasked, unmade-up and undone and I am so OK with that. I can look myself in the mirror this way and still think, ‘you look cute girl’, and go and make breakfast or whatever. These almost 4 weeks of seeing myself ‘in the raw’ has reinforced this perspective. Yes I care about how I look and when out and about, I am working my image for impact. But on my own time in my private space, I’m pretty content to take off my ‘image diva’ hat and be just Natalie.

The Image Diva, Élan Image Management

Image Matters

Dear Readers,

Style, image, fashion may seem like supercilious topics but they are in fact important aspects of our culture, lifestyle and worldview. All the attention paid to Michelle Obama’s dress on election night was not just all fluff—her image now represents or reflects the image of women here and abroad. What the First Lady to be of the US chooses to wear and how she presents herself says as much about where we are as a nation as it does about her personal style sensibility! This image business is serious business. And because woman have more ways to express their unique signature style, they are under much more scrutiny than their male counterparts. Does anyone really comment on what President elect Obama is wearing? This is not so much sexism as it is realism.

Women are the style icons, the trend setters, the image makers because we have so much fodder to play with. Hair, makeup, accessories, dresses, suits, pants, skirts, blouses, shirts, all the colors of the rainbow, handbags, shoes-the list of choices are endless! And with those choices come responsibility. A responsibility to present oneself in the most favorable light and in a way that enhances one’s platform. And what greater platform can there be to make a symbolic image statement, than as First Lady? First ladies have an opportunity to effect change and to reflect change. First lady Jackie O is a case in point and is the most celebrated as a fashion icon.–the pearls, the pillbox hats (her unique signature), the hair, the sunglasses–she was the complete package. She was copied, admired and revered and her image played a huge role in her lasting legacy.

In a nutshell, image matters even when we aren’t conscious of its powerful messages. Look at how radically Sarah Palin was transformed in her short tenure as the Republican VP candidate– from her first public appearance in that awful tan and black skirt suit to her figure flattering black suit at the VP debates to that hot red suit with black boots out on the campaign trail. I think the campaign needed to invest the $150K they reported to have spent to rework her wardrobe and look. She even got new glasses. If anyone hasn’t already figured it out, Sarah Palin was much needed eye candy for the Republican ticket. We can debate till the cows come home about whether she had the smarts required for the job, but no one will contest the fact that she was one heck of a pretty lady and next to John McCain, her image trumped his every time.

Image matters to all of us, not merely those in the spotlight. I would be out of a career if people did not care about the way they look and their presentation. We live in a judgmental society that puts specific ideals of beauty on a pedestal and this absolutely impacts women more than it does men. Women need to care more about the way they look and the way they age because in this society we can be penalized for going against the grain and not keeping ‘our looks’ up.

Of course men must care too, but society is more forgiving of a man with graying or balding hair (he is distinguished, seasoned), or one who is unattractive by most standards (if he is competent, intelligent, funny). So there is a double standard, but at the end of the day, regardless of gender, if you look disheveled, un-groomed, haphazardly pulled together or like a ‘hot mess’, you’re in trouble. If your negative image speaks louder than the words you say, no one’s going to listen to you or respect you.

Take a look around at the people you admire and hold in high regard. Chances are you are drawn to them in no small measure due to the image they command which synchs up with their other strengths. That woman who commands attention when she walks into a room and when she speaks you cannot hear a pin drop? That is a woman in control of her image. Image matters. Whether you’re on Main street USA, Wall Street, 5th Avenue or in the White house, you better believe your image has power that can help or hinder your success.

© The Image Diva, Élan Image Management

 

A Few of Their (My) Favorite Things

Dear Readers,

Ever considered what are a few of your favorite fashion must haves? We all should have a few fashion items we absolutely love though we may not consciously think of it that way. Maybe it’s your favorite pair of jeans that you can’t get enough of? Or a jacket that you rock when you want to leave a huge impact? Or a piece of jewelry that when you wear it, always provides a pick me up and make you feel pretty. Or your favorite white shirt that goes with everything. Whatever it may be, think about it and consider whether this item still serves you or whether it is time to purchase some new favorites! Or if you can’t think of a favorite , it’s time to get inspired!

Today’s post highlights a few celeb favorites and a couple of mine to get you thinking of what you love in your closet that you  keep turning back to time and time again. Photos courtesy of http://www.people.com.
Many women have a favorite handbag. For Cameron Diaz and Hale Berry, this summer it is all about their tan Gerard Darel crochet handbag! In the photo below Cameron is seen with the bag on a casual summer outing, a dressier occasion where she is donned in all black and what looks like a trip back from the gym. Ladies a great bag can translate to many different occasions. For Hale, the bag is an accessory to a long blue print maxi dress, a shopping trip and on her way to somewhere casual (but she is still well accessorized!) What is cool about the bag is its neutral understated color and size making it a smart accessory that can go with pretty much anything. And because it is crochet it makes it own statement.

For Eva Longoria Parker and Natalie Portman its their favorite earring. Eva favors a circular duster earring in gold that she wears casually and on dressier occasions. The shape and size work with her face and hair whether she is sporting an updo or letting it all hang out. Natalie was loving her Tiffany diamond drop earring at Cannes where she posed with many beautiful and colorful dresses mostly from designer Lanvin.  Whether she wore, blue, red or violet, her diamonds were her favorite accessory at that event. And in all cases, she wore her hair up, befitting the classically chic look she favors right now.

Jennifer Anniston has a signature style that is pretty basic but it works for her every time. She doesn’t wear a lot of color (black or white are her colors of choice), her hair is pretty much always in the same blown out style and her makeup is usually very natural. Accessories? Pretty basic and very understated. And she loves her jeans and fitted T’s. She is such a great example of effortless style. Every once in a while though, she’ll surprise us and mix it up a little. Lately she has been seen styled with a pink Matta scarf tied loosely and absentmindedly around her neck (again making it look SO easy). It works and provides a pop of color and whimsy while still keeping her signature sporty style intact.

V Beckham, the ultimate fashionista, clearly has  many favorites fashion items. But is she ever without her signature large sunglasses? Of course not! And lately she has been wearing her own designer brand. They are humongous and dark and circular with a few well placed angles but they flatter her edgy hair and angular face marvelously. 

I would be remiss if I did not mention some of my favorites. In the photo below I am wearing a striped color block scarf that I got from Nordstroms a few years ago. It has almost all my favorite colors in it, is lightweight enough to wear 8 months out of the year, and whether it goes with everything or not I make it work.  Yes I do! Case in point: here I am wearing the scarf with an Asian print green and brown floral tunic.  I am mixing stripes with a floral folks, yes I am. But I pull it together because I pick up the green and brown panels in the scarf that blend with the colors in the tunic.
I wear this scarf often. If I was famous enough to be photographed by paparazzi, this scarf would be a very prominent feature in my photos. I love it! Whether I am wearing neutrals or color, print or solids, this scarf provides my much needed desire for color around me AND it is functional—it keeps my neck warm in transitional and cold seasons. And because it is an oblong shape I can wrap it in a variety of ways.

A few of my favorites in the summer? My silver butterfly earrings (a gift from my sister), and Fendi sunglasses in the summer. The earrings are silver hoops with a twist with my favorite symbol—the butterfly. I put them on I feel so me. The sunglasses are not the typical big, dark, round frames everyone wears (and I have those too)—you can see my eyes and they provide just enough glare blockage to keep me from squinting. And I love how they look when I pull them away from my face because they lay flatter on my head than most sunglasses.  Here they are, two ways in the photos below. Oh and that pink and white dress in the first picture? Another summer favorite.  A day dress that fits and flatters and makes me feel very girlie!

What are some of your favorite fashion must haves?

The Image Diva, Élan Image Management

Give them the shoulder

Dear Readers,

I have been lax since July 4th and have not had a moment to talk to you since July. Bad blogger! But you must understand. This is my favorite time of year.  It’s challenging enough staying indoors working when the sun is shining so getting  on my laptop to blog has not been top of mind. Hopefully I’m back on track with this post.

I’ve been noticing the A listers lately and they giving us all the shoulder—as in going strapless of course. Whether  glammed up, casually chic, edgy, colorful or elegant, strapless dresses are HOT this summer.  These are some of my favorite strapless looks the celebs have been wearing.

First, the naturalist  Kate Hudson in a strapless white dress. A very bohemian/relaxed  style with  adorable floral applique at the hem. And notice her very cool turquoise drop earrings and sandals? Great use of accessories! And honestly only Kate can make a shapeless strapless dress look cute. So this is not a look for most women.

Next up, is Kely Ripa in a cute colorful number with a vertical stripe pattern and cinched waist–a great look for a petite frame like hers. Wish she’s accessorized a bit more though.

 Jennifer Hudson looks great in this bronze metallic strapless except I am not crazy about what it does to her breasts–a little too much bubbling to the top. Also the dress is a bit too tight–just a tad–but lovin the short straight bob hair and the perfectly coordinating accessories!

Keira looks radiant in this violet dress accented with ruffles at the bust and an accordion pleated skirt. This color really pops on her. But I have a few comments.  Not enough accessorizing! Also the dress is falling really low on her body which I think is a fit issue. It makes her collar bone area look too naked so I would have loved if she added earrings at least.

 

Singer Leona Lewis is colorful and radiant in her patterned dress with a matching bangle and strappy sandals

 

Strapless evening gowns are always popular. Anne Hathaway (in her signature black) looks tres elegant in her Marchesa evening gown. I love her strong red lip here and the dress fits impeccably. And her hair looks great. Another winner!

 

Who says your LBD can’t be a strapless one? Selma Blair looks fashion forward in her strapless Fendi cocktail dress and stunning pumps.

 

 No one can argue that Rhianna rocks that edgy vibe  and in this strapless print she does not disappoint, black boots and all.

  

Key tips for wearing strapless:

  • Make sure the top fits you!! The last thing you want is to keep pulling up your dress
  • Make sure your breasts are well supported. Nothing is worse then breasts bubbling over or flattened down by a strapless dress
  • Since so much of the shoulder and neck is exposed with a strapless dress, you want to accessorize accordingly with a fab necklace or drop earrings (but not both!)
  • Pay attention to proportion. Note most of these dresses are knee length or a gown
  • The most flattering silhouette in a strapless is one where the waist is highlighted or cinched (as all the looks above show with the exception of Kate H). This helps create an hourglass figure since the shoulders are exposed.

Enjoy these summer days and revel in showing some shoulder ladies.

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management