Category Archives: dressing

7 Tips for looking effortlessly casual this summer

It’s summer and it hot outside. How do you stay cool and look cool too? Read these 7 tips from an expert.

  1. If it’s really hot and sunny you may need a hat. Instead of the sun visor variety that screams ‘vacationer’ try and cute straw hat instead. Even better coverage from the sun, will keep your head cool and (neat style tip) if you tie a pretty scarf around it you will definitely channel your inner Audrey Hepburn.
  2. Don’t opt for plain ugly flip flops. And there is the  dreaded combo: Birkenstocks and socks! This is not a good look. If you insist on flip flops there are very pretty ones available at Target and other discount stores—some even come with a wedge heel—for less than $15. And there are comfortable and pretty shoes to be found, so no sneakers either.
  3. Be careful with the fit of your shorts. Do wear one that fits you in a flattering way. I see so many women wearing poorly fitting shorts. If you have wide hips don’t wear cargo shorts—they will make them look wider. If you have a large tush don’t wear a short with patch or flap pockets—it will make it look bigger. Shorts ARE hard to fit so choose and wear wisely. For most women just around the knee is a great length. If you have great legs then go shorter just make sure there is no puckering, pooling or pulling anywhere around the crotch
  4. Capris are another pet peeve of mine. There is a reason why fashion makeover shows call them ‘mommy pants’. They are comfortable yes, and cool in hot temps but on many women they are simply not flattering. Do you ever see runway models in capris? Capris essentially chop your leg up making it look shorter and unless you’re long legged, it is going to make you look squat. The only exceptions are ankle length capris which are long enough on most women to not commit the ‘shortening of the leg’ crime.  A smarter alternative in my opinion? A cute knee length skirt or even a skort. Or regular length  pants quite frankly.
  5. Baggy T’s OUT fitted T’s great. Better yet a cute top with feminine details or a fun print. Look for princess seaming or an empire waist for a figure flattering look. Wear colors!
  6. Just because you’re casual doesn’t mean you can’t accessorize ladies. Add a fun belt to your shorts or skirt. Wear that pretty necklace. Grab those drop colored stoned earrings. Be polished and pulled together, always.
  7. Don’t ignore the dress which can be the most comfortable thing you can wear on a holiday vacation—easy to pack, one piece and you’re set! There are beautiful day dresses galore whether you opt for a simple sheath style, a full skirt, a mini shift or a maxi, all are good! That surely is my summer go to for almost every occasion.

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

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Oooh the fashions at the Annual Met Gala!

I LOVE to look at the fashions that prevail at the annual Met Costume Institue Gala, this year making a special nod to models. The models and celebs typically take more fashion risks than other red carpet event like the Oscars, and this year does not disappoint. Whether going for edgy drama, jaw dropping romantic gowns with trains, sleek silhouettes or just plain ‘huh what was she thinking’ get ups, their were the usual smashing hits and misses.

Hits. Loved Eva Mendes in her sleek pleated platinum gown from Calvin Klein Collection. In the last 18 months Eva’s image has undergone a tremendous transformation and she is typically one of my favorite celeb fashionistas on the red carpet. Last year she ruled at the Met Costume gala as well. Everything works (hair, accessories, gown fits impeccably) and she looks sophisticated, chic and glamorous.

For edgy drama that worked I am giving my vote to Rihanna, who made a splashing return to the red carpet in a dramatic tuxedo from the Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2009 collection. This is how you rock edgy, tuxedo dressing! Really Fierce!

For romantic knockout glam, Jessica Biel looked AMAZING! Typically more restrained in her red carpet choices, last night she proved she is worthy to be the new face of Revlon, rocking a stunning red corseted strapless gown from Versace and serious bling and arm candy (Justin of course). She is beautiful and I am glad to see her shining in her fabulousness. Work it Jessica!

I also really loved  Kate Beckinsale of her voluminous Marchesa embroidered tulle tank dress. Beautiful and gorg on her. Another stand out.

 

And Heidi Klum in J Mendel with her baby bump also still manages to look chic and beautiful (and glowing as always).

The celebs who missed the mark:

Uh Madonna? What the heck are you wearing? Big Don’t. Not even gettting into it.

 

And really disappointed because I really like Leighton Meester—so pretty. But in this Louis Vuitton’s  ensemble where she was clearly trying to push the fashion envelope, in a printed dress with rosette-embellished sleeves and matching leggings it just does not work! She looks like she is in costume and an ugly one. Come on!

Lake Bell I think was trying to pull off what Rihanna executed so effectively but missed the mark. She looks like a man (worse a cross dresser). A tuxedo suit is supposed to channel menswear influences and sensibility while still looking feminine in an edgy way. She does not succeed.

Jessica Alba lately has also been disappointing. Post baby clearly she has other priorities than fashion and it shows. Her style is all over the place and in this Jason Wu number she not only downplays her lovely figure and proportions but also manages to pull off a Don’t with the pairing of the black tights. Doesn’t work and the dress does not flatter. and what’s with fuchsia clutch that just looks misplaced? I don’t even like her hair. Sorry Jessica A.

More to come in a follow-up post!

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

The Elan Blog is 3 Years Old!

Dear Readers,

 

I’ve been blogging about image, fashion, wardrobe, style and all things fabulous for THREE years! Hard to believe how fast time flies. April marks the 3 year anniversary of the Elan Blog and I wanted to take a quick trip down memory lane about some of the topics I’ve blogged about:

  • Fashion do’s and don’ts
  • New Trends
  • Celebrity Face-offs–who wore the same dress better and why
  • Fashion icons-Michelle Obama etc.
  • Defining your personal style
  • All about color and how to wear it well
  • Developing a brand YOU
  • Accessorizing
  • Embracing your body and figure
  • Wardrobe advice
  • Organizing your closet
  • Bargain shopping
  • Dressing for interviews
  • What’s hot
  • I’m lovin…
  • Where to shop for what
  • What’s your signature style
  • Celebrity fashion and commentary
  • Projecting an authentic image
  • Fashion designer spotlight
  • Professional Presence
  • Fashion events in the DC metro area
  • My Musings on style, fashion, and whatever happens to be on my mind..
  • And SO much more

I wish I could blog each day, truly, because I have no shortage of things I can talk about. But you know when I do blog, you are getting real content and advice and not ‘fluff’–there’s enough of that to go around. I invite you to browse the archives for real content on a host of topics under the image umbrella.

My blog had been hit hard by spammmers so now leaving a comment is not as simple as it used to be. I truly apologize but the spammers won that battle. To leave a comment you need to register with your e-mail address. I would love to hear from you, my readers, but know how annoying it is to register. I’ll continue to work on that.

I have been dying to get you PICTURES of the hottest Spring trends I’m digging and I promise by next week you’ll have more eye candy than my mere words. In the meantime, here’s a picture of me that is over 2 years old but still on trend-the accessories, cinched waist, poppy red tunic and skinny jeans (cropped out):

Until then, here’s to purposeful presence!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, your go to wardrobe consultant

My Interview on Personal Shopping with DC Service Business Examiner

One of the newest career paths in the service industry is that of the Personal Shopper.

Spring is here and women want to look their best; however, many of us are not great at choosing the most flattering outfits for ourselves. Others don’t have the time and could use some coaching and advice.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing fashion stylist and personal shopper, extraordinaire, Natalie Jobity, owner of Élan Image Management LLC

In the interview, she shared what to look for when searching out a personal shopper and she summarized what one should expect.

As interviewed by Cathy Green 3/12/09

Q – What type of woman generally contacts you? Who is your general client?

My clients come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, ages, ethnicity and income brackets. I have a pretty diverse clientele. Right now I am shopping for a young professional who has her first corporate job and needs to dress to impress. I have shopped for women in their 40’s who just feel they’re stuck in a rut and want a new look. I have shopped for women who needed help finding a look for a special event. It really varies. But the key is that the woman recognizes that she needs help with her look/image and is ready for a change.

Q – Why do they hire you as their personal shopper, as opposed to doing their own shopping?

Many women hate shopping quite frankly. And the rest get overwhelmed by all the choices and don’t know where to begin and need a guide (me). Still others don’t understand how to buy clothes to flatter their body. And many can shop for separates, but don’t know how to pull those separates into an outfit when they get home, so the items end up sitting in their closets. Many women really have a challenge coordinating and mixing and matching their clothes.

Q – What types of things do you, as a professional personal (PS) shopper, do for your clients?

It varies. For instance, I can work with a client to purge and sort her clothes before we go shopping. This is a great service because I can help her able to get rid of all the clothing that no longer serves her or her lifestyle so she has the ‘room’ to make new purchases that are more in synch with who she is evolving to be.

On many days I do what I refer to as my in-depth consultations, where I take a woman through a process where I help her define and understand her unique signature style, her best colors, understand the clothing she should wear to flatter and enhance her figure and proportions and so much more. Those sessions typically take 5 hours and helps me get an in-depth understanding of the woman and her clothing/image needs.

When specifically shopping, I am thinking of a few things: what does she need? What critical items are missing from her closet? What does she need more of? What new silhouettes will better flatter her? What colors and prints will make her look fantastic that she is not currently wearing? What body issues do I need to take into account that impacts where I shop (for example if she is petite)? What is she trying to project with her new look and what new clothes best execute against that?

If she is shopping with me I have a list of priorities and I hold as many of her bags as I can. I work with the staff or personal shopper in the store to service her needs. I make sure she stays within her budget and only buy things that further her image goals. And I teach her as we go along—I want you to try this item because of X…that sort of thing. I take advantage of all the services the stores have to offer and add my expertise as her image consultant so that when we’re done, she’s excited, delighted and a whole new woman!

Q – Can just anyone become a personal shopper or is there any professional training or certification required?

I stumbled into this career about 5 years ago and the moment I discovered it I knew it was what I was meant to do. It combined so many of my passions: fashion, color, helping people do better, accessorizing, coaching and using my creative talents. Yes there is specific training to be certified as an image consultant which I highly recommend for anyone interested in being a powerhouse in this field.

Design schools are great but there is specific training you can get as an image consultant which teaches you topics not typically found in most design school programs—for example how to do a color analysis on a client so you know what colors make them pop. If you google ‘image consulting’ training you will find many good trainers in the field. A good place to start is the AICI (Association of Image Consultants International) which is the premiere certification and resource association of image consultants in the US and abroad.

I am certified by AICI and got training in NY. many people have the misconception that if they can shop for themselves, they can shop for anyone but that is not reality. You have to have a very thorough understanding of the different body types and proportions in a client and how to dress them to enhance and improve their look, fabrics, designers, color etc. And you get that knowledge through study and certification and certainly having an innate eye for what looks great on someone.

Q – What should the consumer look for when searching out a personal shopper?

Does the PS understand their needs and the image they are trying to achieve? Did the PS take the time to get to understand their unique style, preferences and lifestyle needs? Can they trust this PS to shop for them so they look their best? Is the PS dictating the way they should look or LISTENING to the client’s words and cues about what they really want and like? Is the PS conscious and respective about their budget for clothing? Did the PS give them options about where they will shop and how they will shop for the client? Do they have a good rapport with the personal shopper? Can the PS leverage any relationships with designers/boutiques? What clients does the PS serve?

Q – Is there any difference in what you as a business owner does, as opposed to the personal shoppers found in large department stores?

Absolutely. I work independently and can shop for my clients anywhere I choose, at any pricepoint. In addition, my clients can come from anywhere. A personal shopper in a store is stuck shopping in that store with its particular selections and its price point. If the client cannot find what they like at that store, that PS can’t add much value beyond that. Also they are dependent on store traffic primarily for their clientele. They also get a commission on the sales they make so this can bias the advice they give their in store client. I don’t have any loyalty to any particular store and can choose to shop online, in stores, boutiques, discount outlets—the sky is the limit. BUT, PS in stores are essentially free to that stores customers whereas my clients have to pay to hire me as their PS.

Q – What general advice would you offer to a woman who cannot yet afford to hire a personal shopper but who needs to bring her wardrobe up to date?

I would first recommend my in-depth consultation so that she learns for herself how to revamp her image based on her body, goals, lifestyle and preferences. That is the equivalent of teaching someone to fish as opposed to fishing for them. If that is still over her budget, then I would recommend they use a PS in a DEPT store whose selections they like. That is free advice and service and it’s a good place to start, albeit somewhat limited.

There are quick and easy ways to update a wardrobe on your own just by adding new colors, fashionable accessories, coordinating clothes a little differently and making a few alterations to clothes you already own. For example the cinched waist is very popular this season. A woman can buy a new belt and that belt can be the foundation for many new looks—whether she chooses to belt her dresses, cardigans, jackets or a combo (a cardigan worn belted over a dress!). And that is just one tip. Again just by spending 90 minutes with a client I can change her whole perception of how she views her personal style and image and give her key takeaways so when she shops on her own, she has direction.

————-

Natalie Jobity, an image consultant/personal shoppper and President of Élan Image Management LLC, coaches women on how to look their best by helping them discover, define and project their own unique signature style and an image that positions them for success. Visit her website and blog at http://www.ElanImageManagement.com

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

 

The New First Lady and her Inaugural Fashion Choices

Dear Readers,

Oh what a day yesterday! I think as a nation we were all inspired, uplifted and filled with hope and pride to see President Obama sworn in. And what a speech!! A tear jerker for sure. I savored and loved every moment of it. In this historic moment, President Obama was poised, commanding, passionate, forceful in his delivery and absolutely Presidential in his first address to the world as President. He is the right man for this time in the nation and the world. His themes of unity, accountability, transparency, inclusion, optimism, change and rebirth all ring true loud and clear at this particular juncture in our nation’s history. We all need to hear and believe in those messages. We all have our unique role to play in changing the game and turning this Great Nation around. And ‘yes we can’, with his leadership, I sincerely believe. Sure it will be extremely difficult and challenging. Sure we all need to be patient as all the many kinks in the system and the structure of this government are slowly but surely righted. The road will be long and winding but what I believe for sure is that with President Obama at the helm, we will eventually succeed.

So to the business of this blog—image and fashion. What did  I think of Mrs Obama’s inaugural outfits? I’ll put it this way– if I were dressing her for these events I would have done things quite differently. For the swearing in she had to be warm and comfortable for a long day in frigid temps  and I think with Isabel Toledo’s ensemble she achieved that. I also loved that she was very understated in color and silhouette—after all this was her husband’s time to shine not hers. She had the bling near her neckline which I liked because it drew the eye to her face. I liked the green gloves and shoes. The understated lemon yellow color of her coat, cardigan and dress was cheerful enough to convey the optimism mantra of her husband’s long campaign ("That color has sunshine in it," she said to the designer) yet an unconventional color choice which proves again she is unafraid to take risks. She looked statuesque, regal, and like the new First Lady.

What I wished she’d done differently if I dressed her? Essentially chosen a different silhouette—one that complimented her curvaceous hips but did not exaggerate them. A silhouette  that balanced her body and proportions instead of one that followed the exact line of it. A design that cinched in her waist to give her more of an hourglass look than that of a triangle. And I would have stayed with the cheerful color sensibility but chosen a hue that was ‘cheerful’ whether it was shown on TV or in print, from close up or far away. The lemon yellow on TV  erred on the drab side, sequins and all. And as for the sequins inlayed into the fabric—I was not too crazy about that. But I get it—it added a touch of regal air to the outfit. I would have just executed that sense differently.

So in all, the outfit would not have been my pick for her for that occasion but I thought she wore it well. Mrs Obama is so graceful, ladylike and commanding it truly takes a lot for her to make a major fashion faux pas.

As for her ball gown, a white chiffon one-shoulder embellished gown by Jason Wu, that choice also surprised me. But  she looks soft, romantic, fresh and so lovely in it, who am I to critique? She is radiant and glowing (after an incredibly LONG day at that!) and that’s all it takes for a woman to look beautiful.

Was it a dramatic choice, no? Was it fabulous? Probably not. Those who saw the gown up close were able to appreciate the amazing detail and craftsmanship that went into it (ruched bodice, fluffy appliqués and sparkling beading with swarovski crystal) and would be wowed by it. On TV and in print, we lose that detail so it looks plainer. The train was a little too long (The President even stepped on it at one of the dances) and the one shoulder strap a little heavy. But seeing her dance with the President in that dress she looks like a new bride—and how fitting is that comparison? It is a new beginning on so many levels, isn’t it?

Michelle, you pulled it off as usual, in your way and on your own terms. Kudos for bringing obscure designers to the limelight, for walking the talk about revitalizing American talent. I applaud you for your choices and your daring and can’t wait to see how your fashion sensibilities evolve in the coming years.

© Natalie Jobity, Élan Image Management

New Year & Inauguration Fashion Tips

Dear Readers,

Happy Holidays!

No matter how you decide to spend the rest of the holidays, I want to make sure you look festive, pulled together, and fabulous to all your events. If you’ve been keeping up with my posts you already have a few tips on dressing for your holiday events. Today, I share a few more tidbits so you can be sure you look smashing when attending  your holiday, New Year and Inauguration shindigs.

  • Black always looks sleek and chic. If you’re unsure of color, opt for a black ensemble in lace, velvet, satin, silk, taffeta or chiffon to take it from basic to festive. Look at how this basic black skirt from Tory Burch gets a shot of pizzazz  and sass with a silver print embellishment. All is needed is to pair with a simple black top and jazzy heels and you’re ready for a Holiday party! 

Tory Burch sequined skirt @ Bloomindales

  • Red says end of year cheer more than any other color and will ensure you get noticed among the sea of black ensembles. But if you choose to wear red make sure it is the right shade of red for you.
  • Gold is a great color for a festive and bright look. But the more your dress sparkles the more you need to downplay your jewelry.
  • Trendy colors like cobalt blue, purple and grey instantly make you appear more fashion forward.
  •  If you’re wearing a dress, opt for one that flatters and enhances your figure and proportions. Wide in the hips? Choose a dress with an A line or flared skirt. Full figured? A wrap style dress can be very flattering and forgiving. Slim and trim? Then you can wear those sheath and shifts without a care. Petite woman need to be very conscious of where a dress ends on their legs. Too long and you can instantly look frumpy. Usually any length that hits around the knee or just below is ideal.
  • When in doubt, opt for separates. You can never go wrong with a colorful top and a pair of black slacks or dark washed jeans and heels.
  • Fabrics like lace, velvet, satin, silk, taffeta or chiffon will always convey a festive sensibility and make you look more ‘dressed up’. Or add a sparkly accessory like this sequined beret.

Sequined beret from Bloomingdales

  • Sparkly and shiny jewelry, whether diamonds, gold or semi precious stones are a must. Earrings and necklaces draw the eye to the face and are very important additions that can have a great impact. Cluster, hoop and drop type earrings and statement making necklaces will instantly raise your outfit up several notches. Multilayered chains are very fresh this year as are overly large cocktail rings and oversized clutches.
  • You can steal the spotlight this season with a sparkling display of bling. Sequins, beading, metallic or satin in accessories such as belts, scarves, purses, headbands, shoes, can add instant ‘oomph’. But don’t color match accessories to your holiday outfit—you want to avoid looking ‘overdone’.
     

Carlos Falchi metallic silver clutch @ Bloomingdales

 

  • Makeup—Red lips are hot this year and also add more interest to the face. Gold or shimmery eye shadow also adds extra punch and ensures your face remains the focal point.
  • Spice up a basic black dress with lacey stockings and show stopping shoes.
  • Long gloves can add a dose of high glamour to an evening dress. Metallic gloves are very much the trend this season. 
  • Don’t forget your crowning glory—your hair! Add sparkly hair accessories, pins, headbands for instant bling. A sweeping up do not only makes you look taller but also more elegant as well.

 Copyright, Natalie Jobity, The Image Diva, Élan Image Management

Holiday How-To’s: The Fun Party

Dear readers,

The house or ‘party’ holiday event, are the perfect venues  to let your hair down and express  more élan and personal style. No boss to be scared of, no co-workers you have to worry about. This is your time to shine, so go to town with it.

  •  Want fun and flirty? Look for  dress that says ‘party’ all over with. How?  Bright vivid color, shorter length, fun details like tiers, fringe or faux fur can do the trick. Great for the woman who dares to stand out and be the center of attention. This dress from Ann Taylor Loft is just what the doctor ordered.

 Ann Taylor Loft

Or this strapless, shorter version in very cool cobalt blue at a higher pricepoint!

   Jay Godfrey dress available at Saks

  • Want to look fashion forward and alluring? Dazzle in this darling black sleeveless dress combining sleek satin with airy chiffon, easing from a fitted top to a full bubble skirt in an above the knee length. This cute  number is for the woman who is dramatic yet playful.

Robert Rodriguez dress available at Saks

  •  If you aiming for the unconventional, you might want to try a dress with a print. For prints with a dash of feline allure I turn to one of my favorites dress designers, Nicole Miller. Her prints are stunning and her silhouettes always emphasize the feminine form in all its glory. You can find Nicole Miller at your local Loehmans—if you’re lucky! Here is a cool shift mini print by Ms. Miller–Understatedly sexy and whimsical at the same time.

Nicole Miller shift available at Nordstrom

  • The maxi dress below is meant for plus size gals and it’s a stunning choice for figure flattery and style. Patterned with an allover swirl print, deep V neckline and gathered detail at the flattering empire waist and topped off with wide ruffle hem this dress is a knockout.

 Swirl print maxi dress from Lane Bryant

  • Don’t want the fuss of a dress? Pair a pretty top in a bright color or shimmer with your favorite jeans, a cute jacket and heels and a few festive accents and you can still step out and look fabulous!

Available @ Ann Taylor Loft

 

Next up–ideas for your more formal holiday occasions.

 

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

2008 Campaign Style: The Women

Dear Readers,

Fall is here, the weather is changing, the financial markets are in crisis and still politics are the hottest topic in most circles as the country gears up for a historic presidential election in November. While many Americans have their eyes focused on what their candidate’s promise on the key issues are; whether it is the economy, their position on the Iraq war, or healthcare, many are very curious about what the women that are front and center in this election are wearing. Hands down, this is an election where woman are front and center whether they are the two front runners wives or campaigners in their own right.

Politics and fashion seem like an oxymoron but this year’s race for the Presidency is bringing style and fashion on the campaign trail. Both at the DNC and RNC, women were in the forefront whether supporting their husband’s campaign, gracefully bowing out of a hotly contested Democratic candidacy race, or being a surprise Republican VP pick. Women have never been this much in the limelight at such a juncture and as much as it is exciting and historic on so many levels, it has been also quite intriguing to observe how these women present themselves on stage and how each of their images define them. Quite frankly ‘presentation’ , image, and appearance all play a part in clarifying for us who these women really are and what messages they are trying to evoke or reinforce with their roles in the campaign. In politics, as in other arenas, the visual is as much of an impact as the verbal. So  it’s not just what you say, it’s also what you look like saying it.

Sarah Palin is the newbie so there are few photos of her on the campaign trail. But from the little we have seen her style screams: ‘I mean business!” Her signature Tina fey-like specs and updo’s are a definitive trademark and also the very things that make her look like she could care less about how she looks. She is focused on getting to Washington and everything from her choice of boring ensemble after boring ensemble, to the way she communicates and her demeanor of self satisfaction reinforces this perception.

She knows it too and uses it to her advantage. She has said to Vogue magazine: “A reporter once asked me about it (her appearance) during the campaign, and I assured him I was trying to be as frumpy as I could by wearing my hair on top of my head and these schoolmarm glasses.” Sarah is dressing like a candidate and she is leaving no room for error. High collars on boxy jackets and below the knee length skirts in conservative colors are her style statements. Her image conveys that she does not want us to pay attention to what she looks like but what she says. Time will tell if this strategy will work for her. 

In fact, she seems to be mocking the very feminine attributes that got her the republican VP ticket in the first place. For this former beauty queen, , you’d think she’d give a slight nod to looking good. But when she gave her rafter-raising acceptance speech at the RNC she wore an eggshell boxy jacket and black skirt. She could not have looked like a plainer Jane. It’s extreme– her defiance almost of embracing her femininity. She is trying to be like one of the guys. But her supporters cared not. Her image portrays her as a fighter, as ballsy, confident and tough. And focused on the issues of the election. How does a woman with 5 children with conservative family values prove that? By looking like Sarah Palin.

   

Summarizing Sarah Palin signature style:

  • Menswear inspired suits
  • Conservative and shapeless: high collars, boxy silhouettes
  • Her signature glasses
  • Hair off her face in ‘soccer Mom’ updo’s
  •  Neutral colors
  • Very understated, no nonsense style

Hillary Clinton’s comment about “her sisterhood of the travelling pants suits”  pretty much sums up her style. She wore them in every shade of color imaginable—always the same silhouette—single breasted,  high stance longer length jacket  (to camouflage her hips presumably) and pants that tapered slightly at the feet with low heel pumps.

   

The fact that she ALWAYS wore a pants suit was her way of conveying authority and command. She is not a tall woman nor is she slender. So she successfully focused on ‘eyes up’ accessories using color, hair, makeup and necklaces to play up her femininity while still maintaining her tough as nails edge.

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Sometimes, Hillary would try to inject some jazz into her pants suits, like this black/white combo with a mandarin collar and ruffled edges. Note her strategic use of bright white on top where she is smaller and black pants to camouflage her fuller lower half:   Her little bit of ‘kick’ came in her effective use of accessories (especially statement making  necklaces or scarves)  and makeup to soften her look on camera. In her race for President, we saw a softer side of Hillary in her dress even if her words against her opponent were often like daggers. 

Summarizing Hillary Clinton’s signature style:

  • Traditional Pantsuits
  • Bold color choices
  • Signature necklace in bright colors
  • Conservative style
  • Short well coiffed hair
  • Perfectly made up

See more on my take on Hillary’s campaign style at: http://elanimagemanagement.com/html/elan-blog/?p=96 and my post on personal branding and politics at: http://elanimagemanagement.com/html/elan-blog/?p=97

Have a comment about this post? I’d love to hear about it.

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management