Category Archives: fashion

Developing your Unique Style–a Fashion Consultant’s Perspective

Style means knowing yourself and being who you are. It’s about being comfortable in your skin. Despite the occasion or the event the stylish woman seems to have that special charisma that commands attention. Confidence is the hallmark of having true style.

Fashion is a tool, a vessel even to express the innate sensibilities that distinguishes a true woman with style. Fashion is sporadic. Trends come and go and come again. There is little individualism in "fashion" –it is ultimately what is marketed to the consumer by designers, buyers and retailers. It is up to the individual to use fashion to showcase their signature style.

Coco Chanel is the perfect example of a woman who used "fashion" to create her own unique style and by her example, throngs of women followed. They could use her designs to project stronger more commanding and relaxed sensibilities that were unheard of before and by so doing express their own unique styles.

Clothes ultimately are just another layer of how we create and express ourselves which does not mean following trends. Style is what you put on that makes you feel beautiful, stunning and magnetic.

Style is not accidental. It’s comes from a deep awareness of who you are and the trappings you have consciously adopted to convey your persona to the world.
So if you want to get style, don’t look to fashion or designer brands—look within. To your innate preferences, tastes, and creativity.

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, image consultants

Advertisements

What to Wear: The Conundrum of Petites, Plus and Tall Sizes

According to a New York Times online article by Stephanie Clifford last month, "As doctors and public health officials encourage Americans to slim down, the fashion industry is embracing Americans as they are. Both mass-market stores like Forever 21 and Target and expensive designers like Elie Tahari are deciding the fattening of America is a big business opportunity, and are reinvigorating a market that had faltered during the recession."

Well that’s all well and good but they have got a long way to go! The average American woman is a size 14. Most clothing designers cater to what they feel is aspirational and  trendsetting. It’s all about illusion and fantasy and not much about reality at all. Most designers don’t think about what will sell when they put pencil to sketch pad–they are thinking about a collection that will get them great PR and that will put on a great "show". The problem is that the buyers who attend fashion shows "buy into" these sterotypes and the result is a lot of unrealistic fashion trends popping up in stores every season that flatter only a minority of women.

Couple this issue with the fact that plus size clothing is very expensive to manufacture for a variety of reasons so retailers shy away from them completely. With Petites and Talls, even though they are viable markets, there is apparently not enough money in them to make designers and stores take note. Many department stores shut down their petite departments and stand alone stores that used to cater to petites including Petite Sophisticates are out of business. There was a Tall Girls store in Virginia nd that too shut down even though I know many tall women who shopped there. So what are we to do, those among us who are non-standard (and increasingly becoming the majority)?

In my work as an image consultant I see women of all shapes and sizes and I see my role an empowering them to embrace and learn to dress and flatter their size as it is NOW. We can all look great in your clothing if we learn the tricks of figure flattering. Yes their are hard to fit statures/sizes–plus, petites AND talls.  I’m 6’1" and a healthy size 6 and because I am in the business of image, fashion and wardrobe I know what looks great on me and how to wear mass market clothing that looks like it was designed for my super long frame (with the help of a tailor often).

But just like there are plus sized petites, there are plus sized talls and these are the most challenging to address because the plus size market offerings are so limited. It would be wonderful if designers catered to ALL frames but they don’t. And everyone assumes tall women have it easy but whether thin or plus or in between we have the same challenges as petite women finding clothing, often harder because you NEVER see ‘talls’ in department stores.

All sizes and statures can be beautiful –we just need more options period! I hope other designers start to cater more to the plus size market in particular and that stores like J Crew, J Jill, Victoria’s Secret , Talbots and Eddie Bauer etc. continue to serve all sectors of the woman’s market. 

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, image consulting

Wondering what to wear? Take advantage of our Spring specials to step out in style

So you’re frustrated deciding what to wear for spring/summer now that the temps are rising. Yes I know, keeping up with fashion trends and making trends work for you and your personal style can be a challenge! But lucky for you their are image consultants like myself to help you with your wardrobe 411needs. Even better, I am running a few great specials now so you can save money while you are making your transformation to a newer, stylish, more magnificent you!

Take advantage of these savings and specials to get your spring/summer wardrobe all up to date and revamped so you can look great all season. Plus what better way to use your tax refund than treating yourself!

Client Appreciation Special

All past and current clients can get a complimentary 40 minute phone consult that can be used on its own or in conjunction with another service. A great opportunity for us to regroup together and make sure your image is on track and working for you! I will be reaching out to many of my clients this month but do feel free to e-mail or call me directly to take advantage of this offer!

Spring Discounts

The spring special promotion is for EVERYONE! If you’ve been thinking of using my services but needed an extra nudge,now is your time! Get 15% off any service including image consults, wardrobe audits, and personal shopping. This Special is for bookings made through June 15th. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to save and more importantly, get your image and style on point..

Special Packages

We have 3.5 hour, 5 hour, and 7 hour packages available to mix and match and customize packages to suit your unique needs while saving you money. Contact me for details.

What are you waiting in. Call me: Phone: 443-295-3526.

Elan Image Management, image consulting, personal shopping, closet purges and more.

Look Stunning with These Tips on fit, color and accessorizing

The Oscar red carpet is the crème de la crème of red carpets and we all wait in anticipation to see what our favorite celebs would wear. For me, as an image consultant I’m always curious to see who I think nailed it and who missed the mark. Definitely a lot to learn from the fashions at this year’s event.


What makes stunning?

I have two favorites for who just looked amazing from head to toe. First, Meryl Streep. Simply sublime. Kudos to Project Runway alum Chris March who designed this figure flattering drapey shawl collar creation. Meryl is a vision in this classic white tuxedo inspired gown which fits her impeccably. And every detail works, her hair, makeup, silver clutch and diamond earrings, bracelets and ring all by Fred Leighton. She looks fabulous.

Steve Granitz/wire.

Demi Moore, looks so stunning in a very feminine diaphanous salmon gown designed by Atelier Versace. Silk ruffles cascade down the skirt with a fitted strapless bodice on top. The color looks amazing on her, it fits her like a glove and her gorgeous drop earrings and diamond cuff are just the details that make for a slam dunk.
So what makes these two stunners: Gowns that fit them and suit their personality. Colors that work for their complexion. Accessories that punctuate and enhance. And hair and makeup that finish off their looks .

Jason Merrit/Getty

The Importance of getting color right
I am a big proponent on women wearing colors that make them shine because it can have such a huge impact. I am always amazed when some celebs walk the carpet in a beautiful dress that just is not the right color for them. At Sunday night’s Oscars, Penelope Cruz in a deep wine dress got her color right—she radiates in her dress because her dark hair and eyes and skin are enlivened by that color. Gabourey Sidibe also rocked her cobalt blue off-the-shoulder dress by Marchesa.

/ Frazer Harrison/Getty

AP photo/Matt Sayles

Who got color wrong? Julianne Moore just disappears in her white dress. It does nothing for her. A snooze. Diane Kruger, also missed the mark with a creme dress with black accents. Not crazy about the dress’s design (Chanel) and the color does not help. Washes her out and the black is just too jarring.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

 

Ap/ Chris Pizzello

On the Flip side, I love fuchsia and I love that Vera Farmiga dared to wear that color in her very constructed Marchesa ruffled gown. But if you look long enough you’ll realize you are staring at the dress and not her face. Why? Because the color is too strong for her skin eyes and hair. In other words, the color is wearing her- not such a good thing.

Jason Merrit/Getty

Lesson, if your dress is not the right color it does not matter how gorgeous your gown is, you just won’t nail it. Read more in my article on 6 ways to wow with color

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, image consultants

Fashion Trends, Hits and Misses at the 2010 Grammy Awards

Like the other award shows this month, the Grammy’s red carpet is a platform to showcase the trends that are sure to flourish in spring. One trend I am really digging is the bold  pop of color. At the Globes we saw a lot of purple (Sandra Bullock) and cobalt blue (Maggie G). We also saw some stunning white gowns—no one looked better than Kate Hudson at the Globes! At the Grammy’s, Fergie gives us a taste of color in her Pucci colbalt blue mini. She looks stunning and stands out from the pack because there really wasn’t a whole lot of color on the Grammy red carpet. But there was plenty white, black and other neutrals.

Steve Granitz/ Wire Images

White: Lada Gaga made her entrance in a white Armani Prive dress. Read my critique on Lady Gaga at the Grammys.

Stunner Rihanna, mixed it up and wore a long Elie Saab gown that pretty much covered her up head to toe. This gown is overly worked and not flattering on the singer. Feathers, chiffon armored looking cap sleeves—we can’t see her youthful frame and it’s just TOO much. Sorry Rihanna not a winner.

Steve Granitz/Wire Images

Carrie Underwood also strutted on the red carpet in a white gown. This one I loved for her. Simple yet elegant. Fresh and fashion forward. Ethereal and angular at the same time with its one shoulder design. All in all a lovely balance of aesthetics. This is a feminine look with an edgy side, which pretty much describes Carrie.  Her accessories add a beautiful finishing touch. Carrie looks like she can float away on a cloud—so easy and effortless. Kudos!

Larry Busacca/Wire Images

Black was also a theme at the Grammy’s just like the Globes. Singer Ciara probably wore the most risqué design with her lacy peek a boo black Givenchy haute couture ensemble. I loved how she kept her makeup clean and simple and accessories minimal—the outfit had enough going on!

Larry Busacca/Wire Images

Jennifer Hudson wore head to toe black (literally) in a Victoria Beckham design. I don’t mind the dress, really. I like that as a curvier, larger size girl, Jhud goes for it. She shows appropriate cleavage and dresses to enhance her assets. But I think the dark black hose, shoes and hair with the straight long black bangs makes her look too somber though. Its all too serious—in stark contrast to Carrie. Jhud I love you in color—embrace it girlfriend!

Larry Busacca/Wire Images

Dark blue was also a hit at the 52nd Grammy awards. Taylor Swifts looks so glamorous and sophisticated in her off the shoulder, glittery navy gown designed by Kaufman Franco. Her dress fits her impeccable. Hair and makeup perfection. Authentic as usual. Wavy hair her signature . Love her long dropped diamond earrings. She looks so beautiful.

Steve Kranitz/Wire Images

Glee actress Lea Michele made her Grammys debut in a navy minidress from Romona Keveza  that was both sexy, stylish and fun. Accented with a full shredded chiffon skirt, one shoulder design and cinched waist she looked gorgeous.

Kevin Mazur/Wire Images

Neutral shades were also popular on this red carpet. Beyonce wore a blush colored gown. Read my article on Beyonce’s look . Singer  Katy Perry looked exotic in an Indian inspired,  nude, floor-skimming. flower-embellished Zac Posen dress. I like the idea of the dress but I’m not crazy about it on her. The color doesn’t work, the styling does not enhance and its forgettable. Snooze.

Larry Busacca/Getty

Pink whose performance was the hit of the night won my award for best neutral toned dress and contender for best dressed period. I love the scalloped tiers, the ombre color design from silver to blush to gray to black. Her body never looked better and this dress flaunts it. Way to go Pink!

  Steve Granitz / Wire Images

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards live  Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, on CBS.

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

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,

Élan Image Management is pleased to introduce the ‘New Year, New Gear’™ Teleseminar Image Coaching Program

Have you been dreaming of a new you for 2010? Have you made a commitment to invest in yourself this year and to create the space for real transformation? Are you tired of being stuck in a wardrobe rut? Do you long to learn how to shop smarter and actually have fun doing it? Do you want to step up your presence on the job and ‘walk the talk’ of a woman who is truly dressed for success?

The ‘New Year, New Gear’™ Teleseminar Image Coaching Program was specifically designed for women, as an ongoing image coaching program providing wardrobe consulting, style refinement, empowerment, fun, accountability and image transformation…all from the comfort of your home! Each month, for an entire year (or 6 months) you will receive; a private one-on one image coaching session, a complimentary invitation to a coaching teleseminar, weekly e-mail exercises, insider access to resources and affiliates, discounted admission to wardrobe bootcamps and other events sponsored by Élan Image Management and much more! Get ready for a year full of education, empowerment, fun, fabulousness and most important, transformation!

Program Benefits:

•    Image Transformation: the more engaged you are the greater the transformation
•    The secrets of dressing to impress
•    Affordable and clever ways to optimize your wardrobe
•    Support banishing the negative self talk that keep you from looking fabulous
•    Learn the techniques to creating a wardrobe full of clothing you absolutely love
•    Tips and tricks to dress age appropriately
•    Access to tools and resources to aid your image transformation
•    Learn how to shop smarter not harder and find joy in shopping
•    Help with purging your own closet so you can make room for your new, ‘smarter’ clothing choices
•    Insider access to experts in image, fashion, beauty and design
•    Help goal setting with respect to your image. What are you trying to achieve this year?
•    Step by step guidance to keep you looking stunning throughout the year
•    The ongoing guidance and coaching from wardrobe/style expert and certified image consultant, Natalie Jobity

The program also includes:
•    Free audio (MP3) of all coaching teleseminars
•    Plenty of opportunities for Q&A
•    A new you, for a minimal monthly investment!
•    And SO much more!!

For more details and to register visit the Teleseminar page

What are you waiting for? Get your image in gear this year by signing up for this transformational, empowering and fun coaching program! REGISTER NOW .

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Fashion trends we hopefully won’t see in 2010

This article might be a tad controversial.  It’s my personal opinion on fashion trends that have been universally unflattering to women, that need to be banished from closets everywhere in the year ahead. You see, sometimes designers push the limit. They are artists after all—but just because they design it and the stores buy it, doesn’t mean we have to wear it!

Some trends that surfaced this year were just downright silly (see #1 harem pants). Really. Others are just so been there done that (see #5, ripped jeans). Others, still,  just aren’t stylish (see  Crocs #7). And the rest simply don’t flatter.

So without further ado, here is my top 10 list of Fashion Dont’s for 2010 (not rank ordered).

1.    Harem pants- Seriously designers did you really expect this one to stick? Who does this flatter?

Theory Harem pants

Not Chloe Sevigny in a leopard pair!

2.    Colored tights—I know they are supposed to be edgy and ‘stylish but honestly they just scream ‘tacky’ to me. Save this for the teenage and under crowd.

Apt 9 tights from Kohls

3.    Leggings as pants—Be clear—I love leggings with tunics and minis. The issue I have is women wearing leggings (sometimes even black tights) as if they are pants! In other words, if your rear is exposed it’s not that cool.

Come on Halle. Even you can’t get away with this look! The jacket does not hide the front of these very see through tights. So not becoming.

Gwen, nice try by covering everything else on top but this seriously looks like you’re missing your pants.

4.    Leg warmers—Cute in theory maybe but stylish, non.

5.    Ripped jeans—Please ladies do not revive this one. It’s plain sloppy and collegiate. If you want edgy try a zippered bootie. And honestly there are jean options galore that do not involve holes.

Alice + Olivia spattered ripped jeans from Nordstroms

6.    Extreme shoulder pads—Again designers tried hard to make this trend take off but thankfully most women resisted. Everyone remembers the late 80’s fashion. *Shudder*

I love Rihanna’s edgy style. Love it. And she almost makes me think this works. But harem leather pants AND shoulder padded jacket–say it isn’t so!

7.    Colored plastic Crocs. I don’t need to say anything else. Even Crocs has better options in recent months.

Crocs Mary Jane

8.    4 inch + wide belts—Okay this was tough. As a lover of cinching belts I have seen too many abuses of this style—petite women covering up their whole torso with a wide belt (in effect making them appear shorter) or women cinching tops that aren’t long enough for the width of the belt. Even the First lady has sometimes not gotten this right. To be safe stick to belts no wider than 2.5 inches unless you are really long torsoed.

Even in an all black ensemble, this uber wide belt just isn’t flattering on Fergie.

9.    Hot pants-Sigh. Just because you have great legs it is not always appropriate to show them in most situations. Leave a little to the imagination?

10.    Uggs—I’ve been sick of Uggs for years. Again if the teenagers want to rock these fine but on grown women they look like you’re trying  too hard. There are many other comfy boot alternatives.

Ugg Australia Baily Button boot from Nordstrom

To help ensure you start the New Year off to a great start read these tips for Purging your closet.

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Feminine Chic Styles for Fall

One fashion trend I’m loving this fall is the new subtle femininity (even as the menswear trend continues to be on the uptick). Pleating, ruching, 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! Look at the detailing in the pleating, pintucks and ruffles on this BCBGMaxAzria dress from Nordstrom:

This can be a great way to camouflage figure flaws–use vertical lines to lengthen and thin, horizontal ones to widen or shorten. Ruching and draping—not just for the Greeks! Amazing way to look svelte and alluring while hiding your less than perfect attributes.

You want to make sure you pay attention to fabrication-heavier weight fabric drapes better, like matte jersey or rayon/poly blends. Make sense? Draping or ruching near the tummy area? Genius for those with hint of a tummy bulge. Check out this ruffle silk print skirt from 3.1 Philip Lim available @ Nordstrom. The large pattern and diagonal tiers are great camoflagers!


 

Detailing like bows and ruffles are also part of the ladylike sensibility we are seeing this season. The classic white shirt gets an instant makeover with frills, bows, puff sleeves and dramatic collars, reminiscent of bygone eras when people read poetry to each other. Like this dress from Classiques Entier with a bow tie neckline available at Nordstrom.

 Or this cute ruffle top from Flounce tbd available at Nordstrom

Accentuate your curves in a not so obvious way, with cinched belts, figure contouring sheaths, pencil skirts and softly tailored jackets. Like this perfect ensemble from Speigel.com:

 

Embrace the feminine side of you this fall!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Affordable winter clothing options for College Students

I got a question from a friend about what to buy for Winter for her college attending daughter who is in Iowa where Winters are cold and wet. Thought the questions were great for any Mom facing similar situations so will share her question and my response!

Question

Hi Natalie, I wanted to get a little advise from you about getting essentials for my daughter this fall/winter season. She has a few sweaters already, but needs to get boots and a couple coats and jackets. What do you recommend that she get that is practical but yet still stylish. I know that the girls like the tall boots, but I’ve been advised to get waterproof winter boots for her, especially for the cold, wet winters in Iowa. What about a couple cool outfits for hanging out, apart from the ones she’d use to go to classes in. I realize that winter clothing can be quite expensive too, so I’m looking for affordability.
I know you won’t steer me wrong!

The Image Diva Response

There are SO many boots to choose from this season!! Everything you can possibly want. She probably needs a waterproof pair but those come just under the knee too. They aren’t the cutest boots but they’re practical. Then you can get her a stylish option for when she’s more indoors–with a little heel and some jazz. For hanging out layering is great. Get her a few cardigans in varying lengths in fun colors to layer over fitted T’s or shirts. Banana Republic has some classic wrinkle free shirts in different colors–great for layering or stand alone. Pencil skirts are very in fashion–every girl should have one, and at her age, above the knee, maybe in corduroy. She can wear with black tights and her new cool boots.

For jackets, longer lengths are in style now like the classic blazer, but with the sleeves rolled and a more relaxed look overall. That would be great paired with jeans. Try Naturalizer for affordable boots and Banana Republic for good clothing at decent prices or New York and Company/  or Express. For more of a bargain you need to shop @ Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Burlington Coat Factory has great options for affordable coats in a variety of styles.

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management