One of the blogs I subscribe to, written by
stylist, advertised she was organizing her annual
buying trip to Vietnam. She takes her clients'
favorite garment(s) with her to Vietnam, finds a suitable material and
has the items copied.
When I lived in the US back around the turn
of the century (gosh that sounds like such a long time ago!) I'd bought
a beautiful Ann
Taylor jacket -- a mid-brown silk, lined, trans-seasonal jacket -- that
I've worn to death, literally! I'd already had it altered once to
hide fraying cuffs, but the last time I wore it earlier this year I
noticed that a shoulder seam was now fraying too. So, I took my beloved
jacket to the personal stylist and discussed what I wanted.
I told her I'd like an exact copy of my
much-loved jacket, fabric and all. She seemed
professional -- she confirmed what I required and had me try the jacket
on to check the fit. Then off she and my old jacket went to
A short while later, when I received the new
jacket, I was SO
disappointed. The cut, fit and
making of the jacket are all excellent. The color is more dark
the mid, warm brown I was expecting, but that is still fine.
New Jacket, Holding Original
However, the big
boo boo is the shiny fabric of the new jacket! As a Warm
and muted), I look best in
fabric surfaces that are matt or have a slight sheen. Shiny really
isn't good on me. I might just be able to get away with
wearing it for an evening event, but the beauty of the original jacket
was it's versatility. (The new jacket will suit a person with
Winter coloring best).
I knew doing this was a
gamble and I didn't
much on it
(and hopefully I'll make something back by selling it on ebay -- offers
anyone ;) ?). However, it's the disappointment factor. I had such high
having a re-incarnation of this useful jacket to wear again. And what was the personal
stylist thinking? (I did let her know my thoughts, but she didn't seem
The moral of this story? When you're having a garment made make sure
the person really
the attributes you want in the new garment. This includes
color, pattern size and type, fabric
type, surface, weave and texture. Fabric
samples that demonstrate the desired attributes (and pictures of
patterns) should be the best way to avoid any
Here in Sydney it already feels as if Spring has sprung! And I'm
getting ready to plan my new season's wardrobe (and helping many of my
clients get their wardrobes organized too!).
Are you looking forward to the new fashion
season? Or does it throw you into an "I've got nothing to wear" panic?
I know that before I became an Image Consultant I fell into the latter
I now know that with a little bit of
periodic planning it's easy to create a wardrobe that works
for my personality, lifestyle and budget. So, I now look forward to a
new fashion season.
What I find works best is to audit and plan
your wardrobe twice a year: at the beginning of the Spring/Summer
season and at the beginning of the Autumn/Winter season).
This makes life so much easier than if you
leave it too long between clearouts! And planning your wardrobe for the
new season's likely events and activities stops you stressing about
what to wear and panic buying.
As you review your wardrobe with your
lifestyle in mind, identify the basic items that need replacing and the
new items you'd like this season. Make a list and keep it in your
handbag. And remember to refer to your list before you buy!
>> Read more about wardrobe
cleaning, wardrobe planning and creating mix-and-match wardrobes
If you live in Sydney get rid of your
unwanted clothes and accessories and potentially pick up new,
pre-loved, items for your wardrobe at my clothes swap event
(see Clothes Swap below).
If you live in Sydney I'd love to help you plan
your new wardrobe for the new seaon, see details here.
I personally answer questions that I receive
through my website's Contact Me form. Each month I will
pick 1-3 of your questions that I think other readers will be
interested in and publish the question and answer here.
"How do I plan a travel
wardrobe?" from Rebecca of Baulkham
"How does one get the balance
between style, practicality, different temperatures and airline luggage
restrictions right? We are travelling to Europe for Nov, Dec,
Jan (brrr) with two stopovers in Singapore (phew). Even with the
temperature out of the equation, I still struggle with packing enough
but not too much, and covering a range of social situations from very
casual to a bit dressed-up."
often asked this question and have it on my list of articles to write!
However, since Rebecca is travelling in November and I'm unlikely to
have written the article before then, I'll attempt a summary
answer here which will, hopefully, help her and other readers who are
travelling in the near future. This topic is also something that's top
of my mind just now as I get ready for my trip to the UK in a
couple of days!
Packing light is especially
challenging when you are travelling in a diverse range of climates
(such as from the tropics to a mediterranean-climate's winter) and when
you'll be covering a range of lifestyle activities (the most
challenging being casual to formal special occasion or formal
business). I always find shoes the most challenging thing, especially
when I'm hiking (needing hiking boots), going to nice restaurants for
dinner (needing a more delicate shoe, ideally with at least a small
heel) and sight seeing all in the same trip -- in this case I would
take 3 pair of shoes, making sure the shoes for evening wear are
suitable for some day time activities. If I can get away with
it (this will depend upon the type of walking
I'm doing) my walking shoes will be good, comfortable shoes that can
also been worn as casual shoes (although I find these rarely work with
capris, skirts or dresses -- hence the need for another, dressier pair!)
The main advice I can give is to plan
in advance and pack items that can be mixed-and-matched and layered. The
mix-and-match concept of a capsule wardrobe really comes
into its own when travelling! For example, instead of
taking one super warm coat and one raincoat, take a thin raincoat and
layer wear it over a smart casual jacket, a cardigan jacket, or a smart
version of a fleece (the fleece can double as a sweater or cardigan)
for addional warmth. >> See my article on planning
a capsule wardrobe
The number of items you pack will also depend upon how long you're
going to be away and how often you want to wash your clothes.
Typically, if I'm travelling for a week or more I will
pack planning to wash clothes once every 6 or 7 days.
The following are links to useful articles I've
found for packing light. Bear in mind they have both been written by
men who typically have less challenges than women since their clothes
(shoes in particular) can often more easily suit multiple lifestyle
occasions. In spite of this they are useful articles ;) that can be
adapted to meet your travel requirements.
My main supplier, Ann Reinten of TAIC (the
Australian Image Company) has been very busy this year. Ann and her
team have updated both the color swatches and the 2 forms of the female
The main improvements include...
If you would like to purchase a new swatch and color set let me know.
Each swatch now includes 60 color chips
(up from 50)
The swatches are now created in-house by
TAIC. Ann found this the best way to ensure the quality of the colors.
Using new technologies and printing methods and very high grade paper
the new swatches really are superb
The name of each color category has
changed in keeping with world-wide changes. The new names incorporate
the temperature, the intensity and the flow (where this is a duplicate
of the temperature it is dropped). For example, a Cool Winter is now a
Cool and Clear; a Light Spring is now Warm, Clear and Light
The color manuals have been revised and
updated and now come in the form of an ebook (I print this for my
in-person clients). The manuals are jam-packed with great information
and photos to help you understand all the attributes of color and how
to wear it to look your best
- The new product has a new branding -- the
covers are now black with white writing and a strip of color
Color Swatch including Color Manual AU$55 (US$49) plus postage and
packing (Within Australia: AU$5; Rest of World: US$12)
Best Range of Colors
If you haven't had
your colors done yet, or if you had your colors done many years ago and
feel you may now have changed color categories I provide a color
analysis service. If you live in Sydney find
my in-person colour analysis service here
If you live anywhere else in the world contact me for details of my online color analysis service
Style Solutions Programs
The female Style Solutions programs (the
in-person Style Portfolio and the online Style ePortfolio) were both
updated a few months ago. The already great products are now
better than ever. The main changes
- The biggest change is that the
illustrations have been replaced with 660 full color fashion photos
(courtesy of BlueFly.com)
- A number of new styles have been added
- The Bridal & Evening Wear and
Maternity Wear sections have been removed -- they will eventually be
available as separate Style ePortfolios
- A major new area has been added, 'Design
& Color Coordination' -- this gives invaluable tips on how to
get design lines, color and fabrics working for you to balance and
flatter your body shape.
- In my wardrobe consultations what I find
is that we often, unconsciously repeat a mistake that ruins an
otherwise great outfit. A typical example, is wearing a pattern that is
too large on an area of our body that we wish to minimze. The sections
in this new category give your personal recommendations on how to avoid
- Avoid recommendations now include the
reason why. For example, due to your age or your horizontal body shape
To upgrade: note your licence
number then uninstall the program (through the Control
Panel), install the new program, then select ORDER
PORTFOLIO, select the 3rd option and enter your licence number.
the Style Portfolio I created for you and the Shopping Guide
Look Great! Feel Great!
If you don't yet have your personalized Style Solutions portfolio you can find the details here...
If you live in or near Avalon on Sydney's
Northern Beaches and would like to recycle the clothes you rejected
after your wardrobe audit and have the opportunity to re-stock your
wardrobe with someone else's pre-loved clothes and accessories mark
date in your diary. No money changes hands at this event --
it is purely a re-cycling exercise.
Places are strictly limited, by the size of
my studio and office area, so let me know if you'd like to come (reply
to this email) and I'll send you the details.
This event is brought to you by Nicola of
Bodhi Hair in Mona
Vale -- I will be the guest speaker.
Nicola is not only an excellent hairdresser,
makeup artist as well! In this session she will give you tips on
updating your makeup application. I'll be talking about the effect of
colour on our appearance and face shapes.
Places are strictly limited by the size of
the venue, so please book by replying to this email.
Last year I took a Triumph bra fitting
course. Over the last few weeks I finally got around to creating a
articles on underwear based on what I learnt during that course.
I hope you enjoy the articles...
A poor fit in female underwear is a sure way
to sabotage an otherwise great outfit! As the foundation for your
outerwear, your underwear should only be visible if that's what
you intended as a fashion statement! And it should always
provide a firm, supportive, jiggle-free, smooth foundation for your
clothes -- all the curves in the correct places with no extra lumps and
>> Read the whole article
Did you know many women wear the wrong bra size? The most common
mistake is a band that is too big and a bra cup size that is too small.
For example, a 38C instead of a 36D.
>> Read the whole article
Fitting a bra perfectly has 2 elements to it...
- Determining your correct bra size
- Correctly adjusting your bra for a
>> Read the whole article
Breast shapes are different from one woman to the next. Some breasts
sit close together, some further apart, some sit high, some sit low.
Different styles of bras will suit different shapes. Try on different
styles and different brands to find the brands and styles that suit you
>> Read the whole article
Panties need to be large enough not to cut into soft flesh. A
muffin-top or VPL (visible panty line) is not a good look!
>> Read the whole article
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