Newsletter: Issue #117 July 2020
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Style Snippets

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Jane's Jottings

Happy birthday to me! Well, not to me exactly... LinkedIn kindly reminded me it was 13 years ago this month that I started Style Makeover HQ. That's cause for celebration, I think!

I started this Style Snippets newsletter back in September 2009 (here's the link to the first ever edition). There's a lot of information in there that's still relevant today. Although, sadly, it'll likely be a while before we need those travel wardrobe tips for trips covering several climate zones.

I have missed an occasional production of Style Snippets over the years (including last month, which simply got away from me ;D). However, I do still like to try and get a newsletter out monthly to keep in touch and (hopefully) to inspire you to think about what you wear every day and help you to improve your style.

Many women, over the years, have told me they don't know how to start improving their style. That's why I created the 6 Steps to Savvy Style approach. It's what I use when providing style makeover services and when I'm teaching style. Breaking style down into bite-size steps and assessing where you're at on each step really helps identify and solve your style challenges. And just like learning any skill, as you practice, the steps become easier and the whole process feels more intuitive. (If you drive: Remember how learning to drive felt so complicated at first? And how you don't need to think about it now? Well, that's how natural creating stylish outfits for everyday wear can become.)

On another (though sort of related) topic: As face mask wearing becomes either compulsory or at least sensible, and certainly more normal, I've started to look into what makes for a good face mask. (See below)

Enjoy this month's Style Snippets

Yours in style

More Jane's Jottings

Considerations for a good face mask

me wearing patterned pleated mask
This decorative mask is one of the surgical-style rectangular pleated masks. It is reversible, with a beige and faded black small square pattern on the reverse. It's from Jimmy Stuart.
As we get used to living in a world with SARS-CoV-2 in it, and try to stop the spread and avoid catching Covid-19, more research is being done on how well face masks work as part of the solution.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (and published in The Australian) this month researchers around the world have found that even a basic cloth face covering is more effective in reducing the spread of Covid-19 than wearing nothing at all. It's still to be determined whether masks offer personal protection from the virus as well as stopping the spread.

And in some places face masks are now mandatory. So, I thought it time to start looking into buying or making face masks for myself. Even if they don't become mandatory here in NSW I can see myself wearing them in certain circumstances, like being on public transport, or somewhere where it's hard to physically distance, or the next time I'm on a plane.

There are 2 main styles:
1. The pleated rectangle, which is based on a surgical mask.
2. A more fitted, 3D mask. Also called an Olson mask (after it's creator)

The most important aspect of wearing a mask is that it follows the contours of your face. There should be no gaps around the edges of your mask and your face.

The fabric the mask is made of is also important. It needs to prevent particles passing through the mask, and also allow you to breath (of course). It seems a tightly woven cotton layer, against your face, plus a layer of a polyester-spandex mix work best. There are some other fabric combinations that work as discussed in this article.

I bought the mask I'm wearing above at a local menswear store (also online). The founder, Jim himself, kindly made-up this one for me (I didn't like the reverse fabric on any of the pre-made ones). It's made of cotton fabric and feels as if it has interface as the inner layer. However, I'll need to customise it somehow to get a better fit at the top (especially over my nose) and at the sides, that also gape a bit.

I have yet to try an Olson-style mask. However, it does look as if it'll be a better fit.

I've found anything other than a stud-like earring doesn't really work with a mask. Also a good fit is essential if you wear glasses, otherwise they'll fog up!

Style considerations: Of course, when the mask meets all the basics, it's also important to have a fabric in a flattering colour, or a flattering colour and a fun or pleasing (to you) pattern. Or perhaps a fun face image or a quirky image! We are starting to see the latter, especially on children's masks.

I've also noticed one or more women's clothing shops offering dresses with a matching mask option (great idea).

Treat your mask as any other outfit accessory. Co-ordinate, match or pattern clash to suit your personality and mood!

To get the fit and outfit co-ordination that I'd like, I'm thinking of making my own masks.

If you've found and tested a good pattern please do share it with me. I have found lots of variations online, but it's good to go with a tried and tested pattern to save the trial-and-error approach. (Also the reason -- stopping trial-and-error -- the 6 steps to style work so well to create a pleasing personal style ;D)

How to Create Confident Style

If you'd like to look more stylish and easily select stylish outfits to wear everyday, but don't know where to start check out the 6 steps to savvy style. (Hint: includes how to dress for your shape, your coloring, and your personality.)

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