The chill in the air is starting to re-enter into our daily lives and the ads for back to school are now so consistent they can be ignored like the other ads. It is fall. But while you pack away the bathing suits and shorts, how do you move into fall with style?
While I was not ready to see the glorious summer fade away this year, I have to admit I always enjoy witnessing the upcoming trends, especially in yummy fall colors. This season will not disappoint. While some trends are expected, like velvet and turtlenecks, others are a delightful surprise, like tassels and A-line dresses. Then, of course, there are the ones that leave me feeling bewildered, wondering if the designers are either tired or are simply at a loss for new (flattering) ideas. Continue reading…
Don’t let seasonal fashion trends run your life. There is a way to manage them without becoming a slave to fashion or completely ignoring them and feeling out of touch. Adding seasonal fashion trends to your wardrobe helps to keep your style feeling fresh and new. Knowing what to add and how much is critical otherwise you run the risk of buying things that just sit in your closet or wasting money on items that are out of style in 6 months. That’s where I can help!
This is my seasonal “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” trend update where I help you identify what trends to explore and which to avoid like the plague!
Colors: The colors you wear are vital to creating a truly beautiful look. If you wear a color that makes you look sickly or drab, then no amount of styling will save it. If you are someone who lives in black and gray, give it a rest this season and step into one of these fun, fabulous colors.
- Emerald green. Actually nearly every shade of green is in right now so take advantage (two years ago you couldn’t find a green item of clothing to save your life). A deep emerald/forest green looks great on most people so grab it while you can. (I am wearing a perfect example of emerald green in the segment I did on TV this week)
- Winter white is hot. It’s a softer version of stark white and, of course, as the temperatures cool down you’ll want to adjust your fabrics accordingly. No linen and light weaves. More densely woven sweaters and weightier fabrics will let you stay warm while feeling light and cool.
- Deep plum is a seasonal favorite and back again this fall as is bright fuschia — although be careful with the fuschia. If you have ruddy cheeks it will clash and if your coloring is soft it will overwhelm you.
- When in doubt a bold, meditative blue can be lovely.
Animal prints: Animal prints never go out of style. They have been “in” for the past 26 years! I’m not complaining. I like them. If you are intrigued but don’t want to wear animal print head to toe, add a hint of it with a scarf. There are so many options out there from traditional animal print to colored variations. Or, keep it simple with one of these:
or or make a statement with your handbag:
or even your nightgown:
Plaid: Another perennial favorite, plaid is everywhere. If it intrigues you, but you don’t want something screams PLAID, then check out this dress. Or, if you are feeling really adventurous, wear a pair of plaid tights (these come in black, brown or deep navy!). And of course, there are lots of other ways to wear plaid including as trim on an outfit, in your handbag or tote and even your shoes. Have fun with it!
Shoes: Both pointy and rounded toes are in so there’s something for everyone. And, over-the-knee boots are still popular.They can be fun. Just one word of caution. Unless you work in a very relaxed atmosphere, save these for leisure and fun – not to be worn at the office.
Velvet: Velvet is just so luxurious, warm and elegant that I invite you to add a touch of it to your winter wardrobe. It’s still a bit early to see a lot in the stores, but watch for more as the season goes along. And, if you are vegan and don’t want to purchase wool or cashmere because it contributes to animal suffering, velvet is cozy and can add another layer of warmth without hurting anyone! In the meantime, is this jacket exquisite or what!
High Shine: What they are showing on the runway is in-your-face shine. What I propose is a smidgen of shine to add fun contrast to those cold, gray winter days. While some of you might feel comfortable pulling off this much shine (photo on the left), I suspect that something that has a soft sheen rather than super high shine might be more appealing day to day (photo on the right). And, of course, jewelry is always a fabulous way to add just the right amount of shine for you!
Oversized: Really? You’ve got to be kidding. Most of us will look three times our size when we wear these oversized sweatshirts (yes, that’s what they are suggesting!) or just as bad…oversized coats! Horrendous idea! Who thought this was a good fashion statement? — and in light gray, no less (one of THE hardest colors to look good in!). Or, this hideous style of oversized coat!
Rounded Shoulders: I have spent more than half my life trying to make my shoulders appear wider and less sloped. There is no way that this style appeals to me…ever. Stay far away from it if you have narrow shoulders and wider hips unless you want to accentuate your hips and look droopy or if you carry weight in your tummy and want to look like a balloon — this look will help you do that. Here’s an example:
I really haven’t seen a lot of trends that bewilder me and make me wonder who thought that was a good idea. The ones that are truly horrible I put in the ‘bothered’ category. That said here are two that can be problematic.
Grunge: Mostly you will see this on the very young crowd. I am not a fan of clothes that look like they need to be washed (and that’s how most grunge looks to me) or the heavy soled shoes worn with dresses. But, when a couple of “grungy” pieces (maybe we could translate that tough girl or rocker vibe) are paired with something fun and feminine it can be intriguing. Again, with rare exceptions (and if you have to think about whether you’re an exception, you aren’t!) leave this to the under 25 (and that’s pushing it!) crowd.
Turtlenecks: The only reason turtlenecks are in this category is because for those of us over 40-ish they can be problematic by drawing attention to softening jawlines. If your jawline and neck are still firm and you enjoy wearing turtlenecks, go for it. If your jaw is slacking a bit and you don’t want to draw attention to it, then choose a turtleneck that’s wider and fuller than your jaw. Like this one.
This is a sampling of what’s out there this season. Menswear prints like houndstooth are also popular as are trendy details like metallic mesh, but I’m not seeing a lot of that in the store just yet.
The most important thing is that you LOVE the trend. If you don’t, then ignore it. Never wear something just because it’s in style. You have to feel and look great in it and you have to OWN it! By that I mean, it has to feel like you and make you smile every time you put it on.
Remember, trends, just by their definition, are fleeting so choose one or two and wear them a lot while they are fashionable. Fall shopping is just getting started so have fun!
If you are completely stumped or find you have lots of old trends in your closet you’ve never worn or simply don’t know how to incorporate them so you feel good, then email me – firstname.lastname@example.org — and we’ll set up a free 20 minute call.
I love autumn. Yes, I know I say this every year but I really, really do. And, this year I’m particularly excited for the transition because it was such a very hot summer. The cooler weather is such a wonderful relief. So, for those of you mourning the end of summer, let me share some fun fashion updates for the Fall that will bring a delicious smile of anticipation to your lips and sometimes an out loud guffaw at what they try to pass off as style! Thankfully there is more to celebrate than bemoan.
In case you are new to my seasonal fashion updates, I divide the various new trends into those that I find beautiful and bewitching, those that are bothersome on some level and the ones that are just downright bewildering. Are you with me? Let’s explore:
Colors: You know I’m all about color and fall is often my favorite season for color. I love the transition as we move from lighter, brighter colors to warm, deep, rich tones. So what’s up this season? Let me share the bewitching colors here and look for the bothersome ones below. Navy blue is making a well-deserved comeback. It works on many women as a great neutral and has been hugely neglected in the past few years. Add to that a deep forest green (also largely overlooked in recent autumn/winter seasons) and a deep (not bright!) red. Yay. These are colors that work on a lot of women, so if you look great in them, snap them up now. (Click here for shopping information)
Textures: The feel of fall is yummy. Not only in the colors but also in the textures. What is more soft and elegant than velvet, and they are promising lots of it as we get into the cooler months? Want something more casual? When the temperatures take a nosedive you can turn to chunky knits but in the meantime, open weave sweaters are hot. Think of them as the fall version of the summer macramé sweaters that were everywhere. Simply wear a long-sleeved fitted top underneath, and you’ll be cozy and fashionable.
Peplums: Yes, I know. I for the past few seasons I’ve been putting these in the bewitching category, and that is deliberate. If you don’t know what a peplum is, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/peplum defines it as, “A short overskirt or ruffle attached at the waistline of a jacket, blouse, or dress.” These days, believe it or not, it even is used in reference to skirts that have a ruffle type attachment at the bottom.
Can everyone wear a peplum? Yes, technically with the right design everyone can wear one. Should you? Maybe, maybe not. It depends on how the peplum is constructed. Some are so small you can barely see them. Others are huge and long and the defining design of the jacket. The fullness or sleekness will definitely affect the success of the peplum on a particular body shape but it is possible to find one that works. But, what’s equally as important is whether a peplum suits your personality. That’s a totally different discussion and only you can decide.
Of course, if it intrigues you I’d say try them and see (you’ll most likely have to try many to find one that’s a contender). You can always take it off and put it back on the rack – no harm done or money wasted.
Wide leg trousers: No, skinny pants have not disappeared. In fact, they are as hot as ever and even come in the deep tones of the season (which are kind of fun!). But, to balance out the latest obsession with their skinniness is the wide leg trouser. Yay! A great look on many women especially those who carry a little weight in their hips and thighs (sometimes a tad tricky for petite women – but not always).
Denim: As always denim is hot. The colored jeans are continuing but the colors are deeper and richer (actually, they are very beautiful). Yes, most of them are skinny but not all so you can still pick up a pair even if you aren’t a fan of the skinny style. Denim jackets are huge right now and even double-denim is popular but it has to be done with great panache (you generally want to pair two different denim washes together so it doesn’t look like a denim suit), or it will look dated. (Click here for shopping information)
Shoes: Boots are always popular in the colder weather and knee high boots are still going strong. Whether you prefer a high heel or flat riding boot style there’s something for everyone. They’ll be flooding into the stores soon. What else is popular? Color blocking on shoes and embellished heels are fun. Ankle straps are huge again which is great if you have long thin legs and ankles but if not, avoid them (you’ll also see ankle straps with low cut ankle boots – kind of interesting but definitely a trend so choose wisely), and probably one of the hottest new trends is the smoking loafer. It’s a nice change from, or alternative to, the ballet flat. It looks great with pants and is super comfortable, and it not only comes in basic neutral colors but in prints, textures and with sparkles! (Click here for shopping information)
Prints: Prints are huge again this season and we are seeing everything from fall florals to brocade (especially in pants) and the new optic prints are exploding. As always, choose wisely for your taste, body size, and coloring and be absolutely sure that one of your best, most flattering colors is the predominant color in whatever print you choose. There is no exception to that rule.
Trench Coats: After a wonderful run of fun trench coat options, the past season or so has been a little disappointing. This fall they are offering us a new option to spice things up a bit – the patent trench. It looks like it is made of slicker material and has lots of shine but the saving grace is that it comes in beautiful rich jewel tones in addition to black.
Accessories: Brooches are back, and they are beautiful. If you love them, pick up a few of your favorites and if you aren’t a brooch type of gal, there are plenty of other jewelry options to choose from to express your unique personality. One fun option is a bejeweled headband. Very fun and playful if that suits you, and it can even be worn (in fact, it’s very fashionable and trendy to do so) with short hair.
Color: Two very hot colors this season are mustard and gray. Okay, so I acknowledge that these colors are important to some women who look good in them but the ratio of these colors on the store racks to other more widely flattering colors is way skewed in the wrong direction! Mustard is one of THE hardest colors to wear well and light gray is dreadful on a huge number of women (charcoal fares better). Is this some kind of cosmic fashion joke? Please, unless you are absolutely positive that these colors look good on you, avoid them like the plague!
Coats: As we move into colder weather we are seeing a new trend for coats. Let me preface it by saying that I really loved the 80’s. I had big hair (I do big hair really well!) and loved the beautiful colored structured suits with shoulder pads that balanced my hips. I leaned toward the elegant side of the 80’s so when I see them bringing back the most questionable trends from that decade, I have to wonder. So, what we’re seeing now (and let me warn you that when we get a trickle of a trend one season within about 2 seasons we usually experience it as a full blown trend) is what they are calling the boyfriend coat. You know how the boyfriend jackets have been popular (they are longer and slightly oversized and are meant to look like you are wearing your boyfriend’s jacket)? Well, translate that into a coat and that’s what we’re seeing – oversized, shapeless coats. Please say it isn’t true!
Ripped Denim: So much is happening here as you saw in the bewitched category so why this fascination with ripped or distressed denim? Now it has expanded from pants to ripped jean jackets and shirts. Very few people can pull this off without looking messy (what a surprise!) so my advice is steer clear.
Contrasting Peter Pan Collar: No. It’s that simple. Youthful is one thing, infantilized is another. Leave it to the teens and super trendy fashionistas.
Matchstick Pants: These are everywhere just as they were in the spring. Designers and advertisers make them sound like the best thing since sliced bread but they aren’t. They are slightly fuller in the thighs so they won’t feel as constraining as skinny jeans (which can be good), but they are meant to end at the ankle. Because they are not generally as snug to the leg they tend to make your legs look infinitely shorter than long pants. If you have long thin legs this will work well but if not, hmmm, I’d pass them by.
Coated Denim: This is in this category only because the coating makes the pants shiny so they draw a lot of attention to the lower half of your body. Maybe good? Maybe not? Coated denim in a jacket is rather fun and a little more wearable.
Capes: They are beautiful. They are not practical – at least in the cold northeast of the U.S. If you don’t mind that you probably have about 5 days of the year when you can actually where it, then by all means get one. Otherwise, admire them in the stores, even try them on, but leave them hanging on the rack and buy something where your price per wear will be more in your favor.
So, there you have it — the fashion update for the coming season. Clothes are flooding into the store so start looking and see what you see that you like. Take this with you if you want to to inspire you and get your wardrobe moving in a really fun direction.
Each season we wait patiently to see what the upcoming trends are. Will they give us colors we love, styles that flatter and clothes we can’t wait to wear? That’s always the question on the tip of our tongues and as always I am here to share this season’s styles and will give you my two cents about what’s great and what’s not (in my humble opinion).
Of course, what actually ends up in the stores is another story and sometimes we don’t see everything until nearly summer. For now, however, here’s a mix of what I’m hearing will be hot and what I’m seeing in the stores.
As always, choose only what makes your heart sing and adds beauty, style & grace to your wardrobe!
The first thing you will notice is that color is not listed in this category. This is unusual since, in the past, it has always been front and center – always highlighting those colors that are delicious first. This time, it’s not that there aren’t any colors out there that are good. It’s more that there’s this weird mish-mash of colors. There’s lots of orange and the threat of pastels. And, to complicate (or delight?) everything, prints and patterns reign (unlike past seasons). So, until I get more into the season (and, even then, it’s bound to change as the weeks pass), I’m withholding my view of colors somewhat until I can really get a grasp on what they are showing. So, stay tuned!
Color Blocking: That said, color blocking is still hot. This time, perhaps because it is spring, light and bright color blocking is hot, which means we are seeing blocks of combinations of colors that do not always include black (what a concept!). Here, for instance, is a dress in blocks of light and deeper blue. Pretty and springy! (#1 pictured at right) Click here for more information
Fancy Pants: While I wouldn’t suggest filling your closet with fancy, patterned pants, a pair or two can be kind of fun. Keep in mind that they are less versatile and more memorable but that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the trend if you like it. Just one word of caution – can we please not confuse these with the pajama trend I’ll talk about below? (#2 pictured at right) Click here for more information
Bright pants: Again, this can be a fun trend. Just be sure to choose your best color and cut of pants or jeans. The good news is that there are plenty to choose from. (#3 pictured at right) Click here for more information
Prints Are Everywhere: We haven’t seen much in the way of prints in the past season or so (or should I say prints worth wearing) but they are making up for it this season, for sure! Prints are everywhere and many are bold or a little wacky now that they sometimes use the computer to manipulate them. Some have a sci-fi kind of feel to them or a frenzied quality that will be a tough sell. But then, there are the pretty watercolor prints that are softer and easier to wear and often come in beautiful, flowing colors. Add to that animal prints, florals, tribal, and large baroque prints and you’ve covered all the bases! It and be wonderful and refreshing to add prints to your wardrobe. Just be sure you choose ones that work for your coloring and personality. Here’s an example of one that’s intriguing if not a little over the top (#4 pictured at right) Click here for more information
Lace: As usual with spring, all things girly seem to be the rage. Lace is back and you’ll find it in tops, dresses, collars…you name it. You’ll either love it or leave it!;
Peplums: Yes, I did include this in the bewitched category on purpose! On the right body, peplums are great fun (on the wrong one they can add pounds and not flatter). Plus, what’s nice about them is that they run the gamut from obvious peplums (like this one #5 pictured at right) that are harder to wear (but lovely when they do work) to very subtle peplums that almost everyone can do. This one barely qualifies as a peplum (#6 pictured at right Click here for more information). If it intrigues you, don’t just dismiss it without exploring the possibilities. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Metallics: Yay! This is a trend worth keeping and it seems that others agree because it’s still here. Metallics, especially in shoes and handbags, are super, duper versatile because they go with almost anything – just be sure to find the right metallic for you that blends with your skin tone.
Crop Tops & Core Cutouts: Oh, dear, haven’t we been here before…and not all that long ago? Crop tops didn’t really look that good back then and they really only belong on teenagers at best. The core cutout is about having pieces of fabric cut out at key locations – often around the waist or under the bustline or along the leg (but not limited to those areas). When done subtly it can be pretty but it can quickly degenerate into unseemly.
Colors: It’s a fact that orange is hot this season – at least so far. While I happen to love orange personally, I also know it doesn’t look good on a lot of people and some of those people will buy it anyway. So, if you look good in it grab it now! Pastels often crop up as a spring color trend and this year they keep saying they are big but so far I haven’t seen a lot of them in stores. Of course, it’s still early so that could change. We’ve gone from bright in the past two seasons to neon, and that is cause for concern. Most neon is over the top and not that easy to wear. Be wary, and let’s keep our fingers crossed that we see sprinklings of other beautiful colors as the season progresses.
Pleated Skirts: I want to love pleated skirts. In fact, when they were in back in the 1980’s one of my favorite suits had a beautiful pleated skirt. The pleats were sewn down to my hips so it didn’t add any width there and then it was pleated to my knees. It was lovely, feminine, comfortable and very fun to wear. Yes, I have seen a couple of these (mostly as part of a suit) and then I’ve also seen pleats gone wrong or, to be fair, pleats that only a few, model-like bodies can wear. Enjoy this trend if you like it, but be careful.
Pajama Tops & Bottoms: Wasn’t it bad enough that we see a lot of pajama bottoms floating around out there in pubic. Do they really have to add the top as well? Let this one die a quiet death, please!
Pussy Bow Blouses (a.k.a., secretary blouse): These can be very sweet and pretty but they can also look matronly in a heartbeat. Have fun with it if you like it but otherwise steer clear. (And, I’ll be interested to see what they call it the next time this trend rolls around!).
The best news of all is that the warmer weather is here. Somehow the fashions always work out. If you don’t like what you see now, just wait a couple of weeks and it will be different. Never settle for something you don’t love and by the time the truly warm weather rolls around you’ll have a beautiful wardrobe filled with styles you love wearing. That’s what matters!
How do you feel about standing out from the crowd? Does it excite you and make you smile or does it strike terror in your heart and make you cringe at the very thought. What has been your alternative to standing out? Many women describe their style as “beige,” “predictable” or “downright boring.” Rarely do they purposely choose that look, as you can imagine. It is usually a response to their deeply rooted fear of standing out for the wrong reasons, i.e., they would rather fade into the woodwork than risk looking silly or inappropriate. The results? Each time they get dressed their self-esteem and confidence takes a direct hit.
For some women they equate standing out with looking flamboyant, outrageous or ostentatious. But that doesn’t have to be true (although those looks certainly do cause a few stares!). Standing out means owning who you are and celebrating that (and if flamboyant, outrageous or ostentatious is who you are then celebrate it!). It can run the gamut from subtle and elegant to dramatic and bold. What is important, however, is that it be in keeping with your personality and inner essence. Then, no matter where on the continuum you fall, it just feels (and looks!) right.
Recently, I met with a woman who was about to re-enter the dating scene and felt apprehensive. Her most pressing question was, “On what date should I show cleavage?” Together we did some work and determined that her personality was primarily gentle, heartfelt and radiant. I could tell just by looking at her that the idea of showing a lot of cleavage felt foreign and uncomfortable. She had this predetermined belief, however, that she was supposed to expose her cleavage, so it came as a huge relief to her to learn that she never had to if she didn’t want to. What she really wanted to explore was how to look and feel sexy in a way that was authentic for her. Now, that’s a different story!
What is your look saying about you? What motivation is driving you to choose the outfits you do? Are you trying to blend in and hide (this never really works) or stand out in a way that gives you confidence and feels good? I have learned that most women would prefer to stand out in a positive way but they just don’t know how to do it so they retreat into what feels easy and familiar.
The next time you get dressed, rate the outfit you choose to wear on a scale of one to ten. In this case a ten would mean that you are totally celebrating and dressing authentically and with no apologies, and one would be that you are hiding as much as is humanly possible. Obviously, the goal is to get to ten! Next, analyze your look. What aspect of your style feels like you are trying really hard not to be noticed? Is it the color (too beige, black, neutral)? Is it the cut of the outfit (boxy and shapeless)? Is it the fabric (sweatshirt, head to toe polar fleece)? Is it the accessories (or lack thereof)? Is it that it’s all solid colors and there are no interesting textures or patterns? Once you have made a determination, make a concerted effort to tweak (remember, baby steps) just one of those components at a time. Add a touch of color, texture, or accessories. Keep trying until it feels good and fun. As you build on this step-by-step and begin to make positive changes, you will find that standing out has a whole new, delightful meaning!
The Wall Street Journal reported recently that when it comes to fashion “There are no more trends. Everything is in style.” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704320104575015141536429662.html) Women wear what they want to wear, and I’m all for that! If you look around, it seems that every length of skirt is available as is every cut of pants. As the WSJ said “The trench coat has been ‘in’ for the past five years, and will be hot next year, too.” As it should be!
It has not always been this way. For those of you who remember the 1970’s, you know how liberating this new concept is. Back then, there was one skirt length – short!! Pants were low rise and bell bottom and good luck to anyone who wanted to wear (or looked better in) anything else. Or, how about the 1980’s when all you couldn’t find a pair of attractive flat shoes if your life depended on it. Thankfully, that has all changed. But, have we gone far enough in the choices we offer?
I can’t help but think that when they say that the concept of trends is dead (or something to that effect) that they might have jumped the gun just a bit. Ask women who were shopping this past season (or two) and found mostly yellow, gray and purple, short boxy jackets and very few skirts anywhere, and you know that the designers still have some influence.
I have a novel idea. Rather than dictating to women what the current fashions are, how about if the designers ask women what they want! For instance, just try to find a nice looking, scoop neck tank in a fabric that isn’t tissue paper thin to wear under a jacket. There are a few out there, but you have to hunt to find them. A designer could make a fortune just providing those in beautiful colors. And, yes, women wear jackets (especially the baby boomers), and we’d like something other than black and gray and maybe some elegant details, please. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask. It would also translate into more sales for the designers and retailers. I cannot tell you how many women told me this past year about how they wanted to buy more than they did (a coat, jacket, or suit, for example), but couldn’t find anything they liked. Is anyone listening?
Recently, I was browsing in one of my favorite stores, and one of the sales women said to me, “Oh, one of your clients was just in, and she bought that necklace you told her about.” (I had seen this necklace that was SO her and sent her a picture). She then said, “I showed her another necklace as well that she loved, but we couldn’t find earrings to match so she didn’t get it. She told me that she’s ‘matchy-matchy’ like Ginger.” I laughed. Yes, there are a few of us left!
No, I do not go so far as to have my handbags and shoes be exact matches, but I do insist they blend and make sense together. I sometimes watch “What Not To Wear” and, while I think a lot of their advice is valuable, I sometimes look at the outfits they create and think “Really! It looks like a mish-mash – like they got dressed in the dark!” It just goes to show you that fashion is not an exact science and personality and personal preference play into it. Clearly, there’s a stylist for every taste.
So, while I never expect my clients to be matchy-matchy, I do know that most of them rely on me to help them know how far they can push the envelope (if that’s what they want to do). It’s funny, too. Twenty years ago, as a new image consultant, I attended a fashion seminar at Henri Bendel’s, and I clearly remember the woman saying with great disdain that matchy-matchy was so “out!” I briefly questioned my style, but then I took a long look at what she was wearing and thought, if that’s the alternative I’ll stick with what I’m wearing.
I have remained true to my personal style preference and wear it with confidence. I admire those who are funkier and trendier than I am and who wear the look well (not everyone does!). I also know that there is no one right way. If there were we’d all look like clones – what fun would there be in that?
So, matchy-matchy or not, honor your own preferences. That said, don’t be afraid to step outside your self-imposed box and try new things. That’s how we keep it fun and fresh. But if a trend doesn’t work for you, that’s absolutely fine. Just know (or find out) what does and be true to that!
As most of my clients will tell you, I am pretty easy going. I’m a big believer in self-expression in your wardrobe, and I help women create this for themselves. To this end, I am always open to exploring ways to make something unconventional work. That said, can we please, please do away with the trend of visible bra straps? I mean, do we really need to see someone’s underwear? Okay, I know sometimes bra straps have the annoying habit of peeking out here or there, and it’s not the end of the world, but the truth is that they really don’t need to. I’m assuming it’s more that women don’t know how to properly conceal them than that they really think they are making a stylish fashion statement by exposing them (or thinking that no one notices!). And, yes, I know teenagers do it all the time, but let’s face it, teens are notorious for enjoying the shock value of their fashion statements (although at this point I think they think it’s fashionable!) and, hey, one can get away with a lot more at 16 than you can at 35 or 58. Besides who wants their bra straps to be the focus of attention! (Well, actually I did at my wedding last year, but I’ll explain that in a minute). So, for those of you who have been unconsciously letting your bra straps slip and slide, here are a few alternatives: • Lingerie Straps – On occasion lingerie straps are built into a garment but if not, a tailor can add them in a heartbeat. Lingerie straps consist of a little string that hooks under your bra strap and snaps it into place so it is secured to your outfit and won’t go peeking out unexpectedly. • The Right Bra – Racerback or convertible bras pull the bra straps in closer to your neck so they can’t slip off your shoulders (this is especially handy for those of us with sloped shoulders). Just be sure the straps are not visible in the back by your neck (this is dependent upon the neckline of the top you are wearing). (I love Wacoal, e.g., )
• Strap Attachments – These handy devices immediately turn any bra into a racerback. Less expensive than buying a new bra, and it does the trick. Choose the right one for you:
• Sparkly Straps – This is one of my favorite options. Have your strapless bra fitted with elegant sparkly straps and let them show! (I wore these at my wedding (as you can see in the picture (I was singing to my partner–in case you were wondering)), and every woman there asked me about them!). The best source is www.showoffstraps.com where Susan uses Swarovski crystals. Since you only need one or two (although you might want more when you see all the stunning choices!) it’s worth getting a beautiful, well-made set. • Strapless Bra – When all else fails, do away with the straps altogether! These days there is a strapless bra that fits nearly every bra size (okay, there are a few women (you know who you are) who just can’t do it), and they stay in place, and are relatively comfortable. • Avoid Sleeveless Tops – While this is certainly an option, it is a bit drastic and not necessary as you can see by all the other choices above. So, let the teenagers do their thing if they must. The rest of us will set the standard for timeless beauty and elegance. Why not draw focus to features you want others to see rather than let it happen haphazardly (and not always to your advantage!).