Diamonds Really Are a Girl’s Best Friend

It’s warming up so you know what that means:  bring on the shorts, skirts and capris!  These cuts are perfect for the hot days of summer.  There are so many different styles of all three that you can go casual, dressy or somewhere in between.

The important thing about your summer bottoms is where the hemline hits the leg.  We’ve all seen stylish ladies wearing a cute summer outfit with capris, but somehow it doesn’t look quite right.  The reason her look is off is that the hemline hits her leg in the wrong spot and her legs appear heavy and/or stumpy.

The ideal placement for the hem of your summer bottoms is right in the center of the diamonds in your legs.  The diamonds are the natural openings in your legs and you want the hem to fall directly in the center.

In the photo on the left her legs look heavier than they are.  On the right her skirt is shorter and her legs look leaner just because the hemline falls in her diamond.

DIAMOND NO                          diamond-yes.jpg

To find your diamonds stand up straight in front of a full length mirror with your heels touching.  Point your toes at 10:00 and 2:00 (similar to the first position in ballet).  Doing this you should see one or more openings in your legs (see the blue dotted line in the diagram below). Diamond hemlines

Eureka!  You’ve found your diamonds. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • the best spot is directly in the center of your diamond
  • the height of your shoe will change the placement of your diamonds slightly so try on skirts, shorts and capris with the shoes you plan to wear
  • if your shirts, shorts and capris aren’t falling in your diamonds consider alterations to your items
  • if you cannot find a diamond, go with the classic Chanel length – this is the spot where the knee curves in slightly and this is a flattering length for everyone

Give this a try and I know you will be amazed at the difference you diamond make!  For more great tips and to complete your very own personal style book a personal style profile book a personal style appointment today!  Email lola@style311.com or call 308.641.2068.

Style 311 has been granted permission to use proprietary material created by Shari Braendel, Founder of Fashion Meets Faith. All rights reserved.

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Fun in the Sun(glasses)

You guys!  I am a huge proponent of sunglasses!  I think our sight is one of the greatest things God has given us and we should do all we can to protect it.  One of the best ways to do that is with sunglasses.  The bonus of all this is that shades are so fun and can add a big dose of personality to our outfits!

There are so many sunglasses available today and it can be a little overwhelming to sort it all out.  One of the first things to consider is your face shape.  There are four general face shapes:  oval, square, heart and round.  Each shape looks good in certain types of frames.

An oval face shape is wider in forehead, eyes and cheeks and narrows at the chin.  This is the most balanced face shape and most styles will compliment this face shape.  Choose round, aviator, square or butterfly styles.

A square face shape features a strong jaw and is wider through the forehead and chin.  With the pronounced angles of a square shaped face you want to soften the strong lines.  This can be accomplished with a soft edge like those from round, cat eye and aviator frames.  Choose frames wider than your face to make your face appear more long and lean.

A heart face shape has a wider forehead with a narrow jaw line and sharp chin.  The goal is to make the chin appear wider to balance out the face.  Look for frames that are wider or more bottom heavy for balance.  Choose butterfly, cat eye and frames with round edges.

A round face shape has an equal forehead, jaw and chin with wider cheeks and not much clear definition.  The goal for a round face shape is to make the face appear longer and leaner.  Be sure the roundness of the cheeks isn’t accentuated.  Look for angular styles like square, butterfly and rectangle.

Once you determine the styles best for your face shape, the next thing to consider is proportion.  If you have a small stature and small facial features you will need smaller glasses.  Conversely, if you are tall with more prominent facial features you need larger frames.

The final factor in finding your best sunglasses is to consider your style personality.  You can find understated and classic styles or a wacky, fun pair.  Let your personality shine when you pick your glasses.

Now you are ready to bring on the fun in the sun(glasses)!

 

Toss It

What’s the status of your closet?  Is it a mini personalized boutique you can’t wait to visit?  Something like a bad dream that you don’t want to face?  Or maybe it’s somewhere in between.  No matter which camp you fall in, there seems to be a common thread amongst our closets:  too much stuff – and plenty of stuff we don’t need to hold on to.

It is a daunting undertaking to bring order back to this space, so let’s start with five simple steps.  Remove these items from your closets and dressers immediately!

  1. Mismatched socks – I mean, really. What are you going to do with these?  Maybe keep one to slip over your hand to dust your vertical blinds and pitch the rest.
  2. White tees that are anything but white — They no longer serve their purpose and you don’t feel good wearing them so say “Sayonara” and move on.
  3. Shoes you can’t walk in – OK this is a tough one! We all have that pair (or four pair!) of shoes that we totally fell in love with, but we are nearly immobilized when we put them on.  We can’t feel confident when we are expending all our energy just to stay upright.  Give these shoes a new home and start shopping for a similar pair that you can get around easily and comfortably in.  Trust me, you will be glad you did.
  4. Jeans that don’t fit – Here’s another item we are so hesitant to give up. One idea is to consider tailoring options.  It may be that the waist can be taken in or the inseam changed.  If altering isn’t possible, you need to let go of the jeans.  Instead of thinking about this negatively, look at the positive: A great fitting pair of jeans is something you reach for again and again in creating fantastic outfits.  Proper fit makes you look great, so ditch the jeans that don’t cut it.
  5. Stained blouses – When we are wearing a stained item we automatically appear unkempt. We will be constantly worried about whether others can see it.  Instead, just toss any stained blouses and items you have.

These are five easy steps to begin taming your closet and reclaiming wasted space.  You will make more room and a life with less clutter is always a good thing.  Who knows, a domino effect could begin with these small steps and it could lead to a complete overhaul of your closet.

Taking Your Outfit from Day to Night

It seems like we are always running short on time.  Maybe we are at work until 5:00 and have plans with friends at 5:30.  That’s not much time to change your entire look, but with a few tweaks you can take your outfit from day to night in a snap.

Let’s work for the bottom up.  Changing your shoes will immediately change the style of your outfit.  Going from your loafers to an embellished shoe will add spark to your evening plans.

Swap out your office blazer for a chic leather jacket.  You can forgo the jacket altogether too.  This will surely move your outfit away from the office.

Accessories are the simplest was to update your look for evening.  A set of statement earrings or a bold necklace say “night out” like nothing else.

One last tip is to update your hairstyle and apply a little more makeup.  Eyeshadow and lipstick will elevate your overall look for evening.

There you have it, bring on a good time!

Finding Cute Shoes that Aren’t Heels

Why do we girls love our shoes so much?  I think it’s because you can add so much to an outfit just with the shoes.  In fact, some say shoes are the first thing you notice about a person’s outfit.  We all know different activities call for different type of shoes – footwear needs to function.

There are times, though, when we don’t need much out of shoes except to add a fun punch to our outfit.  We want to add fun, but maybe heels aren’t an option.  If stilettos won’t do the job, consider these ideas to find comfy flats that offer just as much as 4 inch heels.

Select a dressy pair of patent leather flats.  This classy material will look sharper than your everyday flats with a high shine factor.

Look for the same details in flats that you love in heels.  A pointy-toe flat will give the same appearance as your high heels.

Along this line, look for interesting detail and embellishment, maybe a lace-up at the back or a jewel-studded pair.

A pair of flats will offer comfort that will last all day and all night long.  Keep an eye out for your next pair of fancy flats – you’ll be glad you did!

Dressing for the Airport

Remember how air travel used to be?  It was much less hassle getting on and off your flights and you ate pretty well while you were flying the friendly skies.  I was 10 the first time I flew.  It was a trip from Nebraska to California and we waited for months in anticipation for our adventure to Disneyland.  We got new suitcases and ordered clothes out the catalog just for our big trip.  The day of our departure we showed up at the airport dressed in our best church clothes.

Those days are long gone.  Now it’s a small bag of peanuts (maybe) and you could people watch at any airport for a long time before you saw too many people dressed in their Sunday best.  Just the same, shouldn’t there be some sort of dress code for air travel?  Here are a few ideas.

While you don’t need to dress to the nines for your flight, you should still look presentable and stylish.  A great fitting pair of jeans and comfortable top and jacket are just the ticket (haha, get it?)

Since you have to go through such stiff security now days you need to be able to take your footwear, belt and jacket off with ease.  Consider pieces that have a loose fit to speed up the process.  Make sure your shoes are uncomplicated and can come off easily.

Add a scarf in a great pop color in case it gets chilly on the plane.  Keep your other accessories simple since heavy metals can set off the detectors.  Choose a handbag that fully zips or snaps – you don’t want to lose that boarding pass!  A great choice would be a cross body bag so you have both hands free for luggage and a coffee.

Safe travels – have a wonderful trip!

Style 311 has been granted permission to use proprietary material created by Shari Braendel, Founder of Fashion Meets Faith.  All rights reserved.

Packing for Your Next Trip

I love a good adventure.  By road, air or train I am ready for a great time out of town.  The problem comes in the packing.  I blame my parents for not making me haul my own suitcase when I was a kid.  If I would have been responsible for lugging my bag I probably wouldn’t be an over packer today.  I’m working on getting better, though.  Here are some things I’ve learned.

Only pack what you are really going to wear.  It seems like a fun idea to try something new while you are on vacation, but if it is too far outside your normal you probably won’t wear it.  Save the room in your suitcase for the pieces you really love and feel great in.  Pack in outfits so you can see how the pieces will work together.

Know your itinerary and bring what works.  If it’s a relaxing weekend at a cabin or days of hiking all over the city you don’t need to bring your stilettos.  And speaking of stilettos, don’t go overboard on shoes – they take up way too much valuable space!  Just bring a great pair of flats, one dressy shoe and either a pair of boots or sandals depending on the season.  Stick small items inside your shoes to create even more space.

Also, know your climate.  These days it’s very easy to check the forecast on your phone as you are packing.  This really increases your chances of having what you need for the weather.  Layering pieces are great for adding warmth and variety to your looks.  Stick with basic tops and bottoms and bring out your style and personality with statement accessories.  A simple switch of your jewelry and shoes can move the same outfit seamlessly from day to night.

Use packing cubes to manage your suitcase space and to help keep items from wrinkling.  If you are traveling with someone plan to share hair styling tools so you don’t duplicate on big items – you want to have room in your suitcase to bring back goodies from your trip.

Bring on the next adventure!

Style 311 has been granted permission to use proprietary material created by Shari Braendel, Founder of Fashion Meets Faith.  All rights reserved.

Wedding Guest Attire Etiquette

Weddings!  It’s so fun to celebrate a bride and groom who are so in love.  I love the ceremony, the dress, the decorations and of course the cake!  The busy summer wedding season will soon be upon us, so take a look at these tips for knowing how to be a well-dressed guest.

When trying to decide what to wear to a wedding, keep in mind the style and location of the festivities.  Often you can learn a lot from the wording and style of the invitation.  Sometimes the invitation will say formal, semi-formal or casual.  If the invitation doesn’t make a clear statement, look at the type of invitation.  If it’s calligraphy on highest quality pearlized paper, you can guess it will be on the formal side.  If the invitation gives a fun, casual vibe, the event will most likely be more relaxed.  Also consider the venue and location.  If the event is held at a ranch or on the beach, it most likely won’t be formal.

Once you know the type of attire you’ll need, choose something that works with your body type.  Here are silhouette suggestions for the 4 body types:

B:  Shift Dress, Sheath Dress, A-Line Dress

O:  Shift Dress, Sheath Dress, A-Line Dress

D:  Belted Dress, A-Line Dress

X:  Most styles work well

Last, but certainly not least, choose a stunning color that really makes you shine!  Remember:  White is always reserved for the bride so don’t wear it (unless explicitly stated in the invitation).  This is her day, and when guests show up in white (or anything close to it) they will inadvertently draw attention away from her.  Black is absolutely acceptable – if it works for you Color Code.

Enjoy celebrating these momentous occasions with family and friends. Cheers to the Bride & Groom.

When to Shop the Sales

We all love a steal of a deal, don’t we?  There is something very exhilarating about getting something 50% off.  With a little knowledge and planning ahead you can save big.  Here’s an inside look at when to buy what you need at the best price.

January:  Tis the season – to buy suits.  If one on your New Year resolutions was to dress more professionally, you are in luck!  Keep in mind you can break up a three-piece suit to make it work harder – wear the blazer with jeans or the skirt with a light sweater.  This will reduce cost per wear.

February:  Because of Valentine’s Day, February is the best time to find a deal on fine jewelry.  Buy as a gift, or for yourself.  Either way, you’ll get it at a great price.

March:  Its spring break time – and a great time to but new luggage.  Nowadays there are so many great features available for suitcases so if you are considering a new piece or two, buy them now.

April:  Spring cleaning is in full swing and that makes April the best time to shop your local consignment shops.  With a little work you can find a gem at a very reasonable price.

May:  The warmer weather is drawing us outside and this is a great time to find a sale on athletic wear.  Up your workout clothes game now.

June:  Not much happening this month, so use it as a chance to save up!

July:  It’s only July, but summer items are already going on sale to make room for fall and back to school items.  Grab warm weather goods while you still have lots of time to wear them.

August:  Right now is your best time to buy a new swimsuit.  Plan ahead for vacations to warm weather destinations and get your suit at a price that has been slashed to make room for fall items.

September:  No one really enjoys Daylight Savings Time in the fall, but one perk is that sunglasses are on sale in September.  Remember that even during the cool months you should protect your sight with sunglasses.

October:  The back to school shopping rush has come to an end but this is a great time to stock up on jeans.  Denim is a staple for many of us and you can get a pair for cheap during October.

November:  Lots of things can be found at great prices in November.  Thanks to black Friday and cyber Monday sales you can find many luxury items at reduced prices.  Also keep an eye out for sneaker sales since retailers need to move them out to make room for winter boots.

December:  Even though winter doesn’t officially start until December 21, you can already find sales on outerwear in December since retailers are making room for new spring inventory.

Keep this shopping calendar in mind as a great way to get more bang for your buck and stretch your clothing budget.  Happy Shopping!

Spring Style Refresh

Spring Style Refresh

Spring is here!  This time of year is so lovely with the longer days, grass greening up and signs of new life everywhere.  It makes me want to start fresh!  One area to start fresh in is your wardrobe.  This is important –and fun!  Here are four steps for a successful Spring Style Refresh.

  1.  You’ve got to start with a clean closet. Include your closet with your other household spring cleaning. And do a deep clean – the closet, the sock drawer, all of it.  Doing this is the best way to see what you have and what else you may need.  Check out this blog for more on closets.
  2. Get inspired for spring. Flip through magazines and check out Pintrest to see what spring styles and colors you are drawn to.  Set time aside to do some research to figure out what you love and how you can use it to represent you.
  3. Once you’ve done a deep clean on your closet and your inspiration research, you are ready to hit the mall (or website!). You know what you need – and you know what you love – so you can shop on purpose.  Use intention when picking up a new outfit or spring accessories.
  4. Now you’re organized, inspired & armed with a few new spring pieces so you can begin creating new and updated outfits. A great tip is to bring your phone or laptop into your closet so you can pull up those Pintrest boards to be reminded about what styles catch your eye.  Work with the pieces you have to recreate those looks in a way that is true to you.  Get creative and try new combinations.  You will be pleasantly surprised what gems you will find.

Give this a try – both you and your style will be refreshed and ready for spring!