You either love them or hate them, but either way we have to wear them.  If you show up at the lake or pool wearing jeans and a tee you will feel more self-conscious and uncomfortable than if you were in a swimsuit.  So, let’s talk fit & style, color and needed extras.

First off, accept the shape you have and choose a style that flatters it.  Using the BOD-X system, here are my recommendations for finding your suit.  Check out this blog to find out where you are in the BOD-X system.

B:  Shearing and rushing work wonders!  Choose a suit with pattern so that the eye has a lot to look at.  A halter top style is very flattering for you.

O:  The top requirements are Lycra for support and a well-fitting bra.  V-neck styles will work well to accommodate your bust, just be sure it isn’t too revealing

D:  Choose a pattern on top (horizontal stripes would be great) and wide straps on your suit to broaden the look of your shoulders.  A skirted suit is a good option, just be sure the skirt doesn’t fall on the widest part of your thigh.

X:  With your balanced body shape, anything goes.  Pick something that matches your style and fits well.

Before you go shopping for your new suit, it’s a good idea to try on your current swimsuit and see what you like and what you don’t.  When you’re at the store, be sure to go to the dressing room with as many options as possible so that you don’t have to keep getting dressed to get more.  Bend over and move around a lot to see how the suit moves and feels.  Remember, when working with swimsuits you generally need to go up a size.

One of the best things you can find in your new suit is a stunning color.  It brings life to your face and brings the focus to the gorgeous YOU!  Here are the colors that work best for each Color Code:

  • Warm: Orange, Gray, Leopard Print
  • Cool: Bright Pink, Blue
  • Deep: Black, Leopard, Plum, Deep Green
  • Light: Yellow, Light Pink
  • Clear: Black/White, Red/White
  • Soft: Medium Teal, Medium Blue, Medium Peach

Your swimsuit is only the first part of looking your best for a day in the sun.  You also want a cover-up that makes you feel pretty and confident, a great sun hat in a color that coordinates with your hair color, sunglasses that fit your face shape and personality, and a fun beach bag and towel.

Now go out there and have the time of your life this summer!

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

Diamonds Really Are a Girl’s Best Friend

It’s heating 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 in the center or upper half of the diamonds in your legs.  The diamonds are the natural openings in your legs and you want the hem to fall in the top of your diamonds.

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 in the center or upper part of the 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.  (c) All rights reserved.

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)!



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

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.

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

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!

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

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!

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