Akron Life - January 2011

Fashion Sense

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What’s Your style / It’s not about following trends — it’s about knowing and understanding who you are. Who has a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear?Who had three or more outfits on before they left the house this morning? Who spends too much money on clothes? Lots of hands go up every time we’re in a room with a group of women and ask these questions. We’re Susan Luc and Betsy Tabatcher, coowners of Shop Your Closet. We do style consulting, wardrobe planning and personal shopping — and we’re reformed shop-aholics!After working together in the retail industry and watching women spend tons of money on clothes (while doing the same ourselves), we began to feel there had to be a better way. Figuring out how to help women shop less, spend less, look better and feel fabulous became our new passion. And that’s our goal here in this new department: to help you find your great style. Ready? Then let’s get started… There are three keys to having great style: understanding your body type, identifying your personal style and knowing your lifestyle. 1. Understanding your body type means getting real about yourself. (We all know the good and bad about our own bodies.)And think about where you are today, not where you will be when you lose 10 pounds.Know what you love about your features, and then figure out how to dress accordingly. And be realistic about your size and your age! Body types include Curvy, Petite, Tall, Pear-Shaped, Apple-Shaped, etc. For example, our client Katie was in her mid- 40s, yet looked like she was stealing clothes from her grandmother’s closet — and not the good vintage stuff either! Katie is curvy, so she really needed to find her waist and fall in love with it. We helped get her out of the oversized Oversized, shapeless pieces and into more tailored ones, like great-fitting trouser-style jeans that accentuate her waistline while minimizing her bottom line. Dressing for her body type showed off her figure, and she went from an apple-dumpling to a sleek, young professional. 2. What’s your personal style? Are you a Romantic? Classic? Trendy? Casual?Think about who you are. Have you ever thought about your style? Do you even have a style? If you don’t know what your personal style is, check out what other people are wearing, what you see in magazines and catalogs, look on the web, or read some style books.Ask yourself: How do I want to look? Take our client Beth. She just turned 30 and worked in a corporate setting with many people nearly twice her age, so she felt she needed a classic style of suits, twinsets and pumps. In reality, she was 30 going on 60!We were able to help her discover her real style. We showed her how to break up her suits, ditch the shells from the cardigans, and mixed it all up with skinny jeans for casual days and sleek black pants for work. She was able to stay true to her classic personal style, while updating her look and adding appropriate trends. 3. Lifestyle is where the rubber meets the road. Be realistic. You might like what you see on models in magazines, but they aren’t running to the grocery store or trying to chase after kids in six-inch heels. Maybe you have a casual lifestyle that leaves room to dress up on the weekends. Or, you have a classic style for the office, but can be trendy on the weekends. Think about what works for you. Take our client Laura, a young professional.After having kids and surviving a corporate takeover, she was given the option to work from home, which she took advantage of. But she called us right away because she didn’t want to fall into the “T-shirt and sweatpants” rut. While working from home, she’d still be running errands, taking the kids to school and stopping at the office. She needed a new casual wardrobe that was polished — but fun. We remixed her blazers with tees and added chunky cardigans with jeans tucked into Hunter Wellies. Skirts, tights and ballet flats also lend themselves well to her new lifestyle. And by throwing on a beautiful wool coat and scarf, she can dash into the office and look great. So how do you start? Spend time analyzing your style and wardrobe. By making sure you have all the right pieces, the stress of “what do I wear today (and every day)?” will be gone. And we’ll help you get there. Writers Susan Luc and Betsy Tabatcher are coowners of Shop Your Closet. They do style consulting, wardrobe planning and personal shopping.You can contact them at 330-322-3611. Comments? E-mail editor Georgina K. Carson at gcarson@bakermediagroup.com. To show you how the three elements of great style translate to real people, we’re using ourselves as examples. While we each have different body types and styles, we have similar pieces in our wardrobes that can be worked according to our own body type, personal style and lifestyle. Betsy’s body type is tall and slim, her personal style is sophisticated classic with trendy tendencies, and her lifestyle is fabulous. She’s co-owner of Shop Your Closet, works from home and has been married for six years. The White Blouse – a long, tunic style (Brooks Brothers). She can wear this look because she’s tall and slim. The Accessories – wide patent belt (Ann taylor) and cuff bracelet (Gerri’s Closet).Betsy can wear a wide belt because she’s long-waisted, and it helps define her shape. The Jeans – skinny and dark (Loft). Jeans should always be dark because lightness around the hips and thighs adds volume to the body. The Bag – hobo (Cole Haan).A hobo is a classic, wear-witheverything bag that takes her from day to night. The Shoes – 4-inch highheel shoe booties (Ralph Lauren) bring some edge to her style. Susan’s body type is petite and curvy, her personal style is classic and age appropriate, and her lifestyle is fabulous. She’s co-owner of Shop Your Closet, works from home and has been married a long time, with two wonderful kids. The White Blouse – classic and tailored (Brooks Brothers). Susan is petite, so a shorter, more classic style blouse works with her look. And it’s age appropriate. The Accessories – pearls and pashmina (Fashion Jewelry Superstore).Susan’s style is classic, and there’s nothing more classic than pearls. The Jeans – slim and dark (talbots). A slim leg style of jean gives her the “skinny” look without being too trendy. The Shoes – classic patent penny loafers (Cole Haan). Penny loafers are good for Susan because she prefers a flat shoe. And they never go out of style!

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