Friday, January 28, 2011

Shades of Red

Did you read my blog on why wearing red on dates is a great tip? Great to know, but red can feel a bit tricky. A little can go a long way with this dynamic colour, while a lot can either excite or intimidate. Striking the right balance means knowing how to wear it and knowing what red is right for you.

How to Wear Red
Red can evoke excitement, power, attraction, mystery, and desirability. Here's a few tips on how to evoke the right emotion in the right context:

First Date?
My Ladies: Try a red top or red accessories to bring attention up to your face. While a matte red lip can be sexy and attention-grabbing, it can also be intimidating and untouchable. Save this for another time. For a first date go with a naturally-glossy, transparent red lip instead.

My Guys: A solid red button-down is too much of a good thing. Choose a button-down with a red stripe or pattern for the best effect. A patterned shirt with a deep red cashmere sweater over it? This could be a great choice. The key is to break up the block of color for interest. It's all in the details!

Big Presentation?
My Ladies: Red accents, like a silk scarf, brooch, work bag, belt and/or shoe are all great choices to bring subtle power to your presentation. More red works too: a solid or patterned sheath dress are great choices especially when paired with grounding neutrals like black, grey or tan. A more intense red lip can work too, bringing attention to the delivery of your message!

My Guys: Strong red accents are great for you too. A solid or patterned red silk tie is always a winner, especially combined with a coordinating patterned dress shirt. Oxblood leather accessories (belt and shoes) are another subtle detail that create a sophisticated work look, and they're a fun change with black, grey and navy dress pants.

Formal Event?
My Ladies: Remember Julia Roberts in that quintessential scene in Pretty Woman? How about Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face? Now is the best time for head-to-toe red!

My Guys: Now is the time for subtlety. A red patterned pocket square and/or tie are the most appropriate uses for this bold colour.

Which red is right?
From true red, to vermillion, carnelian, carmine, sangria, burgundy and persimmon, there are lots of varieties of this challenging colour to tempt your palette and one will be great for you!

Experiment with different shades to see which reds make your skin pop, your teeth appear whiter, and your cheeks glow from within. Does the colour make YOU stand out? Or do you see the colour first? We definitely want to see more of YOU!
Just like all colours, there is a shade for you and a way to wear it that will make you look and feel your very best. Not sure what shade of red is best for you? A Colour Analysis will determine your best palette.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gonna Dress You Up in My Love...

Love is in the air...everywhere you look around....

In fact, while I was shopping at Holt Renfrew on the weekend I was gifted with a red foil wrapped heart shaped chocolate by a cupid-patterned boxer short and red feather wing wearing model and his red bodysuited & tutued assistant. It may not have been love, but it was lovely none-the-less.
It got my brain whirring....After all, as Holt's red clad staff subtly pointed out: Valentine's Day is just around the corner! Whether you're in a relationship or committing yourself to new dates and new love, what you wear on a date can increase your success in holding, or increasing, the interest of the apple of your eye.

Chris DeBurg was on to something with his song 'Lady in Red'. If you're asking yourself "Tamara, are you serious?" Oh yes, I am! And so are Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta, of the University of Rochester. Their studies show that in the context of dating women who wear red:
  1. Effortlessly draw their male companion to sit closer to them and ask them more intimate questions
  2. Are seen as more attractive and and desirable
  3. Are Treated to a higher quality/more expensive date
The best part is that the 'red factor,' in the context of dating, works both ways! Other findings by Elliot and Niesta conclude that women find men who wear red to be:
  1. More powerful
  2. More high-status
Really! Take a look at this clip of Prof. Elliot talking about their study findings.

As I always say: the more strings on your bow, the better! With this positive start, you can feel confident in letting your personality shine even brighter when you're out on that date.
So if you're looking for love, instead of giving a cynical snort, respond with a resounding "YES!" the next time someone asks you if you'll be donning red for Valentine's Day!

I'm glad we got that covered because with the right colour, we're part of the way there. Want to know how to wear red or what to wear on a date? Contact me! I'd love to help you get confidence boosting looks ready for your next date!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What Does a Image Consultant Pack for Vacation?

I think we can agree that it's been a wild winter this year, can't we? So, not to rub it in, but I'm headed for vacation next week to sunny Miami and I can't wait! The stresses of customs combined with the lengthy waits at the baggage claim have made me decide to pack for this 7 day trip in a carry-on.

You've seen me pack in a carry-on for a business trip with the Report on Business, now I'm going to apply the same techniques when packing for a week of fun.

My trip is a City Vacation, and it will be hot during the days and cool at night. While we will definitely hit the beach & the pool, it's not a 'lay on the beach and rotate every 45 min' kind of trip. There will shopping & wandering (hello Miami Deco & Versace's Mansion!), dinners & evenings out (salsa dancing I hope!), and even gym-going....I know.

This kind of trip seems to require a lot of different kinds of clothing for difference kinds of activities but, done strategically, you can still be properly attired with lots of variety and YES: make it all into a carry-on bag.

I don't think I've ever done this before, but I'm going to share MY OWN wardrobe pieces with you right now. Ready? Here's what I'm bringing to Miami (outside of cosmetics, workout gear & socks/personals):
Steel Blue Stretch Cotton V-Neck T, Charcoal Grey Easy-Fit Tank, Mauve Matte Silk Jersey Asymmetrical Top, Steel Blue & Cream Floral Bustier

Charcoal Grey Cropped Skinny Pant, Dark Indigo Flare Jeans, Cream Self-Belt City Short
Mashable-Packable Multi-Coloured Strapless Day Dress, Steel Blue Matte Jersey Off-The-Shoulder Dress
Steel Blue Linen Blazer, Coral Pink Linen V-Neck Sweater
Chambray Tunic/Cover-Up, Green/Turquoise/Coral Pink Paisley Bikini, Turquoise Bikini
Nude Heels, Brown Wedge Sandals, Charcoal Grey Shimmery Thongs, Deep Purple Scarf, Brown Leather Shoulder Bag, Shell Coloured Shimmery Suede Clutch, Brown Wide Belt, Gas-Spill Metallic Twist 'n Tie Belt

And yes, it all fits in a carry-on! There's even enough room for a travel companion...sorry Minouchka, not this time!

What I love about this capsule: 1) The colour palette mixes a constant neutral (Charcoal Grey) with 4 flattering colours (denim blue, mauve, steel blue, and coral pink) that work well in warm weather, 2) The fabrics mix well together and for different levels of dress because they are light weight, smooth textured, and 3) Every piece does multiple duties so there's lots of bang for buck!

So where's the work out gear? I put it into my gym bag of course! This Lug Puddle Jumper also makes a perfect tote bag for travel. Lots of compartments and a tonne of internal space, I fit in two sets of workout gear, gym shoes, weight gloves, my laptop, iPod & earphones, and a slew of other odds & ends for the plane ride (like my laptop, trail mix & kale chips).
Ooh! One last tip: I choose to wear some of the heartier clothing on the plane so it doesn't take up valuable packing space. My 'travel outfit' will be the jeans with the chambray tunic, the jacket, accessorized with the platform shoes (with cute crochet sockettes for the Toronto portion), wide belt, large brown purse, and purple scarf. Upon arrival I can peel a layer or two off and feel perfectly suited for the Miami warmth!

Play with this capsule! I bet you can think up far more than just a week's worth of outfits here! And I'll show you some of the combos I wore when I return!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Get Dressed UP When You're Feeling Down!

Get Dressed UP When You Feel Down!

This year, January 17th has the dubious honour of being 'Blue Monday', known as the most depressing day of the year. If you woke up with that 'down' feeling today, now you'll know why!

There's an neat calculation that identifies this day and pseudo-science/marketing ploy or not, I'd love to focus on how to face a dreary day with as much gusto and happiness as you can muster!

Tamara's Top 5 Tips for Dressing Up When You're Feeling Down

1. Choose colour - for yourself and for others!
Reds evoke activeness, positivity and energy, add a little to your outfit to coax an outgoing attitude.
Oranges a dose of wardrobe vitamin C! Known as a bright, fun, and conversational, a touch of orange may help promote social feelings and feelings of excitement.
Yellows The colour of spontaneity, yellows appeal as cheerful, warm, and inspired.
Purples inspire creativity, drama and draw people in. Use it to bring out your charm and allure!
2. Get Tactile
Choose fabrics that feel good on the skin give yourself a light touch every time you move and may give those around around you a cue to 'be nice'. There's nothing like super soft cottons, silks or cashmere to give you a bit of a lift. They feel luxurious, special and comforting - all great mood boosters!
3. Go To Your Go-Tos
Today's the perfect day for your no-fail outfit, the one that fits to a T and is complete with the right accessories. What could be better than setting yourself up for confidence boosting compliments?
4. Get Grooming!
Today's the day to put a little extra effort in making it a great hair day, and having your favourite cosmetics in place - even if that's just a little moisturizer and chapstick.
5. Put on a SMILE!
You're never fully dressed without it, and nothing does more to increase your face value ;) (how could I resist)

Kind of like going to the gym is normally the best thing you can do to fight lack of motivation, putting a little extra effort in your wardrobe routine goes a long way to combatting those 'I just don't wanna' feelings. Use these tips and you'll start to feel happy in no time!

Want to learn more about how to dress happy? Check out our services!

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Favourite Jeans - A Love Story & Anniversary Message!

It happened in the Autumn of 2000. I was working at Mendocino in Toronto when we received our first shipment of the line of jeans that would change the way we all see denim. What was once an every day item would become a luxury status symbol. We received 7 for All Mankind denim, as far as I know, they were amongst the first 7s to be carried in Toronto!

Uniquely verigated, fine but sturdy 100% cotton denim, strategically faded, gently whiskered for a natural looking wear, and with their (at the time) signature faded 'crease' down the front of the leg, as soon as I put them on, I was hooked. My bootcut 7s went everywhere with me: my move to Australia (they'd never seen anything like them), various vacations, all manner of occasions. They fit my body shape perfectly, and suited almost every lifestyle demand I could place on a pair of jeans.

After 3.5 years of denim bliss, and a gradual move from 'dressy' to 'casual' to 'weekend' wardrobe, the first tear happened. The horror! From that point on, I patched and repaired my beloved 7s so many times that they're hanging on by the patches themselves. It has been years since I was able to wear them yet pair of jeans remains tucked away in my special memorabilia box, reserved for things like high school yearbooks, photos of childhood friends & past loves. (Even Image Consultants aren't immune to clothing-sentimentality!)

As many pairs of beautiful denim as I have had since then, I have never had the same affection as I had for those, my perfect jeans.

This past November, 7 for All Mankind celebrated it's 10th Anniversary! Happy Anniversary, Sevens! And please, if you decide to bring back style U0775019U-G, in it's classic execution, be in touch. I know an Image Consultant in Toronto who desperately needs another pair!