September 16, 2008
I can guarantee you that in the next year you will need to dress up at least once, and you’ll need something that makes you shine. It’s a given.
Then if it’s a given, let’s take a look at your typical routine.
* Notice comes in the mail or email.
* You accept.
* Put off purchasing the gown.
* Last minute you drive around town looking for the right item complaining that there is nothing that fits or works.
* You come to hate the shopping experience and ultimately end up with a gown that’s OK but not what you wished you’d be wearing.
* Your closet now has an item you won’t throw out, and yet it’s not you.
* Event comes and you look wonderful yet in the back of your mind you think of the whole experience as bad.
So let’s change the routine.
* You’re visiting friends in a major city and you stop in to a major name to just check out the merchandise. No worries, just looking for something on sale/discounted/fashionable what ever your need. You find an item you like, however, it’s not killer. You pass.
* It’s a Saturday and you’re having coffee with your friends down in the boutique store area of your home town, and you leave a few extra minutes to browse the shops. In the back of your mind you are looking for the next fashionable outfit you can wear to the typical events you get invited to attend: dinner, wedding, anniversary, banquet, etc. You find an item, but it’s too large and yet it could be altered. You pass.
* A month later, while driving with your friends you ask if you could have 20 minutes to stop in the mall to check out some merchandise. You put on a dress, and it works perfectly. Still needs a little altering, however, the color is in your color pallet, the length makes you look stylish and still sexy. It’s yours.
* You get the item tailored.
* An invitation arrives in the mail and you accept knowing that you already have the perfect item.
* When you arrive, you’re turning heads including your date’s/husband’s and anyone else’s in the room.
* A big fat YES!
I know you’re now thinking who has time for all this. Well you do. You do it already, just in a different format. Stressed, worried, anxious you travel around from store to store wishing you could find the perfect item. Then you spend whatever is necessary, even if out of budget. Mind you I’m not forgetting shoes, and accessories. This could really throw you a curve ball.
In my scenario you actually save time and money and your wits.
Case in point. When I travel to NYC, I often pick a store or two to visit knowing that I may walk out empty handed. Which I often do. This past week I spent about an hour walking the floor in the suits area and the young men’s clothing area.
I tried on several sports coats and then found a jacket marked down from $495 to $69.00 The guy in the shop said, “This is a no brainer.” He was right. In fact, if I only wore it once, it would be worth the price.
I then scanned the suit section looking for specific style and characteristics. Then I tried on about 12 items, most did not fit as they were too long or just the wrong cut. One item was killer. A steal. A Zenga tone-on-tone suit marked down to an unreal $499. Zenga suits sell for $2000. I tried it on and it fit. European cut, two button and flat front, a must, with pants that are not all baggy.
(f you don’t know a suit for a man can run from a Men’s Warehouse at $200 to A Brioni for $9000, so in the world of men’s suits, $400-800 for a quality suit is not out of range.)
Both the jacket and the suit need tailoring on the sleeves, hem and the jacket a little on the back. Both items are hanging near the back door of our home for me to take to the tailor….no rush. I purchased for a future need and not a current need. When I arrive at the tailor, I don’t need to ask for the item in two days; I can easily fit into the normal tailoring time.
Did I need the items right that moment? No. But by purchasing in preparation and not in desperation I found an item I absolutely love and will wear over and over again.
Ironically we received a wedding invitation just after I returned … guess what I wore?
* Outfit from http:www.threadsocial.com
September 11, 2008
You can look at this video and think, “See, it’s impossible to look like these models.” or you can say, “What can I take away from this video to improve how I look while being real about myself. ”
- The right make-up can do miraculous things.
- Eyes, nose, cheeks, brows, and lips can all be altered with simple techniques.
- You need the right hair cut and the right person to show you how to do your hair.
- You can’t change your base without either surgery or Photoshop.
- This imagery, in your life time, is not going to disappear
What’s even funnier is that with all this, women perpetuate this movement more than men. Women buy the magazines. They shop in stores that promote the looks and many women compare themselves to the models.
What’s even more ironic is that men love everyday women. Men are always looking for everyday women, the court them, marry them, have children with them, grow old with them, and love them to pieces. While the only place to see models is in magazines, movies, and television.
What men like to do is see a woman, no matter what weight or height, take care of themselves in a way that makes them look good.
This means you can learn from these images but still maintain your own personal identity. Stand up straight, wear the right bra, walk with your feet straight and not pointed out, flaunt your intellectual and physical traits, put on a nice outfit and YOU will have men looking. Married, single, divorced, young, old.
The knowledge that men are with everyday women means that you won’t forget that men are looking in the grocery store, at the coffee shop, book store, amusement park, the mall, or even when you go out camping.
September 9, 2008
There’s a great scene in one of my favorite movies, Pretty Woman, where Julia Roberts returns to the store where the “help” insulted and degraded Julia earlier on in the movie. She then asks the sales person if she worked on commission, to which Roberts’ character replies, “Big mistake,” as she leaves with bags of expensive merchandise.
While the story is well noted and reports show that retail help is going down hill, “Last year, the Retail Customer Dissatisfaction Study — conducted by consultancy firm Verde Group and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School — found that nearly a third of consumers can’t find a salesperson when they shop. And of the shoppers who do locate a clerk, 25% report that they get completely ignored. Pushy and insincere sales staff were cited as problems, too.” LA Times Blog
Of course this depends on the store you visit, and I’m not referencing price here. It’s the type of store you visit that makes all the difference. Great stores have employees that are truly there to serve and management pushes the effort to help. (I’ve recently noticed that at Home Depot more employees are saying hello than ever, and I believe it’s due to the new CEO and their push against rival Lowes.)
Now the tip. Don’t feel bad asking your salesperson to go into the back room to get another size or color. That’s their job and in many cases what you really need IS in the back room and the few trips means you end up with comfort and style.
That said, if you really think they are there for your best interest, you might be mistaken. Employees don’t know your pocket book nor do they know your closet. In fact, if you asked for the store all wrapped up, they would do it for you. Have you ever heard someone say, “No, leave the store. You’ve already selected too many items?” So when it comes to making them work, let them do their job while you pay attention to shopping.
Make good use of the help while shopping – Tip #20 One request, please be kind to the sales people. It’s tough to stand all day on a concrete floor. The carpeting or wood flooring only helps a little. A little kindness goes a long way.
July 10, 2008
You’ve seen it. I’ve seen it.
Women who are looking to purchase a garment who are up on their toes in the attempt to get the look they would achieve while wearing a heel.
Here’s the tip. It does not work!
First off, your body is in a different position when you are on your toes versus in heels. This means that the garment will fall differently. Sure you can get the gist of what the item may look like, but there’s a difference between thinking it will work and knowing.
While shopping for a leather skirt, a young lady got up on her toes to see how the garment shaped her body. In the mirror, the skirt did not work and even from my perspective, the skirt was wrong.
I asked the saleswoman if she had shoes for patrons. She produced a pair immediately. The minute the shoes were put on, the shopper’s stature changed and the garment worked. What a surprise moment.
To take this a step further, shoes themselves are art and impact the way we see a garment. Color, shape, size all contribute to the package.
The lesson: Either bring shoes or borrow shoes, just don’t think it’s OK to try on clothing without the right tools.
Caveat: Some people have a skill beyond normal when it comes to envisioning the invisible. A quality interior decorator or an architect are prime examples. But for the most part, most people can’t do it well enough to insure they’ve made the right choice.
July 8, 2008
Tina offered a great tip the other day on the right way to condition your hair.
Here’s what she recommends. Even though it takes a few extra seconds, after you wash your hair, and before you put in your conditioner, towel dry your hair. Yes, stop and give it a once over. What’s happening is that by pulling out the moisture, the conditioner can now penetrate the shaft and perform its magic. This step will help you avoid that slick coat feeling you get when you add conditioner to wet hair.
Lorrie tried it…and it works!
July 2, 2008
Oh, is someone upset that I mentioned a beauty “contest?” Or is the reference to Hooters even worse?
Don’t be. There’s a point to this that affects women. Read on.
While my wife, Lorrie, was flipping through channels on the television one evening, she stopped on the 2008 Miss Hooters Contest for just a few minutes as they ran through the final swimsuit contestants. Next up was the selection of the final 10 contenders from a pool of about 129.
Now here’s the incredible part; from what we could see, at least 8 of the woman had natural breasts! Normal shaped, smaller, average breasts. They were selected by a group of about 10 men. The other two finalists were smaller in size, and if they did have breast work, we could not tell. Of the initial group of 129 women, a sizable number of girls had had some type of enhancements.
So next time you feel that being natural is a disadvantage, don’t. Guys see a complete package and so should you….brains included!
June 30, 2008
How does the back of your head look? Does it look finished, smooth, managed? Or does it look like you spend most of the time on the front of your body and not the back.
A few pointers.
- People do look at the back of your head, so if need be, get a mirror to see what’s going on.
- Some people think it’s okay not to wash their hair or shower every day. For most, this is a definite mistake. Fluff that mane all you want, chances are you still have bed head…and it’s in the spot you’d least likely notice it…the back of your head. Add to that the odor (that you may not notice, because you’re used to your own scent) that steams off your head and possibly offends others. Take the time to shower and clean up; people who don’t aren’t fooling anyone.
- If you feel that this will damage your hair, look at alternatives to always blowing drying it.
- Don’t pull your hair forward if you’ve got long hair. It makes your hair in the back look like it’s got a part down the center. Your hair is supposed to flow down the back and over your shoulders.
The other day I sat behind a woman who obviously had hair extensions. I guess she liked the length but did not consider what the rest of her head looked like. At first, I thought she had bugs in her hair. Then after a closer look, I realized all the metal clips were showing. (See above photo.)
A few minutes could do wonders.
June 27, 2008
Julie asked me this question after the last posting on bras, and since I’ve had at a ton of emails asking the same question, I thought I’d move this to the front page.
Let me first give you the name and location of the #1 place to get a bra fitting in the US. It’s The Town Shop in NYC. They’ve literally worked with hundreds of thousands of woman since Samuel Koch opened the store in 1888. This is my first choice, and when women travel to learn how to shop with me in NYC, this is where we go.
Their address is
2273 Broadway (between 81st/82nd Sts.)
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 787–2762
The question I know you’re now asking is, “If I’m not going to be visiting New York City in the near future, what do I do?”
A more challenging question than you might believe given that I’ve witnessed some pretty pathetic attempts by other retailers to deliver the same quality fit.
So here are some choices.
#1 Try to do it yourself. Not the best approach but a start.
Start by tightly measuring yourself under your breast.
Then measure around your fullest part of your breast to get your cup size.
Calculate the difference, and if the difference is:
1″ you are an A cup
2″ you are an B cup
3″ you are a C cup
4″ you are a D cup
5″ you are a DD cup
6″ you are a DDD cup
You can already guess this is not the best technique, because each woman’s body and breast shape is different.
#2 You can try another store in your area such as Nordstrom’s or Saks. If these are not available, you could also try JC Penny’s or Macy’s as second tier.
Lastly, I would avoid using Victoria’s secret for your fitting. The staff are not well trained, their bra selection is limited, and the quality of bras offered does not compare to what is used in stores such as The Town Shop. Once you have the fitting, you can then shop where you’d like to shop with the new information and a feel for what fits right.
June 26, 2008
The next time you’re making choices about your skirt or dress length, throw out the rule that as you get older you need to go longer. Take a look at what you’re wearing and make your own choices. If you don’t like the condition of your legs, hosiery can cover a host of “evils,” so dress length doesn’t have to be your sole solution.
June 24, 2008
One suggestion I always advise women to do is to try to put on just one “attention grabber” when you get ready for the day.
What’s an attention grabber (or the ONE ITEM)? It’s that one item that stands out yet fits right in with everything else you’re wearing: a great broach, necklace, bangle, belt, shoe, hair piece, earring, dress, skirt, hat, etc. It could be your lipstick or your hair. It’s something that forces others’ eyes to gravitate to a particular item or in a certain direction. (I don’t consider a body part to be a one item.) It also could be something done in a certain combination that with other clothing is not the ONE ITEM but it is with a different combination.
Now I know you’re thinking, “I always try to find something that makes me look good.” No, I’m saying the ONE ITEM is your attention getter. It draws attention from other parts of your body to this one point where others will either take notice or comment. (Don’t confuse one item with two items or three items. It’s too much.)
I’ve seen necklaces capture the heart of an entire image, like a pair of shoes that just are so elegant that even a man will take notice. Lorrie has a pair of brownish shoes with fine silver stripes that always get at least one man to comment while the ladies also take notice. I take notice!
Madison Avenue marketing knows this. A great ad for a product pushes the eyes of the buyer towards the one item that’s being highlighted. Open up More, Self, or any other publication, and you’ll see the thought that went into the ONE ITEM.
You probably already have this in your closet or drawer. I’d also suggest that when you’re shopping in the future, you start looking for these items. Remember, “Buy In Preparation, Not Desperation.”
While outside of San Diego, I walked a community flea market of art and jewelery and finally selected a hand-made glass pendant out of hundreds. The cost was only a few dollars, because it did not come out perfect for the artist. When I showed the other women I was with at the event, they all wanted me to help them find one just like it. I did not buy anything else. I had found the ONE ITEM. (Lorrie put it on today with a black scoop neck top. Killer!)
So the next time you get dressed, ask yourself, “What is my ONE ITEM attention grabber?” If you don’t see one, go back and find something, and I’ll bet your day will be different.
NOTE: This tip is not about shorts that ride up to show the cheek of your backside, garments that let your chest hang out, and clothing that puts you on the fringe of the style you’ve selected. (If you like a Gothic look then you should try to have ONE GOTHIC ITEM that makes you stand out in this style.) This is about one item that no matter what your style, it’s still a great addition to the outfit.