“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
~ Marianne Williamson
Are you wondering how this quote relates to the power of color in your wardrobe? First, how you present yourself is how you ask the world to perceive you. Other’s perception of you, starts most intrinsically with your wardrobe and your confidence (often, they go hand in hand!).
Second, color influences mood and perception. Think about it. How do you feel when you wear all black? How do people respond to you? How about when you wear your favorite purple top? Your reaction is a lot stronger and you get so many more compliments, don’t you? We naturally gravitate to certain colors because we can instantly see and feel the difference as soon as we put it on. We see our complexion miraculously improve and our shoulders pull up a little straighter. Once you recognize this, make a mental note on how a color makes you feel (or, if you need to, write it down).
Incorporating color into your wardrobe and your brand image
Think about how much color you have in your wardrobe. Is there any one color that really dominates? Possibly two? Well, then you’ve already subconsciously chosen what I like to call your “Power Color” -- The color that brings out the best in you – your complexion, your personality and, thus, how others perceive you.
Since your image is your brand, take the following into consideration when preparing for a presentation, meeting or even just a hot date:
How people perceive you results from a combination of how the color makes you look and feel as well as how the color itself is perceived. So, you need to take all of these into consideration when identifying your power color as well. Remember this for when you’re shopping, needing a mood boost, and when you’re preparing for a presentation. Don’t hide behind black!
Are you ready to shine?
Lately, one of my favorite trends is one that calls out to my inner rocker chick: studs, spikes and hardware embellishments. This trend has been spotted on the runway, on fashion-savvy celebrities and featured on some of my favorite fashion blogs. Studs are a great way to add an unexpected edge and subtle glam to your look.
This season, studs are making their way from leather boots and jackets, to sweaters, blouses, skirts, dresses and bags. The modern studded and spiked pieces are being paired with feminine pieces: flowy and oversized tops, pastel colors and combined with a hint of sparkle. Spikes and studs are also showing up in statement jewelry, including bangles, rings, and necklaces, which can add an edge to a casual look or flirty dress.
You don’t have to leave studs for the rock concert, you can incorporate that new stud piece into every look with a few key ingredients.
At work, you want to keep your studs subtle. Try pairing a modern blazer with a studded lapel or a nice blouse with a studded collar or cuffs. Choose a versatile color that you can wear with a few different pieces in your closet; try a black blouse that you can wear with skirts, trousers or even jeans on the weekend. We loved this white blazer (H&M, $50) with a studded lapel. This is a jacket that you can also wear with a sleek LBD or a more feminine, flowy dress for a date night. Looking for an even more subtle way to bring this trend to work? Try a thin, spiked bangle with your work look, adding a little edge and shine.
Studs can be sexy, so why not incorporate them into your date night look. Date night is a perfect opportunity to break out those studded heels you’ve been too nervous to wear. You can also amp up the glam with a stud and sparkle combo like this clutch (Love Culture, $15). Pair your studs with your favorite dress, or skinny jeans and an embellished tank.
Work in studs into your weekend wear by rocking them with your favorite jeans, leggings, sandals and/or shades. A cool, low-key way to pull off this trend is a studded oversized sweater. Pair your sweater with a pair of skinny jeans and sandals for running errands, brunch or catching a movie. I paired this oversized aqua studded sweater (Forever 21, $25) with white skinny jeans and studded sandals. I added a pop of color with a yellow bag and some oversized sunglasses to keep the look fashion forward. This look could also work with a studded tank or t-shirt.
Shop This Trend
Studs may be on every item in the stores right now, but approach with caution before shelling out big bucks. Buy subtly studded foundation pieces so that you can still wear them when the trend may not be as popular. Retailers like Forever 21, Zara, and H&M have pieces that will keep you on trend without breaking the bank.
After winter hibernation it’s no wonder we’re desperate to show off what we’ve got. As a result, spring brings us some of the most daring looks. To stay ahead of the fashion curve for this new season here are a few items to punch up your look. Whether you’re ready to jump off the deep end with us or just want to add a little flare to your wardrobe, we’ve got it all from Grandma’s best to Batgirl-chic.
Sure it’s not practical but batgirl is a look this spring. Everywhere you turned at the world's fashion weeks this year some waif was being crushed under the weight of her jacket which was supported with nothing more than her shoulders. Wearing proper capes, or draping a coat may not allow for much gesticulation or bodily articulation (Vogue says don’t even think about hugging your friend) but, capes are bold and make a statement of chic power. Thankfully Sunday brunching doesn’t require much movement and thus lends itself perfectly to your cape aspirations. Even newly ordained Pope Francis is embracing the cape trend.
Did you buy colored jeans? Yes. You bought all the colored jeans. Great. Perfect. But now we have a new pants trend. This spring brings us tailored (non-jean) patterned pants. From legging tight Chanel-inspired houndstooth to colorful floral work pants, this item goes day to night as easy as a little black dress. They can be flirty and also, elegantly fun for work. Wear them with flats for a day out shopping or with heels and an oversized blazer for a day at the office.
Steampunk is one of the most eye-catching genres in fashion. Rooted in the Industrial Revolution and revived a century later in Japan’s whimsical world of Gothic Lolita fashion, Steampunk bridges the gap between science, technology, fashion, and fantasy. In a perfect world when Robert Downey, Jr.’s Sherlock and Tim Burton design for Oliver Peoples-For-Target, this is what you would get. In short, Steampunk is the one stop shop for the thinking woman’s fashion revolution. This spring bring your fashion IQ up a notch with these metallic, circular frames.
If Steampunk is too much of a leap for you, you can get a similar edge with another of this Spring’s trends. Rock Glam is hanging around for warmer temps this year. This typically leather-heavy trend is more for winter but who says you can’t wear your bright yellow mini skirt with some studded or buckle-laden heels?
Brocade walks a fine line. It can either say “Look, I’m a walking 200 year old tapestry” or “I must have been aristocracy in another life.” Tread lightly, it is not the easiest thing to take what was probably once the pattern on your grandmother’s living room sofa, and wear it. But if you can - own it!
Items in main photo:
The Oscars are the pinnacle of glamorous red carpet fashion for celebrities, stylists and fashionistas the world over. Days are spent sourcing dresses, struggling through fittings and planning hair and makeup for those precious minutes of flashing lights. So who ended up dazzling us on the 2013 Oscar red carpet? Here were our favorites.
Jessica Chastain in Giorgio Armani
Jessica Chastain is channeling some major Jessica Rabbit mojo in her bronze beaded gown. Her column sheath is structured and fitted to her body like a glove. She completes her look with Old Hollywood big waves and a bold red lip. Her effortless glam look easily earns her a spot on our list.
Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan
Stacy Keibler knows how to work dresses straight from the runway, and this one was no exception. Keibler dazzled in this Naeem Khan gunmetal column halter gown. We were dazzled by the lines of the dress along with the sheer back, paired with her romantic updo and soft makeup.
Charlize Theron in Dior
Dior was well represented on this year’s red carpet, as Charlize Theron also stunned us in a white Dior number. Her embellished peplum, geometric neckline and column skirt wowed, along with her pixie haircut, simple diamond earrings and bling bracelets.
Naomi Watts in Armani Prive
Also rocking some serious bling on the red carpet was Naomi Watts. Her gunmetal sequins, structured bodice and geometric cut out top was perfect with her soft updo and simple accessories.
Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta
The Oscars is the time to go glam. Amy Adams did it right in an Oscar de la Renta silvery-gray princess gown. The bodice was fitted and the skirt flowed with volume. She paired her look with sparkly drop earrings and a soft updo.
Reese Witherspoon in Louis Vuitton
Red carpet veteran Reese Witherspoon kept it classic in a stunning cobalt blue Louis Vuitton gown. We love the structured bodice, bold color, black details and train of her ensemble. Reese also is channeling Old Hollywood goddess with her large waves, simple accessories and neutral makeup.
Halle Berry in Versace
We’re a sucker for sparkle, and Halle Berry brought some serious glitter in her black and white striped Versace number. We are still in awe of her plunging neckline, sheer sleeve and glam smokey eye look.
Kerry Washington in Miu Miu
In a sea of pale palettes and dark metallics, Kerry Washington’s pop of color on the red carpet was refreshing and eye catching. We love her peach sequined bodice and her bright pink-red skirt. Her column skirt was a perfect combination of fitted and flowy, with beautiful details like a train and a belted ribbon.
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior
Jennifer Lawrence made a statement on the Oscar red carpet with her voluminous Dior gown. Her pale pink ensemble had a rounded neckline, fitted dropped bodice and textured skirt. We also love Lawrence’s delicate draped backward necklace, elegant updo and bling drop earrings.
Jennifer Garner in Gucci
Another celebrity who made a bold color choice on the red carpet was Jennifer Garner in a plum Gucci gown. We love the simplicity and fitted front with the tiered ruffles and train of the back. We also love her look paired with a statement necklace and soft updo. Her classic silhouette and beautiful color choice easily earn her a spot on our best dressed list.
If you’re anything like me, the first thing I think about when a man asks me out is, “what in the world am I going to wear?” Made Women are always fly, but the first date outfit should involve a bit more thought and effort than your everyday look-- you want to make a lasting impression!
What you wear on a first date depends on where you are going. Location, location, location. You don’t want to be in an evening gown and end up at Pink’s eating their world famous hotdogs. To avoid having you end up overdressed and quite possibly embarrassed, I have come up with a few date scenarios and outfit choices to keep you dressed appropriately for however you spend your night.
Although I think it’s a terrible idea to go to a movie on a first date, it happens all too often. If you fall victim to a date who can’t think of anything else to do on a first date besides catch the latest flick on the big screen, suggest grabbing coffee after so you can have an actual conversation. You know, to see if you even like the person you’re out with.
For this type of occasion, you can mix a casual pair of jeans with a blazer and a fabulous pair of heels for a polished look. Dark denim is very versatile and can be worn in the day or at night. Boyfriend jeans are also very comfortable and stylish.
Ask your date what type of restaurant you’re going to so you can ensure you’ll be dressed appropriately. (Pink’s, anyone?) Every woman should already have a little black dress in her closet. You can dress it up with a pop of color in your shoes, lip color and bag. On the flipside, a red dress is a sure way to grab your date’s attention and a high slit will give you just the right amount of sex appeal while still keeping it classy. A colorful dress mixed with stocking is a fun, flirty, sophisticated look anyone will love.
I know it may be a bit unconventional to go out to a club or bar on a first date, but you should be prepared for anything these days. Getting dressed to go to the club on a first date may be a bit difficult because you don’t want to look like you’re giving the milk away for free, but you also don’t want to look like Mother Theresa. Show off your curves in a tight mini but pair it with an oversized top to create balance. If you opt for a dress, be sure to either show off your legs or top--but not both.
Remember: you only have one chance to make a first impression. You don’t want to come across as something you’re not, and trying too hard is never cute. The most important thing is to just be yourself! We all want to be comfortable, stylish, classy, fun and--of course—sexy, but please don’t overdo it. You want a man to pay attention to what you have to say….and not stare at your boobs all night.
Someone says, “The office Christmas party is next week!” You think, “Bring on the booze!”…and we have a problem. I really don’t know the origin of this idea that the office Holiday/Christmas party should be a near-orgy, booze fest but I’m pretty sure the cast of Mad Men is to blame. Be that as it may, we don’t all have to succumb to the tequila and free-for-all thinking. In fact, if you play your cards right, this year’s Holiday/Christmas/Kwanzaa party could be a strategic success story for you and your career. I’m here to help you navigate your way through this
minefield party. Watch and learn.
What to Wear
Yes, the hottie from the mail room will be in attendance at the party. But no (please God, no) this does not mean you should wear your hoochie-fied Vegas outfit to get his attention. Keep in mind the other 200 or so guests, some of whom may have the clout to get you a better, higher paying job. That is if you don’t blind them with your cleavage in that itty bitty dress first....
Here are some cute looks suitable for a Holiday/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah party:
Bebe, $69 Bebe, $139
Urban Outfitters, $199 Forever 21, $22.80
How to Drink
So, they have turned the copy room into a wet bar and the free alcohol is flowing…everywhere. You are itching to do a round of shots with Phillip from accounting just ‘cause he dared you to. But before you do that, do me a favor. Close your eyes and envision all the pictures your co-workers are gonna take of you going "Gangnam style" on your boss’s desk once you get blitzed. Envision the embarrassment you are going to feel when HR calls you the next day and asks you to explain the photo copies of your butt, signed by you, and left all over the lunch room. Then think about how you will feel when people tell you that you got on the mic and demanded a raise from your idiot boss. In those words. Now, open your eyes and just say no. Keep it classy with one or two glasses of wine.
How to Dance
Things are getting loose now. The marketing department has taken over the dance floor and are attempting dance moves they saw in a Lady Gaga video. My advice to you is to proceed to the dance floor with caution. If you are a bad dancer your lame gyrations will only make people realize that you are…well, lame. If you are a good dancer but did not heed my warnings above (see “how to drink) you may end up doing a dirty dance with the maintenance guy which will be the talk of the office for weeks. When in doubt, just fall back on the faithful two-step...or go play poker.
How to Network
Now everyone is having a good time. The higher ups are letting their hair down, ties come off, and everyone seems a bit more approachable. Warning: this is all an illusion. No matter how many drinks your boss has had if you guys were not best friends before the Holiday/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Ramadan office party, now is not the time to force the issue. Do not tell embarrassing or overly personal stories. Don’t follow him or her around subtly (or not so subtly) asking for a promotion. Instead, use this time to network among your entire company, meeting new people or talking with those you work with but never had the time to get to know. Introduce yourself to someone you think may be a good mentor. And if you do get some one-on-one time with your boss or someone you think could be beneficial to your career, have your one minute “elevator speech” ready. An elevator speech is a concise, pre-prepared -- but casual -- speech about yourself and what you do that will make you memorable to someone. And as always…have your business cards ready!
Yes, parties for Holiday/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Hanukkah/Ramadan (or whatever you kids celebrate these days) should be fun and are great way to make friends with your co-workers. But never forget that you are still in a work environment. What you do can and will be used against you come Monday morning. If you make the right moves, however, this will not only be a great party…it could shape up to be a great opportunity.
They are as inevitable as the extra calories you will consume: holiday parties. Whether it’s an office work party, a friendsgiving, or a New Years Eve out on the town, they are in full swing as we speak. While I’m sure our resident fitness expert, Christine Kwok, can help you keep your calories in check, I am here to help you figure out what to wear.
Some girls (like yours truly) really love piling on the bling for holiday parties. But for those of you who think too many sequins can be blinding, there are more classic options as well:
Wear a sequined separate if you don’t want to be overwhelmed. A skirt or top paired with solids can add just the right amount of festive. I love these two options: one is a trendy ombre and one is a classic pencil.
For those of you like me who like going bold and mixing trends, you will love this color block sequin dress. Simply throw on a blazer and pumps and you are good to go. No jewelry needed.
Good news, shoe fanatics: you can now wear your sparkle on your feet! If you work in a conservative office environment, simply change into these heels after 5 o’clock and head out, ready to party.
A great alternative (or addition) to any sparkle is a spot of shine. Look to textures to pair with any piece, be it patterns or basics.
This is your classic blazer, except it has a super slick collar done in leather. Wear it with literally anything. Think: the leather jacket, gone formal.
Brocade is trending right now. That means great patterns with great shine. I love the way this shows up on a pant; it’s just the right amount of something special without going overboard.
A skirt or dress in any metallic will be the perfect pick for a party. I like this skirt from ASOS because you can wear it with a strapless bodice or a long sleeved blouse, depending on how flirty you want to look.
Everyone is flocking to the trend of attaching plumes to everything for a festive and flirty look. Give this a try:
The perfect party frock. Black, so it is great for evening, and feathered for the right amount of fun. At $158 it’s extremely affordable too.
If a dress isn’t your thing, choose a fun, ombre feather skirt. This one’s affordable and can work with a blazer or collared shirt.
I am all about a feathered purse. This one from Nordstrom is so fun in red and is under $100, but it looks like it cost so much more!
I think adding feather lashes to an otherwise ordinary outfit is a fashion “do.” I would love to see someone rock these at a New Year’s party.
Sometimes something as simple as a headband can completely elevate an outfit. This feather fascinator is affordable and can be used time and time again. Opt for black or another fun color to veer away from a bridal look.
I love the idea of this bodice. Wear with a pair of skinny jeans, heels and a blazer, and you’ll have a fun, sexy ensemble.
Your outfit is only as good as its accents. Add these into the mix to be even more festive.
I love these tights. You can never go wrong with black tights under a skirt or dress, and the dash of rhinestone is genius.
You may not need to wear gloves the whole evening (this isn’t the 1950s) but with these crystal embellished stunners, you may want to.
If you are absolutely against buying more clothing or buying anything “sparkle motion,” you can just get a statement piece of jewelry. This necklace from Tasha Bib is only $28 and it comes in a variety of colors, so you can match it to any outfit you want to party in!
Whether you want to try a trend or stick to a classic, make sure you wear what is most comfortable for you. When you are most confident, you have the most fun. Happy Holiday dressing!
Ah, yes... We all get a little sad as the heat from the summer sun fades. But fear not, Made Women, that stunning summer wardrobe you purchased doesn’t have to sit in the closet for a whole year. Here are some easy ways to smartly transition summer staples into your fall wardrobe:
Neons & Colors
Brights were in this year, so maybe you bought neon clothes or bright jewelry. Instead of color blocking them for maximum summer impact, pair a bright with a neutral for fall perfection. I love this look:
Instead of wearing sandals everywhere, wear ankle boots or even your rain boots with shorter skirts and dresses.
To the Max-i
Maxi dresses are essential for summer, but you can easily work them into your fall wardrobe by throwing a jacket and scarf over them.
If you have a favorite summer tunic or short dress, you can get more wear out of it by throwing it over jeans or leggings and adding other fall accessories like a great hat. Layering is perfect for tops, too. Add a summer tank under a new fall sweater to keep warm and create visual interest.
If you love the look and feel of holey jeans for summer, consider wearing tights under them for fall. Not only will your legs be warmer, but there will be a cool pop of color or a pattern underneath your denim.
Dress it Up
I love this year’s Alice + Olivia fall campaign. They feature a bunch of dresses that could be good for any season and simply added berets and boots or tights or high socks. Buy a hat and some hosiery and you can transition that favorite summer dress in an unexpected way. Here are some examples:
Going from summer to fall doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to be dull. Try these tips and add some longevity to the summer items you love.
I can’t lie and say I’m some crazy fashion connoisseur, or that I know the name of every high fashion designer. But hey, I can definitely appreciate the art and drama of the runway. I love clothes and hair and makeup; I love seeing an individual’s (or team’s) inspiration turn into a living collection of garments to swoon over. So when I found out I’d have the opportunity to cover Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, hosted in Madrid this year, I was beyond psyched.
I had the opportunity to peruse the showroom floor, all of the sponsors’ booths and the private reception area (free nail polish and Ron Barceló cocktails, anyone?) and caught the colorful, over-the-top Agatha Ruiz de la Prada show. I even had the chance to make it backstage, where the models were getting their hair and makeup done, and receiving last-minute prep before hitting the runway. My inner 7-year-old was excited by the thought of playing dress up.
A week later, I caught a few more shows that were presented by a fairly new organization called EGO. EGO was formed by IFEMA to promote up-and-comers in the Spanish fashion world. It’s a platform for young talent, built to help further fashion in Spain as an artistic discipline; it was created to help infuse the art into the overall culture. But not only does EGO support the art of fashion, it also created a direct selling space that was open on the premises during fashion week. There, these young designers were able to display their collections for sale. A business-woman and entrepreneur at heart, I was intrigued. What an amazing tool for young designers!
Thanks to the help of a new friend, I was able to track down some of the EGO staff, who introduced me to Miss Leyre Valiente. And after seeing her fascinating collection I couldn’t wait to chat with her. I got the inside scoop on the inspiration behind her Chimaera Spring/Summer 2013 show, and the woman behind it.
Her last name alone, Valiente, seemed to set the tone immediately. Valiant, brave and bold are words that describe both her personality and her new collection. In the 27-year-old’s own words, the collection, Chimaera, signifies “the growth of a woman.” Leyre weaved a Sci-Fi narrative through her show as it flowed from nude garments, “like skin, to represent when we’re pure and simple,” to darker pieces, signifying “a dark period, a struggle. We all have many sides—dark and light, like beautiful little monsters.” The struggle against this inner monster culminates in “a breakthrough. It’s like coming into the light.” The range of jewel tones: ruby reds, greens and striking gold combined with the taffeta, leather, silk and organza fabrics paint an image of this creature growing and seemingly taking flight.
I was amazed to hear that Leyre was able to create and execute such intricate patterns with a team of just three young women and a small staff of interns. I found it moving to see her inspiration come to life on the runway, in a narrative that every Made Woman can relate to. Even more, I was excited to see that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and EGO are giving young women like Leyre a spotlight in which to shine and grow their future fashion empires.
To find out more about Leyre, click here.
To find out more about EGO, click here.
We might all love designer clothes and accessories, but very few of us can afford to just take a trip down Rodeo Drive and buy whatever catches our eye. Being just a few years out of college, I don’t quite have a “throw it in the bag” budget. But my starving college student days are over and I want to look like it. That’s why online sample sales are like a godsend to me, and have been since I discovered them three years ago.
Here’s how they work: websites partner with designers to sell their products for a large discount – whether it’s to create exposure, help get rid of overstock at the end of the season, etc. – and then these websites feature select styles from specific designers each day (usually for a brief period of 24-48 hours in length). Sample sale websites require you to become a member; this is free, but ensures designers that the site is “private” and that they are not cheapening their brand by publicly advertising low prices. Sample sale sites will also sometimes require you to have an invite from a current member, so as a bonus for our Made Woman Mag readers I have provided links with already-included invites for my favorite sites below.
There are dozens upon dozens of sample sale sites that have popped up in the last couple of years – covering anything from clothing, to shoes and accessories, to home décor items, to travel. For a full list, I recommend checking out SHEfinds, but here are my 4 personal fashion-focused favorites:
Ideeli is great for clothes, shoes, accessories, home décor items, and everything in-between. What sets it apart from the other sites is that it has a “1st row” membership for $6.99/month (billed annually), which grants you access to the sales an hour early – 8am PST instead of 9am PST. The cool thing is, even if you have a free “2nd row” membership, you can still see all the items going on sale starting at 8am; and you’ll realize how useful this is. Once 9am strikes, you have already had the chance to browse through the items, decide what you want, and are just waiting to click that “add to cart” button. CLICK FOR INVITE LINK
Hautelook is one of the most popular online sample sale sites because it consistently partners with great popular brands for up to 75% off. They also have one of my favorite interfaces. Sales on Hautelook begin at 8am PST every day. CLICK FOR INVITE LINK
Founded in 2007, Gilt was one of the original online sample sale sites. Gilt sales start at 9am PST and feature a whopping 10-20 designers a day, with an average of 40% off. One of the additional perks of Gilt is a flat shipping rate of only $5.95 for all items. CLICK FOR INVITE LINK
Rue La La
Rue La La was also one of the originals, along with Gilt. Lately, it has added a lot more high-end designers – which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your spending range. They also have one of the best phone apps, and really handy notification options on their online calendar. Sales start at 8am PST. CLICK FOR INVITE LINK
Having spent an inordinate amount of time and money on sample sale sites, I’d like to leave you with some helpful tips:
Now there’s no excuse to not look good in 2012. Just remember, shopping can be an unhealthy addiction, so everything in moderation.