style advice

Get Savvy About Style

Let’s face it...sometimes you could use a little "oomph" in your style. A new way of looking at your wardrobe, a simple set of what works and what doesn't when wearing your clothes that aren’t about trends and a short checklist to help you when you go shopping. I understand! As a stylist, I share tips and tricks about style on a regular basis with clients and friends. Whether it’s getting a celebrity ready for the red carpet, helping a woman add some new pieces for Spring, getting a gal ready for her wedding or just helping a friend or client choose the perfect bra to wear with a party dress - yes, that happens! Because I know when I'm rocking the right outfit head-to-toe, I can't stop smiling. I believe every woman deserves to look and feel good in her clothes, so read on for my favorite tips and tricks to help you feel confident.

I'd love to hear from you, so please tell me #SimplyTheOne tip or trick that has worked for you.

First things first. Before I have a client try on new clothes, I start by ensuring that she has the right foundation in place that will make her look and feel better in her clothes. The perfect foundation begins with finding a bra that fits. So, I always check out her intimates first. I’m not being naughty; I just know that the right-fitting bra can help a women appear taller and slimmer and her clothes will look better on her. I’ve seen first-hand the remarkable effect the right bra can have on a woman.  Every gal needs a bra wardrobe that includes the t-shirt bra, the bra that works under sheer clothing, the bra that can help lift, support and smooth your body and, most importantly, they should all be comfortable & stylish. I recently found THE bra that covers that entire checklist from Barely There; it's their new Simply The One bra. Simply The One is the bra you'll turn to almost every day of the week because of its support, comfort and great variety of neutral colors that you can stock up on.

My top tips for your bras and intimates:

Never underestimate the powerful confidence of a super set of skivvies.

Your underthings shouldn’t be a distraction. You want a bra that stays in place, gives you support, doesn’t ride up or poke you. Barely There's Simply The One bras will get you dressed for every day of the week and every event. The Simply The One bra has the perfect combination of neutral colors to keep you feeling pretty and enhance how your clothes look and fit your body. It has Comfortwire technology, which means the wire is on the OUTSIDE so you don't feel it on the inside. It's made from one piece of soft fabric so you'll get a seamless comfort. Plus, Barely There has included one of my favorite features, convertible straps, which makes Simply The One the most versatile bra in my drawer. The convertible straps make it easy to wear with almost every outfit, whether it's a racer-back tank, halter dress or one shoulder style top. Simply The One is available instore at your local Kohl's or online at Kohls.com for $38.

Bra shopping is like shopping for swimwear or jeans—you have to try them on to the find the right flattering fit. You know this, but I'm telling you again, your breast size changes due to weight fluctuation, babies, workout routine and more. Go get ’em sized!

 

Bulges on your sides and back never look good. You may be wearing the right size bra, but the wrong style. This can happen even when you’re not overweight. So look for bras with a wider flat band, which will offer a smoothing effect. If I didn't have on the right bra, like Barely There's Simply The One, you'd see every line or small bulge through this dress, but thanks to its one-piece technology for truly seamless wearing and light foam cups which help shape and support this dress looks smooth.

            Cold weather, air-conditioned theaters, restaurants and offices can lead to an uncomfortable situation I call “your headlights are on.” No woman likes the unwanted attention of eyes on those. So instead of lots of padding, donning an extra sweater or sticking on nipple covers, avoid a thin or sheer bra. It may pretty, but you'll be distracted when you notice you're poking through and I've found those bras have a short "life," meaning they develop small tears or pulls in the fabric quicker.

I like the Carrie Bradshaw character from Sex and the City just as much as my girlfriends. I easily fall prey to watching the reruns for the fashion. Who doesn't!? But I'm not a fan of showing off the bra just as much as the clothes. When it comes to sheer types of clothing, you want to match your bra closest to your skin color so the bra seems to disappear on your body. And what doesn’t work is a white bra under a white t-shirt. Flesh toned and black bras will be your go-to bras.

 

And lastly, just like you go through your closet and clean out the clutter, do the same for your intimate drawers. Once or twice a year, empty your underwear and bra drawers and get rid of the ratty, pilled and grungy intimates. And toss the ones you haven’t worn in ages. Go buy a new bra that fits your body.

My Style Tips:

The most important tip I tell everyone:

Every trend is not for every body! All trends do not work for all people. Wear only the trends that suit you. So try it on before you buy it.

You’ll never be asked to leave a party because you’re overdressed. Everyone appreciates a chic gal. Compliments will occur guaranteed! It's when you underdress that people whisper.

Too tight is never right. If you can’t breathe or there’s a bump or bulge - leave it behind.

Don't fall prey to what I call "sale psychosis." I've walked into many of my client and celebrity closets and see tags hanging on clothes long after they buy the item. When I ask them the story behind the purchase they always tell me it was on sale. Only buy an item that you adore whether it's on sale or full-price. And ladies, if you regret the purchase then return it, don't waste your money on clothes that go unworn.

Get out of your jeans once in a while. Dress like you’re trying to impress someone you’re attracted to or take on the role of a stylish celeb. Just walk with confidence and skip the sneakers. There are too many options from lace-up brogues to slip-on flats that are comfortable enough to run errands or dash after the kids.

I've styled a few looks with the new love of my life, Barely There's new Simply The One bra available at Kohl's. As you can see, it works for every look - date night, work, party or weekend.

    

    

Choose heels more often, even if they’re only one inch—they change the shape of your body and your attitude.

The right alterations can make an outfit go from ho-hum to wow. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a dress hemmed or a shirt nipped in on the sides. Sometimes taking items you already own and tweaking them suddenly gives them a "new" life in your wardrobe. For example, remove the sleeves of a dress or hem a long skirt to knee length. Find a good tailor or seamstress in your town or city. Your local dry cleaner probably has one.

When dressing up, wear bottoms that rise over your belly for the smoothest lines under tops. For jeans, skip the low rise and choose a mid-rise style.

Always try clothes on.  All designers cut differently and even the same designer may have different fits from skirts to pants. You want clothes that fit and flatter not just scream color or the designer name. Remember, there is no fashion police on the street pulling you over and checking your labels or size. I wear brands from all price points and mix them up along with vintage finds and items I've swapped with girlfriends. And I have clothes in four sizes in my closet due to the way different brands cut their clothes. I don't care and neither should you.

A-line skirts are THE answer to just about every body type.  Whether you’re curvy, slender, have hips, want a waist or are trying to hide your thighs.  An A-line skirt will create a waist, fall nicely to your knees and hide practically anything you need it to. The A-line dominates my skirt rack!

 

Excessive details can add weight.  Patch pockets, ruffles, big buttons, epaulettes, wide collars—they all add extra “weight” and accentuate what you have underneath.

Play up your good parts.  Great gams, buff biceps, a long neck, a pretty face or beautiful hair need to be highlighted by your outfit. 

Remember that style is very different from fashion.  Find what works for you - whether it is classic, eclectic, edgy or romantic - and go full throttle!

Girlfriends, this is truly the MOST IMPORTANT:

Smile and make eye contact - it's harder for someone to be critical of your clothes when you are lovely and interesting!

 

 

#sponsored

My segment with Marie Osmond as her style expert on the show.

Banish the Bra Blues

The claim is that 70% of women are wearing the wrong size bra, but it’s not necessarily about the size as it is about the fit.  Most women want to avoid sagging and digging and find a bra with support and a great shape.

We helped two women with common bra problems and found them the right fitting bra.

Brooke

Brooke has a drawer full of bras in multiple sizes from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy and then breastfeeding and she’s at a point she’s just not sure what size she wears. She was wearing a bra with no support, her breasts were drooping and sagging.

I put her into a bra that gave coverage, support and a smooth fit.

Bali One Smooth U Side Support, $36 (Available at Macy’s, Kohl’s & JCPenney)

  • Full coverage foam cups for a smooth look under clothes
  • Lace detail for added side support
  • Seamless, stay in place Comfort-U™ Design keeps back and straps in place
  • Smooth under clothes
  • Great for wearing underneath fall sweaters, clingy fabrics

Kim

Kim has been a fan of Cardio Barre and excited to see the changes in her body shape, except that she’s realized her bras don’t fit well anymore. She told me she was down to two bras she thought worked. This is one of them. She was misinformed.

Kim wanted a little lift and cleavage. We succeeded.

Barely There Invisible Look Balconette, $35 (Available at Kohl’s)

  • Smooth look under clothes
  • Updated, modern silhouette
  • Smooth, line-free look
  • Flexible frame and light lift cups
  • Light lift cups for great shape

(From left to right)

Bali Comfort Revolution with Smart Sizes, $34

Super comfortable bra that offers targeted support. This bra can be worn anywhere, anytime and I’m a fan of these styles when I take yoga and Pilates classes and under casual clothes. And they make it super simple to shop with sizes S-XL.

Wonderbra Lace Back Front Closure, $31

This bra is an attention thief.  It’s a cleavage enhancer.

Playtex Secrets Plunge Lift Underwire, $35 (Available at Kohl’s)

Playtex is a well-known brand that women have loved for support and comfort and NOW they’ve become super stylish with contemporary designs in bold colors and prints to appeal to anyone who wants a more youthful look.

Wardrobe and Shopping Tips

* Get sized once a year-since your breast size can fluctuate due to weight loss/gain, pregnancy, age/gravity, etc.

*The most common styles you’ll wear during the week are nude and black smooth style bras. It also good to have a convertible bra to wear with various outfits and if you’re small breasted a push–up style can flatter your figure.  And of course you want a few lacy, colorful options. Tip-skip white bras under white tops. Go for bras that are closest to your skin tone.

*Different bra styles and bra brands may fit differently, just like jeans, so be willing to try on a variety of styles from different retailers to find the right fit.

Keep your bras in shape:

*Clasp the back of bras together and put into a lingerie bag in the delicate or hand wash setting of a washing machine. They’re less likely to tangle.

*Do not put in them in the dryer (the heat of the dryer will break down the elasticity and shape of the bra).

*Lay flat in drawers-stacked on top of each other so they keep their shape.

 

In today's episode of "A Secret Worth Sharing", I share my ultimate bra secret for making even the toughest looks work - the convertible bra. Unruly bra straps are no longer a fashion faux paus!
Q. I love your website- and especially love reading your advice. So here's my question for you: I will be traveling to Iceland in May. During this trip I will also be traveling to England, Scotland and Ireland. Can you recommend what to pack for such diverse climates, an easily totable bag since I will be frequently on the move, and a stylish jacket that will keep the wind out and keep me warm without looking like the marshmallow man? I'm in my early 30s-and certainly do not want to look like a tourist! 
-Don't want to pack a million bags Alison: I’ve been to all of these countries and I can attest to a need for a coat in all four, though you will need more protection in Iceland. I visited Iceland several years ago during the month of July when they had finally cut a path through the snow up to the ice covered lands and glaciers. If you stay in Reykjavik, you can get away with a warm wool or cashmere blend coat and warm layers. Stick to a 3/4 length coat that hits just above or below your knees so your butt is covered for more warmth. Cashmere or wool blend knee socks, thin layers that insulate like silk long underwear, tights and cashmere turtleneck sweaters are a must to pack. For the European countries, you’ll get a chance to enjoy Spring. Bring a small umbrella (there’s a reason it’s so green, it rains for short periods often.) The coat design should be simple so it matches more of your wardrobe and can be worn open in warmer temps. Keep it out of your bag so you have more room for clothes and toiletries. Pack only essential toiletries. Wear your boots or sneakers on the plane so you again save room in your bag. A blazer style jacket or short thin trench can work double duty as an indoor jacket when worn with a t-shirt or button down and as outerwear when layered with a sweater underneath.
Q. I’m having a dilemma with my mother. I want to know if wearing a gold dress with black leggings would look nice for a beach wedding in Mexico. -Shine On Alison: NO black leggings at a beach wedding in Mexico. And what kind of gold dress? What kind of material? Go for a fun, flowy colorful sun dress or maxi dress if you want to cover your legs. It’s going to be hot and you’ll want to wear something light and adorable.
Blue needn't be dominated by denim. This season turn to blue for fun and flirty styles. Marc by Marc Jacobs Gabrielle striped dress, $298 neimanmarcus.com Celine dress in small gaucho stars, $345 (tip-add your own belt) dvf.com J. Crew's Blakely wrap blouse, $98 jcrew.com Candy stripe dot bangle, $55 katespade.com Tory Burch Beckett Wedge Sandal, $295 nordstrom.com
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