Learning Style at the Library…

Did you know that your local library may be offering free courses about how to do stuff?  I’ve seen classes advertised on how to do everything from building a resume to building a tree house.  When I learned about stylist Kara Beck‘s three-part series at the Safety Harbor Public Library on how to build a wardrobe, I jumped at the chance to check it out.

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Class#1: Dressing For Your Body Type
Kara explained the four main classifications and included a breakdown by percentage of American female consumers:

Hourglass (8.4%) – Bust and hips are same width, defined waist… Kim Kardashian
Pear (20.92%) – Hips are wider than bust, defined waist… Beyonce
Straight (46.12%) – Bust and hips are same width, undefined waist… Cameron Diaz
Apple (13.83%) – Bust is wider than hips, undefined waist… Jessica Simpson

As a stylist, I found this presentation to be helpful for determining which cuts work best on certain body types.  She gave specific examples in her presentation and I noticed several members of the audience taking notes.  After discussing body shapes she went on to explain how to dress appropriately for one’s age… 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.  Never mind that most of the audience were probably Safety Harbor residents and had to be in their 50’s and up.  I think they still found her class to be very educational.  As did I.  I look forward to attending her next installment about shopping on a budget.

I took the liberty of putting some of Kara’s tips to use and have created a shoppable ensemble for all of you ‘Pear’ body types out there.  Since you represent nearly a quarter of female consumers, and since ‘Straight’ body types can wear almost anything, I figured I’d give it a go…

Pear Shape Ensemble

Tips for dressing the Pear shape:
On top – Bring attention up and away from the waist and hips by adding ruffles or other details near the neckline.  Add an eye-catching earring or statement necklace.  Wear prints.
On bottom – Wear darker colors.  Stay away from leggings and skinny jeans.  Wear wide-leg trousers, boot-cut jeans, or A-line skirts.  This will balance your frame so as not to draw attention to your hips.

1.  Floral Bow Neck Top, $45, dorothyperkins.com
2.  Brown Wide Leg Linen Pant, $30, riverisland.com
3.  Kenneth Jay Lane Drop Earrings, $30.55, asos.com
4.  Fossil Leather Tote, $125.99, macys.com
5.  BC Shoes Leather Sandal, $49.99, modcloth.com

Friends With Benefits…

Denise3

The benefits of having stylish friends are endless!  First of all, they are my fashion plates, constantly serving as inspiration for my own personal style.  It’s fun to hang out with like-minded gals who truly appreciate the art of dressing.  My dear friend Denise Schultz recently posted this pic on her Facebook page and I was instantly drawn to the look… casual, yet elegant… comfortable, yet super chic!  Though she appears to be wearing separates, it’s actually a gorgeous striped and cobalt blue maxi-dress she discovered at Nordstrom Rack in Tampa (one of my favorite spots to score designer duds at discounted prices).  I found some great pieces online and put together my amped up evening version of this fabulous Spring/Summer look below…

Denise Inspired Ensemble

1. Stripes and Lace Top, $28, dorothyperkins.com
2. Mango Satin Maxi Skirt, $46, houseoffraser.co.uk
3. Fornash Rosey Earring, $19, simplysoles.com
4. French Connection Cropped Cardigan, $99, usa.frenchconnection.com
5. French Connection Wide Belt, $49.90, asos.com
6. Melissa Optical Sandal, $70, jildorshoes.com

Fifty Shades of Whimsy

Spring 2013 Trend- Statement Sunglasses
photos: fashionwirepress.com

One of the most fantastical trends to hit the streets this season has been the revival of statement sunglasses.  You can turn just about any outfit into a fashion-forward ensemble by throwing on a pair of unique, whimsical shades.  I’m loving the trendy offerings from Nasty Gal and Asos (especially the lizard cat eye pair for $41.56)… and for a mere $12 you can’t go wrong with a fun pair from Aldo.

Runway Translation: Sheer Fabrics

Sheer Runway Spring 2013
runway photos: style.com

Sheer, lightweight fabrics graced the runways of Roberto Cavalli, Akris, Donna Karan, Tom Ford, Rick Owens, and many other talented designers.  And what better way to represent the Spring season than to show some skin? But if being scantily clad is not your style, try pairing a semi-sheer dress with a jacket and you’ll still turn heads…

Sheer Translation Spring 2013

1. Helmet Lang Asymmetric Sheer Dress, $160, theoutnet.com
2. Warehouse Biker Jacket, $88, houseoffraser.co.uk
3. Blu Bijoux Beaded Hoop Earrings, $17, maxandchleo.com
4. Apple Crinkle Clutch, $74, Debenhams.com
5. Asos Holland Leather Heeled Sandal, $127, us.asos.com