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.

001 (1024x681)

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

Runway Translation: The Bare Midriff

Spring 2013 Runway Trend- Bare Midriff
runway photos: style.com

Here’s a spring trend that dominated the runways and simply will not go away on the streets… the bare midriff!  You may think this trend only works on the young, thin, modelesque types, and you’d be totally correct.  I do not recommend you try this one unless you are completely comfortable with showing some skin.  Here’s why I can’t hate on this look- because if done correctly it looks fabulous!  My two rules for pulling off the peek-a-boo belly style are #1 make sure the skirt is high-waisted enough to cover your belly button and #2 the bottom of the crop top should almost touch the waistline of the skirt so you just show a sliver of skin.  Here’s my dressy version…

Spring 2013 Translation- Bare Midriff2
1. Tribal Stud Crop Top, $26, newlook.com
2. Nine West Caged Sandal, $89, ninewest.com
3. Coral Pleated Maxi Skirt, $46, riverisland.com
4. Bar III Bracelet Set, $32, macys.com
5. Sklerijenn Bracelet, $15, aldoshoes.com
6. Jessica Simpson Smash Hit Clutch, $26.95, dsw.com

The Printed Jumpsuit

Printed Jumpsuit at Coachella
photo: style.com

I am intrigued by the jumpsuit trend this season.  I like the simplicity of the all-in-one factor, but I worry about finding the right design so as not to look like an auto mechanic or a baby in a onesie… maybe that’s just me.  The above pic of Tresean Wong in Marc Jacobs at Coachella immediately drew me in and convinced me to take the plunge.  The all-over print is gorgeous and I love how she dressed it down with Converse… she looks comfy and stylish!  I found several versions (pictured below) and am in the throws of deciding which one to order for myself.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment…

Spring 2013 Trend- Jumpsuits

1. Camo Print Boiler Suit, $90, riverisland.com
2. Ruby Rocks Fairly Made Jumpsuit, $90, fashion-conscience.com
3. Komodo Organic Cotton Jumpsuit, $65, fashion-conscience.com
4. Pintuck Printed Jumpsuit, $49.99, mango.com

Runway Translation: The Printed Pant Suit

Spring 2013 Runway Trend- Printed Pant Suits
runway photos- style.com

The Spring 2013 runway shows provided plenty of androgyny in the form of power suits and pant suits.  Designers like Mary Katrantzou, Yves Saint Laurent & Balmain (among others) kept it feminine with form-fitted craftsmanship and soft fabrics in matching prints.  The skinny pant was a key component for achieving a powerful, yet lady-like look.  For a casual daytime suit, I like the look of seersucker.  Here’s my take on a classic Spring ensemble…

Spring 2013 Translation- Printed Pant Suits

1. Striped Seersucker Blazer, $79.99, shop.mango.com
2. Striped Seersucker Trousers, $54.99, shop.mango.com
3. Midnight Floral Tee, $45, jcrew.com
4. Lime Curve Tote Bag, $74, riverisland.com
5. Charles by Charles David Espadrilles, $82.49, heels.com