This is a good place to start....It is from the last page of a manuscript I wrote called, "CLOTHING AS A SECOND LANGUAGE". I will post excerpts regularly.
What does it mean to “shine”?
The dictionary defines “to shine” like this— “to exhibit itself clearly”, “radiance”. The thesaurus adds “illuminate”, “dazzle”, “glow”. “look good”, “grow bright”, and “sparkle”.
My definition is, “to be comfortable and accepting of our own uniqueness and to find joy in expressing it through clothing, make-up, hair, décor….etc.”
It’s O.K. to shine bright. Have no doubt about that. What is flawed is to cover your candle of unique perfection in the name of humility and not shine the light inside you. Everyone shines differently. Quiet or flamboyant, you know what shine means to you. Of course it is okay to shine because shining is our purpose.
My goal is to liberate your full beauty potential by teaching and assisting in your self discovery. I give my (un-necessary) permission for you to be yourself and to express your uniqueness fully and freely.
“Be yourself and do it on purpose”!
Yes, this is for YOU! and YOU know I am talking right at cha!! Clothing, what we wear, is a SOCIAL TOOL in a social game. We are all communicating SOMETHING by our dress whether we want to admit it or not. Sad fact: You cannot opt out of this game. By not wanting to play you ARE playing, but very unintelligently, using no strategy whatsoever. If I told you that you had the power to influence others opinion of you subliminally would you be mad that that was possible or would you want to know how? Do you think it might be smart to understand a tactic others (specifically advertisers, politicians, your boss, etc.) could be using on you? Would you like to understand how to magnify your personal power by authentically presenting your inside self on the outside? It may not be something that comes easy to you but being aware is a start. I understand Clothing Communication (CC). I find it FASCINATING! Be warned, once you start reading the CC messages coming in, the world never looks quite the same....it gets better, richer.
THIS IS A GOOD POINT TO HAVE A CHAT ABOUT PERSONAL STYLE. A person can have style and be in style at the same time. But, it is important to be clear which the priority is. Is your thinking ―"I know I can find my style in the current fashion offerings" or ―"I can’t wear my favorite color anymore because I don’t see it in any store? Hmmm…I guess it was last year’s color." The latter is the definition of a fashion slave. Now, a fashion victim is the poor soul who is wearing clothing that doesn’t reflect who they are just because it is in style or fashionable. Sometimes it is so obvious that it doesn’t work for them. Indecent exposure may mean something different to me that it does to you. But that is an example of it. Because decent exposure is projecting the real you into your appearance. How to we develop “style”? I have developed a ―Hierarchy of Personal Style. This shows the steps of progression to developing and expressing your own unique style or personal design. There are 4 levels. The first is FIT—we get stuck on this level when we can’t find clothing that fits us well. This is the stage of giving up or not expecting more from our clothes. How do we move on? Besides enlisting the help of a wardrobe consultant, the answer is alterations or a good custom seamstress. Finding someone to custom tailor your clothing or to alter it to fit properly may be an expense you don’t want to make but it is absolutely essential. For a few dollars you can look like a million bucks! And more importantly you’ll probably feel like a million, too. Because when clothing fits properly it falls gracefully over your curves, it stays where it is supposed to, it doesn’t look baggy or boxy, it doesn’t drag on the floor. You are less self-conscious in clothing that fits. Another option is to sew clothes for yourself. This especially, is a viable choice for young girls that are growing beyond the girls department. The 12 year old that is 5’9 and a size 13 doesn’t want to look like she is in high school, or like her mother. She wants to look like a girl and wear clothing girls like. Her size won’t be a problem when she is older but right now she can’t find anything age-appropriate. This is an example of a time I would suggest a custom tailor or making it at home. Let her choose the style and fabric. Whoever sews it will make sure it fits. It’s important that she understand that it’s not her body! It’s the clothing choices available. I stress this to all my clients. I say over and over, ―It’s not your body it’s the clothes. It’s not your body, it’s the clothes!. I find it interesting as I speak with women who travel how certain body types are easier to fit in different countries. Again, ―It’s not your body, it’s the clothes‖!
The saying is, "WHAT WE RESIST PERSISTS!" But when we realize that we don't have to give up who we are when we get dressed every morning there is nothing to left to resist! Having style and being in style don't have to cause conflict. Exploring who you are and what you want to say through what you wear is essential, however. I saw a fabulous clipping awhile back from an east coast newspaper. It showed a photo from their archives of some older society ladies. They were dressed impeccably in beautiful suits. The caption said something to the effect that when they took the picture, these ladies were regarded as fashion dinosaurs; however, when reprinted in the context of current times the editors had to admit the women had style all along! To have style you have to trust your instincts. You have to dare to be yourself, to wear what you like, and to wear what flatters you. Being in style means that you wear the up-to-date trends in some form. Fashion can be so much FUN! There is so much available. But fashion is about choices, only choices, bottom line. We are so lucky to live in a time in history where clothing choices aren’t made for us. We may be overwhelmed because what is available changes every season, but it used to take centuries to see any change! (This excerpt is from my manuscript, CLOTHING AS A SECOND LANGUAGE.)
PERSONAL STYLE IS AS SIMPLE AS USING BASIC DESIGN PRINCIPLES Your unique combination of features makes up who you are and reflects the inner you. It’s perfect congruency. And that is always Nature’s signature. To be in harmony with the perfection of your personal design you must reflect who you are in your clothing, accessories, hair style, and make-up, and ultimately your close surroundings. Although most women ( men are catching up) are educated as to wearing the right color, their overall design, however, includes texture, value contrast, line, scale and proportion, and movement. Let me define each of these terms for you. Color. The rainbow has all 7 colors in it. There are millions of colors that the eye can see. This is because color can be broken down into hue, value and intensity. Hue is the color name—like red, green, purple. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. And intensity is the brightness or dullness of a color. As you dress yourself not only should you be aware of the colors that enhance your personal coloring but also what role colors play in flattering your body type. Warm colors appear closer than cooler colors. Cooler colors recede. Warm colors emphasize. The value of the color can do this as well. Lighter colors draw attention over darker colors. Darker colors minimize a form. Bright colors have eye holding power. By using these tricks alone you can guide the on-looker to focus where you want them to. Texture. The next aspect of design is texture. Texture is the 3 dimensional version of a surface. Texture is how it feels. Is it smooth? Is it rough? Is it soft? It is also how it catches light. Does it reflect? (Like a shiny satin surface) Or does the color seem to soak into it? (Like sunlight on black fur) Value Contrast. Value contrast is the allowable difference between the lightest color you are wearing and the darkest. The strongest combination is black and white worn at the same time, especially in bold blocks of color. This is very powerful and authoritative. Contrast this to pink and peach worn together. There is hardly a contrast at all. You may feel more likely to approach some one who is wearing a low value contrast outfit. The clothing’s color isn’t the only aspect in play as we study value contrast. One also has to consider the contrast made by the person’s hair and skin. Snow White, as an illustration, would never have a low value contrast option because she inherently has a high contrast between her dark hair and fair skin. She will always project some degree of authority, however softened it may be by her round cheeks and curly hair. Line. Line is where your eye is drawn. A horizontal line usually draws your eye across your body, adding width. A vertical line is usually slimming because it causes your eye to go up and down. A curved line generally follows the contour of the body, however it can exaggerate a very curvy silhouette as well as add the illusion of curves to a straight shape. A diagonal line is one of the best lines to use to camouflage imbalances of an imperfect figure. A line that connects makes a form or shape. A human body is an example of a form. The shape of that form is the outer contour. Line can be used to trick the eye into thinking the shape is different—taller, slimmer, curvier, shorter. Scale. Scale is the size of detailing, prints, or accessories in relation to the body’s size, bone structure, or other detailing. Analyze scale as small, medium or large. How do you know which is best? Is the printed dress wearing you? Probably the scale of the print is too big. The scale is too small if it’s not noticeable, not making a statement of some kind, or makes you appear larger by contrast. Proportion. Proportion is the design principle concerned with the size of the parts in relationship to the whole. It may take a little training and lots of practice to discipline the eye. But it can be done. When you see something beautiful be conscious of the scale and proportion. And last of all is Movement. Movement is the stillness or animation in the overall look. A fitted suit in a navy wool gabardine fabric with very sparsely applied accessories is an example of the movement being still. The atmosphere created is serene, formal, dignified, and powerful. The eye is not moving around much. Contrast this with a bright, floral chiffon print dress with a flouncy, bouncy hemline. Your eye is moving all over that. It actually will keep your eye busy for a while. The feeling created by this type of movement is friendly, happy, free. Now if we add a long, flowing scarf to the neckline of the suit some animation is added and the overall look is lightened up. Movement is an intriguing design principle many times incorporating the other design basics into it. Try to be aware of how you are seeing it. Nature is a great teacher. Those quivering leaves on a Quaking Aspen tree are very animated. You are mesmerized by their dance. The sleek black panther, however, crouching, waiting to spring is an example of absolute stillness, discipline. How can movement be used to flatter? Remember…stillness recedes while animation advances. Animation will catch the eye first. Do you want to balance skinny legs with a fuller top? Try putting a fluttery, printed skirt with a solid top. Proper manipulation of any of these design basics can help you achieve balance and can result in flattering your form. By using these principles to congruently enhance an individual’s design, beauty is magnified and that personal will SHINE! GO SHINE! : )
My two mantras..BE YOURSELF AND DO IT ON PURPOSE! And LIVE LIFE ON PURPOSE!
: ) love, lois