Being one of six children, I can tell you that it’s incredibly important to have a “voice” and to be heard and when you have to factor in a “petite stature” that can add a whole lot of challenges in getting your point across!
This childhood “training” definitely helped me when I entered into the corporate world. So much of achieving our goals has to do with image; the right clothes, effective communication skills, relationship building, understanding and practicing business protocol and so forth. For women in general, we still struggle with achieving the same level of success and acknowledgment men do and like growing up in a large family, one’s petite stature is, often, a hindrance.
Being a petite business woman, I can tell you that there are a lot of negative associations with this particular stature; meek, fragile, delicate, timid, etc. During my first business trip to Cologne, Germany I met the head of our organization who referred to me as “kleiner” which translates to “little one or of less size or importance”. Now I must say that this gentlemen was a tough businessman and looked quite intimidating BUT he assured me that the use of this term was endearing and by no means meant in a derogatory manner. My company role in the company was a pretty hefty one that assumed a lot of responsibility so perhaps he was surprised to encounter a 5ft. tall woman taking on this “hefty” role!
Tune in to Bella Petite Radio Show
Being an image expert provides me the opportunity to empower women (particularly petite ones) to position and brand themselves in a way that showcases their strengths despite their size. I now have a larger platform to accomplish this thanks to Ann Lauren, Editor-in-CHIEF of Bella Petite. Ann has asked me to join their stellar team of experts as a Corporate Image & Style Expert contributor and I’m so honored to work with her and the team!
Bella Petite is a Fashion, Entertainment and Lifestyle Magazine for women 5’5″ tall & under. This multimedia platform consists of a web community, radio show and digital magazine. Their objective is to create a high-quality fashion forward web community and publication with innovative content, while promoting the petite woman’s image to the mainstream media.
Listen to my radio interview with Ann on Image, Style and Techniques for Job Seekers!
Join other women and be a part of Bella Petite to follow my corporate image advice by clicking here: www.BellaPetite.com/join
Woman in Lace Bonnet - Photo credit: Getty Images
Have you noticed the invasion of lace found in stores lately? It’s quite the fashion trend these days and can be found on everything from dresses, tops, leggings, to shoes, handbags, headbands and more.
While lace (back in the 15th century) was considered a luxury fabric and a sign of prestige, once the lace machine was invented (19th century) and easily accessible to all, it lost its unique appeal. However, many countries today still invest in the hand making of lace and it is now once again revered as a luxury fabric and one can pay a handsome fee for a garment made of lace. One only has to look at a $10,000 price tag of a Vera Wang hand made lace wedding gown to understand the true value of this fabric.
Fortunately, due to technology advances in manufacturing, we can enjoy wearing lace but at affordable prices and in modern and chic styles.
Here are some of my favorite looks in skirts, tops, shoes and dresses. With the holidays just around the corner, lace is a great choice to celebrate tradition and look stylish at the same time!
From left to right: TopShop Lace Dress, DVF Leather Lace, Spinning Lace Dress by Anthropologie
From left to right: Free People Aphrodite Jersey Top, Ann Taylor Laced Tier Shell, Tracey Reese Silk Lace Blouse
From left to right: Elle Tahari Laced Trimmed Sequin Skirt, Forever 21 Contrast Lace Skirt, Ann Taylor Metallic Lace Skirt
Lace Inspired Shoes
From left to right: Giuseppi Zannotti Lace Silk Peep Toe, Ann Taylor Ankle Lace Bootie, Oscar de la Renta Lace Ankle Boot
It is almost NEVER the case that I can walk into a clothing store, fall in love with my purchases and NOT have to make a pit stop at my tailor. However, when I visited the wonderfully talented petite designer, Henrietta Pertruz’s showroom, this is exactly what happened! I purchased three beautifully made wardrobe pieces and skipped a trip to the tailor!
Being 5 ft. tall in stocking feet has always presented challenges in the wardrobe department. Often, petite collections are a bit dated, proportions are never quite right, inventory is sparse and quality of fabrics is subpar. So I cannot clearly articulate the sheer joy of discovering Henrietta’s clothing line geared for the 5’4 and under woman. Her collection is made here in NYC, the fabrics are gorgeous, fit is perfect and pieces are timeless and modern!
Here are a few photos of my fall purchases (photos courtesy of Henrietta)
The Molly dress "unbelted"
The Molly blouse paired with the Day to Night Jen Trousers
The Molly Dress Out & About at New Jersey Fashion Week!
Molly and me
The Molly "belted"
While many style sites and magazines are touting the fact that “kitten heels” are back, I can only say that they have never left. Kitten heels are a classic and although today’s styles have been updated, they have and will continue to be a crowd pleaser amongst most women.
The kitten heel is defined as a heel height between 1.5” to 2” with slight curve setting the heel in from the edge of the shoe which make this heel more manageable and comfortable for women.
How do you wear them? Quite easily. However, keep in mind that the shoe itself projects a very sophisticated and elegant image so I would not pair them with a micro mini or short dress.
Who can wear them? Everyone! Yes, this heel can be worn by anyone. However, for the petite flower (and this includes me) I would suggest opting for the higher heel with a pointed toe since this will elongate the leg and make you appear taller. Lastly, be sure to avoid ankle or cross straps as well as a round toe because it will shorten the length of your leg. As for the fuller figure gal, it’s important to select an option that helps balance your overall figure. Avoid wearing a super tiny heel but instead opt for a thicker heel.
Good options for petites:
Good options for curvy women
Options for weekend looks
According to Pantone (renowned color authority and trend tracker for fashion & home-decor industries) names Turquoise as the color of the year 2010!
Many meanings of the color Turquoise have been published but the common theme / meaning is that this color creates emotional balance and stability. I personally chose this color for logo and repeated it on my website for this very meaning.
Listen up ladies, this is one of the universally flattering colors for all individuals so whether you have warm or cool undertones, this color will look fabulous on you!
A little tip: If you want to add brightness to your face, opt to wear a turquoise scarf. Talk about face brightening!
Test it out and comment here to let me know!
AICI New York Tri-State Chapter will host the FGI International Ready to Wear Spring Summer Trend Overview on January 13, 2010 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in NYC (full event details below)! This is a must see for anyone in the fashion industry or would just like to know what will be on trend in 2010!
The Fashion Group Foundation has presented either a live or audio-visual presentations covering the seasonal fashion runway shows in the United States and in Europe since Ready-to-Wear shows began in the 1960′s.The collections are interpreted by a Fashion Group Ready-To-Wear Committee and presented in a comprehensive audio-visual presentation with over 700 industry professionals in attendance. A panel discussion may also be presented featuring the R-T-W Committee including designers, editors and retailers.
The Trend Report, written by Marylou Luther, International Fashion Syndicate, is distributed to members and attendees of the New York Presentation. This report gives industry professionals the in on upcoming trends.
Networking Mixer immediately following presentation at The Ainsworth Bar & Grill 122 West 26th Street, NYC
RSVP for Trend Overview:
$25 AICI Members & Students / $35 Non Members
RSVP by January 11th: email@example.com
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Helen Mills Theatre
137-139 West 26th Street (between 6th & 7th Aves)
New York, NY
It’s hard to believe that fall is officially one month away, particularly since summer weather didn’t kick in until late July. However, I must admit that I wait for fall with gleeful anticipation as it is my favorite season. I love all the rich warm colors, soft fabrics, and the option to layer with interesting accessories.
I will repeat my mantra as I always do when I report on the season’s trends: Before you head to the stores to start purchasing your new items, clear and clean out your closet to better understand what you REALLY need this season. Once you know what you need, make a list and be sure to take it with you when you head to the stores so you can shop smart.
Theme for Fall Trends
- 80’s Influence – I know many of you are cringing right now because this time period isn’t exactly known for fabulous fashions but rest assured there are only a few “themes” being adopted for this season: bold patterns, neon brights and leggings.
- Showing Shoulder – emphasizing the shoulder takes on many forms this season and one surprising way is the resurgence of shoulder pads! Shoulder pads are a great way to provide balance to the female silhouette. However, be careful with scale as you don’t want the shoulder to overwhelm your frame. In addition to the “strong” shoulder look, one shoulder dresses and tops are very fashion forward.
- Leather Love – much ado about leather this fall. Everything from bomber jackets, blazers, pants, leggings and sheath dresses, leather has found its way into almost every category.
- Architecturally Inspired Attire – strong powerful dressing is a key theme this season and a great way to illustrate this trend is through specific lines and points in clothing. I personally love this trend.
- Shimmer and Shine – metallics and sequins shine this season. Although metallics have been a popular trend for a few seasons, this fall, copper and gun metal are the new twist. Sequin also makes a comeback and is introduced as a daytime option. However, be sure to not wear sequins head to toe. It should be considered chic office wear NOT night club wear. Best way to wear this trend is to pair with a more conservative and layered look.
- Off the Chain – chains are everywhere! From accessories, to shoes, to apparel, chains are draped on everything this season.
- Color, Prints and Patterns – my favorite color red is big this season and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Other prominent colors this fall are beautiful rich jewel tones. Animal prints and plaid are also prevalent this fall.
This above trend list is designed to help guide you on what’s popular this season. Don’t become overwhelmed with trying to adopt ALL of them but instead take a few that you feel represent your unique style and incorporate into your wardrobe.
2009 Spring Trends for Women
Three weeks and counting down to a cheerful and sunny spring season! It seems so far off but I promise its right around the corner. To help pass some of the time until we are officially in spring, here are a few tips and trends to help prepare you for the season’s newest looks.
Before you head to the stores to start purchasing your new spring items, clear and clean out your closet to better understand what you REALLY need this season. Once you know what you need, make a list and be sure to take it with you when you head to the stores so you can shop efficiently and effectively.
Here are the hottest trends for this season:
Denim and Trousers
I think Katie Holmes started this trend when she stepped out in Manhattan wearing her “boyfriend” jeans (baggy and rolled at hem) paired with a cardigan and tee-shirt so denim designers followed suit. For the trouser pant, look for a relaxed and roomy silhouette (i.e., wide leg or draw string) with the focus on the waist. If you opt for the wide leg, roomy pant or boyfriend jean, be sure to pair them with a fitted top in order to show off your female curves.
Tops & Vests
Ruffles, sheers and one shouldered tops are the rage this spring. However, I caution women to be careful with the sheer look. I recommend you save this trend for evening looks as it’s not appropriate for office attire. A great office look that is both chic and acceptable is a silk ruffle top paired with a skirt or pant suit. The ruffle blouse is a great way to show off your feminine side! Vests are still going strong for this season and a great way to look chic and modern is to pair the vest with a fitted t-shirt and your boyfriend jeans.
Dresses and Skirts
Fortunately shirt dresses are still “in” this spring so if you purchased one last year, you’re already ahead of the trend. However, the newest twist on the shirt dress is the availability of the dress in metallic colors. Full skirts are also “in” this season with satin and silk being the choice of fabrics. Opting for a full skirt in patterns or floral prints will have you on the cutting edge of fashion this season!
The “boyfriend” trend shows up in the blazer cut this season so look for a roomier fit that will allow you to roll up the sleeves and look chic. Be sure to pair this blazer with a more fitted pant vs. the roomier and relaxed pant mentioned so you keep your body shape in proportion.
I typically don’t like to categorize the “trench” as a trend because this is a timeless wardrobe piece and should be a staple in your closet. However, this season, you will see the trench in various bright colors instead of the typical beige color you often see. Additionally, the waist is a big focus for spring so a great way to combine both trends is to pair your favorite belt with the trench.
The pointy-toe pump made a comeback last year and will stick around this spring. I’m personally quite happy about this since I’m petite in stature so the pointy-toe is always a better option for me because it’s elongates me. Of course high heel chunky wedges are also a must have this spring.
Accessories range from big and bold to elegant and sophisticated. Big and bold jewelry can be paired with the exotic print trend while the elegant and sophisticated jewelry will compliment the sheer trend. Metallics are still popular for this season so if you want to incorporate this trend inexpensively, opt for a cute clutch or handbag. Additionally, you can incorporate the ruffle trend in a scarf as pictured below.
The “It” Colors
All things bright this season! As we emerge from a long, dreary winter season, the “it” colors represent optimism with a strong showing of bright pink, yellow and green and all colors in between.
Prints and Patterns
You will see lots of tribal, animal and floral prints this season on everything from shoes and tops to dresses and skirts. Graphic patterns are also the rage this season.
The summer season has officially ended and my favorite season has begun! Why is this my favorite season? Because the fall is “The Accessory” season. I love to layer looks when dressing so the fall provides so many clothing and accessory options to accomplish just that.
Depending on the magazine, newspaper or website you refer to, each media outlet has their interpretation of the fall season and it becomes confusing to follow and understand what to invest in and how to incorporate them into your existing wardrobe. No worries. Below is a list of the current fall trends with a few suggestions on how to wear them.
Wide leg trousers and denim jeans with high waists are in.
Think feminine; ruffles, bows and soft “flowy” fabrics. These styles look ideal with the high waist trouser pant and it creates the perfect feminine silhouette.
Dresses are making a big comeback this season particularly the knit dress. However, I caution women here that if you want to purchase this style, be sure to invest in the proper undergarments as this fabric is unforgiving. Don’t be discouraged though as this is just one of many dress styles that are in. Similar to the spring trend, the shirt dress is back for this season and fortunately this style is one that looks great on all women.
Short and tailored are the “in” looks for fall. The tailored blazer looks especially great when paired with the wide-leg trouser pant.
When the cool weather sets in, make sure you cover up with a unique, interesting and of course warm coat. No need to stick to with the basic coat this season. Instead opt for one of the many styles being shown this season that have details such as wide arms, large dramatic hoods, big belts and unusually large collars. Also, don’t be afraid to select a coat with great color (purple, grey or wine) and/or a great print.
- The shoe-bootie is huge this season and since I’m petite in stature (5′ tall), I’m excited to see the heel reaching new heights (3″+)
- The riding boot – many women happily embraced the ballet slipper this summer so the flat riding boot is a nice transition into the cooler and more covered up season. This is a great way to look polished and put together in a more casual and comfortable way. The riding boot paired with leggings or textured hose (fall trend) and a sweater dress (fall trend) is a chic way to incorporate all three trends!
It’s all about being big and bold this season.
- Scarves – large graphic and colorful prints
- Handbag – the Satchel (in bold colors)
- Belts – back in a big way and being used on everything (coats, blouses, knit dresses, etc.)
- Textured tights and hose – looks great when paired with the shoe-bootie
- Big & Bold Cuff Bracelets
- Big & Bold Cocktail Rings
- Necklaces – Pendants
The “It” Colors
Think Grey & Purple!
It’s that time of year again when we bid adieu to our dreary winter clothes and bring out the spring wardrobe. I always look forward to the Winter/Spring switch over ritual as it signals the warmer weather is on its way and there is a renewed sense of freshness in the air.
Once I switch over to spring, I take inventory of new items needed in order to update or replenish my wardrobe. This is where the fun really begins; shopping! Not everyone enjoys the shopping aspect the way I do. Many of my clients cringe at that the thought of having to do seasonal or occasion shopping. With so many new trends to follow and incorporate into their existing wardrobe, they find the process not only overwhelming but confusing.
For those of you who are like my clients and dislike the idea of shopping or trying to understand the latest seasonal trends, here are the top women and men spring trends along with a few suggestions on how to incorporate them into your wardrobe.
2008 Spring Trends for Women
From beautiful saturated colors to neon, this trend is extremely popular this season. No need to dress head to toe in these colors but instead incorporate a punch of color into your neutral outfit through colorful shoes, handbags, scarves or jewelry.
This dress is very flattering on all body shapes so get ready to put your best shape forward.
Neutrals are being redefined this season with colors ranging from stone to blush to earth tones. A khaki colored blazer paired with a muted rose color top would be a great way to embrace this trend.
Gold, silver and of course bronze fit into this category but this season embrace the new gleaming type colors (e.g. fuschia)
Flirty and feminine floral prints are making a big appearance this season. If you are hesitant about floral opt for a smaller print floral or incorporate accessories like a nice floral shoe to accent your outfit.
Global inspired prints are the rage this season. Much of the graphic prints reflect cultures from around the world. Be careful to not overwhelm your body shape will a graphic print that is too large. The size of the print should be comparable to the size of your frame.
No, this trend doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy patent leather pants but instead update your wardrobe with big bold patent accessories: clutch, bangles, and shoes.
Yes, the gladiator sandals are making another appearance this season. To soften the gladiator look pair these sandals with one of the season’s pretty floral print dresses.
Many women feel they can’t wear the full skirt because it might be overwhelming to their frame or there is the off chance it might look a bit dowdy. Keep in mind, it’s all about balancing out your appearance so when wearing the full skirt, pair it with a slimmer top or wear a belt at your waist to create an hour glass silhouette.
Going Green (not just the color)
Many designers are launching new eco friendly clothing and accessory lines to help protect our environment.
2008 Spring Trends for Men
Pretty in Pink
Pink is not a “women’s only” color and it happens to look great on men. While many women opt for bolder pinks, men can wear the more muted pinks and look fashion forward for spring.
Stay away from the all plaid suit. Instead opt for a plaid shirt paired with a neutral trouser or a plaid short paired with a neutral shirt.
If you are working in the corporate world, I don’t suggest strutting into the office with this new trend but instead tap into your creative style on the weekend and pair it with a great pair of jeans.
Similar to women’s spring trends, this too is a trend for men. While I’m not a big fan of patent leather pants on men, that’s not to say some cannot pull it off. If you’re that guy, go for it. If not, ignore this trend.
Remember, just because the fashion industry is dictating what the trends are for men and women, doesn’t mean you have to follow each trend. Define your own personal style buy incorporating an aspect of the trend that suits your body shape and coloring.