For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the
knowledge that you are never alone.
– Audrey Hepburn
How do I dress for the holidays without breaking the bank?
Choose a statement piece for the holidays that can be styled based upon the location and purpose of the parties you will attend. Try a sequined bolero jacket with a silk blouse and trousers for a business soiree. Use the same bolero over a black dress for an intimate candlelit gathering. A glittery rhinestone necklace can be worn with an evening gown to a gala, and with a t-shirt, boyfriend jacket, jeans and heels to your child’s Christmas play. Match the corresponding “elegance level” of each occasion and don’t be afraid to overdress (people may comment; they are just jealous because you look great). My number one cheap and fail-safe method of dressing up ANY outfit: a chic updo and impeccable makeup!
What do you do when the colors you wear aren’t in style?
As a certified Color Analyst, I appreciate the frustration of manufacturers declaring the “in” colors, leaving our favorite hues missing in action. Shopping at discount or consignment stores can help, as they carry clothing from a variety of recent seasons. The British company Kettlewell designed their line of clothing to serve the color-starved; their searchable-by-color website features core basics. Also, try TheDressSpot.com, where dozens of dresses can be searched by color, silhouette, and cost. Finally, when you do see an item in your color, buy it even if you don’t foresee an immediate need!
What kind of winter coat should I buy?
A winter coat is often overlooked as a key statement piece that can go a long way towards a great first impression. During frigid months, your signature style can be on display as you make a grand entrance wrapped in a fabulous coat. Look for a color that will brighten up chilly days (and people’s spirits) such as pale pink, red, or robin’s egg blue. Seek out details such as a detachable fur collar. I love Cole Haan and J. Crew for unique coats in classic cuts. Or, check vintage stores for timeless, one-of-a-kind styles (try Retrospect or Nostalgia). And finally, search for a coat that suits your body temperature. I am one of the coldest human beings on the planet year-round, so I always look for a high collar and knee- or calf-length.
I can’t seem to figure out how to wear scarves and what works for me.
Fashion scarves can make a casual outfit chic and a dressy outfit unforgettable. I’m a scarf lover but will admit I’ve often been stumped about how to wear them without looking like a stewardess. I’ve come to realize that one cannot buy a scarf based on its beauty alone. Seek out the right size, color, and fabric for your build, coloring, and personality. Start by looking for quality-made scarves of silk or lightweight cotton with inconspicuous hems (hand-rolled are best). Hit the stores and try different shapes, making sure the scarf volume complements your body shape and doesn’t over- or underwhelm. View scarf-tying videos—I love “My Top Ten Ways to Wear a Scarf” by Dominique Sachse. Practice and choose which look feels right for you and make it a part of your signature style.
How many times can you wear a formal dress before it’s time to say “bye bye”?
I say until the gown no longer “sparks joy,” as my favorite organizer Marie Kondo preaches. If the dress fits, is a classic style, and in great shape, why part with it? Wear it in rotation every two or three years and try changing it up with different jewelry and shoes. What if it is a distinctive show-stopper and has limited versatility? If you feel beautiful in it, keep it around and carefully gauge the purpose and guest list (and photo ops) of the events to which you wear it. Or, consider the version 2.0 treatment: can it be shortened, dyed, or otherwise altered to create a new look?s
Do you have questions for Carrie? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org