Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fashion word of the day

I've been asked by my clients to define certain fashion terms that I use. There are so many out there, after all, that even I don't know all of them. Since one of the big deals for Spring is the maxi dress, let's define the word and show some examples here. This begins the first of many blogs entitled: Fashion word of the day.

Maxi dress-- a dress that is ankle or even floor length. Though typically seen this season in the form of a sundress, a maxi dress is any dress of full length. We are seeing maxi dresses in various ethnic or floral prints, and in bold solids. They are made in gauzy, lightweight, or silky fabrics. This makes them perfect for beachwear, vacationing, date night with the hubby, or out to lunch with the girlfriends. To accessorize, I recommend bold hoops or dangling earrings, and bangle bracelets. Also, sandals or espadrilles work for footwear.

Live in color!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Edgy hair, the new accessory

Since chopping off my very long, very curly, very crazy (think Diana Ross) hair two years ago, I've discovered that hair in and of itself can be the ultimate accessory. Now with shorter hair, I can wear some cool hats, use different earrings, and easily flat iron my hair and spike it up for fun!

Here is a tribute to cool, funky hair. I want to encourage each of you to experiment with a hairstyle that is a bit more daring than you're accustomed to. You WILL get compliments...enjoy the pics!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Affordable couture

At the top of my wardrobe basics list is a great 3 to 5 piece suit. The problem is that many of my clients struggle with finding their right color, fit and/or suit combination. It is rare to find a 5-piece suit (blazer, vest, pant, skirt and bermuda short combination), much less to find one in your ideal color.

I, too, have struggled to find just the right suit. Suits feel too stuffy to me, and I want mine to look more funky than most. Enter Mary Denney, clothing designer and owner of MLD Limited, right here in Houston, Texas. Mary has been in the apparel business for decades, and she specializes in what she calls affordable couture. Working with both brides and women like me wanting wardrobe basics, Mary believes that if you can dream it, she can create it.

I have my first appointment with Mary this week to have a 3-piece white suit made. I simply couldn't find my right white anywhere, or anything with the fit I want. Anyway, who wants to look generic? Several of my clients want to see my results so I'll keep you posted with some pics..... as soon as my suit is done!

Live in color!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What if this Spring's bold hues don't suit you?

What do you do this Spring if the bold and vivid colors aren't in synch with your personal coloring? As a professional color and wardrobe consultant, I can tell you that there are ways to work around this dilemma. Here are some helpful tips:

1) Hold off on buying up a bunch of pieces just because they are 'in style.' It is far better to wait until your colors come back into season than to buy colors that are wrong. Wrong colors will age you by visually dragging your face down and accentuating fine lines and wrinkles. They also visually add 10-15 pounds to your frame!

2) Take this time to buy up those neutral wardrobe investment pieces. Everyone has a good light, medium and dark neutral that works for her. For me as a Bright Winter, it's pure white, medium silvery grey and ebony. Get your colors done for sure to determine your best neutrals.

3) If pastels and other muted tones look best on you, but you cannot find your colors, then infuse color with accessories. Stone jewelry is a good choice because you'll find it in various hues. Take turquoise for example--you can find it in very light colors, as well as vivid and dark hues.

4) Invest in your cosmetics. You can immediately add vibrancy to your look with new blush and lipstick, as well as by experimenting with different eyeshadow and liner colors.

5) Update your denim and buy some high quality in several styles that are figure flattering.

6) If you must buy the new 'it' color, then buy it cheap in the form of accessories or a top. Always wear your best colors surrounding it, though, and make sure that your wrong color is not the focal point of the outfit.

Live in color!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What color is your fragrance?

I conducted a very informal survey last week among some of the moms and dads at my son's swim practice. I asked them to smell different fragrances, describe them to me, and then assign a color to them. Every participant described the smell with a noun like water, flowers, sunshine, or a funeral! They then associated those nouns with a particular emotion, and then assigned the fragrance its own color.

One fragrance reminded several of my participants of a flower. Well, what color do we think of when we think of a flower? One partipant said lavender (because it seemed light), another hibiscus (because the fragrance was bold), and another white (because it was a pure scent).

The same fragrance reminded all of them of flowers, but they each had a certain color in mind. What a varied response! Our perception of color is based in large part on experience and emotion. For example, my participant who said that the fragrance reminded her a flower, a hibiscus, attached an emotion to that by saying that it was a 'bold' fragrance. Once she attached an emotion to the fragrance, she could create its color, which was red.

My subjects had difficulty attaching a color to the fragrance until they were able to attach an emotion to it. One participant identified a fragrance as being yellow, because it opened him/her up and created awareness. I really had fun with this experiment and concluded that colors, scents and emotions have a real connection.

Live in color!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Children and their love of color

When I was first studying color back in the 1980s, I was told that people naturally gravitate toward the colors that look well on them. This is particularly true with children. Children have an inate ability to pick their 'right' colors. I see this in my own home. One of my daughters is raven haired with olive skin and hazel eyes, while my other daughter has blonde hair, fair skin and blue eyes. When I ask them to pick out clothing or crayon colors, they always choose differently. The clothing that my brunette daughter selects is always bold or rich, in red, fuschia, purple, royal blue and black. My blonde daughter prefers the softer pastels in pink, mint, robin's egg blue, and light yellow. Their artwork reflects their color preferences, as well, and I observe the same color combinations used there. This leads me to my other point. Children understand how to mix and match colors----for the most part :)!They pick colors with the same look and feel. My blonde wouldn't mix bold fuchsia with her delicate pastels, for example.

Live in color!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The sublime yet shockingly powerful effect of fashion ads

I experienced something so interesting last night, something that really surprised me. I always thought that I was relatively unaffected by the quantity....and it is large....of fashion and beauty ads I come across daily.
Yet yesterday I found myself doing something extremely out of character. As I was experimenting with all the ways I could wear my new yellow scarf, I found myself making a head scarf out of it, knotting it in the back, and pulling on some hoop earrings. Never in my life have I worn a head scarf, and this look I suddenly created was brilliant. It looked like some exotic African princess! I decided then and there that I was going to rock this look over the spring and summer.
All day I kept trying to figure out why I stumbled upon that idea in the first place. After all, I was merely working with a large scarf around my neck. It dawned on me as I was re-reading the latest edition of my Vanity Fair magazine.

Smack dab in one of the ads for Banana Republic was this beautiful woman of color, a musician I believe, wearing a gorgeous silky looking head scarf. Somehow I was captivated by it and didn't even realize it until I recreated the look all on my own.
Fashion ads really do guide behavior, much more than I realized.
Live in color!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What is alluring?

What does it mean to be alluring to you? Is it an attitude, the swagger of your walk, the perfume you wear, the confidence you display, or the clothes you wear? Is it based only on physical beauty, or do other things factor into the mix of what makes a person alluring? Look to the left. The model is covered up but certainly exudes sexiness. Look to the right. This model is very scantily clad...does that necessarily make her more alluring? I don't think so. I am extremely curious to receive feedback here, so please post comments. My opinion is that, as an old college friend once said, "Sexy is an attitude." Interestingly, it's not automatically the most physically beautiful woman in the room who is deemed to be the most alluring. I'm researching this subject out of sheer curiosity.
The gig is up with me, of course, because I am happily married to a very alluring man myself. I'm just curious about the role that internal and external factors have on this concept of being alluring. What do you think?
Live in color!

Friday, February 20, 2009

First of its kind style workshop sponsored by Color My Closet

First of its kind Color My Closet brings you the best, most interactive workshop to date!ng into style workshop
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Dear Houston ladies.....or those of you who want to fly in,

Do you remember playing dress-up as a little girl and loving what you saw in the mirror? We are here to help you bring back that lovin' feeling when you get dressed every day for any occasion.

Color My Closet is now holding style workshops at Macy's of the Galleria at Sage Road, centrally located for your convenience. We will keep the small group setting while putting into practice the wardrobe concepts we discuss in the workshop....using Macy's clothing and accessories.

Please read on for more info and don't miss out on this unique style experience!

Workshop details: Spring into style workshop

Color My Closet is pleased to offer this 3-hour, interactive workshop to you. The first of its kind, this workshop will cover the following (and much more):

*Use 20 pieces to build a whole wardrobe
*Build the right shoe and accessory collections
*See how this Spring's trends can work for you at any age
*Take your fashion personality quiz
*Dress for your age and body type

Date: Saturday, March 7th or Saturday, March 21st
RSVP:Please reply to this email with your choice of date
Time: 2:00-5:00 p.m. The time flies because we have FUN, ladies!
Location: Macy's Galleria @ Sage, 2727 Sage Road, Houston TX 77056
Fee: $99 payable in advance via secure PayPal link or $125 at the door

Win a 1-hour shopping consultation on the spot!
Names will be drawn at the end, and one participant will win a 1-hour shopping consultation with me in Macy's following the workshop.

Does shopping in large department stores frustrate or overwhelm you? Do you wander aimlessly through the malls only to come home with the wrong clothes....or nothing at all?

Do you question your look and clothing choices, wondering if they are really "you"? Do you return much of what you purchase, or leave it hanging in the closet with tags still attached?

If so, then this is definitely the workshop for you. I cannot wait to help you take image into your own hands.

Visit my website at to contact me please!

Almost forgot! You will receive a style workbook as part of our workshop. This workbook can be used in the future to refine your style and recreate your image any time you want........

The color orange

It is said that the color orange is huge for Spring. You will see it everywhere, on product packaging, home accessories, paint colors and fashion. What is so great about the color orange, though? Surprisingly, few people are drawn to orange in its purest form or hue. It is orange in its various tints and shades that attracts people. Tints such as peach, coral, salmon and melon are most appealing, and translate well into fashion. The color orange is associated with freedom, independence, optimism and exuberance towards life. No wonder the color works well for people during all this tough recession talk!

What other colors can be combined with orange? Here are some combos I really like: Orange and pink, orange and royal blue, orange and turquoise, orange and white, orange and tan, orange and red, or orange and magenta.

Live in color!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

That one piece of jewelry

Do you have that one piece of jewelry that you are known for? For me, it's the hoop earring. I've been wearing them faithfully ever since my college days. I use hoops to add width and definition to the center of my narrow face. They are timeless yet trendy, casual yet polished and elegant. They come in so many forms, from exotic rounded disks to basic silver to decorative with a bit of hardware. These earrings to the left are classic with a 70s Halston feel. They are certainly an investment piece. I found them on under the description: 14K gold polish oval hoop earrings. $550

The neon pink hoops I found at Forever 21 is a very youth-oriented retailer, but I shop them consistently for trendy tops, handbags, and jewelry. Most earrings are priced below $10.

Also found these fun Grecian looking gold earrings and hammered silver hoops at Forever 21.

Live in color!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wardrobe ideas for Amy

Part of my duties as a color and wardrobe consultant are to give my clients inspiration and ideas, so that we can plan their wardrobe together. I am posting several items here for one of my clients who lives out of state. She is planning a trip to Mexico in a month and is looking to pull a mini-wardrobe together. Understanding her fashion personality and body type, I have selected some preliminary clothing for her to consider. Once I get feedback on my wardrobe ideas for Amy, we can fine tune the list and set a shopping plan. How exciting!! I want to go to Mexico, too! For Amy, I'm going to recommend the following colors: bright white, vivid turquoise, cobalt blue, purple, bright teal green, her True Winter bright yellow, and bright purple.

The pieces I recommend are:

1 patterned maxidress to do double duty, worn over swimwear or for excursions

1 solid colored dress (see the sweater dress above)

1-2 pairs white jeans (bootleg and/or wide leg trousers, or even a linen baggy pant)

1 pair of white or denim Bermuda shorts

1 denim pencil skirt

1 peasant top in a bright solid or a pattern

1 exotic looking tunic

1 shoulder baring top in a solid color

2-3 layering tanks to be worn solo with baggy pants or under some of the tops selected

1 gauzy white button down shirt that is easy and flowing to go over tanks

1 pair of metallic sandals

1 pair of neutral colored espadrilles

1 swimsuit

1 fabulous belt that can be used with dresses and some of the shirts

We'll see what my client thinks :) Stay tuned!

Live in color!

Create a visual eye lift with cosmetics


I have a confession to eyes droop a little on top. Well, first of all, they are deep set, and then my lids are starting to hover over my eyes a little. Do I worry about this? NO way....there are bigger fish to know what I mean?
I do, however, enjoy discovering tricks to visually lift my eyes upward towards the heavens, because they just look better that way. For any of you out there with eyes that have started to sag, these tips are for you:
1) Groom your brows to draw attention upward. There are fantastically cheap brow gels out there that do the trick, or you can spray a bit of hair spray onto your brow brush, then brush brows immediately. Cover Girl's Define-A-Brow gel COST = $6.00
2) Apply lengthening mascara onto the upper lashes only, focusing especially on the outer lashes. There is NOTHING better than this to visually lift the eye. Approximate COST = $10.00

3) Use a light, illuminating eyeshadow up along the brow bone. Avoid anything too sparkly. Matte formulas are most age appropriate. Laura Mercier's Matte Eye Colours COST = $22.00

I like the shade of Morning Dew, which is a light neutral pink

4) My favorite trick of all is to use a heated eyelash curler. Another image consultant in town introduced me to the Japonesque brand, which can be found at ULTA. Use the heated curler after mascara application. It sets the mascara and lashes in high position for the whole day! Approximate COST = $18.00

5) My last trick sounds great in theory, and I've seen it done very well on mature women. This trick is something I've yet to master but will one day! It is false eyelashes, the individual ones that you can apply to the outer edges only. These lashes can be found at any drugstore, though I am told MAC Cosmetics counters specialize in lash application.
If I did my math correctly, the non-surgical eyelift only costs $56. You are totally worth it!

Live in color,

Monday, February 16, 2009

Top 10 tips to guaranteeing a precise color analysis


Options for color analysis abound, from online color tests to color consults at the makeup counter to professional color analysis in a studio setting. Research your options carefully, because the more accurate the analysis, the more rejuvenated, slenderized, polished and put together you will appear as a result!

Here are my top 10 tips for guaranteeing a precise color analysis:

1) Be sure that natural sunlight or full spectrum lighting is used. Poor lighting makes it almost impossible to complete an analysis.

2) The room's walls and surroundings should be in a neutral grey that will not compete against or detract from the colored drapes used for analysis.

3) Hair and body should be covered with a neutral grey cap and gown, as well, and the analyst should wear an analyst's gown to cover her own clothing.

4) Test drapes used must be measured for color accuracy. The results of a color analysis are only are accurate as the test materials used!

5) The color analysis system used must account for the possibility of neutral skin tones, since up to two-thirds of women are neither cool nor warm in undertone.

6) No makeup should be worn during the analysis, as makeup both masks and alters the look of the skin. During a color analysis, it is imperative that we see the visual effects of both right and wrong colors on the skin.

7) No facial tanners should be used for at least a week prior to the consultation, as some self-tanners shift the look of skin tone too much. Additionally, colored contact lenses should not be worn, because part of the analysis involves observing visual effects of certain colors on a person's eye color.

8) How many colors are included in your palette? Be sure that the consultation includes at least 60 colors that all mix and match. This provides a breadth of color to work with and facilitates easy wardrobe planning.

9) Personal books of color should be provided as part of the consultation. Some books of color contain fabric squares, which are extremely difficult to match against other clothing fabrics seen in stores. Matching fabric to fabric is complex, even for master colorists, because fabric has a sheen that changes appearance as light reflects off of it. The most accurate personal books of color, when printed on archival canvas, are not only lightfast and guaranteed to last a lifetime, but they serve as a constant against which various fabrics can be compared.

10) Training of the color analyst is the perhaps the most important dimension here. There are so many online training programs, but an analyst should ideally be trained in person by a company that specializes in the field of color. There is simply no substitution for receiving hands-on training, despite the many online training programs available today. The art and science of color analysis take practice to understand and time to perfect.

Live in color!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

You--a work in progress

Today I'd like to comment briefly on you--you in the past, present and future. As it pertains to image and fashion, you are constantly evolving.......or should be. Certain looks that worked during your 20s are simply not going to work in your 30s, though many women get caught in a time warped fashion rut!

It is important to assess on an annual basis what you truly want your image and look to convey about you. If you are entering into your 50s, for example, and are shifting to a second career, then your hair, makeup, wardrobe and accessories should shift accordingly.

I always ask my clients to write down a list of adjectives that describe the message they wish to convey to others. Some write intelligent, down-to-earth, professional and approachable, while others write attractive, creative, exotic, quirky and unique. Determine what kind of style statement you want to make this year, and for all the years to come.

Live in color!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The allure of accessories

Ladies, do you love accessories as much as I do? Have you ever gone out and bought accessories without even giving consideration to what outfit you'd pair them with? I do this regularly and thus never spend too much on my accessories unless the piece is something I'd wear for many years to come.

My favorite place to shop for inexpensive accessories is Target. They always deliver on the latest, most colorful, and most exotic pieces at extremely affordable prices. Additionally, check out Forever 21 for up-to-the-minute trends on the cheap. While Forever 21 caters to the teen and 20s set, many of their accessories are appropriate for all ages.

Live in color!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The power of the clutch

The power bag for Spring is the clutch, in my opinion, as we are seeing it in so many forms. From patent leather to color block to python and exotic textures, this multipurpose handbag is making its mark. All bags were found on ELLE's website at

Live in color! Lauren

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2009 Spring shoe report SANDALS

Python is the skin of choice for Spring, and thong sandals are as popular as ever.
Notice the hardware on these taupe colored sandals. They lend a Grecian feel to the shoe.

Not just python, but with a twist of interesting cutouts on the shoe itself. There is so much detail in this season's sandals.

Spring is upon us and there is nothing better to me than wearing new sandals and having my toes freshly pedicured! How about you? Check out these beautiful 2009 Spring sandals that I found at ELLE's site
Live in color!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2009 Spring shoe report DETAILS

The 2009 Spring shoe collections abound with beautiful, ornate details. Take for example this shoe above with the detailed gold embellishment. These shoes are statement pieces, works of art.

You will also see some cutouts at the tops and sides of feet, in interesting places, creating a customized look for the wearer.

Ankle straps are extremely popular for spring shoes!

Fun nautical details involving rope straps are being incorporated, as well, this season.

Python is the 'skin' for this season's shoes and handbags. I also love the beautiful slant on this heel.
All of these shoes were found on ELLE's website at They have an entire section dedicated to 2009 Spring shoes.
Live in color!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2009 Spring shoe report INTERESTING HEELS

There's no doubt about it that the 2009 Spring shoe collections are works of art! Note the interesting details on the heels, like on this grey pair. The camel colored shoe here has an interesting clear heel with silver latticework details.

Notice that the heels have different widths and shapes to them, adding even more interest and intrigue for 2009 Spring shoes.
Live in color!