In January of 1980, Carole Jackson started the color analysis craze with the release of her best seller, “Color Me Beautiful.” Jackson changed the way we viewed clothing and shopping. It was not just about wearing clothing that fit, but wearing clothing that flattered your body and your skin.
Today, color plays a major role in the fashion industry. Each year, color authority Pantone announces the “color of the year.” But will that new “it” color look good against your skin? Yes – you just have to find the right shade to match your skin tone.
-Chemistry 101: Skin tone is a combination of three basic pigments: melanin, hemoglobin and carotene. Melanin is the primary pigment that determines how dark a person’s skin will be.
-Beauty 101: Skin tone is classified based on the seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Before I jump to the seasons, let’s talk a bit about our veins. Yes, those visible lines protruding from your skin like a meandering river.
-If your skin has yellow-gold undertones and your veins appear greenish, then you have a “warm” tone (spring or autumn).
-If your skin is pale, dark, or has blue undertones, your veins will appear blue. This represents a “cool” tone (winter or summer).
Another easy test to determine skin tone is to take two scarves; one pink and one orange. Place one of the scarves next to your face. If you notice the scarf first instead your face, and your skin looks dull, then that color is not right for you. Try the next one and, again assess the results. If pink looks better against your skin, then you are summer/winter. If the orange is the one that made your face shine, then shop for spring or autumn tones.
So which colors will complement your skin tone? Let’s take it season by season.
Flowers blooming, the air is warming, birds are singing and the best part- our wardrobe gets lighter! Store those bulky jackets and wool pants!
Spring celebs include Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, and Nicole Kidman. Spring skin is usually very fair. Hair is blonde or auburn with light blue or green eyes. Warning: watch out for dark colors such as black and shades that are muted. If you put the color next to your skin and your eyes do not sparkle or your skin looks dull, then stay away! Spring colors to shop for: ivory, peach, red, coral, golden brown, aqua and bright green, and gold or yellow pastels.
The transitional season. Not only a beautiful time of year, but also a beautiful skin tone too. Fall foliage turns vibrant green leaves into a medley of rich golden, rust, red, and orange hues.
Autumn Celebs include Jennifer Lopez, Lucy Liu, Julia Roberts, and Angelina Jolie. Autumns share spring’s golden/orange tones, but typically have darker hair and complexions, thanks to the higher level of melanin in the skin. Style your body in beautiful exotic tones of earthy reds and oranges, deep greens, moss green, teal and plums. Gold accessories will make your skin sparkle, silver accessories tend to make your skin look drab. Instead of pure white, wear ivory and soft beiges.
When I think of summer, I imagine a palette ripe with pastel watercolors and an inviting bowl of seasonal fruits!
Summer celebs include Emma Stone, Jennifer Anniston, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Summer skin is pink, beige or ivory. Eyes are blue or gray. Hair is light brown to blonde. Soak up the summer sun by wearing cool colors with blue tones such as soft pinks, light blues, dusty rose, pale greens, coral, light lemon and watermelon hues. Black and bright white typically look too stark next to soft summer skin. If you must wear these colors, pair them with pastel accessories to soften your skin. As an alternative, select cool winter hues (see below!). Remember - the wrong color will make you appear aged or sallow.
I love to look at beautiful white blankets of snow through my window. The brightness startles my senses! Bundle up and get ready to jump in!
Winter celebs include Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, and Selena Gomez. When thinking of winter, envision Snow White, pale skin with shiny black hair. Winter colors are vivid, dark and bright. Shop for jewel tones like royal blues, royal purple, lemon yellow and fuchsia. White and black (yes, black - no other season looks better in this commanding hue) are shining stars on winter skin. Icy tones like light blue and grey complete this palette. Steer clear of warm tones that can make winter skin look washed out or pasty. Accessorize with silver!
The next time you take a trip to your favorite clothing store, now you know what colors to look for! Keep in mind, however, that although Mother Nature endowed you with your unique coloring, there are always exceptions to the rule. If you find a shirt or sweater that empowers you, but falls under the wrong season, go for it. You can always incorporate your season with a fun accessory!
In the meantime, let’s have a little fun! Go into your closet, take the color test and let us know, “What’s your season?”
Ever since I left my full-time job about two months ago, I’ve been very lucky to have secured many acting and modeling jobs. Till this day, one of my most memorable moments being on a set wasn’t for acting at all. In fact, it was to be the personal assistant to three-time Emmy Award winner, John Wesley Shipp, best known as the character Barry Allen in “The Flash,” and Mitch Leery on “Dawson’s Creek.” He also appeared on many TV shows including: “Teen Wolf,” “CSI: NY,” “The Closer,”“Drop Dead Diva,” “JAG,” and practically any daytime soap opera you can think of: “One Life to Live,” “All My Children,” “Guiding Light,” and “As the World Turns.”
Almost needless to say, Shipp has quite an impressive resume! I was ecstatic to get the call to come to Cheshire, Connecticut to be his personal assistant for a day. The film, “Sensory Perception,” (2013) was written and directed by Alessandro Signore. The film’s summary on IMDb (Internet Movie Database) says, “A recovering drug addict and a synth-gen created soldier struggle to find their place in the world, and how to deal with visions of an apocalypse.” Shipp plays the character of Lt. Thawne. Other actors cast in the film include: John Savage, Corbin Bernsen, David Gere, Jackie Moore, and Tom DeNucci.
When I arrived on the set, I was given a breakdown of what my duties would be, which was basically to get him anything he asked for, and ask him every once in a while if I could get anything for him. I walked down a narrow hallway and one of the producers knocked on one of the doors. My heart was pounding! Nerves? Yea, a little, but I was mostly excited in anticipation to meet JWS! As the door opened, Shipp stood on the opposite side of the doorway. Standing tall at 6’1,” I looked up and smiled at him. One of the producers for the film introduced me to him.
“It’s very nice to meet you!” I said as I gave him my classic firm hand shake.
“It’s nice meeting you too, Julie, that’s quite a hand shake you got there!” Shipp said.
I told him that I was very happy to finally meet someone from “Dawson’s Creek,” because even today when I tell people my last name, I usually get one of two things, and the first is usually, “Oh, like Dawson’s Creek?” And if it’s not that, it’s usually, “Oh, like Jack Dawson from ‘Titanic!’” Shipp thought this was funny and I was happy to make him smile and laugh. Before we had to be on set to start filming, Shipp and I chatted about acting, what type of films we like, and above all, I was surprised by how personable and genuine he was!
As an actress, I think one of the best parts of this job was being able to watch Shipp act out the scene they were filming that day. I’ve always been a visual learner, but to watch a three-time Emmy Award winner act in front of me was very meaningful. I watched closely how he acted out the scene and made the script come to life before my eyes. He is the type of actor who knows how to draw in an audience and captivate them.
After acting out a few scenes under hot lights in a uniform, it made sense to ask him if he wanted a drink. Sure enough, he did! So, I left the set and grabbed him a cold drink. Although I didn’t have to go very far, there was a jug of cold filtered water just down the hall, and that’s just about how much I did the whole day. He wasn’t some egocentric, needy actor with strange demands. Shipp was a pleasure to assist for the day and I would be glad to do it again.
When it came time to say goodbye, I thanked him, the producers and the crew for allowing me to be on set and serve as his personal assistant. I also told Shipp it was a real treat for me to be able to see him act and that I learned a lot just by watching the scene unfold. He then thanked me for coming to the studio and being his personal assistant. Before I left, I asked him if it would be ok to take a picture with him and he said, “Of course!” Shipp then said that I have a lot of great energy and to keep up the good work with acting. So, we shall see, but I’m excited for what the future holds.
I am very grateful for each job I am selected to be a part of and was thankful to be given an IMDb credit for being Shipp’s assistant! Check out my page and other pictures here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5661359/.
You can find more on “Sensory Perception,” on the IMDb page here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1618473/.
There is no doubt that Heath Ledger’s masterful command of his character in the Batman sequel, “The Dark Knight,” has left a positive mark on many aspiring actors, like 15-year-old Tristan Jon. “I really loved him as the Joker,” Jon said. “He transformed himself into the role, in a way I have not seen done before.”
Aside from Heath Ledger being his favorite actor, Jon said his all-time favorite film is, “‘Chariots of Fire’ – because the movie is about perseverance, endurance, and about the power of the human will.” A lover of action films, he said he also enjoys drama. “I saw ‘Lincoln’ on the big screen and it was amazing,” Jon said.
TS: “If you could be any character in a TV show or movie, who would you want to be?”
TJ: “I would like to play in an action film. I think that playing James Bond, like Daniel Craig, would be a lot of fun. I would get to run through explosions, and I would always get the girl.”
TS: “How about reality TV?”
TJ: “Reality shows are interesting concepts. I’d like to be in a show like ‘Survivor.’ Definitely Jeopardy, because I don’t know much trivia and it would be a good chance to learn from my mistakes.”
It all started when his kindergarten teacher, who also worked as a drama instructor, told his mother that he should take acting lessons. He was just five at the time, and according to him, “I did it, and I have enjoyed it ever since.”
TS: “What has been your most memorable acting job so far?”
TJ: “The last acting job I had. I was part of a family comedy web-series, which premiered the end of October 2013. Up to that point, I had only done theater. This was my first time working on film. The format, the hours, and the schedule are completely different from stage acting. On film, you get to do a scene over and over until the director is happy with the take. On stage, you have to get it right the first time. There is really no second take; you have to deliver your lines right the first time around. Filming is very time consuming, though. I’d arrive on set at 9 a.m. and would not leave until almost midnight. The hours were very long and there is a lot of sitting around, waiting for things to happen, before you get called for your scene. Regardless of all this, I still loved acting in front of a camera! And I loved discussing with the director about the different angles.”
Born in Boston, and growing up in Newburyport, Jon is described by his friends and parents as “disciplined, hard working, funny, and loyal.” He is currently a full-time student, but hopes to continue performing for a long time to come, whether it’s in theater or music.
“Theater and music have always been ways for me to express myself and show people who I am. Before that, I was a very shy kid, but these two things helped me to break out of my shell and show people who I really was,” Jon said.
From singing in his bedroom, to performing small comedy skits for his parents in the dining room, he has gone on to singing at school talent shows, at a benefit concert in New York, and performing with a theater organization called, Theater in the Open. “I have enjoyed the path that acting has given me,” Jon said.
TS: “What would you do with your first million if you made it really big as an actor?”
TJ: “I know it may sound boring, but I think I would invest it.”
TS: “If you could choose any other job (besides acting), what would it be?”
TS: “So, you can sing as well?”
TJ: “Yes, I am a singer and soon I will like to start taking dancing lessons.”
TS: “What’s your favorite type of music?”
TJ: “Classic Rock. I have listened to Bruce Springsteen and U2 since I was very young.”
TS: “Do you play any musical instruments, too?”
TJ: “Piano and keyboard”
TS: “If you could learn to play any other instrument, what would it be?”
TJ: “I think the piano is ‘it’ for me.”
Besides his passions, he has the same likes and dislikes of a regular 15-year-old. He said he loves clothes and hates doing laundry.
TS” So, you hate doing laundry? Why?”
TJ: “Sorting out socks is total drudgery.”
TS: “How would you describe your sense of style?”
TJ: “I love clothes that just fit right. I enjoy wearing upscale casual the best. The Hilfiger line is usually the style of clothing that fits me the best.”
TS: “Oh yeah? So, what article of clothing do you currently have in your closet that makes you look and feel your best?”
TJ: “My Tommy Hilfiger red, blue and black colored flannel makes me feel great. It matches with different vests and keeps me warm in the winter, but I can roll it up to stay nice and cool in the summer.”
TS: “Do you indulge in any sports or other activities?”
TJ: “Basketball and soccer are my favorite sports. I enjoy running and they are pretty fast. You have to be always ‘on,’ to figure out the best pass.”
There is a bit of a sentimental side to our young actor. His favorite flower is the magnolia. He explained, “My mom introduced my sister and me to her favorite tree: a magnolia tree. It was beautiful while in bloom. So the Magnolia has always had special meaning for me.”
TS: “What’s your favorite word?”
TJ: “Happiness. The word itself just makes me smile.”
TS: “And do you have a favorite quote?”
TJ: “‘All I know is that I know nothing’ by Socrates.”
Michaela Johnson was in college when the “Search for a Star” contest first started and she was not able to participate until a few years later. “I had just wrapped a summer of working with Cape Cod league baseball and the X-Games in L.A.,” she said, “I was working at a gym at the time and decided to try out.” She had studied communications at Bridgewater State University and had always wanted to get into broadcasting. “I figured ‘Search for a Star’ was a great way to do that.”
Will Gilbert knew at age 16, that this was that he wanted to do. “I have loved music and television since I was a little kid. I think one of my first toys was a small plastic record player with small records that my mother and father bought for me at the old Ann and Hope in Cumberland. So, it may have been destiny that this is the career I have.”
Every morning during the week, “The Rhode Show” co-hosts Johnson and Gilbert are welcomed into the living rooms of Rhode Islanders. They take us around the state on different adventures, behind the scenes of local events, introduce us to a sundry of celebrities both local, and international, all with a high-octane energy that never seems to falter.
TS: “Will, how did you get started?”
WG: “I started working right out of school. I was in school for broadcasting, but about a week or two in, my teacher said, ‘Will, I can get you a job right now.’ The teacher was going to Boston to work in radio and said, ‘you are good enough now to be on the air.’ Granted it was a small a.m. station 550 W-ICE that played music from the 50's and 60's, but I was on the air and it was a job.”
TS: “Michaela, when you won the one-year contract, you obviously had no idea that this would turn into a permanent gig. How did the transition happen?
MJ: “It was very unexpected! I went into the year just like past winners had—knowing I would give up the position next year. I was working on a reel and looking into other stations that had positions open. It was late in the year when our news director approached me and I jumped at the chance.”
For the 25-year-old, this was a dream come true. She grew up in a close-knit family, “where it was the norm to gather around the dinner table, attend everyone’s sporting events and competitions, and spend more time playing outside than cooped up in the house playing video games (although Nintendo was pretty fun).”
TS: “And your previous two jobs were sports-related. Do you feel those jobs have enhanced your ability to perform this one?”
MJ: “Having a sports background has helped me tremendously. I have a competitive drive that occasionally my co-workers make fun of me for. Yes, I’m competitive, but I think it’s good to always strive for more and never settle. You also have to know when to step up as an individual, and when to do what’s best for the team. That’s how I see our crew. We’re a family and a team. Finding that balance of working alone and together is crucial.”
The last of three kids, Johnson is very close to her sisters and parents.
TS: “Tell us about your family.”
MJ: “I love my sisters. They are my best friends and we have a blast together. My parents are two of the most hard-working people I’ve ever met. They don’t stop! And they’ve always put us first which speaks to their character. They’ve been happily married for over 30 years and I hope one day I can say the same. Oh, and I can’t forget about two other members of my family: the dogs, Bailey and Toto.”
As for her co-host, Will worked as an on-air executive. He was a producer for 21 years before moving to Lin TV and “The Rhode Show.” “The transition was very smooth for the most part,” he said, “I had worked at WPRI before as the Assignment Editor for a few years, so I knew the lay of the land and many of the people who still worked at the station. I was also lucky to start out on the show with Michaela who already had been on the show for a year. We've made a great team and I think it comes across on the show,” Gilbert said.
TS: “What have you enjoyed the most about being part of the show?”
WG: “The people. I meet new people every day. All have a unique story and come from different backgrounds, organizations, charities, etc. You name it, ‘The Rhode Show’s’ got it! These people make our show what it is. Whether it’s a guest or a viewer, I always enjoy meeting them.”
TS: “How have you managed to keep what you do fresh?”
WG: “I just try to be me. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it is true. You have to be yourself! You can't fake it, it just doesn't work. I go in and just talk about the real things that happen and ask the questions I think people want to know. I have also worked with people and met many famous people who what you see is not what you get. I can't be those people.”
TS: “In your entire career, what has been your favorite interview?”
WG: “I've interviewed Presidents and big A-List celebrities, if they have been at the top in music and even TV, more than likely I’ve talked with them. People like President Clinton, Lionel Richie, Mick Jagger, Lenny Kravitz and many, many more. Pretty cool!”
MJ: “That’s a difficult question, but being a sports fan I have to say Magic Johnson and Doc Rivers. They took part in the Jeffrey Osborne Celebrity Classic and they were two of the nicest people I’ve met and interviewed. I’ve admired them for years and to see how genuine they were was incredible.”
TS: “Anyone you have interviewed and thought to yourself, ‘Oh my God, I’m interviewing…!’”
MJ: “So many people! I can’t believe I’m saying that, but I have been so fortunate to have interviewed some amazing people. I could fill an entire page.”
WG: “I was able to have an exclusive interview with Britney Spears! I also was the first to sit down just in the past few weeks with the new judges on American Idol, Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban, and Harry Connick Jr on the day they were announced as the judges, but there have been many other big gets.”
TS: “After so many years in the industry, what has been the most rewarding aspect of what you do?”
WG: “I have been very lucky to stay in the business for as long as I have. I think the most rewarding part of it is being able to work with so many talented people along the way and learning different things about the radio, music and TV business along the way.”
TS: “With your job, you’ve done quite a bit of travel – where has been your fave place?”
MJ: “Hands down it has to be Italy. Last fall I traveled to Rome to cover WaterFire. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but one I will never forget.”
TS: “What has been the most challenging?”
WG: “The challenge is to not become jaded by it all. You never want to take it for granted. This is a great business to be in and we are lucky enough to be able to do things many only dream of. So, you just have to keep a level head, enjoy it while you have it, and go home take the dog for walk and put the garbage out and thank God you are the guy that gets to do it.”
TS: “Has there been anyone who surprised you or dramatically changed your perception of them after the interview?”
WG: “There have been a few but one who shall remain nameless was a complete jerk, and more than once. He is a very, very big name rock star and just treated the people around him like jerks. The rest of the guys in the band were cool. There is also a young and very famous male pop star who is right up there too.”
TS: “Michaela, we hear that you enjoy cooking! What’s your favorite thing to make?
MJ: “Is it bad to say salad? That really doesn’t take much skill, but I love making different combinations. I do love to bake too, and my signature dish is apple pie. I’ve been adding cranberries to the pie for the past few years; you should try it!”
TS: “Lastly, Will, what advice would you give an up-and-comer who might like to follow in your footsteps?”
WG: “Stay with it and work hard. It is a tough business! Don't take it for granted, because someone else is waiting in the wings to take your job, you have to have a thick skin to be able to handle the highs and lows. Work hard and be yourself, oh and if all fails have a plan B.”
I’m in no way trying to devalue the opinions and perspective of the women and men in the industry, particularly because I personally know how much models pour themselves into their work, but as the Merriam Webster dictionary defines it, “a model is a person or thing that serves as a pattern for an artist; especially one who poses for an artist.”
Though this may be true, behind every glossy final photo, with its compositional precision, flawless hair and makeup, and expert lighting, there is a story. A story that often times doesn’t match the perfection of the final product and is almost always left untold.
This past summer, I had the honor of gracing the cover of “Trade Secrets Magazine,” featuring some swimwear from the talented designer, Elizabeth McLaughlin of Isabela Royale. The final photos are stunning. Looking at them now, I can hardly believe the girl exuding the effortless poise in the pictures is me. Particularly, when I reflect upon the gorgeous morning we shot in Newport.
I awoke at 2:50 a.m. to shower and drive from Boston for my 4:30 a.m. call time. After hair, makeup, and two cups of coffee, we worked our way down to the beach, where the early morning light danced on the water’s surface.
We arrived to find a few early risers walking their dogs along the beach and the photographer, Valencio, began to set up his equipment. As I waited around to begin, a giant three-legged dog wandered over and defecated right in the middle of our first shot, and to my surprise, his owner decided that the universal rule of picking up after your pet didn’t apply to her!
After a few shots at the first spot, Valencio decided we needed to find a different backdrop, so we headed straight to the water. I sank to my knees and began to pose. As soon as my shins hit the water, they began to itch like crazy! I looked down to see hundreds of little creatures (I’m not able to confidently classify them as insects or sea critters) nibbling my legs. Knowing there was little I could do about it than literally grin and bare through the pain. Valencio began snapping away, and this was where he ultimately captured the cover shot for the August issue.
After a quick change, we moved on to a little cove created by the receding tides. I was going to be shot on a huge rock jutting out of the water and tried to get comfortable. This proved to be more difficult than I had imagined! In order to hold my body in the most visually appealing position, I had to balance my hipbone directly on a cushy seat of barnacles and stone. To relieve some of the pressure, I leaned back on both hands and was finally almost comfortable when Valencio nonchalantly asked me to hold a pair of sunglasses in my right hand. Oh no, there goes my comfort zone! My left arm began to shake as it took on all of my body weight and I could feel my forehead starting to glisten, (the modeling term for sweating bullets). And that’s when, right there in the middle of my struggle on the rock, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. “It must be a piece of a buoy,” I attempted to convince myself, as what was actually the skeletal structure and some flesh of a very dead pigeon began bobbing ominously close to me. I was successfully ignoring the carcass when Valencio strode over and coolly remarked, “Oh, did you see the dead bird?”
That was it; I jumped out of the tidal pool like a professional athlete! Valencio found a plastic bag and fearlessly strode down to the water, but as he attempted to scoop up the bobbing remains, it split in half and floated in every which direction. We still needed a few more shots before he was satisfied, so valiantly, I tried not to focus on the bobbing bits. Keeping one eye on the direction the parts were flowing, I tried not to look frazzled. Collectively, the whole crew and I kept willing the tide to take our new half friend away. Finally, it did, we were able to finish the shots without any further incidences.
Next, we moved to the Newport pier where, for the rest of the day, I continued to pose and push my body farther than humanly possible. I was asked to stride up and down a stretch of sidewalk in a skimpy bikini and a pair of heels all without looking like I was breaking a sweat in the 90 degree weather. Cars drove by and slowed down, curious drivers peered out of their windows to see what was going on. As I popped a hip here, arched a back there, I tried to disregard the whistles and the cat calls. We finally wrapped around noon, and I hit the highway back home.
As the title of this article postulates, “models are meant to be seen, and not heard.” And maybe that’s for a reason. As models, we are lucky to be able to produce some of the most beautiful pictures, and to the outsiders looking in, it appears to be glamorous, but talk to any professional model, and they will acknowledge without hesitation, most of the stories are not as pretty as the pictures.
When your midsection is properly conditioned, you not only look better, but you also stand taller, lift heavier weights (if that is part of your goal), and perform your daily activities easier with less risk of injury.
Having a strong core and slimmer midsection requires two things:
- Proper nutrition
- Proper training technique
All core routines should consist of abdominal and lower back training using movements in a multi-plainer range of motion. What this means is, doing a few sets of sit-ups or crunches isn't going to sculpt your midsection. You need to train the entire body as well as the core, in a multi-directional functional routine, using both body weight and resistance training.
Some of my favorite tried and true exercises for training the midsection include the following:
- Medicine ball exercises- including rotations such as seated twists.
- Plank variations- which that are great for stability. There are several ways to progress using the plank, such as side planks, and hip movements.
- The Swiss ball -to help provide strength, balance and stability.
- Cable rotations and simulated chopping exercises – there are a wide variety of these that work very well.
For a complete core workout, let’s not forget to add some lower back exercises to the routine. As a personal trainer, I always recommend adding one back exercise for every front exercise. So you will want to include some hyper-extensions, dead lifts, and glute bridges to your routine.
Now that you have a few exercises, the bad news is that they will not work unless you pay attention to your nutrition routine. If not, all your hard work will go unrewarded. I highly suggest eating only fresh, whole organic foods. This will help nourish and maintain a healthy functioning body. Eat lots of vegetables and choose organic free-range animal products. Eat a moderate amount of fruits, nuts, and only whole unprocessed grains and starches. I also suggest you eliminate certain foods such as wheat, gluten, sugary foods, and all processed grains and dairy. These foods have little, if any, nutritional value, and can cause disruption and inflammation to our digestive tracts. This translates to abdominal bloating - something everyone would like to avoid! The less of these foods you consume, the healthier and leaner you will be.
The bottom line of trimming your midsection comes down to training and nutrition – and as I always say – you can’t “work-out” a bad diet!
From working with clients throughout the year on their wardrobes, I have come to realize that the idea of mixing prints is taboo for most of them.
We all have several pieces with prints in our closets, but we always seem to wear them the same way - pairing them with the same colors. However, in my opinion, mixing patterns can be so much fun, because it gives us numerous more ways to mix and match the different pieces in our closets, in ways that we may never have expected them to work before.
Now, I know that mixing prints can be very tricky, so to make sure you don’t leave home looking like you got dressed in the dark or without a mirror, here are some rules to follow:
- Color is the key. The easiest way to mix prints is by choosing one main color out of your different pieces to bring out. Coordinate the rest of your look around that main color, or you can choose a set of colors in the same family to help connect the different prints.
- Complement. Find patterns that naturally balance each other. Mixing stripes and floral or stripes and polka dots are great examples. Stripes act as a neutral and can help tone down the “loudness” of a floral, while polka dots are one of the easiest prints to pair because they can look casual and ultra-feminine all at once. Worn with stripes, tweeds, global, chevron, hounds tooth, floral, and more, the polka dot is an everlasting print!
- Size Matters: Of the print, that is! Match similar prints without giving others around you a headache. It all has to do with the size of the patterns. By using a smaller print next to a larger one, the two will balance each other out, one complementing the other. It can be tough to pull off a complete head-to-toe print, but that is when a neutral color can play an important part. By adding a solid neutral piece - a belt, scarf or even a pair of shoes - between two or more patterns, it can break up the cacophony of the different prints.
A print we continue to see a lot on the runway is the animal print. If you want a classic look, just wear one piece at a time, but if you want to be bolder, choose prints that are complementary. Whatever you do, don’t be too “matchy.” For instance, pairing cheetah with cheetah may be a bit much, so look for one print that has a smaller pattern than the other. The key is to balance the proportions of the patterns, and remember, be really simple with the accessories!
How about guys?
Mixing prints is not just for the ladies. You can show off your style wearing cool colors and mixing prints, even though you don’t have as many clothing options your female counterparts do.
For the most part, you only really get to choose between shirts and ties. If you want to bring new life to your look or you just want to stand out, add some character to your outfit by pairing your shirt with a patterned tie. However, make sure that your choice of pattern won’t make people dizzy, dazed or disorientated!
Ultimately, there is no real right or wrong way to wearing patterns for men, but following some basic rules will make it easier to know how to mix prints. Personally, I use these rules for my clients and my husband:
Bright + Soft - A bold colored tie works best with a softer colored shirt. The tie should be the main attraction, so its colors should always be darker than the shirt.
Color + Color - Looking for the easiest way to punch-up your outfit? Wear the same color shirt and tie, but be sure to introduce pattern and texture into your outfit. Don’t match patterns of the same size or type. For example, with a wide-striped shirt, try a small repetitive pattern (like a pin dot or all-over print).
Most of the time, putting a patterned tie and patterned shirt together can be overwhelming. If this applies to you, then go with a solid color in either the tie or the shirt.
Mixing prints can really be fun for both men and women, but it’s not for everyone. If you are the confident type and it reflects your personal style, then go for it! However, if you think this might not be for you, then stick to mixing your patterns with solid colors or neutrals and have fun with the accessories!
There is an old adage in Italy that says, “Appearances are deceptive.” The way we choose to dress ourselves each day expresses various aspects of our being, and so for this month’s article, I’d like to write about what we, as Italians, wear to the office.
Over the years, corporate culture in Italy has gradually gained a fair amount of freedom in employee dress code. Well, there isn’t really a “dress code.” It’s not uncommon to see denim and other casual items in general, alongside the classic look in the workplace.
Very often, Italian women are influenced by what they see on TV and in the movies, as many characters playing the roles of business professionals, dress in strict business suits, paired with high-fashion heels, and flashy hairstyles and makeup.
There are a few simple rules to follow when contemplating what to wear to the office, and with these tips, you could never go out of style. Elegance and temperance is the common denominator.
While we are well-known for our distinct style, even here in Italy, we sometimes find a few wardrobe transgressors. Every now and then, I spot a coworker wearing his tie loosened, jacket draped over the back of his chair, and I have wondered if this was due to the heat, or a personal fashion statement. An acceptable alternative here would be a nice polo shirt, or a striped or checkered button down long-sleeved shirt, worn without a jacket, with the sleeves folded back, and a pair of classic or trendy pants. Designers Armani, Missoni, Zegna and Dior have all produced pieces for this type of look, and can be seen in many of the key fashion hubs around the world.
In all places of work, there are rules we can follow when planning our looks that not only command respect, but also honor the good taste that distinguishes us as Italians. Wearing an informal, yet classic suit, can help us feel secure and ensure that we are taken seriously. On the other hand, if we opt for a trendy-chic look, we can be perceived as more dynamic, as we can clearly see in the current looks from Prada, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, and Valentino. We can avoid excesses by eliminating the low necklines, the micro-mini skirts, low-waisted pants, and overly-dramatic makeup.
Speaking of good taste, or as we say in Italian, “Bon Ton,” women in business, should consider their image with great care. Noteworthy looks for any office include classic suits or knee-length dresses, paired with a touch of jewelry, and medium height shoes. Designers, Hogan, Tod’s, and Roger Vivier, offer very suitable, yet feminine selections to pick from. Vivier, artfully delights us with his legendary “Virgule” (Comma Heel), and has become the undisputed hero of shoe trends.
For our male counterparts, the same rules apply when conforming their wardrobe to a specific role in the work place. The best looks incorporate a good quality dark suit paired with a shirt (either in a solid color or striped) and a tie, coordinating it all with classic leather shoes and long socks in the same color.
I have been delighted to see young professionals paying more attention to their wardrobe. Knowing the importance of a good first impression, they are putting a lot of thought into their choices of attire for job interviews and other key gatherings.
And it’s not just our youth; most Italians, regardless of their profession, often opt for Casual-Chic, a style that matches the elegant good taste we are known for, while aligning with our standard code of “being at ease.”
So my friends, the one constant rule should be “everything in moderation” without overlooking the current fashion trends. However, when it comes to your wardrobe, under any circumstance, always be ready, and never leave room to get sloppy!
Ciao from Italy.
In the fall, there are a million articles about "smoky eyes," "how to wear red lips," and "how to winterize your skin." Don’t get me wrong, they are all great topics, but I doubt the world will be bettered by yet another contribution. So, I thought why not write about what my clients always ask me, "I have 10 minutes. How do I look polished, pulled together, and maybe even gorgeous, using as few products as possible?"
For daytime or casual activities, keep it clean and fresh - especially if you are tired. Applying a lot of makeup will draw attention to the things we are trying to camouflage.
- Start with a neutral eye base dabbed on the lid to neutralize those little veins that can make the eyes look puffy and tired. If your lids are oily or products tend to crease, then dust a little loose powder or neutral shadow over to set. I will often do this just using my finger.
- Curl your eyelashes and apply a coat of mascara (bottom lashes are optional, though I typically do). I almost always use black, but don't be afraid to try other colors if you are tempted.
- Using your fingers, apply the lightest textured foundation you are comfortable wearing, in a color that blends into your skin without being too light or too dark next to your neck.
You want to avoid a face much lighter than your body or vice versa. Foundation should always appear seamless and undetectable. Most of us are happy with just a tinted moisturizer versus a full-coverage foundation, but again, go with what feels good to you. I like a sheer one with a dewy finish. However, if you are oily, "dewy" is a dirty word-go matte. There is no right or wrong when it comes to what makes you feel good, and if your face seems to eat your makeup by the middle of the day, wearing a primer underneath your foundation is a good idea. It may be an extra step, but it will minimize the need for touch-ups.
Any imperfections that shine through your foundation can be concealed with a lightweight concealer. Pick a color that matches your face perfectly. I know some makeup artists say to go a shade lighter, but the truth is this creates the illusion of puffiness. It’s always a good idea to apply concealer with a brush and blend with fingers or a sponge. Applying directly with fingers or sponge will give a heavier application and will make you look cakey. No one goes out wanting to look cakey!
- Apply some blush. Blush is your friend! It lifts and enlivens the face. I dab a cream blush in a pink or peachy color on the apples of my cheeks. Everyone looks good in pink or peach. Lighter skin tones are best going with a more pastel shade, deeper skin tones should try more saturated bold shades. I love a fuchsia blush on darker skin tones. Again, set areas prone to creasing with a bit of loose translucent powder. I typically use a puff to avoid that heavily powdered "Marie Antoinette" look that a brush can create. Don’t love cream blush? Use a powder blush instead! A good thing to remember is cream blends best on creamy surfaces, and powder blends best on powdered surfaces. Remembering this will eliminate streaky makeup applications.
- Fill in any gaps in your brows with a neutral brow pencil that harmonizes with your skin tone and hair color.
- Finish up with a lip color that makes you happy. I absolutely believe that there is no wrong answer to this one. If you want to wear burgundy in June and bubblegum pink in November, don't let me stop you. But, if you’re unsure, put it on and step back from the mirror, or take a picture with your phone and see how the whole look comes together. If it doesn't work, change it. That's the best part about makeup. It's not a tattoo. You always have the luxury of changing your mind.
The whole application should take just a few minutes.
If you need to step it up a notch for an evening event or “just because,” then pick either your eyes or lips to showcase. I typically choose whichever feature I feel better about that day. So on a day I want to feature my lips I will pop on a great red lipstick, and really, there is a red for everyone. That isn't hype.
If I'm showcasing my eyes, I will do either black or navy waterproof liner in between my eyelashes before I put on mascara, and then smudge a cream eyeshadow stick along my upper and lower lash line. I use those because they are super quick and easy and pretty much fool proof. If you really want your eyes to sparkle, pick a color that contrasts with your eye color. For blue eyes go for coppery browns, green eyes look great in plums, and for brown eyes I love navy or emerald.
The main thing to remember is if you don't feel beautiful, do something else. If you are wearing all the latest trends, but don't like how you look or feel, it will show. Confidence and comfort are the most beautiful accessories a person can wear. Do what makes you feel confident. Be yourself and stand tall. You are already gorgeous; you're just letting the world know too!
Designer and fashion icon Hardy Amies once said, “A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them.” At Chez Moustache, we believe that the well-coiffed man ought to make the same thoughtful impression.
You would think that making a good impression has to include one's hair. After all, it does sit there right on top of that (hopefully) well-dressed body. Apparently, this isn’t common sense to many men. We receive countless last-minute pleas from desperate clients and non-clients in need of primping for an important event and are amazed at how many men consider their haircut as an afterthought. So, we want to set the record straight and set-up some guidelines on how we think you can look your best:
1. Schedule your haircuts regularly
It all begins with establishing a relationship with a good barber. Just like any other relationship in your life, you have to work at it and give it time. That means, you never want to be the guy whose back, neckline, and hair have all grown together. We recommend scheduling a standing appointment every four to five weeks if you have a longer hairstyle, and for very short hair, we suggest a neck cleanup and shaping every two to two-and-a-half weeks. Planned grooming keeps you consistently sharp.
2. Have realistic expectations
Find a barber that you can talk to about your hair goals. Pictures are good to bring in, but be realistic and make sure the model has similar hair to you. If not, you may set yourself up for a disappointment.
Male pattern baldness is a common challenge in both the psychology of letting go of a past look, and finding a new handsome look in conjunction to working with what you have left on the top of your head. You ought to feel comfortable talking this out with your barber, and they should respect your wishes. We’ve had the pleasure of easing many of our clients away from the “comb-over” into a more modern look.
3. Communication is important
Talk to your barber about your hair and your head: Do you have any cowlicks, bumps or lumps? Every head is different. Do you know exactly what you want, or do you want a recommendation? There’s a relationship between client and barber that grows over time, but the consultation paves the way for the client to leave satisfied right from the get-go.
Most men can relate to the priority of maintaining their car. They wouldn’t think of missing an oil change, so we hope you will consider putting the same priority into finding a good barber and maintaining your grooming as you would with your car. American writer Elbert Hubbard said, “A man is paid not for having a head…but for using it.” At Chez Moustache we ask – “Why not make it a well coiffed-head?”