I got another “Fashion Wisdom” steroid last Saturday when I attended a full day seminar on dressing to look your best with Nancy Nix Rice in Champaign, IL that my neighbor/friend/seamstress extraordinaire Tina Colombo put together.
The overall goal: You have to dress every day – so why not dress to look your BEST? WEAR your clothes – don’t let your clothes wear YOU! Anyone who has taken my ‘Frumpy to WOW’ or ‘What to Put Where and WHY’ seminars at sewing expos know I ask this question all the time as it pertains to creating wearable art.
I’ve been a fan of Nancy Nix Rice for years – integrating much of her book, Looking Good into my work. BECAUSE it verifies/agrees/substantiates everything I was taught in my color/style training back in the 80’s when ‘Color Me Beautiful’ hit the scene. At the time, my common sense said: “Wait a minute… it is NOT possible everyone (female and male) could be pigeon-holed into 1 of 4 color schemes (Winter Spring Summer Fall). With that conclusion strong in my knowledge base, and mixed with things I’d learned in my Home Ec/design degree, I went searching for color training that I felt was valuable and ‘true’. I found it in the Color Key System and had wonderful training from a gal (I even forget her name now), but it was just as much styling as it was color. I learned SEW much, that has been the basis of so much of what I’ve done since ‘way back then’. When I did a color analysis, it started out with sitting with my client and going through my notebook of how to USE her colors, to get to know her, to determine the best STYLING for her as well as then determining her best colors. Nancy could have been the one training me – or taking the training with me, we agree on so much – if not EVERYTHING. Which, by the way, DISAGREES with so much of what the ‘fashion police’ or ‘What not to Wear’ people or fashion magazines preach and so many take as fashion ‘gospel’.
Sew…anyway, I took lots of notes and photos and will share it here on my blog, and in some upcoming newsletters in bits and pieces – with Nancy’s permission – and linking you to her products and excellent services along the way. Nancy travels some doing her programs and services – so if you want to get in touch with her – find her at http://www.nancynixrice.com.
One thing that has BUGGED BUGGED BUGGED me in recent fashion is the huge, clunky, non-feminine shoes worn with even dressy dresses and formal wear. Ughhhhh!!!!! I think Nancy put her assessment of it right on the $ when she showed us the difference that showing more foot/leg gives versus a high vamp shoe makes. Which one makes the leg look longer? (And that is what we desire – long, lean legs!).
Select shoes for lean, long legs
While comfort is one thing – and the clog type shoe on the right (her left foot), fashion is something else…and I think you’d have to agree that her leg looks better, longer, and her foot less wide in the pump on the left with a lower vamp.
I’m pretty paranoid about my feet – size 11 that I am blessed to be! I do NOT want to draw attention to my feet – so that leaves WHITE and the big bold colors OUT for me. As Nancy put it: “Do you want to be about your SHOES or be about YOU?” Put another way – do you want people to look at your FEET or your FACE? The ‘nude shoe’ is a good choice as it doesn’t act like a “Stop sign”. Nancy added that if you really MUST do the bold shoe color thing, to add a necklace that color – to ‘park the focus’ closer to your face. Oh – and another quote from Nancy: “When you draw attention to your shoes, you ‘compact’ your height by at least 6″! And that 6″ gets added to your hips!” OK – maybe some of you want to do that, but I’m not in that ‘club’.
This discussion led me to ask her her feelings about another thing that BUGS me and that is all the nude, bare legs – even when ‘dressed up’. Now again – maybe it is because at ‘over 60’ now, my leg ‘complexion’ is nothing to brag about – but neither is the ‘leg complexion’ of many bare legs I see out and about…IMHO. Nancy went into a very carefully stated discussion about this topic – clearly sharing that this is a real topic of controversy in the fashion world today, but I think she summed it up when she said: “Your clothing (or lack thereof) defines your personal boundaries.” She did come down on the side of for a professional appearance, that hosiery is definitely in order.
Now, I never hesitate to share that I am as conservative, Christian as one can get – but for one, I also feel uncomfortable showing cleavage even on a ballroom dance floor – let alone as an ‘every day occurrence’ as I see it so often. I know – I’m just a prude I guess, but this is MY BLOG and I can (and will) share my opinion. Take it or leave it – but let her quote settle in your soul for awhile… “Your clothing (or lack thereof) defines your personal boundaries.”
The Great Pantyhose Debate"
For what it’s worth: Kate Middleton wears ‘tights’ as they are called, on a routine basis. And come to think of it – I don’t think I’ve seen her cleavage either. I vote for the ‘Princess’ style if you want to look like a LADY. HERE is an interesting site regarding what Kate is wearing – and a post on “The Great Pantyhose Debate”.
I’m most interested in your thoughts on shoes and hose – please COMMENT below.
COLOR – more on color in another post, but along the lines of this post Nancy also shared that one of the easiest ways to determine your if your coloring is ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ is to hold up different metals to your (naked) skin. Try gold, silver, bronze, and ‘rose gold’ – a pinky gold. The wrong metal worn in large areas can “make you look like you died yeterday and no one has caught on”. Sure made me realize why I LOVE my sandals (and a new leather vest) that are a mix of more medium-toned, ‘rose’ gold…it ‘goes’ with ME! I haven’t had time to totally look at the Oscar fashions – that is another post of IMHO (In my Humble Opinion), but I do feel I saw lots of ‘metallic’…so beware – do it with the right TONE that matches YOU!