AKG

Posts Tagged ‘the secret’

On the Inverted Triangle (Part 1)

In On Fashion, On Muse-of-the-Month, On Style, On Styling for the Individual on March 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Recently, there has been an increasing awareness about body shapes and dressing for your body type. With the large amount of information in the media today, it is becoming easier to avoid falling prey to fashion. Simultaneously however, we have been bombarded with imagery telling us what is “ideal perfection”, and it becomes a process to learn to accept that you are beautiful, exactly the way you are.

Let me tell you an important not-so-unknown-secret for dressing better; if the blouse, or dress isn’t fitting right, it isn’t right for you. You don’t need to alter something about yourself; you just need to find something that is perfect for you.

And that’s where stylists, image consultants, and/or shoppers come in. They will admit to you that though very few people are a particular model body shape, everyone has characteristics of common body shapes. The trick is to be able to objectively decipher yours, and build your wardrobe accordingly.

Professionals argue there are 6 body shapes: the triangle (also known as the pear), inverted triangle, lean column, rectangle, apple, and hourglass (neat and full). Others claim there are 8, or 12. Whatever the number of shapes there may be, I am inspired by my muse, Soumya Parker, to discuss the inverted triangle body type. (The other body types will be discussed in posts later this year.) While Soumya may not be a Perfect Inverted Triangle, I believe that she is most similar to the inverted triangle.

Body Shape Chart from Your New Image

Sample Body Shape Chart from Your New Image

Here is the checklist to think about whether you are also similar to an inverted triangle. (Please consider these objectively.) There is no right or wrong here, or better or worse. What is wrong is dressing an apple body type with clothes meant for a rectangle shape.

1) Do you have strong looking shoulders?
2) Are said shoulders wider than your hips?
3) Do you often get compliments about your great legs?
4) Do you have less obvious waist definition?
5) Do you feel/look like you don’t have, or have a very small butt?
6) Do your hips look straight, because your shoulders are broad, or your upper body is fuller?

Often, inverted triangles may have a wide chest and a full midriff – you may need some styling tricks from the apple shape, or you may have curves that make you lean towards the hourglass shape. Whatever it may be, great styling is all about wearing the right clothes for your body type – to play up your best assets, and minimize the rest. Like the stars do. Notice how they balance their upper and lower body.

Popular inverted triangles in the media

Popular celebrities who are inverted triangles- I'd argue you're in good company.

Soumya Parker, in particular, is a petite inverted triangle. Roughly speaking, the goals are: to elongate the torso, define the waist, balance the upper and lower body, and to add shape/curve to the bottom. Once we accept these, it’s time to go have some fun.

AKG

On the Outlet Shopping Spree

In On Discounts, On Fashion, On Luxury, On Shopping, On Style on February 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I think it’s the energizing “ee” ending. Bee, Glee, Free, Gee, Flee, Toffee – you get the gist. Perhaps they’re all so ‘happy’ because they end on such a high, happy note. “Ee”!.

I digress. Today is all about one of the happiest “word” of them all – happier than weddings maybe, because isn’t half the excitement of the wedding the shopping? The nonstop finding of one perfect thing after another until you have so many bags you need help carrying them. Last weekend, I had the best shopping spree ever – at the Wrentham Premium Outlets in Wrentham, MA. They have Theory, BCBG Maxazria, Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, JCrew, Coach, Aeropostale, Harry & David, and so many other absolutely amazing stores (well over 200 in #) – something for everyone. For a first real outlet shopping experience, this place is awesome – I had my first Cracker Barrel and Friendly’s experiences.

The fall/winter sale made this trip even more opportune. At the Bloomingdales Outlet, boots already on sale were an additional 65% off. I kid you not. I made the most amazing purchase in my entire life. Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzels from Harry & David. Yum! Seriously though, I bought knee/thigh high Sergio Rossi wedge boots (dark brown leather) – for my mom – originally priced at $1390 for $130 dollars. *happy dance* An additional 20% off coupon that a friend found me made this trip perfection – almost everything I bought that day was 80% off and above.

I realized that outlet shopping sprees may be the only kind that are actually legitimate for most budgets. A few of my favorite finds: the perfect JCrew dress, made only of diagonal stripes, olive Hunter Willingen Suede and Leather Boots, and Juicy Couture starter bracelet. Outlet shopping is such a great way to build your wardrobe – you may or may not find something that’s “in season”, but you’ll definitely find something that is right for you at a discount. I may just make this an annual tradition.

A few words of caution: Make a list, and use coupons that can be found online to get the deepest discount possible – get value for your money.

Limit yourself – for example, only buy things on sale.

Pay attention to the quality – Coach, JCrew, and many other stores have a separate factory line, that they sell at these outlets. The quality is likely different from their regular store – not necessarily bad – but look closely.

The perfect time for an outlet shopping spree, in my opinion, is when all stores have their end-of-season-sales going on – things will likely be at their lowest price.

Last but not least, have fun!

AKG

On The Two Lists

In On Fashion, On Luxury, On Style on January 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

The fur vest will not make me look more fabulous.  I finally realized this yesterday at BCBG Maxazria, where a beautiful white fur vest that I’d been eyeing since October went on sale for an additional 20% off (off of the already 60% off) – which is quite a bit at BCBG for real fur that’s also a fashion statement. I’ve noticed that ever since I tried it on back in October, I kept putting it back on the rack. No matter what I wore, the vest would always add 10 pounds. Yuck!

At my height, with my curvy shape, I was being ridiculous by not retiring this idea. I wasn’t accepting that this is exactly the kind of trend that works really well for some people – but it’s something that will likely never make me look better. Sure, it can work if it’s a lighter vest – but even then, I have better options in fur – like the fur coat, poncho, stole, or shawl, all of which add the touch of elegance I’m looking for without ruining my shape.

The capri pant is a similar trend. Sure, cropped pants looked great on Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly (but then, what didn’t look good on these two ladies?), and look good on most models. But they cut my legs off unappealingly – shorts that hit at or above the knee do so much more for me. This, I realized a long time ago, before high school (thankfully). There is also the case of choker necklaces. They make me look awful – like I’m literally being choked. The shrug, the cropped shirt, or the shirt tied at the waist, will also never work me. I’d look like I was carrying the entire weight of the world on top.

This list can go on forever – in fact, it should. We should know whether loud prints or soft prints, or big prints or small prints look better on us. We should know if slouchy fits, or fitted fits, or both, look better on us. Keep track of which trends you’ve already realized don’t work for you. Sure, they may be fun to wear to a costume event, but even then – there is a whole list of things that look better on you, no matter what. Stylists swear by this – finding what staples look good. For example, the tutu skirt looks amazing on Sarah Jessica Parker – it reappears multiple times on Sex and the City. It also looked great on Jenny from Gossip Girl (before she became Gothic) and was used to add a splash of color underneath her dresses.

I digress. These are two lists, which I think everyone should make, honestly and constructively – in our heads (or on paper).

1)What (Trends and/or Clothing Pieces) Make Us Look Amazing.

2) What (Trends and/or Clothing Pieces) Don’t Work Well For Us.

If and when we live by these, our wardrobe will look so much cleaner, organized, and wearable. It also gives us initiative to try something new. Soon, we’ll have a wardrobe tailored to make us look amazing. And if that’s not the point, what is?

AKG

On the Keyword, “Incorporate”

In On Entertainment, On Fashion, On Style on January 18, 2012 at 1:18 am

All stylists wax poetic about “being true to oneself”. Until last year, I was so confused. What do they mean?!

Would there be some sort of instant connection I’d feel with certain clothing in my wardrobe?  I absolutely despise when friends or writers make negative comments/judgments about other people’s street style. It never made sense to me why people feel that they can declare someone’s choice of clothing (unless it’s an event) “wrong”. Doesn’t everyone have a different definition of ‘style’? Carrie Bradshaw with a belt across her bare belly is suddenly ‘stylish’, but the girl across the room wearing the green paisley peplum dress is “so off”? Geez.

Living in New York City and now in Boston, I’ve dressed only for myself. I wear what I want, when I want. If I look funny when I look back at myself at the end of the day (and believe me this still happens every once in a while), I just start over the next day. Live and learn, right? When I’m not feeling great, I try to brighten up with a piece I like. If not, I go with whatever brings me most comfort. When I’m feeling great, I reach for the vivid colors, funky accessories, and fun prints. Yesterday, I even bought beautiful printed bedding.

(It makes my room so happy. Blue Jamaica by Ralph Lauren – from Marshalls)

Developing style takes time. When you have time to plan for a day/an event, try something new. I’ll sometimes try grey tartan pants, or accessorize with un-AKG things, like yellow armadillo shoe earrings from Lady Gaga’s holiday workshop at Barney’s, New York (upcoming post about that). When there’s no time, however, like when something unexpected comes up, I quickly go to the pieces that I love. The pieces that I know will work.

To look fabulous, like you spent an hour when you really just spent 10 minutes, collect these pieces! It’ll take time, but bookmark in your mind what made you feel like a million bucks. Value what your innate style has to say, and tweak it based on what you learn. From fashion, or anything, incorporate what fits you and your personality – not the other way around. 

Trust me; this will go a long way. You may need to copy several styles before you find the ones that fit you best. I still make tear-sheets and print out pictures when I like what someone wore. But don’t follow blindly. The keyword here is to “incorporate”.

Maybe those stylists are on to something after all..

AKG

On V For Vanity

In On Fall/Winter, On Style on December 23, 2011 at 4:10 am

I always laugh a little when I hear or read about “the biting cold” my friends and family in California or India are facing. Try -6 and -12 temperatures, on good days. The sun is so deceptive, shining through the window in your home. Believe me; it does not mean you’re in for a warm day. The Boston winter is here. More posts about beautiful warm layers upcoming. Today, is all about my discovery of A&F sweatpants.

Abercrombie & Fitch makes sweatpants that have a perfect butt fit, with a banded hem. There are options for the looser kinds. But they have these skinny and super skinny sweatpants that are warm, comfortable, AND they look good – just like leggings. Believe me. It’s sweat-pant perfection.

(Take a look here if you’re interested.)

We were walking around one evening to get some fresh air during the week before finals week when a friend of mine joked that I was being “vain” – I had refused to walk into a restaurant wearing these.

I realized then, that, – vanity, in small doses, is important. If I didn’t have a little bit of vanity, I would never want to play with my clothes, and experiment with the different ways I could wear my new black sequin dress, or my sleeveless tweed dress. I wouldn’t care about what stared me back in the mirror.

Without vanity, I wouldn’t care about any weight gain, or about a bad haircut. While I strongly dislike the men, women, girls, and/or boys who are truly vain, I appreciate modest vanity. It’s what gives people the oomph.

C’mon people, have a little a pride. Try a new hairstyle – find a new nail color. Find something that makes you feel a little brighter, something that puts a bounce in your step. Like a new shoe? Or even if it’s the new Lancôme mascara. Sample something new. I found this fur poncho, a fitted blazer with a knotted back, and wine colored shoe - all by BCBGMaxazria. I’m in love.

Find out what makes you feel better about “you”. Perhaps change the light in your bathroom? What about taking a DIY tip to your old bag or shoe? Or experimenting with new eye shadow?

There’s a world full of options – have a little fun with this tempered vanity. Like the sweat-pants, it’s perfect in small doses.

AKG

On the Evolution of Personal Style

In On Entertainment, On Fashion, On Style on November 29, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Prepare to laugh, and perhaps enjoy yourselves. Because I have decided that I’d like to share a secret with you all today.

Due to my background in medicine, I was never much interested in fashion or design until my second year at NIFT. In my first semester at fashion school, I learned that my mom’s red Burberry raincoat was actually a renowned classic. And that the bag she was excited about that she had to coerce me to carry was Dior’s iconic saddle.

I was, quite literally, fashion-stupid.

I spent the next few years religiously soaking up information about fashion and style from classes, books, experience, shopping, and the people/friends around me.

I realized that fashion isn’t baseless. Still, fashion and its “rules” still eluded me. Even today, I question the existence of these so-called “rules”. I’ve come to the conclusion that people have to make their own rules to a certain extent. There’s such a variance that there is no concrete definition of what’s fashionable, or stylish, or ‘classy’.

Victoria Beckham’s taste is different from Edith Head, who is different from Blake Lively, who is different from Patricia Fields, who is different from everyone else. And yet, these are all stylish women who style themselves and others very well. And the men. Have you seen the constant reinvention that is Andre Benjamin, and how different he is from George Clooney, who is different from Tom Ford? And what about the variation geographically? What’s ‘elegant’ in Paris will not be be as perfectlly ‘elegant’ for Los Angeles.

It’s enough to make one’s head spin.

Anyway, the secret? Have you ever taken a look at celebrities’ style evolution? Ever seen witnessed how wrong many well-dressed people today can be – even when on the red carpet? Take a look.

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I took an immense amount of comfort in seeing the style evolution of celebrities. People seem to be most glamorous in their early 30s. That’s when they figure out what really works for them. I was 18 when I thought this, at the beginning of my second year in fashion school.

I figured I have time to experiment. If Anne Hathaway, Eva Longoria, and Tyra Banks could look like that and decide to wear those dresses, I’m only human.

That’s the secret.

So what if I paired the wrong shoes with the wrong tshirt? Or looked completely laughable because I matched my green shoes to a blue bag? Trial-and-error was the only way I’d learn. And people had looked funnier in the past, on-camera! Obviously, even the Greats have had their questionable days.

My friends could tell you stories for hours (but they won’t because they’re good friends) about my more than questionable fashion choices. So far I’ve decided that I like the word ‘classy’ more than ‘experimental’, and have slowly found myself becoming more and more so. This “secret”, this decision I made has helped me immensely in slowly, but surely, finding my style. I hope it might help you.

AKG

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