The Sexiness Of The Leg…

A lot of attention gets paid to the leg. There’s no doubt about it, legs are sexy…

Looking leggy at any height is easy, it just comes down to a savvy mix of visual tricks.

Heels are simply the best way to lengthen the leg. Just an inch and a half is enough to make a big difference. Not only do heels increase height, they add a feminine touch to any outfit, and improve posture by bringing the chest forward, and pushing the stomach back.

Avoid clunky footwear, it just thickens the foot. Go for delicate shoes or figure hugging boots. Thick shoe straps distract, chopping the leg off too early. A shoe that shows off some foot is not only sexy, it creates the illusion of a longer leg. Tan or flesh toned shoes visually help make legs appear longer too.

No skirt should ever hit the fullest part of the leg. Attention should only be brought to the most slender areas. Hems should hover just above or below the knee, or close to the ankle. Calf length skirts can be flattering, but only if you combine them with a well heeled, knee-length boot.

High waist pants and skirts elongate the leg, giving the impression that the legs start higher then they really do. Dresses that cinch in just below the bust, transform the waist to toe ratio, giving the illusion of a longer torso and lengthening the silhouette.

Short skirts arrived in the late 60′s, and haven’t left the fashion world since. To avoid looking trashy, even the shortest skirt must only be about four inches above the knee. The hemline should ideally fall right in the middle of the upper leg, just before it thickens out and becomes thigh, but not an inch higher.

With age, a longer skirt is often deemed more appropriate. A decade ago, women over 35 were hesitant about wearing shorter skirts for fear of being labeled, ‘mutton dressed as lamb.’ These days, as long as you have the legs for it, shorter skirts are being worn by women in their mid 40′s, and even early 50′s.

“How tall am I…? Honey, with hair, heels and attitude, I’m through this damn roof.”
Drag Queen RuPaul

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist

Are We Obsessed With Looking Perfect

In today’s world, if we don’t like how something looks it’s easily fixed. Pictures can be airbrushed, plastic surgery is the norm. Breast implants were once only associated with porn stars. Then it became acceptable for actresses and models. Now it is normal for anybody.

The feeling of being well groomed boosts a person’s self esteem, and the confidence it gives us is contagious. But has modern technology, and mass advertising made us so obsessed with the illusion of beauty, that by trying to make everything absolutely perfect, all we’ve really achieved is an unrealistic attitude on what women should look like?

In the United States, breast implants have become a popular gift for parents to give their teenage daughters as a graduation present. {Congratulations on getting your education. Now all you need is a great pair of boobs, and you’ll be ready to conquer the world.}

Wanting to be beautiful is nothing new. Ancient tribes pierced, and painted their bodies for decoration, and women rubbed animal fat into their skin to keep it moisturized and supple. But today there is more pressure then any other period in history to be beautiful.

A typical woman living in today’s society sees between 400 – 600 advertisements per day. The average model is 5,11 and weighs 117 pounds. The average woman is 5,4 and weighs 140 pounds. That’s a lot of reminders that you should look completely different then you do.

According to statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, last years top cosmetic surgeries in the U.S were breast surgery, followed by nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, then liposuction. Even in a recession these figures were up from 2009.

A whopping 80% of women are said to be unhappy with their appearance, and you can’t help but wonder if that’s because of the unrealistic visions of beauty that they are surrounded by.

Cambridge University in the U.K, compiled a study that showed real and pretend fashion advertizements to 3,000 women in the U.S, U.K and Canada. The results revealed, that the majority of the women surveyed were more interested in purchasing clothing worn by a model that reflects their age, size and race.

The issue of model size, and body image has sparked a lot of controversy recently. Designers like Mark Fast and Jean-Paul Gaultier have tried using larger models in their Fashion Show’s, but it’s often felt like a publicity stunt. Many designers clearly state that clothing just hangs better on thinner models, claiming it’s easier to dress a size zero then a size eight.

Beautiful pictures in fashion magazines are fun to look at, the trick is to not let distorted images influence your view on natural beauty. Enjoy the images, but know that they are just that, images.

Good presentation and taking pride in your appearance is important, but in real life nobody is perfect.

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist

Are You Wearing The Right Size Bra…?

Is it habit, modesty, support or just plain sex appeal that has convinced women that wearing a bra is essential?

In the name of fashion, breasts have been pushed into all different shapes and sizes. Why….? As well as the practical reason of giving support, clothing looks better over good structure.

A bra pushes the breasts into a fixed position that can be uncomfortable. Bras are an invention not a natural necessity…. At least two out of five women suffer from breast pain which scientists have connected with wearing a bra.

According to a study done by researchers in Harvard in 1991, those who wear bras are more prone to the risk of breast cancer than those who go bra free.

Girls are encouraged to wear a bra when they reach a certain size or age, and often continue to wear one every day for the rest of their lives. Many women like the support of a bra, but admit it’s a relief to take it off at the end of the day.

An alternative is wearing a cotton camisole or tank under clothing, which gives light support and adds an extra layer of covering. But if a bra is an absolute essential, here are a few things to consider when bra shopping…

Wear the right size bra! Approximately 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size. Wearing a poor fitting bra can damage the breast tissue. A bra should never leave red marks or bruises on your skin. Not only is this dangerous for your health, tissue damage can eventually result in sagging. If your bra fits correctly, it should NOT be painful or uncomfortable to wear.

Underwire bras are not recommended as they fit tightly around the breasts, putting more pressure on the breast area than bras without an underwire. A wire digging into the breast can cause tissue damage.

Fabric is another important factor to consider when shopping for a bra.Try to avoid synthetic materials such as Rayon, Nylon, Polyester, Acrylic, Acetate or Triacetate as much as possible. Toxins that are naturally perspired are absorbed back into the skin because of these suffocating materials.

Going braless isn’t alway appropriate, and it’s true, clothing does look better when you’re wearing a bra. So if on occasion a bra is needed, at least wear the right size in an organic cotton. Weight fluctuations, pregnancy, age, exercise, and birth control pills can all change the size of your breasts. It’s a good rule of thumb to check your bra size every 6 months, or when you know your body has changed.

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist

Why Do Women Love To Wear Black?

The truth is that no other color can give the same chic feeling that black can….

Black is a powerful color, symbolizing elegance, mystery, power and sophistication. Women gravitate towards black, as it’s a good basic that allows you to blend perfectly into most occasions. A simple black dress can be worn to the office, then dressed up later with different shoes and accessories.

Ladies feel comfortable in black as it says nothing, yet assumes anything. When you’re in a hurry, the easiest thing to grab from your closet is black. Which is why all women should have at least one perfect, little-black-dress in their closet.

Black is a great color to wear, but is it the right color for you?

There are four color categories that you could fall into. Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter.

It all depends on your skin tone and hair coloring.

Springs should wear clear, bright, warm, delicate colors to look their best.

Summers can wear pastels, and deep, muted colors.

Autumns glow in rich, warm, earthy, jewel tones.

Winters need strong, bright, and icy colors.

Winter is the only season that can wear black really well.

If your coloring falls into the Winter category, then black will look perfect on you.

For Spring, Summer and Autumns, black can be over powering, leaving you looking washed out and pasty. That’s not to say that you can never wear black, just don’t make it a staple.

The biggest myth out there…

“Black is slimming.”

But is it true?

Any color can be slimming as long as you’re wearing a shade that enhances your coloring, along with a cut and style that suits your body shape.

Fashion historians attribute the origins of the little black dress to 1920’s designs by Coco Chanel. Prior to this era, black was usually reserved for periods of mourning, and it was unusual for women to wear black in public. In 1926 American Vogue published a picture of a short, simple black dress designed by Chanel. It was calf-length, straight, and decorated with only a few diagonal lines. Vogue proved to be correct in the prediction that it would become a uniform for women with taste. Since then trends have come and gone, but black has always remained in fashion…

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist

The Benefits Of Wearing A Suit

Wearing a suit commands and projects respect in any situation, sending a subtle message that you are competent and professional.

A suit needs to fit properly for the wearer to be taken seriously, and the impact of color can be powerful.

Colors that complement with your skin tone and hair color always work best, but you can use color in other ways. Colors have deep subliminal meanings and often affect our thinking.

What does the color of a suit symbolize?

Navy ~ Honesty and trust.

Black ~ Authority, Sophistication, Assertiveness and Detachment.

Tan ~ Elegant, Open and Approachable.

Brown ~ Stability and Security.

Charcoal Grey ~ Strength and Refinement.

Burgundy ~ Classic and Formal.

A plaid or patterned suit suggests that you are laid back and flexible.

Once thought of as stuffy, the suit has now become stylish and sophisticated. Wearing a suit creates an image that the wearer is intelligent, in control, and confident.

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist

Luscious Lashes

You could say that eye make up is the most important makeup, because eyes dominate the face, and become the focal point in conversation.

Eye contact is crucial when communicating, as it’s the best way to make a deep connection with someone. Eyes often show how we feel more than words or body language.

For centuries women have known that the best way to attract attention is with the eyes. Kohl (an early mineral-based makeup) was used to darken the eyes as far back as the Bronze Age, (about 3000 BC)

One of the hottest trends right now is eyelash extensions. They work just like hair extensions, instantly adding length and fullness to your natural lashes.

Lash extensions are often made from synthetic materials, but for optimum extravagance and luxury, the lashes must of course be made of mink…

Madonna, J-Lo, and Heidi Klum, are all fans of mink lash extentions.

Don’t worry, no animal is caused to suffer. Mink lashes are harvested by gently brushing live animals. They’re not chemically treated or dyed, and the velvety texture creates a soft, natural look, that’s impossible to imitate with synthetic materials.

Lash extentions usually last two to three months, before gently falling out when the cycle of the natural lash is complete.

Mink Lashes don’t come cheap, expect to pay around $500.00. But the result…? Totally worth it!

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist

Daily Beauty Rituals ~ 1937

1930’s Hollywood Diva, Constance Bennett, shares the secrets of her daily beauty regime.

Loving the luxury lifestyle she represents here. As one commenter aptly put it, ‘I half expected birds to fly through the window and dress her…’ Cute clip!

The 1940’s Guide To Glamour

What is Glamour?

“Glamour is a little touch of seasoning that makes a dish just right…”

The very prim and proper Miss Stern, {her name is appropriate but her prissiness is amusing,} gives tips on how to be glamorous in the 1940’s.

Trends to look out for this Spring

Spring is a time for romance, and everyone is smitten with hues of pink this season. Soft pastels in lilac, lemon and lavender; egg shell blue, champagne, and pepper-mint green are all coveting for attention.

Skirts are cinched at the waist, with hemlines floating to mid-calf, giving just the right amount of volume to produce elegance and grace.

As for prints, plaids are playing with florals, creating an exotic, vintage feel, with an eclectic bohemian edge. Jewels and embellishments are accenting outfits, inspiring an artistic concept, and promising individual flare to any look.

Aspects of trends gone by are imminent, with mid-baring tops, wide legged pants, and billowy flares. Flash the flesh in sheer chiffon, or shine in metallics that are all the rage.

The iconic bomber jacket is back, in a variety of colors and textures. This perfect layering piece can spice up any outfit, and keep you warm on those cooler summer nights.

Typography prints are loudly making statements, from political jargon, attitude filled comments, self referencing, and clever word plays. Not since the logo-laden 80’s have we seen so many unsubtle messages. As a rule of thumb, use this trend sparingly. Wearing your thoughts on your sleeve screams for attention, while keeping it simple whispers good taste.

A structured, understated handbag is what you should be toting right now, leaving the focus on your ensemble. Take advantage of this trend, as this style will complement all your basics, and is a timeless accessory that once acquired shall be carried forever.

Heel lovers will be devastated to hear that shoes appear to be heel-less, but these flats are anything but boring. From gladiator sandals to elaborate lace-ups, these strikingly diverse designs are creating a buzz.

Hair is incredibly feminine, with loose waves and curls, soft highlights, milk-maid braids, and traditional French knots and twists, evoking a mix of old-world charm and modern toughness. Although nothing new, these effortless styles easily capture our imagination.

The essence of Summer is a natural sun-kissed glow, so make-up is best kept minimal. Illuminate the eyes with a cream or beige shimmer to brighten an otherwise bare face. After dark, a dramatic lip color can swiftly transform your look from day to night.

Trend following is fun, but remember, only wear things that you love. If you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable!

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist

Fall Fashion ~ The Latest Trends

What’s HOT this Fall…?

So What’s Hot This Fall?

As always there’s a new spin on old styles, with ‘granny chic’ being the coveted look this season. We’re seeing floral, lace, cable knits, tweed, floppy hats and shawls, with elaborate jewels, embroidery and embellishments.

Clothes are fitted, but not too tight, skirts are skimming the knee or just below, and wrap dresses and pencil skirts are popular this season.

Layering is still fashionable, especially with eccentric prints and fabrics. Expect the usual amount of leather and fur, but red leather in particular is the color to be seen wearing.

Masculine designs are turning heads, with structured pants, sharp edging, over sized pockets, business suits, and blazers.

As for color; any shade of grey, sparkly-silver, black, cream, white, tangerine orange, tartan, emerald green, fluorescent pink, eggplant purple, and berry blue.

Printed pumps and brightly colored shoes are making a statement, as well as the always flattering knee high boot.

Make up is simple, but spice things up with wine colored lips. Experiment with bold eyes for evening events, but switch to natural lips to avoid looking over done.

Trend following is fun, but remember, only wear things that you love. If you feel uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable!

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist

Festive Fashion ~ What To Wear This Holiday Season

Holiday parties are a big part of Christmas, and an opportunity to dress up more then usual. Despite low temperatures, ladies are daring to bare, with plunging necklines, short dresses, spaghetti straps, corset style tops, and sheer fabrics.

Skin is definitely in, but luckily layering is one of the biggest trends this season. To prevent from shivering around the Christmas tree, draping a cashmere pashmina, or a fur or faux fur vest over a skimpy ensemble, will help keep you warm and in style.

Now is the time to shimmer… December is the perfect month for wearing silks, sequins, and metallic materials.

Color wise, we’re seeing snowy white, eggplant purple, scarlet, royal blue, burgundy red, and a little tweed. {Be careful not to over do the tweed. One tweed garment is enough, unless you want to remain anonymous, and blend in with the decorations…} For a more formal gathering, try cream and pale gold, which oozes sophistication, luxury and elegance.

Big bags are all the rage, but no one wants to lug around a big purse at a party. An eye catching clutch will discretely store your essentials without distracting you from the festivities.

Weather permitting, T-barred, jewel toned shoes are being predicted; or a sleek, knee high boot in colder conditions.

It’s a busy time of year, but don’t forget hair and make-up. A loose up-do, and a touch of lipstick instantly adds style and glamour to your look!

Jewelry is wildly ostentatious right now, with layered necklaces, and sparkly bangles that shimmy all the way up the arm. So go ahead, pile on the bling… It’s Christmas after all!

Happy Holidays!!!

Andrea Maria Sims ~ Certified Image Consultant and Stylist