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 How to get more out of the clothes you already have in your wardrobe

1. Invite a friend 

Invite a fashonable friend to go through your wardrobe and come up with new outfits. You will literally 'go shoping' in your own wardrobe. With fresh eyes you will see you clothes differently. For even more fun invite more friends around and have a wardrobe party.

2. Write them Down!

Once you go to all the trouble of putting together these great “new” outfits, make a list of them so your don’t forget! Having an outfit list you can draw upon when you are rushed in the morning, or late to a very important date, can make the difference between throwing on the “same old thing” and wowing your companions with your fabulous “new” outfit!

3. Document Your Duds

You could even take this idea a step further and take pictures of all of the outfits you create as a VISUAL reminder. Or better yet…stage a “fashion show” and have your friend(s) take pictures of you actually wearing the outfits!!

4. Keep Your Clothing and Accessories Visible

Even if you have a small closet and can’t imagine ever “losing” anything in it…EVERY closet has some mystery corners that seem to hide half of what we own. If you can’t see it, you’ll never wear it. Do your best to keep your clothing, shoes, and accessories relatively visible. You might want to consider packing away and storing your my clothes for each different season. This makes more room in your closet for the current season’s clothes to have their moment to shine. Another strategy is to shift your closet contents every few months. Move pants to the front and skirts to the back, etc. Try the same technique with your dresser drawers! Find different ways to SEE what you own so you can WEAR it.

5. Use Magazines/Websites As Inspiration

Women’s fashion magazines (online and on the magazine stands) are great sources of inspiration! Since trends come and go so frequently, compare those slick, glossy photographs with items in your own closet. I bet you’ll be surprised at what you already have that is “in” this season. Even if you don’t have the complete “look”…often you will only need a few small items instead of a new head-to-toe outfit.

6. Mend it, Tailor it, or Toss it!

When I buy a garment and it might a tweek I take it to my dressmaker straight away, for example a hem shortened, sleeve width narrowed – because of my skinny arms, or it shaped in the waistline.  Viola!  it is perfect for me and when I wear it I feel fabulous because it fits me properly. That really makes me feel feminine!

If you have garments in  your wardrobe that you have not worn for a couple of years I am sure you are never going to wear it – its is best to either bin it, recycle it or give it away to someone who will love it.  That way you have a good reason to then replace it with something new for your wardrobe to look and feel fresh.


Put a spring in your step for summer 2018

With the new season approaching you will have noticed the big red SALE sign in most shops, indicating that the store will be alight with new seasons colours and styles.  This is the part of the year that I love. SPRING !!  Bringing in new energy - brighter colours , lighter fabrics and playful patterns.  

3 Things to do NOW 

1. Sort your wardrobe – allow things to go!!!! ‘You will find this very freeing, and add some space in your wardrobe. 

Sort them into catorgories of where you might send them

For good quality:

Dress for Success, helping women get back into work. Maxwell Drycleaners are the dedicated drop off  (in a clearly label bag).  

Recycled shops  like Wear Else and The Recylcled Shop at The Tannery, or Labels of Late and Maudes in Merivale.

For others: Any charity bin around the city.

2. Place your garments in sections: Put all jacket, skirts, trouser, tops, knits and dresses in sections so it is easy to get outfits together each day. 

3. BE organized - Make a list of what your gaps are so that you know what to look for at your next shopping expedition. This will help you to be focused on what is needed rather than be swayed by impulse buys.

New places:  Spoilt,  Novo Shoes Riccarton mall

Time of the year:  Wedding Season, Race Day

 Last week I have been shopping for a very special bride, as it happens to be my step daughter.  The brief was very casual registery office wedding, the overall look to be simple feminine and with colour. Knowing her body type was a T shape I knew that she would need some structure to the dress but knowing her personality dressing style I knew that it could not be too classic.  So armed with that knowledge I set out to find THE DRESS.   

My first stop was Vivacious in Halswell. Why? Because they have such a lot of options for not only the dress for ‘occasional wear’ they also have everything to co-ordinate with it, from jackets handbags, jewellery and accessories..

Viv who owns the shops asks me “what are you looking for”? I give her the brief.  Because I know that she sometimes has lots of dresses out the back!  She brings back some options and I spy With the new season approaching you will have noticed the big red SALE sign in most shops, the red dress – Perfect!  Later that day as soon as the bride to be is shown the dress – she say YES TO THE DRESS! Job done. The rest of the week was spent getting the right shoe and we decided to get fabric to have a jacket to go with it, as the wedding is to be in England and it will be Autumn by the time the happy event happens. 

With Race Day approaching now is the time to put your creative hat on, or your shopping shoes on. I am there to help if you would like some inspiration. 

Clothes have Super Powers 

Did you know that what you wear changes the way you view yourself and how other interpret that.

We have been told that people make an impression about you in the first 3 seconds of meeting you. This is based on physical appearance, grooming, body language and what you say, and how you say it. The physical part is made up of the clothes you wear and how you wear them.

There has been research done on how we view ourselves in different types of clothes. Your style and the clothes you choose reflect and affect your mood, health and overall confidence. When we put on a garment we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it, even if we are unaware of it.

Even though I work from home I get dressed like I am going to present to a client as I know that it makes me sound more confident and businesslike on the phone, I get more done, listen more effectively and basically feel like I am at ‘work’ rather than at home. If I was to wear sweats and a T shirt I would feel relaxed and not likely to feel motivated; I might be more comfortable but not as effective. I say if you are in business “get up, get dressed to save the world”, just like Super Man or Wonder Woman went from her Diana Prince uniform to her kick-butt Wonder Woman costume.

You may remember yourself as a 5 year old in the dress up box, maybe becoming a princess or cowboy/cowgirl, Putting on those appropriate clothes changes the way you would stand, walk, talk and act. Clothes have power because by putting on those garments evoked a certain feeling and behavior in you. We play dress up because we wanted to become something else than the powerless 5 years old. As adults we forget the power of putting on that certain silky dress or spurs and boots. There is a special power that comes from just putting on those clothes.

There are some scientific facts that support this, which is called ‘Enclothed Cognition’. This involves the simultaneous occurrence of two elements -the symbolic meaning behind clothes and the physical experience of wearing the clothes.

Knowing some of the psychology of clothing can help you make choices that work for you – whether it is boosting the perception of others, boosting your performance or just boosting how you feel.

Conscious choices: 

As with many things in life, there is a huge difference between doing something automatically, and choosing to do something for a reason. Making a conscious choice to dress the way you know that expresses you as a person is healthier than feeling you must have the latest X garment to keep up with fashion. Likewise, you don’t need to dress to impress, but you might choose to in order to ‘play the game’ when seeking employment, investment or a date.

So the next time you reach for those sweat pants or for that fiery red dress, ask yourself how will that clothing item make you feel and what is it saying to the world around you today?


How to wear flat shoes summer 2018 - it is definitely one of my new additions to my wardrobe

Nothing is more comfortable then wearing open flat shoes for summer. However, many women feel that this will make them look frumpy.

Although it is true that shoes with heels are often a bit more elegant and can be flattering for your overall silhouette, flat shoes can be very elegant and hip too.

However, it’s important that you buy the right kind of shoe. Many flat shoe styles CAN look frumpy so stick to the following rules. 

General Tips:

Make sure you buy your shoes in the right size. Many women go up a size in shoe as they age, so don’t assume that you will keep the same size throughout life.

 More is not more when it comes to shoes. Invest in quality and stick to good quality leather whenever possible. It’s worth investing in flats as you will usually wear them much more often than your heels.

Make sure that you buy shoes that are comfortable. Leather will stretch alittle after wearing in, and synethics will not, so beware.

When your outfit is very basic and simple, opt for trendier shoes to give the outfit a bit more of a young and hip vibe, when your outfit is very hip already you may want to tone it down with simple and elegant shoes. Balance is the key to co-ordination.

Although you often will match your shoes with one of the colours of your clothes, you can also do the opposite and add a contrasting colour. Make sure though that the tone of colour has the same kind of saturation as the other colours in your outfit. This is easiest to do with black and white, which can be matched with any bright colour.

Ankle straps will shorten your legs, so be careful if your objective is to lengthen - you know who you are!

If you wish to lengthen you legline it is always best to wear the same or similiar colour to your heamline that you are wearing.

A good thing to look out for is padding. As you age, you loose quite a bit of the natural padding in your feet, so you may need to compensate for that with your shoes.

 There are quite a few few tools that help make your shoes more comfortable. They include:

Inserts e.g. Foot Petals (the brand

Custom-made orthotics, prescribed by a podiatrist.

Wear Jewellery with Flair 

Is your jewellery box a tangle of chains and beads, interlocked with other paraphernalia that has taken years to accumulate?

Do you have favourites that you wear every—or nearly every—day?

Does your jewellery suit your personality?

If you answered yes to the first two questions and no the last, then you need to have a really good sort out of what is still suitable for your current lifestyle, personality, and wardrobe, keeping in mind the following principles.

  •         Check that your jewellery pieces are in scale with your height and proportion e.g. if you’re a large-scale person, dainty earrings or a minuscule bag will not look balanced.
  •         Make sure your jewellery complements your personality dressing style.
  •        The simpler your outfit, the more jewellery you can get away with. 
  •         Keep your jewellery ‘balanced’—if you’re wearing an eye-catching necklace, go for insignificant earrings; if you’re wearing earrings and lots of bracelets, don’t wear a necklace.
  •         Ensure your accessories suit your outfit—accessorise in front of the mirror with a variety of outfits, as your accessories can look very different with each.
  •         When wearing more than one piece of jewellery, ensure that the design of each complements the other pieces e.g. similiar shapes, metal, colours, personality.




    Best tip for wearing Necklaces:

      When wearing a lower round neck wear a necklace that following the round shape, or a longer round necklace. However when wearing a higher round neck you have the option of either a round or a pendant necklace (whether that be short or long e.g. if your objective is to slender wear a longer pendant). Wear a V neck necklace with a V neckline.   Strapless works best with a choker. Boatneck - longer necklace. 

                    Your objective is to achieve complimentary shapes that like one another. 


10 Bra Mistakes You’re Probably Making - June 17  

Appreciate your unique body shape and seek out the perfect fit for your natural assets.

The type of bra you should wear will be dictated by the size and shape of your breasts. To give your breast tissue the support it needs always wear bras that provide maximum support.  

I aways say to my clients that their breasts 'need to be up and out'.  Wearing a bra that gives good uplife will give you a sleeker silhouette. Such a bra can have you looking as if you've lost 5 kilos! You can test the fit of a bra by letting your arms fall to your side. If your arms can feel  the bra or breast, then the bra is not the one for you!    

Here are the 10 bra mistakes you’re most likely making:

1. Choosing a bra by cup size.

So we shouldn’t be choosing bras based on cup size?  Cup sizes are directly related to a band size. So for somebody to say, ‘Oh, I’m a D cup’ is irrelevant unless you know what band size it’s correlated with.” Cup sizes are not standard, meaning you may be a D with one band size but a E with another size band. A 32D bra is a cup size smaller than a 34D, for example. Letting go of whatever cup size you think you are will allow you to explore and find the best-fitting bra for you. Which leads us to...

2. Wearing a bra that’s too small.

Many women’s identities are tied up in their cup sizes.  Don't resist to go up a cup size in order to go down a band size. But you may be wearing a 36C when your ribcage measurement is a 32... which would require you to buy a bra that’s a 32E.  You are better to go down to a smaller back band size. Own that larger cup size — it means your bra will actually fit you better.

3. Fastening your bra on the tightest hooks.

When measuring your band size, you should go according to the outermost set of hooks, not the innermost. “A bra is going to stretch about three inches in its lifetime;  and that’s when you go to the next set of hooks. Buy a bra that fits snugly on the last set of hooks, and only later should you need to use the tighter ones.

4. Letting the band ride up on your back.

The back band should never be higher than the underwire. If it does, it doesn’t fit you properly. This also happens when it is too old - it has lost it's firmness.

5. Make sure that bra straps don't dig into your shoulders and create dents.

Over time, these dents can cause permanent grooves. Choose wider straps with padding to prevent this.

6. Insisting on a contour-style bra instead of a softer seamed, lined bra.

Contour bras are the molded ones, the kind that keep their shape even when they’re in your drawer (and that you usually find at Victoria’s Secret). Seamed bras are the soft ones with floppy fabric cups that mold to the shape of your breast. Which one is right for you, depends on the texture of your boobs. “If your breasts are firm and they sit up high on their own, then you can get away with the push-up bras and the contour style. But if, like most women, your breasts are softer and not naturally perky, they’re going to settle at the bottom of the contour cup and you’ll going to have space at the top of the strap.

Why does this happen? A breast is naturally cone-shaped, not round, so when you wear a contour with its own shape, you’re trying to fit soft tissue into that shape. That’s when you get spillage or ' quadra-boob'. The seams of a seamed bra, on the other hand, function like the support beams of a house, giving structure and shape to the breast. They work with your breasts to mold to them, instead of your breasts having to fit into a pre-determined shape.

7. Thinking you can wear one bra with every type of outfit.

Yeah, you just can’t. Certain dresses are going to require a more perky shape, while some shirts might look better if your breasts sit lower and flatter. Try different bras for each item of clothing you have to ensure you’re pairing your outfit with the best bra possible.

8. Wearing a bra two days in a row.

You may have that one bra you love, but bras shouldn’t be worn two days in a row. Letting a bra rest at least one day in between wear will help the elastic regain its strength. When you’re wearing it two days in a row, it’s like pulling on a muscle — it’s going to strain it and it won’t be able to snap back. One thing that helps keep that elastic fresh? Washing it in cold water helps it, because the cold water shocks it. And also use a laundry bag.

9. Keeping a bra for too long.

When worn correctly and taken care of correctly, a bra is going to last you about eight months. After that, the band is stretched out, so it’s not going to support you anymore. That’s why you should have 4 - 6 bras in your wardrobe so you can rotate them, making them last longer.

10. Settling for a bra that doesn’t fit.

Women just accept the fact that bras just aren’t going to fit. Guilty as charged — we get aggravated and tired of bra shopping and simply settle for a bra that kinda, sorta fits instead of a bra that fits perfectly.

Happy Shopping for that perfect fit!  


What type of bags to have in your Wardrobe - May 17

Your wardrobe need to contain three types of bags:

1. Small to medium size bag for every day use This is just big enough to put the essentials in - wallet, lipstick, address book, appointment diary, a cellphone pocket is great.

Decide if you will purchase a hand-held or shoulder strap bag. Hand held is becoming more popular and gives business attire a polished look. Shoulder bags are great for casual, but can weigh you down if you over pack them.  Watch where the bag finished when using should straps, as this can add kilos to that area. A bag that finished on the hipline for example will widen that area. 

2. Larger bag for shopping expedition or work paraphernalia:This can be used for travelling also, and can ouse your smaller bag. 

3. Evening bag: This is a small hand-held envelope or shoudler bag. There are a stunning variety of coloured ones which do not cost the earth. If your preference is the shoulder bag, one with straps that are narrow and lightweight is best, as the straps will not destroy the line of the your top/dress. The shoulder bag is useful for situation where you need two free hands e.g. formal functions.

Style Tips for Winter - April 17

It is now raining and blowing - giving us a taste of winter to come, and it reminds me of my sojourn to the shops this morning.  I was shopping with a new client who is a 'bright summer' only to find that the new seasons colours may not suit your individual colouring - this seasons fashion colours being of mink pink (pale) and deep rashberry red which is being seen everywhere! And to add to that everything else is neutral or black, black, and more black.  So I thought you might like to know what to do when you have to combine it with a neutral that does not compliment you.

Style Tip 1: Wear black/charcoal/brown/denim/taupe on the bottom and combine with a coloured patterns top where there is only about 20% black or other neutral in the mix of colours. 

Style Tip 2: Wear black/charcoal on the bottom and team with a existing coloured jacket, knit or top which has black as a trim, zip, collar, or panel. A black side panel in a top or dress is particularly flattering style line if you are wishing to slender your silhouette.

Style Tip 3: Wear a soft navy or denim. It is kinder than black.

Style Tip 4: For Springs wear beige or sage green for jackets and trousers, and for Summers wear taupe or grey trousers which team with your colours that already exist in your wardrobe.

Style Tip 5: For Winters who suit black this can be your favourite season, however if you are a 'bright winter' then combine with a coloured outer garment as you need colour closest to your face. 

Style Tip 6: Use accessories like scarves to highlight your face in your favourite colour.

Stye Tip 7: Branch out and buy a coloured coat - that way you will stand out and feel fabulous even on those coldest of days.

Neutrals are important to have in your wardrobe, however they should never overshadow your perfect colours, as they are the ones that will make you shine.

How to get a fantastic Sunless Tan: December

 I use currently Kiri Organics brand - its fabulous! No smell, no artificial or synthetic ingredients. I have also used Sugar Baby moose which I found good too. I only use the self-tanning on my legs, however if you wish to have a full body tan for the beach etc during the Xmas holidays give this ago: 

Full Body experience: 

1. Exfoliate; this is the most critical element in gaining a great faux tan. Start with an exfoliating cleanser in the shower to get all the dead skin flakes off. This will give you longer lasting and streak free even colour.

2. Put moisturizer on feet, knees, elbows and backs of hands. These areas are very dry and will cause the tanning lotion to be absorbed to heavily. Applying moisturizer prior to the tanning lotion will result in a much more even colour.

3. Make sure you wear disposable gloves that are snug (maybe one size small would help), so they don't "mush" around while applying the self-tanner. The gloves keep you from waking up with orange palms (a tell tale sign of inexperience with self-tanners).

4. Begin applying the tanning lotion on your ankles (be careful in the area behind your ankles and where the top of the foot meets the sole of the foot). Also be light around and between the toes. Once the feet are done move up the rest of the body. If you don't want to self tan your whole body you can put on an old bathing suit so you know where to apply. This also helps if you don't want to walk around naked until you dry. Make sure you work the tanning lotion in well and in all directions and blend, blend, blend. It's really important to massage it in. When applying the tanner to the face be careful around the ears, hairline and eyebrows and blend well.

5. When you're done with all the areas you want to tan, take one glove off and with the other gloved hand apply self tanner to the back of your hands. Be careful around the wrist area and between fingers. Avoid the cuticle area. After you're done you can throw out the gloves.

6. Now it's time to relax and not get dressed until you feel that your skin has dried. Don't get sweaty or you might streak. If you wake up with any mistakes you can always get back in the shower and exfoliate with cleansing grains in those areas This will lighten up the colour.

7. Alternatively, if you are not in a hurry; purchase a tanning moisturizer for a slower and less fussy way to get a tan. Many produce a tan that is natural looking and as dark as you want.

Enjoy showing your legs this summer!

Stripes can be fun to wear when worn effectively: October 

So what is the truth about stripes? The debate dates back to the 19th century, when German doctor and physicist Hermann von Helmholtz showed that a square made of horizontal stripes appeared to be taller and narrower than an identical square of vertical stripes. 

He used this information to note, in his 1867 Handbook of Physiological Optics, that ‘ladies’ frocks with cross stripes on them make the figure look taller’.

However, somewhere down the line, his message got confused, and generations of women decided that horizontal stripes made them look fat.

I believe the scientists have made it all too simplistic. Clothes are about more than just the pattern on the material, and points out that the cut of a garment and the shape of the individual have a huge impact on how flattering an item of clothing is.

‘I have worn stripes myself and enjoy the simplicity but always want to have something extra on the garment to give me the creative aspect that I need to feel balanced for my personality

Tips for wearing stripes:

  1. The width of a stripe needs to be in scale for your height and proportion.
  2. How far apart the stripes are also are to be considered as much as the size of the actual stripe
  3. If the colours used are definitely contrasting then the stripe is more defined and the size is more evident.
  4. Blended tones appear more like a whole and not so obvious.
  5. Wearing stripes horizontally can balance a tall person
  6. Wearing stripes on an area you wish to embellish (widen) eg.. bust can balance an A frame body shape. Remember the principle of scale.
  7. Wearing narrow stripes horizontally however does suit most body shapes and proportions.
  8. Wide stripes worn horizontally do widen an area and should be used with discretion – mostly for the taller stature.
  9. Horizontal stripes are best in fuller garments e.g. full skirt, boxy jacket, and unstructured tops, and longer garments eg. maxi dresses
  10. Simple stripes are considered classic and are best worn with other classical garments, whereas for the more creative types a stripe combined with other elements in the pattern will be more complimentary to that personality type.
  11. Vertical stripes can work if best used in simple styling and can be considered lengthening and narrowing.  Use the scale principle still though.
  12. A single stripe/s or panel can be used vertically in a garment to draw attention to the middle of the body lengthwise. This is a lengthening and narrowing technique.  Use the scale principle again here as a wide panel with widen.

To sum up:

Scale is important principle to use when wearing stripes, whether they are worn horizontally or vertically.

The style of garment that mirrors your body shape is paramount to use stripes affectively.


The Ultimate Guide to Summer fashion shopping on a budget: September 2015

1. Sort your wardrobe - display and discard any that you do not like anymore. Time for them to find another home. Your gut feeling will tell you if you still love it. If you do not feel the wow power anymore you will just bypass it in your wardrobe for something else.
2. Plan your expenditure. Decide where you will buy what you need or want. Are they basics which you can buy at lower price outlets, for example Farmers or Ezibuy.  Would you like something unique and get a designer outfit from a Recycled shop. 
3. Buy on SALE. Know the shops you LOVE to buy in and buy when they have sales. In-between seasons is usually when you get the best bargains. Get on their database for specials and sale times, for example Annah Stretton has a email out on a Monday to showcase their markdown items. 
4. Cruise the racks outside of shops - these are usually really marked down. Possibly colours that others will not have the confidence to wear, but you who know your  perfect colours and can take advantage of others folly. 
5.Really LOVE what you wear. Always buy what you LOVE. Then, it truly is an investment, rather than a cost. Being able to wear the clothes that feel truly you is walking your truth. Being in your true essence. Feeling fabulous in your clothes.
6. Multi-functional garments that can be worn different ways - dress up and down are investment garments.
7. Buy shoes at the beginning of a season, even if you have to lay-by. Average sizes always goes first, so if you are a 8-9 the get out there. 
8. Dresses are a feature again this season and I for one LOVE them! One item instead of two to buy - that in itself is a bargain. You can still change it by adding jackets,cardigan and shoes to make it look different. Lengthening also!
9. Patterns will give your outfit a lift. Add a pattern to make existing garments a fresh look. Know your preferred pattern. e.g. simple/using straight lines - classic, traditional florals - feminine, stylistic florals/simplistic - feminine creative, merging swirling patterns - relaxed/feminine, geometric mixed with floral - classic creative. 

Additional benefit of wearing patterns: a pattern deflects the eye from unwanted attention to the body beneath. Remeber to use the 'scale' principle so keep to your size pattern for your proportion. 

When wearing patterned pants combine a top in one of the dominate colours from the pattern to create a connection so the eye sees the outfit as a whole - creating balance.
10. Want some expert help?  I am only a phone call away. I took Sandra shopping last week and she commented -

"I had my colours done a year ago and I should have gone shopping with you then, today you have shown me what looks best on me, I feel fabulous. I have bought so much in the last year that I just should not have.  I will save so much money in the future using your 4 principle shopping system. Thank you".

Give Winter a lift by wearing Colour effectively: June 2015 

Here are some colour tips you can use for smart dressing:

1. A garment in one colour makes the body appear longer. However, if you are wearing black, you need to add an interesting accessory to draw attention to one area of the body that you wish to highlight. If you don't, you'll create a silhouette only without features.

2. The lightest and brightest colour is the most noticeable in an outfit. Draw attention to an asset area with colour, at the same time balancing your whole body using proportional dressing techniques. 

3. Darker colours visually recede - a body dressed in deeper shades takes up less visual space and looks smaller. For example, a person with large bust and narrow hips can equalise their figure by wearing a deeper colour top and a lighter  bottom.

4. When combining more than two colours together in an outfit use one of them again in another garment, jewellery or accessory so connections occur. 

(excert from Shop Like a Style Expert written by Chryssie Russell)

I get asked often Can I wear black?- March 2015

Of course you can wear black! 

It is for some their number one neutral in their palette, for example 'Winter' beauties; however for the likes of me being a 'bright spring' I will use it with caution, and only use it as a co-ordinate garment like skirts, trousers, hosiery and footwear.

I have found that people wear black because they assume it makes them look slimmer and is easier to co-ordinate garments. However I must say that any colour is slimming if it's the only colour you're wearing. In fact, black can add kilos when it's mixed with contrasting colours, particularly when any break-point exposes a challenge area.For those who wish to wear black, knowing that is not your best,here are some ways you can experiment with and save the day.

  • Wear a pattern top, jacket, dress that has a small amount of black in it, that is low/medium contrast which works back with your black trousers and skirts or hosiery.
  • Wear it with a medium value colour rather than a light colour to keep the contrast medium rather than high.
  • A pattern that has both light and dark colours but also a medium colour will only read as a medium contrast.
  • Create black panel lengthwise with garments and team with a jacket, knit or similar as outer wear to bring colour closest to your face.

10 Style Tips to look Slimmer - February 2015

1. Wear clothes that are semi fitted to create shape.

For example a tailored jacket, or anchor (button) your  cardigan just below the breast to create a V shape and leave the rest unbuttoned for a spread hem effect. One of the most slimming techniques you can use. For your tailored jacket you can choose to use structured fabric or soft/lightweight depending on your dressing style.



2. When combining your outfits always consider the one third to two third proportion rule. Your eye will always go to the longest part part, thereby appearing taller. Ask your yourself "Do I want to longer longer/narrow on the top of my body or the bottom". whatever your answer is that is the best place to put your longer area. e.g. dress to the knee to create the 2/3 on the top, a pencil skirt or trouser with a shorter jacket will give the legs longer appeal.

3. Wear garments that have vertical lines

Select clothes with vertical lines. They don’t need to be striped. Vertical seam lines, such as princess seams, plackets with buttons, zips and narrow panels.

4. Wear V shaped necklines and necklaces

Choose tops and jackets with V shaped or U-shaped necklines. These neckline styles aid in creating the illusion of height.



5.  Avoid Bulky Garments

Watch out for bulky or highly textured fabrics. There’s no need to avoid texture completely, but stay away from fabrics with a lot of bulk or stiffness. We want to appear taller, not broader.


6. Dress in one colour or monochromatic colour co-ordinations

Dress all in one color from your top to your shoes. By matching your tights or stockings to your outfit will elongate the colour blocking. Or you can do same colour dressing in varying shades of the same colour or similiar.

7. Buy a good bra

By selecting a well functioning bra for your shape and breast size will take up to 5 kilo off your silhouette.  This lifts the breast giving the illusion of a longer torso.

8.  Keep Belts Narrow

Keep belts slim and match them to your outfit if you want to wear a belt, or none at all. Wide or contrasting belts cut the figure in half and break up the vertical illusion that we want to achieve.


9.  Choose Pants With Straight Legs

Wear jeans and pants with straight legs. To keep a slim line, choose pants without cuffs, bulky pockets, or pleats.


10.  Wear High Heels

Wear high heels. It’s the easiest way to add height. Low vamp shoes and sling-backs are terrific. Avoid shoes with ankle straps unless you are wearing a midi length skirt/dress.  The strap breaks up the desirable vertical line, and makes the wearer appear shorter.


January 2015 Being Fabulous ......

Wear more sequins.Sequins are amazing. They make you sparkle and give you all of that Mae West drama in a nice modern package. Are you wearing sequins? That's nice. Wear more. Sequin dresses are the best. Don't ever let anyone tell you that they're out of fashion because they just don't know what they're talking about.

Put more color into the outfits you wear.Who wants to live a dull life of grey and brown? NOBODY. Bring color into the lives of everyone you know by wearing bright outfits. Be daring in your color choices and don't be afraid to bring more than one bright color in at a time.

Add drama into the mix. Not social drama though, who wants more of that? When we say drama we mean something like a feather or (faux!) fur stole. You know you can bring it like Marilyn Monroe, so bring it!

Add some inches. To your heels, we mean! Jeez. Take those boring kitten heels and add some drama. You're hitting fabulous around the 3.5" mark. But of course I cannot do too high a heel anymore so I just go for non-traditional shoes that are memorable. Even the shoes that I have loved wearing in the past, but cannot now go on display in my wardrobe so I can enjoy viewing them.

Pile on the hair. More hair, piled higher, with more volume: that's fabulous. Get extensions or even a fun wig. You can add even more drama by adding color to your hair.

Stop taking bad advice on clothes. Who are you listening to?  The whole point of dressing fabulous is to follow your own mind. You've got fabulous taste! You just did not know it – when you know the ‘how’ dressing will come naturally. The most important thing is to dress in a way that makes you happy and makes a statement about who you are. Be true to yourself!

Work it. Don't ever be ashamed of the person you are or that body that you have. Why would you be? You're fabulous just the way you are! Rock what your mamma gave you and embrace who you are. Wear the best clothing cut for your shape and wear clothing styles that match your personality.

Define yourself. Do not let anyone tell you who you are. Explore the things that you want and pursue the things that make you happy. Why would you spend time trying to be someone you're not and doing a whole bunch of stuff you don't like doing? It's a waste of your life! You should find who you are and what makes you happy and forget about everything else. Don't worry. You'll find a place for you.

Have lots of energy. The really fabulous people aren't laid back, hang out on the couch and watch Jerry Springer kind of people. They are the get out there and enjoy their life kind of people! Drink a couple shots of espresso and you'll be ready to party your way through life. Better than that do it naturally and eat plenty of lean meat, fruit, nuts, vegetables, and plenty of water.

Express your emotions. The truly fabulous are not afraid to express their emotions Share the experience of being human with everyone around you, revel in the ups and downs of life, by never being afraid to show exactly how you feel about what's going on. Humans are emotional creatures and holding all that in can be really unhealthy.

Dress to show others you know what you got. Your clothing should always be fab-u-lous! Dress loud and proud, choosing colors and styles that make you happy and express who you are. The brighter the colors, the better! You should use your clothing to announce to the world that you are here and ready to be worshiped.

Love yourself. No one is going to think you're fabulous if you don't think you're fabulous. You need to start by leaving behind all of the self-critical behavior and self-doubt. You're an awesome person, even if you don't always feel like it. Give yourself a hug, buy yourself a nice present, and take yourself on a date to that sushi place, because you are worth it!

Get your beauty sleep. You can't rock the world with your awesomeness if you're tired and haggard looking! Beauty sleep really does make you more beautiful, so get in your 8 hours. In the mean time, you can strut your stuff in Dreamland.

Take risks. If you really want to live a fabulous life, it's going to mean living without fear and a healthy willingness to take risks. You can't just sit around doing the same things you always do. The best things in life are achieved when you get out there and do things that might not turn out. Forgo the sure bet in favor of the new experience.

Set the trends. Instead of just following all the trends, you want to try to set them. This means being original and unafraid. Use those unique experiences you got while taking risks to bring new experiences to others. Be unique but wonderful and tasteful in everything you do and you will start trends.

Maintain a soundtrack to your life.Cultivate a playlist that is the soundtrack to your life. Listen to songs when you are happy, sad, or angry, and have a go-to song for when you want to make yourself feel even more awesome than you already are.

  • Fabulous theme songs for your life include Natasha Bedingfield's "Strip Me", Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop", Janelle Monáe's "Q.U.E.E.N.", and Beyoncé's "Single Ladies".

Make your home Fabulousness Ground Zero. Have a sweet pad to go with your fantastic personality. You have to have an equally great place to bring friends and family to. Bring out your personality in your colours and furniture that really say YOU. Have a ‘ME’ zone where you can be yourself, to sit and read, contemplate, pray, meditate, or just be silent. Visualize all the things how you can be fabulous!


October 2014: A love affair with colour


Colour is so transformational!  I was introduced to the wonderful world of colour 28 years ago and I have had a love affair with it since. As a colour specialist and trainer of colour consultants I am more than 100% convinced that colour changes people.  I am always amazed when I do a colour coding how much each colour changes a persons appearance - either for the good or the not so good.  When I do a consultation I am looking to discover the very best colours that suit each individual's hair, skin and eye colour, then their supporting colours and next the accent colours so that each individual will receive a palette of colours that is inspiring. Each colour selected enhances their skin tone so it glows, evens out and looks younger, and is complimentary with their hair colour so overall a balanced appearance is created. How each person likes to co-ordinates colour  is dictated by their personality and combination of hair,skin and eye colour e.g. some by using tonal combinations, monochromatic or contrasting. The objective is to create harmony overall.


Having confidence with colour is so inspiring and liberating - literally giving off energy that is electric!


You can add colour by way of a scarf, jacket, cardigan, accessory, shoes.  A colour consultation will take out the question  "Does this colour look good on me?"


August 2014: Accessories are a women’s best friend!

You either love them or you hate them! I am one of the ones who love to accessorize. Not accessorizing is like having a cake without the icing, or the Christmas tree without the decorations, a room with out drapes. Accessorizing an outfit gives us delight, adds colour, gives versatility, seasonal update, is practical when you can add something to change the same outfit in multiple ways, shows personality, and best of all creates a unique look.

The top 4 reasons why fashionata's  accessorize:


  1. You will save money.You can have one outfit or dress and change it many ways by adding a different colour scarf  e.g. one day add a red  long scarf and shoes,handbag or beads; the next day a blue pashmina (which is a large square shape which can be folded to draped diagonally over your shoulder). The more accessories you have the more looks that you can co-ordinate together. It is not about buying the latest fashion, but looking at what the latest accessory trend is and adding it to your arsenal.This is an inexpensive way to keep look fresh and interesting.
  2. You will save time each day. Same dress different accessories. It is easier to put the same dress on the next day instead of standing in front of your wardrobe and deciding what to pair with what. You can also take a day dress into the evening by just changing shoes and jewellery and add a wrap.
  3. You use your creative spirit.You do not have to be boring. Being different by choosing accessories will have you looking different than anyone else. Being beautifully colour co-ordinated by accessories stands you out from the rest. Adding colourful accessories near your face, which when you know they are your very best (a colour consultation might be advisable), reflect just the right intensity of warm or cool colours to have you looking younger - the right colour complimenting making you dazzle! It’s fun!!
  4. You will feel good about yourself. When you know you look great the outer you is aligned with the inner you. Feeling confident when you dress does create an emotional response, and immediately puts a smile on your face, especially when you catch yourself in the shop window when you pass –who is that styli women I see


June 2014: 3 mistakes that shoppers make that stop them from creating a style of their own!

These 3 mistakes are common for most and when you have insight into why you do something, you can then make a choice to change it.

Number 1: Shop without a purpose. When was the last time you went shopping and knew with confidence for what, how and where you were going to shop? What works for your body shape and colouring? Do you aimlessly wander around the shop and hope that something will pop out and say 'this is right for me'? In my vast experience I have found that most buy a garment because it – fits, right price, co-ordinates with what they bought last time, a colour they are familiar with, the shop assistant or friend said ‘that looks great on you’, shop in a hurry, to be practical, decide you are going to find XYZ today and have a need to bring something home. If you knew the how and the why of dressing effectively for yourself you would be make wise buying decisions based on knowledge. To realize your true potential in the way you wish to dress is both comforting and at the same time exciting.  

Number 2: Shop by price. You will feel much happier and satisfied when you purchase because a garment is the very best  for you, rather than purchase because it is a good price. SALES can be good and bad. Good when you really getting a bargain when it is the perfect garment; bad when you purchase just because of what you have perceived as a saving. It is only a real saving when

you enjoy wearing the garment many times over, making cost per wear minimal.

Number 3: Shop in the wrong shop. Every shop has an overall personality and their garments will correspond to what that is; so knowing your specific dressing personality style is paramount to know when choosing which shop you will enjoy; making it fun, and ultimately creating a unique style of your own. This will circumvent you shopping in fashion outlets that will leave you frustrated and saying "I hate shopping".

Be confident when shopping by using my 4 principle shopping system and never make mistakes again!


May 2014: Winter 2014 Seasonal look......


Return of the dress! The love affair with the tunic is waning and you are now looking ahead to adding dresses to your staple wardrobe. Trends usually last for around 5-6 years before changing dramatically to something different. So ladies look around and see what takes your fancy in the dress department and do not hesitate to give it a go, you will be instantly surprised at how easy it is to dress yourself in the morning.


What to add to your wardrobe this season:


1. Dresses - lengths - above, on or just below the knee are the main lengths to flatter this season. Worn with coloured tights, textured or patterned.


2. Short jackets and knits - draws attention to the waist area and can in effect create a waist where there is none or utilize and asset area for those curvy body shapes. Worn with colour blocking to create the 1/3 - 2/3 proportional rule and and you create balance instantly on your body (you can find this rule in my book - Shop like a Style Expert). 


3. Skinnies (narrow pant/jean). these are a staple for this seasons look - even though some of you may not have worn these once because you decided for some reason they would not look good on you; they can be your new best friend. The important rule to remember is that your objective is to create balance - combine with a longer top or knit (floaty top or oversized shirt, chunky knit) - for those who desire to bypass the hips and bottom; or for those who wish to draw attention to your curves use a belt or short jacket to utilize this asset area. Add a pair of ankle boots/ or embellished loafers.


4.  Return of the court shoe - simple classic style - with either one colour, textured, patterned, adorned with buckles, bows, lace, buttons, fabric - setting the scene for wearing hosiery in a myriad of different colours and textures too.


5. Long top with or without sleeves to be worn as a layering garment under knits/jackets - extenders over short tops, teamed over skinnies to elongate.


6.  Leather as returned as a feature - whether has a full garment or just a panel, trim or collar.


7. Pleather - leggings, skinnies and jeans. This a a fake leather-like man-made fabric which imitates real leather but with a better price. 


Be who you are in your Dressing Style this season:


Discover what your combination is to create your unique dressing style........... view this is in my book Shop like a Style Expert


Looks for this season who are:


Classic dressers:

Return of the shirt and trouser, worn with a classic jacket

Hounds-tooth fabric for skirts and straight dress

Chanel jacket style, tweed fabric, court shoes, plain knits and twin set style cardigans, pencil skirt

Simple straight dress in a single colour 


Natural dressers:

Boyfriend jeans - baggy and ripped - a more relaxed fit with some distressing worn with a floral prints or colours shirt tucked in. Or for those wo are natural/creative dresser add some pizzazz with a fake fur combination. Or for those who are more natural classics pair with a classic jacket and court shoe.  Suede shoes, loafers and boots, chunk heels, molded thick wedges.

Chunky knits 

Neutral colours - layering in tonal colours. Of course this is only for those who suit these colours - soft Springs and Summers. 


Feminine dressers:

Florals in jeans, dresses, jackets, tights and shoes

Chunky lace dresses and tops

Floaty tops and blouses worn over skinnies

Ankle straps on shoes 


Creative dressers:

Metallic fabric - jeans, copper or bronze shoes - even under you jeans (floral or animal print) for a highly creative look or a more of a simple statement (classic/creative with pencil skirt and knit) 

Fake fur and metallic fabrics - shoes and accessories

Cut-away shoes and boots

Printed jeans - whether floral, stripes, animal print, self pattern for the mdore subtle effect worn together with a one colour top/jacket/knit



21 March 14 - book launch

Shop like a Style Expert by Chryssie Russell

A proven 4 principle shopping system that will have you creating your own unique fashion style and feeling fabulous every day!

Price: $29.95


24 December 2013 - Your holiday wardrobe:

Do you pack too many clothes? Find your case bulging with everything that you  think you will need - for just in case; visualizing outfits rather than having mix and match garments that will go combine in multiple ways?

Being away for 3 months in Europe I took a medium size case and still had enough room to shop in Paris. This is my holiday list that I know you will be able to dress fabulously for any occasion:

2 x short skirt or shorts,
1 x lightweight ¾ pants
1 x lightweight trousers or jeans
2 x dresses - cotton dressy/casual or sundress
4 xT shirts or tops
2 x cardigan type
1 x walking shoe or flattie
1 x sandal
1 x jandal type shoe

1 x dressy shoe to be worn in the evening

1 x swimsuit and over top/caftan/sarong
Lightweight jacket – shower/rain and wind proof
Lightweight bag that rolls up when not in use. Used to store swimsuit, shopping, lunch, jacket etc during the days activities.

Best item: lightweight Pashmina  which was used every single day while away -  to keep warm from air-conditioning on the plane and restaurants, shelter from the sun, hot seat in car/bus, evening attire to walk home, when it was a little breezy anywhere. It was certainly my saviour at times.

10 December: Look great this season in your swimsuit

Hourglass - your objective is to utilize curves and bust, using narrowing techniques if required:

V neck, crossovers, vertical panels with ruching, highkini leg line


Triangle: your objective is to widen shoulders and narrow hips, utilizing curvy shape

Wide V necklines, wide strapes set wide on shoulder, detail on bustline, different colour or pattern on bust and plain for rest of the swimsuit, pattern all over, vertical panels from bust down, pants and top set so you can have different size top and bottom.


Inverted Triangle: your objective is to narrow shoulders and give shape to your  hips

Halter neckline,  V neck, wide straps, patterns and different colours on your hips, small skirts and frills on hips


Straight & Oval: your objective is to streamline and define shape

Vertical detail like zips,frills,trims. One colour swimsuit, panels with ruching combined with different colour on the outside of the swimsuit, pattern all over,


T Shape: your objective is to create volume and give shape

Bikini, detail crossing the body, strips going round, different colour top and bottom, high neckline


Remember to take your sunscreen, hat and sarong for cover. Add some glamour by wearing one of the fabulous filmy caftans that are on offer this season.



18 November 2013 - 7 ways to give you a fabulous look for Xmas. Give yourself a present ......

1.      Colour is always a first for consideration when shopping and plays a huge part on how you feel on the day. And at best will compliment your hair, eye and skin tone beautifully creating truly a wonderful youthful look whatever you wear. Did you have you colours analysed over 10 years ago? Maybe it is time for an update?

2.      Dress length. The new dress length is above the knee, or just on if you prefer a slightly longer length. For some of you, you may not have shown your knees for years. It is time now to venture forth and be courageous. It will give you a current look – and team with some coloured shoes – you do not have to settle for neutral anymore.

3.      Patterns and textures- the feminine look is being indulged this season with filmy fabrics in shirts and blouses, and with the tendency to be full and drapy, so team with fitted pants or a skirt. Distract the eye with a pattern.

4.      Makeup makeover! When was the last time you had a good look at your makeup box. Have you been wearing your eyeshadow the same way for years? I was told years ago you either make your eyes or your lips the focal point – not both! Choose a new lipstick colour – maybe one of the soft neutrals for summer, rather than try to match your lips to your dress.

5.      Hair style – cut dramatically changes your overall look – sharp and clipped – classic, soft and curly – feminine, layered and long – easy care – natural, unusual design – asymmetrical cut, random colour foils creative and combinations of the above. Ask your hairdresser to show you how to blow-wave your hair a different way – maybe to either straighten your hair or add more curles. Have long hair – use hair accessories to pull your hair back and show off your face – and then make your eyes your focal feature by adding eyeliner or apply eyeshadow artfully.

6.      Have a pedicure and manicure and paint your nails in a current colour, and if you are adventurous add some nail art to your pinky, or even all of your nails. Beautiful toes teams with fabulous sandals and dresses for summer.

7.      Accessories – handbags, shoes, stockings, jewellery, scarves. Shoes are being influenced from Spain and turkey, using colour in unusual combinations. Style teamed with comfort – what else can a girl want!



13 November 2013 - Life after 3 months in Europe:

What fun I had shopping in Dubai, Copenhagen, Paris, Nice, Florence, Istanbul, Barcelona and many other towns and cities in Europe.  As much I just loved to see what is offer in these faraway places, you might ask the question – “is the shopping better than here?” The answer is no! The one thing that I came back knowing that we do extremely well with our fashion in New Zealand, and we have just as much style and variety as anywhere in the world.

I was however dictated to how much I could buy, not  only by my wallet, but by how much I could stuff in my already overloaded suitcase. So the answer was to  post a box home from France to create more space.
I loved seeing the variety of pricing, and of course because we where at the end of their summer season, mark downs where very evident.  So I would suggest that if you are wanting to do some serious shopping on the other side of the world that September is very much the time to go to there for summer fashion bargains.
Since my return last week I have had to get up to speed very quickly with what is happening here in Christchurch,  as the phone is running red hot with people wanting to do some summer shopping.


Colour to make you shine
It is so refreshing to see such colour in the shops, and I know that you will have no problems with finding your special colours this summer.  One world speaks for what the look and  feel is this season - ‘vibrancy’. Colour gives such a lift to your spirits and just looking at what is on offer makes you feel like rushing in to purchase something that will give that feeling of vibrancy. They are fresh and flirty.

Patterns for creativity
Patterns do have center stage this season and so for some it could become overwhelming; however there is something for everyone. Whether it be simple or complex, patterns do have a forgiving nature on the body and I for one love wearing them. Patterns team up with sheer fabric shirts, blouses  give a very light and feminine look to summer. These can be worn different ways whether it be with jeans or pencil skirt, or over a dress. Combine with a block colour garment and make the pattern shine.

What patterns do you prefer? It is important for you to know what you like best, so you will fell wonderful when you wear them. Are they simple stripes and dots,plaids, floral, complex swirls that merge, geometric, or do you prefer not much pattern at all?  That way you will not be enticed to buy just because it is different, or the right price. Buying a pattern that is not flattering on you will make you bypass the garment in your wardrobe. Remember to use scale when considering patterns.

The simple sheath dress is making a statement this season.  A style with  no seams crossing the body, which makes for a very lean silhouette - suitable for all body types.

Number one item to invest in this season is a dress

Shoes & handbags are making a statement
Colour is being reflected in shoes and handbags and for once don’t think of the basic black, brown or navy - go for something vibrant. Any colour you can think of and you will be able to find them.
Heels are anything from flat sandals, rope wedges, platforms (the lower pitch makes this style a comfortable change, and can balance heavier ankles), peep toes, stacked court shoe for the classic dressers. Lots of ankles strap designs which look fabulous on those who have slim ankles – can help to re-proportion your overall silhouette beautifully.
The right shoe will lift your outfit from drab to fab! Try combining a contrasting colour shoe to your outfit – we do not have blend or match anymore. Something unpredictable!
The same goes for handbags and below is a great shop that I saw in Singapore.  I just had to take a photo to remind me how inspiring these bags where.
Alas, the prices where also!

Happy Shopping