Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Transitioning Skirts from Spring/Summer to Fall/Winter

September 23, 2010

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Clients want to know…is it possible to take summer skirts into Fall?  If the fabric is cotton – especially a heavier weight – it can be possible.

The above photos are two of my clients in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  They each have skirts that they like to wear and want to keep wearing into the cooler weather.

Here are ideas for how to wear skirts year-round, using items that can be found at Nordstrom.

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This skirt is casual because it’s a lighter weight and it’s construction is simple.  The type of floral pattern also adds to a more casual look – think country or prairie.

A 3/4 sleeve cardigan is a great top layer for summer.  A pop of color underneath the sweater, also known as up on the inside, creates a column for the wearer to help create a long, tall line between the skirt and top.  A lighter top layer will be good for women with triangle shapes needing to emphasize the top half.  A neutral toned shoe will anchor the look and would tie in nicely with gold-toned jewelry.

For cooler temperatures, a denim jacket is a versatile top layer for smart casual.  It provides structure and is a great top layer for warmth as well as for covering up the undesired result of extra weight.  Deeper tones, which are always more prevalent for Fall and Winter, will be seasonally appropriate and pair well with a dark brown pair of knee-high boots.

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This skirt is dressier because it’s a heavier cotton and has more structure to it.  Additionally, the floral pattern is more sophisticated and grey and black are generally more sophisticated than pastels.

For warmer temperatures, a structured jacket and pretty shell create a professional, polished look.  With a dark color on the outside, called up on the outside, it will work for larger busts and inverted triangle body types.  A pop of color with accessories is a great way to add personal style.  These wine colored shoes would pair beautifully with silver jewelry.

When the weather turns cool, a structured jacket with long sleeves is a polished top layer.  A dressy shell – with stylish detailing and in a fine or medium knit or fabric – creates a great Fall color palette.  A black or dark grey pair of knee-high boots keep the legs warm and are more sophisticated than a pair of opaque tights.

To find out the best colors, styles and items for your body colors, body type and wardrobe, Fabuliss can help!  Learn more at or contact us at with questions or for more information.

{ Fabuliss helps women and men learn how to create and shop for outfits that align with their personal brand.  Color, fit, closets and shopping. or 612-554-4629 }

Look What I Made at Sewtropolis…a.k.a. Summer of I Can Sew a Skirt

July 11, 2010

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Here it is, my first serious sewing project.  And I have to say, it was actually pretty easy!

When I think about the fact that this is an a-line skirt with a box cut and a lining, it’s daunting.  Daunting because I never took to sewing machines.  I took Interior Design instead of Home Economics in high school and somehow never got familiar with my mom’s sewing machine.

So I took a Skirts class at Sewtropolis with Nikol Gianopoulos in her adorable sewing studio – the only one of its kind in the Twin Cities.  I got to select my own pattern and fabric, plus I got to make the skirt to my measurements.

The a-line skirt has to be the most universally flattering skirt in the world.  For my curvy figure, a hem at the knee is best for my legs.  For someone with slender legs, a shorter cut would work great to show them off and create curves.

The box pleat in the front adds a classic, tailored detail, perfect for cotton.  Stripes add to the tailored look and help to elongate and slim.

And, now that I have a pattern that fits me, I can remake this skirt as many times as I want, using a different fabric each time.

With the help of Nikol’s experienced sewing skills and patient teaching style, plus additional sewing support and encouragement from Emily Schroeder, a mutual friend, I have a new skirt for summer.

Special thanks to Emily Schroeder and Pro Re Nata Communications for introducing me to Nikol and Sewtropolis, as well as for being the idea and PR engine behind Summer of Skirts.

{ Fabuliss helps you discover and express your personal style for camera-ready confidence. }

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Reader Request: Dresses…All Dressed Up & Down

June 18, 2010

Three women, three different dresses

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During Sunday’s #stylechat on Twitter, @k_nikki asked about dresses.  She wanted to know how to wear them for work.

To help demonstrate, I thought I’d compare and contrast the same dress used for several different occasions using virtual fitting rooms.

The casual, basic looks from left to right above are H&M Fashion Studio, Boden Outfit Maker and My Virtual Model.

H&M – The Abstract Print Dress

H and M Outfits

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This virtual fitting room gets an A for quality and being representative of ethnicity.  They have a large quantity of items available in the fitting room (though I’m not sure how it compares with their massive in-store selection).  I wish they represented different body types – as far as I can tell, there is only one.

As for the looks, here are three ways to wear a sleeveless abstract print dress.

  • Casual Friday (left): A denim jacket immediately says casual.  The fitted cut of the jacket makes it dressy enough for work and doesn’t take away from the dress.  A brown leather belt adds to the casual story while cinching the waist (the black belt of the dress could either be removed or tucked/taped to be hidden).  A simple metallic necklace adds a touch of dressiness and a colored flat keeps this look smart casual.
  • Professional (middle): This cotton blazer is comfortable for hot summer days while ensuring you’re ready for meetings with clients or the boss.  A metallic statement necklace expresses who you are and a wooden bangle provides an earthy component.  Red pumps are the equivalent of a red tie in terms of expressing confidence while adding a pop of color to an otherwise neutral outfit.
  • Statement (right): Paring the dress with a sweater is an excellent way to turn the dress into a skirt for a completely different look.  In this case, a stylish cardigan tied at the waist to maintain a waistline is a dressy statement.  The metallic necklace, also used in Casual Friday, looks elegant in this ensemble.  A jeweled cuff and colored clutch are additional touches of elegance and a neutral pump adds length to legs.

Boden – The Basic Black Dress

Boden outfits

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The Boden virtual fitting room gets an A for quality and they have a variety of items to choose from.  The drawback is that they only have one model (pictured above).  Let’s make it work!

Most everyone has a basic black dress (or two) in their closet.  Here are a few ideas to get more mileage and looks out of the dress.

  • Casual Friday (left): A simple cotton cardigan is an easy way to create a new outfit.  Note that sweater length and fit are key.  You want to find a fitted sweater in a length and cut that makes the most of your waistline.  If you have a longer sweater, try belting it on the outside to create an hourglass shape.  If that’s not your style, look for a sweater that mimics an hourglass shape with wide shoulders and matching hips.  The monochromatic necklace is almost like adding an embellishment to a very plain sweater.  A black/white print on the shoe is a great way to add an element of interest and break up solids while a colored tote adds a pop of contrasting color.
  • Professional (middle): A fitted cotton blazer is a great, versatile choice that will likely pair with a lot of what’s in your closet.  Wearing a belt that contrasts with the dress, underneath the jacket, is a great way to emphasize your waistline.  A brown and tan tote is a great neutral and a purple pump adds personality (say that three times fast!).
  • Statement (right): The motorcycle jacket converts the dress into a sporty outfit.  Note that a fitted jacket is always key over a soft fabric dress as it will help to reinforce your shape.  A cute colored clutch adds a little pop of personality and a metallic wedge, which is a neutral, dresses up the look with a little shine.

My Virtual Model – The Khaki Dress

My Virtual Model Outfits

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This virtual fitting room excels when it comes to creating a custom model.  You can enter height, weight, hair color and select from a variety of faces and haircuts.  It suffers, however in terms of quality and selection – there are very few items and the image quality does not compare with the previous tools.  Land’s End used this tool for a couple of years and had a decent image quality…I am disappointed that they stopped as it helped me decide what to buy.

Alas, here is one of the dress selections that fit this fictional curvy petite model, in three different looks.

  • Casual Friday (left): I was thrilled to find this colorful cardigan with a belt positioned at the waist to cover up the shoulders and bust for work.  A small black clutch will carry everything you need for a quick shoe shop or lunch with your friends.  Pair this with a simple metallic sandal, a fun statement necklace (orange, pink, silver and/or yellow) and you’re almost ready for the weekend.
  • Professional (middle): The fit of this jacket is good.  The print and large buttons could be a tad stuffy, depending on your style, which makes accessories like a fun, colored tote and great peep toe pumps essential.  Jewelry is another great way to incorporate personal style into this look.  I could see a medium-sized pair of gold or silver earrings and/or a long metallic necklace to build vertical length.
  • Statement (right): a shimmery jacket brings this jacket into event mode.  It could be paired with the same sandals from Casual Friday and a pretty pink clutch.  A long, dark metallic necklace would be a great addition and add the vertical length to slim and make you appear taller.

Are you looking to get more mileage out of your dresses and/or learn how to make them work for different purposes?  Fabuliss can help!

Visit for more information or contact me at or 612-554-4629 to ask questions.

Virtual fitting rooms:  H&M Fashion Studio, Boden Outfit Maker, My Virtual Model

See also: for a wealth of dress ideas from real women.

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