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PostHeaderIcon Style TIps

PostHeaderIcon Are We A Flip Flop Nation?

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I was on BART late Sunday afternoon coming home from San Francisco.  Too tired to read, I decided to observe the shoes people were wearing.

Of the approximately 80 people in my car, roughly seventy percent wore flip flops, and maybe forty percent of flip flop wearers had the cheap rubber ones.  I know it's hot, I know they are comfortable and everybody can afford a pair.  But what does this say about us?

America is already known as a dressed down, jeans and tee shirt society, so adding rubber flip flops just finishes the ensemble and confirms the stereotype.

In most developing countries, rubber flip flops are the cheapest footwear available, often costing less than one dollar.  Because of their low cost they are very widely used in these countries as typical footwear and not as a fashion statement.  Despite their disposable design, street vendors will repair worn sandals for a small fee.

However in many developed countries, such as The United States, flip flops are typically treated as seasonal, short lasting footwear, with a life expectancy of a year or less.  Most people in developed countries do not bother to repair flip flops and just throw them away and buy new ones.  We like disposable and yet we like to talk green, too.

What's with that?

If we treat flip flops as a shoe, what about the praise women chant of their love of shoes?  "They make me feel beautiful and confident."  "I like shoes because they complete my created image from morning to late night."  " I don't know why, but shoes just make me happy!"  "Shoes help me carry my mood through the whole day."

Now, try to replace the words "shoes" or "they" with "flip flop" and read the above sentences again.  How does it sound to you?

Pretty silly, right?

Complaining doesn't accomplish much, though, and I can't go out on a minor note without offering a solution.  I understand comfort and I love simple, but I'm itching to add a little bit of style.

What about considering very simple but fun leather thong sandals that are an upscale and more fashionable version of the flip flop?

Or, if you are OK with a more enclosed type of shoe, explore the wide range of wedges for women, or fashion sneakers and leather sandals for men.

Let's flap in flip flops to the beach and the pool, but let's also support designer creativity and good craftsmanship, as well as our tired dirty feet, so the shoe industry will thrive for good.

Happy feet and a stylish summer! - DP










As a freelance wardrobe consultant, Diana Placiakiene, AICI, MBA, works with men and women who are looking to advance their professional and personal image.  Most of her clients are professionals who want to take their business to the next level.  In her practice, Diana combines her business skiills, understanding of human psychology, natural visual talents and passion for fashion to help people have more ease, fun and success.

To contact Diana, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  You can also find her through www.linkedin.com/in/dianaplaciakiene, www.facebook.com/pages/ispeakstyle/17026118958 or twitter.com/dianaPlaciak.


Last Updated (Wednesday, 31 July 2013 18:22)

 

PostHeaderIcon Wardrobe Consultant vs. Good Friend Fashionista

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A cashier in Safeway noticed my zipper-like bracelet and asked if I was an artist.  I said "no, I'm a wardrobe consultant." Then she said: "Oh, you're a stylist and you dress celebrities, right?"  I said,  "no, I work with real people, people like you."

Then I realized a lot of people think about my service as a luxury only celebrities can afford. Why waste money on such a frivolous service when you can have a good friend fashionista do the same for free? 
 
The media has planted a strong stereotype of the celebrity stylist in people's heads, and the profession of image consultant, or more narrowly, of wardrobe consultant, is often misunderstood.

So what does a wardrobe consultant really do? 
 
A wardrobe consultant solves problems. To give you a better idea, take a look at some real client scenarios.

1. I do a lot of public speaking. I want to look professional and confident but I don't want to wear a classic suit because it doesn't go with my personality.

2. I just turned 50 and even though my size hasn't changed, the clothing I have doesn't fit the way it used to. I don't want to shop in the juniors department but I don't want to look matronly, either. 

3. I recently lost a lot of weight and nothing from my closet fits anymore. I also feel something more than my body has changed, and I want this positive change to be reflected in my clothes.

4. My career is taking off and I want this success to be projected in my image.

5. I have been recently promoted to a manager's position in my department, where I'm the youngest. I want my image to project authority and professionalism, but showing my personality and youth is equally important to me.

6. I'm a massage therapist and yoga instructor and I wear mostly yoga clothes. I want to be known as a beautiful young woman and successful entrepreneur.

7. I have a well-established career, grown kids and I finally have time for myself. I want to travel, date, and enjoy life to the fullest. I want my image to be in tune with how I feel now:  hip, youthful and happy.
 
These are just a few situations where a wardrobe consultant can help. Still, you might ask: why hire a wardrobe consultant when that good friend fashionista can help for free?  Maybe a friend with a fabulous sense of fashion can help you to become more stylish, but to really make a change, one has to start from the inside.
 
“Fashion comes from outside, style comes from within,” says a story in Psychology Today. Since psychology has always been one of my top interests and I have done extensive coursework in this field, my style assessment is psychology based. No matter what the clients goals are, I never skip this part because a big part of success depends on the right start. 
 
How does style assessment work?  Clients are assigned homework, which involves answering questions about themselves and doing some activities. At our first appointment, we have a discussion based on the homework. Since image is visual, we also use photos and home objects to create a vivid and clear picture of the “dream you."  

If you have worked with a financial advisor, you know that if you don't assess where you are now and where you want to go with your finances, the real results won't come. The same goes with your image – you need to be very clear about where you are, who you are, and where you want to be.  This is the most critical step in starting off right.

Existing wardrobe evaluation, closet editing and/ or shopping come later, but the image we create in the first appointment will be carried through all other sessions as our main referral point. We also create a "style recipe" to illustrate that image in words.
 
It doesn't matter what we want to achieve in life, we all know it doesn't happen over night. It is a process that involves some ups and downs. If you have a professional to guide you through this process, the results are achieved faster, with fewer mistakes.

Believe it or not, it will save a lot of money, too. A good friend fashionista can serve you as a great support, but if you're really serious about achieving results working with a professional is always a better choice. And remember: “whatever else it is, style is optimism made visible. Style presumes that you are a person of interest, that the world is a place of interest, that life is worth making the effort for." ~ Hara Estroff Marano

As a freelance wardrobe consultant, Diana Placiakiene, AICI, MBA, works with men and women who are looking to advance their professional and personal image. Most of her clients are professionals who want to take their business to the next level. In her practice Diana combines her business skills, understanding of human psychology, natural visual talents, and passion for fashion to help people have more ease, fun and success.

To contact Diana, send e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also find her though:
www.linkedin.com/in/dianaplaciakiene;
www.facebook.com/pages/ispeakstyle/170261188958; and
twitter.com/dianaPlaciak.

Last Updated (Thursday, 23 June 2011 00:57)

 

PostHeaderIcon Welcome to a Man's World

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Welcome to a man’s world.

Social expectations still dictate men's behavior and their perception of fashion. Men are expected to be strong and in control, which sometimes doesn't go well with meticulously following each and every fashion trend. Also, men are definitely more limited in their choices. In most department stores, the space allocated for menswear is about 30 percent compared to 70 percent for women. Despite this imbalance, that doesn't mean men shouldn't care about how they look. Changes in menswear are not as easily visible, and although not at the rate as women's, men's fashions do move.

To me this season is very refreshing and lively. I want to share my observations to stir up some excitement among my male readers.

 

Go Slimmer & Trimmer. Pay attention to the fit. Pants with pleated fronts should go to the back of the closet. I hope that pleated front chinos never come back in style again. I don’t recall seeing anyone look good in these. Men also seem to use a "kangaroo" approach when they have extra room in their front pockets - they store stuff there: phones, business card holders and more. This creates bumps and messes up body proportions. When we talk about the slimmer fit, some might be worrying about the comfort. The good news is that advanced tailoring and natural stretch fabrics allow movement without any restrictions.

 

Reconsider White Denim. OK, so we're not in San Paulo, Brazil, a mecca for men in white pants. But California has many good reasons to have fun with white, too. When shopping for jeans, be patient: you might need to try 10 to 20 different pairs to find one that fits perfectly. You don't want to compromise comfort, nor the look. Be the first guy in white jeans on your street and observe the reaction of others. You will be noticed for sure, and might even become the trend setter for others.

 


Experiment With Plaid. It might seem very passe for some, but if you're open to experiment, you'll be quite surprised. Want to start small? Try ties, hats, fabric belts or shorts. Want to go bold? Go for shirts, suits, raincoats. Whatever you feel comfortable with. "When a plaid suit is done right: with subtle, shadowy patterns and a slim cut, it grabs the eye without screaming for attention. Below, actor John Slattery of Mad Men gets down to business in the best of them," says Will Welsh.

 

Dare To Wear.That Skinny Tie. Again, think Mad Men. Don't these guys look hot in those perfectly fitted suits with slim ties? Use ones in solid colors with shiny, better quality fabrics for the formal occasions and more playful prints for casual occasions.

 

Put A Hat On. Hats are unfairly underrated and don't get the attention they deserve. Baseball caps are popular under California's sun, but what about a newsboy cap or fedora? A huge variety of materials, prints, colors, and prices are available. Use lighter colors and fabrics for the spring and summer seasons. I don't have a perfect recipe for what shape fits, it depends on many factors. The simple advice here is to try different styles. You'll know when you find the right one.

"When it comes to our personal style, there are no set formulas to follow. No immutable laws to guide us. So make it fun. Experiment until you have your own 'eureka' moment."- from Nordstrom's catalog for men.

Next month we're talking shoes: how many are enough?

As a freelance wardrobe consultant, Diana Placiakiene, AICI, MBA, works with men and women who are looking to advance their professional and personal image. Most of her clients are professionals who want to take their business to the next level. In her practice Diana combines her business skills, understanding of human psychology, natural visual talents, and passion for fashion to help people have more ease, fun and success.

To contact Diana, send e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also find her though:
www.linkedin.com/in/dianaplaciakiene;
www.facebook.com/pages/ispeakstyle/170261188958; and
twitter.com/dianaPlaciak.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 28 November 2012 07:38)

 

PostHeaderIcon Spring: Fashion and Function

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In this era of unbearably light wallets do we have to care about fashion?

According to Evana Magiore, founder of Fashion Feng Shui International, clothing creates our most intimate environment. What we wear affects how we feel. When we wear something we love, we feel better and have more energy to take care of ourselves. And when we take care of ourselves, we're ready to take care of others. It also shows that we're current, we know what's going on and that we're in the game - the game of life.

So, yes, even in these uncertain economic times, it's definitely worth paying attention to fashion.

Fashion for me is about much more than marketing or designers desperate to come up with something new so they can make money. Fashion is in tune with mother earth; it responds to the cycles of nature. Fashion also mirrors world events, reflects political environments and portrays what’s important to us to those around us.

People have been revising their priorities lately and spring fashion is following suit. “Function is the new luxury. People have re-evaluated what they think is important and what they think they need. Minimalism feels right" (Harper's Bazaar, January 2010).

I picked 5 trends and provided my view of how I see them fitting into the context of both the unfolding season and the events of our modern world.

Florals talk spring. Sunshine and the first blossoms of spring incite rebirth, recharging and revival. Life feels exciting and fresh again. Fashion reflects this season of awakening in everything from small, subdued details to big festive blooms. Choose wisely, depending on your body type and your personality. Big bold florals can look overwhelming if you're petite. If you’re unsure, start by adding prints to your accessories – it’s less risky, but still fun.  

Utility jacket brings function. The military-inspired jacket in olive, khaki or neutral colors hints about the state of our current life - be ready for the unexpected. The cut is pretty loose and boxy. It looks new, though, because designers managed to jazz up this outdoorsy practical and pretty boring jacket creating a chic piece that you can wear with jeans, cropped shorts or even over a dress. Experiment with its infinite options!

Clear jewelry suggests transparency
.  It's about being sincere, honest and simple. It's also very versatile (something that everyone needs to be in the age of layoffs) and pairs with everything from simple cotton T-shirts to sophisticated evening dresses. Pick something that’s color-free or has a slight candy coloring to make it more interesting and unique. Depending on the state of your budget you can get a fun piece of jewelry at Target (for $10 or under) or go more upscale at JCrew, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor or local boutiques.

Masculine meets feminine.  The gap between the sexes continues to diminish. Who can wear what and who sits where is becoming a thing of the past. Today, it's about personal power, not about stronger muscles.  And men's clothes can make women feel powerful and sexy. The trend started last year with the boyfriend jacket and oxford lace-ups, and it goes much further this spring: from men's suits to watches and even pj's. It's a great trend, but don't forget to consider your body type and personality first- it should work to complement, not overwhelm. Think about your message, too. 

A play on boots. As winter thaws, the great transitional shoe is the peekaboo bootie. Open toes or/and heels let our feet breathe. Again, function and versatility lead the way. Booties are available in a vast array of colors, styles, and prices. Choose chunkier heels for comfort and edge. The degree of chunkiness is very individual -slimmer and longer legs have an advantage. Keep it moderate, if in doubt. 

Spring is about rejuvenation, recharging and revival. Life is too short to live in black. Express your greatness! Participate in life!

Next month I'm talking to men - who said menswear should be boring?

As a freelance wardrobe consultant, Diana Placiakiene, AICI, MBA, works with men and women who are looking to advance their professional and personal image. Most of her clients are professionals who want to take their business to the next level. In her practice Diana combines her business skills, understanding of human psychology, natural visual talents, and passion for fashion to help people have more ease, fun and success. To contact Diana, send e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


www.linkedin.com/in/dianaplaciakiene
www.facebook.com/pages/ispeakstyle/170261188958
twitter.com/dianaPlaciak

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 29 May 2012 06:43)

 

PostHeaderIcon Get Ready for a Stylish 2010

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Fashion magazines may be talking Spring, but it’s still January and my heart is singing  “baby it's cold outside.”  Before you hit the stores to bring home the latest styles, take time to do some prep work. Completing the five steps below won’t cost you anything. But they will help you get in touch with what you already have and what you need in order to complete the look you want to portray in 2010.

Create your style recipe: Think of 5 adjectives that reflect who you are now. They should speak to you, for example, creative, bubbly, sensual, fun-loving or alive. Then, think of another 5 adjectives that express who you want to be. They should excite you - words like luscious, magnetic, vibrant, captivating and sassy come to mind.

Write down all 10 adjectives and pick 3-5 that empower you most. Use them as your style recipe. When you're dressing make sure what you are putting on contains at least one of the "ingredients" in your recipe. Then do the same thing when you're shopping. Make sure what you are buying is true to who you want to be. It will make the process much more focused and fun.

Re-evaluate your body. Stand in front of a full-length mirror (the less clothes you have on, the better) and analyze your body. Concentrate on your strengths: Do you have killer legs, a long lean torso, gracious neck, toned arms or feminine feet? We all have something special, something we are or should be proud of. Think of  how can you make your assets your focal point and dress to accentuate them. For example, if you're fortunate to possess those fantastic legs, wear an above-the-knee pencil skirt with high heels or long boots. Or try skinny jeans tucked into sexy boots.

Conquer your closet. This is not a quick job, but totally worth it. Take everything out of your closet and go through every piece with a critical eye, keeping in mind the ingredients of your style recipe. Make three piles – one to keep, one to donate and one of items in need of repair. If you haven't worn something in a year or so, this is definitely a “to donate” piece. If it no longer fits with the image you’re trying to create, get rid of it. Creating more space in your closet will let your clothes breathe. You'll breathe more freely as well.

Get educated on new makeup techniques. Stop at a cosmetics counter at Sephora, Macy's, Nordstrom or any big retailer and ask for a free makeup consultation. Don't feel obligated to buy anything - you'll come back when you're ready. Hint: Pick somebody whose makeup style you love.

Ask a professional how to add more flair to your hair. Think of a friend with a hairstyle you love or look for some great haircuts on people you pass on the street. Find out who their stylist is and go for a consultation. Most stylists will do this for free. You’ll get a feel for how the stylist works and if your personalities are a good fit without spending money upfront.

These are 5 easy and cost-free steps to get you excited and keep you more focused, so you can enjoy the coming season at the fullest.

Fashion, no matter how chic, is incomplete until you make it your own ~ Glenda Bailey, Harper Bazaar's senior editor

 

As a freelance wardrobe consultant, Diana Placiakiene, AICI, MBA, works with men and women who are looking to advance their professional and personal image. Most of her clients are professionals who want to take their business to the next level. In her practice Diana combines her business skills, understanding of human psychology, natural visual talents, and passion for fashion to help people have more ease, fun and success.

To contact Diana, send e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
www.linkedin.com/in/dianaplaciakiene
www.facebook.com/pages/ispeakstyle/170261188958
twitter.com/dianaPlaciak

Last Updated (Sunday, 19 December 2010 18:14)

 
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