We all know whats on 'the list' - the inevitable capsule wardrobe essentials list that appears in every single fashion magazine ever at least once a year. Along with a crisp white shirt, straight leg black trousers and nude heels, there is always, always, the little black dress. And at this time of year we are bombarded with advice on finding the most versatile, classic, sensible, and above all black, little black dress.
Of course, there are some of you for whom the little black dress really is the epitome of style. The colour works, the shape is flattering and the style timeless for you (note: for you. A classic shape isn't classic on some people. It's just plain boring. On others, it's elegance personified). But for me, and a good three quarters of my clients, we've fallen at the first hurdle, because black makes us look like the walking dead. Slimming or not, looking like the skinny dead lady at the party has never been my ultimate aim, and I suspect it isn't yours, halloween fancy dress notwithstanding. I'd much rather find a classic party dress for me that not only slims and smooths (and your best dark neutral, whatever that is, will do that for you, I promise) but also makes me look fresher faced, brighter, younger and more radiant. I'm calling it the Little Me Dress. Finding your perfect L-me-D means having a couple of tools at your disposal.
The first is a knowledge of the colours that work for you. Whether you choose to buy a dress in your best dark neutral or go wild and embrace one of your brighter colours, knowing which colours are most flattering for you will give you the information you need to make the best colour choice for you. Slimming and alive, as if by magic!
Second, knowing which styles work for your body shape. We've all watched Trinny and Susannah, we have some idea whether we are a pear, an apple or a carrot, or whatever it is they like to use to describe body shapes. I always wonder if there's some poor soul out there wondering if they're actually that slightly deformed squash that sits on the side for six months until somebody takes pity on it and throws it into a stew. I would much rather describe my clients in terms of geometric shapes that are self explanatory (after all, how carroty is a carrot? Would a parsnip be a better description?). I, for example go in at the waist and out at the hips, but I'd always felt a little silly in shapes that 'ought' to suit a curvy hourglass - my body is all angles and straight lines, and just because those straight lines happen to go in at the middle doesn't mean you can put me in a full skirted 50s inspired number and expect me not to look like a drag queen. It was only when I did my own personal style class and my consultant started describing me in terms of triangles and rectangles that it all became much simpler.
However, all of that knowledge of your physical attributes (colours, body shape) can only be translated into that perfect L-me-D with the help of the final piece of the jigsaw - knowing your internal architecture as well. What motivates you? How do you want to be perceived? Are you nurturing, caring, dynamic, driven, focused, diplomatic, bold, friendly? At House of Colour we assess your external and internal body architecture (with your help. I'm not going to inform you that your personality is one thing or another, I'll be asking you to tell me, with the help of some cunningly phrased questions and a good bit of detective work) and put it all together to come up with your signature personal style.
Incidentally, if you want to know a bit more about personal style, one of our consultants has done a brilliant video which gives a far better introduction to the different types of personal style than I could ever manage.
Once you have all of that information you can finally track down The One. The L-me-D that makes you feel like a million dollars, that slims, flatters, makes you look younger, and feels truly like it was made for you. Now that dress will be an investment purchase for you and be pulled out time and time again when you want to feel amazing. Of course, if you want to wear your perfect red lipstick to top it off as well, you won't get any argument from me.
Doesn't that sound rather more appealing than transforming into the skinny dead lady?
If you want to find out more about personal colour and style analysis, please feel free to drop me an email or give me a call - my contact information is over there on the right hand column of this page, near the top.