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A Better You
by Jo Ann Fore

Dress the Part

It’s a fact: Some people just dress funny.

Maybe they don’t know better. Maybe they do, and just don’t care.

But if you want to make a good impression, it’s important that you learn to dress properly. When you dress the part, you send the message that you care what the other person thinks. And while you don’t have to have an incredible selection of clothes in order to impress, there are a few simple guidelines you can follow.

Christy Taylor — licensed aesthetician and cosmetologist from Nashville, TN — has made it her passion to know fashion and to make people look good.

 

 

For Men Only
To the men – who Christy has often found to be more fashion-challenged than women – she offers the following insight:

» Find a good pair of jeans that fit properly, not too tight or too loose. When shopping, don’t hesitate to ask a sales associate for help. And, there’s a reason those name brand jeans cost a little more; most often you will find they fit and look better on you than the others. The jeans also need to be boot cut and cover half of your shoe laces – otherwise, the pants look too short.

» Your belt needs to match your shoes. If you have a brown belt on, wear brown shoes. Wear a black belt with black shoes.

» You should own at least 3 pairs of shoes: Brown casual shoes, not shiny ones (Sketchers makes great ones); Black casual shoes; and tennis shoes (New Balance is a brand that looks great on men).

» Pay attention to your shirts. Whether going dressy or casual, you can wear a button up collared shirt with jeans. Leave it untucked. It should come down right below your hip. If it comes any further, it’s too long. If the shirt covers your butt, it’s too long.

» T-shirts are great. You should own several plain, short-sleeved T-shirts. Combine a plain colored T-shirt with a color that compliments it. Leave the shirt unbuttoned or button just a few buttons at the bottom of the shirt. Also, invest in vintage T-shirts. American Eagle has some great ones – some with logos or numbers – wear them untucked.

» Cargo shorts are a basic necessity in your wardrobe. Find a pair of khaki brown cargo shorts that hit right at your knee. Not any shorter or any longer. If you have cargo shorts or denim shorts and an assortment of T-shirts, you will always have lots of choices.

» Socks should never be seen. Buy ankle socks – preferably low rise ankle socks that actually fall a little lower than the ankle.

» Find a good black or brown blazer. A basic staple to your wardrobe is a casual blazer, not a suit jacket.

Christy closes out her advice to men with a carefully constructed, “Things Not to Do” list:

» Do not pull your pants up too high.

» Do not wear your belt too tight.

» Do not tuck your shirt in.

» Do not wear knee high socks with shorts.

» Do not wear dress shoes with shorts.

» Do not mix plaids with stripes.

» Do not wear busy patterns, florals or Hawaiian themes.

» Do not wear pink.


For Women Only
Because women have more of a natural bent towards fashion, sometimes it’s harder to offer constructive criticism to them. But Christy has timeless tips that even women can’t oppose.

» Get measured. You should know the size of your bust, waist and hip measurements. It is crucial to know your measurements in order to purchase properly fitted clothing.

» Look for stores with knowledgeable staff. Good customer service is imperative for the latest trends and help with putting together looks.

» Find a good pair of jeans that fit correctly. Jeans shape your body; they can either complement it or make it appear less flattering. You can also dress up your jeans with a pair of heels and a string of pearls.

» Tuck your shirt in to show off your waistline.

» To shorten a long neck, wear high-collared shirts.

» To appear slimmer, wear vertical lines, and/or black.

» Use print patterns to enhance or detract. Wear a larger print pattern in an area you want to draw the eye to, like a slim waist or a large bust. Wear a smaller print pattern in an area that you don’t want attention, like a larger mid-section. Also, prints around the neck and shoulders make the shoulder look wider.

» Wear clothes that fit. Often women who have some weight to lose will wear oversized clothes to cover their figure, but clothes that are too large actually make an individual look larger.

For the women as well Christy has composed a “Things Not to Do” list:

» Do not wear jogging pants and T-shirts if your goal is to impress.

» Do not wear horizontal stripes if you are trying to minimize a larger frame.

» Do not wear belts, unless you have a slimmer waist line

» Do not wear tight blouses with sleeves on the pockets that fall right at the bust line.

» Do not show too much skin. If you want to show off your shoulders, keep other areas covered up. Showing too much skin diverts from the look.

» Do not wear thick fabrics, unless your goal is to look heavier.

Christy Taylor currently works at a medical skin care center that specializes in laser hair removal, removal of varicose veins, and removal of sunspots, uneven skin tones, and lines or wrinkles. You can reach Christy at ctaylor1980@hotmail.com with questions about fashion or skin care.

Christy reminds us, male or female, it’s important you don’t neglect the way you dress. The reason is simple: People notice when you dress the part. Make them look twice and take you serious.



Jo Ann Fore welcomes your comments about this article or suggestions for material you would like to see in future articles. Email her at: JoAnnFore@msn.com. A Better You is published every Saturday.

 


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