Apr 30

How To Sit As A Lady

This lesson is how to sit like a lady. We’ll look at how to sit down and get up from a chair like a lady with feminine grace and ease.
sit or sitting down into a chair
1. Approach the chair holding your best posture. Turn so your back leg brushes against the chair seat.
2. Slide one foot back 2-3 inches under the chair seat.
3. Lower yourself into the seat keeping your head erect and your back straight. Most of your weight should be carried by the thigh of your back leg.
4. Ease down into the seat gracefully…don’t flop.
5. For deeper seats or upholstered chairs where you can’t slip your foot under, sit as above but on the edge of the seat. When seated, lift your weight slightly and slide back.
getting out of the chair

 

To rise from a sitting position, simply reverse the above steps. Lift yourself gracefully in one easy motion letting your back leg muscle do the work. Don’t push up using the chair arms.

Practice makes perfect with this method of sitting down. Make your practice fun by lining up three chairs of varying heights. Put on some music and practice sitting in each chair in succession. Then do the same reversing the foot you slide back. Repeat until the motion becomes second nature.

sit or sitting with legs crossedNotice how you sit down and get up. Try the above rules. This method will probably feel alien and strange at first. Now move a chair in front of a mirror and compare how you look when sitting down normally and how you look sitting with the rules. Is there a difference? Which do you prefer?

While seated, arrange your legs at a slight angle to avoid looking to square and boyish. This will give a more fluid line to the body. You want to subtly draw attention to the curves of your legs. Cross your legs at the ankles or knees.

sit or sitting in a chairThe more relaxed and quiet your hands look, the better. Let one hand rest easily in the other in your lap, or drape one elbow over the back of the chair and let your hand relax. When shifting positions for comfort, do so slowly and gracefully.

If you are sitting in a slim skirt, you may have to sit a bit more forward in the chair to keep your knees discreetly covered. If you are sitting in a  sit or sitting positionsfull skirt, place your hand behind you and grasp the center back of the skirt. Bring the skirt out to one side before you sit down.

 

When sitting on the floor, fold your legs to one side. Your good posture will be a big help here!

 

Sitting No-Nos:

sit or sitting straight onDon’t sit stiffly with feet and knees in the center. You’ll look like a frightened child.
– Don’t fidget with your hands. Don’t smooth your skirt, play with your jewelry, touch your face, or fuss with your hair. Remember, quiet repose communicates more than words.
– Keep your hands relaxed and still. Avoid clenching, scratching, and twiddling.
– Avoid slouching. Your back should remain erect no matter what you are sitting on.
– Never sit with your legs stretched out in front of you, even when wearing slacks. This look is too mannish.
– If you have heavy legs, cross them at the ankles, not the knees.

 

Let’s review how to sit like an elegant lady

And finally, how to sit is more than just a posture issue,.Your sitting position tells us about your personality too.

what your sitting position says about your personality

 

 

Apr 29

All About Color

Color psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior. Color influences perceptions that are not obvious, such as the taste of food.  Factors such as gender, age, and culture can influence how an individual perceives color. For example, males reported that red colored outfits made women seem more attractive, while women answered that the color of a male’s outfit did not affect his attractiveness.

Likewise, the meaning of colors can vary depending on culture and circumstances. Each color has many aspects to it but you can easily learn the language of color by understanding a few simple concepts which I will teach you here.

Color has long been used to create feelings of coziness or spaciousness. However, how people are affected by different color stimuli varies from person to person. Blue is the top choice for 35% of Americans, followed by green (16%), purple (10%) and red (9%)

Color in Non-Verbal Communication

Color is a form of non verbal communication. It is not a static energy and its meaning can change from one day to the next with any individual – it all depends on what energy they are expressing at that point in time.

For example, a person may choose to wear red on a particular day and this may indicate that this is their favorite (personality) color, or they are ready to take action, or they may be passionate about what they are going to be doing that day, or again it may mean that they are feeling angry that day, on either a conscious or subconscious level. All are traits of the color red.

The Meaning of Color in Fashion

The colors we choose to surround ourselves affect us more than we think. As a society, we associate colors with so many different things – they have meanings beyond simple visual stimulation. Some studies even suggest that we feel colors more than we see them.

You probably know that interior designers use color to create different moods in different rooms – to inspire, energize, or calm. Why not apply that concept to your clothes? Channel some of the power of color into your outfits and see what happens.

Here’s a rundown of all the most popular colors, what they signify, and how you can use them to your advantage in your outfits.

Red

Want to get someone’s attention? Red is your color! The color red empowers and draws attention toward the wearer. It’s also strongly associated with romance and passion, making it a perfect date-night color. But be careful – it’s also been said that red stimulates the appetite and makes us hungry for junk food, so wear with caution if you’re trying to eat healthier.

Orange

Like red, orange draws attention and energy, but unlike intense red, it’s a little more soothing. While orange is a difficult color for some skin tones to pull off, if you have the coloring to work it, orange will help put you in a positive, energetic mood.

Yellow

Sunny shades of yellow are the perfect thing to cheer you up on a bad day, so if you’re feeling down, wearing yellow could help perk you back up. Yellow is also associated with intelligence and inspiration, so wearing something yellow on the day of your big final exam might help you come up with some extra answers.

Green

Shades of green are calm and soothing, as well as associated with nature and the outdoors. That’s why green is one of spring’s most popular shades. Green is also refreshing and has been found to reduce stress in those who look at it. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed during finals week, add green to your outfit and you might feel more relaxed.

Blue

Blue is a color that can be both peaceful and calming as well as cold and standoffish. If you’re feeling really stressed out, the color blue can help you feel more relaxed. If you’re sad, however, you might want to steer away – the color blue can subconsciously make you feel more “blue.” Studies also show that blue can make you more creative, so if you want to channel some genius for your art project, wearing blue might be able to help. It can’t hurt, right?

Purple

Regal and sophisticated, purple is associated with creativity and luxury. Like red, purple is a very stimulating color which can boost your energy level when you see it. It’s also a color that’s sometimes associated with spirituality and intuition, so if you’re having trouble making a decision, paint your nails lavender and see what comes to you.

Pink

Of course we all know pink as the true girly-girl’s favorite color, but it’s also associated with romance and happiness. Pink is very calming, so don’t wear it if you need tons of energy. Because of its romance association, pink is a good choice for a date. You can also wear it anytime you’re a little bummed out for a boost. Of course, if you personally hate pink, then (obviously) this won’t work for you.

White

Missing summer on a cold spring day? Wear white! It reflects light and reminds us of sunnier days. It’s also associated with peace, innocence, simplicity, and cleanliness, although in Japan, white carnations mean death – who knew? Wear white when you want to bring out any other colors you’re wearing – it enlivens anything you pair with it.

Black

If you’re going for a promotion at work or interviewing for a new job, you might want to wear black – it signifies power, seriousness, authority, and responsibility, all qualities your boss is likely looking for. Outside the office, black is also a color that will give you some rocker-chick edge. If you’re shy but want to feel like a badass one day, some black studded ankle boots should do the trick!

These are just some ideas for new ways to think about color in your wardrobe – obviously they aren’t steadfast guidelines that you should plan your outfits around every day.

Great Clothing Matches by knowing Color

Matching clothes to make an outfit may be subjective, but color is an objective reality. That being said, understanding color theory can make life easier when matching clothing. Knowing how colors are created tells us how and why they are related to each other. Since colors that are related are natural matches, understanding this relationship will make mixing and matching clothing easy and fun.

Monochromatic Color-Matching

The easiest way to match clothes is to use a monochromatic color scheme. A monochromatic color scheme features a lighter and darker version of the same color. Pairing a light blue top with a dark blue bottom can be called monochromatic matching. A color will always match a whiter, greyer, or blacker version of itself.

monochromatic color outfit

An outfit utilizing a monochromatic color scheme of a deep yellow top and lighter yellow skirt.

Analogous Colors and the “Color Bloodline”

On a color wheel, colors adjacent or next to each other are called analogous. If we think of color as a family bloodline, the closer we are to the “parent” color, the easier the match. For example, when we add a small bit of yellow to red (going clockwise on the color wheel) the result is red-orange. Red-orange and red are easily matched because they are colors of the same color bloodline, that is, the red bloodline that is dominant in both colors.

color wheel

Red and red-orange are adjacent on the color wheel and are therefore called analogous. That makes them a natural match.

using color combinations

An example of analogous color matching. Blue and purple are close too each other on the color wheel and are therefore an easy match.

Monochromatic and analogous color matching are the most intuitive and therefore the most popular type of color matching. But there are other more compelling methods of matching as well.

Creating Color: The Three Primary Colors

Red, yellow, and blue are the three primary colors. With paints and dyes, all colors can theoretically be made from these three primary colors. Mixing red and yellow will give us orange, yellow and blue make green, and blue and red will yield purple (or violet on the color wheel). These resulting colors, orange, green, and purple, are called the secondary colors.

A Shared Color Bloodline Creates Natural Matches

Since two primary colors create a secondary color, in the color bloodline, green can be called the offspring of blue and yellow. Green shares half of its color bloodline with blue and the other half with yellow. Colors that share a color bloodline are a natural match.

Practical Examples

Following the color bloodline, offspring colors are a good match for their parent. A warm green skirt will match any variation of a warm yellow or warm blue top. A cool purple pair of pants will match any variation of a cool blue or red top. A warm orange dress will match with any variation of a red or yellow sweater.

practical examples color combinations

This green skirt and yellow top match each other because green is an offspring of yellow.

Multiple Colors

All of our theoretical matches have been based on solid colors. But the same theory holds for clothing containing multiple colors. For example, consider the picture below. The blue jeans and the dark blue in the plaid are a simple monochromatic match and the green in the plaid matches the jeans because green is an offspring of blue. multiple color combinations

Sometimes clothes will have many colors that make matching confusing. If the colors are distinct, we can pick out one color to match. If the colors are to subtle to pick out, if we take a step back and look from a distance, we will notice an overall color effect. That is the color we should try to match.

color combinations brown and grey

Looking at the close-up on the left reveals many colors including red, brown, yellow, blue, and green. We should pick one of these colors to match with this shirt.

Matching Browns and Grays

Browns and grays are very versatile and look great with many colors. When trying to match browns and grays, identify whether the brown or gray is warm or cool, that is, does it have more of a cool blue in the mix, or a warm yellow or red? It’s always a good idea to match warm with warm and cool with cool. Check out the next article in our Color Matching series to learn how to match complementary colors in your outfits.

6 Super Simple Ways to Master Color Mixing

use of color in fashion

Color mixing is not the sort of thing that anyone is born knowing how to do, but that’s a good thing. It’s not a talent. It’s a skill. And like any other skill, it can be learned. Here are six strategies to make it easier.

1. Keep it in the family.

It’s pretty straightforward: pastels with pastels, earth tones with earth tones, jewel tones with jewel tones, etc.

colorwheel-completmentary

Diego Zuko, Courtesy Images, Kathryn Wirsing

2. Use a color wheel to find complimentary colors

When you’re talking about colors, “complimentary” actually means “opposite.” Black and white, for instance, are complimentary colors. That’s why they look so great together. You know, “opposites attract.” That whole thing.

Every color has a complimentary color. It’s just whatever is on the opposite side of the color wheel. True complimentary colors are the same distance from the center of the wheel, but it can be very striking to combine a color from the center, like a pale yellow green, with its complimentary color from the outside edge, like a deep mauve.

-colorwheel-complimentary-

Diego Zuko, Courtesy Images, Kathryn Wirsing

3. Give it the ombré test

Different shades of the same color or similar colors almost always look good together (yes, this includes red and pink). If you need some help, do a Google image search for “ombré [insert color here]” and see what pops up.

olorwheel-ombre-one-

Diego Zuko, Courtesy Images, Kathryn Wirsing

colorwheel-ombre-two

Diego Zuko, Courtesy Images, Kathryn Wirsing

4. Try the “J.Crew Hack.”

J.Crew shoots all their clothes fully styled on a model, and they have a really great way with color. Take the piece of clothing you are looking to build into an outfit, then go on JCrew.com or open one of their catalogues and find something, anything, the same color. Then just make a note of the colors they are combining and copy it with clothes from your own wardrobe. I call it a “J.Crew Hack,” but really it works with any brand or site that shoots their clothes on-model: Nasty Gal, Net-A-Porter, Zara. It’s just a matter of finding a brand you like and copying the combos they use.

colorhweel-jcrew-

Diego Zuko, Courtesy Images, Kathryn Wirsing

5. Let a print be your guide

Find a print from a designer you love (or even something in your own wardrobe) and break it down into its different colors; then make an outfit. If you want to take it to the next level, rank the colors in the print from most used to least used and wear larger items like dresses, coats, or sweaters in the most-used colors and smaller items and accessories in the least-used colors.

colorwheel-print

Diego Zuko, Courtesy Images, Kathryn Wirsing

6. When in doubt, black and white

Neutrals in general (navy, khaki, gray, denim, gold, silver, etc.) are great for color mixing, but black and white, especially together, are definitely the superstars of the family. It’s like they’re Beyonce, and every other neutral is Solange. You literally cannot go wrong.

olorwheel-bandw

Diego Zuko, Courtesy Images, Kathryn Wirsing

Check our black and white Pinterest Board

Apr 29

Feminine Presentation – The Art of Being a Lady

Ladylike feminine presentationWe spend hours on our feminine presentation as crossdressers and transgender women; the hair, the makeup, just the right clothes, and even voice which is the most difficult to master. But years of cultural immersion as a man doesn’t always prepare us for the more obvious giveaways: how we walk, how we stand, how we sit, and even climbing the stairs or getting in and out of a car the wrong way signals that we are not the lady we wish others to see.

These are acquired skills that not all women have either. Women in the business world are expected to be socially graceful and it’s often a fine line between being a lady or just being a woman. It’s not necessarily intuitive. So our purpose in this section is to acquaint you with the techniques of being a lady in hope that you will practice and use them in your everyday life. These exercises are the basic ones that you need to know. There are others that you can only learn by watching women who exude feminine charm.

Or as one woman said, “an immaculately tailored dress, perfect coif and a full face of makeup are all superficial characteristics that do not define a lady“. But dressing is important so let’s deal with it first.

First, let’s listen to Susanne and Leigh of Transline Hollywood talk about Can Transgender Women Be Feminine

Dressing like a lady is about communicating confidence {not to be confused with conceit}. If you’re picturing buttoned-up-to-here cardigans and 1950s-inspired full skirts, it’s time to put that God-given imagination to use. Feminine clothing can be, but is not limited to, ruffles, sparkle, bows, ribbons and polka dots – just make sure you’re not venturing off into cute-as-a-button territory. In fact, just stay away from cute, altogether.

Imogene Lamport is an Australian fashion guru and she talks to how our physical presence effects what we wear in this short video.

Dressing like a lady does not necessarily equate to forgoing leather, pinstripes, studs, etc. The trick is to juxtapose decidedly feminine pieces with a hint of menswear to produce an effortless look of elegance and class. While there is no foolproof formula, it is much easier than you might think. And now, because everyone loves a list, here are a few easy guidelines to ensure the message you’re giving off is, in fact, the message you think you’re giving off. Consider this good deed as another expression of my love for you.

  1. No dressmaker can make a woman feminine if she is not feminine herself.
  2. You can never be overdressed or overeducated.
  3. Only wear heels if you know how to walk in them. {And if you don’t – learn!}
  4. Luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity {otherwise known as mini skirts paired with boots.}
  5. Carry yourself with confidence. It’s sexier than any low-cut dress.
  6. Your dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, but loose enough to show you’re a lady.
  7. Be aware of your body type. It’s time to look truth in the eyes: bandage dresses are only lovely if you have the curvature to pull them off.
  8. Always look your best – if only out of politeness. Ladies, leggings {not to be confused with pants} are not your friends. The world and its people thank you in advance.
  9. Never allow your clothes to wear you.
  10. Sensuality {as opposed to sexuality} can speak volumes and exude much more depth than sexuality ever can.

Alexa Chung Offers A Modern Take On Ladylike Dressing.

Feminine presentation by Alexa Chung

Audrey Hepburn sitting

The movements of women are always fluid which of course is aided by their body shape and structure. It is indeed sad and humorous to watch a crossdresser stride through the mall like a football fullback. My wife often wondered why I sat in front of the television with my legs tucked under me (like a woman). I was actually doing it unconsciously but she remarked on it years later when she learned that I crossdressed.

Here’s a brief summary

NOW THE CHALLENGES

How to sit like a lady

How to stand like a lady

How to walk like a lady

How to enter and leave a room like a lady

How to handle stairs and cars like a lady

How to carry a purse and wear gloves like a lady

Many thanks to Coulture Allure blog for the use of their material. The blog unfortunately is no longer active. And while the material may seem a bit dated, it’s for women who desire poise and elegance in how they meet the world.

Ladylike gestures in all our movements are important to achieve that all important feminine presentation too.

First,

The DONT’S

Here are 27 body language mistakes that can ruin your Feminine image from Lucille Sorella

Then, the DO’s

Here are several videos that will help you achieve a more feminine look, but there are many more if you search on You Tube. The first is about gestures. The differences may seem subtle but they translate as immediately feminine to the sub-conscious mind of the viewer.

Posture is a critical difference between males and females. Improve your posture to give you a more feminine look and feel. Take time in practicing each position to get the full effect. If you really want to embrace and express your inner lady, then you have to adopt the mindset of a more traditional woman and cultivate grace, politeness and capability. If you want to project a very feminine image, just follow the steps in the video till you get all the postures right These are some easy ways to add some girly touches to your everyday look without having to wear a dress or heavy makeup! Practice the steps in the video and you will surely be able to appear more feminine and delicate.

And then watch this example  from the ever-graceful Marilyn Monroe. Notice how elegantly she sits and stands, how deliberate her gestures are, and how she never fails to keep her knees together

 

Apr 28

All About Necklaces

Necklaces are probably the most prominent piece of jewelry among all your accessories and for a reason. They draw attention to and compliment the best parts of any outfit and we will tell you how to accomplish this in All About Necklaces with thanks to Imogene Lamport from the Insideoutstyle blog.

If you know your personality style and the different types necklines and understand the balance point concept, you’ll come up with the right necklace every time and we’ll explain it all below.

Your Jewelry Personality Style

When you think about style, that’s about your personality, so if you’re more feminine you may prefer something with lots of beads or bling, for someone who is more relaxed and casual look for necklaces made from either natural materials (wood, stones, coral etc) or very plain simple designs.

jewelry personality styles

If you’re dramatic you may find that you like your necklaces oversized and bold.  Want to express your inner creativity?  Look for pieces made by artists or even from unusual or recycled materials.

You can see that some of these pieces fall into more than one personality style and cross over styles (which is true for our personalities too). There are lots of options with necklaces, but if you find a piece you love, wear it.

Choose the Right Necklace for Your Neckline

Have you thought about what your necklaces is communicating and where it’s drawing attention on your body?  Here are  5 Quick Tips for Choosing Necklaces in this video.

Where does the necklace sit?  A choker will shorten your neck.  A long pendant will draw attention to your stomach.

Consider the scale of the necklace.  Do you want your necklace to be a feature or just a small addition to your outfit?

Do you want to make your bust look smaller?  Look for larger scale necklaces which help to distract from your bust.  You can choose a necklace made from many smaller pieces or one large one, depending on what you want to communicate and your own personal scale.

A larger piece is more bold and dramatic and will communicate that you are happy to be the centre of attention.  A small piece that is delicate is more feminine, one that is plain is more relaxed and casual.

What’s the necklace made from?  Sparkly necklaces are more formal and dressed up than a necklace made from wood or polished turquoise.  Therefore something sparkly will look more formal.  A necklace made from more simple materials will look more relaxed and approachable

necklaces for your neckline_

Different necklines look better with certain necklace styles.

Turtle necks – best with longer necklaces

Crew necks – best with short necklaces such as necklace ‘collar’ or bib styles

Scoop necks – fill in the space with multiple strands of beads or larger scale pendants

Strapless – look great with chokers or short pendants, leaving your lovely decolletage bare

Square necks – look for pendants with an angular finish to harmonize with the angular neckline

Asymmetric necklines – look for necklaces that aren’t symmetrical, instead a necklace that has it’s own asymmetry can work, alternatively a long string of different sized and shaped beads can work well.

Halter necks – these create a narrow V neck – so look for a narrow pendant with a sharper end

V neck – ideally a necklace that matches the shape of the V – depending if it’s a wider or narrower V neck.

Collared shirt (button down) – there isn’t much space for anything too wide, so a choker style works if you have a long neck, if not a slimmer pendant that sits above the last open button.

Boat neck – a long string or two of beads is ideal for this neckline.

Cowl neck – this neckline is already detailed and has volume, so either a short and small pendant or a pair of feature earrings instead of a necklace.

Sweetheart – a curved necklace that has width that will balance the open decolletage of this neckline.

Finding Your Balance Points

Imogene says, “Often, when I’m with a client, they’ll tell me that they have some necklaces that they like, but never wear. When they bring them out to show me, we discover that they’re just not hanging in the right spot for them – and as soon as we put them on one of their ‘balance points ‘ they look fabulous. A small alteration with the length of the chain can make all the difference to the look of a necklace.”

So what is this ‘balance point’? It’s a concept divised by the amazing Carla Mathis which she discussed in her book The Triumph of Individual Style : A Guide to Dressing Your Body, Your Beauty, Your Self who discovered it when studying portrait art – it’s a set of measurements that create a look of ‘balance’ which we find attractive and appealing.

What is interesting, is that your balance points can help make a short neck look longer, and a long one look shorter.

Here’s a photo to help you understand.

Balance points

So – in purple is the First Balance Point – to find yours, take a piece of string and visually measure the length of your face – forehead to chin, then take that same measurement from chin down to your chest – this is a great point to end tops, or start seeing skin if wearing a buttoned shirt (so you want the last button done up slightly lower than this point). Necklines look best within 1/2″ of this point – it doesn’t have to be exact. Or if you’re wearing a higher neckline, this is a nice place to have a piece of jewelry sit.

The in green is the Second Balance Point – to find yours, find the widest part of your face – for many people it’s across the width of the cheekbones – but for some it may be the forehead, and others it might be your chin. Draw an imaginary line across your face (like the green line that goes across my nose), and measure from this point to the chin, then from the shoulder line down – this is a great place to end tops or put a necklace.

The First Balance Point will make your neck look longer (if you wear your necklines ending at this point) if it’s shorter, or shorter if it’s longer.

The Second Balance Point stops you from looking choked by your necklines, and breaks up a long decollete.

I often wear jewelry that actually goes between both balance points – which is a good strategy if you are long through this proportion (not sure, check out this post on Body Proportions).

Use this measurement when working out where to button up a shirt to – just because they put buttons all the way up to the neck, doesn’t mean you have to use them! Ideally, use the First Balance Point as where you start to see the skin of your decolletage.

Finally, here’s a review on the type of necklace for the common necklines