Are you weary of wardrobe worries? Do you stand catatonic before your closet? Never fear — Megan is here! In the March edition of our fashion advice column “Ask Megan,” Style Coach Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Megan LaRussa answers your fashion queries, demystifying “fashion rules” and delivering practical suggestions so you can face your closet with the bravery of Joan of Arc and the panache of Coco Chanel!
How do I incorporate last year’s fad — or even four-years-ago’s fad — into my wardrobe? I want to stay somewhat in style, but I don’t want to waste clothes that are still in nice shape.
Excellent question! When I first dive into my clients’ closets for a cleanse, we often discuss “trendy” pieces from years past. Faddish items typically have a short life span of one season to three years. For example, bell sleeves are very popular this season and have been for the past year. They will continue to be important next fall, but will eventually fade away, and the next trend will pop into the scene. At that time, if your bell sleeve item was more of a fast-fashion piece, then I’d encourage you to let it go. Try consigning the piece if it is in nice shape or donate it to a worthwhile organization like My Sister’s Closet at the YWCA. If the item was a designer piece of excellent quality, then you could potentially hold on to it and when that look reemerges down the road, reincorporate that into your wardrobe in a fresh way. But the moral of the story when it comes to more trendy pieces: Think about your cost per wear. Are you going to wear it a ton? Is it something you deem classic with a trendy flair? Then perhaps spend a bit more on the garment, but if you know you won’t wear it a lot, then try a more fast-fashion option. All in all, by following these tips, you will walk away a smarter shopper!
What is the next hot color for spring?
Drum roll, please … the color of spring 2017 is PINK! From blush to magenta to rose, shades of pink are rocking the runways this spring. If you love pink like I do, try wearing it in a tonal-color way with a blush pair of jeans and a fuchsia top. If you’re more hesitant to wear this hue, then opt for a small dose of pink in a stylish sneaker, ballet flat or maybe even a clutch for evenings out. For more tips and tricks on how to wear color this spring, watch my Color Theory 101 video.
How much is too much when wearing black?
The first question I want to ask you is why do you wear all black? Is it because you love a minimal, sleek, clean look? Do you work in an environment where all black is your uniform? Or are you perhaps a believer of the style myth that all black is slimming? The answer will dictate whether or not you’re wearing too much black. If you really own this look and know it genuinely reflects your personal style, then by all means wear all black. But do keep in mind that when wearing any shade from head to toe, it’s very important to incorporate various textures into the look. For example, try a black cashmere sweater, black denim and black snakeskin ballet flats. The texture will elevate your black look from basic to interesting and pulled together.
If you are one who wears all black to hide areas of your body that you don’t love or to create the illusion that you’re 10 pounds lighter, then I want to encourage you to dive deeper into your personal style. I often assist clients in moving towards a personal style that best reflects themselves and leaves some of the black behind if it isn’t 100% them. Ditching the black doesn’t mean you have to start wearing SPANX or go on a diet to look slim and trim in your clothes, it simply means you need to better understand your body type. I love seeing my clients start dressing for their body types. As long as they have the right fit and cut of clothing on, it doesn’t matter what color their garments are — they will look like their all-around best self. So before you determine if your closet is full of too much black, first discover your personal style and body type to better understand what is best for YOU.
What are the easiest spring trends to add to your style if you’re not a super fashionable gal?
Merci for asking this question! Many of my clients are in the same boat as you, as they prefer a more classic style but still want to look current. It all boils down to your personal style. Before incorporating any trendy pieces into your wardrobe, it’s important to think about your style and which trends best match your look. Trust me, if you wear a trend that does not fit your style, personality and wardrobe, then you won’t feel like yourself and you won’t enjoy your new purchase. And I want you to make smart purchases, to be the master of your personal style rather than the victim of the latest fad! Once you determine your personal style (this is the first step I take with my clients), then assess the various seasonal trends and pick one or two that resonate with you and rock them with confidence! For example, if you’re more bohemian, then maybe you try a flowy bell-sleeved dress. If you’re more preppy, then perhaps opt for a striped blazer. If you’re more feminine, then try incorporating more pink into your spring wardrobe. If you’d enjoy some additional guidance on how to take the runway trends and make them wearable for your everyday life, then I’d love to share with you my complimentary Runway to Reality shoppable guide!
What are the best three spring jackets everyone needs?
1. A classic trench coat that best fits your body type and personal style. With spring shopping underway, I have been coaching my clients on finding their perfect trench. There are so many options out there, so there’s no need to settle on one that’s just “fine.” One of my clients who prefers a feminine, casual look snagged a great coral three-quarter-length sleeve trench coat. Another client who loves an understated French look purchased a black classic cinch-waist trench coat. To determine your perfect trench, first determine your personal style and then shop like a pro!
2. Denim jackets are back in full force! This classic jacket style was off the market for a few years, but has made a comeback this spring. If you still have a jean jacket lingering in your closet make sure to assess its shape and coloration to ensure it’s the modern version of this coat before rocking it again. We’re seeing a more tailored, slightly shorter hip length in washes ranging from white to dark to light. Get the look right by wearing your denim jacket with a silk sundress or even a basic tee and jeans (in a different-colored denim than the jacket).
3. A military-inspired jacket is all the rage this season. From bombers to cinch-waist field jackets, this jacket is sure to serve you well on those chilly spring mornings. Olive green, black and khaki are the most popular colors we’re seeing in this jacket.
Are skinny jeans still in style?
What a fabulous question! Skinny jeans have become many of our “uniforms,” as they are so easy to throw on with a pair of flats, heels or wedges and go! So, thankfully, they are not going anywhere anytime soon. Skinny jeans have become a classic staple in the world of denim, so having a pair of white, dark wash and black on hand is important. That being said, skinny jeans are not right for every body type, so do assess your silhouette before investing in this denim style. If skinny jeans aren’t your friend, try out a great straight leg, boot cut or flare leg. And for the trend-lovers, the cropped kick-flare pant is a fun alternative to the go-to skinny jean. Nowadays we have so many wonderful options when it comes to denim, so select the style and fit that best suits you.
How do I create a capsule wardrobe? I need to streamline and simplify, but I don’t know how to begin.
You’re speaking my language! There’s nothing better than streamlining and simplifying, especially when it comes to your wardrobe. With our busy lives our wardrobe should not be one more thing to “deal with” — it should instead bring us joy and confidence and be easy! It’s understandable then, that you’d desire to create a capsule wardrobe. I assist my clients in paring down their closets and adding in any workhorse pieces that will best serve them. Where I usually see the issue with my clients is either the closet is filled to the brim with one-off pieces that are fun but don’t mix and match well, or the closet is full of basic pieces that don’t showcase any personality. The trick to a dynamic capsule wardrobe is having the perfect balance of fun, personality pieces and well-tailored basics. When you have the right ratio of these two categories, then your capsule wardrobe is complete! To kick-start your style journey, I’d recommend cleansing your closet of any items no longer serving you and, from there, create a shopping list of pieces needed to fill in the holes.
Have fashion questions? Ask Megan! Submit your own fashion-related questions for possible inclusion in this monthly column by emailing [email protected].
To learn more about Megan LaRussa, or to view style-coaching options, book an appointment or sign up for Megan’s newsletter, visit meganlarussa.com.