Crew Necks

Despite the dozens of style advice books I’ve read, I cannot recall ever hearing this rule so plainly stated as it was by Tim Gunn on a recent episode of The Revolution. The fashion rule:  Avoid crew necks. Gunn’s comments were a part of a segment on the January 17, 2012 show in which he provided advice on how to dress 10 pounds thinner.

Gunn explained that a crew neckline makes you look boxy, especially if you are busty. Much more flattering is a vee neckline that opens up the space around the neck. Gunn added that a vee neckline also broadens the shoulders. He demonstrated that his model, a member of the audience, looked taller and younger.

A look from Peter Som in the February 2012 issue of Marie Claire

Gunn’s advice is sound. A crew neckline is almost universally unflattering. Not only does a crew neck tend to make the wearer look boxy, it also breaks one of the cardinal image consulting rules of selecting a flattering neckline:  Choose a neckline that is wider than the widest point of your face. A narrower neckline makes your face look proportionately larger. It also emphasizes the shortness of a short neck.

On the other hand, an extremely wide neckline, such as a boat neck, will not be flattering for everyone due to its strong horizontal emphasis. If you have wide shoulders relative to your hips, you may find that a boat neck makes you appear top-heavy. Happily there are all manner of scoop necklines and vee necks that are almost universally flattering.

How to salvage your crew necks?  Add a third piece or accessory that drapes over the neckline and creates an overriding vertical line. This can be accomplished with a blazer or jacket, a cardigan sweater, or a long scarf or necklace that lies over and dominates the neckline.


Oh No! Seeing Red

I cringe when I read an article, such as that in the February 2012 issue of Redbook entitled “Why you’ll be happy to get scarlet fever,” which makes the following statement:

“Studies prove: Red looks good on everyone. (Okay, we made the studies up. But it’s true!) No matter what your skin tone, you’ll positively glow.”

Does red look good on everyone?  Absolutely not. As an image consultant, I assess the best shade of red for each of my clients. For many women, their best red is actually coral or pink or burgundy. If you’ve never warmed to bright red, you may instinctively sense that that bright hue does you no favors. Bright red may actually make you look tired and washed out.

Redbook adds: “Men see you in red and the reasoning part of their brain blinks out. All they can think is, She’s so SEXY. And hey, nobody’s ever written a song about a lady in orange. . .”

I’m not sure where Redbook is finding these men, but my honey and other guy friends tell me that they “cannot stand” bright red on a woman. There are no absolutes, especially when trying to figure out personal preferences. Don’t fall for the hype.

Overture: What’s It All About?

There are numerous bloggers in the Internet universe with a point of view as to what is stylish at any moment in time. What is difficult to locate anywhere online is a point of view that focuses on the needs of professional women, particularly those who are in their late 30s or beyond. These women are in their prime from a social and professional standpoint, yet are all but neglected by the fashion world.  Add a distinctive and very common complicating physical factor, such as petite stature or a plus-size figure, or foot problems, or an allergy to a particular fabric or metal, and the useful advice that can be found either in the world of glossy fashion magazines or online slows to a mere trickle.

I hope through my blog to help correct this oversight.

Join me as I cull style advice with photographic examples from the major American fashion magazines, supplemented by various women’s, men’s, home, professional and celebrity-focused magazines, e-zines and blogs, and interpret, dissect and sometimes eviscerate the opinions being spouted as to what women should wear to be fashionable.

What makes this blog unique is that I approach fashion and jewelry from the standpoint of what flatters the wearer. What flatters has to do with color, line, space, proportion, texture, scale and personality. I hope to help you identify styles that will make you look your best.

There’s another factor I’ll focus on:  confidence. Making the most of your unique features and preferences, while at the same time dressing for whatever circumstances life brings, can give you a deep sense of self-confidence. You can radiate that special something that allows others to recognize your distinctive and authentic self.

I write based upon years of training and experience as an image consultant and personal wardrobe consultant and also as a jewelry designer and an aficionado and seller of vintage costume jewelry. I find time and again that when someone puts on the jewelry or garment that suits her perfectly, her face lights up. Her radiant smile is contagious. I think life should be full of those moments. I hope to help you experience them.

Here’s what you can expect in my blog:


What to try now. A review of current trends in fashion, jewelry and other accessories that can update your wardrobe.


Image consulting tips and tricks to enhance your personal image, and advice on how to adapt styles to make them work for you.


Bad stylist recommendations, ridiculous advertisements, and celebrity fashion disasters provide fodder for this feature, and great styling is recognized, too. Does a particular look merit an Oh Wow, an Okay, or an Oh Dear?


Mining older articles, books and photos for gems of inspiration or amusement.


Because there are times I simply must rant!


Addressing your style and image questions and providing resources to make your life easier and more beautiful.

My blog will be richer by your joining in the discussion. If you have a different opinion about something, or a question about image, wardrobe or jewelry you’d like to discuss, please share it. We can learn from one another.

Personal style is a form of artistic expression. I hope my blog will inspire you to enjoy fashion, and at the same time, to appreciate yourself and your own unique beauty. What I wish for you is that you thrive and succeed. Welcome to Truly Becoming.