Oprah’s Creative Director Adam Glassman has got me fired up! I just watched one of the style advice videos where he answers a reader’s request for a little bit of style help.
I’m a Style and Success coach and a Personal Brand expert to women executives and entrepreneurs and in my opinion this style advice video gets it wrong.
I think it highlights one of the main reasons women over 40 get frustrated with fashion and dressing well. We get messages from fashion magazines that don’t suit us and don’t take into consideration our style or personality. In fact this video ignores that key piece of information entirely.
Magazines have a job to do … that’s to sell whatever it is the advertisers are advertising. So if the designers who are advertising, or who want to advertise in “O” magazine, have decided that this spring everyone should be wearing florals, the magazine’s job is to promote that trend, which in this case is florals.
Now I don’t have a problem with magazines, or florals or fashion trends … in fact, I love magazines. I love the art direction, the photography and the “possibilities”. I love florals and I love colour.
But what I don’t like is when a stylist puts someone in a new trend, or colour or style and doesn’t take the woman standing in front of him/her into consideration.
Take a look at this screen shot and see if you agree with me:
The woman is a 45 year old mom, who always wears black. She asks for some tips to “lighten up” and comes to the style closet at “O” Magazine. In my opinion, the stylist has selected inappropriate colours (yellow cardigan) and styles (soft, flowy look for a more structured woman) for this woman and I don’t think she looks great in the after photo. Here’s why I don’t like this
1. The woman clearly likes black … there is very little black in the after outfit
2. When she arrives, she looks like a chic, polished, elegant woman … in the ‘after’ look she looks too “granny” and “soft” for her authentic image. I doubt she will feel very comfortable in this look … it will end up in the back of her closet.
3. Yellow is not a great colour for this woman…it’s the wrong tone for her. She would have looked better in a marigold or more golden yellow colour, but yellow would not have been my first choice for her. It just wouldn’t have been the colour that would have come to my mind as a great colour option for her.
If this woman was my client, I would have approached this whole fashion look very differently. First of all, I would have had a discussion with her about how she wanted to look … does she want to change from a chic, polished image to a soft, flowy feminine vibe? Does she actually want to incorporate the “floral” trend into her look. And finally…what colours would she really like to add to her wardrobe … just how far away from all black does she really want to go.
Here are some ideas that might have worked better:
1. Add a touch of colour or floral with accessories … try a floral pump, or a silk floral brooch, but keep the connection to her chic and polished style.
2. For a more casual or weekend look, she could add a floral blazer, but in a more chic and subtle way. I would keep her in a neutral black and white palette.
3. Finally … if my client really wanted to go all out with floral, then I would have recommended a chicer, more polished skirt and created an elegant, but colourful look that still incorporated a lot of black.
If you’re fed up with fashion advice that doesn’t seem to make sense to you, or treats you like a you’re ‘old’ just because you’re in your 40’s … I can help.
I coach women to discover their authentic style and then dress with confidence everyday. Contact me today for a discovery session.