The magic of “Before” and “After”

Dear Ladies,

I would like to reflect on the concept of “Before and After”.

It is simple: “Before” is a state of mind when we resolve to look “good enough” and “After” is when we are determined to look “our best”. What is behind the the transformation? Read on…

work style makeover

Proportions, Cut, Color

This is a pretty young woman with nice body, with “high school” lingering in her hair style and her clothes looking a size larger than optimal. Despite of her youth and pleasant features, one can pass by her on a street without another look.

As you can see, some quick fixes go a long way. Besides the flattering haircut and makeup, change in the proportions put the image together: the focal point is on the slender waistline, because the skirt sits higher over the baggy sweater and the sleeves have just the right length.

There are two more office outfits, both jackets are with elements of sport style: multi-color, defined pockets and non-classic collar, interesting sleeves in one case and zipper in another. This style is right for her, you don’t want to see this beauty tucked into an  FBI-like suit.

Did you notice that the makeup is more intense to level with the bright jacket? Without it the face above that jacket would look washed out.

Focal Point, Contrast, Combo

Nothing wrong with this girl either. Did I say “girl”? Well – this is an impression she’d give me if I met her somewhere. While it is the right tendency to look young, it is always better to look “right”.

Kudos to makeup artist and hair stylist for bringing a beauty to a spotlight. What about that black and black combination…achromatic colors can’t hurt, if you don’t care to look interesting.

But if you do, let’s break the boredom with some focal points. First, we add a contrast jacket, which changes the tone and suggests more put-together look for work or off work time. Then we add accessories. Won’t you agree that the scarf with the loud print and necklace offer an interesting twist to the image? Now you’d pay attention.

You may also notice that the elements of capsule wardrobe are introduced in this makeover. The pants, the jacket and the turtleneck shirt are used to create more than one outfit. A printed skirt and boots with heels complete the entire look with a feminine touch.

Break Up Black with Contrast Colors

Here is a good looking woman in elegant age. She is a bit savvier in selecting her clothes and have some right ideas for her “properties”. Her dress is the right length, her cardigan is meant to add vertical lines and distract an eye from her full midsection (apple shape). She acknowledges the role of accessories in the complete look.

But what’s wrong with the picture? It is a common belief that the black color visually shrinks a body, yes, just like any other dark color (photo on the right). Beware that black color also emphasizes both appealing assets and faults of your body. There are better ways to look slimmer in your clothes. In this case we see a bulky mass of black.

For the solution the stylist selected a garment (summer coat) designed to break a solid color to create an illusion of well-balanced body. Two major rules are used in this design to hide the size: 1) break the mass into smaller pieces using prints or combination of colors 2) move the attention to details (bright cuffs, shiny buttons and pockets).  Waistline is created with lighter panels on the sides, details complementing the V-neck. Contrast colors and firm fabric play beautifully together. It also help to move the darker colors from your face as you are aging.  Hair and makeup are the nice touch, but not dominant in this makeover.

Dynamic shape, vibrant color

This change is hardly qualified as a makeover, but the effect is significant. Which image looks easy and more dynamic? – The image on the left. This is a simple, comfortable, “soccer mom” type of look and “running errands” type of message.

We see the right choice of color for the woman’s skin tone, complimenting pants for her shapely legs, fashionable sneakers. What is off? First, let’s agree that her upper body is dominant (triangle or athletic body type). It looks even bigger in the bright shapeless shirt.

To minimize the effect of this attire and balance the image we need to reduce the eye catching expanse of the shirt, in this case the short jacket of darker color is a great find. It covers the most of the shirt without hiding the vibrant shade. Alternatively, if the bright and dark color were reversed in their placement (imagine tight dark top and wide coral pants) the image would also be balanced, but will not make this woman look taller.

Speaking of height, the hair style and heels, opening in the front, indeed, contribute to taller, leaner and sexier appearance, although keeping the sneakers will not hurt the style. Adding a colorful accessories and – voila! Not a “soccer mom” anymore, but boisterous young woman.

Yours, Yelena

Let’s paint a beautiful picture together.

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