Latest Posts

Guide to right jacket style for your body shape

Here is my guide on buying the right jacket to fit your body shape.

Pears:

Since we are heavier on the bum and thighs and tiny in the waist and upper body, we want to draw the eye upwards with a nice ruffled collar or fur collar or some fun detailing.  The waist should be belted or have a tapered/faux waistline with an a-line or flare bottom.  Make sure the length falls to the knee!  If it’s too short, not only will you be cold, but the eye will be drawn down to your problem areas.

 

Apples:

We want to play down our bulky or too broad upper and midsection and show off our legs.  The best jackets for this body type are structured, with little detail and an empire waist.  No ruffles or bows and etc as these will add more bulk to the problem areas.

Rectangles:

We want to add curves so have fun with ruffles and collars, buttons and other fun details to help give you curves.  No straight jackets!

Inverted Triangles:

Right now, capes are back in fashion and they are perfect for this shape – just make sure they aren’t too long.  The objective here is to draw the eye downward to your hot bum and great legs!

Hourglass:

We have the so-called perfect shape and want to accentuate our waist!  We get to play too, big collars, cinched waists, buttons, fur – you name it!

Your Style Sensei,
Jeanette

 

How to wear designer dresses for a fraction of the retail price  

Last year I was invited to a fancy gala for the Toronto International Film Festival. I was thrilled to be going, but like most women I had plenty of cocktail dresses and nothing gala-worthy to consider. I wasn’t keen on spending several hundred dollars on a dress either. 

I knew that you could rent designer handbags and dresses in New York and wondered if this could be the case in Toronto. I went on a google hunt and found Rent Frock Repeat a designer dress rental boutique in the west end.

I signed up for an account and was able to enter my size, body shape and other preferences.  I was also able to shop online for dresses using a variety of intuitive search filters.  I found three dresses I was really interested in wearing, saved them in my profile with notes, then reserved a free stylist session to go and try the dresses on.

When I arrived they had my dresses ready to try, including a couple they had selected for me.   As I tried on each dress they would write notes in my online profile about how it looked, sizing and etc. so that my favorites could be saved for future events.  

   
    
 The best part was, they delivered my dress two days before the event with a prepaid return delivery bag. All I had to do was wear the dress, fold it back into the return bag and drop it to the post office.  No dry cleaning hassle, no running around the city to pick up and drop off the dress. It was all so convenient and simple! 

Not only did I look amazing in the dress, it only cost $150 to rent.  I have been a regular user since!  

  
Have you used RFR before? Or have you ever considered renting designer?  Share your experiences in the comments below!

Your Style Sensei,

Jeanette

**No one at RFR asked me to write about this. I had such a great experience I thought I’d share this service with the women of Toronto.

50 Shades of Grey a.k.a. The Groutfit

I was watching “The Social” the other day and introduced the new fashion term, “groutfit” which actually means wearing two or more items that are grey in a monochromatic look. Stylist Erica Ward suggested that the best way to wear a groutfit is to layer different colours and textures of grey.  Some of the outfits on the show incorporated fur, patent leather, wool, cashmere and some brought in a print into the mix.

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I think all of this is fantastic however, some people just can’t or don’t know how to wear grey. Grey is a tricky color.  If you wear the wrong shade essentially it can wash your face out causing a sallow, sick looking face – quite literally a grey face!  What is the solution? Find the right tone of grey and make sure that you wear that tone around/near your face.  Remember the summer, winter, fall and spring colours? Warm vs. cold tones? This ensures that you avoid the dark circled, old and tired look.

The monochromatic look is pretty cool and sleek looking, but if you love colour and want to add it, bring in a bright lipstick or colourful eye.  Alternatively, just add one accessory in colour.  Grey is the new black, it goes with everything so red, pink, green, navy – they will all match!  Try it on in the shoes or the handbag or even your tuque!

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One last thing about monochromatic – this is a great option for ladies who want to hide the fact that they don’t have a waist or that they are too short. It helps to elongate the figure and slim you.  If slimming is particularly important I would avoid too much bulk from fur and ruffles!

To view some of the styles Erica Wark put together, visit The Social’s page here.

What’s your take on grey on grey?

Your Style Sensei,

Jeanette

5 Things You Need to Know About Dressing for Your Body Shape

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Photo courtesy of Smarts Snobs

Body shape – we are obsessed with it.  Either we are too big, too small, not curvy enough not skinny enough or not lump-free enough.  We can spend tons of money getting this nipped and that tucked, but the best solution to fixing our imperfections is not to fix them at all.

No single body is exactly alike and no single perception of your body is alike.  We just have to embrace all our lumps, bumps, curves, and edges and figure out the best way to dress for our shape.

Here are 5 things you need to know about dressing for your body shape:

  1. Accept your body for what it looks like.  If you are short you will never be tall.  Unless plastic surgery IS an option for you, your body shape will not change.  Be realistic when you think about your body.
  2. Everyone has a general body shape, learn yours.  Are you an apple? a pear? an hour glass? a column? an inverted triangle? or an oval?
  3. Different cuts of clothes and fabric textures fall on your body in ways that may complement or exaggerate your shape.  Ex. If you are a pear shape, you might wear a top with a ruffled chest or sleeve to add depth to your narrow shoulders and petite bust.  You might do the same as a column to give the appearance of a bust.  But if you are an inverted triangle, all those ruffles are going to do is make your shoulders look BIGGER!
  4. Use colour to help create a balanced shape.  Ex. Use monochromatic colours if you are round or full bodied in the middle as this helps keep a clean line from head to toe.  If you are an inverted triangle wear a lighter pant with texture or a print to draw the eye away from the broad shoulders and wear a dark coloured top.
  5. Just because its on trend or in fashion doesn’t mean it will flatter your figure.  Ex. If you are pear shaped you likely cannot wear any skirt above the knee so mini’s just won’t work for you no matter how good they look on the model or mannequin.

Remember these the next time you are standing in front of the mirror, contemplating the size of your waist or the length of your torso.  Ask yourself, “What can I do to create the illusion of a balanced figure?”

Not sure what shape you are or what cut of clothing might solve your unbalanced figure?  Leave a comment and I’ll help you figure it out!  Also, keep your eyes peeled for a more detailed look at the different body shapes and smart tips and tricks on dressing them in upcoming posts.

Your Style Sensei,

Jeanette

The Art of Class, For the Ladies

It is a Saturday night. The coolest night club in town has a crowd building outside it.  There is a buzz in the air.  I am waiting in line, keeping an eye out for my partner in crime who has yet to arrive.  My black silk cropped pants, and black tank top sprinkled with silver sequins are comfortable.  The sequins draw attention to my favorite feature, my collarbone.  Turquoise Jourdan pumps, neon orange crystal earrings and a silk shawl are my only accessories.  My hair is pinned up and I am sporting a smokey eye and nude lips.  I get complimented on my shoes, earrings and shawl.

As I start to survey the women in line and on the street, I see there a theme to their attire: super tight mini-dress, platform stiletto heels and a lot of mascara.  At 36 years old, I don’t understand the new trend to expose as much of our bodies as possible in the tightest outfits.  At twenty I was always conscious of where to draw the line on how much of my body I exposed when out on the town.  I am by no means conservative, but I always make an effort to create a balance between the sexy and classy.  Really, that’s all the art of class is about, balance.

My formula is simple:

1. Pick one body part you would like to show off and downplay everything else but that.

2. Flatter your figure, don’t expose it.

3. Less is more.

For example. I might wear a sweetheart strappy top with a vintage shawl.  My skirt would fall to my knees.  My heels would be a bright color and comfortable.  My earrings would be small but sparkly.  My makeup sultry but not over done and I’d probably pin up my hair in some way.

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Nothing but a hint of cleavage, arms shoulders and shins are exposed.  You can’t see my butt cheeks nor can you see down my top.  Nothing is too tight and my accessories are small enough so as not to be overwhelming.  All attention is drawn to my smile and my collarbone.  Now that is sexy as anything, but also very very classy.

So ladies, I challenge you to try something a little different the next time you go out.  Think about how your outfit flatters your figure and what it draws attention to.  Consider what your first impression might be and have you created a balanced look both classy and sexy?  Take pictures.  Have fun.  And send your “Before and After” photo to info@stylesmartsensei.com if you’d like your results featured!

Your Style Sensei,

Jeanette

First Impressions

First impressions are SO important and really dictate the outcome of a first meeting in any situation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, a 2009 study on first impressions, found that first impressions could be made based on a myriad of factors such as clothing style and posture.  Even body language  can open or close a first meeting in just a few seconds.

I remember once being told by someone that I looked completely unapproachable, stern, angry and snobby. A little floored, I had to take a step back and examine this. What on earth was I doing to create this impression?  I had to sit down and take a good look at what people were seeing.  At that time in my life I spent a lot of time in my head and was so self engrossed in insecurity about my body, my looks, my capabilities, the list is long. Combine that with my body’s response to those thoughts – I didn’t make eye contact with people and when I did I looked through them or away quickly – I looked angry or unhappy.  Those negative thoughts and insecurities were clearly displayed on my face and emanated from my body! An obvious reaction right? But is it so obvious to most people when we are in the thick of it?

Let’s also look at the example of Bob, who reached out to me for help in 2007.  Bob wanted to meet a nice girl and was trying to date.  The feedback he got wasn’t promising.  When I met Bob at his closet we learned he had a lean and petite frame but wore clothes four times too big, he owned only one suit, a handful of shirts that were out of date, and finally, he had never considered that he was hiding behind too-big clothes to hide his petite frame. All this made him look smaller and clownish – women and others just couldn’t take him seriously.

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We went shopping.  Once he was in front of the mirror in clothes that fit, and saw that a well tailored suit or jean in the right size and cut could make him look taller and more sophisticated, he had his a-ha moment.  He realized he had let his insecurities get the best of him and made decisions about his attire and how he looked through this skewed perception.  After our work together, he had a full wardrobe that he loved how he looked and felt in.  His confidence, gait, smile all changed and the way people interacted with him changed for the better.  Today he is happily married and still thanks me for helping him find his way back to confidence and good first impressions.

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Sometimes our ideas about our body and how we should look, feel and dress are shaped by what we hear and see all around us, and sometimes they are shaped by insecurities we create ourselves.   Discovering this and correcting the problem doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice and no one is ever perfect at it every day. Yet, if we are lost but make an effort to look and feel great about ourselves, people can see our confidence, are  attracted to us and we make better first impressions.   If you are struggling with the way you look and feel about yourself, are hiding behind ill-fitting, outdated and inappropriate clothing, I dare you to step in front of the mirror and ask yourself honestly what you can do differently today to be happier with the way you look.  I promise, that if you look at the problem and take one action on a regular basis to change how you feel inwardly, it will be easier for you to start looking great outwardly and the confidence and great first impression will follow.

Your Style Sensei,

Jeanette

Your Style Sensei, Jeanette Emery

Hello and welcome to the StyleSmart blog courtesy of me, your Style Sensei Jeanette Emery, nice to meet you!  I am very good at teaching people how to dress in clothes they love and look fabulous in.  Like the hosts of “What Not to Wear” and other such makeover shows, I work with normal everyday people who just want to look good, don’t know how to look good or have no sense of how they want to look.  11947889_10153638787346151_2021355744004383696_o

My approach as a Style Sensei is typically very hands on, I like to be next to my subject, in front of a mirror with clothes, a keen eye, clothes clips and a smile.  But in this blog I will try to teach you all the tips and tricks I know about everything from body shape to cuts of clothing, to colour and camouflage.  My goal is to provide as much visual evidence as I can so that you can get a good grasp of my teachings and are easily able to apply them to you.

As much as I like to provide tips and tricks of my own, I want to hear from you!  What are your fashion, style and wardrobe woes?? How can I help YOU?  What are some interesting tips and tricks you have learned?  Let us collaborate!  Please email me about your style challenges – I will endeavour to answer as many calls for help as I can.  Don’t be shy, add some photos or videos!  I’ll feature unique and interesting questions here for you to comment on and share.

Follow my blog to keep up to date on new features, tips and tricks, and like, comment and share with the world.   I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge with you!

Your Style Sensei,

Jeanette