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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