I’m just thrilled to have Brenda Kinsel, one of the top image consultants in the country, as a guest blogger today! Brenda is the best-selling author of many books (You’ve got to check them out.), has been on national radio and TV shows (she rocked it on the Oprah Winfrey show!), and has been featured in countless magazines. During a recent interview on the nationally syndicated Richard Stevens Show (where she appears weekly), callers wanted to know how to look stylish once the weather starts warming up. Of course, Brenda has great solutions, ALL of which involve jewelry. Read on to enjoy her expert answers.
1. “I miss how my wintery jackets, blazers or cardigans always made me feel put together. Now when I’m just wearing a blouse and a pant or a tee shirt and a skirt, I feel underdressed. What should I do?”
One thing I’m wearing a lot of this summer are leggings or skinny rolled up jeans with tunics, which are just two pieces as well. To add a finishing touch, I’m adding long necklaces. Long necklaces or layered chains add so much interest to the top part of your body. And don’t forget about hats! Wearing a hat that works with your outfit can go a long way toward having a put together look. Hats are great for protecting your face and they’re great for your outfit too!
2. “Necklaces can be hot in the summer. Are there alternatives?”
When it’s super hot out I want everything to be lightweight. A bulky, heavy necklace that felt great over a long cashmere tunic in the winter feels too heavy right now. I’m all for lightweight necklaces in the summer. Leather cords with something interesting coming off of them is a way to adorn while still being very lightweight. So are certain chains. The large-scaled link necklace in medium gray mesh in the picture collage (below left) is actually super lightweight. Heat shouldn’t make you shy away from adding a necklace to your outfit!
3. “I used to wear scarves around my neck all winter and that always added interest to my outfits while keeping my neck warm too. Function and fashion- I liked it! Now I don’t want anything around my neck! What options do I have?”
In the middle of a Sonoma heat wave, I find collars on summer dresses or tops to be just too hot. I try to wear clothes with no collars so my neck doesn’t contact fabric at all. And of course, scarves around the neck will feel warm most days too although a linen scarf can be a good option. However, if you want a no-scarf zone, you can still adorn the space between your ear and your shoulder line. Bigger earrings are a great choice. I have an earring I wear more in the summer than the winter because it’s larger and needs to be able to float without running into a scarf or a high collar. You can easily wear a long chandelier type earring and pair it with a crew neck linen top or sweater. The earrings make a great focal point, as it’s so close to your face.
4. “Lots of people are wearing cute sleeveless dresses but that’s not going to be me. I’m more comfortable wearing a summer print in a top with a ¾ length sleeve. What can make my outfit look more interesting?”
If you’re wearing shorter sleeves in the summer, it’s a great time to pile on the bangles. While one petite bracelet may look too dainty with all that open space, a cluster of metallic thin bangles mixed with pearl bracelets could be fabulous. Or wear one or two bulkier bangles. Especially good for summer are ones in lighter or brighter colors, or in lighter colored-metals or try some in Lucite. It’s such a simple way to add some interest to your outfit. In fact, your bangles could be a whole conversation starter. Have fun picking some out!
5. I have a hard time mixing jewelry together-like my earrings and bracelets and necklaces. I’m never quite sure what I should put with what or if I’m doing it right. Can you help?”
Be sure your jewelry speaks the same language. If you’re doing earrings, bangles and a necklace, they need to relate to one another some way. Once you’ve created a group that works well together you have what I call a Beauty Bundle. That Beauty Bundle can be worn repeatedly whether it’s with casual outfits or dressier ones.
Here’s an example. I recently purchased this taupe-gray distressed leather cuff with a decorative studded pattern in gold by Calleen Cordero. I decided to make the color gold the common thread for tying it together with earrings and a necklace. Because I plan to wear this cuff in the summertime, I went for a crystal earring with gold edges and I found a multi-strand necklace with fine gold beads at another store. I’ve worn that bundle multiple times already.
Some things that can relate together are items with a similar color or texture or mood (like romantic, modern, or urban).
6. “In the wintertime I tend to wear just classic pearls or small silver hoops and darker colored clothes. In the summertime I like to wear white or more vibrant colors. My classic accessories look so wimpy with white or bright colors. I don’t want to look boring. What can I do?”
Save the classic jewelry pieces for the wintertime when your outfit has a lot more going on. This is the perfect time to team turquoise with coral, or turquoise with lapis. And if you have some vintage pieces, they are often more colorful. Don’t be afraid to bring on the bling and make yourself more colorful! You can tame down again when the temperatures head to the 30s and the skies get gray.
7. “In the summertime I like to wear simple sheath dresses. How do I keep them from looking boring?”
A simple, sheath summer dress can be transformed with a necklace that follows the line of the neck and creates the look of a collar. A statement necklace is like that: It makes a statement and is a great choice when your dress is more reserved. It can be done, but it takes a certain personality to be able to wear a statement necklace and a wildly colorful print dress without having them fight each other for attention. With a simpler dress and a more dynamic necklace, we all will know where the focal point is–right on your beautiful face!
I hope these tips are helpful to you as you put your summer wardrobe together with ease and style! You can look great at any age when you focus on style.
Visit Brenda’s website and receive your free e-Book, Brenda’s Fashion Essentials: Look Fantastic in your 40s, 50s, and Beyond. Join the wardrobe and style discussion at Brenda’s Tips & Teasers Facebook page!
Thanks for sharing with us, Brenda!! xo