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Pic of the Week :: "What Not to Wear"

My Image Expert teamed up with “What Not to Wear” to provide two lucky ladies fashion and beauty makeovers!

Reality television has been a driving force in entertainment which has been especially supportive of various makeover shows. This popular stream of entertainment includes TLC’s “What Not to Wear” hit television show featuring fashion and beauty makeover transformations. The reality show premise is simple: friends and family members secretly nominate an individual that they consider a fashion victim and ask the show to help give this person a makeover. The show secretly films this person for a week to capture their bad fashion sense while America watches at home. The hosts, Stacey and Clinton, then ambush the candidate offering a $5,000.00 budget for a new wardrobe that must be purchased in New York City over the course of 2 days. The candidate must also allow the hosts to go through their current wardrobe (wardrobe analysis) to critique and chastise them regarding their bad fashion sense.

The content of the show develops when the two hosts provide the candidate with style tips and garment ideas that are appropriate for their body structure. This intercommunication is directed towards helping the fashion victim select suitable garments while on their NY shopping spree. For beauty makeovers, the show includes a hairstylist (Nick) and makeup artist (Carmindy) to help polish the candidate’s appearance. The climax comes at the end of the show when friends and family members get to see the finished results. Some segments follow up with the candidate several months later to see if they are maintaining their “new look”. If successful, the “fashion star” shares with the audience how their fashion makeover has inspired their new vision and has changed their life!

TLC receives thousand of applications per week from people recommending themselves or someone they know to be the next candidate for a fashion and beauty makeover with the hosts from “What Not to Wear”. The show will only select a handful of people, so what happens to all the hopeful people who weren’t selected? Since the show gets an overwhelming amount of people interested in a fashion and beauty makeover, they will choose a small quantity of people to receive the same treatment and makeover services without the camera crews and the show’s hosts. In this particular case, My Image Expert is called (as a leading image consultant firm) to provide similar services minus the $5,000.00 budget and the humiliation of being ambushed on national television! While they audit your current clothing collection with a wardrobe analysis, My Image Expert allows you the option to donate the clothing to a worthwhile cause or have it reconstructed into something new and fresh. Ultimately it is up to you.

Occasionally we are called upon by various television shows, magazine editors, and promotional companies looking to provide people with a “real life” makeover or a “What Not to Wear” experience. My Image Expert regularly maintains the privacy of each individual client we work with. Since we received written and verbal permission to release our “What Not to Wear” makeover photos from our clients, we decided to share the experience with you.

Erika Chloe, the CEO of My Image Expert arranged a fashion and beauty makeover for two lucky sisters (Nicole & Desiree) sponsored by TLC’s “What Not to Wear”. Nick Arrojo, CEO of Arrojo Studios in New York and hair expert of “What Not to Wear,” joined the team to provide beauty and grooming services. Fashion Photographer Titus Khana, of Khana Photography, documented the experience from start to finish. The girls were picked up from their home in New Jersey and escorted into the city to meet Erika Chloe for a day of pampering. The journey started at Arrojo Studio with Nick Arrojo developing an individual hair cut, color and style for both girls. TLC gave the girls an allocated shopping budget and My Image Expert took care of the rest.

The shopping trip began at Atrium NYC on Bleeker St. This is a great store that caters to European brands and houses everything from sportswear to evening wear. Atrium sells trendier garments but also supplies great cotton basics, jeans, dresses, shoes, accessories, and one of a kind novelty items. The first step to any great wardrobe is a killer pair of dark denim jeans. Atrium has a denim wall full of every brand and style you could possibly imagine. Jeans should always be selected based on your body structure.

If you have athletic legs with curvier hips and thick quads, then a boot or straight leg will work best to create longer and leaner looking legs. The boot cut style has a wider opening at the base of the ankle that works to balance the width in the hips.

Wide legged pants make the entire leg seem shapeless which diverts attention away from wider hips by creating a long straight line down to the ankles. Dark denim is a better choice since it can be dressed up or down depending on what you pair it with. The girls, Desiree and Nicole, learned how to recognize the denim style best suited for their individual body type. In order to do so, Erika explained how certain style elements including: pockets, yokes, fabric weight, color, and the cut of the denim contributes to the overall fit of the denim.

Once settling on the perfect pair of jeans, it was time to find a casual chic shirt that fit Nicole’s personality and upper torso. With a larger chest and shorter torso, the trick was to open up Nicole’s neckline without revealing too much cleavage. She also needed a style that makes her torso appear longer in order to balance her long legs. Some women carry weight in their torso while others may carry it in their hips or waist. The trick is to balance out the overall weight placement of such body types which will result in a leaner and longer frame. For larger breasts, an open neckline works best to cut the width and thickness of the chest in half. A scoop neck or v-neck usually will do the trick. These styles also open up the neck area and make the skin turn into a naturally contrasting tone that will draw attention to the neck instead of the chest.

In this particular case, the grey tank top (pictured on the right) had metallic fringe which essentially worked to make her torso appear longer by the natural lines created within the fringe detail. It is important to remember that when you are trying to balance the weight of your body proportions to not cut your torso and lower body in half. This is easily done by wearing colors that have severe contrast like black bottoms and a white top. Here we kept the colors similarly dark so there is no separation between the waist and torso. Since the shirt has hardware and fringe, a necklace is not necessary and will take away from the style details already in the shirt. The accessories of choice will be bracelets and earrings.

The next look created for Nicole was a girl’s “night out” style that was sexy, stylish and comfortable. This time a deep V-neck style silk blouse was selected to maintain the rule of thumbs regarding “top heavy” body structures. This blouse had a lot of movement along with rouging in the chest that gives it a natural texture while creating the illusion of wide skinny shoulders. This will help to elongate her torso and slim her midsection. The color of the shirt was selected because of her naturally warm peachy skin tones and is more of a flesh tone neutral that matches her skin shade. The blouse is a longer style so it was paired with a black legging and boot.

Since the blouse is flesh color, it was ok to combine a light top with a dark bottom. Wearing black boots with black leggings works to elongate her legs since her feet are covered and there is no separation between the pants and shoes. All metal accessories should be gold or she can pair some colorful fashion jewelry including bracelets.

Nicole’s sister Desiree also needed to find a girls “night out” outfit. Her physical dynamics were the complete opposite of her sister. She was 5’4 with a lean frame. The mass of her weight fell into her hip area. With a smaller torso and chest, the trick was to find a style that camouflaged her small chest and larger hips. In this case, a strapless bubble dress was exactly what the fashion doctor ordered! The pattern was subtle enough to create a diversion but had enough jewel tone shades to compliment her warm skin tones and dark hair.

The top of the bust line was cut and attached on a bias which created the illusion of curves and was paired with a push up strapless bra which added an extra lift optimizing a fuller bust line. The high empire waist line works to make her legs look longer while the bubble skirt hides any width in the hip area. This style leaves the neck open to accessorize with fashion jewelry. She can wear wine or magenta colored fashion jewelry with a matching clutch and black heeled shoes.

To dress this style down, Desiree can wear a button- cropped cardigan or tailored (fitted) blazer with a flat sandal. This is a great way to get two completely different looks from one garment. Dresses can be interchangeable from work to evening by adding or removing certain garments, accessories and changing the shoe style.

The little black dress is a fashion necessity for any wardrobe! This item essentially can be worn to any event that presents itself in your life. It is not always the dress itself but how the dress fits and compliments your figure. If you have a small bust then you should consider the following style details: subtle printed fabric, embellishments, feminine ruffles or other diversions in the bust line. In this case a deep v-neck faux wrap style did the trick! The ruffles added some extra texture and weight to her chest and the fabric was light enough that it draped around her hourglass silhouette. This style also has a gold lurex pinstripe pattern that was enough to elongate her frame without swallowing her petite shape. If you are petite with a shorter frame, wearing patterns can be a challenge. Ultimately, you should wear something that is subtle so your shape doesn’t get swallowed in the print. Small narrow pinstripes will always be a good way to exercise this rule. This dress doesn’t need much: a gold necklace, bracelet and earrings will be the perfect way to accent the lurex stripe.

Both girls received a color briefing in relation to their facial features, skin tones, and body structure. Color plays a significant role in garment selection and perfection. Wearing the wrong color can wash out your face and your natural skin tones. This will leave you looking tired, pale, and in some cases green. When you wear a color that fights the natural undertones in your skin it will emphasize skin imperfections, uneven skin tones, and dark circles underneath the eyes. It is important to recognize color as an instrumental element when selecting a new garment. With the right color, your skin will glow and your eyes will sparkle creating a refreshed and vibrant looking face.

The right colors against your skin will highlight your natural pink or peach facial tones and simply accent the lightest parts of your face instead of the dark imperfections! Basically, you will look better in either white or cream. This will determine if your colors are cool or warm. Cool colors can simply be described as bright Crayola crayon colors. The color is not as important as the tone and value.

For example, look at the color pink. There’s cotton candy pink (pastel and tinted) and then there’s hibiscus pink (bright and vibrant). Cool colors will usually be clean and vibrant with little white or black mixed into the dye. Pastel colors can be cool but make sure they have enough color content so they don’t appear neutral and wash out your skin tones. The green dress Nicole is wearing has just enough color to pop the red accents in her hair and highlight her naturally peachy skin tones. Color can also be placed close to the face in the form of fashion accessories.

When wearing a neutral color or unflattering color you can simply add an accessory or a piece of fashion jewelry that is “your color”. This will be the buffer between the unflattering color and your face. Adding a piece of jewelry is also a great way to spice up a neutral, black, or white item. Just make sure the accessory is suitable for the outfit you are wearing. Don’t wear anything too bold that screams “attention”! Make sure to keep the necklines consistent. V-neck tops and dresses are a great style to add dangling accessories.

They create an opening in the chest area that can be considered a “blank canvas” area for simple fashion add-ins. If wearing a neutral, black, or white garment paired with an accessory that has a lot of color, then pick out one color in the accessory and match your shoes or handbag to that color.

The black dress that Desiree is wearing with the fashion scarf would go best with a yellow heel and a black bag or black shoes and a yellow or coral handbag or clutch. Don’t kill your outfit with too many color accents! If your garment is a fashion color then accessorize it with neutral or tonal jewelry and simple shoes.

The purple dress and silver jewelry would go best with black shoes and a black bag which makes the color of the dress and the shape of the necklace the focal point.

As our time and budget began to fade, we finally rapped things up at Atrium. The girls were overwhelmed with all the style tips and fashion advice they received from their New York Image Consultant.

Nicole and Desiree were eager to flaunt their new looks on the streets of New York. After some caffeine and an image consultation recap, the girls were on their way back to the hotel to get ready.

A special thanks to TLC, Nick Arrojo, Atrium, Titus Khana, Nicole & Desiree for making this experience an event to remember!

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