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Monday, November 20, 2006

Your Personal Style - 10 Tips to Help You Develop It (Part 1)

Perhaps like me you have become interested in developing your personal style. As with any other pursuit, knowledge is power. Throughout this week I would like to share 10 pieces of information that have helped me in my quest to transform myself from "no style" to "great style."

The individual posts in this series are:
Part 1 - know your shape and "your" colors
Part 2 - know your individual style, and develop it without breaking the bank
Part 3 - use accessories, and be selective in what you buy
Part 4 - don't get stuck in a rut, and cut your losses
Part 5 - learn by observing, and be patient

1. Know your shape.

Every body is a particular shape, and knowing your shape is the only way to discover what styles will flatter you.'s article Dress for Your Body Type explains the different types of figures and gives links to articles on dressing for a particular shape. Another place that features this kind of information is Igigi's (a plus-size woman's clothing Internet retailer) page: Welcome to My Shape. The information contained at both sites is good for all women.

If you need more personalized help figuring out both your body type and the most flattering clothing for that type, visit's Body Types page where you can order a personal profile and 3 months' worth of personalized help for $9.95. There is also a 12-month option available for $29.95. (In no way, shape, or form am I compensated for recommending any of these sites.) I think this is a small price to pay for that kind of service. Let's face it, how many times have we spent much more than $10 or even $30 on clothes that just didn't suit us?

2. Know "your" colors.

Everyone looks good in certain colors and terrible in others. Our overall coloring determines which colors we need to wear and which ones we need to avoid. Knowing which colors are “your” colors will be a great help when choosing the right clothes for you.

A popular way to categorize individual coloring is by the four seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn.
"A Winter person usually has very dark hair. Her best colors are contrasting colors, deep colors (often deep reds and blues), black, and white; her neutral colors are black, gray, and navy blue.

A Spring person usually has light to medium blond hair and warm golden skin tones. Her eyes are often in the brown or gray family. Her colors often include peaches, tans, and other earthy light colors. Her neutrals colors are cream, tan, and golden brown.

A Summer person may have blond or ash blond hair, a pink or rosy beige complexion, and bluish eyes. Her colors include ones with undertones of blue or rosy pink (i.e. mauve, rose pink, periwinkle blue). Her neutral colors are rosy beige, taupe, and cool gray.

An Autumn person is most likely a redhead but may also be a brunette with warm skin tones and brown eyes. The browns and golds of fall complement her coloring best. Her neutrals include anything in the warm brown family, rust, and olive green."

Adapted from Dress like a Million Bucks without Spending It – by Jo Ann Janssen and Gwen Ellis

If you still are not sure of your color palette, visit to get your own Color Makeover Online. They have picture illustrations along with the written descriptions to better help you choose your main color characteristics and get you started on the road to finding your best colors.

Coming tomorrow: Personal Style - Part 2

I'll share more on the following tips:

3. Know your style preference.
4. Develop your style without breaking the bank.