On Wednesday night, I attended a my first ever fashion event in Vancouver! It was a fun and informative night of learning about personal styling with celebrity stylist and image consultant, Tracy Richardson. The event was hosted by My Sister’s Closet, a social enterprise of Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS). My Sister’s Closet is a thrift/consigment store with a philosophy of zero waste and eco fashion. By shopping or donating to My Sister’s Closet, consumers support BWSS violence prevention and intervention services. I was a crisis line worker at BWSS a few years ago – it’s an amazing organization with dedicated staff and volunteers who work together to help end violence against women.
The event called ‘A Night of Empowerment through Style’ centered around empowering women with knowledge to style themselves so that we can become wiser shoppers and fashion mavens. Tracy Richardson is a Canadian personal stylist with over 25 years experience. She has worked with Hollywood stars like Jennifer Aniston and Celine Dion, politicians like Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper as well as network stars and Fortune 500 business executives. Tracy’s passion and enthusiasm for personal styling was very infectious!
For Wednesday’s event, Tracy focused on necklines and colors. Tracy says that “when you know your colors and neckline, then you know what you need to wear”. Tracy was very generous with both her time and knowledge – she took the time with each individual at the event to assess our face shape and determine our most flattering necklines. She also went through everyone’s ‘color flag’ – wardrobe colors that were most flattering to each person. She even dished out some advice for hair and makeup!
How to determine your most flattering necklines
Tracy’s philosophy when it comes to styling is keep the attention on the face. To determine what neckline you would look best in, look at your face shape.
- follow the shape of your face to determine your neckline
- generally, oval faces look best in circular necklines (v-necks tend to draw attention away from the face)
- generally, angular faces look best in V-necks
- the circular vs. V-neck ‘rule’ also applies to jewelry and necklaces
How to determine your most flattering wardrobe colors
As with the neckline, Tracy’s philosophy when it comes to colors is to keep the attention on the face. To determine what colors we look best in, she recommends putting the color under your chin in the (day)light. Then, close your eyes. Open your eyes again. If the eyes travel to the face, that is the ‘right’ color for you. If your eyes are drawn to the color, it is the ‘wrong’ color for you.
- Colors that flatter will highlight your face, not steal attention away from it
- Not everyone needs a LBD! A shocking revelation but some skintones are not enhanced with the color black. Instead, black can be very draining for some.
- Generally speaking, people are more attracted to people who wear color.
- The color intensity should always match the intensity of your skin color e.g. if you have lighter skin, go for a lighter intensity of the color. If you have darker skin, go for a darker intensity.
My neckline and color assessment
When it came time to assess my face, Tracy noted my strong chin and roundness on my cheeks. My angular jawline means that I can wear V-necks but the roundness on my cheeks also means that I can pull off circular necklines. I got the best of both worlds thanks to my parents! She recommended that I experiment with square necklines – something I haven’t really considered but will definitely keep my eye out for.
She did note that if I wanted to de-emphasize my wide cheekbones, I should ensure that my neckline extends to at least ear width. Any neckline narrower than my cheekbones would emphasize the wideness of my face.
My wardrobe colors and color flag :
In terms of body type, Tracy noted that I had what people would call a ‘model body’ (yay for winning the genetic lottery). She recommended that I experiment with crop tops and high waisted skirts. She also said that I would look great in tailored pieces such as blazers or pantsuits. However, she also emphasized that I could wear whatever I wanted because of my face shape and body type. In fact, she noted that she liked my outfit for the night.
Tracy is a big advocate of European style and the ‘Chanel look’. There was a fabulous pink Chanel-esque jacket at the store which Tracy styled many different people with and it looked great on so many people.
She also recommended that everyone hunt down a bow blouse as it was flattering on everyone. I’m definitely putting ‘hunt for a bow blouse and Chanel jacket’ on my ‘To-Do’ list 🙂
Suffice to say, Wednesday night was a very informative night for me. After the event, I approached Tracy and we chatted quickly about our future plans. Tracy was very kind and listened to me gab on about my current pursuits like interior design and fashion blogging. She informed me that she will be launching styling courses online soon. I’m definitely going to check that out!
Have you learned something recently about how to dress that empowered you?
you’ve been stylesyah-ed! xo