Style Tips from the Red Carpet

It probably comes as no surprise, but I love to watch the award shows. The little girl in me loves the fantasy of it all…the gorgeous gowns, exquisite jewelry and Cinderella-like shoes. However, the style coach in me loves to watch for purely professional reasons, evaluating who hit (or missed) the mark and why. This year’s Oscars did not disappoint! So many celebrities looked so spectacular! And while they all made very different selections, there were a few style takeaways when dressing for any special occasion.

All About Hue – Sure you can always reach for black. It’s appropriate, yes, but also a wee bit predictable and worn by everyone. It begs the question…Why go boiler plate and blend in when you can stand out? Instead why not opt for a color that flatters y-o-u-r personal coloring?  Think about a color that you’ve been complimented on – one that makes you look healthy, well-rested and vibrant. (Hello, Viola Davis and Emma Stone!) Or think like Nicole Kidman and select a color that mirrors – and compliments – your skin tone (or hair color or eye color).

Show Skin Strategically – Less is more when it comes to exposure. Reveal only one body part and cover the rest.  Channel your inner Viola Davis. If you are showcasing shoulders, cover your legs. If you are flaunting your gams, cover your cleavage. Make sure that you are not guilty of TMI and instead are IGT (in good taste).

Dress from the Inside Out – We’ve all heard that it’s what is on the inside that counts.  This is especially true with undergarments.  Truth be told, a well-fitting bra elongates the torso and visually removes lbs.  Similarly, a high-waisted bike short gives the support of 3 products in one to control stomach, hips and thighs. Remember, there’s a reason that celebs swear by shapewear as it actually does ‘smooth’ and ‘reshape.’

Tailor to Fit – While actresses like Octavia Spencer may have access to custom attire, most of us are shopping the racks of our favorite department store – or shopping in our closet! That said, you can still have a made-to-measure look with the help of an expert tailor. Remember that ready-to-wear is a myth.  Only 5-10% of the population go into a store and something fits perfectly off the rack.  The rest of us need to nip or tuck our garments for a more custom look and feel.

Know Thyself – Don’t experiment when the stakes are high.  Whether it’s the style of your dress or your hair. go with something that feels familiar to you and more importantly, makes you feel confident. Case in point…Halle Berry’s new hairstyle.  She was quoted as saying that she was more nervous getting ready than actually presenting. She also commented during a pre-award show interview that she missed her short hair.  The moral of the story? When in doubt about a change, proceed with caution or not at all.

Accessorize Accordingly – Never underestimate the impact of accessories.  Make sure your clothing and jewelry work well together and look like they are going to the same place.  (Joan Rivers used to talk about how “daytime” jewelry could ruin an evening look.)  The same holds true for hair and makeup.  Be it Taraji P. Henson’s tousled hair/smoky eyes or Nicole Kidman’s upswept locs/red lips, both demonstrate how your accoutrements should be in sync with the occasion and your overall look.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to be an Oscar nominee to dress like a winner. With these style tips, you’ll be Red Carpet ready.

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