A One Page Styling Guide           (in process but
  we are getting there!)

Body Type ​The unique "you"

There are five basic body types; a triangle, and inverted triangle, a rectangle, an oval, and an hour-glass.  Each of these body types are further defined by slender, bountiful, and further defined by upper and lower body lengths (short waisted/longer legs or long waisted/shorter legs).  Effectively, to maximize the shape of a woman's body, she must zero in on which of over FORTY body types best represents her personal body type.

​Additionally, every woman has certain unique physical characteristics that she may choose to accentuate or disguise (based on fact or perception).  Understanding fully her unique shape allows her to use design principles to maximize or to minimize her preferences.
A women usually feels the best about the way she looks when she knows she is the 'best she can be". That means the best she can be within a comfortable range of lifestyle and available time to spend on herself.  It is a very personal choice she chooses to make; there really is not a "one size fits all".

Styling is like using a cookbook; it provides a series of recipe containing the ingredients and how-to to acheive a desired product.  This portion of RockMyAges is the cookbook; it is all about helping the aging woman of any body type, style preferences, or lifestyle to make the most flattering choices while optimizing her fashion budget.

Every art has fundamental and essential principles.  The art of personal style is developed by identifying a woman's physcal assets and how to make the most of them; to use basic design concepts and fundamentals and apply them to current fashions and personal tastes. This section of the web-site is somewhat of a reference guide for those who wish to become more familiar with the design principles, or just to refresh and/or update your knowledge. (sharing your experience and knowledge will also be much appreciated.)

Components of these principles are body type, basic design principles, lifestyle, image preferences, and enhancement choices. (cosmetics, hairstyle, etc.).

Each of the body types, the basic design principles** and how to use them will be posted permanently to this section.  The galleries will display the photos to enhance understanding.  

Identifying life style boundaries and image preferences are also addressed (in process), and enhancement choices based on personal preferences, dermatological considerations, and face/head shape will also be included as I develop the web-site.  Please be patient as transferring this knowledge from the blogs will take a little time.

Defining Our Fashion Personality (in process from here)

Why do we care?  First impressions and sending a message as to who you are.  Self esteem and confidence; Loving who you are and the feelings and sensations that occur when you love how you look (actual physical surge of endorphins and other health benefits)  and the confidence of being at home in your own skin.

How do you utilize the looks you love with the lifestyle you live (love your "dress up" but no where to go, etc.)  this style guide may help a woman by explaining how to successfully integrate your preferences into your "roles".  The guide will also help you match the details of your fashion personality to your body type, etc.

The following labels address the following basic fashion personalities as defined below:

Are you a " romantic" (girlie, girlie?)  Do you love pink, lace, floral, hearts, filmy movement, silk and satins, etc.

Or...." artsy"....dramatic colors and combinations; statement dressing with a harder edge; this woman usually "knows what she likes" and has the confidence to wear it.

Or...." total classsic"...utmost conservative, "quiet" dressing.

Or... "Mod"...edgy, futuristic, bold colors, heavy on minimalism

Or..." pastoral"...rural, working style clothing, colors, patterns,

Or..a combination like " Boho" that incorporates pastoral and artsy.

Or..your very own combination of any and all of the above mixed in your very own distinctive manner?

How does one determine fashion personality?  If you do not already know your fashion personality, most experts recommend creating a "style book"; a portfolio of pictures that simply appeal to you.  Most fashion magazines are filled with photo upon photos of models.  Fashion mannequins abound in the retail fashion stores, and we all carry cell phones with the ability to capture instant photos.  Additionally, there is Pinterest, social media, etc., etc., etc.  Determine the details you like and assign your own fashion personality "label"

How does one love one type of fashion personality but live with a closet of non-functional garments?  How many of us still have garments in our closet that we just "love", but are not practical for our life style?  Hopefully, this style guide will help you create a personal style that just might encourage a lace collar on a denim shirt  if such a shirt is needed for your personal life role!!  This guide will (hopefully) help a woman determine how many of which garment types she needs or wants in her closet to fill a certain role; it will also provide her with the certainty that she always has something appropriate to wear for any given event in her personal roles. (click on the Lifestyle tab in the menu at the top of the page )

Four major aspects of styling; Fashions  (apparel), Accessories, Hair, Cosmetics---All have to work together to present the desired image. Being stylish is A POINT IN Time and each of these elements may have different lengths of time; only the degree of variance. There simply is no "one size or style fits all"; (including bobs, classics, or other "rules";) "Style" is an entire concept, based strictly on the individual. Of course, the very first principle of each of these aspects is adressing the issues of basic grooming; a woman may own the latest fashion trends, the newest hairstyle and the most expensive cosmetics and accessories, but basic personal care and neatness must be appropriately addressed.

Accessories

Watch the runway; shoe stores, fashion jewelry stores; the WAY jewelry is worn; (right now emphasis on dangling earrings, tassle types worn long to the shoulder, ear cuffs and climbers,) charms on necklaces, multi-ringed hands, minimalist look unless a "statement".  "matchy matchy not in style (no matching earrings, neklace, bracelets, and rings) layered fine chains for necklaces, bangle bracelets, especially with charms (think Pandora) over-the knee boots, clogs, lace-up, cut-outs, etc. for footwear.  "Dickie" collars and neckwear.

Hairstyle

Again, Watch the runway, hair trends almost always follow the fashion shows.  Out of date hairstyles almost always "date" a woman unless one CAREFULLY makes it a "signature"; needs to match facial shape, lifestyle, hair type (length, texture,processed, etc.) body type, management constraints, etc.

Cosmetics

The most common styling errors are based on failure to pursue an updated application of cosmetics and hairstyle. Failure to do so almost always ages a woman. Once again, watching the runway and viewing the fashion magazines provide a great heads-up on updating cosmetics.  I especially recommend "Allure" for the latest and greatest.

How much is "too much" or not enough make-up?  It is a personal choice based on your environment, fashion personality, and your personal skin type and tone, complexion, health sensitivities, and budget.

**Design Elements

 Line-This design element is comprised of two different sets of lines, the outside lines is called the silhouette, and usually the  most flattering fit will be when those lines gently skim the body type; in other words, a "triangle" body type will get the most flattering fit with an " A" line garment.  Inside lines are the seams, decor, etc. that affects the visual drawing of the eye to specific areas of the body, and can be used effectively to style an ensemble.

Color-This design element creates immediate and dramatic effect on the wearer; the color either flatters or does not flatter the complexion.  The use of color in a garment or an ensemble can and will dramatically impact the wearer.

Texture-When worn, bulky and/or shiny textures simply make the area of the body they cover look larger; smooth and dull textures of a medium weight that gently skim the body usually do not.  Texture can be used judiciously to draw the eye to ones best figure assets.

Proportion-50/50 distributions of pattern, color, or other design elements are rarely pleasing to the eye and generally give the impression of something being "off" in an ensemble.
The gallery in the next column will visually demonstrate the truth of this visual principle. (ideal distribution is more pleasing when the ratio is at least 2 to 1; 3 to 5 is known as the "golden mean"

Scale-Basically, large patterns or accessories or garments are usually flattering to larger women, medium to medium sized women, and small patterns and accessories to small women.  Of course, artistic expression can be used to effectively make a statement, but unless used judiciously, an improper scale will be lost on a larger woman or overpower a small woman (you have heard the expression of an ensemble wearing the wearer?)   

























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Click on gallery (either picture) to see an illustration of your basic figure type
To review, a triangle shape is where the shoulder area is more narrow than the hip area.  Within this type, you have women who are short waisted and women with a long waist; you also have slender women and ones with more ample bodies.  An inverted triangle is where the hip width is more narrow than the shoulders (x=2; short waist or long waist) and (x=2; slender or thicker body. 

A rectangle shape is when the shoulder, waist, and hip area are almost the same; an apple shape is where shoulders and hips are both smaller than the waist, and an hour glass shape is where the hops and shoulder area are almost the same, but the waist is much smaller.  Each of these body types also have the "times 2 factor; a short waist or long waist, and a slender body type or a thicker one.  Additionally, women vary greatly in height; those close to six feet and those who are barely five feet tall.

As you can clearly see, there are many variations of a woman's body; the main reason I have so little patience with the "one size fits all approach of stylists who decree that such and such a woman can never wear a certain style or type of garment.  A woman who wants to look her best at all times needs to make a thorough evaluation of the design principles required for her own unique body.

Design Elements-

Design elements utilize the basic concepts of line, (both inside and outside), color, texture, proportion,and scale to emphasize perceived physical assets in the most favorable light and to disguise or deminish perceived flaws.  In the first photo you can see how line (both inside lines and outside lines) is used to draw the eye down the body, providing the impression of a longer leaner figure. You can also see how color is used to also extend the body.
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In the third photo, you can observe how texture can enlarge a body or area of the body; In the fourth  you can see how pattern and the size of (scale) a print can be used; the handbag on the more slender figure would be more in proportion and scale on the larger figure, and vice-versa.  All of these elements "fool the eye" and do not require a day of dieting!!.

Facial Shapes

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Ovals, oblongs, squares, diamonds, hearts, circles, rectangles, and triangles....As you can see, styling is a serious business (but such fun!)...in addition of selecting which of the forty body types ( I have not accounted for the persons who have waists that are neither short nor long in any of the body types because they are not affected) a woman must consider the styling of her cosmetics and accessories.  Most of this will be somewhat dependent upon her head and facial shapes,  of which there are eight different shapes!   The way her hair is styled and the cosmetics she wears are largely dependent upon them; she may use cosmetics to "sculpt" her facial features; she will certainly rely on her face shape for choosing her hairstyle, and she will take her age into account and her daily activities also into account.

It is important to properly identify which facial shape is a woman's personal type because the "design principles" for each may be somewhat different.  One of the most common mistakes a woman can make is identifying herself as an oval (the supposed 'most desirable') because they have been told to trace the outline of the face in the mirror...duh...most faces will look oval if that is all one considers.  That method does not account for the planes in a woman face; i.e., a diamond face usually has sharply defined cheekbones and is usually accompanied by a sharper narrowing of the face at the temples but is an oval in the mirror.  The application of cosmetics (highlighters, bloushes, etc.,) will quite probably be different for a diamond versus an oval.  additionally, the most flattering hairstyles differ widely from one facial shape to another.

The same logic applies to HEAD shape; the mirror tracing applies to the shape of the face; that area below the hairline.  A woman (I am one who has an unusually small area on the top of my head).  The amount of head space and the abundance and texture of the hair also make a difference.
The truly aware stylist takes all of this into account.

No, a woman does not have to take two hours to look marvelous, nor does implementation of her personal styling tools need to be laborious; it DOES mean AWARENOUS and the ability to adapt that knowledge to one's personal self and lifestyle.  Almost every fashion mogul has published something or another about their get ready quick tips and secrets.  The last one I personally read was by Victoria Beckham in one of the major fashion magazines.



Sadly, one of the most frequent styling mis-hap is not updating either the hairstyle or cosmetic application; all too many wear the same cosmetics and fail to evaluate the hair-do.