The Great Spring 2016 Closet Clean-out!

Here is a reprint of David’s article for sheknows.com:

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You’ve been putting this off for weeks, but now the temperature is rising and you are roasting in your corduroy, suede and cashmere. Now is the perfect time to face your closet and decide what stays and what goes to make room for your new spring clothes!

Give your closet a good spring cleaning
Welcome to the spring closet clean-out of 2016! Here, we’ll show you how to make the important decision of what stays and what goes so you can then make room for your spring clothes!

Block out some time
First, make some time when you can focus totally on your closet — no phone, TV, interruptions and not even music. That way, nothing but your clothes set the emotional tone. Ready? Open your closet door, put the first item on, and take a good look in the mirror. Do not just focus on the item but how you look in the garment.

Do the color, fabric and cut express your authentic self? Would you rank this as an ‘A+’ look? Continue this analysis with each item. Start by putting those ‘A+’ ranked garments on the left side of your closet. Put the ‘B’s in the center. The ultimate goal is that eventually everything in your closet ranks an ‘A+.’

Sort through the middle
If there are some pieces that are in an unranked limbo, here are some tips that might help you decide where they belong:

Remember that the garments in your wardrobe have different types of value: monetary value, emotional value, etc.

Emotional value: The personal associations with an item are what create its ’emotional value.’ This type of value can lead us to hold on to clothes that either don’t work for us anymore or never worked for us in the first place, but these clothes have no ‘use value’. Take a deep breath and put the items to the right side of your closet.

Monetary value: If the garment doesn’t make you look and feel fabulous, what good is it to you? Maybe spending all that money on it was the right decision at the time or maybe it wasn’t; either way, you’re not getting any use value out of letting the expensive item hang in your closet, and you’re actually creating negative use value by wearing it when it doesn’t suit you. Put it to the right also.

Don’t confuse your closet for a clothing museum
Many people hold on to garments for historical reasons. That bright-red tee commemorating the high-school reunion, the dress worn to the rehearsal dinner, etc. You do not have to get rid of them completely, but please don’t leave them in your closet. Create a memory box or find a storage closet with an extra shelf and store your memory clothing there, the way you keep other kinds of souvenirs.

Dress from the left
After you have gone through and ranked each item, push all of your ‘near hit’ clothing a little farther to the left so you can look at them as a group. Take a moment to appreciate how all of the colors, patterns and textures relate to one another and tell the story of who you are.

Now, for a week or so before you go shopping for new spring clothes, try dressing yourself only from the left side of the closet. Discern what it is about this group of clothing that gives it the ‘A+’ rating. When you wear them, do you get more compliments from your friends? A different type of romantic attention? More respect at work? Do you feel more confident? Take what you learn from this existing group when shopping for new items, and use the palette, fabrics and cuts that serve you so well. In other words, take the clothing that makes you feel at your best, and duplicate your past successes.

Get rid of the rest
It is at this point you should feel free to try on the ‘C’ and ‘D’ list items from your closet for comparison. It is now so much more obvious that they do not serve you the same way that the ‘A+’ ones do. This is the moment that you can bundle them up and drop them off at the thrift shop on the way to go shopping for your new spring clothes! Whether you’re shopping the current sheer trend or wanting to test the color of the year, make sure the clothing still speaks to you personally and fits you well!

Color Your Style for Men on Pinterest!

David works with both men and women to find their True Colors and Authentic Style!

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Check out David’s eHow videos specifically for men on everything from choosing the perfect color of khaki trousers to hold to fold a pocket handkerchief, to sorting out all of the sartorial particulars for your wedding day!

https://www.pinterest.com/davidzylastyle/david-zylas-color-your-style-for-men/

Authentic Brides!

As David is currently collaborating with several brides, we thought it the perfect time to share  his article from sheknows.com

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How to stay true to your style on your wedding day

In Western society, the traditional image of a wedding dress is a long white gown in satin and lace with a trailing veil of tulle. When preparing to shop for “the dress” for your own big day, stop and take a moment to ask if this traditional look is authentically you. Does it truly reflect your personality? Just like every other item in your closet, the dress you choose to be married in should capture you and be as singular and unique as the person that you are.

On your wedding day, do you want to hear: “Alison, your dress is so beautiful. You don’t look like you!”… ? While being told that your dress is beautiful is something that every woman wants to hear, the “you don’t look like you” cancels out the prior compliment.

Here are some ways to help you stay an “authentic bride” on your big day:

Should you wear white?

Let’s start with color. Is bright white a color that is currently in your closet? When you wear it, do you get compliments on how you look in it? There is not a single color that every person looks great in, and not everyone looks their best in pure bright white. In fact, sometimes the color either washes the wearer out or gives them a sallow appearance which in both cases is unflattering and is the polar opposite of how one wants to look on their big day.

If, however, you are set on wearing “white” for your nuptials, why not consider wearing your own version of it? To find this color, look no further than the whites of your eyes. In natural light, try holding up paint swatches, stationery or items of clothing next to your face and looking in the mirror. The objective is to “match” the white of your eye. Some of the possibilities might include optic, ecru, snow, ivory or cream. Then, when shopping for a dress, bring this “color swatch” with you to find the perfect “white.”

Create a harmonious look

If you are open to a color possibility beyond white, nothing is softer and more perfect for a wedding than the skin tone or “Essence” color. This is most probably the color of your face powder or foundation. Hint: If you put some of this color in the palm of your hand, it seems to harmonize all of the skin tones found in your palm, creating a smooth beautiful glow. Possible Essence tones might include chestnut, mahogany, peach, shell pink and golden tan. Bring your compact to the store with you to “match” this flattering color in a dress.

Other colors that may flatter you

Lastly, is there a color in your wardrobe that you are complimented on more than any other? If so, you should consider this for your wedding dress. Remember that this is a day for you to shine and be the center of attention, and if ballet pink or lemon chiffon is your “color,” why not consider wearing a dress made of it?

Whether you choose a “white,” your “Essence” color or another flattering color for your dress, equally important is the dress style.

Go to your closet for clues

While a wedding dress can absolutely go a bit more “costume” than what you wear to the office, make sure that it is as flattering as the clothes that you are complimented on most week-to-week. There are going to be many choices of neckline, silhouette and fabric in the stores. To help you focus on what you are looking for, look no further than your closet for the clues to help you define what your dress should be. Hanging in your closet and folded in your dresser drawers are the clues on the necklines, fabrics, shapes and tailoring that are most flattering on you. Are many of your sweaters scoop-necked, emphasizing your oval-shaped face? If so, consider a scoop neckline for your wedding dress. Do your a-line skirts follow the natural curves of your body more fluidly than your pencil ones? If so, consider an a-line shaped skirt for your wedding dress.

Discover your clothing personality

Now take a look at all of the pieces in your wardrobe together. Would you describe the person who wears these clothes as sporty, traditional, sleek or dramatic? Take the words that you discover with you on your shopping trip. They will keep you focused while wading through a sea of potential dress options.

Armed with these tips, you are now ready to start shopping for the dress that will reflect the most beautiful and authentic version of you — AND you will never hear “You don’t look like you.”

Dressing for the Post Divorce Date

This is David’s article written for the Huffington Post:

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Divorce is hard no matter how it transpires. But just like leaving one job and starting another, the downtime between ending a marriage and seeking a new person is the perfect time to regroup, refresh and reevaluate. It is a rare and wonderful occurrence when we have the opportunity to objectively look at ourselves and decipher where we are, who we are and what we want going forward.

Besides looking at your career, living situation, goals, dreams and desires, one thing that should be looked at that can have a profound impact on all of the elements of your new life is your personal style.

As you reenter the dating scene, your style is going to brand you and make a very strong impression. How you show up for a date will not only telegraph visual clues about who you are, but may even impact how the date goes and influence whether or not there is a second one.

Let me relay the cautionary tale of Brenda. Vivacious, gorgeous and smart, Brenda both married and divorced young. One afternoon post-divorce, we enjoyed lunch at her apartment. Over dessert, she shared that she was off shortly to a blind coffee date. I was thrilled for her until she disappeared into the other room and appeared in what was intended to be her date outfit. Brenda had replaced her cute cotton sundress with a pair of ill-fitting jeans, a faded t-shirt and scuffed boots. It also looked as if she had removed much of her make-up. I think my stare said it all. She looked down and said, “I don’t want it to look like I am trying too hard.” She wore this ensemble on her date. Needless to say, even though she was interested, there was never a second date. Perhaps there was nothing in common. But perhaps her date was turned off by the bizarre, disheveled ensemble she chose to wear for her unveiling and his first impression. I can not help but wonder if he was the guy for her and her style choice was the reason she didn’t land a second date.

We are a visual society, and the first impression others have of you at a job interview, party or first date is purely visual. If you are thinking, “But I want people to like me for me, not for the way I dress,” you are greatly limiting yourself. Why not be the big brain who is also attractive and well put together? A date’s first impression is always going to be visual.

Before I divulge what you should wear on your first post-divorce date, I am going to ask you to do a little style check. Ask yourself if the clothes on your body reflect who you are today — not a year ago, but right now. Do the words that you would use to describe the clothes in your closet also accurately describe your personality? Is what you choose to wear really flattering, or is it something that worked a long time ago and you have not bothered to change the formula? Are you dressing yourself or merely covering your body? What once suited you perfectly before and during your marriage might not work for you now.

As you start to think specifically about what to wear on your first post-divorce date, the very first rule is to never wear an outfit that you wore at any point with your ex. Now is the time for creating new memories without that person. It is of the utmost importance that your first impression on a date is as an open, sexy, confident person — someone your date would like to get to know. I suggest buying something new to celebrate this new beginning. Unlike Brenda, you need to put out a romantic vibe, so use a romantic color.

Your individual romantic color, or personal version of red, is your sexy color. The warm passionate glow from this hue gives the perfect welcoming impression on a first date with the person whom you might possibly spend the rest of your life with. Here is the way to discover yours, regardless of your skin tone:

1. In natural light, hold your hand over a white piece of paper with your palm facing you. Curl your fingers so that your palm is “cupped.”

2. Look carefully at the most flushed areas of your palm and notice the shade.

3. Now, pinch the fingerprint (non-nail side) of your index finger with the other hand. What is the color of your flushed skin? Possible candidates include raspberry, brick, tangerine, cherry, rust, burgundy, crimson, shell pink, fuchsia, etc.

Note: You will find your romantic color at the cosmetics counter in your local department store. It is often easier to see this color more clearly if you hold your pinched finger next to a tube of lipstick or blush.

Now it’s time to use that color. After you have discerned which clothes in your closet accurately capture the you of today, use the fabrics, cuts and silhouettes that you find there as a shopping guide for your date outfit. These garments which you enjoy wearing the most and receive the most compliments on are the perfect items to find in your romantic color.

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Men can wear their romantic color in a shirt, tie or sweater. For a woman, try a blouse or dress. A non-patterned or simply patterned garment in this color is best as there is no chance of a pattern pulling focus from your face. Also, your date will hopefully be concentrating on parts of your body that are viewable from across a table. Therefore, the right neckline in your romantic color is key. If you are wondering which one suits you best, simply follow the shape of your chin. A man with a more angular jaw is best in a v-neck sweater while a woman with an oval chin looks fantastic in a scoop neckline. To figure this out, test existing garments or draw shapes on paper to discern which is the most flattering.

There is, of course, no guarantee that your first post-divorce date is going to be with the one. But if he or she is the perfect person for you, you are going to be ready (unlike Brenda, who unfortunately still hasn’t figured it out) when you visually come across as the most radiant, sexy and powerful version of yourself.

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