Monday, August 29, 2011

The Silver Lining

Okay, so I'm in love with Ulla's Silver Jewel Jacket (#15321.) It's dramatic, contemporary and ageless. But it's more than that for me as a woman who wears plus size, this jacket is a microcosm of my own fashion evolution imperatives.

Mademoiselle Chanel's stunning comeback in the '50s reminds us of the powerful quality of fabric with buckled surface for flattering a woman's shape. The fabric of this jacket, humbly 100% polyester, is pure genius, because it:

* is soft to the touch but firm enough to define the shoulders
* shapes the torso
* smooths over anything that's not smooth
* provides complete ease of movement
* is richly textured and embellished, and
* is bulk free

The huge, faceted stones provide great juxtaposition to the smart simplicity of the cut of the jacket. This jacket is a plus size celebration of what is timeless and chic. It reminds us that if Chanel isn't thinking of us; Ulla is.

I'd love to hear your favorite Ulla picks for what is timeless and chic.


Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tone-On-Tone Dressing

"The best color in the world is the one that's right on you." So said Coco Channel.
A tone-on-tone outfit will always looked pulled-together, expensive and have depth. Tonal dressing is different from monochromatic dressing in that it is not necessarily one color from head to toe. Yet it is easy and fail-proof.

Here are two takes on the look:

1. Layering items of a wonderful flattering color near the face and enriching it with similarly colored accessories (slacks can still be black and jeans work too.) For example, this season Ulla is using raspberry and aubergine colors that have coordinating accessories like tonal impact necklaces, scarves, handbags and footwear. Necklaces and scarves are always a stylish way to bring colors together and draw the eye upward.

2. Working with a similar palette (not the exact same color or tone) head-to-toe. Select one of your most skin-flattering colors to create combinations that have the lightest tone at the top, a midtone meeting point and the darkest at the bottom. This could be a.) a light camisole, a midtone jacket and darker slacks, or b.) a tunic that gets deeper as the eye moves downward over dark slacks.

Darker at the bottom will ground your look and create a sleek pathway to your footwear. In fact, you can elongate your silhouette by choosing a shoe that matches your hem. Wear a black shoe or strong color when wearing dark slacks or jeans, the eye is drawn straight to the feet, inferring extra height.

How do you use tonal or monochromatic combinations?


Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jeggings and Leggings

I often recommend "build from the bottom...up." If you look in your closet, I think you'll find at least four tops for every bottom you own. Nothing wrong with that, but here's some new inspiration to try.

Two new Ulla products have inspired me to wear a look, a youthful, playful look, that I thought I couldn't wear previously, our Stretch Denim Jeggings, #14822 and our Stretch Ponte Knit Boot-Cut Leggings, #14621, or Stretch Ponte Knit Slim Cut Leggings, #14622.

  • Leggings inspire a current vibe, well-interpreted for the woman who wears plus size using a mix of feminine shapes.
  • When the bottom is fitted (and it is a slim fit, you may want to order a size up) it begs for a full, relaxed top. (AHHHHH!)
  • For an ageless, pulled-together look, pair leggings with matching accessories, especially great ballet flats.
  • Use matching accessories, such as jewelry to rev up the sophistication-quotient even further.
Leggings are the backbone of a look that is relevant and tuned in to the contemporary fashion landscape in a way that flatters the plus size woman. This is precisely our goal at Ulla, to be the better choice by providing contemporary styling, accurate fit and better fabrication.

If you've worn Ulla's jeggings or leggings, please share your thoughts with us.


Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Only Good Shoes Worn Here

There is no way to appear assured, pretty and sexy when your feet hurt. It changes everything – from an aching body, feet, legs and back to an aching disillusioned spirit.

Uncomfortable shoes change the way we walk, how much we walk, and how much we complain about walking.

The corollary is bad too. Many women have opted out of wearing good-looking shoes and instead wear shoes that should be restricted to gardening or work as a correctional officer in a maximum security prison. It doesn’t have to be that way!

At Ulla, we all know “Joe knows shoes!” (Joe is the shoe buyer at Ulla.) While a majority of our customers choose good-looking flats, Joe has given us other beautiful options too. I wear a size nine, double wide and thankfully, there is as much for me to choose from, in Ulla’s collection, as anyone else. Yesss!

A few footwear faux pas to avoid:

  • Don’t wear shoes with ankle straps; it chops up the lengthening effect we always seek.
  • Don’t wear shoes that have high vamps; it thickens ankles and legs.
  • Never wear light shoes with dark hosiery; it cuts your legs off and makes you look shorter and heavier than you are.
  • Don’t wear shoes if your feet spill over or seem to bulge out.
  • Don’t allow shoes to appear uncared for and worn.

Check out our many Ulla-styles – they are comfy, well-fitting, contemporary, and come in a variety of heel heights. Please share what you count on as “tried and true” in footwear.


Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.

Monday, August 01, 2011

A New Generation of Shapewear

There’s no doubt that shapewear can be a friend with benefits. The object is to find intimates that shape, smooth, and firm. Look for items made of soft, substantial, stretchy materials to enjoy a sleek silhouette and still remain comfortable.

Choose wisely:

  • Undergarments that hold you in too tightly in one area usually create an unattractive bulge in another area - “Being held in” is less beneficial than being “smoothed out.”
  • Buy intimates that have no seams or lace that show through clothing -Smooth is always the goal.
  • Do not buy an item that is too small for you thinking that it will make you look slimmer and better - It won’t.
  • If an item shrinks or you get larger - Get rid of it.
  • If shapewear loses its firmness or shape - Replace it.

This season I took my own advice, opened my mind, and revisited an item I had previously sworn off, and I’m glad I did. The Ulla Body Wrap Soft Cup Bodysuit is such an item. New generations of fabrication have simply improved the effectiveness and comfort of shapewear, immeasurably – and may, therefore, be an old friend worth getting to know again.

If you’ve tried some of our new intimates – I’d love to hear your opinions.


Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.