Monday, September 26, 2011

When A Bargain is a Bargain

Every woman I know loves a bargain. I'm no exception and neither are my girlfriends. So when is a bargain just that?

Look for bargains that freshen, replenish and expand your wardrobe. When shopping sales it is best to choose apparel you have some familiarity with.

Recently, a friend of mine, who shops Ulla, asked me to help her spend up to $100 to freshen her Fall wardrobe. Separately, in the comfort of home, we simultaneously went online to the Sale page of the Ulla site.

Here's what we chose:
  • 1 Surplice Tee, #92545, hibiscus
  • 1 Long Vented Knit Tunic, #02566, cherry
  • 1 Layered Sweater #95529, raspberry
  • 1 Beaded Cardigan, #05512, black
  • 1 Ponte Knit Pant, #11635, black

We kept her selections in a similar color scheme which she already wears well, to maximize using an existing set of coordinated of accessories. We chose items which she already knows well and counts on, Ulla tees, tunics and cardis. The only unknown was the pant, but another pair of good black pants - well worth the "risk."

What did she get for $100?

Five pieces that...

  • will freshen her wardrobe.
  • allow for varied Fall weather.
  • will lessen the wear and tear on her existing favorites.
  • will work with go-to items and accessories already in her wardrobe.
That's when a bargain is a bargain!

Please share how you shop bargains.


Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best!

Monday, September 19, 2011

2 Items that Cover 4 Sizes

Reluctant to buy clothing when your weight is in flux? That's understandable, clothing is an investment. Still, it's important to look good, feel good and be your personal best all the times.

Two Ulla items strike me as good examples of investment pieces when you don't want to commit to one size:

the Stretch Knit Wedge Dress, #15230 and the Animal Print Boyfriend Sweater Cardigan, #15550. Why?


* have a well-defined, shapely silhouette
* start out fitted in the shoulder and begin to widen at the tummy and hips
* give extra room where it's traditionally needed
* narrow just below the hip

In fact, the wedge dress, well-edited at the knee, is very flattering because it has more length with which to extend the narrowing effect. Look for a cocoon or wedge shape. This will allow you room while you are larger and still look shapely when you are smaller.

Buy the smaller size and add a 1/4 inch Dolman shoulder pad - it will sharpen the shoulder line creating a prettier drape. Ulla's sizing is 12/14, 16/18 and 20/22... While I usually wear the 20/22, for these two items, I would go down a size. The cut already gives me extra room where I need it. I don't need more fabric or bulk, where I don't.

I'd love to hear tips for shopping when you are between two sizes.


Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Richness, Depth and You

The wine, aubergine, and berry palettes that are flattering on so many women are abundant in our Fall and Winter collections - and for good reason: they work well for many complexions and especially well for women who are over forty. What is even more interesting in the Ulla collections is the way the prints, patterns and details have been combined, they yield richness and depth.

How do you put an outfit together that boasts richness and depth? Look for a dominant color, hold the item (or picture in the catalog) close to your face. Does it make your eyes pop? If it does, it's the right color for you. Next, look for a secondary color within the same item, this may be the color you choose to coordinate your jewelry and accessories. For the look to come together, the colors need to be clear and obvious that they work well together.

Here are some "look-fors":

  • Abstract florals with impressive size and depth
  • Bold geometric prints
  • Prints and solids of glorious jewel tones
  • Embroidery and embellishments that are thick and substantial
Outfits that are rich and have depth reflect well on the woman who wears them. The message is one of "presence and self-esteem." How do you achieve that quality in what you wear?


Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.

Monday, September 05, 2011

When Black is Not Enough

I wear a lot of black and have no plans to change that in the near future. The color black absorbs light so it disguises lumps and bumps; and therefore trumps all other colors for looking sleek. End of post? Not so fast!

There are other colors, fabrics and surface textures that do a great job of concealing puffy areas; when used together, they should not be overlooked.

  • Choose rich soft neutrals and jewel tones
  • Avoid weaves and textures that create bulk
  • Choose a fabric with a matte surface quality for areas you want to "fade" (down-play)
  • Choose a fabric with a shiny surface quality for areas you want to "focus" (draw attention to)
There are several Ulla fabrics, essentially in the matte jersey family, that bid a broader selection of color, and you can still be confident you'll look sleek: viscose rayon spandex, viscose rayon, modal rayon and polyester blends (especially with spandex.)

What's your favorite color and fabric "when black is not enough?"

Ulla Popken Stylist & Blogger

Be your personal best.