Monday, March 25, 2013

Be – You – tiful, but Be You!

Readers, you might remember my friend Marie and her careful step into the risky waters of dating at  “a certain age”. Well, John asked Marie to meet his family! I guess things have progressed, and I am so happy for her!
Funny, I remember back 25 years to meeting my husband's family. On one occasion I met his two good-looking sisters and their boyfriends, his mom, dad and grandmother. Of course I wanted to make a good impression. I thought about looking pretty, svelte (as much as I could trick/fabricate), carefree and comfortable all while looking fashionable, sexy and wholesome. Whew!
Talk about contradictions...I was a panic-attack waiting to explode!
·                  sexy  – but wholesome
·                 fashionable – but not a big spender
·                 pretty – but not too much make-up
·                 confident – but soft-spoken
You get the picture. Trying to be all things to all people was a lot of work - in fact, too much work. And of course, it can't work. 
When you walk into the lovely Ulla Popken offices in Glen Arm, Maryland, you see this sign: 
Be-YOU-tiful. It sort of brings a lot of this rambling into perspective. Yes, by all means be beautiful, but be YOU.  
Too much planning, contriving, hiding is exhausting. It drains one's energy tank and leaves nothing left with which to enjoy meeting the people who love the “special someone” you are starting to care for. Sometimes, reflective of the craziness and obsession of looking beautiful (read, thin), we lose ourselves. 
Marie, my green-eyed, lovely, curvy, 50+ friend chose this plus size dress to wear and here's her reasoning:  Ulla's Lace-Trimmed dress, 31245 
·                   one-piece dressing is easy and always looks put--together and finished
·                   viscose spandex is always comfortable
·                   from Ulla's new Gently Shaped™ Collection, flattering a woman's curves 
·                  the lace is sexy, youthful and appealing but still provides appropriate coverage – a tasteful balance

Getting back to Marie, the best part, she reports, was that with this simple, lovely outfit, she was able to focus on meeting John’s mother, his two grown children, their spouses and the grandchildren, ages 2 and 6, but still have a good time and look great!
Two other Ulla Gently Shaped™ dresses strike me as good go-to choices as well. The first: Ulla’s Faux Surplice Knit Dress, 32253, in “fragrant” Hibiscus or  “comfy” black. The second: Ulla’s Ancient Inspirations Empire Knit Dress, 32254, choose either Brown Multi or Black Multi, coordinating with similar-toned accessories you already have for an easy pulled-together look.
Do you have a favorite great looking, easy, go-to outfit?

Ulla Popken Blogger & Stylist
Feel good in what you wear.

Monday, March 11, 2013

A Jacket instead of a Bonnet

While Easter and Passover have deeply significant religious themes, both traditions include welcoming springtime; the egg, a symbol of springtime and rebirth is shared by both traditions. It’s hard not to love springtime and the potential of rebirth. It's not surprising then, that many women love this time of year, which seems to call for something special to wear.

The first time I saw Ulla's Rainbow Hues Tweed Jacket, 31321, I knew I wanted it for Easter! The jacket is a wonderful combination of tweedy texture and vibrant colors which bring an extra dimension of chic. Check out the contrast rope edging, pointed lapels, decorative buttons. I love that the jacket is shaped with light shoulder pads. 
But why invest in another jacket?
Think of a jacket as not only a frame for your face but a frame for your torso as well. A well-designed jacket provides the shape and coverage we curvy women seek. As our curves get softer, all women, especially more mature women, benefit from the defining lines and proportions of a great-fitting jacket. Frankly, an excellent jacket can be “heavenly” for women of all ages, shapes and sizes.
How do you know if it's an excellent jacket for you?
Five check points:
Shaping check:
Does the jacket provide gentle shaping? Does it follow your contours but improve them? Does it impose a bit of hourglass shaping to your torso?
Shoulder check:
A defining, flattering shoulder line is critical. The line should meet the edge of your shoulder. If the shoulder line of the jacket goes beyond your natural shoulder line, you'll appear larger and frumpy.
Neckline check:
The neckline of the jacket should be prominent. I particularly like the V-neckline of this plus size jacket; it lays flat, and cuts the visual width of your upper body while framing your pretty face. Another good neckline choice is Ulla's Relaxed Knit Blazer, 31563, with its soft, curved lapels that lengthen your look. This jacket comes in great colors, Cerulean, Hibiscus and Black.
Sleeve check:
The sleeves should taper in a bit to make the arm look trimmer and longer.
Length Check:
The length of the jacket should end either above or below your widest point. Personally, I prefer the coverage of the latter.
There are moments in one's life that ache to be celebrated, observed, remembered, or all three. When I think about that one photograph that seems to capture the day and last through the years - I want to be assured that I looked my personal best and I felt good in what I wore. How do you measure the worth of a jacket?

Ulla Popken Blogger & Stylist
Feel good in what you wear.