Monday, January 28, 2013

You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression

Did you know you start talking before you open your mouth? It's called body language, and it’s worth a fortune. In the early moments of meeting someone, a first impression is formed.
The New Year brings new opportunities -- if you see it that way.
My long time friend and gorgeous green-eyed, curvy, 50+ client, Marie, met a man through an online dating service and after much cautious communication and more than three months of "holiday-responsible" delays (yeah, right!) - they're about to go on their first date. YAY! 
Motivated by Babe's Spring Picks, Marie wanted me to suggest a plus size outfit, from Ulla's latest collection, which would be appropriate for when she meets John (yes, that's really his name!). They've planned to meet at a casual restaurant, equidistant from both of their homes, for early drinks and dinner on a Saturday night. 
My thoughts---extrapolated into “what to wear” on a first date:
First, given you never get a second chance to make a first impression, make the most of it! Choose a plus size top, in a color that you know is your best -- a color that makes your skin glow and your eyes light up. Choose something stylish and special; but something that centers attention on the woman inside and not the top itself. 
Second, still all about Fade and Focus, choose a plus size top with a neckline that opens up and frames your pretty face. Choose a cut that is designed for you, one that you know drapes and glides over your curves flatteringly and which you will not have to "re-position" or tug at. Choose a plus size bottom that is sleek, lean and comfortable. Fade reduces the prominence of less flattering features and Focus puts the spotlight right where you want it – we all have “a best feature,” and we deserve to have it shine.
Third, "Feeling beautiful is empowering™," and I might add that feeling beautiful makes you also feel warm and desirable. After teasing Marie about the three months it took to finally set up a date, I know she is taking a risk - putting it out there, and nobody likes to risk rejection. Mustering confidence after a series of disappointments is no small task. That is precisely why the energy that comes from a new outfit is called for -- it boosts confidence!
Finally, the all-important body language – want to look more beautiful? Make eye contact, lean in but keep your spine straight, use your hands confidently, smile and don’t forget to laugh if something’s funnyBy the way, dressing the part helps – it just does! 
So, here's the outfit Marie chose to wear: 
Cascading Colorblocked Knit Jacket, 31565 and Viscose Spandex Knit Tank, 14572, in Pacific and Mint
Leopard Button Wedge, 25939, in Black Suede
Do you have a “first date” outfit that boosts confidence?

Ulla Popken Blogger & Stylist

Feel good in what you wear.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Favorite Item of the Year 2012

When I look back at my wardrobe of 2012, something rather unexpected seems to figure prominently, Ulla's Stretch Ponte Knit Slim-cut Leggings, 14622. I'd like to share why this is so.

I may have mentioned this to you before, but… I was blessed with "thunder thighs." I've always had large, heavy AND muscular thighs. When I was much younger, and played sports, they were indeed a blessing. However, as fashion became more important to me, they seemed to grow into a big problem. 

I seemed to be restricted to wide cut pants, which always needed to be bought a size or two larger than needed through the waist and hips to accommodate my thighs and to avoid that "sausage syndrome". So what happened was I was wearing full tops and wide-cut, plus size bottoms.  As my insights into creating a more flattering silhouette were honed, I continued to wear long, relaxed fit plus size tops, but I started to seek out more narrow bottoms. But...always mindful of my thighs, not too narrow - so this was a challenge.

This year Diane and Alicia, Ulla's design team, encouraged me to try our Stretch Ponte Knit Slim-cut Leggings in size 20/22. I'm so glad they did! These leggings have given me a youthful, current edge and I love it. First, the fabric is substantial enough to hide my "cottage cheese." (Charming, I know!) Second, the knit fabric and elastic waist fit me perfectly, and I might add, stay perfect through the day, getting in and out of the car, after I eat, etc. The cut is sleek, provides something akin to a custom fit and actually creates a lean silhouette.  Finally, these narrow, sleek, plus size bottoms are the perfect proportion for Ulla tops, great embellishments with a comfortable, relaxed fit.

So as I reflect on my wardrobe of 2012, I give Ulla's Stretch Ponte Knit Slim-cut Leggings two thumbs up!  It's funny how something so simple can mean so much.

Please share your '"favorite item of the year!"

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