fashion Archives - Colleen Hammond

How Sizing Varies At Different Retailers

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How Sizing Varies At Different Retailers

Don’t go by the size number on the tag!

It’s no secret that retailers have been selling items that run big as smaller sizes to ‘flatter’ their customers. It’s called “vanity sizing”.

“The risk associated with buying the wrong size scares people away from purchasing clothing online,” Fitbay CEO Christian Wylonis explained. “Our data looked at what sizes our users were buying and what worked best for them. Our hope is that this analysis is helpful to navigate the space and choose the right size.”

What brands are guilty?

The chart below from FitBay shows the percent of men and women wearing size “small” who have to buy a size up or down.

Loft, Free People, and J. Crew run large. ModCloth and American Apparel run small.

Lesson? Size charts are not accurate and sizes vary greatly from brand to brand.



HT to reporter Chavie Lieber at Racked who partnered with Fitbay to create the chart below.


How Sizing Varies At Different Retailers

Whatcha Wearing Wednesday Capsule Wardrobe Week 3

Weekly Capsule Wardrobe: “Whatcha Wearing?” Wednesday, Week 4

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Capsule Wardrobe, Week 4!

A Capsule Wardrobe will save you time, money, and frustration.

Do you stand in front of your closet full of clothing and think, “I don’t have a THING to wear!”…?

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a Capsule Wardrobe, start with this short video series to guide you.

And if you are familiar with Capsule Wardrobes but need help shaking out of a rut, try this Capsule Sudoku idea.

My clients have asked about learning how to do a Weekly Capsule Wardrobe — so here we go!

Here’s the key: If you’re a beginner, pick two neutral colors and one accent color.

(Advanced Fashionistas will pick two accent colors and one neutral!)

In Week 1, we started with beige as our neutral and blue & red as our accent colors.

In Week 2, we worked with two neutrals (grey & black) and one accent color (purple).

In Week 3, we worked with just two colors: Blue and Pink!

This week, we’ll work with off-white, blue, and black.


Whatcha Wearin? Wednesday, Week 4


WWW Day 1 Week 4


WWW Day 2 Week 4


WWW Day 3 Week 4


WWW Day 4 Week 4


WWW Day 5 Week 4


WWW Day 6 Week 4


WWW Day 7 Week 4


Hourglass Body Type Shape

How to Dress Your Hourglass Body Type

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How to Dress Your Hourglass Body Type

Do you know The Top 10 Fashion & Style Mistakes (and How to Fix Them!)?

Hourglass Week!

How to Dress the Hourglass Body Type Shape by Colleen HammondBe sure to check out the pics on my Pinterest page for even more ideas to copy.

NOTE: The pictures below are examples to copy by “shopping your closet”. If you do decide to purchase something, I recommend shopping at your local thrift store, Goodwill, or consignment shops for deals on high-quality items.

For the Hourglass Body Type, here are some general guidelines. (For specifics, please check out the Style Academy.)

     -well fitted clothing that follows your natural body lines (NOT tight!)

     -define the waist

     -bring attention to your shoulders and face

In the examples below, the “pure” (extreme) versions of the different Clothing/Dressing Style Personalities are shown, but not explained. Read the Blog post about it here. 


Click here to watch a short video explaining those seven (7) personalities.

Also, the links to the Polyvore sets are below each picture. Links within the explanations go to ‘less expensive’ options. Full disclosure: most are affiliate links — which means I make a few pennies if  you click on them. So, thanks for clicking!!!



First, a Classic personality which prefers a smart, neat and tidy look. Classics like to play it safe. They don’t necessarily follow fashion. They like to keep things simple and structured. They enjoy, and invest in, high quality items. The Classic look will be symmetrical with even hems — nothing edged, fringed, or scalloped.

Classic Hourglass
Classic Hourglass 2
Classic Hourglass 3


A more relaxed or sporty style will opt for simple lines and low maintenance clothing. Personal comfort is of prime importance. Little, if any, makeup. Or very natural makeup. Very easy, relaxed dressing. Minimum fuss is their signature style.
Relaxed Hourglass
Relaxed Hourglass 2
Relaxed Hourglass 3


Intense, bold, and dynamic identify the Dramatic style. They love to make an entrance and wear clothes with a “wow” factor. They don’t mind suffering for fashion. They love bright colors. Bold patterns. They love leopard print!
Dramatic Hourglass


Dramatic Hourglass 2


Dramatic Hourglass 3



The creative, Avant-garde style is more about being one of a kind, unique, or quirky. Think artsy. Or Bohemian. A Lolita look, for example. They will look for interesting items in unusual shops or markets and pull together their own unique look.
Creative Hourglass 3


Creative Hourglass 2


Creative Hourglass


Edgy (Rebellious)

The edgy or rebellious style dresser doesn’t want to be boxed in, they don’t want to be like everyone else. They’re unconventional, left-of center, a rebellious Rocker chic. Anything with studs, or torn or has zippers, even the shock of wearing something with a stark personality contrast.


Rebellious Hourglass 2



Rebellious Hourglass 3



Rebellious Hourglass 3



Rebellious Hourglass





Romantics love pretty, soft, feminine things. They adore luxurious fabrics. And although they may love the details like bows, ruffles, fringes, they’re more about the gentle, curved line. Things that exude a soft, warm, nurturing, and friendly feel.
Romantic Hourglass 3
Romantic Hourglass 2
Romantic Hourglass
Sophisticated Hourglass 3


Sophisticated Hourglass 2


Sophisticated Hourglass


How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe Part 4 Body Type

Building a Capsule Wardrobe, Part 4: Body Type

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Building a Capsule Wardrobe, Part 4:
Body Type

In this series, I’m teaching you how to build your ideal Capsule Wardrobe with only 22 pieces that will mix and match to make hundreds of outfits.  Today, we’ll chat about how to determine your Body Type.

For Part 1 (Lifestyle Analysis), click here. OR Watch the Part 1 video here.

For Part 2 (KATDOM & Closet Analysis), click here. OR Watch the Part 2 video here.

For Part 3 (Style Personality), click here. OR Watch the Part 3 video here.

Five Basic Body Types Style Academy Colleen Hammond

Even though there are 5 standard body types, there are unlimited varieties and combinations!

How Do You Determine Your REAL “Body Type”?

Even though there are 5 standard body types, there are unlimited varieties and combinations. If you’ve ever entered your measurements into one of those online body type calculators and are still frustrated or confused, there’s a good reason!

Every body is different!

So please do not get hung up on calling yourself a pear, apple, rectangle, apple, or hourglass shape. You’re far more unique than that!

In the Style Academy, we guide you through 8 various factors to determining your body type — and actually, in Part 5 of this series I’ll discuss more unique facial and body characteristics in addition to what we’ll discuss here.

So you see? In order to determine your real body type, you’ll need to take into account more than just your bust, waist, and hips.

Factors to Consider

Here are some of the factors to take into consideration:

  1. Bone structure
  2. Bra/cup size
  3. Torso length
  4. Body proportions
  5. Bust/Waist/Hips Measurements
  6. Silhouette
  7. Gain/Lose Weight
  8. Height and Weight

Let’s start where everyone starts — your measurements.


I’ll be doing a more detailed explanation about this in separate video, so sign up for my newsletter to know when that video is released.

First, take your bust, waist and hip measurements.

Let’s assume your measurements are 36 bust, 24 waist, and 38 hips.Calculator

To determine body type, you need to know the DIFFERENCE between them all.

  • Bust minus your waist (36 – 24 = 12)
  • Hips minus your waist (38 – 24 = 14)
  • Hips minus your bust (38 – 36 = 2)

But again, this is just one of the 8 factors to consider. Next, we’ll look at your Silhouette.


SilhouettesWhat does your silhouette or shadow show?

Your silhouette will reveal a few bodily characteristics that don’t show up in measurements.

For example, wide shoulders, high or low bust line, unique characteristics of your waist, hips, or thighs, torso and leg proportions, or what most of my clients worry about — a mommy tummy.


The Scale

Next, when you gain or lose weight, where does that happen?

Now What?

This is easier to see by watching the video (or watch it at the bottom of this post).

But don’t worry! I have more detailed explanations that will help guide you through all of this!

If your hips are larger than your bust, you’re probably a Pear shape. But if you gain weight in your bust, you’re secondary type will be an Hourglass. Or, if you gain weight in your mid-section, your secondary type will be an apple.

If your shoulders are larger than your waist and hips, you’re probably an Inverted Triangle shape. But if you gain weight evenly in your waist and hips, you’re secondary type will be a Rectangle. Or, if you gain weight in your mid-section, you’re secondary type will be an Apple. Or, if you gain weight in your hips, your secondary type will be an Hourglass. See how this works?

A pure Rectangle shape will have measurements that are within 1 to 2 inches of each other. But if you gain weight in your shoulders, you’re secondary type will be an Inverted Triangle. In the middle, an Apple. And in your hips, a Pear.

If you carry most of your weight in your mid-section, chances are your primary body type is an Apple. But if you gain weight in your hips, you’re secondary type will be a Pear. Evenly in your bust and hips? An Hourglass. And gaining in your bust, upper arms, and shoulders, makes your secondary type an Inverted Triangle.

And finally, an Hourglass has a waist that is significantly smaller than the hips and bust. Gaining weight in the hips? Your secondary is a Pear. In the middle? An apple. And evenly all over makes you a full Hourglass.

So can you see now why those online calculators don’t tell you the full story?!?!?

And guess what? There’s even more!!!!

Part 5 of this series I’ll discuss more unique facial and body characteristics that help determine what to


And make sure you know the Top 10 Fashion & Style Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)!!!!!

Top 10 Fashion and Style Mistakes and how to fix them

Recommended reading:

Holiday Party Outfits: Ten Tips on What to Wear

Holiday Party Outfits

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An article I wrote for Dynamic Women of Faith. Please visit their website to read other inspiring articles written by amazing women who are on a mission to do good for God!

Holiday Party Outfits

Top Ten Tips for keeping it classy!

Tis the season for holiday parties — and the stress of what to wear to them. Sometimes those bells you hear aren’t the Salvation Army, but warning bells of panic that accompany that alarmed feeling of making a fashion faux pas.

The goal? Dress festive but not tacky. You don’t want to be so over-blingy that you look like a garish Christmas tree, and you don’t want to don the same outfit you’d wear to the grocery store. Fashion is fun, which matches the joy of the Christmas season!

Here are some basic tips:

  1. There’s no need to dress in anything outlandish or revealing. To keep it classy and dignified, avoid low cut tops, and make sure your kneecaps and upper arms are covered. To be comfortable all night, don’t wear anything tight, clingy, or sheer. No need to have the discomfort of tugging, pulling, and ‘wondering’ all night long.
  2. The “Little Black Dress” (LBD) is always de rigueur (as long as it isn’t too “L”). This simple, black dress can be dressed up or down for any occasion and ought to be a staple in every wardrobe. However, if you have a unembellished jewel tone dress that you can bedeck, that is also perfectly acceptable–and sometimes preferable.
  3. Have you noticed that many dresses are either strapless, short sleeved, or capped sleeved? (And let’s face it–cap sleeves only look good on arms that are skinny and need a cap sleeve to make their arms look fuller). Faux fur wraps are chic and affordable. Boleros are a nice option. Or, you can search your closet, fabric store, or thrift store for an inexpensive wrap in lace, organza, or some other elegant fabric. Wrapped and flung artfully over your shoulders, you’ll look like Audrey Hepburn or Maureen O’Hara.
  4. Holiday fashions are all about sparkly accessories! Find a clutch purse in gold, or a silver satin, or something glittery. Yes, I know they’re small, but seriously–for a few hours, what do you really need to carry in it? Plus it has the added advantage of giving your hands something to do in awkward moments at your husband’s office Christmas party.
    Dangle Earrings

    Dangle Earrings

  5. Next, statement earrings. This is where cheap, costume jewelry comes in. Look for earrings with tons of smaller stones set in gold or silver plated metal, as they look better than earrings with a few very large ‘gems’. It’s an added bonus if you can find a bracelet to match. Slim earrings longer than chin-length will flatter a round face. Square faces can handle tear-drop (but nothing geometric). Classic Tear-drops and round stones soften the chin of a heart-shaped face, and oval faces have their pick of just about anything.
  6. If you can’t find earrings and a bracelet you like, consider a statement necklace. But don’t do all three together!
    Bling Back Shoe Accessory

    Bling Back Shoe Accessory

  7. Splurge on some fun shoes, although a holiday party may be the only night of the year you wear them (unless you have a wedding coming up). You can also attach sparkly clip-on earrings to your shoes to decorate them–either on the toe or the back of the heel. Yes, the back of the heel! Trust me, it looks spectacular! But be warned: it may rub your Achilles all night. So plan ahead. If you’ll be seated most of the time, consider the heel application.
  8. Hair: the key here is to wear your hair differently than you normally do. Up or down. Curls or straight. It all works! A small glitzy hairpiece or a bit of sparkle hair spray can be fun, too. Just don’t overdo it or you’ll look like Effie Trinket from The Hunger Games.
  9. Makeup is where some people panic. The easiest thing to do is wear a strong lip color with a soft eye color application. If you’re going with a strong, smokey eye, then balance it with a gentle lip color. For blush, a bronzer is best. Ditch the bright cheek color, unless you want to look like the Nutcracker King.
    Crystal Hair Comb

    Crystal Hair Comb

  10. Don’t overdo the perfume. Fun fact: if someone has been wearing the same perfume daily for more than a few weeks, they can’t smell it anymore. That’s why they tend to over-apply it. (Have you ever been on the leading edge of a cloud of perfume of “smelled someone coming”?) If you wear any perfume at all, remember only one spritz is required–use it to dab your wrists and neck. Or, use the old trick of spraying it in the air and walking through it.

If you’re attending your husband’s office party, there are a few more things to remember: Don’t wear anything that lights up or requires a battery, no bells (which lose their cuteness after a few minutes and rapidly become annoying), and no costumes. Save the Mrs. Claus hat or elf-ears for a family gathering.

Most of all, wear a smile that radiates the joyful and peaceful holiday spirit of the Christ child. He is, after all, the reason for the Season. Merry Christmas!


Colleen is the founder of Total Image Institute, and author of the International Bestseller Dressing with Dignity. Join Colleen’s mailing list for more fashion tips, video instructions, live events, and more.



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