Update: from Basic to Bravo!

Last week I challenged each participant in my VIRTUAL Style School to put together an outfit demonstrating a technique they had learned in the class thus far.  This class member realized that her dress color was too pale to balance her stronger personal color pattern. Any of the deeper colors swatched along the left side of the image would be better.

But she greatly elevated the look by adding a narrow black belt and black footwear. By repeating her very dark hair color at intervals through the outfit she kept the viewer’s eye moving up and down her silhouette (Panel 1).


The narrow belt was an ideal choice given her relatively short torso. See how the wider one I simulated in the Panel 2 image makes her look awkwardly short-waisted?

We also touched up the photo to show the impact of having the skirt tapered.  See how the wider hemline (Panel 1) makes your attention go side-to-side across the bottom of the skirt. In the far-right image the narrower skirt elongates and polishes the entire look.  The dark lines are added to to the image to differentiate the skirt edges from the similar color of the wall.

What items in your closet could you improve with simple updates like these?  And what other tricks could you pick up by joining an upcoming VIRTUAL Style School group?  See new dates HERE.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Suzanne on January 3, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Another excellent illustration! I am so glad that you are well. I love receiving your newsletter!

    • Tami on January 3, 2021 at 2:15 am

      Great example–thanks for sharing this! I love the tapered skirt, and the last photo makes me want to add a black trim to the side seams of the narrowed skirt. 🙂

      • Nancy Nix Rice on January 3, 2021 at 11:03 am

        Tapering does make a stunning difference on nearly any bottom garment – slim skirt, trouser, capris, even shorts.

  2. Suzanne Godwin on January 3, 2021 at 7:04 pm

    Thanks for sharing. It’s amazing how tapering the dress made such a difference. I love receiving your news letter. You always share great tips

  3. Cassie on January 24, 2021 at 1:11 am

    I make jewelry like that charm necklace all the time! I’ll make a beaded chain, or just use a plain chain, and link different charms onto it. My most dramatic piece to date is a three-tiered necklace – one short pearl chain with a focal charm of an old-fashioned siren/mermaid, then a second pearl chain and a third plain chain, both with small charms with a pirate-y theme: a treasure map, a ship, a ship wheel, an octopus, a pirate flag… it’s gorgeous, but not for the faint of heart! I need to find where I stashed it in the move, and design a top that will accommodate all those layers. I’ve had it for years and never worn it.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on January 24, 2021 at 12:09 pm

      Your necklace sounds like great fun. I’ve made jewelry in the past, but not for ages. But lately I’ve been noodling about how to fix or update several of my pieces. It’s really the same concept as altering clothes, but we mostly don’t think of it. Watch for a future blog post on the topic.

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