Tag Archives: wardrobe

Timothy Rimmer

December 22, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Timothy Rimmer’s daily confrontation with his closet can be something of a skirmish. Some days it’s an all-out battle. His wardrobe selections are anything but a grab-and-go affair. Just what guise will the unisex model and freelance stylist don today? From sequins to serge and from pinstripes to pedal pushers, this gender-bending denizen of the Old Market has some important decisions to make.

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“I’m a fashion adventurer,” says the Atlanta transplant whose stylist and performance career has had him criss-crossing the nation over the last two decades. “I always knew I was creative, even as a small child. I like things that are just a little…different.”

Rimmer’s work has been seen in such publications as Black Sophisticate, Pashion, and Real Style.

Looking beyond the glitz and glamor, Rimmer’s dual identities cloak a deeply spiritual persona. He directed a 150-voice choir in Mississippi and he’s raised his voice in praise with guest appearances on the Bobby Jones Gospel television show and in other gigs across the South. His life, he says, has had him inhabiting opposing worlds, ones that had him doing a delicate balancing act between what he describes as being “street-wise versus church-wise.”

Performing was also something that molded the identity of the artist who was shuttled between Chicago and Mississippi as a child while later being raised by his aunt after his mother died.

“My early life was a lot of back-and-forth, back-and-forth,” he says, “and I know that had a lot to do with shaping who I am today. My dad wasn’t there and my momma had mental health issues. It could get pretty tough at times, you know, a lot of drinking and other things. I had to fend for myself quite a bit, knocking on neighbor’s doors looking for food,” he adds. “I grew up in juke joints, and that’s where I learned to sing and dance.”

The very act of “being Timothy,” as he describes it, results in a roller coaster ride of ever-morphing identities.

“One day it’s classic chic,” he says. “The next it might be throwback punk and,  after that, couture. I’m just fascinated with…with being myself. I’m just fascinated with life.”

Stress-Free Style

February 5, 2014 by

January and February are the big retail sale months of the year. We’re lured into stores and onto websites by ads, coupons, and incentives of all kinds. They bombard us in print, on television, radio, and billboards, on our phones, and through every social media platform. A sense of urgency wakes us in the middle of the night so we can save big at that “Early Bird” 6 a.m. opening. We sometimes wait in line for a sale that disappoints. Once inside, cluttered merchandising can overwhelm us. We frequently end up compromising on sizes, and our search for sales associates is usually endless. That’s all part of the hunt, but most of us leave stores with merchandise we never intended to buy. It sits in our closets forever, often with tags intact, taunting us with “But I was a bargain!”

Sale shopping for shoes is the worst! In-store shoppers make a mess of things, scattering shoes, tissue paper, and boxes everywhere.

I feel terribly guilty every time I send exhausted salespeople to the back room for yet another size to try. And if you buy sale shoes online, your savings opportunity hinges on the hope that they arrive absolutely perfect in every way. The risk factor is higher here because return shipping is usually not free. Repacking time and shipping fees can make the experience both futile and costly. And you still don’t have shoes.

Online sales of any kind can be just as frustrating. Seems like almost everything I finally resolve to order is no longer available in my size. So why did I just waste hours searching my favorite sites on a quest for a “great buy” that’s “really me?”

I can’t tell you that I have great strategies for online shopping, but there are some basic tips to ensure that your in-store adventures are successful and relatively stress-free:

Take inventory of your wardrobe. Go through your closet and get rid of everything that shows wear. Start a list of what needs replacing.

Look over the things you want to keep. Coordinate them with what you have. If you realize there’s a pant or skirt you love that’s now missing a mate, add to your list these key “enabling” pieces to buy.

Don’t forget to go through your accessories to determine what to buy as you update your wardrobe.

If you have favorite sweaters and tops that need scarves, photograph them and refer to them on your phone when sorting through the dozens of possibilities you’ll encounter.

Now you’re ready to finalize the list of what’s in your sights. Be specific and detailed.

Dress for shopping! Wear clothes that are easy to get on and off. Basic black provides a good “grounding palette.” Wear minimal, if any, jewelry.

Do not carry a heavy handbag. Wear a lightweight cross-body bag so you can easily sort through racks with 
both hands.

Leave your coat in the car if possible.

Pay close attention to your list. Do not yield to temptation unless you know that any “off-list” items will be both right for you and a strong complement to your closet.

To avoid crowds, shop weekday afternoons.

Remember, most stores are good about returns. Take things home to try on at your leisure and to test with other pieces. Save your receipts and respectfully make any returns as soon as possible.

And the most important rule of all? Never forsake quality for price.

Mary Anne Vaccaro is a clothing and product designer and an image consultant to businesses and individuals. www.maryannevaccaro.com She is also a sales consultant for Carlisle and Per Se, New York. 
www.carlislecollection.com

Sharon Hyer

August 29, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

When it comes to her work attire, Sharon Hyer, 53, is strictly business. But in no way does this mean the 20-year financial services veteran is ‘bearish’ on style.

“My office style is traditional,” says Hyer, vice president of Great Western Investment Center at Great Western Bank. “My goal is to keep my wardrobe simple and classic. Varieties of navy, gray, and black suits are my preference.” Von Maur is one of her favorite destinations for her high-end, elegant suits.

“I am not comfortable with ‘business casual.’ I don’t think I have ever worn short sleeves to the office,” says Hyer. “My customers expect me to be at the top of my game all the time. And I have found that if I stay polished in appearance, my mind stays sharp.”

Hyer does dress down on weekends, however. Though like her business attire, her casualwear is also well-coordinated with accessories. Form-fitting knits show off her great figure.

Hyer admits she requires a bit of mentoring when it comes to putting together fashion ensembles. “I have found a great little boutique called SKYZ [at The Shops of Legacy], where the owner actually helps me choose a modern blouse and jewelry to make my look polished. She can help me transform a classic day ensemble into a stylish outfit for an evening charity event (of which Hyer attends many).

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“We all have areas in which we excel. I’ll stick with making money grow, and Shelley at SKYZ can keep me looking great!” Hyer jokes.

The borderline workaholic—“My family has threatened to conduct a work ‘intervention’”—and self-professed financial news junkie says her passion is building relationships with clients and helping them achieve their financial goals. Taking good care of herself is one way she’s able to keep up her frenetic pace and her look so fresh.

“At my age, it’s essential my daily beauty routine revolves around moisturizing.” In addition to cleansing with Cetaphil and daily use of Estée Lauder moisturizer, she runs a cool-mist humidifier in her bedroom at night. “I always wear sun protector, but I do get a spray tan once in a while. And I get my nails done professionally, probably because it is the only time I sit and do absolutely nothing.”

She also eats extremely healthy—“no fried foods, and I bring an apple or orange to work and eat a hard-boiled egg and peanut butter toast every morning…yes, every single day!”

To stay fit, Hyer also walks a lot, does some weight-training at home, and enjoys doing yard work for exercise. “I’m blessed genetically…I’ve been the same size as long as I can remember. But make no mistake, if my clothes fit tight, I hit the gym. I invest money in quality suits and have no intention of going up a size.”

Hyer’s got ’em both—beauty and brains. And that’s a big part of her appeal. “When I go to the office, I pop up the hair for a look of elegance and sophistication. I don’t believe it’s wrong to want to look both pretty and smart.”

Making Summer Fashion Decisions

June 20, 2013 by
Photography by Jim Scholz

The summer wardrobe of any and everyone over 60 is a definite challenge to coordinate.

I just tell it like it is: A body that’s older than 60, even slim and in the best shape, needs more camouflage than exposure. If you care about how you look to others, shorts and short skirts are of a previous life. I’ve never seen pretty knees on anyone over 60.

The length of capris is very personal. Find the length that looks best on you and have your capris hemmed there. When wearing capris, the shoes or sandals you wear with them are very important for making a style statement. Comfort matters, too, but you won’t be happy with your look if your summer footwear isn’t stylish. When wearing sandals, NO scaly skin and callouses allowed, and keep toenails polished to perfection!

Tank tops, halters, and tube tops are not necessarily of your past. You can still wear them but not alone. Under a cardigan sweater, a jacket, a stole, or a loose-fitting shirt, they can be fabulous! Use them to add a splash of color, print, or texture to monotone separates. Dark-colored ones can be very slimming. Sundresses…hmm. There are many cute ones that I love in fresh, young florals, but they are indeed for the young.

Blue denim can be dangerous at 60 or older. It has to be worn with an attitude, and it’s usually not the attitude that 60-and-overs have. Comfort jeans are only to be worn around the house. Denim jumpers date, age, and frump you. But black denim, white denim, and fashion-colored denim jeans and jackets are must-haves! Be sure, however, to buy a cut that flatters you. The cut is not about your age. It’s about your shape.

Summer clothes must look fresh. When you’re hot, whatever you’re wearing wrinkles. Press the wrinkles out of every piece you wear before you return it to the closet. If washing first is necessary, do it, but if a garment shows wear after washing, retire it. NEVER wash black cotton separates. They may say washable, but washing sucks the life and color out of them. Dry clean only! Linen is of its own world. Clients used to come to me saying, “I want you to design and make me linen clothes that don’t wrinkle.” Impossible. Linen wrinkles, regardless of how it’s designed, made, or treated. If you wear linen, you must accept wrinkles.

As for Summer 2013 colors, avoid pastels even if on-trend. They look fresh if you’re under 40 but give you a grandma look if you’re over 60. The colors best on you depend on their relationship to your hair and skin tones. To play it safe, wear black or white, together with orange, lime, or turquoise when you want to add some pop.

Accessories are what it’s all about. Use them to style and personalize your summer looks. Bold-colored beads on a loose linen shirt, a fringed stole over a tank top, or a studded belt hanging loose over a calf-length skirt can take your look from everyday/everybody to a unique and stylish you! Scarves are important but not by day when it’s hot. In the evening, they’re both useful and fashionable tossed over your shoulders to break the chill of the night and air conditioning. Summer purses should have a lighter look than the ones you carry through winter. Color, texture, and fabric should relate to the season and to what you’re wearing. If black is your color, choose a poplin, straw, or woven bag.

Summer hair and makeup should be easy care. A lipstick color change is often necessary, and if you wear foundation, a darker tone might be better. Always wear sunscreen!

Finally, swimwear, OMG, it creates a crisis for almost everyone, regardless of age. After 60, no bikinis except for home swims and tanning. There are plenty of flattering one- and two-piece swimsuits you’ll love, and many of them are shaped and color-blocked to slim you.

The season is short. Enjoy it with confidence knowing my advice will make the BEST of you!

I welcome your feedback and invite you to send questions to sixtyplus@omahapublications.com.

Mary Anne Vaccaro lives in Omaha. She designed and made couture clothing for an international clientele of professionals and socialites of all ages. She created ready-to-wear collections that were sold from her New York showroom, and she designed for the bridal industry. She designed for three Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation Balls and ran a fashion advertising business in five states for a number of years. Invisible Apron® is one of several products that she has designed and developed. She still designs for select clients and works as an image consultant, stylist, personal shopper, and speaker on the subjects of fashion, art, and style. For more information, visit maryannevaccaro.com or call 402-398-1234.

Style at 60 Plus!

December 25, 2012 by
Photography by Jim Scholz

Sixty may be the new 40, but the reality is at 60, NOBODY looks like they did at 40! You can exercise for hours, spend a fortune on face creams, have this, that, and the other tucked or filled, but the reality is you end up looking great for 60 but not like you did at 40. Hair, makeup, and wardrobe all need to be addressed at 60 to make a new and fabulous you!

As a fashion designer for more than 30 years, I’ve spent thousands of hours in the fitting room with clients of all ages. I’ve seen and worked around the subtle changes that creep onto all of us over the years. I like working with women over 60. I love creating and styling for the woman who understands that it’s important at all ages to look fashionable, but that age and shape need to be considered when determining what fashion trends are right after turning 60.

Nothing looks worse than a 60+ woman in a dress that’s too short and too revealing, as she stomps around in shoes that are ridiculously high, rattling costume jewelry that’s “cute” rather than sophisticated. The opposite extreme that’s sad to see is a perfectly lovely 60+ woman hiding in boring, understated pieces that do not have a contemporary cut, and wearing belts, shoes, and jewelry from another time. Old clothes are especially taboo as we get older. They’re vintage and fun to 20-somethings. They just plain make a seasoned woman look even older.

We all need to embrace and glorify who we are at every age. That starts with an investment in Quality. A few classic, quality pieces speak a language of style that translates to fashion when accessorized for the times. Quality makes a difference in everything, especially clothes! It speaks volumes about you as a person and makes you feel better about yourself, too. Don’t let a cheap look bring you down, and remember, quality doesn’t necessarily mean expensive.

I believe in comfort, but clothes that are too comfortable make us lazy. Dressing up energizes us. I’ll admit it’s a job, and that’s why I keep busy styling people. Most of us accumulate and save too much. We become overwhelmed with decision-making as we dress for everyday and for special occasions. It takes someone with an eye for cut and proportion to determine what is flattering and right for the individual. That last comment brings me to relationships…so important in fashion, and I’ll write about them next time.

WARDROBE MUST- HAVES

  • Classic white shirts
  • Great-fitting Pants
  • Great-fitting blue jeans
  • Great-fitting black jeans
  • The right black jacket
  • Shell and cardigan sweater sets
  • Fashion eyewear
  • Statement belts
  • Oblong scarves
  • Fashion flats
  • Fashion heels (within reason)
  • Contemporary jewelry
  • A lightweight high fashion bag
  • Dresses, skirts, coats & boots are must-haves, too, but not the same for all!
  • QUALITY is a must for all!

I welcome your feedback and invite you to send questions to sixtyplus@omahapublications.com.

Mary Anne Vaccaro lives in Omaha. She designed and made couture clothing for an international clientele of professionals and socialites of all ages. She created ready-to-wear collections that were sold from her New York showroom, and she designed for the bridal industry. She designed for three Ak-Sar-Ben Coronation Balls and ran a fashion advertising business in five states for a number of years. Invisible Apron® is one of several products that she has designed and developed. She still designs for select clients and works as an image consultant, stylist, personal shopper, and speaker on the subjects of fashion, art, and style. For more information, visit maryannevaccaro.com or call 402-398-1234.