Introducing “We Love” On Style By Kara Allan


I am a big fan of promoting new and fabulous goodies so we created a space on our site to feature products that we have tried and loved!!! Want to feature your items?  Send us an email at info@karaallan.com.  We are currently featuring jewelry, bags and shoes and looking forward to hearing from you!

 

@KaraAllan on Twitter
Kara@KaraAllan.com
KaraAllan.com

Ciao,

Kara

How to Dress Ten Pounds Slimmer


Here’s an article I contributed to in the Washingtonian about dressing slimmer!

How to Dress Ten Pounds Slimmer

Was your new year’s resolution to drop a few pounds? We ask two local stylists how to fake it ’til you make it.

By Natalie Grasso

If you’re anything like us, there’s a voice in your head—a voice belonging to a wiser, more put-together version of yourself—that pipes up when you’re about to overindulge. This holiday season, our voice spent a lot of time shaking her head and saying, “You have, of course, heard the adage, ‘A moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips’?” To which, if you’re even more like us, you replied, “Bah, humbug,” and proceeded to polish off your baker’s-dozenth buckeye.

So now that the holiday free-for-all is over, you’ve resolved to lose ten pounds—but you won’t have something to show for your resolution overnight. The good news is that you can get a jump-start on looking svelte with just a few wardrobe tweaks. We’ve asked two style pros for their secrets of looking slimmer even though you haven’t lost the weight (yet).

“Appearing slimmer is a balancing act,” says Angelique Alston, founder of Outer Skinz Image Group. “The trick is to draw the eye away from the area of concern and create the illusion of proportion.” If, say, you’re feeling top-heavy, she suggests picking out a V-neck shirt in a solid color and pairing it with a fuller pant or skirt. “This draws the eye downward, away from your problem area, and adds volume to your bottom half, which creates the appearance of a balanced silhouette.”

If your lower half is the problem, stylist and image expert Kara Allan suggests tailored options such as pencil skirts; they’ll slim the hips, she says, so long as they’re not skintight. “If you love pants,” adds Allan, “make sure they have a flat front, a little bit of stretch, and a slight flare at the bottom, which makes hips look slim.” For jeans, she suggests a mid-rise style with parallel back pockets, in a dark wash.

In fact, dark colors are a trimming option for any style of clothing. Both stylists agree a deep-hued, monochromatic ensemble is the quickest way to look slimmer. “When a woman dresses in one color, it creates the illusion of a taller, slimmer silhouette,” explains Alston. “Black is typically the color chosen most, but you can also pull off this trick with navy, chocolate, charcoal, eggplant, and even darker shades of green.”

Shoewise, Allan sings the praises of nude pumps that match your skin tone:  “They add inches to your legs!” she says. “High heels can take five pounds off instantly,” adds Angelique.

Allan’s other tricks include wearing a long necklace to create the illusion of an elongated torso, and carrying a medium-size bag to achieve a sense of balance. She also emphasizes the importance of creating a good foundation with undergarments that fit well. “Get measured for a bra, which [will encourage] good posture,” she says. “Everything looks better when it’s in its proper place. And wear seamless underwear to avoid visible lines.” Allan’s favorite place to go for a bra fitting? Coup de Foudre on the corner of 11th and E Streets, NW. The L’eggs Hanes Bali Playtex Factory Outlet at Potomac Mills is unmatched in its selection of seamless underpinnings.

And here’s a little-known fact: “Improper hemlines can add ten pounds to your appearance,” warns Alston. “I can’t place enough emphasis on hemlines. Your frame can appear longer and leaner in an instant just by wearing the proper hemline.” She advises that the hem of your pants should almost touch the floor, with a slight break in front at the top of the shoe.

Skirts are trickier. “The wrong hemline will visually chop your legs in half and make them look like stumps,” Angelique says. “To slim and trim your legs, have the hemline hit just above the knee or right below the knee.” That’s typically the narrowest part of a woman’s leg.

As for our own advice? Have a glass of water, lace up your tennies, and step out for a brisk walk (even ten minutes will do). The hydration and fresh air will make you feel like a million buck—and that, after all, is the most important step toward looking like it.

Enter the Wu, Jason, that is


I am so excited about the latest collaboration in fashion between low and high end designers;  Jason Wu is coming to Target on February 5th, and I can’t wait.   The prices range from $19.99 to $59.99 for clothes and $19.99 to $49.99 for accessories and it’s only available until March 6!  Here’s the top three pieces I’ll be running someone over for:

 

Jason Wu for Target

Jason Wu for Target

Jason Wu for Target

 

What do you think?

@KaraAllan on Twitter
Kara@KaraAllan.com
KaraAllan.com

Ciao,

Kara

The Italian Way of Living – La Bella Figura


I traveled to Milan, Italy in July 2011 and lived there for 31 days.  It was an unparalleled experience. The food, the fashion and the scenery left me breathless.  If I could bring one thing and one thing only back with me to the United States, I would be compelled to implement the philosophy of living – La Bella Figura to the culture of the United States.  La Bella Figura, means “The Beautiful Figure,” but really signifies much more that just a beautiful body; it’s a way of living that embodies an authentic image, being very well behaved, beauty in all forms and aesthetics.

La Bella Figura

Style, not fashion per se, is a way of life here.  No one would caught dead in public wearing tennis shoes, sweatpants, or looking sloppy period!  The Italians are not label conscious, rather everything is very simplistic, like their way of life.  If you care about how your image, you put thought into how you look, what you are wearing, and being well groomed.

La Bella Figura

Italians, and most Europeans in general, live quite different from Americans; Family, friends, loved ones and relationships are considered to be of utmost importance.  While there’s work to be done, nothing comes before relationships.  Italians live from love and beauty.  They believe life is to be lived, that you have earned they right to experience beauty and love just because you were born and because you are here.  No need to treat yourself because you worked hard, rather treat yourself because you deserve to be treated.  Food is to be enjoyed, slowly.  We couldn’t get a meal less than 2 hours, and we enjoyed it immensely.

La Bella Figura

Italians believe that you don’t just represent yourself, you represent your family, your country, your company and so it’s important to hold yourself to a higher standard by your poise, behavior and conversation.  You don’t see people running around acting crazily, and being generally uncouth, it just isn’t done.

La Bella Figura

And so with all that being said, having hailed from an Italian background, I found myself some very much at home in Italian culture and realized that I had La Bella Figura all along.  I hope to spread it to each and every person that I come into contact with from now until the end of my time here.

La Bella Figura

What do you think?

@KaraAllan on Twitter
Kara@KaraAllan.com
KaraAllan.com

Ciao,

Kara

What’s Your Sweet Escape?


My favorite indulgence is a candlelit bubble bath while the soothing sounds of Maxwell flow through my bathroom.  As a mom, student, business women I am crazy busy and running at full steam all the time.  At least once I week, I shoo the kids out, shut down my phone and totally lose myself in the inviting waters of my bathtub for a half an hour or so.  I believe it’s essential to take time out for yourself to recharge so that you are more relaxed, less snappish and ready to take on your next task with a renewed sense of calm.

Bubble Bath

My favorite brand of bubbles can be found at Ulta and it’s called 3  in 1 Smoothie.  It’s a shampoo, body wash and bubble bath.  So make a date with yourself, turn off the phone, turn up your favorite playlist on iTunes and indulge!!

Let me know what’s your favorite Sweet Escape!

 

@KaraAllan on Twitter
Kara@KaraAllan.com
KaraAllan.com

Ciao,

Kara