Purely Personal Blog


Shape is a critical factor both in designing clothing and in styling and fitting garments. In design, the shape of a garment is referred to as the silhouette and there are at least twenty-five identifiable silhouettes; some well known such as A-line, empire waist, dropped waist, wrap dress, and sheath.

February 20, 2024|

Iris Van Herpen

Paris in January is generally gray, cold, windy and rainy. But Paris always offers something extraordinary. The first thing I did this trip to Paris in mid-January was to secure a ticket to the Iris Van Herpen Exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (through 28 April, 2024). Perhaps you have seen J. Lo or  Beyoncé wearing an Iris Van Herpen creation and been stunned by the visual impact.

January 31, 2024|


While in Rome, Italy for New Year’s, I found myself contemplating a stone sculpture of the Roman god Janus, from whom we derive the name of the first month of the year, January. Janus is a two faced god, one face looking forward to the future, the other looking back to the past. Americans love to look forward and make resolutions — large and small — to correct the bad habits and behaviors of the past...

January 22, 2024|


Patterns fascinate and intrigue the human mind. We find patterns everywhere in nature, music, mathematics, Art and fabrics. A pattern, simply defined, is a regularly repeated motif. Combining unexpected or unusual patterns makes dressing more interesting, sophisticated, creative and communicative than simply combining solids.

December 23, 2023|


Texture draws our eyes and invites our fingers to touch. Texture is so seductive that upon seeing a shiny, newly painted park bench or door with a sign stating, “Do Not Touch. Wet Paint,” few can resist testing the tactile experience! So it is with the fabrics we wear; touch and feel entice us.

December 17, 2023|


Color is one of the most impactful elements of our visual world. It is most often the first aspect that attracts our attention and its effects have long been studied by artists, philosophers, scientists and others. My library shelves sag with all the books on color; color theory, the psychology of color, color symbolism around the world, the power of color, the emotive quality of color and on and on…

December 10, 2023|

“Goldilocks” Season

Autumn is a “Goldilocks” season — not too hot, not too cold. Mornings and evenings are cool enough on the skin for a sweater but midday warmth has one thinking, “perhaps just one more day at the beach.”

December 1, 2023|

Style through Life’s Phases

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the many phases of life we move through and how they affect our our dress and personal style. Some changes are obvious and life changing — for example, a geographic move or the birth of a child. More often change is a gradual unfolding of events in our day to day experience, a slow evolution whose cumulative effects can be startling over time.

November 15, 2023|

Fashion vs. Style

We all know Style when we see it. Most everyone would like to have Style, and almost no one believes they do. It’s a mystery — what exactly is it? Why do some people exude Style (and confidence) and yet others, who follow all the trends, somehow don’t? What is Style and how does it relate to Fashion?

November 1, 2023|

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