It’s hard to keep up with David A. McKnight. After 10 years of traveling the globe and consulting for some of the world’s leading companies, he launched his unique image and lifestyle consulting company DAMstyle in 2006. Since then, he served as creative director of an online magazine, styled celebrities for magazine photo shoots, wrote and published image articles, and managed numerous fashion shows during New York’s Couture Fashion Week.
David agreed to give DolceDolce readers some straight talk on how to look fabulous this fall. He knows all the tricks; it is what his clientele of celebrities and CEO’s pay him for! He also tells it like it is when it comes fit and style. Any woman can look more chic simply by following his advice. So darlings, don’t miss a word!
DD: What is a certified image consultant?
DM: I’m a certified image consultant, which means that I’ve taken educational courses and I passed a written exam administered by the Association of Image Consultants International, www.aici.org. There are not very many certified image consultants in the world, so I’m proud to be among the select few.
DD: How can a woman dress sexy, but not look cheap?
DM: Dressing sexy is all about the proper fit and wearing things that are appropriate. So often women confuse sexy as meaning tight, short, or revealing. That’s not my idea of sexy. A woman can look extremely sexy by wearing a one-piece jumper, which is currently very in, or by wearing a comfortably-fitting little black one-shoulder dress. Sexiness is also exuded through attitude, personality, and behavior. Sometimes the most demure woman in the room can also be the sexiest.
DD: What is the most slimming silhouette for pants?
DM: There is not one correct answer to this question, as it really depends on a woman’s body type. For instance, if a woman is larger on the top and smaller on the bottom, wearing a wide leg pant will add the volume needed to balance a larger top, making her appear slimmer. Whereas, if a woman is thin, regardless of height, she will look her sleekest and slimmest in slim-fitting pants or jeans.
DD: What is the most slimming silhouette for skirt?
DM: The most slimming skirt silhouette — like pants — also depends on a woman’s body type. When I say body type I’m referring to the shape of her horizontal silhouette. The golden rule of dressing a woman’s body is to balance the top and bottom, with the objective of having the waist become the narrowest part of the silhouette. As you know, most women dream of having an hourglass body. Therefore, if a woman is larger on the top she must balance the bottom by wearing an A-line shirt that gentle falls away from the body.
DD: What is the most flattering length for a skirt?
DM: The most flattering skirt hem aligns to the indentations and narrowing parts of the leg. Specifically, these areas include just above knee, just below knee, and above the ankle at the narrowest part of the leg. The option you choose should depend on the occasion, style of skirt, and current trend.
DD: Are there any tricks to look slimmer overall?
DM: Gee, I can write a whole book on this topic. Here are three tricks: 1) Dress in a “column of color”, which is one dark color from head to toe – black works best; 2) Avoid horizontal lines, and instead wear vertical lines as they will elongate the body and cause the eye to travel up and down; 3) Curvy women should look for taut and heavier fabrics because they control their body’s shape better than flimsier materials.
DD: What should women avoid if they don’t want to look matronly?
DM: One of the best ways to avoid looking matronly is to wear clothes with shape. This means wearing garments that fit the body and accentuates the positive assets while camouflaging the flaws. Most women, though not all, should avoid pale and muted pinks or grays. These colors tend to wash out lighter complexions. I sometimes refer to these as post-menopausal colors.
DD: What are the worse mistakes women make dressing for the office?
DM: In my 12-year corporate experience, there are three mistakes that I repeatedly observed by woman in the office: showing too much cleavage; wearing tops and bottoms that are too tight and clubby looking; and wearing too much perfume.
DD: Are there any tricks to make an outfit look expensive, even if it is not?
DM: The best way to make an inexpensive outfit look expensive is to first ensure that the fit is flawless. Fit is always paramount when attempting to look your best! Second, it’s about the details. Add high-quality accessories to create a polished look. However, be very careful not to over-accessorize, as it will only cheapen the look and appear as though you’re trying too hard.
DD: What is on your must-have list for clients this fall?
DM: Military jackets are one of the hottest items you can add to your wardrobe for the fall. Given their structured nature, they are often figure-flattering and forgiving for most body types. Opt for jackets with gold embellishments and you’ll be observing the legacy of Michael Jackson. Anything that is plaid or tartan is also what I’ll be looking for as I help my clients rebuild and replenish their wardrobe.
DD: Do you have any tips on how to look fabulous fast — especially if they are feeling less than divine?
DM: Looking fabulous starts within. You must feel fabulous. The outer image must be harmonious with the inner identity. If the two are incongruent then the image you project will be less than authentic.
For information on David Mcknight more www.damstyle.com