November 19, 2014

Goodwill Tips: Need A Job? Dress the Part!

 With the new year coming, are you looking for a new job?  Here are some thoughts on how your first impression will effect your career.







DID YOU KNOW: Hiring professionals tell me that the number 1
reason a candidate does not get called for an interview, or get the job
is because of their first impression?



Read all of the tips on the Goodwill Tips blog here:

Goodwill Tips: Need A Job? Dress the Part!

November 12, 2014

STRATEGIC WARDROBING - Keys to camouflaging a little fluff




{as seen in Sassy Magazine}

What is it about this time of the year; the weather seems to dictate our daily fashion statements which means our style is best described as  “ho-hum”. Look around, we have all fallen into a winter monochromatic slump. The notion of dressing in all one color has us thinking we are looking instantly slimmer…but that on-color ensemble can also make us look like we’re not trying. There are other ways to camouflage what the gym hasn’t taken care of yet

CAMOUFLAGE TIPS
Go all one color – this doesn’t mean you can simply choose black as your ‘statement’ and go with that until the first tulip pops up in the garden.   Choose a hue you know you look good in, for example blue. There are very few people who don’t look amazing in blue! Vary the intensity of the colors from head to toe, and mix in a little texture.  This will make your outfit look styled as opposed to thrown together.  

inside column

outside column
Become a column – break up the monochromatic monotony in your outfit choices with column dressing.  A column of color either on the inside or outside of your look can strategically direct the eye away from a little extra fluff.  For example, if you are holding weight in your midsection, be sure to create a column on the outside to bring the eye away from your belly.  Any place you have color or a detail is where onlooker’s eyes will fall.  Be sure they are looking where you want them to! 

Keep accessories bold – big statement necklaces, over-the-top cocktail rings, bright lipstick.  These are all things that will capture the focus in your look.   There are many ways this can be done with jewelry, makeup even shoes.  


Proportion is key – the proportion of all of your accessories need to be in-line with the proportion of your silhouette.  If you are a petite gal, be sure not to opt for the largest handbag you can find.  This will throw off your silhouette and make you appear unbalanced.  Likewise, if you are a plus size sassy woman, make sure your jewelry isn’t on the delicate side. This “proportion is key” notion should also be considered when choosing the weight of prints and the busyness of patterns. 
FREE-B! Go to www.KathyFriend.com and get a free chart that will help you decide the best kind of accessories to choose.

The most important element in embracing your “transitional figure” between winter and spring is to know your true beauty is an extension of your true self.
The best wardrobe will not be flattering unless you are shining from within.

November 6, 2014

3 Winter trends to start wearing NOW



(from the November edition of Sassy Magazine)

Whether you are adding some pieces into your fall wardrobe or just need a little fashion boost to your current style, these 3 noteworthy trends are wearable at any age, any budget for any lifestyle.

Lumberjack Plaid
What it is:  This is a strong big plaid, think black and red flannel shirts.  This plaid is being seen as a detail on jackets, in skirts, socks, leggings, skirts…basically everywhere.
Beware:  Because this is such a big bold print, be careful if you have soft coloring (light brown, blonde hair, hazel, blue or light brown eyes).  The contrast in this plaid can be overwhelming on you.  Likewise, if you are petite, this print might be a bit too much on you.
How to wear it:  This trend has a distinct masculine feel.  Be sure to pair this strong print with something softer and feminine. It also has a youthful casual vibe. To wear this plaid in a sophisticated way, fabric choices will be very important. Leave the flannel at home. Opt for silk or wool for the office.



Skater Skirts
What it is:  A circle skirt that hits above the knee.  We are also seeing longer versions of this trend. This look is voluminous.
Beware:  If your body shape includes having some ‘junk in your trunk’, you might want to pass on this trend.  This skirt adds volume to the hip-booty area.
How to wear it:  Because this style is full, the shirt you pair with it should be fitted. The short nature of this skirt lends itself to a leg-baring look. For the office, a dark opaque tight with a like-colored oxford or boot would be perfect. 



Royal Blue
What it is:  This blue is a bold, bright blue.  If you have been to the mall recently, you have probably noticed the abundance of this color in the stores.  
Beware:  Everyone can wear this color well.  How much of it, and what you compliment with it is key.  Head to toe Royal Blue is too much.  Pairing with blue jeans is too much. The best combination is with a neutral (like camel, grey or black) or with a pop color (using the blue as the neutral).  Some color combinations to try are:  Royal Blue and Radiant Orchid, Royal Blue and Sangria or Royal Blue and Aurora Red.
How to wear it:  Look for a signature piece in this great hue this season.  Maybe a winter jacket or something in leather. Be sure to seek out a good blue shoe.  Because this is such a hot color this season we will be seeing a lot of shoes done in blue (which isn’t typical).  Try a bootie! Seek out prints that have hints of this color.  This will make it simple to begin to use Royal Blue as your new neutral.



October 27, 2014

Goodwill Tips: Autumn / Winter Trends for Kids



Fashion and kids seem to be 2 words that (when said together) add
a lot of stress to the family budget. As a Mom of a pre-teen, I will
admit the ever-changing likes and dislikes of my daughter could easily
break the bank. On the other hand, I want her to embrace her own sense
of style.  We all know when we wear something that we know looks great
on us, we feel better on the inside.  That is the feeling I desperately
want my daughter to have every day...to feel confident and not be
concerned about her clothing.



Read the rest of the tips over on the Goodwill Tips blog here:

Goodwill Tips: Autumn / Winter Trends for Kids

September 30, 2014

Allison & Ivy - a great jewlery line!



I love a surprise.  Especially a surprise of jewelry! The amazing people at Alison & Ivy sent me the most gorgeous necklace!    Alison & Ivy manufactures the highest quality personalized jewelry in America. They are known for monogrammed jewelry (pendants, rings, earrings), but offer so much more.


The best part? All product is proudly made in the USA, and its headquarters is in Chicago!


They even offer a Greek collection.  I ask you - where was Allison & Ivy when I was in college and in a sorority? 

One of my struggles is what to get for my sporty-daughter.  I want to get her jewelry, but know she just won't wear it.  Well...I think I found a great compromise!


See what this generous company sent to me?  I  know - you're jealous!  Do me a favor, head over to the Alison & Ivy website and browse around. You will be glad you did!

September 15, 2014

Goodwill Tips: Need A Job? Dress the Part!





Goodwill Tips: Need A Job? Dress the Part!: DID YOU KNOW: Hiring professionals tell me that the number 1 reason a candidate does not get called for an interview, or get the job is be...

August 11, 2014

Spring Summer 2014 Fashion Trends

 As we look at the calendar, and realize summer is almost over, I thought I would post some of the hot trends from Spring and Summer.  Which will you bring with you into your Autumn wardrobe?



Goodwill Tips: Spring Summer 2014 Fashion Trends: A few weeks ago, many of you joined me at the 5th Annual Little Black Dress Fashion Show and Luncheon .  It was a spectacular day, filled wi...

July 10, 2014

Goodwill Tips: Style Tip - Shorts! Which are best for your body ...

Hot Trend Alert: Shorts! 
For years, we’ve been told by the fashion world wearing shorts isn’t trendy.  The tides have certainly changed, and shorts are all the rage!   Shorts are becoming more and more accepted in casual office environments and for ladies of every age.  But the question seems to be…what shorts look best on you?
In this month’s fashion post, I’m answering your short questions with some easy and practical tips to help you look your best this summer. 
 


Wonder what kind of shorts are best your you?  Check out this post from the Goodwill Tips blog.
Goodwill Tips: Style Tip - Shorts! Which are best for your body ...:

June 2, 2014

THE STYLE CLASH



When our true style is in conflict with professional work attire

Have you ever considered how your 2 world are so vastly different?  Your work world and your LIFE?  For over 70% of us, that means we work full-time and have kids. http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2013/ted_20130510.htm We spend an average of 10 hours a day, every day, working and attending to tasks. http://www.bls.gov/tus/charts/  In other words 10 hours a day not sleeping, being with our family and friends; 70 hours a week. 

Now let’s think about what most of us sassy working mom’s do for a living.  What kinds of clothing we are required to wear for work. For most of us that look is a traditional professional style. The disconnect is considering what kinds of clothing we like, that we choose to wear when we are living our lives, looks much different than the attire we wear to work.

Consider your Style Personality, the clothing you wear is a direct reflection of who you are; your personality. You feel the most beautiful, confident and the most like your TRUE SELF when you wear a great outfit that reflects who you are.  The conflict comes when we spend 70 hours a week (some weeks more!) in our career wardrobe that doesn’t look anything like our real Style Personality.
Think about it this way; it can feel like for 8+ hours a day you are wearing someone else’s clothes. They aren’t they colors you like or the style you like. You can’t wait to get home and change clothes. The instant you are able to pull on your favorite jeans and that amazing top you feel like you can take a breath. Your mood shifts from subtle annoyance to happy go-lucky I CAN TAKE ONE THE WORLD!

As a certified Stylist and Image Consultant, I encourage my clients to see their wardrobes as one complete thing.  I don’t believe in creating a “work wardrobe” and a “Life wardrobe”.  That is a very expensive wardrobe plan and as working Moms, we need to get the most out of the budget we set aside for ourselves.
According to Michelle, a high level marketing executive for a large bank, “For years I found I was altering the real me at work; I was trying to be who I thought my colleagues and clients wanted me to be.  I need to be rather conservative with my attire at work, and I took that general apparel direction to the ‘nth degree. With my friends and family I am the life of the party. At work, I was feeling dull and lifeless.  This conflict caused a lot of tension with my career.  I noticed it and so did my co-workers and boss.  I gave myself permission to infuse some of myself real self into my professional world.  One of those steps was with my wardrobe. I began to see I was making professional gains I didn’t think was possible. I know this is because my confidence level increased because I was being myself, not trying to be someone else.”
No More White Blouses and Suits!  Perhaps the most un-creative professional look is the navy (or black) suit with a white blouse. Make a stand against the professional look everyone has. NO MORE WHITE BLOUSES! Add color and pattern to the great tailored suit. The blouse you love to wear in the summer with shorts and capris can work with your power suit. Don’t shy away from tucking it in and adding a bold belt (with the skirt, under the jacket). 

Un-Suit your suit.  Who said you HAVE to wear that jacket with that skirt? Who wrote the fashion law that says “you can only wear a suit as a suit, you shant ever wear the pieces separately!”  The answer? No-one!  Mix things up: khaki suit jacket with black suit pants, a leather suit jacket with the pencil skirt from your power suit, make cardigans your new go-to jacket. If your workplace will allow, infuse some denim with your suiting pieces. What could be more office-chic than a smartly tailored denim shirt with a pin stripe suit? Or perhaps your favorite jean jacket with a pair of trousers and silk blouse.  

Permission to buy new shoes.  Yes, I am giving you permission to go shoe shipping.  You are welcome. Adding some of your Style Personality into your professional wardrobe with shoes (or any accessories) can turn a forgettable drab suit into a memorable ensemble. Think about it; a great pin stripe suit with an Ahhhhh-mazing pair of bright red stilettos with a silver spiked heel. Not your style? What about that suit with a zebra print kitten heel?  Get away from being matchy-matchy with your shoes and your outfits. Try new combinations. Start your “what to wear today” internal conversation with “I will wear these shoes today with…” 

Tailoring.  For many of us, it can be hard to get rid of things in our closets we have invested in. Suits can be at the top of the list. If the style is one that was in-vogue years ago it needs a little revamp. Consider shortening the skirt, take the sleeves of the jacket to ¾, give trousers a new silhouette - a peg leg, add an interesting gathered detail at the back of the jacket. 

Cocktails at work?  Did I just hear thousands of women all over Michiana yell “yes, PLEASE!”  Well….I am not suggesting THAT kind of cocktail, but more the jewelry variety. Bring your favorite party, evening and cocktail jewelry pieces into your professional wardrobe. Add a sparkly brooch to that boring suit jacket, rhinestone necklace layered with a non-descript chain, a statement cocktail ring as your ‘every-day-right-hand’
 
I’m not suggesting you go against corporate norms.  The first impression created by a professional and polished image is critical to overall career success.  I am, however, suggesting you infuse your REAL Style Personality into your professional life.  After all…you spend a lot of time there.  You might as well feel your best!

March 5, 2014

Spring Fashion Challenge


[as seen in the March 2014 edition of SASSY Magazine]

New trends. For many of us, we see new looks in magazines or at the mall and think they are cute, but we never try them.  Getting stuck in a style rut (or comfortable with an outdated style) is very common, and very easy to remedy.
Challenge yourself to try one new thing this season. Step out of your box; embrace a revved up YOU this spring!  

 Here are some ways to challenge your style:
COLOR CHALLENGE
The ‘it’ color this season is Violet Tulip, a beautiful soft purple.  A common style-rut (especially coming off such a frigid winter) is the monochromatic (i.e. all black) wardrobe. One sure way to lift your spirits, change old habits and get instant style points is to infuse this spring tone into your winter basics. 

Sprinkle something violet into your look with a vibrant necklace. Maybe invest now in a violet blouse or summer sweater and layer those pieces with your winter basics. Want to be daring?  Violet tights and a leather skirt! 
Maybe you don’t look your best in this hue of purple?  Try something with more punch, like Dazzling Blue!  This very-wearable color is an attention getting.
STATEMENT CHALLENGE
There are several trends this season that will make a big statement in your wardrobe.  Like winter, statement jackets fall into this category.  There are 2 for you to try this season; one is the boxy jacket, and the other is the bomber.
The boxy jackets on the runways are in a variety of colors and fabrics.  With this style, keep proportion in mind.  This jacket has a “swing”  unstructured nature to it, pair it with a pant or skirt that is slim and not free-flowing. 
An easy look to try: skinny jeans, shoe boots, tunic length t-shirt or blouse with your new statement boxy jacket. 
The other style is the bomber.  Not the bomber of days gone by; think chic colorful bombers.  This sporty look can take you from the boardroom to cocktails in an instant.  Juxtaposition is key when making this style look sophisticated.  The nature of this cut of jacket is casual.  Pair with pieces that are tailored or have a professional feel. 
An Easy Look to try: Your favorite stilettos, those trouser pants from a suit, a basic cami and a hip satin bomber. 
Before you invest in this season’s statement jackets, think of at least 3 different ways you can wear this piece.  Being stuck into wearing a statement piece one way is not a wise investment for your wardrobe. 

Simple considerations would be: Can I wear with jeans? Can I wear with a skirt? One new unique way to wear this piece?

ACCESSORY CHALLENGE
Adding accessories is the one thing that will take a very basic look to one that is va-va-voom! Using accessories in the right way is the difference between wearing an outfit and having style. So many of us busy women don’t stop and think about being accessorized. 
This spring, I would like to challenge you to wear at least 9 things every day that you can consider an accessory. These could be:
  •  Necklace – try wearing more than one!
  • Rings – do you wear a right hand ring?
  • Bracelets – try layering some bangles with charm styles
  • Eye glasses
  • Bold pattern in your outfit
  • Unexpected shoe – maybe your leopard kitten heels are your new neutral shoe you wear with everything?
Spring is a time to renew. A time to be done with the old and welcome change. Take just a little time this spring to focus on you!