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All posts by Style Clinic



By | Trend Tutorial | No Comments

All of my senses can feel summer coming. Soon I’ll be enjoying alfresco meals with friends and family, weekends lounging by my pool with endless blue skies (and a few Aussie flies buzzing) overhead. I’m not a lover of winter; warm weather and blue skies always bring out the best in me and I LOVE the heat.  Do you feel the same way?

Summer fashion is always carefree and playful but I especially love what’s happening this year. Which ones will you choose?

Bum Bags

The once-reviled accessory is now being heralded as the must-have bag come spring/summer. With the added bonus of being incredibly practical, the humble bum bag (or as my American friends hilariously call it the fanny pack) has now reached high fashion heights. Being sported by the likes of Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner has certainly helped resurrect this retro bag from the ashes of being a fashion faux pas. With this one, trend meets functionality – but do you dare?

Bum BagsSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3


The two must-have jumpsuits this coming spring/summer are the denim mechanic jumpsuit and the boxy striped jumpsuit. Inspired more by masculine silhouettes and utilitarian influences, these jumpsuits are all about maximum comfort and style. Jumpsuits are an easy way to stand out in a crowd. Both styles of jumpsuits have a definite 70s inspiration and look best when accessorized with a skinny printed silk scarf and oversized retro sunnies.

JumpsuitsSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3


Silky and emblazoned with vibrant floral prints, this season’s robes and kimonos are opaque and floor-length. High on drama and unbelievably easy to wear, simply slip into your kimono of choice and watch as it skyrockets your outfit from blah to ooh-la-la. You can even wear your kimonos as dresses by tying it securely around your waist. Almost like walking art, you’ll be turning heads in your printed floor-dusting kimono all summer long. The best part is that it’s so easy to look this chic, just scout your bold kimono/robe of choice, slip it on and go.

Kimono RobesSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3


Whether it’s multiple tiers of ruffles or ruffled detailing along the hem or cuffs, ruffles are back in a big way for the summer. Ruffles this season have tailored details as well as structured elements. Rather than being all romantic, these ruffles are more modern and architectural. Pulling them off is a matter of proportion – oversized ruffles can be flattering if you balance them with slimmer pieces or tapering.

SRufflesource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Full On Floral

Florals for spring are standard. However this year, florals skew more toward the quirky and kitschy side of the spectrum. They are less girly and feminine, and more bold and retro. They have a distinctly 70s nostalgic feel that will lend a vintage vibe to your look. Play up the kitsch factor by wearing it full on bold styles and let the print make the statement for you. When you match the color depth of the background of the print to the color depth of your hair – magic happens (note my arrows).

Floral groupSource: Image 1-3

Tie It Up

Just look to sleeves this summer and you’ll see knots and ties abound. Minor detail as it may be, ribboned/tied up sleeves can lend a certain je ne sais quoi to an otherwise plain top. I’m really loving the juxtaposition between crisp button down shirts or a blazer with very feminine ribboned tie-up sleeves. This is an easy trend to incorporate into your wardrobe.

 Tied SleevesSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

The New Oxford Shirt

Heaps of designers have taken inspiration from menswear for their spring/summer collections. The classic oxford shirt in all its starched and ironed glory has been totally reincarnated. Oxford shirts transformed into shirt dresses or boxy tops are both easy items to update your summer wardrobe with.

Shirt GroupSource: Images 1-3


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
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Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Wardrobe Royalty


By | Wardrobe Savvy, What to Wear | 10 Comments

Kate Middleton knows them and so does Victoria Beckham, Michelle Obama, Melania Trump and I’ll wager many of your best dressed friends. They’re the styles that live on far after the fads and trends have been hurled to the discard piles. What are they? They’re the garments and styles known as wardrobe royalty. 

Let me take you through my favorites.

Fit and Flare Dresses

Often retro-inspired and always feminine, fit and flare dresses are flattering on almost every woman and are perfect for creating an hourglass-like silhouette. If you are plus size or short keep to a subtle Aline and softer fabric to ensure the best shape.

Fit and flare dresses are also easy to wear, and are fit for day or nighttime depending on the fabrication and hemline. You can add a belt for more waist focus or a statement necklace if you want to draw attention to your upper body. Add tights, a cardigan or a cropped jacket and they become instantly fall-ready.

FitnFlare            Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

A-Line Silhouettes

Whether in a dress or skirt, a-line silhouettes are a constant. Opt for longer/midi hemlines if you have a broad or tall frame. If you are petite a hemline that ends just above the knee will prevent the A-line from overwhelming your frame.

 A LineSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3


There’s nothing like a well tailored blazer to smarten up an outfit no matter how casual it is. Liberate them from the bondage of work wear and allow them the freedom to transform your wardrobe.  Throw one over a breezy summer dress or a fall combo of sweater and jeans and you’ll look instantly chic and ready for anything.

 Blazer groupSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Dark Denim Jeans

There are many denim washes however, dark denim in a bootcut or straight silhouette is a pairing you can wear all-year, every year without a care in the world. Extremely flattering on both curvy and straight figures, dressed up or down, from summer brunches to winter date night dinners, dark denim jeans is always an easy pick when the desire is to look effortlessly stylish. When high glam is called for reach for your best high heels and some on trend sunnies and you’re good to go.

Needless to say, the jeans need to be in perfect condition.

 Dark Wash jeansSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Cashmere Cardigans

No matter where you live, if a chill breeze blows there’s need for a chic cardigan and nothing’s chicer than cashmere. Downy soft, feather-light and on the top run of style; cashmere cardigans are a luxe and worthy addition to your closet.

CashmereSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

White T-Shirts

It may be one of the simplest garments in your closet but it’s also one of the most versatile.  From the classic scoop neck to a plunging V, short or long sleeved a pristine white, high quality T can effortless move from relaxed wear to business casual.    

T ShirtsSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

 With these garments ever ready in your closet you’ll rarely have to think twice about what to wear. 


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP



By | Beauty, Psychology | 2 Comments

When was the last time you smiled at someone and what reaction did you get?  I smile back, I’ll wager.

It’s all too easy to forget about how our body language and facial expressions are affecting our image and relationships when we’re so conditioned to think mainly about our clothes and grooming. In the same way that makeup and style contribute to how we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us, our body language and facial expressions are just as important.


A smile is the most effective tool we own when it comes to connecting with others. It’s a silent language that everyone understands and it’s an invaluable companion when making and cementing relationships.

So let’s take a minute to examine what makes a smile appear genuine.

 What is a Good Smile?

Look at the smiles in the lineup below, which ones do you think are genuine? (Answers at the base of the feature)

A genuine smile is one that is authentic and comes from the heart and envelopes the entire face. Interestingly science has proven that most people can spot a fake/insincere smile and a fake smile is rarely reacted to in a positive way.  

There are three main elements to a genuine smile:

  • raised corners of the mouth
  • slight wrinkle/crow’s feet around the eyes due to the raising of the cheeks
  • eyes that connect and radiate warmth

A fake smile only raises the corners of the mouth because we cannot voluntarily contract the muscles around our eyes. Real smiles communicate sincerity and warmth and shows other people that you are present, engaged, and involved, whether it be a social or business situation.


How to Smile

  • A genuine smile is not confined to the face but is echoed throughout the body with open gestures and postures.  So don’t cross your arms across your chest or have your hands on your hips when smiling. 
  • Make eye contact when smiling. This is especially important when meeting someone for the first time. Eye contact plus a smile is the easiest way to make a good first impression.
  • While you’re smiling, be completely engaged in the moment. If you’re removed from the interaction, your smile will appear fake. Think positive thoughts and be engaged, this will definitely reflect in your smile. 
  • Show your teeth. A genuine smile parts the lips as the face muscles contract. A close mouth smile is one where the person smiles because they know they should rather than they want to or is given by someone who is embarrassed about their teeth. If you’re the later case you owe it to yourself to invest in your smile and have your teeth fixed.
  • Never tell a person to smile. It will only make you appear condescending. Let your smile be contagious, and let your smile encourage more smiles. Non-verbal cues are stronger motivations to reciprocating or giving out smiles. 
  • Practice makes perfect! Practicing your smile in front of your mirror may seem cheesy, but it will pay off. You will know when your smile is real cause you will feel the difference, even if it’s just you and the mirror.

When to Smile

Here are some scenarios when smiling will prove most effective:

  • When being introduced to or greeting someone – it’s a good way to be remembered.
  • When you agree with someone or something. This shows your engagement and agreement.   
  • While shaking hands, it’s both professional and memorable. When you do this in a business setting, it’s been proven that the other party will listen to you more attentively and take what you say more seriously.
  • When you’re on the phone. Yes, the person on the other line won’t be able to see your smile but it has been proven that they can hear it. The physical act of smiling has been proven to add sincerity and warmth to your voice.
  • When disagreeing, debating, or having an argument with another person, setting forth your points with a smile make the exchange less heated. A smile will communicate your openness in hearing out someones opposing views and will be seen as a sign of mutual respect.
  • When you say a person’s name. This will give you both a positive vibe about past, present, and even future encounters.
  • When you say goodbye to someone. A smile will make them look forward to getting to spend time or see you again.
  • During a job interview. In between imparting your answers, smiling is a good way to let your prospective employers know that you have a pleasant disposition.
  • When you’re feeling down. The mere act of smiling, even just to yourself, can uplift your day. Smiling to yourself in the mirror or smiling to people on the street are both instant mood booster. Who knows the smile you give may be brightening someone’s day?

When Not to Smile

  • All the time, to everybody. Like a stare, or staying sorry too often, a constant smile on your face can make you appear in-genuine, submissive or evoke suspicion. It can also send someone the wrong message about whether or not to take you seriously. Besides, if you’re constantly smiling, you also have nowhere to go when you genuinely want to express pleasure or gratitude.
  • When it’s inappropriate for the occasion. 
  • When you want to project authority.  Some experts say that women undermine our power in the workplace by smiling too much. And indeed, in our culture, excessive smiling is the mark of a subordinate, especially if the person in front of us is not smiling at us.There’s some fascinating research that shows people in positions of power will return the smile of a subordinate, but are slower to smile at someone of equal status. Keep that in mind next time you’re in a difficult negotiation, especially if you want to be seen as an equal. 

Health and Social Benefits

There are multiple health and social benefits to smiling. Countless studies have smilesbeen done to look into these said benefits. Studies have found that smiling offers the following health benefits:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Releases endorphins, known as the feel-good hormone
  • Relieves stress
  • Boosts immune system
  • Boosts mood

A smile is a physical act that has real and measurable benefits to our psychology and physiology alike.

As soon as your mouth breaks into a smile, it can change your brain by releasing endorphins and serotonins. When you smile, it doesn’t just make you feel good it makes other and those around you feel good as well. Spreading smiles is a healthy thing that holds benefits for all. Smiling is indeed a free and easy form of everyday quick therapy. Smiles encompass both the body, the mind, the heart, and the soul.

So, there you have it; the social benefits of smiling are endless. The mere act of smiling already shows the world that you are ready to engage. Smiles express that you are responsive and receptive. It’s an invitation to converse, and a non-verbal cue that says you are amenable to social interaction. This positivity opens you up to more experiences and interactions, and in turn, it is proven to improve relationships with others and yourself.



 Answer: Genuine smiles are image C and D


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

For the Love of Prints Bannerp2


By | How To..., Understanding Prints & Patterns, Wardrobe Savvy | No Comments

This week I continue my feature on prints by looking at the design elements of prints and how to select ones that are best ones for you. You’ll be surprized that once you know this information your unconscious brain will be ever on the look-out for them.

Design Elements that Impact Size


The rule is simple here: the bigger the print, the bigger you’ll appear to be. The best prints are ones that are scaled to harmonize and flatter your scale. If you are a petite go for prints that are small to medium, if you are medium to tall and not overly overweight medium-small to medium-large prints are best for you. Tall gals with a likewise weight can wear medium-small to large prints and if you are plus size, go with prints that are medium to medium-large. 

Petite Scale _ Prints


Plus Size_Prints


The overall color of your print will also make a difference to both your size. Light and bright prints tend to be enlarging while darker prints minimize size. Medium depth prints, on the other hand, are neutral in their effect.

Plus Size_Value


Color Contrast

Another impactor of apparent size is the contrast of prints. The greater the contrast between the colors the larger you will appear general rule applies to color contrast: the higher the contrast, the wider you will appear to be. If you love big prints but find them too enlarging try finding a large print in a low contrast. The subtleness of the low contrast will mitigate the enlarging effect of the print’s size. 


Print Direction

Being able to recognize the direction of a print allows to to chose the one that will best work for you.  Send the eye vertically and you’ll make the area appear longer and/or narrower. horizontally and you’ll appear wider and possibly shorter. Multi directional prints are easiest to wear because they do not have a major direction.  

Worth mentioning here too are complex prints.  These are geometric/angular prints which have a complex design that does not allow the eye to rest in any one area.  These are incredible at breaking up the body and can achieve minor miracles in the visual slimming stakes.

Directional Prints

Print Location

Where you place a print is also important.  Are you larger below your waist like Girl with Curves blogger Tanesha Awasthi? Then prints on your top half will flatter you most.  Larger above the waist…yep, prints below your waist are the way to go.

When selecting dresses keep scale, color and direction top of mind.

Print Placement_Triangle

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Style Clinic.

There’s more to learn about prints and the impact they have on your image but I’ll leave that topic for another day.

Do You Love Style and Fashion?

If the answer is yes, a career as an image consultant may be perfect for you.

I have launched my online Style and Image Management course and I’m offering a Special Introductory Price while I add all the video in. The course is internationally certified with CEU’s and comes with 12 months of post course follow-up and 6 months membership as a consultant with Image Innovators (my company). When complete the cost will be $1495.00 but for a limited time it is $950.

This is the link where you can request the topic outline for all our courses.

This is the link to our online academy with discount added.



If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

For the Love of Prints Banner1


By | How To..., Understanding Prints & Patterns, Wardrobe Savvy | No Comments

Take a moment to peer into your closet. What do you see, lots of prints or more solid colored garments?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a lover of prints, to me, they’re more interesting than solid colors and my preference for them stems from my coloring and personal style.  

Ann Prints

Like most things, too much of something is rarely a good idea; too many prints and your outfit can appear noisy and/or haphazard, too many solid colored outfits and you risk looking a little boring.

Prints and patterns are design elements which I believe deserve at least twenty percent of your wardrobe. They add interest, can display your personality, elevate or lower the formality of an outfit and even change it’s overall mood. Understanding about prints and patterns and what makes them work is important in working out which ones will work best for you.

Recently, I’ve been writing and recording lessons for our new online image consultant course and thought you may also enjoy some of what I’m teaching.

First off, let’s start with the difference between prints and patterns. A print is a motif or design printed onto a fabric. While a pattern is a motif or design that can either be woven or printed into a fabric. Therefore, all patterns are prints but prints are not patterns.

Prints verses Patterns

Now that we understand prints and patterns a bit better, here some of the major categories of prints :

  • Geometric: shapes made from geometry
  • Linear/Lineal: Straight lines
  • Florals: Flowers
  • Abstract: Images of objects distorted from how they look in reality
  • Animal
  • Ethnic/Tribal: Art that originates from specific regions, ethnic or tribal groups
  • Motif: clearly repeated designs, think shoes, leaves, elephants, butterflies etc
  • Graphic: Images generated on a computer 

Print categories

These categories can further be grouped into classics and fads. It’s important to make this distinction because classics prints and patterns are worth investing in if the garment is also classic in style, while fads are trends that are unlikely to last beyond a season.

Classic Prints and Patterns

The following prints and patterns have withstood the test of time. These kinds of prints and patterns have proven to be, time and time again, wardrobe staples that remain elegant, chic, and sophisticated.


There are three kinds of stripes: vertical, horizontal, and diagonal.

Vertical stripes are more flattering when the stripes are closer to each other and thinner. The wider the stripe, the distance between the stripes and/or the higher the color contrast between the stripes, the wider you will seem to appear to be. An especially noteworthy stripe when it comes to work wear style is the menswear-inspired pinstripe. Horizontal stripes, on the other hand, are perceived as more relaxed and casual. While diagonal stripes are seen as creative and individual. The same styling rule applies to diagonal and horizontal stripes as they do to vertical stripes.  



Floral prints are no longer limited to spring/summer. They can be worn year round. The feel of a floral print or pattern is dictated by its color palette, the closeness of of the images to reality and the type of flowers.

Light or pastel florals convey romance, innocence, and femininity. Dark florals express more strength and are therefore more suited to business wear. Those with a background in a similar depth to your hair will look most at home on you. Bright florals are seen as youthful and fun and are especially appropriate in the summer. Abstract floral prints are creative on trend at the moment. Liberty florals have a retro feel and are typically smaller in scale. Lastly, folk floral prints are bohemian-inspired and have more of a BoHo influence.



The major categories of plaid are glen plaid, tartan, windowpane check, madras check and gingham. Both glen plaid and tartan are menswear inspired and are great for office dressing. Meanwhile, madras checks are for more casual occasions. The same can be said for gingham, no matter what the silhouette gingham is a casual and playful print that is best reserved for social occasions.

Windowpane checks are great for your work wear wardrobe. We would advise you to wear only one piece in windowpane check as it can get overwhelming. However, a head-to-toe windowpane check suit can work for those who work in more creative industries. 



A major group within the animal print family is that of the wildcats. Leopard, tiger, and cheetah prints are classics that will never go out of style. Every year and every season, we spot these wildcat prints on major runways. Leopard is practically a neutral!  All jokes aside, these wildcat prints and patterns exude an undeniable drama, sex appeal, and strength. Zebra and giraffe prints are unexpected incarnations of the animal print and express a more creative side. Python prints express that same drama and glamour as the wildcat prints. However, python prints can be too much so to be on the safe side opt for them as accessories. Lastly, cow/pony and dalmatian prints are quirky, unusual and even comical. These two prints are definitely more on the casual spectrum. Cow/pony prints can also be enlarging, so proceed with caution.

Wild Prints 1

WildPrints 2


People either love or hate the spot/dot print. A trend that can be traced back to the 40s-50s and still remains relevant today, the spot/dot is certainly here to stay. Even spaced spots are more retro, and smaller, uneven spots look more modern and more suited to wear in a corporate setting. Pop art spots and confetti spots in varying colors are whimsical prints that translate to daytime or party wear.

Spots and Dot Prints


Originating in India, paisley prints and patterns were made fashionable by the British. This print is very strong in bohemian fashion. When donned as an abstract print, paisley can be appropriate for business casual events.



The army origins of the camouflage print give it a rugged, masculine and casual image. This print is enjoying a trend renaissance right now. Camouflage is becoming big in the street wear scene. 

Camouflage Prints


Fads come and go. So while these patterns and prints are fun, it is unlikely that these will last more than a season or two. You’ll be much better off going for these prints and patterns as low investment pieces in your wardrobe. Though their longevity isn’t the best, it makes a great impact for the season.


Resort wear and summer-inspired, palm prints and patterns are great in fun silhouettes like rompers and cropped tops.


This may be the only exception to the ‘fads’ rule. Part geometric and part linear, illusion prints can last you more than season especially when done in neutrals.


Comic prints are pop art influenced and are typically loud and in-your-face. Proceed with caution, comic prints can make a major statement but can be enlarging.


Motifs occur every season. Repeats of either tropical motifs like birds of paradise for summer, leaves for fall, map prints for winter; all of these are unique motifs that can elevate your look. 

Fad Prints

In part 2 I’ll cover the in’s and out’s of wearing coordinating prints.


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Iconic EyeWear Banner


By | Style Clinic | 3 Comments

I LOVE eyewear.

Even if you’re not blessed with the need to wear glasses everyday sunnies play a HUGE part in a fashionable woman’s wardrobe. Aside from shielding your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun and even protecting the delicate area around your eyes from sun damage, eyewear adds a certain je ne sais quoi to any look that can’t be duplicated by another accessory. Even a simple jeans and tee combo, while you’re out running errands, look more incognito chic than urban blah when you add a pair of statement sunnies into the mix.

Like other style favorites and closet classics, iconic eyewear styles have a colorful history in fashion and has continued to evolve and weave into current trends and stay relevant.

This week I’ve dived into the fashion archives to find the most inspiring and iconic eyewear moments:

Audrey Hepburn

One of the most memorable and iconic scenes in both fashion and cinema history is the opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hepburn’s Holly Golightly made the black wayfarer style sunglasses an instant must-have.


First Lady Jackie Onassis-Kennedy

Jackie O made lucite frames in both oversized oval and octagon shapes look and feel oh-so-elegant. She was also a huge fan of tortoiseshell frames.


Janis Joplin

Round boho style frames were a fixture at Woodstock back in the 70s. No one made an impact with these round sunglasses than folk rock icon Janis Joplin.



Lucite oversized round sunglasses were a huge trend back in the 60s. These frames went so well with the over-the-top style of the era. From micro mini skirts, graphic and loud florals down to bold colorblocking, these lucite eyewear pieces finish off the look perfectly. Iconic model and 60s fashion ingenue, Twiggy, made these frames her signature piece.


Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

The 00s were an era of fashion where the Olsen twins simply reigned. Graduating from childhood stardom, the Olsen twins started making a name for themselves with their impeccable style and love for vintage fashion. Mary-Kate and Ashley made oversized oval sunnies cool again, they never leave home without it.


Lady Gaga

Music superstar Lady Gaga took statement eyewear to a whole new level. Whether it’s a part of her performance look or a part of everyday haute couture style, she coordinates unique eyewear to the equally unique couture pieces she wears. For Gaga, eyewear becomes an integral part of her creative fashion expression.

Lady Gaga sunnies

From Reading Stones to Contact Lenses 

Would you believe that eyewear existed in prehistoric times? Evidence has been found that the inuit people fashioned glasses to protect their eyes from the sun, using walrus tusks and ivory. How ingenious right? It just goes to show the fundamental functionality that eyewear has. There was also proof found that the ancient Chinese used smoky quartz as lenses.

Early eyewear

We’ve clearly evolved from the primarily protective nature of eyewear into something more ornamental and personal. Our eyewear of choice definitely expresses something about our personal style and is very effective in conveying a message about one’s personality. Certain frame shapes and styles are more polished and formal, while others are more casual and/or whimsical. Since eyewear can be easily changed and swapped out on a daily basis (if you can afford it), they are a great way to experiment with colors, styles, and textures as well as being a great way to express different facets of your personal style.

With that in mind, let’s review eyewear styles over the last hundred or so years to see how they’ve been influenced by culture and current trends of the time.

1900s / 1920-40s

At the turn of the century, the rise of movie stars consequently saw the rise of popularity of eyewear. The stars used sunglasses to go incognito and shield themselves from fan recognition. It was also used to protect their eyes from the harsh lighting they used onset.

In 1929, sunglasses started getting mass produced and marketed to summer vacationers. In 1936, polarized lenses came into the scene introduced by Edward Land. He came up with this using his polaroid camera filter. Toward the end of the 30s-40s, sunglasses were adopted by savvy city chic women and became a widespread fashion trend. 



The 50s was all about fashion eyewear. Cat-eyes were particularly prominent in this decade, whether for eyeglasses or sunglasses. Everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Brigitte Bardot used eyewear as a vital part of their look.

1950s catseye


Exaggerated shapes defined eyewear in the 60s. The mod style that was prevalent in this decade counted eyewear as a key part to pulling off the mod trend. Large round frames or large square frames in lucite or colored plastic were the weapons of chicness during this period.

1960s eyewear


The Bohemian style was the fashion hallmark of the 70s. There was more variety in this decade of eyewear fashion—aviators, fading lenses, and wire frames were all in vogue.

1970s eyewear


The era of excess is what people often called the 80s. Bold and brash colours and unapologetic playful eyewear shapes and style dominated. Large and white sunglasses were particularly popular in the 80s.

1980 eyewear


From excess to minimal, small and wired lenses became the eyewear du jour in the 90s. From pop princesses like Britney to Sarah Michelle Gellar, this style was all the rage.

1990 eyewear


The rise of it girls like Mischa Barton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton and the Olsen Twins gave rise to a new generation of style lovers. These it girls were always perfectly coiffed and never stepped out without their trademark oversized sunglasses. In the 2000s the bigger your sunglasses were, the better.

2000 eyewear

2010 and beyond

Sunglasses are a multimillion dollar industry. Different lenses for different prescriptive needs along with various brands with their own takes on the classic eyewear shapes are flooding the market. Iconic eyewear shapes like the aviator, cat eye, and mod are all still considered chic. Every season though, designers step it up a notch with details like carved arms on eyewear or pearl or studded embellishments on the frame.



If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Can You Recognize Quality


By | Fashion, How To..., Shopping | 6 Comments

In the sea of fast fashion and ever-changing trends, it may seem that spotting quality garments is a daunting task, but if you know what to look for and you keep a keen eye out, you’ll soon spot them.

Check the Label

Before heading to the checkout, check the labels on the inside of your garments. While it’s easy to assume that all natural fibers such as 100% wool, cotton, silk, and cashmere are always the way to go, synthetic fabrics also have their own benefits. Polyester, rayon, or blended fabrics sometimes have the benefit of being wash-and-wear as well as being easy to maintain. However, natural fabrics can always be relied upon most especially when it comes to cold weather clothing. Wool sweaters will stand up better than knitwear made of acrylic fibers.

Checking fabric labels will also help you discern whether the fabric the garment is made of will suit your purpose. Synthetic fibers like Lycra is the best for athletic wear, while natural fibers are best for dressing for the weather. Blended fabrics are very common these days, and for good reason but try and look for at least 80% natural fibers to ensure the best quality possible. 


Hold the garment against the light

Unless a piece of clothing is expressly supposed to be sheer, it’s worth holding it up to the light and inspecting it for flaws and transparency.  While all the lovely ladies below purposely wore these outfits (go figure), there’s nothing worse than finding yourself exposed when do didn’t mean to. Cheaper fabrics are often thin and contain many minor flaws.


Loose threads and uneven seams are a no-no

A quick close look at a garment can reveal loose threads and uneven seams, which is always a tell-tail sign of low quality. Look inside the garment and gently pull the seams apart and if the seam pulls apart it means the stitch tension was too lose or the stitch length too long. Likewise stitching can be too tight or close which can cause buckling along the seam.  Either way the garment’s seams will be weak and likely to tear open after just a few wears.

Serged seams or double straight seams are generally stronger and, therefore, preferable to single straight seams.

Also look at the hemline; uneven hems are one of my biggest peeves. 

bad seams, loose threads

Look for lining and well made button holes

Closely stitched and reinforced button holes are signs of good workmanship and while it may be a trend that some items are unlined, a lined garment improves the look of the garment, slides on more easily and will hide lumps and bumps if  the garment is a little on the small side.

Another quality sign is the addition of extra thread and a button and also indicates that the manufacturer, brand, or designer cares about future wear.


Matched Patterns at the Seams

When buying a piece of clothing with a pattern or print, take the time to double check whether the patterns match up when it meets at the seams. This may seem trivial, but it is precisely this sort of detail that separate poor quality from good quality garments.


Zip and Unzip

At times, something as simple as a zip can make or break a garment. When trying on something, pay close attention to the ease that it zips and unzips. A quality garment will also have a quality zipper and closures that make getting in and out of the garment an easy task. Scrutinize the alignment and placement of the zipper as well.


Seam Allowance

Lastly look at how much seam allowance the garment has. Better quality labels have seam allowances that allow for letting the garment out without compromising the garment. The seams are also better reinforced.  Skimpy seam allowance especially when teams with poor over locking is a recipe for a wardrobe malfunction.

Seam allowance

There you are. Next time you hit the stores you should be a little wiser.


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
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or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

Sustainable Fashion Banner

SUSTAINABLE FASHION…are you doing your part?

By | Fashion, Shopping, Style Clinic | 6 Comments

With fast fashion seemingly taking over the world, quality in all things taking a back seat and pollution destroying our planet it’s time for each of us to seriously consider what we can each do to stop the decay.

From the melting ice caps, receding glaciers, horrific Asian pollution and the destruction of The Great Barrier Reef to name a few, it’s easy to see the impact of global warning and to blame many industries such as oil and coal but few realize that the clothing industry that is the second biggest polluter.


We may not think of the environmental impact of fashion, but it can and does have a significant effect on the environment especially given the amount of water needed to manufacture garments. It’s time that we, as consumers, become more conscious of how our personal fashion decisions can affect the environment and fashion industry.

Sustainable fashion is a design movement that is quickly gaining ground, its goal is to create a self-supporting system within which the manufacturing of clothing has less impact on the environment and is socially responsible. Starting in the 90′s, pioneered by brands like Patagonia and Esprit, sustainable fashion has become a permanent part of the fashion industry and today many other brands such as H&M are starting to emulate them. 

A great deal of creativity and resourcefulness is being put in to create clothing and fashion that are equally trendy and sustainable. Gone are the days when ecofashion gets a bad rap for looking bland and boring, brands like Amour Vert (a Gwyneth Paltrow), Svilu (an award-winning industry insider favorite), Freedom From Animals (chic vegan leather accessories), and even celebrity designers like Stella McCartney.

I design clothes that are meant to last. I believe in creating pieces that are not going to get burnt, that are not going to landfills and that are not going to damage the environment. For every piece in every collection, I am always asking what have we done to make this garment more sustainable and what else can we do. It is a constant effort to improve…”

Stella McCartney

Sustainable FashionSource

So how can you do your part?

It’s easy and all you need to do is remember 4 R’s.



Reducing your ecological fashion footprint is less about not buying and more about thoughtful consumption. It’s a matter of being more conscious of your purchases. Even when you’re not buying from a sustainable brand, thinking about your purchase will avoid creating more waste. Impulse buys create more waste since it is something that you don’t use again and end up throwing.

Shopping at thrift/vintage stores and consignment shops are also great ways to reduce your negative environmental impact and support ecofashion. You’ll be amazed at the finds you’ll discover at these places. Consignment stores are especially great for finding great brands and trendy pieces at a fraction of the cost. Meanwhile, thrift stores and vintage shops are treasure troves of unique pieces that are sure to give your ensembles more character.




I’m sure  when you clean out your closet, you’ll find quite many items you haven’t worn recently or your style has outgrown. Instead of tossing them, think of ways to give them a new life. Repurposing clothes and accessories are a great way to minimize your environmental impact. Instead of throwing out an old tee why not make it into a produce carry bag? All you need is creativity and Pinterest is chock-full of ideas on how to repurpose clothes and accessories. Another noteworthy site to take inspiration from is P.S. I Made This. Erica Domesek, the brainchild and creative behind the site takes everyday items and fashion items and marries them with current trends.

Sustainable Fashion


Editing your closet, creating a capsules and really knowing what works with your style are all effective ways to reduce and even avoid needless consumption. Few women take the time to explore all the outfit possibilities waiting to be discovered within their wardrobe while complaining of nothing to wear.

Making the time to organize everything you own and uncover all the hidden outfits is a worthwhile way to spend a Sunday afternoon and you’ll reap the benefits for months to come. 


Recycling clothing is one of the best ways to support ecofashion. H&M is a pioneer in this regard with its effort to recycle unwanted textiles. You can drop off any of your unwanted items into any store, and you receive a discount coupon.

You can also organize a fashion swap party with your friends. You know what they say, one woman’s trash is another one’s treasure. Swapping gently or never used items with your friends and family is a great way to spread the word about conscious consumption.

Sustainable  Fashion


These may seem like small ways to help support our planet and ecofashion. However every small step will add up and eventually make a real difference.

Every single choice you make about fashion reverberates through the industry. Making simple and thoughtful choices about how you consume fashion has more impact than you think.

Sustainable Fashion 3

To paraphrase Stacy Flynn of EVRNU who I recently had the pleasure of meeting, if one person can do so much damage with buying one t-shirt that same person can also make a positive difference toward strengthening the sustainable fashion movement. 700 gallons of water is wasted to make one T-shirt. This statistic seems exaggerated but it is 100% factual, and that is a sad fact of fashion consumption.

We are what we wear.

It’s a sobering fact that fashion is intricately intertwined with our personality and everyday life. Perhaps armed with knowledge about sustainability, we can all move forward and make more responsible decisions that will honor both our love of fashion and our planet.


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
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or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP



By | Personal Style | 5 Comments

It’s often been said that style and fashion are two completely different things.

To me style is how we express our inner being outwardly; the combination of the way we think, dress, communicate and move. It’s everything on the outside being an echo of what’s on the inside. Fashion on the other hand wearing clothes without any point of view or personality. 

We’ve all met women who seem to have been born blessed with a great sense of style; while the rest of us have had to learn how to develop it through years of experience, mentors, trial and error. But what is exactly is style?

To start, it’s more than:

  • Wearing the right thing at the right time
  • Looking good for the money
  • Setting a trend or following trends
  • Spending big bucks on designer labels
  • Looking better than everyone else
  • Wearing the same style as everyone else
  • Wearing labels and/or trends from head to toe

Our style development starts from the moment we start to take an interest in what they wear. The years of adolescence until early adulthood are both times of experimentation, and of discovering who we are, what we are good at, want we want from life and how to express that through our clothes, grooming and behavior. We reach the peak of our self-realization and self-knowledge during our mid to late 20′s. This is the period where we become more comfortable with ourselves, and start learning what works and what doesn’t. For most of us by the time we have reached our 40′s we have gained a good level of self-confidence and have settled into a personal style.

However, it is not only age that dictates style development. Your style can change at any point in your life, and will most likely coincide with changes in jobs/professions, attitudes and values, circumstances, lifestyles and relationships with the significant people in your life.


To make your style more consistent and lasting, you have to reconcile your personal preference with what suits your height, body type and age, and then marry that with trends that work best for you. When this has been accomplished, the result is a confident woman who understands her personality, body and is in tune with fashion without being a slave to it. That’s true style! As famous stylist Rachel Zoe says, “style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” Fashion is just wearing clothes. Style encompasses more than wearing clothes, it is communicating and expressing yourself with how you put ensembles together. From your hair and makeup, outfit choices, to your overall disposition, everything contributes to your personal style.

If style still seems a bit abstract  to you, let me help you by defining what style is and is not in my opinion.



A woman clad head to toe in the latest trends is nothing but a mannequin. Don’t ever think that you’ve got great style and the best pieces for you just because it’s the latest style and the trendy colours of the moment. No fashion fad, trend, or colour can make up for an unflattering or ill-fitting garment. Not all trends are created equal, and consequently not all trends are made for your personality, lifestyle, or body shape.

Being A Chameleon

Too much change is just as bad as not changing at all. Looking like a different person at the start of each fashion seasons means you don’t understand your true style just yet. Being a style chameleon also might mean that you’re spending too much money and time on changing your clothes so often.


Wearing any outfit that has to be explained (“It’s in fashion! It’s supposed to be that way!”) is a no-no. First impressions last. More often than not, your appearance is how people initially judge you. How you look speaks volumes about who you are, and your style is exactly how you do that. If your look needs explanation, you’re already starting on the wrong foot, and this will always make the wrong impression (if you don’t believe me, check out some of the weird or backward fashions worn by celebrities). Keep it simple, straight forward, and appropriate.

Playing ‘Dress-Up’

Feel like you’re playing dress-up in someone else’s clothing? That’s because the clothing is not a reflection of your true self. In fact, wearing a style that doesn’t feel authentic to you will rob you of energy and undermine your confidence. Start by study fashion magazines, clothing catalogues and window shopping at malls. Create a collage of things that make your heart sing and personally speak to you—hairstyles, make-up, clothes, accessories, flower arrangement, interior designs, anything at all. All of this inspiration will all start to point to a style direction that speaks to your authentic personality.


Fashion magazines and Pinterest boards are great for inspiration. However, style is NEVER copying a look straight from the pages. Get inspired and put your own twist to looks that you love and are inspired by.

In a nutshell: Style is not being stamped all over with designer logos or changing radically from day to day or season to season. Style is inspiration, rather than imitation. Style is wearing what feels like the true YOU.

Here’s what style it is – and it’s simpler than you think.

Style Is Not



Less is more. Wearing clean and simple lines and minimal accessorizing is always best.

In the Details

The devil is in the details as the adage goes. Those in possession of real style always keeps details at the top of their list. Loose threads or buttons, runs in hosiery, worn out shoe soles—these are things that can ruin your overall style aesthetic.

Accessorizing with Care

Whether you’re partial to dramatic earrings or the most minimal studs, style is about mindful accessorizing. Taking the time to carefully choose the items you put on rather than just pile on the usual assortment of mismatched rings, watch and whatever earrings/scarf/bracelets that happen to be at hand.

Being Brave Enough to Stand Out

Stylish women aren’t afraid to experiment with new looks and wear what they like. If you find a piece that you love or a piece that you feel amazing in, wear it and flaunt it! Regardless of whether it’s on trend or not, being courageous enough to stand by what you love is genuine style to a T.

Being Respectful

Stylish women are thoughtful, caring and respectful of others. In a word they are ‘appropriate’; from the clothes they wear, what they say, their mannerism, gestures and the way they treat others. Remember, style is the whole package. Style goes beyond what you put on, it is also about the way you carry yourself and conduct yourself towards others.

Being Perfectly groomed

When she walks past you all you sense is beauty and order; from beautiful make-up, perfectly groomed clothes to a heartfelt smile. Keeping your brows, nails, hair, and skin in tip-top shape is essential to true style.

A Great fit

An inexpensive garment if fitted to perfection can look more expensive than an ill-fitting designer label. Items which are too tight or too loose will ruin your look every time. It is worth your time and resources to get clothing tailored to your specific proportions.


Being able to carry yourself with assurance and grace is one of the hallmarks of a beautiful and elegant woman. It is the beauty of being in the moment and in control.

Knowing How Much Skin to Show

There are few sights worse than a woman baring too much or baring it all. Putting everything on display sends the wrong message to men and women alike. You want to be known for your sensuality not your vulgarity. Stylish women know that when showing skin, you only flaunt one area i.e. wearing a mini skirt with a tailored jacket. When you’re showing off your cleavage, keep everything else covered up.

Only Purchasing Styles that Suit You

Knowing what works for you and only purchasing styles that fit and flatter is the quickest road to true style. You’ll be rewarded with self-confidence when you wear only what you love and what fits you. Style gives you a specific kind of freedom that allows you to succeed in other aspects of your life, knowing that you are looking your very best.


This only comes from wearing clothes that reflect who you are. If you persuade a very feminine woman to wear a dramatic over-the-top outfit, she won’t be able to walk straight in it and will feel very uncomfortable. When your clothes are right, you feel great in the skin you’re in. This will radiate to those surrounding you and they will, in turn, feel free to be themselves as well.
I’m sure that you can see the theme here. True style is about being true to what’s best for you—what you like, what fits well and is appropriate, and what allows you to carry yourself with confidence and poise. With a little practice, you’ll learn to love what you see in the mirror because it will be what you’ve seen on the inside all along.

I hope, I’ve shed some light on the meaning of style for you and that this becomes the starting point of your journey to an exemplary style that is uniquely you.

Style Verses Fashion2




If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

thanksgiving (3)


By | Style Clinic | 3 Comments

How amazing would it be to own the perfect wardrobe, one we could stand in front of each morning and be inspired by. Where every item flattered us and our outfit options were visible and unending.

Sigh, if only, right?

While perfection is rarely attainable a wardrobe of clothes that flatters our shape and age is in harmony with our personality, fulfills the needs of our lifestyle and provides lots of outfit options is attainable. The catch, and there’s always a catch, is that it takes knowledge, planning, time and a degree of dedication.

Nothing worth having comes easy…sigh

Let’s take this elephant and eat it step by step.

Big elephant and the basket of apples  in the living room. 3d concept

Find Your Flattering Styles

Discovering all the garments that suit your shape and age is possible and affordable with My Private Stylist. This is a program I developed some years ago which shows you exactly all the styles, garment elements, accessories and essential coordination guidelines you need to look your best and shop successfully. This can be accessed with a consultation with one of our image consultants (the best way), or purchased one online.


Be True to Your Style Personality       

Feeling great about the way you look is not only dressing in flattering outfits but the outfits also need to be harmony with your personal style. This will be your unique mix of classic, natural, dramatic, feminine, creative, sexy or elegant. When garments and accessories reflect your innate style personality you’ll end up saying things like’ “This is so me!”

Once you know your personality it can be adapted to all the circumstances in your life; work, home, play and socializing.

If you don’t know your personality why use our free Style Personality profile to discover it. If you have a My Private Stylist program be sure to be logged when you do it. 


Meets Your Lifestyle Needs

If the items in your closet are not appropriate for your lifestyle you’ll end up with nothing that feels right to wear.

The easiest way to work this out is to create a lifestyle pie and then compare it to what’s in your wardrobe.

First make a list of either the events you need specific clothes for such as gym, work, home, general errands, special occasions, dating etc. Or, the level of clothes you generally need such as gym, business casual, smart casual, dressy, evening.

Then draw a circle/pie drawing and add each as a slice of the total per week or month as you prefer. Your wardrobe should reflect the same percentages as your chart. One reason you can have lots in your closet and very little to wear is that it’s out of sync with your current lifestyle.    

Once you understand your lifestyle needs to can better allocate the right funds towards the things you really need and you won’t be as tempted to buy outside of this.

To work out your own lifestyle and wardrobe pies click this link.


Money Spent Wisely

A common problem I witnessed when I was performing wardrobe audits with clients was they had spent their hard earned money on the wrong types of garments. Too often large amounts were spent on items such as dressy dresses that were worn only once of twice while the work horse classic staples were of a lesser quality than they deserved given how often they were worn.

To work through this issue you can use this cost per wearing formula:

Multiply the garment cost + upkeep like dry cleaning
by the number of expected wearings.

The number of expected wearings would be:

The number of likely wearings/week, multiplied by the number weeks in a month it would be worn, multiplied by the number of months in a year it is likely to be worn, multiplied by the number of years it’s likely to last.  The answer is the total number of wearings.

Here’s some examples:


Cost: $575 plus dry cleaning ($7 x 5) $35 = $610

Wearings:  2/week x 4 weeks x 9 months x 5 years = 360

$610 ÷ 360 = $1.69 per wear

Dressy Dress

Cost: $650 plus dry cleaning ($15 x 2) $30 = $680

Wearings: Twice

$680 ÷ 2 = $340 cost per wear

At that price, you would have been better off renting one from sites like rent the runway.

If you would like to work out if you are spending the right amount of clothes feel free to use my Cost Per Wear Calculator. 

One final note about your budget – what ever amount your have to spend seriously consider allotting 30% to your accessories. They have the most power to transform your outfits.


Purge and Organize

Most of the time when you’re at a loss for what to wear, it’s not because you have no clothes; it’s because you have too much, all crammed in there together. When you streamline your wardrobe you set yourself up for style success.

This means you need to purge yourself of items you no longer wear, are in poor condition, not longer you or out of date. Store away items that are not of this season and organize what you have left in your closet into a system that will work for you.

Keep any basic and classic items which are trans seasonal such as your little black dress, essential tees, solid dark denim jeans, black fitted trousers, tailored blazers etc in your closet. These will go a long way in serving as the foundation of a lot of your looks.

Also, keep statement items that you absolutely love. While they may not be as much of a blank styling slate as the basics, the pieces that you love will speak to your true personality and sense of style.

Don’t forget to donate your best items to charities like Dress for Success.

Read More…


Discover Every Outfit 

Now to the fun stuff.

Budget conscious, style savvy women know how to buy items so they have the most mix and match, and dress levels possible out of the clothes and accessories they own.      

Each piece in your closet has many styling possibilities that are as yet be unrealised.  Each item needs to be scoped out in regard to all the layering and accessorizing options you currently have to create a different outfits/looks. Adding a belt to a long flowing maxi dress immediately makes it look and feel different. Layering a blazer to a breezy dress or a casual outfit instantly polishes it up as well. 

Sure, you’ve got tried-and-tested old faithful ensembles that you like to use over and over again—and that’s perfectly okay. It’s good to have a style comfort zone, especially for those hectic days. But to realize and maximize the true style potential of your wardrobe, mix and matching is the key.

Lay each item on your bed and create as many outfits as you can using all the garments and accessories you have. If you like an outfit try it on to see if you like it when it’s on you and if you do take a full-length selfie or photograph the outfit on the bed.  This way you’ll remember the combinations.


Get Your Colour Stories Sorted

Mix and match strategies are easy when you base them within a solid color story. While there are some women who are incredibly loyal to one colour or palette, it pays to play around with a few colour families to truly figure out what works best with your complexion. Or better still arrange to have a colour analysis.

Once you know your colours you can branch out into patterns that fit within the color story that you have chosen. While a monochromatic (gray, white, navy blue, black) may be a no-brainer for some, and incredible attractive on Meghan Markle, I’m a firm believer in bringing color into your life.

In the next few weeks I’ll be bringing you a feature dedicated to working out what colours go well together.


Create Clothing Capsules 

Have you ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? If you haven’t, this might hold the key to unlocking your perfect mix and match wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a maximum of 30 items, typically a mix of classics in neutral colours and accent pieces to add personality and a touch of fashion which all coordinate seamlessly and together create lots of outfits.

His infographic from Classy Yet Trendy explains the concept very well. Read more…


Master Remixing 

Don’t let yourself become limited by style definitions. Something that is typically for evening like silver heels or a sequined skirt can be remixed into daytime and vise versa. The same rule applies to seasonal clothing, you can make summer pieces work for fall through layering and you can make fall pieces feel more appropriate for warm weather by pairing it with lighter weight fabrics. Read more…



Find the Versatility

Push your imagination into drive and get creative. How many ways can you wear that T-shirt, cardigan or dress?

If it’s a T-shirt you could try tucking it into a skirt or tying it into a knot and wearing it with a high-waisted midi. You can also use it to layer underneath a tailored blazer or patterned cardigan.

Get into the habit of looking for ways to remix every piece of clothing. Even something as simple as cuffing your jeans can make a huge difference in changing your look of the day.

If you get stuck this feature will help you…



Learn to Accessorize 

Accessorizing is to me the magic that adds personality and uniqueness as well as a change of mood that no other styling technique can rival. I’m a plus size woman and this can limit my style choices but with the power of accessories, I can look as great an anyone. My radar is always on high alert for unique items that will add a touch of creativity to my classic items. More… and this…


Get Proportions & Patterns Right

Another key to successfully mixing and matching is keeping balance right which means ensuring that you are the center of attention, not what you’re wearing.

When it comes to prints and patterns you need to get the mix right. One way is to pair a smaller size print with a bolder and more graphic pattern. More info…

As for proportions, never wear two loose or over-sized pieces at the same time. Balance tailored pieces with more loose or drapey silhouettes for an easygoing feel.


Shopping Suggestions

It’s so easy to be lured in by sales but if the item does not contribute to your desired wardrobe then it’s often not going to be worth it’s price, no matter how much of a bargain it is.

The first rule if to be ever on the look out for great classics and staples. A great pair of black or beige pants or nude or black pumps will all have a long lifespan if you look after them and are worth paying extra dollars on.

The second rule is if the item is something other than a classic or staple they should be able to be teamed with at least two items in your current closet. If it dosesn’t resist the urge to buy, even if it’s on sale.

Trial and Error

Like with everything else, practice makes perfect. By experimenting with your style and working towards a mix and match wardrobe of clothes your style, confidence and wardrobe will improve.

Don’t get disheartened. Discovering your mix and match wardrobe is a process. Embrace it! Don’t be afraid to try new trends, and don’t be afraid to stick to what you know. Strike a balance between the old and the new to reveal a mix and match wardrobe that will become one of your strongest allies.


If you enjoyed this week’s feature
please like it on Facebook or Instagram
or leave a comment/question below.
Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP