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Category Archives: Personal Style

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By | How To..., Personal Style, Style Clinic | 14 Comments

Here it is from the horses mouth,…there’s no good reason to abandon your desire for style just because you’re 50. Even if you feel you once had style but lost it somewhere along the way, or you’ve never had it, NOW is the time to find it, embrace it, and love every minute of it. While I’m targeting the over 50s, this applies to women of all ages. Between our obligations, career, family and all the crap STUFF life throws at us, sometimes our style, sense-of-self, and confidence takes a dive. BUT, our ultimate success comes from our ability to bounce-back and YOU CAN.  It doesn’t take heaps of money, just an altered state of mind, some determination and time. It starts with a positive attitude and a willingness to put some effort towards the change. 

It starts with your mindset

How you think determines how you see the world and behave, and this in turn determines how others act and react towards you. A positive, interested and optimistic outlook creates a joyful spirit, eyes that twinkle and a face that holds a smile easily, as well as an appreciation for others, events and what you DO have.

My grandmother used to say to me as a child ‘If you don’t stop making that face, one day it’ll stay that way forever.’ Later I discovered this strange saying of hers had some truth about it. Psychologists call it ‘Muscle Memory’ and it stems from the fact that our emotions and attitudes are unconsciously leaked to the world through our posture and facial expressions. If you hold those thoughts long enough, your facial expression and posture will permanently part of you. I’m sure you’ve seen it, women with a permanently downturned mouth, dull eyes, a frown and stooped shoulders.  

We are naturally conditioned to look at faces to gauge a person’s personality and mood. What we see either draws us in or repels us. The good news is that once a potentially damaging mindset is recognized it can be altered and the body will follow suit. So, take the reigns and don’t let your current or past circumstances ruin your future.  Without a positive mindset, everything else I’m suggesting will be ineffective. 


A genuine smile makes you far more stylish than anything you’ll ever wear. 

Source: Image 1

Start following some trends

You shouldn’t be allergic to trends just because you’re 50. Following trends, keeping everything about yourself current, and sporting something on-trend is a must to looking stylish and confident. Whether it’s a new silhouette, color, or accessories, you should always select those that both appeal to, and suit you. Following trends doesn’t mean blindly adopting whatever what’s hot right now. Trend dressing beyond 50 is all about combining the trends into your own personal style. Over 50, the key, is to balance current trends with a more understated elegant aesthetic. You may opt for a bright color in a classic silhouette, an accessory or an on-trend shoe such as a leopard print athletic slip-ons instead of your worn-out runners. 


Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Get a new do

Getting over the 50 hump is a milestone, and it just might be the right push you need for you to mix it up a little bit more in the hair department. There’s nothing more enlivening to the spirit than a new do, the trick is to ensure it suits your face shape, coloring, lifestyle, and ability.

Women over 50 are best opting for shorter hairstyles since they are tend to lift rather than drag down the face. That’s not to say some over fifty women don’t look good with long hair but it definitely has to be in good condition especially and in a current and stylist cut.  Long gray hair is very tricky to pull off. 

This is the time in your life to cultivate a relationship with a colorist you trust. Adding some warmth to your look through skillful color will instantly boost your look. Even if you are cool toned, there are colors that add warmth without contradicting your coloring. One thing to stay clear of if you are coloring your own hair is going back to the same depth of dark hair as you may have had when you were young. This is always a disaster as it will be too dark for your current skin and eye color. Always go a few shades lighter; don’t rely on stronger makeup to make it work as this will only make you look older and harder.   

Click here for over 50 hairstyle inspiration.

Hair over 50a

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Get a makeup makeover

It’s no secret that our skin color, texture, and type changes as we age, and accordingly our makeup needs to be adjusted. A visit to a makeup professional (preferably on that understands and works with older women)  is a good idea. Consider this an investment in looking your best in your 50s and beyond. More than teaching you new techniques, you can seek out their assistance in editing your existing products and recommending better products for you. If you don’t have a large budget for your post-50 makeup makeover, simply make your way to the makeup counter in a department store. They have trained people there to give you free advice on your makeup application and style. You might even score some free samples!

Click here for make-up videos. Also here.

Makeup1Source: Image 1, Image 2/

Whiten your teeth

All those cups of coffee or tea, glasses of wine and even smoking over the years will have taken their toll your teeth. Now is the time to upgrade your oral hygiene and supplement with some teeth whitening. It’s amazing what an impact whitening your teeth will have on your appearance – it will really turn back the clock. There are various ways to go about the whitening process. Of course, your dentist will always be the best option. However, there are a lot of effective at-home whitening products as well as DIY whiteners you can make from common household pantry items.


Upgrade your eyewear

Glasses may have been apart of your life for some time but when you reach 50, the changes are you’ll be having the prescribed soon. I say, embrace it! Your eyesight problems are opportunities for some super styling. From prescription glasses to your sunnies, your eyewear can speak volumes about your personality and your style. Your face shape should be your number one concern when picking out frames but immediately after that is your personality. As you know I love my ‘stand-out’ eyewear, it highlights my style and often act as conversation starters initiated by others.

If you like eyewear that is a little different, you may have to search for optometrists and retailers that cater specifically for you. My glasses come from Funky Specs, a company that allows you to design your own frames. 

Click here for more on choosing the right eyewear.  

eyewearSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5

Find and flaunt your best bits

They say if you got it, flaunt it, and flaunting it shouldn’t stop at 50. Tastefully and with your eye firmly on chic sophistication, identify your best physical asset and dress to highlight and accentuate it. Celebrate your body and your beauty. Flaunt your curves in a hip-hugging dress over a figure affirming shapewear. Show off your lower legs with a midi skirt and cute shoes and take your toned arms for a night out with an elegant LBD. Flaunting your assets doesn’t mean showing lots of skin, it means choosing silhouettes that complement your chosen asset and work with your personality.

flaunt itSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Smarten up your footwear

I like many of you may be starting to find that wearing high heels is not as easy as it was. Stilettos may no longer be a practical option unless you plan to wear them for very short periods. Luckily the fashion industry has been embracing the chicness of low heels and even, flats. Kitten heels, wedges, and flats with trendy details or embellishments are all great options for the gal that still wants her footwear to be fashion forward.

If you find you can no longer wear anything but comfortable, wide, unattractive shoes then, you answer is to keep your feet quiet and add an eye-catching feature high on your body. 

great shoesSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

Walk tall and move with purpose

I cannot stress enough how important posture is. Good posture is seen as youthful and confident. You may be wearing a fabulous outfit, but if you’re slouched over in your seat or walking with hunched shoulders, you completely lose your appeal. It’s important to conduct yourself with confidence—and great posture is a huge part of that. The basic ‘shoulders back, chin up’ is simple advice that can go a long way for you. However, there is also certain kinds of stretches or exercises that can further improve your posture.

In addition, always move like you’ve got somewhere to go and something to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s to the grocery, an important meeting, or lunch with the ladies, moving with purpose does your posture and overall image good. Moving with purpose lends you an aura of power and confidence, which only serves to enhance the stellar style you’ve already got.

walktallSource: Image 1, Image 2

Hang out with people like who you want to be

Like these ladies from the popular blog and documentary “Advanced Style,” amazing style comes in twos, threes, and fours. The people you surround yourself with influences your lifestyle and, of course, your manner of dress as well. It’s human nature to let your environment affect you, and the people you spend time with is a huge part of that environment. Filling your life with positive, inspiring people who value both their inner life and outward appearance is invaluable. Hold on to these people, they will make your journey richer and happier.

If you still find yourself wanting, reach for lifestyle inspiration on the Internet. The web is an excellent tool to be able to connect with like-minded individuals. It’s also a great way to gain the inspiration you want or you need for your style journey from your 50s and onwards. Check out this link for Instagram accounts you can follow and be inspired by.  


You may also like this feature I wrote some time ago: 50+ & FAB: fashion for 50 years olds


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

Style Habits Banner


By | Personal Style | 9 Comments

Over time, everyone develops behavioral habits from exercise routines, the way we style our hair, the route we drive to work when we want our coffee or need a cigarette. Likewise, we have style habits that govern the way we dress. Some of these are good like always getting things altered to fit, seasonally editing your closet and taking a final look in the mirror before you leave the house and some are bad and even self-sabotaging.

Our bad habits hold us back, preventing us from reaching our social or professional potential. So, ladies, it’s time for some self-evaluation. Once you identify a bad habit and correct it, you’re sure to experience an elevation in your style and a change in how others react to you.

1. Wearing the same styles over and over

Sure, having a signature ‘uniform’ can be seen as having a strong personal style but it can get also get a little oh-hum after a while. All closets need a jolt of new trends from time to time to ensure we look in touch we the times. So, if you think this is you, step out of your comfort zone, experiment a little, I’m sure you’ll be able to find at least one new style, accessory or color you can successfully import into your closet.

To discover what type of shopper you are, try my quick quiz.


2. Wearing one color all the time.

It’s hard to move away from black, believe me, we know. Black is slimming and is so versatile. Wearing black, or one color all the time for that matter, can and will get stale. Having a signature color is great, but sometimes breaking that color habit and slipping into an unexpected hue can work wonders for your confidence and style.

20 Style Habits Holding Your Back

3. Not knowing the styles and colors that suit you

I admit to being one-eyed about this but not taking the time to know the styles and colors that best suit you is a sure way to end up with a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. If this is you, seek out a fashionable friend or an image professional to help you discover the styles that suit you best. It’s way too easy to fall into a style rut when all you’ve got is your own subjective opinion on fashion.  If you dare, this calculator works out for you the amount of money you waste on clothes. 

PicMonkey Collage

4. Getting sucked into sales

I’ve met many a woman who were guilty of this. It’s all too easy to lose sight of the longevity or the suitability of an item when a bright red price tag is screaming out massive savings to you. If you buy things at a sale just for the sake of buying, you end up wasting money in the long run. Give sale items some serious thought before rushing to the register, if it matches with your lifestyle and if it matches with existing items in your closet then go for it. If not, put it back and spend your money on items you will actually use and enjoy.  My mother taught me “love it madly or need it badly? No? Put it back.” 

5. Buying items too small for you

Telling yourself that an incredible dress will be your inspiration to lose weight is the wrong way of thinking. It isn’t just a bad style habit, it’s a bad habit period. Love the body you’re in now and dress for what you have NOW. If you make a healthy lifestyle change and lose weight in the process, then let your style naturally evolve with it.

Bad Style Habit No 4

6. Saving your best things for special occasions.

“Saving” dresses or accessories to wear for special occasions can be good up to a point but if you consistently do it, you’ll end up with a closet full of beautiful things gathering dust. Enjoy your fashion picks and don’t wait for the red carpet to roll out before you strut them.

7. Not considering quality

My mum always used to tell me “you get what you pay for” and it’s always proved right. Quality always comes first when shopping. Whether it’s the quality of the fabric or the workmanship of the item, quality will dictate the monetary and long-term value of your purchase. Clothes and accessories that are of high quality will not only last, but their look will leave a lasting good impression on other people as well as you, the wearer.


8. Buying a second item trying to make a bad purchase work

A bad purchase cannot be reversed. If an item doesn’t fit you right, or if you go home and you end up not liking it for whatever reason, your best option is to return it or exchange it. No good will come out of buying more items trying to make a bad purchase work. If you can’t take it back, cut your losses, learn a lesson and donate it to charity.

Should I buy this

9. Ignoring some stores

Great items can be found in the most surprising of places. Don’t discount certain places just because of how they look on the outside, or simply because you don’t usually shop there, or you think it doesn’t fit your style. Fashion and dressing up is about experimentation. Don’t box yourself in by going to the same stores. Step into new stores, and you may have your next fabulous find.

10. Wearing only flats

We all love flats, they’re comfortable and great for running about. But for special occasions you’d be remiss not to have some heels to strut in.  While high heels can be a little uncomfortable, for special occasions, a little discomfort is worth it when you witness how great they make your legs look. 

OK, so I already feel the wave of comments coming my way. If you really can’t wear heels then be sure to wear an amazingly trendy pair and/or add something eye-catching high on your body to pull all the attention towards your face.

Flats and heelsSource

11. Not wearing shapewear when it’s needed

Shapewear is underrated. When wearing snug skirts or dresses, even the fittest ladies will benefit from shapewear to smooth out and firm the lines and make the whole look appear flawless and seamless.

12. Wearing badly fitting lingerie

What you wear underneath, although not seen by the naked eye, affects how your clothes fit, drape, and hang on you. A poor fitting bra or visible panty lines can ruin even the best outfit and image

Poor fitting lingerie

13. Waiting too long between haircuts

There is nothing alluring or sexy about having damaged ends or shapeless hair. Maintain the volume and health of your locks by keeping a strict 4/6 weekly appointment with your stylist. 

14. Shopping with no regard to your goals or lifestyle

When you’re out shopping, bear in mind that every single item you decided to take home will contribute to your overall style and will inform your goals and lifestyle. For example, if you are aiming to climb the corporate ladder, it is best to stick to classic silhouettes and professional looks, even when dressing up for socializing.

Lifestyle chart1


15. Wearing jeans or gym attire all the time

Jeans and yoga pants can only take you so far. While those pieces are certainly comfortable and casually chic, it’s not appropriate to wear everywhere and all the time, especially not to a dinner at a nice restaurant or in a professional or formal setting.

16. Looking 1999 when it’s 2016

It’s so easy to become so familiar with your look that you forget to notice that you don’t look in sync with the times. As a stylist, we call this an image blind spot and it’s a big reason why women lose their mojo. Every few years after 40 it’s wise to invest some time and money in updating your look and reexamining your closet. Fashion is ever evolving and so should you be. Oh, and when you get an update, you’ll probably look at least 5 years younger. 

From Dated to DazzlingSource

17. Not dressing your personal style

Always keep your own style top of your priorities. Trends may come and go, but you should always adapt them to fit what YOU like and what works for YOU. If you’re not sure what your style is here is a quiz I developed a few years back to help you recognize your style.

18. Not altering garments to fit

Over the years I’ve hear many women complain that if they are prepared to pay a little more for quality they feel ripped off when they also have to pay to have the garment altered to fit. While I understand the sentiment I also want to slap her around the head (sorry, I’m not really into violence). You see, women’s bodies are very complex and have a lot more areas that can alter in shape than say men do. This means that it’s almost impossible to buy an off-the-rack item that will sit on your body perfectly. Alterations are worth every cent when you realize and experience the great improvement they make.  In fact with the right alterations, an inexpensive garment can be make to look expensive.


Alteration MagicSource



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

woman beauty portrait with summer white hat and sunglasses, studio


By | Beauty, How To..., Personal Style | 11 Comments

When you think of sophistication what words spring to mind? Worldly, refined, elegant, current, calm, grown-up, confident?

It’s these adjectives that help you gain insight and direction to achieve the look.

Another way is to think of women you think of as sophisticated. For me it’s celebrities like Olivia Palermo, Kate Blanchet, Anne Hathaway and Halle Berry. Each of these women look impeccable and in control even in the most casual of circumstances. The peak of the sophistication can also be seen in prominent personalities like Princess Kate Middleton, Queen Rania of Jordan, and of course, the ultimate in power dressing, Scandal’s Olivia Pope. Lastly, I can’t talk about sophistication or elegance without mentioning the one and only late Aubrey Hepburn.

Elegant Celebs

If you’re now thinking, ‘this sounds like it’s going to be expensive‘ relax I assure that it’s not necessarily so and even on a budget you can look polished. So here’s my 15 ways to look polished from your head to your toes:

Face First

With all looks, the most important place to start is at the top with your face and hair. It’s the first place people look, so your makeup, skin and hair will all need to look as pleasing, refined and finished as the rest of your look.

Like all things deemed ‘polished’ your makeup should be ‘flawless and understated’. This means blending your makeup to create a smooth, subtle finish. Don’t put on too much liner and sweep a beige or taupe eyeshadow on your lids for a subtle sheen. The next step is mascara to open up your eyes, blush for a healthy glow, and lipstick.

Use lip liner to prevent your lipstick from running throughout your day. The key to having a polished makeup look is to make sure it is set for the rest of the day. A spritz of some facial toning water will ensure your makeup won’t budge or smudge.

Elegant Makeup

Video Tutorial

Get Styled

Nothing says polished as much as a great style; perfectly cut and beautifully maintained it will beautifully compliment your makeup and finish off your outfit. Fashionable but not avant garde you hairstyle portrays femininity and control. The most refined looks are smooth to sleek while casual elegance is displayed as controlled waves. If you like parts then a side part is the one most favored by socialites.


Dress Up Your Hair

An easy and quick way to dress up and polish up your hair do of the day is by adding hair accessories. Whether it’s a topknot or a ponytail, a bejeweled hair accent will make you look more glam and will make you stand out in a chic way. If you’re wearing your hair down, a scarf headband or a sleek patent one will have the same effect.


Stand Tall

Aside from the physical aspects of your look, from clothes to makeup, your posture and carriage carries a lot of weight when looking polished. Slouching will definitely ruin the look of a beautiful designer dress or a structured blazer. Always stand and sit up tall. Keep your shoulders square. It also helps to visualize your head attached to a thread being pulled upward.


Dress Modestly

When it comes to sophistication, err on the side of caution. The surest way to achieve real sophistication is to be modest yet chic. Look for modest necklines and hem lengths and fits that are not too revealing. When you want to wear a short mini skirt covering your legs with dark tights will instantly elevate the look. In general the more covered you are the more likely you are to be moving in the right direction. 


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Think Structure and Tailoring

Keep an eye out for structured silhouettes; tailored separates, semi-fitted jackets and even classic structured bag shapes like satchels, doctor bags, and frame bags are all great additions to your wardrobe and great foundations to your polished look.

Nurture an eye for quality and pay more for the items you’ll wear the most. These pieces will be your investments and better quality means superior fit and fabric. If higher-end pieces are out of the equation for you, opt to get off-the-rack, fast fashion, or discount pieces altered to fit your body. A little cinching here or a little hem shortening there can work wonders in making a garment look more high quality and have a more elegant feel. Perfect fit should be your number one goal when shopping, as this lends a polished look instantly.


Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Choose the Right Fabrics

Conger up the vision of an elegant woman, can you imagine her clothes, can you describe the fabrics or fabric quality? Fabrics that portray a sophisticated image are of high quality (or at least appear to be), have a fine weave, a soft pliable hand(feel), little to minimal texture and are matte to a subtle sheen. Think silk, wool, cotton, cashmere, fine velvet, and microfiber. Dressed in these any woman will feel a queen.

Sophisticated fabrics

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Layer Elegantly 

Less is more when trying to attain the polished look, think non bulky and your half way there.. If you’re wearing a dress another additional layer, like a pashmina shawl or structured jacket, is more than enough. If you’re wearing tailored separates, a maximum of 3 layered items should be your rule of thumb.

Elegant Layering

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Hue and Contrast

When trying to achieve a sophisticated look, steer clear of loud prints and neon colors which will put your look in more trendy territory. Subtle prints in a low to medium contrast are best. Neutral colors like black, white, navy, and gray are also your best bets. Beige and nude tones are a ladylike approach to the look. You can also opt for rich jewel tones, but bear in mind that it should still be rich or even muted but never bright or loud i.e. teal instead of turquoise, emerald or hunter green instead of bright acid green.

HueAndContrastSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4 

Color Coordinate

Color coordinating your outfit doesn’t mean wearing one color from head to toe (although the monochromatic look is on trend), it means that to you should make sure that one element of your look visually relates to another. You’ll look more polished and sophisticated this way. For example, match the color of your lips with your belt and shoes, or you can match the red hue of your bag and shoes with red color in the print of your dress.


Accessories Count

Sophistication extends to every aspect of your look. From the mirror you use for touch-ups to your phone case, all of the things you wear and carry with you will reflect your lifestyle, disposition and act as an indication of the care you take of yourself. Everything sends a message, so if you whip out a raggedy wallet at dinner, it’ll certainly leave a bad taste in the mouth—despite having an ultra chic look.

Also a sophisticated look doesn’t necessarily need a lot of accessories. Keeping your accessories, especially your jewelry, to a minimum is a guaranteed way to look both appropriate and chic. Always opt for classic styles, in medium-small sizes.  Large and imposing jewelry might look too garish


Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

Tips and Toes

From the tips of your fingers to what you put on your feet, every little detail matters when it comes to looking sophisticated. Make sure that when heading out for the day, your fingers are well manicured. Avoid nail art, or nail colors that are loud. A classic French tip manicure or timeless colors like taupe, beige, nude, soft pink, and red are all perfect. Round, oval or round-square shapes are perfectly in-sync with your look. Avoid long pointed nails they totally send the wrong message.

Also pay attention to your legs if they are being exposed. If your legs are perfect then ‘maybe’ go bare legged; however quality hosiery always presents a polished look. Exposed feet call for a perfect pedicure and they are best teamed with flats such a loafers for ballet flats or medium to high heels. If you’re going to wear stilettos, err on the side of caution and wear them in classic hue to avoid looking too sexy (forget ankle straps; they’re too sexy). A slight sheen or some patent shine can also be a nice touch.

Tips and Toes

Act the Part

 One of the best things about leaving this point until now is that looking the part often helps you feel the part. Like when an actor when they dress in character and only then truly feels the part so you too will start to feel more sophisticated and confident when you’re in character. When you’re confident you stands tall, look people in the eyes when they are talking, smiles and nods when you’re in agreement and is not afraid to introduce themselves or others,or introduce a new topic of conversation. Sure, it may take some practice but I promise you it will be much easier when you look and feel the part. Another bonus is that other people will open up to you and give you the floor when you have ‘the look’.


Think Mint Condition

Nothing can ruin a polished outfit faster than a loose button or a loose thread. Before you even put on each item of clothing, give it an once-over. Check for stains, wear and tear, or any quick sewing fixes that need to be made. If found, change or fix it before leaving.

Pressing Matters

A well-pressed outfit is essential to your look. Press your outfit in advance to avoid rushing out in the morning in wrinkled clothing. Invest in a good iron or steamer, it will go a long way in taking care of your clothing and looking polished 24/7.

Want More?  The Elegant Woman website



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 | How To..., Personal Style | No Comments

There comes a time in the life of most women where we yearn for a new look. A look that will restore our self-confidence and place us on a new or better path.

I’ve been there – have you?

This need can arise from a stagnant love life or career, a divorce, a new lifestyle or vocation, or the need to recapture life after surviving a significant illness. Whatever the reason, achieving your new look does not necessarily require the help of an image consultant; after-all no everyone has that type of money on hand. If taken one logical step at a time it is possible to create a significant and successful makeover on yourself with the help of a friend or two.

One thing is for sure, a makeover has the power to affect real change in your life. A new look will affect the way you view yourself and can empower you with the confidence and energy to move forward and accomplish things that you may not have believed possible before. 

Over the years I have facilitated many successful make-overs and I’ve learned a few things that I’d like to share with you.

#1. Do it for the Right Reasons

Hurtling into a makeover right after a breakup, major disappointment, or a rough patch can seem like a good idea but often reaps only disappointment. If you are reeling from an emotional upheaval, you are prone to impulsive decisions that serve to impress others rather then yourself. It’s important that your makeover is done for the right reason – to please, enrich and help YOU and only you.  You should fully understand your reasons for initiating your makeover as only then can you really determine who you are really doing this for and why.

A period of self-reflection and conversations with a trusted and sensible friend or two can be invaluable.

Young woman consoling female friend while sitting on sofa at home

#2. Know Exactly What You Want to Achieve

Not only in your head but on paper. Knowing exactly what you want to achieve via your makeover is a important step towards knowing what you need to do in order to accomplish it.

  • What areas of your life do you want your makeover to improve?
    • When you have your answer ask WHY?
  • What do you want to achieve via your makeover?
    • Then ask WHY?
  • What parts of your present appearance do you think needs improvement?
    • Again ask WHY?

The asking of why will get you to the root of your reasons helping you know how valid they are.

#3. Take Your Time

Makeover segments on TV make it seem like a makeover can be achieved in an afternoon. A little shopping, some salon time, and voila, a brand spanking, shiny new you! In reality and my experience, the most successful makeovers and the ones that stick, take time to achieve. Think of the process as an evolution, not revolution – a gradual change as opposed to a quick and drastic revamp.

By taking your time and thinking each step through, you’ll have a far better chance of getting the results you want. Moreover, family and friends tend to respond better to a gradual metamorphosis than a sudden change. This will reassure them that you are thinking carefully about what you are doing. Change is always hard, and it might be hardest for the people around you. I have found sudden changes to have husbands suspicious that maybe there’s another man, friends deciding you’re trying to show your too good for them and family thinking your just being outrageous.

#4. Research What Works Best For You

Before hitting the stores for new clothes or deciding on a new hair color it’s wise to discover what works best for you. An inexpensive and accurate way to know what suits your shape is to get a body and style analysis . We recommend My Private Stylist. This website was developed by Image Innovators and is an excellent in depth style program. Loving your body or look will come easier once you understand exactly what you body needs to look it’s best.  

Likewise knowing which colors suit you best is equally important, after-all, a great style in a bad color is not a good buy. Consulting an experienced image consultant or having an online consultation through a reputable website gaining is the only way to find out. Reading books never give you the entire story.

#5. Express Yourself

Dressing authentically is key to feeling at home in your clothes. A new image that is not truly ‘you’ is hard to pull-off for any real length of time.

Here are some things you can try to help you reveal your true style personality:

  • Examine your closet and pick out your favorite pieces.
    • Which items make you feel good?
    • What traits do the pieces convey? 
  • Flip through a magazine and tear out the pages of outfits that speak to you.
  • Put together a list of adjectives that describe your style.
  • Find style icons you identify with
  • Try our style personality quiz
  • Experiment different styles and clothing combinations until you are happy with what style expression is most you. This will make shopping easier.
    • On that note, when you’re shopping don’t be afraid to try on styles you typically don’t gravitate toward. You never know when you’ll find a new favorite.

Whats your PSE#6. Get a Head Start

Your head is the easiest place to start when it comes to giving yourself an effective makeover. A new hairstyle and/or color ans a new make-up look gives you the most bang for your buck while simultaneously giving the quickest results. Get ready for compliments and answer with a smile and a sincere thank you. Don’t be that woman that says, “Oh, this is nothing.” Always graciously acknowledge compliments.

A great new look above the neck is the perfect first step to consider when starting your makeover. It’s like losing those first few pounds when on a diet, it gives you excitement and more motivation to continue. After you take care of your locks, turn your attention to your makeup and eye-wear.

As for makeup, make sure that is age appropriate and fits right into your lifestyle. While eye-wear needs to be both comfortable and on-trend, especially if it’s prescription and you wear it everyday. If you’re still in a style conundrum, don’t hesitate to get help from the experts. Consult a makeup artist or enroll in basic makeup lessons to better learn what works for your skin type and color, face shape, lifestyle, and age. A good hair stylist or colorist, who may or may not be the same person, is also another important piece of the puzzle.

The Makeover Guy

Click to Watch

#7. Hunt, Kill, Capture

Edit and curate your closet. Go through your entire wardrobe. Be ruthless and toss out anything that doesn’t fit, is dated, discolored, stained, or faded. Add to that list anything that you haven’t worn for two identical seasons. Depending on how many clothes you have this is an arduous process that may take more than a day. If you are too busy break the task up into bite size pieces – tops this weekend, pants and skirts next weekend etc.

Try on everything, and keep what works for your figure. Next organize everything into a workable space and finish with making a list of what you need to go out and buy.

These are times when a girlfriend comes in very handy. Not only for her opinion but also to take the unwanted items away to save you being tempted to put some back.

#8. Coordinate and Accessorize

Once you’re closet is cleaned out and organized, cluster our items into mix and match outfits and record what you own. That way you’ll never forget a great combination again.

Use accessories to change the look and mood of your outfits.

By performing #7 and #8 you’ll start to get realize what pieces are missing from your wardrobe.  Note them down for your next shopping trip.

#9. Don’t Rest On Your Laurels

Your life is constantly changing; be it through relationships, location, business, finances, health etc. All these changes alter the way you live and feel, and cause your style to change. The style you have today, may not be the way you wish to express yourself in the future. So while you’ve done an exhaustive evaluation and overhaul of your style, always give yourself room to grow or improve. Keep your eyes open for style inspiration, and don’t limit yourself to trends or to the style you have now. Remember that fashions come and go, but knowing what works for you is the one, true way to having standout style.

One thing is for sure – you are in charge of your life and the challenges and changes that you face are part of the wonderful tapestry called YOU.



HOW TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD: 8 steps to head-turning style

By | How To..., Personal Style | 2 Comments

Fitting in while standing apart is an important element of personal style. In this era of fast fashion, social media style celebrities, and trends with a short shelf life it can be hard to know how to turn heads and stand apart for the right reasons.

To avoid the fashion victim trap or the too-basic/too-routine conundrum, it’s worth doing some sartorial introspection and self-evaluation. Start by considering your likes, dislikes, lifestyle, favorite pieces, favorite eras of fashion, etc. All these factors will come into play when determining the styles that suit you. It may take some time to get your entire fashion game dialed in, but it’s worth your while. 

Get to the root of what it is that makes your style tick, dig in and trust your intuition, discover which pieces and/or colors you absolutely love and how you like to wear them. Nobody ever admires contrived or derivative style; true style is all about revealing yourself and letting your light shine. This may seem like a tall order or it might seem intimidating but don’t fret. As you go through my eight steps don’t feel pressured to tick every single one off your list, try a couple and see what amazing changes it can bring you. Style doesn’t mean lavish outfits costing lots of money or a look that needs a stylist to keep you on track. Style means expressing yourself as a authentic and unique being. Oh, and, while you read my tips please consider this process an evolution not revolution – it takes a little time but it will happen . 

1. Be a Leader

  • It’s not always about what’s in fashion. If you are confident in your personal style choices, you can wear what you like. Own it. Love it. Live it. More often than not, it’s the unexpected that will get you noticed. Making bold fashion choices and risks every now and then shows off  your vibrant personality, which is definitely a good thing. So yeah, go ahead and wear that vintage psychedelic print scarf.
  • Pre-loved, vintage stores, etsy.com as well as new designer marketplaces, are all great places to find pieces for a look that’s all yours. Straying away from establish brands and mall fashion staples will ensure that your pieces aren’t mass produced and are more limited in its public exposure.
  • Be inspired. Blazing a style trail can be daunting. There’s nothing wrong with gaining a little style inspiration from fabulous women who have created their own fashion niche and undeniable signature. 

Style Icons

2. Engage in Fashion with Add A Twist

  • Mix items and add accessories that uphold and express your personal style expression. Whether it’s a frame bag from the 50s from your grandma that you love or an incredibly avant-garde artistic piece, wear it with pride. Throwing these pieces in with staples like ripped denim, leggings, or sundresses is a genius styling trick.
  • Go for the unexpected. The items and accessories you use to express your style will have more impact when worn with items it wouldn’t be typically worn with. A Chanel bag brings more pow and gravitas to a sporty off-duty look of sneakers and oversized cardigan. A pair of patent white oxfords is a refreshing pairing with a tropical print summer frock.

Add aTwist1

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5

3. Mix Patterns

  • Go beyond the everyday and look for combinations that are pleasing and different. Print on print has become a major trend as of late. But more than a trend, it is an interesting and clever way to get dressed. Print on print will outlast the test of time and trends given its stylishness when done right.
  • When doing print on print, it is the easiest to attempt it with monochromatic styling. Choosing two colors in different prints creates a visual and graphic interest that can be offset with the smart addition of an accessory in a striking complementary color.
  • If you’re feeling a bit apprehensive to don two bold prints, pick an understated print to match with your bolder one. Take Sarah Jessica Parker’s ensemble for examples, she coordinates her leopard print top with muted pinstripes.
  • Stripes and florals are an easy pick for print on print. For an extra feminine flourish (and something novel too!), try your hand at floral on floral.

Mix PrintsSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5

4. Think Statement

  • Look for items that stand out, this includes the shape or style of your garments to your accessories. A statement accessory, may it be jewelry, a bag, a shoe, or a piece of clothing, does wonders in establishing what your style is. These pieces are not for everyday, and these items are as far from basic as you can get. These are attention grabbers, scene-stealers, and jaw droppers. Invest in these and watch your fashionistas credibility go up a thousand percent every single time you bring it out.
  • Things to look for in statement pieces are bright color, embellishment, eclectic prints, and oversized scale.
  • When sporting your statement pieces, keep the rest of your look simple to allow the piece to shine.

 StatementSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

5. Layer Creatively

  • Experiment with ways to layer your clothes and accessories that are slightly different to the commonplace layering style techniques.
  • Instead of layering a white collared shirt under a sweater (a classic fall/winter styling trick), why don’t you let a striped or printed shirt peek out from underneath your turtleneck?
  • Never let seasons stop you from layering. You can layer in the spring and summer too! Layer chiffon underneath a mini dress and/or keep a lightweight cardigan on hand for a quick style pick-me-up that works on even the most casual looks.
  • Break up a neutral palette when layering. Try a bright tote or an eye-catching red lip.
  • Play with silhouettes and texture when layering. Topping off your look with an oversized scarf or a cropped sweater is great. And so is, wearing different finishes in similar colors (satin, knit, metallic, etc.) in one ensemble.

Layer CreativelySource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5

6. Make the Most of Your Age and Shape

  • Great style always starts with discovering and then mastering the styles that best suit your shape and age. When you realize what style works for your shape and age, embrace it. While change is great, sometimes having a signature style that you always come back to is the sign of true style icon status.
  • Invest in shapewear and alterations to ensure that you look your best in whatever outfit for whatever occasion. When it comes to alterations, a little goes a long way. Taking in the waist or adjusting the hem can make the world of a difference in making you look more polished and pulled together. 

Shape and AgeSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5

7. Be a Head of the Rest

  • Lookie Here. Anything around your head, hair, makeup and eyewear, will be noticed first so make them count. These are three things that are worth spending on to get high-quality results.
  • Cheap eyewear isn’t just sartorially disappointing. It may end up damaging your eyes too. Opt for high quality lenses with UV protection. Take your time in selecting frames that are both chic and fits properly with your face shape.
  • We all can’t afford a blow out everyday. Make a routine for hair to make sure that it stays healthy and lustrous, even on days that you’re too busy to head to the salon. A good dry shampoo is a great addition to your beauty loot, as it can certainly boost your roots and give your locks extra volume the day after your wash.
  • Good skin care is paramount. Even the most expert application and the best makeup products cannot conceal bad skin. Your skin is everything. So remember, always remove your makeup at the end of the day and never ever leave the house without sunblock on.
  • As for makeup, choose a feature you love to highlight and stick with that as your signature. For days when you’re hectic, frame the face. Curl your lashes, fill in your brows, and add a little color to your lips, it’s a less-than-5-minute routine that can significantly affect how you look and your confidence for the day.

Great SkinSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4

8. Think Body Language

  • Complete your new found style with the attitude to match. Walk, sit and gesture with confidence. No outfit is complete without the confidence and bravado of the woman wearing it. Even the chicest outfit will go to waste if one looks grouchy or acts like a wallflower. So hold your head high ladies, you now have the outer beauty to perfectly match your inner glow. Take these simple tips from TED on how to subtly convey confidence in your posture everyday.

Body LanguageSource

fashion victim - how not to become one


By | Fashion, Personal Style | No Comments

The term ‘fashion victim’ was coined by Oscar de la Renta to describe someone who is unable to identify commonly recognized boundaries of style. Giorgio Armani referred to it as “When a woman alters her look too much from season to season.

For anyone who loves fashion what accompanies the love is the potential to become a fashion victim. I love the constantly changing fashion scene and being presented with new and interesting looks which allow me to evolve my personal style while expanding and experimenting with my wardrobe choices.

Becoming a fashion victim is not something that will happen to you if, you take only from fashion what suits your personality and figure and wear things your way.

So in the spirit of being fashionably fabulous, here’s my take on what’s important to know:

To Thine Self Be True

Possessing a great look is first and foremost about feeling good when you look in the mirror. If you’ve ever had a friend cajole you into into wearing something that wasn’t ‘you’, you’d have experienced the discomfort it brings. Even if it looked great on your body, if the style did not gel with who you are (your style personality) it felt awkward and disconnected. In fact wearing any thing that isn’t you literally drains you of energy.

So, regardless if an item is the hottest must-have ever, if it’s not ‘you’ pass on it. There are always plenty of other trends to choose items from.

Also, You Personal Style is ever evolving and as you explore and discover your authentic style you’ll discover what an awesome journey it is, and the more original, fresh and happy you’ll be in your clothes.

Dodge Fashion Time Warps Personal style

It may have been ‘totally you’ and it’s served you well over the years, having paid for itself many times over but it’s 15 years old and when you wear, it you and it looks outdated. “But it’s retro – that’s in” I hear you say. That maybe true, but retro on the young looks cool but on those who have lived through the era it often looks dowdy and outdated. A style mantra to remember is ‘if you were young enough to wear it the first time you’re probably too old to wear it the second time round.Foundation garments

Strive to always wear clothes that are current they will show you are current and have a love of today.

Nail the Basics

These are the building blocks that create a stylish wardrobe and presence that will create the image you wish to portray to the world. If you skip over building a solid foundation, then your presence will be all flash and no substance.

Your foundation pieces are the real work horses of your wardrobe. So much so, that if you lost them it would severely debilitate your ability to create outfits that fit your lifestyle and aesthetic ideals. Foundation garments are primarily classic in nature and simply in design. Nailing these means ensuring you have the right quantity, in the best style for your figure and in the best quality you can afford.

Focus on Style, Not Price

Regardless of the designer name on the label, the price you paid or how ‘in’ the item is, if the style does not suit or fit, or the color is unflattering don’t go there. Fashion victims snap up the latest trends and wear them proudly, showing everyone that they know what’s in style. Meanwhile, those around them are thinking, “So you know what’s in style. But do you have a mirror?”

Conspicuous consumption isn’t stylish either, and raises questions regarding your sensibilities of what’s important. It shows social insecurity and turns more people off than it impresses. By focusing on what suits your personal style, figure, coloring and lifestyle you’ll be streets ahead in the style stakes.

Fight Fashion Frenzy

Wearing too much of anything is never a good idea, no matter what it is, but especially when it comes to fashion. Keep statement or trend pieces to one or two per outfit lest you be seen as a try-hard. Likewise buying garments that don’t go with anything just because they are ‘in’ begs the question why? You can get into a vicious circle of throwing good money after bad trying to make a bad purchase or an orphan item work.

Avoid Pinch, Pull, Tug

There’s nothing worse than knickers up your butt. It’s irritating, distracting and looks bad.

Your undergarments affect your overall appearance, and wearing the correct size will give you the level support and coverage you need. Badly fitting underwear causes unsightly bulges and the embarrassment of being caught in the act of liberating your knickers out of your butt . So throw away anything that is stretched or too tight, and have regular bra fittings. Unlike clothing, that is often vanity sized, lingerie is usually correctly sized and as a result will need to be larger than you expect. If the size on the label distresses you cut it off - I won’t tell.best_of_visible_pantylines-147

 Be Mindful of Your Age Limitations

You may still have a great body, but what age does your face say you are? A well dressed woman wears clothes that match her face. There are many trends that can easily be adapted to many ages and then there are some that should be left to the young. Thirtysomething designer Veronica Swanson Beard has got it right when she says “Dressing your age means feeling comfortable in your own skin and working with what you’ve got.” Working with what you’ve got, not what you had – is the key.

Obviously age inappropriate clothes worn by mature age women proclaim to the world that they are not coping well with aging, are gullible or lack self awareness. Dress to old and may you may be mistaken for an old maid or door mouse.

34201_conchitaYou’re Not Toothpaste

So don’t go squeezing yourself into, or out of anything that’s too small for you. Sizes were invented for the sole reason of identifying and fitting various body sizes, not as an ego boost so you can prove to yourself you’re still a size 10.

The simple truth is, if you wear clothes that are too small for you, you’ll end up looking heavier than you actually are, and that’s not stylish, attractive or comfortable. You’ll look much slimmer and appealing if you wear the right size for your figure. Blessed is Shapewear If your body is not as firm as it was but you wish to wear fitted garments, shapewear is the only way to go. Without it the sight is one of shake, wobble and roll.

Long gone are the days of iron and whalebone corsets or latex girdles. Today’s body shapers are comfortable, effective, and give a natural-looking shape and if you need any more convincing, know that over 80% of female celebrities wear them.


Want More? 15 of the worst street-style looks from Fashion Week 2014

stuck in a style rut


By | How To..., Personal Style, Psychology | One Comment

OK, so you seriously suspect you have gotten yourself into a style rut.  In order to move forward the first step is to identify exactly what areas of your dress and grooming need updating.


Take a long, hard look at your wardrobe, make-up, hairstyle, and accessories to determine what areas need adjusting. This process is made much easier when you have a My Private Stylist program and have invested in a personal color consultation. 

Some questions to ask yourself:

Is the problem with your clothes?

  • Does your wardrobe contain many items in the same style and/or color?
  • What percentage of your clothes are over 5 years old?  And are these the items you wear most? 
  • Do your clothes work with your apparent age, lifestyle, responsibilities, and goals? 
  • Next time you’re out looking around you as well as in weekly women’s magazines; how many other women are wearing similar styles to you?
  • How do you feel about your style/appearance?  Do you feel it is doing your justice by accurately representing who you are, your abilities and your outlook on life?   

Is the problem with your grooming (make-up and/or hairstyle)?

  • When was the last time you changed your hairstyle or hair color?
  • Is the style and color you presently have complimentary to your face shape or coloring?
  • Have you been wearing the same shade of lipstick for more than 3 years?
  • Have you changed the way you apply make-up within the last several years?
  • Do you see similar styles to what you’re wearing in weekly women’s magazines?

Only by identifying the problems can you begin to know how to start resolving your style rut.  

How to Escape a Style Rut

The truth will set your free but first, it will really tick you of!


Find a Mentor.  Enlisting the help of a stylist, image consultant or friend can really help. Please don’t ask friends who are not up to scratch themselves – this just leads to the blind, leading the blind. Asking for honest feedback can hurt at first but it will open your eyes and help you change. Accept the constructive and possibly negative feedback with grace – remember you did ask for it.

Dream a little, Think about the wonderful consequences of a new image and the doors and possibilities a brand new closet may open up for you. This will help you get ready to expand your thinking, launch into your new look, and it’ll make you open to exploring different fashion options.  

Decide how you want to look, and what impression you want others to formulate about you.

  • Write down words you would like people to use when describing the new you to others e.g., happy, youthful, relaxed, elegant, sexy, energetic, professional, fashionable, etc. These words will help you know what type of looks to experiment with.
  • I also recommend you make a list of words to describe how you do not want to look.  Each word will conjure up a look, type of behavior and mindset to build on.
  • Lastly, list words that describe how you want to feel after your new look i.e. more youthful, fashionable, energetic, etc – these words will keep you both motivated and on track.

Consider your personality to ensure you’ll feel comfortable with your new look. If you change your style to please someone else and not yourself, you may very likely find the look difficult to live out and in a short period of time you’ll revert back to your rut. To find a style that appeals to you, it will help to browse through current magazines to discover what appeals to you and what doesn’t. Cut out these images and paste them onto a large sheet of paper. Make a mood-board that will solidify your personal style vision. You can also take our free Personal Style Expression quiz.and it will be important to you to take the test twice as explained when you get your results.

Be prepared to stretch and change.  After all, if nothing changes, nothing changes.

Find a Muse. Look for someone famous whose style you admire and would feel comfortable in.  You can copy their look with clothes and accessories in your price range.  Google images are a good way to start.  Type in ‘street style + the words of your choice’ i.e street style women, street style mature women or street style women work then go to the image area. The images there will give you inspiration and they often link to great blogs.

Start looking for new current clothes, and remember, looking current does not mean blindly following fashion. Stylish women create fashionable ensembles that are in sync with their needs, personality, and lifestyle. When trying things on, keep in mind that ‘fit’ is a very important thing, and alterations are definitely worth the investment as they’ll make a world of a difference to your appearance.

 ‘looking current does not mean blindly following fashion’

Imagesin Google

Search – Street Style Women Mature

To jump-start your wardrobe revival, here are some tips:

Get a new hairstyle, It will do wonders for your morale. It doesn’t even have to be an extreme one – even something as simple as growing out a fringe, losing or growing some length, or adding a few highlights can work wonders. If you’ve been going to the same stylist for years go somewhere new to get a fresh and unbiased set of eyes and opinion.

Get a Make-up Revamp, But not at a department store. Find a make-up artist to properly and honestly assess your makeup and teach you how to apply an everyday look. If you attend a make-up clinic you can often bring your make-up bag and they’ll can help you figure out what products to toss and to keep. 

Purchase on-trend accessories that say, ‘I’m in touch with what’s going on in fashion.’ Accessories are by far the quickest way to update your wardrobe and incorporate timely trends into it. Do not underestimate the impact a pair of shoes, a statement purse, and updated jewelry can add to all your looks. No need to spend a lot on these as they pass from fashion to fad quickly. By purchasing affordable items you can update your wardrobe again next season. 

Purchase one complete outfit comprising of pieces that can be mixed with other items in your wardrobeMixing and matching, and getting creative with your separates is the surest way out of a rut. Use your imagination and play with blending different colors, textures, and silhouettes together.


To ensure you do not fall back into a rut:

  • Add at least two new fashion elements to your wardrobe every season. Accessories and color can be added most easily.
  • Remember; less is actually more. Buy quality over quantity especially when it comes to major pieces of clothing (suits, jackets, pants and skirts).
  • Experiment with various wardrobe combinations and fashion looks. Don’t be afraid to add color and new shapes to your wardrobe.
  • Reassess your hairstyle and make-up reassessed at least every three years.
  • For every new fashion item, you add, retire an old one.
  • Base your wardrobe on at least two basic colors.
  • Try a new style at least once a year.
  • Enlist the help of a stylish looking friend and give them permission to tell you if something about you is starting to look a little ‘off.’ Hearing constructive criticism about your style, and adjusting accordingly is important in making sure that you don’t fall into a rut again.


Don’t try to radically alter your look overnight.

Think evolution not revolution.

It’s better and easier to make subtle changes over a period of time to help ease yourself and others into your new look. I know change takes courage. If you embrace change, you may really surprise yourself; and I know you’ll certainly surprise those around you.

Change is a natural part of life, and as you change over time, let your personal style follow suit.

Style is a representation of who you are at any given moment,
let it be an accurate and flattering image every single time.



fashion style rut


By | How To..., Personal Style, Psychology | 4 Comments

Discovering you’re in a style, makeup/hair or color rut often happens by accident. Over time you gravitate toward, and then repeated the same colors or styles over and over again until one day it hits you or, as happened to a client of mine, she found out her children’s friends called her the ‘Purple lady’. Many women by the time they reach their forties have gone through numerous and varied stages of trial and error discovering what works best for their body type, personal style, and fashion preferences. From then on nothing much changes. The danger is that being on the ‘right track’ can eventually turn into a style rut, that once they are entrenched in it can be very difficult to realize and/or escape. Now don’t think a style rut only happens after 40 – it can happen at any age and is quite often caused by a singular mindset. There are many reasons why one can be trapped in a thought pattern or trapped in a state of making style choice automatically. Whether it’s life changes, busy schedules or simply the lack of time or will to pay attention to one’s own style, a style rut is something that can be broken. I believe there are several types of style ruts:

  • The Time Warp: your entire closet seems to be stuck in another fashion decade.
  • The Peter Pan: your wardrobe is filled with the same style of clothes you wore 15 – 20 years ago clothes when you looked hip! Sure some things may be back in fashion but they will never be styled in exactly the same way.  I say…’ if you were young enough to wear it first time round – chances are you’re too old the second time‘. 
  • The Too Busy/Too Lazy to Think: every item in your closet is almost the same as the next and its been exactly the same for years. Sure it’s easy to get dressed in the morning but your wardrobe contains no more thrill to wear than flannelette pajamas.

Enlightenment often comes only after a particular comment or event has ‘shaken our tree’, and challenged the perception we have of who we are and how we are seen by others. Fashion and personal style are a huge part of one’s own image, and you may find that when your style is given an upgrade, your disposition follows and your confidence soars.

Change is Good

 Life is ever-changing:

  • Fashion changes.
  • Our body-shape changes.
  • Our coloring changes.
  • Globally thoughts on any number of subjects change.
  • Our lifestyle changes.
  • Our personal style expression can change.
  • Our expectations and desires change.
  • Our circumstances change.

Your style should match the changes that you go through in life, and it should reflect how you’ve come through all these challenges and how you’ve succeeded in them. Style is a great way to express that.

Style Rut1

 Unsure if you’re in a rut?    Here are some symptoms:

  • You’re uninspired as you look through your own closet
  • You or others use words like boring, staid, dowdy, unyielding, inflexible, strange, weird, ordinary, uninspired or dull when describing your look/wardrobe.
  • When shopping for something new you realize you have 4 or more similar pieces just like it in your existing wardrobe
  • Your wardrobe looks like something from a retro party or Throwback Thursday
  • Other people give you a nickname for your repeating signature look i.e. The Purple Lady
  • You rarely consider wearing different styles or colors. Black is a no-brainer color, but sometimes you gotta step away from the all-black attire
  • You don’t bother looking in the mirror because your clothes and total look are the same as every other day of the year, so you know exactly what you look like.
  • You don’t shop – you restock.
  • You are dressing by someone else’s rules (and sometimes these people aren’t even around anymore).
  • You can’t remember the last time you did anything different with your hair, makeup or clothes.
  • You stop wearing a garment only when it’s completely unwearable.

Once a rut is identified it’s common to make excuses for why/how it happened.

  • ’I don’t have time to shop’
  • ’Nothing works at my age’
  • ’I’m too fat/busy/old etc’
  • ’Nobody cares how I look’
  • ’I don’t have money to shop’
  • ’I don’t want to appear vain’
  • ’I couldn’t care less what people think’

Although I’ve heard all these comments, I have yet to meet a woman who deep down does not wish to look attractive. Most of us have discovered that when we look good, we feel good, and when we look good we get noticed in a positive way and treated better (not fair, but true). All it takes is the will, courage, and commitment to take action and make the change. At this point, you may realize you want to change but have no idea of where to start. Overhauling your closet and lifestyle and doing a style makeover might seem overwhelming, but there are simple ways to navigate it through the change.

When you’re ready, head to part 2.

appearance important or not


By | Personal Style, Psychology, Work Style | 9 Comments

Every day each of us unconsciously decide who and what we bring into our lives; from products we buy to the individuals we chose to be our friends, or do business with. We make rapid gut decisions based on the visual clues we observe, which we then associate with known stereotypes and assume are a reflection of the inner qualities we believe them to reflect. Based on our decisions we either engage or ignore. 

In theory we know that there is a great deal more to a person than what meets the eye, but like a website, unless we can quickly gain someone’s attention by providing a visual experience that is similar to what they are looking for, or at the very least find engaging, we will be quickly ignored and passed over. Through the power of the visual media and a fast moving often unsafe world this is how we have become conditioned and it’s not going to change anytime soon. If we can’t attract attention by having a pleasing appearance then we will not be granted any additional time so they can get to know us better.

Apart from the effect our appearance has on others, we too are affected.  At least several times a day we see our reflection, and every time we do we are affected by what we see.  If we are pleased we tend to walk taller, smile more often, act more confidently and be more friendly.  When we dislike what we see we tend to shrink both into ourselves and away from others.

Is Your Appearance Really That Important?

So, the answer to the question, is appearance really that important? is an absolute YES.  Appearance is the make or break factor that opens doors, minds and opportunities.

But is it all that matters? Absolutely not, there’s a lot more to cultivating a great image than our appearance BUT, appearance is a vital part in achieving whatever success you are seeking as it is the one thing that most often opens the door.  


From the Playground to the Boardroom 

Look in any workplace or examine any social group and you’ll find that some stand apart as the leaders. They are the ones the others look to as the main voice; when they speak they are listened to and when they act everyone generally follows.

But what is it that set them apart?  

It’s certainly not just a pleasing or impressive appearance, we’ve all met well-dressed pains in the …..!  It’s a combination of several areas of image all working congruently together. 

The Circle of Success. 

Some years ago I developed ‘The Circle of Success; as an image management concept that would assist my clients to understand and work on various aspects of their image that needed improvement. This concept works for any person, living any lifestyle, who wishes to gain success in any endeavor.   

As you’ll see inner image is central and of most importance to you ability to manage the areas in the outer ring.  The areas in the outer ring are all affected by each other and each needs to be reasonably managed to ensure a excellent long term image.  

Total Image Management

Inner Image: the heart of the matter

This is the sum and substance of who you are, it is the real ‘you’ that others can’t see and it is the bedrock on which every act of your life is played out. It comprises of qualities such as your: self esteem, confidence, honesty, ethics, integrity, motivation and ability. Which have been formed as a result of your gender, experiences, opportunities, cultural and social background, education, spiritual foundation, values, goals and personality.  These elements combine to determine your outlook, attitudes, motivation and actions.  They determine what and how you think, and how you’ll behave and react in every situation.  They form your reality and govern what you want and expect out of life, and they set the limitations from which you live and behave.

The health and quality of inner image is central to a person’s ultimate success.  Anyone can be groomed to walk into a room and make a smashing initial impression, but it is the substance behind the performance that will ultimately sustain the impression. Any component of inner image that is lacking or in need of attention i.e. poor self esteem, low confidence, a damaging attitude, or a debilitating experience has the power to diminish or override any positives in the other four image areas and should be attended to as your first step.

Action Point: Could there be an inner image area holding you back?  If there is seek help to overcome it; it may be difficult at first to do, but once overcome it will improve your future.

Assumed Image: meeting expectations

This is what others know and/or expect of a person and it encompasses appearance, behavior and perceived ability. It’s knowing how to turn up to an event or meeting and as soon as those present see you they are put at ease.   It’s important that we meet the assumed expectations of those we socialize or work with and once a person is known, their assumed image becomes their reputation.

Reputation often precedes a person, either smoothing the way or impeding their path with avalanches of misconceived ideas and prejudices. Reputation is one of the most valuable commodities a person owns and it needs to be carefully created, maintained and zealously protected.  Think about those in your close circle of friends; there is likely to be one you know can’t be trusted to keep a secret, one who always turns up late, one who always has a better story than everyone else, one who is always there when you are in need and one you know can be always be relied on.  They have gained their reputation over time and it can be very hard (though not impossible) to change.  In short, your reputation has the power to open doors or keep them sealed.  

Action Point: Take the time to think about your reputation.  Could you be the one who’s always late or can’t be relied on?  It only takes a moment to make the decision to change and if you keep to the change you will change how you are thought of.

Visual Image: you are what you wear

The saying goes, ‘Seeing is Believing’. Therefore this area is most powerful when meeting someone for the first time. Research has shown that visual presentation (dress, grooming, facial expressions and posture) accounts for more than half of the impression made on others. When a person dresses and acts in the manner expected of a successful person, it will usually be assumed that they possess the talent, personality and characteristics that accompany the image. If they present a poor first impression, they may find themselves struggling to reclaim lost ground.  

When meeting any person or group for the first time it’s a smart move to dress in manner that will give you the greatest chance of being recognized as someone who possesses qualities that will fit-in and be an assets if included.

Action Point: Take a little time to think about how you visually present yourself.  PretaStyler is the perfect program if you need some help discovering what clothes work best for your figure. To learn about what clothing, make-up or hair colors suit you best visit an image consultant.    

Experienced Image: do unto others

This is the behavioral aspect of a person consisting of courtesy, respect, communication and people skills along with body language. If you can impress others with your interpersonal skills you’ll have a high chance of initiating positive and lasting relationships. It is always wise to strive to leave those you meet with a positive experience of you.  This includes: turning up on time, having a friendly, respectful and inclusive personality, a willingness to participate for the good of the group as well as delivering on what you say you’ll do, and being flexible and open to the ideas of all. 

Action Point: An image consultant can also assist you with your experience image.  A great book on the subject is Put Your Best Foot Forward by Jo-Ellan Dimitrius  (Author), Mark Mazzarella 

Proven Image: congruent and consistent

This is the final image area and is comprised of the tangible results of all the other areas as proven over time. As an example, you may have hired someone to speak to your group because you heard that they were entertaining, informative and an excellent speaker (Assumed Image/Reputation), on the night they looked great (Visual image) and behaved fine but did not provide the expected experience (Experienced image).  That in turn damaged their reputation as you spoke to others about your disappointment (Proven Image). 

To have a strong image you need to consistently live up to the expectation of others and the promises you have made.

Action Point: Think about your total image – do you live up to what people expect from you or do you too often disappoint. Everyday is a new day and a new opportunity to start afresh.  It may take some time for your image to change but if your consistent and persistent it will change.  As the saying goes. ‘it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen‘.

I hope now you can answer the question, is appearance really that important? And can see how anyone can create an image that will impress yourself and those around you if you employ an image management strategy.

my sexy style

MY SEXY STYLE – How to Reveal Your Sexy Side!

By | How To..., Personal Style, Psychology | No Comments

Looking appropriate for an occasion means following a few fashion guidelines. The same goes for looking sexy. There are differences between classy and trashy. Do you know what they are? Here are a few hints for achieving sexy sophistication and determine your own ‘my sexy style’.

#1 Attitude

Attitude is your number one accessory for showing sex appeal. It’s all about attitude. A confident, sensual woman is appealing no matter how much skin she shows. You don’t have to be drop-dead gorgeous, either. You just need to believe in yourself.

#2 Sensual Style

What kind of sexy are you? Sexy is defined in so many different ways. Sexy can be soft and feminine or strong and daring. As with all your wardrobe, a sexy look matches your personality, so wear it well.


#3 Fit to be Sexy

I know that a huge factor of my sexy style depends on an outfit’s fit. Garments should hug your curves, not constrict them. If it’s too tight, too revealing, or too anything which makes you uncomfortable or unsure, it’s not the right choice. Constantly attending to a garment is not sexy. It’s distracting and a confidence crusher.


#4 Lady in Red

Want to make an impression? Wear red. Not only is it noticeable, red conveys power and passion and is memorable. Red garments, lipstick, and nails will give you that va-va-voom! touch.
Best red lips (link)

#5 The Eyes Have It

If the eyes are the widow of the soul, make sure your eyes show your passionate inner being. Smoky eyes are a sure, intense way of standing out. Eyeliner, especially a line that flicks upwards, is another way to create sexy eyes. Dramatic eyes look best with mascara, minimal blush, and nude or red glossy lips.

Learn how to apply a smoky eye (link)

Learn more about eye liner (https://www.paulaschoice.com/expert-advice/eyes/_/apply-eyeliner-like-a-pro )


#6 Dynamic ‘Do

Mmm . . . tousled hair. It makes men want to reach out and touch it. The full, tumbled-out-of-bed beauty is achieved by spraying damp hair with a styling product (such as Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray) and then air dry. All you have to do is scrunch and go. You can also braid your hair while damp so when you undo the braids, you have full, sexy waves.

For a strong, sexy appearance, sleek and straight is the way to go. There are a multitude of shine and straightening products to help you achieve this look. And don’t forget the leave-in conditioner to tame those split ends!

One final note: where you part your hair can change your sexy appearance. A centre part is more natural, giving a girl-next door vibe, while a part to the side (especially way off-side) is more sophisticated.


#7 Under-Tones

There’s nothing like sexy lingerie to make you feel, well, sexy! Black, red, white, pink . . . pick what matches your personality. And don’t forget the corset! There’s nothing like it for making you feel strong, not to mention the hourglass shape and support it provides.

For ladies who are not quite comfortable with their rolls and bulges to wear sexy lingerie, you can always wear shapewear. And yes, it can be sexy! There’s shapewear for every kind of garment (including swimwear) to tone your assets and improve your own ‘my sexy style’.


#8 Accessorise to Sizzle

The right accessory can take your look from fizzle to sizzle. Start with large hoop earrings. They say “wild” like nothing else.
History of Hoops

A glamorous yet practical accessory is oversized sunglasses. They convey a sense of sexy strength and status.

Show off your legs with fishnet stockings. Because of their historical association with French can-can dancers and ladies of the night, they make a powerful statement, so wear with care knowing you will get noticed!

Speaking of legs, you can make them look even longer with stilettos. Nothing says sexy like a pair of sky-high heels. Keep in mind if they don’t fit properly in the heel, it detracts from the look and will make it harder to walk.


#9 Animal Magnetism

Animals are untamed, even dangerous. No wonder an animal print conveys that same wild style! Unleash your sex appeal with snakeskin, leopard print, tiger stripes, etc. Animal prints are especially attractive in smaller amounts or worn one garment/accessory at a time, so stock up on animal print handbags, shoes, scarves, and jewellery to make your appearance roar.


#10 Show Some Skin

When you want to show off your assets, remember this rule: less is more. Revealing just a bit is much more enticing and sexy than letting it all hang out. Leave a little to the imagination. It’s also better to coordinate a low neckline with a modest hem, or a mini-skirt/dress with a higher neckline. This balancing act between low/high makes a more attractive overall appearance.

By the way, the tighter the garment, the less you should show. Curve-hugging garments reveal your silhouette; plunging necklines or short hemlines reveal what creates that silhouette. Sexy dressing shows one or the other, but not both.

When wearing revealing cleavage, also remember: skin tape is your best friend – peek-a-boo nipples are not.