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Category Archives: What to Wear

7 trends to try this winter


By | Fashion, Personal Style, Trend Tutorial, Trends, What to Wear | No Comments

It’s the coolest season weather and fashion wise. Trying to stretch your summer and fall clothes can only go so far. This time of year, you want to layer up, explore new colors, and be compatible with the climate outside. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should be in a full bodysuit but it does mean making way for stunning new finds. From outerwear to dark colors, find your niche with these 7 trends to try this winter.

Monochromatic Suits

 winter 2018 trends monochromatic suits Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 Image 4 

This winter, try the fashion trend that makes you look like a top businesswoman with monochromatic suits. This look not only is ideal for work meetings but it’s a chic way to dress up when you want to try something other than a dress. We see a lot of celebrities today opting for a matching suit on the red carpet. Heels will dress up the attire entirely while flats or sneakers are a cool approach for casual chic.

 White Boots

 winter 2018 trend white boots Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 Image 4 

Turning a new leaf on go-go boots style, white boots are the it winter trend for fashionable shoes. This must have is the missing piece you never knew you needed. Coming in a variety of styles, dressing up white boots to dressing down has never been so easy. Dresses to jeans, light layers to heavy-duty outerwear, white boots will find their mark in your wardrobe.

Dark Florals

 winter 2018 trend dark floralsSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 Image 4

Florals are making their way to be worn all year around. In different color schemes, dark florals are the winter trend you’ll learn to love. Burnt orange, emerald, bronze and golden tones on browns and blacks form design details that are always pleasing to the eyes. Dark florals come in blouses and skirts to outerwear which means you’ll be able to find your favorite to show off this winter season.


 winter 2018 trend beaniesSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 Image 4 

Beanies have been through it all since the fashion game began. They were a huge hit in the 90’s and have progressed since. It keeps you warm, helps on bad hair days but it also represents cold weather. You can create stunningly chic to casual looks with beanies and layers. Find your beanie look by adding in your personal flare!

 Faux Fur Jackets

 winter 2018 trend faux furSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 Image 4 

Outerwear is your best friend during winter and you need a trend that surpasses all the others to keep warm. When you’re in cold climates, faux fur jackets are cozy and stylish. It instantly takes your outfits to a contemporary level when just wearing a pair of jeans and a tee or a simple dress. These fluffy coats can be found in a diverse range of styles and colors.

 Bold Stripes

 winter 2018 trend bold stripesSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 Image 4 

Stripes will be the trend that will never disappear or disappoint. This winter, try stripes but in a bold sense. The thicker the print, the better. Also, take into consideration the colors- darker to warmer tones are best for the winter season. Stripe tops, sweater dresses, matching sets, and oversized sweaters are all stylish in a bolder print. Incorporate this trend from weekday looks to weekend outings.

 Dark Red

 winter 2018 trends deep redSource: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3 Image 4

The color to wear this winter comes in the red family. Close to maroon, dark red is the crimson trending color. It’s festive but can also be daring. Red, in general, can be an intimidating color, but the darker tones are not as vibrant which makes it easy to wear. Velvets are a buzz-worthy style in dark red that you’ll be glad you invested in. Whether you wear it as an accent piece or from top to bottom, you’ll get compliments guaranteed.


Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your fashion game has gone out the window. Be prepared and in the know of what’s new and what’s trending.

Winter soirees to daily looks, your style will be the highlight with these 7 trends to try this winter.

7 trends to try this summer

7 Trends to Try this Summer Sept 2018

By | Style Clinic, Trend Tutorial, Trends, What to Wear | No Comments

7 Trends to Try this Summer – Sept 2018

Time for sunny days, tons of fun weekends, and of course new fashion trends. With every season, there are the must-haves to wear and try. It’s a nice refresh for anyone to take their wardrobe to new levels. Summer is one of the best seasons for fashion and you are going to be head over heels for these new 7 trends to try this summer!

  1. Mix and Match Prints

mix and match prints trend summer 2018

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

It’s daring but also attention worthy, mix and match print outfits are up and coming. The runways are starting to flood more and more with pairings that are the exact opposite in the print department. You can start slow with not so outlandish but familiar prints like a striped skirt and a floral top. To be a risk taker, go all out and opt for something bright and vibrant for both prints and we guarantee no matter what two designs you choose, you’ll ace this summer trend. Prints are a great way to step out of your comfort zone.

  1. Sheer Details

sheer clothing for 2018 summer trend

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

Sheer designs are feminine and romantic. This recurring summer trend is still on the map for a beloved look. From high end, red carpet approved dresses to a top you can wear with culottes, sheer is a great choice for summer and it will keep you cool for those hot days. The great part about sheer details is that they aren’t hard to come across. No matter what your personal preference may be or if you’re searching for a certain occasion, it’ll be effortless to find that perfect sheer outfit.

  1. Fringe

fringing on clothes for 2018 summer trend

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

Fringe has been an ever-evolving fashion trend. This summer, take fringe to new heights! There is an abundance of designs that have brought out a new era for fringe. It’s not just a bohemian look anymore- it goes from the high fashion spectrum to dressing it your way and it will always have an eye-catching end result.

  1. Espadrille Sandals

espadrilles the trend for 2018 summer style

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

Espadrille sandals are the it shoes of summer trends. The style themselves have a sort of beach, resort style feel to them. A great shoe for vacation looks, the platform on most espadrille sandals is a new option for a heel. Heels during summer can at times be a bit too dressy while espadrille platforms fit in with almost any summer outfit. Plus side, they’re comfortable and easy to style.

  1. Ruffles

ruffles summer 2018 trend

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

If you have a love for all things chic, ruffles are the summer trend for you. Ruffles are being reinvented left and right, and some designers make it their signature details. It can be ruffles from head to toe, all ruffled sleeves, or just some slight accents and your wardrobe goes from 0 to 100 in an instant. It’s a look you can wear from the office to after work drinks and be named best dressed.

  1. Gingham Print

gingham trend for summer 2018

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/395683517245380388/, Image 2, Image 3 Image 4

It comes from the 50’s and has surpassed most other prints as the new hot ticket, Gingham print is a look that shows summer has arrived. Gingham comes in many different color variations from classic black and white to basically any other color. Dress it as an accent piece or all over, this summer trend takes a retro style to a new age favorite.

  1. Statement Gold Earrings

gold statement earring for summer 2018 trend

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

Summertime is where updo hairstyles come out most. It’s hot out, dealing with your hair down can be a pain- you may love to wear a top knot or a sleek ponytail. With this in mind, you need to dress up your ears a little to complete your look. Statement gold earrings take the win for jewelry summer fashion trends. All over gold matches with it all and when you find big, oversized designs, your earring game will be top notch.

These go-to 7 trends to try this summer are going to make wonders in your wardrobe.

Quick tip: consider your closet, you may have some of these pieces without even knowing. Investing in new fashion will keep your style everlasting.

Create new summer memories while creating new summer outfits.

Style Clinic, Image Innovators, Work Style, Ann Reinten, Image Consultant training

APPEARANCE: The Resume that Matters – Pt 3

By | Colour, Coordination, How To..., Personal Style, What to Wear, Work Style | 6 Comments

Welcome to part 3, the final instalment of my Appearance series on how to create a positive visual impression at work.

This time I’m primarily concentrating on color and accessories.

Color Up for Authority

Solid colors are the best choice for your foundation work pieces i.e., skirts, dresses, pants and jackets. Subtle patterns are best left for your next tier of work wear. 
Never underestimate the power of color depth – the darker the color the more authority it will bestow on you. If you suffer from dandruff or flaky skin conditions opt for medium colors and seek help for your condition.
Image Innovators, Style Clinic, Ann Reinten, Image Consultant Training, Work Style

Color-Up for Impact

  • Clear colors are crisp, clean colors which show no signs of grayness/dullness. They create an image of mental clarity, vitality and action.(A)
  • Grayish/dull colors (especially those which are cool) can create a perception of mental dullness, passivity, low energy and mature age.(B)
  • Warm clear colors are seen as friendly, happy, energetic, youthful and playful. (C)  Wear sparingly to work.
  • Cool colors (the darker the better) are generally perceived as trustworthy, reliable and professional. (D)
  • Feminine colors such as pinks, lilac, yellow can diminish authority (E), while colors traditionally associated with men generally provide authority e.g., black, charcoal, navy.(A,D)  Avoid mid greys if you are over 50 as they tend to make you appear older.
  • Warm dull colors are emotionally reassuring however, they can also be perceived as low energy or passive. (F)
  • Bright, vivid or intense colors raise energy and enthusiasm and/or increase tensions depending on the color and situation. (G)
For more psychology of color insights click here.
Image Innovators, Ann Reinten, Style Clinic, Image Consultant Training, Work Style
Image Innovators, Ann Reinten, Style Clinic, Image Consultant Training, Work Style

Color Hierarchy

Being savvy about what colors to wear to work will help ensure you create the impression you’re after.

Traditional Business Attire: White has long been considered the most professional color for business shirts.  Next in line are the light/icy shades of blue, lilac and pink which are the most recognizable formal business colors (stars in Tradition business row).  Wear solid white when you wish to create the most serious/formal impression.

Business Casual colors are led by mid to dark blues and purples (stars in Business Casual row) and followed by mid shades of pink, orange, yellow and green. Bright, unusual colors not commonly associated with seriousness are best left for after work hours.

Prints and Patterns: For stripes and checks the background color should be considered first for its level of authority followed by the color of the stripes. Also, the narrower and closer together the stripes the more business like your image will be.


Contrast for Attention 

Another important aspect of color is its ability to subtly solicit attention.  The contrast level of an outfit is created between the colors you are wearing and will be in either a high, medium or low.  In the case of you wearing one color i.e., a beige dress, it will be between the dress and your skin (low contrast if you have light to medium Caucasian coloring). The higher the contrast the more the brain will be stimulated to take notice. Knowing how to manage this secret weapon can give you a real advantage.

  • High contrast is created by strong light/dark or bright color combinations; the kind that make you want to say WOW.  Depending on the colors this contrast can have you being perceived as authoritative (think 80′s power dressing) or eccentric.  It will definitely wake the brain and have you being noticed, but is so loud/strong that it can tend to make others stand back rather and observe rather than to interact with you. 
  • Medium contrast is created when the color contrast comes from colors that are lighter and darker than each other while being easy on the eye.  This level of contrast is professional and people friendly, think navy and white.  This contrast will have you noticed, listened to, taken seriously while remaining approachable.
  • Low contrast is created when different colors of the same or similar depth are combined.  This soft look tends to be perceived as elegant and sophisticated when rich or dark colors are combined and passive, casual, aging or bland when light colors are coordinated together.  If the colors are also close to the depth and of your skin the effect is multiplied. Imagine a dark skinned woman in the navy and black outfit. Low contrast is so quiet it can place you into visual incognito, as such it’s brilliant for observing and letting others take the lead, but when you want to take the reins or be noticed, listened to or taken seriously it’s not the way to dress.

It’s also important to mention that wearing colors that suit your personal coloring is also something to take seriously. The right colors will enhance your skin, hair and eyes, invigorate youthfulness and seriously increase your attractiveness. Image Innovators have many consultants who can help you discover your best colors.

Image Innovators, Ann Reinten, Style Clinic, Image Consultant Training, Work Style

A Touch of Spice is Nice

Every outfit we wear is accompanied by at least one accessory: shoes, belt, earrings and/or handbag etc.  While it’s easy to just throw them on without a thought, considering them only ‘finisher items’, they are in fact, much more important than just ‘finishers’.
For relatively small cost you can own a minimal wardrobe of basic items and have multitudes of different outfits that will be ready to take you anywhere, anytime when you fully employ the power of accessories.  In other words, accessories can expand your wardrobe by giving your outfits multiple looks, moods and a current look. If you’ve never truly explored your wardrobe’s mix and match possibilities, take a day and pull out all your tried and true outfits. Go through all your accessories to find at least several new outfits. Explore ways to dress each up and down using earrings, necklaces, scarves, hosiery, shoes and bags etc. When it comes to career dressing, understanding what style of accessory and how many to employ at any one time is the key to ensuring a professional presentation. The aim is to create visual interest to your outfits whilst maintaining a professional image and ensuring the attention is firmly focused above your bust line.
Key points
  • By the best quality you can afford. Quality over quantity – your accessories should support your image.
  • Your face is your fortune. If you add several accessories ensure the one near your face is the most dominant.
  • Ask yourself, ‘does this accessory say polished professional?’  If it doesn’t or you’re in doubt, take it off.
  • Limit yourself to 3 visual focal points. More than this and you’ll be in danger of looking too ‘busy’ for businesses.
  • Learn how to accessorize – there are lots of great blog, books and YouTube videos to learn from.
  • Hand carry as few things as possible to avoid looking clumsy or disorganised.  Avoid backpacks.
  • Handbags: The more structured and polished the bag the more professional you’ll appear.
  • Earrings: understated, classic and no larger than medium-large.
  • Shoes: the most professional are – at least medium height, leather with a closed, tapered to pointy toe.
  • Belts: medium to narrow, classic style, understated buckle and leather.
  • Watch: classic style, non-bulky, leather or chain strap.

Be Current, Be Clever

An up-to-date appearance is essential. It says I’m aware of what’s going today in the world around me.  A current appearance puts others at ease and builds credibility and trust.  Wearing clothes, eyewear, hairstyles or makeup that is a decade or more old will give you a look that advertises that you are clearly out of sync with the world about you and if you look out-of-date, maybe so are your skills and knowledge. Remember; we trust that what we see is a reflection of your character and abilities. I’m not saying you need to wear the latest fashion, but you do need to wear clothes and accessories that are recognizable with specific trends that are no more than five years old.  This is especially important for anything that is close to, or on your face/head as these are the areas noticed most.
There’s also no understating the personal confidence and pleasure an up-to-date and impressive image will give you.  When YOU like what you see in the mirror it’s incredibly empowering.

Say What?

To be heard takes more than putting a great idea/point across at the right time, to the right people.
Your words can dissolve mid-air if you are wearing something, or acting in a way that attracts more attention than what you are saying.  Distractions have the power to totally sabotage what you are trying to say or do. Not only do they cause others to focus on ‘it’ rather than what you are trying to get across, they create an internal dialogue about the item and you or, the item and them.  Whatever you were saying becomes white noise and depending on what the distraction was it may also damage your credibility.Image Innovators, Ann Reinten, Style Clinic, Image Consultant Training, Work Style
Examples of distractions:
  • strong perfume
  • ornate/large earrings and rings
  • jangling bracelets
  • low cut necklines
  • very short hemlines
  • visible tattoos
  • dark lingerie under light colored clothes
  • food stuck in teeth
  • weird/inappropriate makeup or hair
  • wardrobe malfunctions eg., fallen hems, bra straps, buttons missing, clothes straining or gaping
  • inappropriate clothes i.e., for weight, age, occasion, people present etc
  • anything out of the ordinary e.g., an earring missing from one ear
  • Before any important meeting where you need to be seen and heard take a last minute full-length look at yourself to check everything is as it should be.

Turn Offs

Similar to distractions, though potentially much more costlier to an individual’s career, is the creation of the perception that a person lacks a degree of self-awareness and/or sensitivity for others. This conclusion having been made from an individual’s experience of the way they dressed, looked or behaved in a given situation. While most of us live in countries where we are blessed with the right to dress and behave as we please (within the limits of the law).  This privilege will backfire if the person is considered to be a maverick that cannot be totally trusted to dress or behave within social norms at important times. We may love them as friends or peers but their ‘loose-canon’ personality will cause us to exclude them from participating in important events.

 That ends this series, I hope you enjoyed it and have been able to adopt some of it into your wardrobe.
I’d love to hear your comments, stories or questions in the comment area below.


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

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 | What to Wear | 2 Comments

It’s happened to the best of us; showing up to an event only to discover you’ve not dressed appropriately. Not only is it embarrassing, it strikes a blow to your confidence, you feel conspicuous and it can give others the impression that you either don’t care or have not done your homework.

Most social and professional occasions have a dress code albeit some are unwritten. A dress code ensures that everyone is comfortable and suitably dressed for the occasion. Adhering to a dress code is also a form of etiquette and it shows respect to the host and puts everyone on equal footing.

what to wear

It’s great when a dress code is written and explicitly provided since it saves guests from second-guessing. But sometimes, dress codes are implied. That’s when things can get a little tricky because you don’t want to appear over- or underdressed. If your host or if the invite doesn’t provide the dress code for the event you’re attending, there are key questions that can lead you to the right attire for the occasion.

The solution to your dressing dilemma can be found by asking yourself the following targeted questions:

What’s the occasion?

The occasion determines the type of dress expected. Any occasion associated with business or seriousness (i.e. funeral, court) requires a more conservative, buttoned-up manner of dressing. In this instance, stick to neutrals and tailored silhouettes. Never reveal too much skin. For an intimate dinner, however, this kind of attire will make you look stuffy and closed off. For an intimate dinner, you can be more fashion forward but try to still look more polished to show proper respects to the host. More often than not, the kind of occasion will dictate your look. Social events have more flexibility and opportunity to show off some fashion pizzazz while formal events have less room for trends and details.

Where will the event be held?

The event’s location helps determine the clothes you should wear. The fancier the venue, the fancier your clothes should be. The location of the venue should also influence your choice of footwear. If the venue is indoors, you should opt for heels or more formal flats. If the venue is outdoors like a garden wedding or a corporate event at a park, wedges and/or flats that are sensible are great choices. Outdoor events should also come prepared with a sunhat to keep off the sun or a cardigan/wrap against the chill.

When will the event be held?

The time of the event also gives you relevant clues about the level of dress expected. Your “Sunday Best” is appropriate for a wedding at a country club in the morning or early afternoon, but if the wedding takes place after 5 o’clock or later, cocktail or evening attire is entirely appropriate. Evening events have room for more glamorous details like embellishments, rich jewel tones, glitter, and statement jewelry. Daytime events call for breezy silhouettes, delicate and understated jewelry, and pastel colors.

Who will be there?

The more you know about the people who will be present at the event, the better you’ll know how to dress properly. Some things to consider about the people are their:

  • Economic backgrounds
  • Professions
  • Ages
  • Gender
  • Relationships to one another 

Also, consider:

  • Are you acquainted with them?
  • Do you want to impress them?
  • Are they your allies/neutrals/competitors?

Asking these questions will help you in determining your look as well. The more intimate and personally connected you are to the people in attendance, the more leeway you have in expressing your personal style. If you are not well-acquainted with those in attendance, it is better to err on the side of caution and choose classic silhouettes and conservative looks.

What is my reason for attending the event? 

Why are you going to this event? Is it to show support? Make a business contact? To be seen by certain people? Your motive for attending dictates the type of clothes you should wear. If you’re a speaker at a work event or if you have a specific role in a social event, you can be more creative and expressive with your ensemble. Since you have a special part, you can afford to be more distinctive. However, always keep appropriateness in mind. If your aim is to impress, make a statement with a key piece. Don’t be overstyled, rather choose a confident look that expresses power without overwhelming or drawing too much attention.

Casual or formal, social or serious, most likely you want to make a great impression and look your best. Looking your best shows respect for others and for yourself. Your clothes also serve as a silent ad campaign to influence and impress others with you.

How will I reach this goal?

Continuing from question #4, if you want to look your best, then your attire must be appropriate. Keep in mind you also want to dress similarly to those around you, because similarity visually invites rapport. Dressing appropriately opens doors—both business and personal—while inappropriate attire shuts those doors.

Who may I ask for advice on what level of dress is expected?

When in doubt, consult the host or hostess of the event. You might also seek out other attendees and ask what they are wearing so you can gauge your manner of dressing against theirs. If you are uneasy about reaching out to the host or other attendees, seek the advice of a professional image consultant. This is worth your time and resources if you are attending a particularly important event.

Here are a few examples of occasions where looking your best is important. 

A Job Interview

Want the job? Then you’ve got to look capable, credible, and confident. Just as important is the fact you need to look like you fit within the organization’s image. Of course, different types of organization dress differently so ALWAYS do your homework by checking out any information on dress codes and sit somewhere close to their entry and watch what their employees wear. Then for your interview step it up a level to ensure you impress.

  • Tailored classic-cut matching skirt or pant suit in a neutral color is your best bet for serious professions (law, finance).Mismatched suits are fine for other interviews.
  • Contrasting colored top or blouse in a good quality fabric. Never underestimate the power of well-chosen color.
  • Good quality, neutral or blended hosiery in 10-20 denier. Carry a spare pair for unexpected runs. 
  • Closed toe, medium heeled pump – polished and no scuffs.
  • Understated medium size classic style earrings and only one non-essential accessory on the garment, i.e. a scarf or brooch.
  • Classic handbag, tote or briefcase. Think structured shapes. 
  • Current, light, flattering make-up.
  • Perfect grooming including the state of your clothes.
  • Smile!

Source: Image 1, Image 2,  Image 3

Giving A Presentation

When in front of a group, you’ve got to look confident while commanding attention and generating interest:

  • Wear color to be visually interesting and noticeable.
  • Create color contrast between your upper body layers or accessories. Keep the contrast at a medium level to maintain rapport with the greatest number of attendees.
  • Cover your upper arms – it’s more professional and formal.
  • Wear tailored garments in medium dark to dark colors if you wish to portray professionalism and authority. Brighter tailored outfits portray confidence and leadership.
  • Skirt or pants suits are often better than dresses as they allow for a microphone to be attached to the waistband.
  • Never wear a skirt shorter than just above the knee as the audience may be able to see up your skirt if you’re onstage.
  • Wear quality shoes with a medium to medium-high heel.
  • Apply your make-up applied slightly heavier than normal if you are likely to be lit by a spotlight so you don’t appear washed out.

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3

A Dinner Party

There are are so many types of dinner parties that it’s sometimes difficult to gauge the level of dress expected. Word of mouth invitations often indicate a relaxed level of dress while written invitations expect dressy attire. The more formal or expensive the stationery, the more formal the dress. Business-related dinners are also formal however limit necklines to those that just show cleavage and hemlines that allow you to bend without the threat of others seeing your lingerie.

  • The classic little black dress worn with dressy accessories.
  • A colorful long or short dress.
  • A pair of grey or black pants with a beaded top or twin set.
  • Dressy jewelry.
  • Strappy and/or high heel shoes that are patent, fabric, or beaded.
  • Evening make-up.
  • Small dressy purse.
  • Bare legs (if they look good) or sheer high quality hosiery.
  • Limited skin exposure. A dinner party is not the same as a dinner date.
  • Medium to high heels.

Source: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.

A Funeral

Attending a funeral requires respect to the departed and allows to share your condolences with the family. Unless otherwise stated modesty and propriety rule.

  • Clothes in subdued colors or black.
  • Upper arms covered
  • Non-revealing classic garments in conservative lengths.
  • Modest necklines.
  • Waterproof make-up.
  • Understated accessories.
  • Classic shoes, polished and in good repair. 
  • A handkerchief/tissues 
  • Dark glasses if you wish to hide your eyes. However, do remove them when inside.



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


MINDFUL DRESSING: how to with purpose

By | How To..., Personal Style, Wardrobe Savvy, What to Wear | 5 Comments

Have you ever thought about the type of image you want to project?

It’s easy to think that this would only be something professionals need to think about but that’s not true. No matter what your lifestyle, professional or age your appearance tells others about you before you even open your mouth. How you present yourself will either attract or repel others far before you’ve had a chance to say a word to them. While I don’t think you need to lose sleep over the issue, if you have found that you are not getting the responses from other people you want, or the opportunities you know you deserve then maybe, just maybe, your personal presentation may need a little tweak.

Appropriate, Enhancing and Goal Effective

According to the fashion website Matalan, which polled 2,491 females, the average woman spends an average 16 minutes every weekday morning, 14 minutes on the weekend and up to 20 minutes pondering her wardrobe prior to a night out. That’s a heck of a lot of wasted time over a year!

A long time ago I discovered the power my clothes, accessories and grooming had in controlling the way I felt each day as a result how I behaved. This is exactly the same way that an actor only totally feels one with the character they are portraying during a full dress rehearsal. Our clothes help us perform the roles we need/want to play each day. They help us to ‘feel’ the part and can act like armour helping us to feel more confident and protected. 

This is not a new phenomenon, it’s been happening since man first donned clothes.  We covered our nakedness to for protection and confidence, and from that time onward adding and subtracting items became the way to inform others of our status, role, moods, and affiliations.  

Being able to look in the mirror and say - go girl, you rock is great. It fills us with confidence, hope and we stand a little straighter, more with more purpose and smile more frequently. Knowing we look the part releases us from our insecurities and allows us to get on with the job at hand. Of course, it’s not just ourselves that are affected by our appearance. Others too, respond to how we look, and the right appearance encourages others to give us more time to explain our ideas, opens doors and releases opportunities both socially and professionally.  In fact your presentation is a continual portrayal of you – it’s like a constant visual resume.

So it’s worth the time to think about and plan your appearance. Once you have your look together give it the final check by asking yourself – Is it Appropriate, Enhancing and Goal Effective?

The night before.

If you wait until the morning to decide what you’ll be wearing it only results in early morning stress and often a ‘this will have to do‘ outfit.  I suggest you decide what you are going to wear each night before bed – it only takes a few minutes and you’ll be able to sleep-in a little later.

To make the process as quick and easy as possible you’ll need to have an organized closet.

If your closet is unorganized set aside a day to organize everything in a way that it works for you. Some women prefer clothes of the same color hung together while others prefer the same type of garments together.  I hang the same types of garments together and with like colors together. You may even like to separate your work wear from your casual wear – it doesn’t really matter, the aim is to create a wardrobe where all your options are easy to see. 

If your wardrobe is crammed and you can barely move the clothes on the rack, the first thing you need to do is a closet cleanout.   Not only to get rid of all the things that no longer fit you, are out of date or season, are no longer your style etc, etc, but also to move all the clothes that are for another season to another location.  You’ll be amazed at the different this alone will make.

When thinking about your clothes for the next day consider:

  • what work will I be doing?
  • where will I be going?
  • what level of dress should I wear – smart casual, business casual, formal business?
  • what is the weather forecast?
  • who will I be seeing?
  • what do I want to achieve or what impression do I want to make?

By answering each of the above questions you’ll be able to easily sort out the available options and select the items you want to wear to create an outfit you’ll feel perfect in.I suggest you also gather up your lingerie, shoes, coordinating handbag etc so everything is ready to go.

A few more tips help:

  • Create clothing clusters: these are groups of items that work around each other (see image below).
  • Document great outfits: anytime you put together a new winner of an outfit, note all the garments and accessory pieces in a notebook -  better still add a photo!  It’s amazing how quickly we can love a look one day and a week later have totally forgotten what pieces we put together to create it (or is this just my 50 yr old brain?).  Within a few months, PretaStyler members will be able to do this for themselves with our new Look book creation functionality.
  • Rotate your outfits: Leave at least 7 days in between wears and be ever on the lookout for new items that will extend your cluster to create a few different outfits.
  • Have at least one special outfit you can lay your hands on at a moment’s notice so you never get caught with nothing to wear at short notice.


Related Features:


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Thank you.
Ann Reinten AICI CIP

races fashion etiquette

FASHIONS ON THE FIELD – how to dress & behave during the Australian spring racing carnival

By | How To..., What to Wear | 4 Comments

Race days offer a fabulous reason to indulge in more glamorous fashion and are an amazing opportunity to mingle and socialize. No racing event quite compares to the Australian Spring Racing carnival.  It offers men and women the opportunity to have fun, rub shoulders with the rich and famous and be unashamedly and unapologetically dressed to the nines.

When it comes to race days and ‘fashions on the field,’ there’s a plethora of styles that you can try, ranging from the fashionably chic to the incredibly over-the-top and ridiculous. The Caulfield Cup, Derby Day, and the Melbourne Cup are also used as important business/social events, where alliances and networks are established, social skills and professional etiquette are demonstrated, and deals are secured. If you want to impress during these events, you must be aware where the boundary lies between stylish fashion statement and embarrassing and inappropriate garb.

Here’s my guide on how to dress and behave.


  • Do dress appropriately for your age and figure.
  • Don’t wear black. Racing carnivals are for fashion fun, and not seriousness.
  • Do dress to suit the particular race day.
  • Do dress for glamour, i.e., not too glitzy or sleazy.
  • Don’t wear anything too tight or too short. Do not expose bare backs, deep cleavage, midriffs or underwear lines.
  • Do wear hosiery for the most elegant looking leg.
  • Don’t be caught wearing a lightweight summer outfit on a freezing day. Be prepared for Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, and have an alternative outfit or coordinating layer ready on hand. 
  • Do wear a hat or facinator if wearing a dress.
  • Don’t’ wear heels that will cause you to sink into the turf – pst wedges are perfect!.
  • Do coordinate your hat style with the color and silhouette of your shoes, handbag, or clothing. But never all three – too much matchy-matchy. 
  • Don’t allow you toes to hang over the edge of your sandals.
  • Do wear invisible toe hosiery, and make sure that your toenails are painted and well groomed if wearing sandals.
  • Do be sensible with the height and width of your hat (you need to get through doorways and people want to be able to see around or over you). The best width for most women is nothing wider than your shoulders.
  • Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes, only horses are expected to occasionally go lame.
  • Do secure your hat to your head; no one wants to see ‘hat-hair.’
  • Don’t overdo your look with too much color, frills, flowers etc. Think more no than 3 focal points.
  • Do take a matching man.
  • Don’t forget to take your make-up essentials with you, and re-apply as necessary to ensure that you look fresh and put together all day. 
  • Don’t wear shiny or patterned stockings if your legs are a bit on the stocky side. Basic colors are much more flattering and have a slimming effect. 
  • Don’t forget to bring an umbrella, raincoat, and sunscreen if you are going to the Melbourne Cup. Melbourne is after all a “four seasons in one-day” type of city.
  • Don’t carry binoculars or a camera around your neck.

watch your feet




  • Watch the demon drink. The savvy party-goer knows that alcohol can either be a friend or enemy. One or two drinks on arrival, and one an hour after that will not only keep your behaviour within your control but will also keep you under the legal limit for driving home. Oh and…don’t drink directly from the champers bottle ladies! 
  • Avoid the “kid in the lolly shop’ syndrome when being invited into a corporate tent. Free drink and free will are dangerous partners. Always keep in mind: maintaining professional decorum is paramount. 
  • When eating, don’t talk with your mouth full, use the fork to conduct conversations or enunciate a point, or help yourself to all the oysters! Etiquette must be top of mind at all times. Moderation in eating is also essential and keeping a fashionable appearance. 
  • Be a good sport. Never brag, and if you end up on the losing end, do congratulate the winners with utmost graciousness.



Source:  Image 1,   Image 2



Now that we have the basic dos and don’ts of how to dress and behave out of the way, let’s discuss the specifics of the dress codes of each respective race days. A big event such as the Melbourne Cup will draw a huge crowd with a mix of people; you never know when you’ll get to meet an influential person during this event. With this in mind, it is better to err on the side of caution when it comes to dressing up. Glamour is still important when deciding what to wear for the race days, but one should value the elegance and sophisticated quality of the ensemble above all.

Derby Day

Derby Day is all about the timelessly chic color duo of black and white. If your coloring is cool, then this color combination will surely work for you, particularly if you have dark hair and pale skin. You can go really graphic with this color, and wear a bold black and white print in a classic silhouette like an elegant sheath dress. But if you’re a cool blonde, opt for a dominantly white outfit with just a hint of black.

Complement your outfit with black accessories in an interesting texture, such as a black patent belt, black suede pumps, or a black leather clutch. If your coloring is warm, rather than go stark black and white, choose an off white, buff or beige to go with your black. When wearing a black-and-white outfit, you can add a touch of color with a belt, bag or shoes, but don’t go overboard. Just choose one complementary color and don’t add another color into your look. Make sure that your colorful accessory isn’t too loud, and that it goes tastefully with your final look.  You may also find the following Style Clinic features useful:  How to Wear White,  How to Wear Black.

Derby day dress


Melbourne Cup Day

Melbourne Cup Day is your opportunity to color-up and dress to impress. This is your day to glamorously express your unique style.

Hats take center stage and you will do well to plan your ensemble based on your hat design. If there was ever a time to get a hat custom-made, or to invest in a pricey yet artfully beautiful hat, attending the Melbourne Cup is a very compelling reason to make such a purchase. Let your hat either be the wow factor of your outfit and coordinate the rest of your look to complement it. For those with less to invest a facinator will do just as well when well selected. 

The Melbourne Cup is a very flamboyant and extravagant event where every woman comes in with the goal of being the best dressed and most glamorous woman of the day. Your effort will surely be worth it once you’re called up on stage, since there are prizes for the best fashion of the day during the Melbourne Cup.

Melbourne Cup Style #Pretastyler


Crown Oaks Day

Crown Oaks Day is also known as “Ladies Day.” On Oaks day men will sport a pink rose in celebration of Ladies Day, also dubbed “a day of indulgence.”

This is the day to bring out a more feminine style. Gain inspiration from vintage ladies fashions, and give in to your more girly side in delicate lace, gorgeous floral prints, and ladylike silhouettes like tea skirts and flowing, flirty frocks. Crown Oaks Day is a full day dedicated to women so why not use this day to show off your most gentle, graceful, and girly self. You can even opt to match your look of the day with the signature pink rose of the day. Keep your makeup look light and dewy, and keep your hairstyle soft, smooth, and effortless. Crown Oaks Day celebrates womanhood so take this as a perfect opportunity to show off your natural feminine beauty.

Ladies DaySource

Emirates Stakes Day

The most relaxed and laid-back day of the Spring Racing Carnival is the Emirates Stakes Day. Although more casual than other race days, it is still a major no-no to attend this race day under-dressed. Easygoing as this day might be, there are still race day dress code standards to uphold and rules to abide by.

This day is also known as “Family Day,” and it has a friendlier and more open vibe. As the racing carnival winds down, think about having fun while donning your outfit but never forget that understated elegance is still a crucial part of this event. Emirates Day is all about looking polished and being comfortable at the same time. Keep the silhouettes of your clothing options classic, and play with colors that are cool and relaxing. Try an A-line skirt with a crisp button-down in a light, pastel color. Emirates Stakes Day is the end of the Spring Racing Carnival so it is best to end a week of fashion on a good note and a stylish ensemble.

 Emirates day group


dress code fashion

WHAT TO WEAR FOR ANY OCCASION – how to understand dress codes

By | How To..., What to Wear | One Comment

Have you ever turned up for an event only to discover you were inappropriately dressed?  It’s embarrassing and instantly puts you at a visual and emotional disadvantage. 

Most occasions whether social or professional have an expected code of dress; some are written while others are implied. A dress code ensures the event lives up to the formality desired by the host and allows all attendees to be on a somewhat equal visual footing.  In addition, adhering to a dress code is a form of etiquette that shows respect to the host and assists everyone feels at ease with each other. 

Some stated dress codes i.e. formal and smart casual can be easily researched while working out what to wear to an occasion where the dress code has not been stated requires a little sleuth work and consideration.  

No matter what the dress code it can be applied with without losing sight of your own personal style. Whether it be a wedding, funeral, dinner party, gala event, Sunday brunch, public presentation, job interview, disciplinary review, or even a court appearance, choosing the right look for each is important in order to promote yourself in the best possible light, and to allow others to feel comfortable in our presence.  

Next time you’re faced with the ‘What do I wear to that’ quandary, ask yourself the following:

What is the occasion?

Is it a social, serious or sad occasion? Is it a formal or informal affair?

The occasion, will in most cases will determine the type of dress that will be expected of you. Any occasion associated with business requires a more conservative, buttoned-up manner of dressing. A business dinner and an intimate dinner for two are completely different occasions and should be treated as such. While for the latter it might be desirable to wear something a little revealing, it will be entirely inappropriate and is certain to be misconstrued in a business setting. In a worst case scenario it may be viewed as trying to gain the wrong kind of attention or to distract through sexual means.

Where and when will it be held?shutterstock_1810817601

The location and time will also have a bearing on the clothes you wear. If you are going to a restaurant renowned for its haute cuisine and high level of service, your dress will be expected to be in keeping with the image of the establishment. Local cafes and less expensive restaurants do not require the same level of formality.

The time will also give you a clue as to both the level of dress and the need to respond to the weather conditions like putting on a cardigan or wrap to keep out late night or early morning chill. Evening dining also tends to call for more dressy attire than most daytime dining.

Who will be there?

The entire group attending has to be considered. What is the economic background of those who will attend? What profession or type of work are they engaged in? What is the general age and gender of the group, and what relationship (if any) do they have to each other? Will there be anyone present who you are already acquainted with? If you will be trying to impress people, are they likely to be allies, neutral onlookers/participants, or will they be possible competitors? And if you dress or act in a particular way, are they likely to become confused, annoyed or amused? The more that you know about any group the better equipped you will be to dress and act in exactly the right manner.

Why am I going and what do I want to achieve?

Do you want/need to meet someone that you know will be attending? Will the encounter be used toward building a business relationship or personal one? Do you want to impress those present with your social savvy, knowledge, personality or position, or are you going just to been seen as having attended? The reason behind the intended meeting/gathering and the reason why you are attending will together dictate the type and way in which you will select the clothes for the occasion.

How will I reach this goal?

Your clothes send silent signals to everyone you meet all the time. Hence, if you are there to market yourself you will need to determine the target of your influence and dress in a way that will impress them. Would you have to wear the latest fashion, high quality clothes and accessories, laid back informal clothes, medium to inexpensive clothes, suits, dresses or separates? Often it’s helpful to dress in a manner similar to those whom you are trying to impress or meet. This tactic will remove one possible barrier of ‘difference,’ and can visually invite rapport. Ultimately for every situation one word can be used to sum up everything you do and wear, and that word is ‘Appropriate.’ Dress and present yourself in an appropriate manner and doors will opened to you and opportunities will be made available to you. Dress shabbily and inappropriate and you run the risk of being avoided, ostracized, or even ignored entirely.

Seek Advice

When in doubt, consult with the host or hostess of the event. If you are still confused on the dress code, seek out other attendees and ask what they are wearing so you can gauge your manner of dressing against theirs. 

Each Moring

A Job InterviewInterview

First impressions count therefore your aim is to look capable, credible, confident, and in-sync with the organization’s image. Always dress in a suit even if the job may later afford you the luxury of casual wear.

  • A tailored classic-cut matching skirt or pant suit in a neutral color is your best bet for serious professions such as law and finance. Mismatched suits are fine for many other interviews.
  • A contrasting colored top or blouse in a good quality fabric.
  • Good quality, neutral or blended hosiery in 10-20 denier. Carry a spare pair for unexpected runs.
  • Closed toe, medium heeled pump – well polished and in good repair.
  • Understated medium size classic style earrings and only one other on garment, non-essential accessory. For example, a scarf or brooch.
  • A classic handbag, tote or briefcase.
  • Current, light, flattering make-up.
  • Well-styled clean hair in a style that sits above the shoulders.
  • A smile to highlight your confidence and likeability.




Giving A PresentationPresentation

All eyes will be on you so the aim will be to dress in such a way as to exude confidence, command attention, and generate inspiration.

  • Wear color to be visually as well as verbally interesting.
  • Create contrast either between your top/blouse and jacket or your jacket and a significant accessory e.g., a scarf. A medium to light colored jacket or suit worn with a dark top or scarf has an exciting visual impact.
  • Cover your upper arms to raise the level of professionalism and formality.
  • Skirt or pants suits are often better than dresses as they allow for a microphone to be attached to the waistband.
  • If you will be on a stage or podium never wear a skirt shorter than just above the knee as the audience may be able to see up your skirt.
  • Quality shoes with a medium to medium-high heel.
  • Apply your make-up applied slightly heavier than normal if you are likely to be lit by a spotlight.





  A Dinner Party

Dinner Party

The level of dress depends on the style of invitation; word of mouth invitations indicate a relaxed level dress while those issued by written invitation expect
dressy attire. The more formal or expensive the stationery the more formal the dress expected. Business related dinners call for more formality of dress than those held with close or intimate friends. Curb any tendency to expose a lot of skin.

  • The classic little black dress worn with dressy accessories.
  • A colourful fashionably long or short dress.
  • A pair of grey or black pants with a beaded top or twin set.
  • Dressy jewellery.
  • Strappy and/or high heel shoes that are patent, fabric or beaded.
  • Evening make-up.
  • Small dressy purse.
  • Bare legs (if they look good) or sheer high quality hosiery.






A Funeral

At funerals you are there to show Funeralyour respect to the departed and share your condolences with the family. Modesty and propriety is the guiding rule.

  • Clothes in subdued colors or black.
  • Non-revealing classic garments in conservative lengths.
  • Waterproof make-up.
  • Understated accessories.
  • Classic shoes, polished and in good repair. Do not wear your high heel or fancy shoes if the funeral is to be held at the grave-site as you may find yourself stepping in dirt or mud.
  • A handkerchief
  • Dark glasses if you wish to hide your eyes. However, remove them when inside.