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While it was almost 100 degrees outside, I received five fall catalogs in the last few days with pictures of cuddly sweaters, wool jackets, layered looks and leggings. Ugh! Who can think of fall when it is so hot!!

Makeup? I don’t know about you, but mine melts off before I even get out the door. And that is with the air conditioning on. This is where your bright lip colors come in handy. A stroke of powder on your lids, touch of mascara on your lashes and a tinted lip balm or plum lipstick. You are good to go!

Monday I wore a white pencil skirt (similar to this one from Old Navy) and a hot pink and white sleeveless top. I don’t go sleeveless often, but since I don’t work in an office and I am running in and out all day, a jacket isn’t practical. White, you say. Gasp! It’s after Labor Day. Everyone knows that you can’t wear white after Labor Day or before Memorial Day.

nordstrom_white_jeansWrong. Wear clothing that is appropriate for what you are doing and the weather. When there is three feet of snow on the ground, wearing white isn’t practical, unless you enjoy doing laundry. So grab those white shorts, white jeans and white skirts and get those final wears out of them this week. Before long the temperature will drop and you can cuddle up in wool.

Until then, enjoy leafing through the various catalogs. Chico’s catalog for September 2013 shows 23 items of clothing with animal print! Hmm, I wonder if animal print will be in vogue this season? Coldwater Creek (right next door at Coral Ridge) didn’t show any animal print. But they show a lot of skirts.

chadwicks_leather&jeansChadwicks is bringing JG Hook back into the fashion scene.  Their clothes tend to be traditional and work appropriate. But they aren’t afraid to take on red! They also have two-piece suiting, which is very helpful for top heavy or bottom heavy women. Only two animal prints in the entire catalog. But Chadwicks has a great leather blazer. I showcased this jacket at my Fall 2012 gathering. They carry it in five colors and besides regular Misses sizes, they also carry it in Petite, Tall and Women. It’s a $99.99 jacket, but there is a coupon for 20% off. Too bad you can’t get free shipping!

landsend_animal_shoesLand’s End comes in with four animal prints (three in shoes!). And, as usual, they carry great timeless sweaters sets, cable knit sweaters and the requisite down coats.

Overall, the one thing I am noticing about this fall’s catalog is color. This year they have gone beyond olive green and boring beige to bring vibrant pinks, purples, red, bright greens and blues. No falling asleep on the job!


There are so many interesting things to find on the internet and I recently have been playing around with With so many products, you can create so many looks. Here’s one I pulled together that is trendy, yet still work-appropriate. I think the bag is the star of this outfit.

What’s right about this:

  • The blazer is a great color! It’s fitted and the lapels are structured, but the second set of lapels tells everyone that this is not traditional.
  • The pencil skirt is always a go-to and will remain timeless. The black-on-black texture helps offset the extra material in the jacket.
  • Booties with a skirt might seem a bit of a stretch for some traditional offices. But the black tights minimize the trendiness. Notice that the heel high is reasonable. The company calls it a “kitten heel,” which I would have said is much lower, but it’s less than 2″, so it works in the workplace.
  • Love the animal print bag. Yes, the bag has texture, as does the skirt, but the textures are different so they can play well together.
  • The necklace is a statement piece, but it isn’t too loud. Great for the office because it is simple and not fussy.

Give a try. See what outfits you can come up with!

Your purse is part of your image and you need to think about what it says when it’s slouching on the floor and the contents are spilled out. A sturdy handbag sends the message that you are pulled together and so is your work.

When choosing a purse, consider:

  1. Proportion. Petite women should avoid carrying large tote styles. If you need a large tote, stick a more reasonably sized purse (containing only the essentials) inside for most situations. Similarly, large women walking around with miniature purses just emphasize the difference between their size and the size of the purse.
  2. Placement. If you’ve got larger hips, find a purse that hits closer to your chest area. Conversely, those with slim hips can wear a larger bag that hits around the hip.
  3. Pack-ability. All the important things should be inside a closed purse. Stuffing things that almost fit doesn’t send a professional message.
  4. Politeness. An oversize sturdy purse can hinder your professional image if it acts as a battering ram in a crowded area. If your purse is a bruiser, carry it in front of you when in a crowd.
  5. Pleasing. While we don’t all have the same taste, your purse should be clean, the lining shouldn’t be shredded in pieces, the hardware should match (not safety pins), and the outside material shouldn’t be torn.
  6. Personality. This is your professional life so think about statement pieces or power colors: true red, jade green, or even metallic (as long as it isn’t too sparkly). Yes, you can choose a pattern, as long as it isn’t too loud!
What does your purse say about you?

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, Certified Total Image Consultant

I’ll admit, these Stuart Weitzman Big Bows are the shoes I long to wear. But reality has recently kicked my ego to the curb. Some recent health problems have forced me to look at shoes that are focus a bit more on comfort. But I refuse to wear ugly shoes! So, surfing around the Zappo’s website, I found some options (all less than 1.5” heel) and may be destined for my shopping wish list:

  1. Poco by Stuart Weitzman. The nude color extends the leg line and the lower heel puts less pressure in the toe area, allowing a pointy toe shoe to be more comfortable. The snake print gives them a bit of an edge. Note that the spike heel will be more difficult to wear than a wider heel.
  2. Anne Klein Pipa. Everyone has flaws and one of mine is: I hate my toes! I like to wear sling back shoes whenever possible as they have a more delicate look than an enclosed shoe. The bow detail in the back keeps them looking feminine and the flat leather keeps them quite versatile.
  3. Distinta from Ferragamo. The thicker heel on these is better if you are going to be on your feet for a while. Note that the toe of these shoes is not as pointy as the others. However, they still fall into the “somewhat” pointy range. The shiny finish and buckle dresses them up even more.
  4. Nine West Maibu. If you’re going for a pop of color, these might do the trick. While the wedge is low and gives you more support, the red leather and the shiny buckle make it very clear that you are not a wallflower!
  5. Vanelli Rickie. A great everyday shoe. The heel is slim, but wider than a spike. The embossed toe matching the heel is a very sophisticated look and also adds a dressy element to a shoe that might otherwise look too chunky. A good consideration if you have a wider foot.
  6. Joan & David Bozwell. I really love the look of this shoe! Loafers are big for Spring 2012 and these will keep you looking pulled together and up to date. Great for casual dresses, dressy shorts, jean skirts, capri pants . . . the list goes on. So, I just ordered them!
  7. Evaluna by Joan & David. The peep toe on these is a bit smaller so my toes don’t show as much. The cutouts give it a lighter look for the warmer months. These are metallic and you may recall that a metallic shoe can often be considered a neutral. Oh, I added these to my shopping cart, too!
  8. Michael Kors Flex Demi Wedge. Animal print is a classic and will never go out of style. Because of the multi-colors, these shoes will be able to act as a neutral on almost any outfit. Remember, only one wild animal print at a time!
  9. Aravon Tammi. I will admit, I’m not crazy about these shoes. Of this style, these are about the best I’ve seen. What’s right about them? The diamond pattern at the toe adds a bit of a feminine touch. If possible, find some that don’t have the strap across the ankle, as it shortens the leg. If you must wear these with a dress, go with black tights as dark hosiery will not accomplish the same look. While dark hosiery is better than nude hosiery or bare legs, to keep them looking the least chunky, black tights are your best bet. In the warmer weather, shoot for a neutral color and make sure the rest of your outfit can pull these off!

WONDERING WOMAN: I saw this article and thought I’d share it and gather your input. –Penny S.

ANSWER: Well, this is an amusing look at a serious subject–what professional woman should or should not wear to work! I’m all about the humor, but there are a few areas I would disagree on: shorts are never professional in the workplace; shimmery eye shadow also does not belong in the workplace.

Although the article is rather lengthy. Take a few minutes to read the first page. I think you’ll find it amusing enough to finish the article! Then provide your own input . . .

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, Certified Total Image Consultant

I was looking through a Jessica London catalog recently. Jessica London specializes in clothing for larger women. Their tag line is “We Love Your Curves.” But larger women need to understand that they have to follow the same rules as everyone else. If you want an area to look smaller, don’t put a pattern on it.

This is a great example of the difference between a small, overall pattern and a horizontal pattern. In the picture on the top, the leg on the left looks much thinner than the leg on the right. That is because there is an overall pattern and your eye doesn’t know where to stop. For the leg on the right, every time there is a horizontal line (I can’t count how many there are!) the eye stops and it creates the illusion of heaviness.

The picture bottom picture shows what happens when you put this into action–the Zebra Print tights grab all the attention. If you’ve been following me long, you know that the attention belongs on your face, not your tights! They did have her pose correctly, one leg half covering the other and in pumps with higher heels. But if this model had worn the same dress with the Leopard Print tights, her legs would have been less noticeable (and looked thinner) because of the small, overall print.

No matter what your size, the rules of body balancing don’t change. Most importantly, just because you see it in a magazine, doesn’t make it right!

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, Certified Total Image Consultant

While my husband watched Sunday Night Football, I headed to Kohl’s. I had a coupon for 20% off my entire purchase and after blogging about the deals in Sunday’s paper, I HAD to see what was available. Here are the results:

I picked up an $80 Chaps zebra print blouse ($23.60) and black denim leggings ($7.20). No photos as they were last season’s offerings. I’ll wear these with flat black leather boots and a belt (previous purchases). This will be a different look for me, but I need to stretch myself if I am encouraging my clients to stretch. And, yes, I followed my Rule of Three*, but those outfits are more in my regular style of outfits. No fears, I can always return things to Kohl’s! (*Rule of Three: All purchases have to coordinate with at least three other items already in your closet or don’t purchase it.)

I also picked up some earrings, which is a struggle for me as I want to look professional but not too boring. These silver textured earrings ($9.80) are simple but bold and hug my face so I don’t have “Mickey Mouse” ears!

These are my new fav’s ($9.80). A bit of movement, but the shape stands out against my wide neck and aren’t too long for my short neck. Best of all, they are a gun metal color and match almost perfectly the color and shape of the closures for a black and brown animal print jacket (previous purchase). Gold jewelry is usually expected with animal print, so these are a nice surprise:

I bought these ($11.20) and will return them because they dangle too long. Aside from too much movement being distracting to others, they hit the collar on my blouse:

I tried these ($11.20)also, but they didn’t look as good on my face as they did on the rack:

These were also a no-go ($8.40). I was trying to find something for that animal print jacket mentioned above. They just didn’t have the power to stand up against that WILD look.

My total bill for the items I kept (including tax): $43.14. Who says shopping isn’t fun; I can’t wait to wear them! Be sure to share some of your great purchases as you fight the holiday crowds! Happy shopping and may you always look great!

Pat Roland, Certified Total Image Consultant

As Fall approaches it may be time to change out your purse or purse accessories. Animal prints are always in style. But don’t go overboard. As with most things, less is better. That means steer clear of the trendy colors. Also, if you are carrying an animal print purse, leave the rest of your outfit neutral so that the focus is on the bag. Go ahead and splurge a little if you can, because a good quality, stylish animal print purse will be a wardrobe staple for years to come.

  1. Marcia Leopard Satchel with silver hardware from Kohl’s offers a nice contrast since most people think of gold when they think of animal print.
  2. Simple and structured can say style without a huge price tag. This one by GAL is on sale now for $39.19. Keep an eye open for those Younkers coupons!
  3. Jetset Python Embossed Tote is a sleek beauty that will be in your wardrobe forever because the pattern is so muted. Available at Nordstroms.
  4. Coach doesn’t want to be left out of the party and they won’t be with this Madison Ocelot purse from Macy’s.
  5. Add Amazon’s Animal Print Rhinestone Closure Evening Purse to your little black dress for your next special event and no one will remember that you wore the same dress last year!
  6. Leopard Animal Print Faux-Fur Laptop Sleeve for those who want to add some fun to their professional image. Available through
  7. If you want to be discreet about your animal instincts, try Maurice’s Leopard Flower Coin Purse.
  8. For those of you with money to burn, Cassidy is available for a mere $2,395. Out of my price range, but it is a beautiful work of art!
It’s a jungle out there . . .
May you always look great!

Pat Roland, CTIC

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