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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!


Emerald, declares Pantone, is the color for Spring 2013. You may recall my post a year ago “Eyes for Emerald.” This tells you how popular this color can be. (Or maybe I’m just ahead of the trends.) Either way, emerald is a great color on most people. It is considered a cool bright color. You may recall that bright colors bring brightness to your face, which is a good thing. When you face looks bright (compared to dull) you will look more vibrant, thus looking younger.

You can pair your emerald green with any neutral color: black, white, gray, navy, beige, cream. For a pop of fun color, try these Coach pumps with a simple shirtdress (like this one from Younkers). If you work in a creative environment, you could be more bold and wear emerald green with this purple shirtdress from Banana Republic!


chadwick_colorblock_jacketdresschadwick_ruched_crossover_dressWhile emerald may be the “in” color for Spring, timeless cuts in this color will take you through many seasons. Chadwick’s ruched dress or their colorblock jacket dress are two items that will stay in your wardrobe for many years.

nordstrom_lanvin_silk_blouseIf you prefer something to pair with your current black skirt or pants, try this silk blouse from Nordstrom’s.

What will you wear emerald with this Spring?

A recent article appeared on called “The Seven Ways Your Boss Is Judging Your Appearance.” While this is no surprise, I wanted to expound on some of the areas:

  1. younkers_structured_jacketGrooming: The article refers to looking “polished” or “pulled together.” Of course it means that our clothes are clean and pressed. But a “pulled together” look is more than that. You need to put together an outfit that is pleasing to the eye. Jackets are a girl’s best friend when trying to look pulled together. Statement jewelry that is not distracting (too flashy, too noisy) gives one a polished look.
  2. Posture: Sitting tall adds to your height (see No. 5). If you’ve gotten into the habit of slouching realize that it is adding years to your look and tells others that you are not proud of yourself. Think about keeping your chin parallel to the floor. If you can push your shoulders down and back, your posture has room for improvement.
  3. Physical Attractiveness: This is where a lot of people just throw in the towel. But it doesn’t mean that only the most beautiful people will succeed. It means you do the best with what you have. Wearing cool bright colors will make most people look alive and energetic, keeping the attention on your face. People only see your flaws when you don’t tell them where to look. Take charge of your image!
  4. Slimness: Yes, some of us aren’t in the best of shape. But dressing appropriately for your shape will make you look slimmer. A black tent dress doesn’t solve all your problems. Wearing monochrome clothing does cause the eye to glide over your silhouette, but structure is still important. We need to know where your waist area is, where your legs start and stop, that you have shoulders that don’t slouch. A structured jacket will solve this problem for most people.
  5. younkers_pumpHeight: While we can’t change our height, we can add a few inches with the right shoes. Adding more than 5” heels, however, is overboard and causes you to look like you are more interested in being trendy than getting to the next meeting in one piece. I recommend no more than a 3” heel for the workplace. Again, that posture will help!
  6. Expensive Clothing: This area can be overwhelming to those with a limited budget. But it is the way the item is made and the material that is being used that is important, not the actual price tag. Recently I saw a pair of plaid pants at Von Maur where the plaid didn’t match up on the sides. This is distracting and a sign of poorly made clothing. Conversely, I saw a similar pair of plaid pants at Sears where the plaids were matched properly. Wearing items that are appropriate for your body shape will also help less expensive clothing look more expensive because they drape on your body properly.
  7. Youthful Appearance: Should all of us over the age of 40 just give up? Absolutely not! Wearing clothing that makes you look vibrant and energetic will help you look and feel more confident. When people see vibrant, energetic and confident people, they don’t even think about age. Again, cool bright colors will achieve this. A pop of lip color will also wake up your face.

So don’t be disheartened by these studies. When you are in control of your image, you are in control of your career. Don’t get left behind by being a wall flower.

Do you feel your boss is judging you by your appearance? In what ways?

WONDERING MAN: I usually wear black shoes with black pants and brown shoes with brown pants, and I match the socks to their respective pants. But I have some navy pants and I don’t have any navy shoes. What shoes and socks do I wear with those? –Steve U.

ANSWER: This question is pertinent whether you are a man or a woman. The basic rule of thumb is that you match your socks to your shoes. I recently read an article that insisted you match the socks to the pants because when you take your shoes off it matches better. Well, I don’t know many career people walking around the office without their shoes on! And I’ve seen some high-level executives wear socks that don’t follow this rule. But, hey, when you are the CEO, you can wear whatever you want.

The reason for the rule is that pant shoes tend to be rather clunky. To keep the shoe unobtrusive the socks should match the shoe. Black pants, black sock, black shoes. Brown pants, brown socks, brown shoes. Now we hit the navy wall. There are plenty of navy pants and plenty of navy sock, but navy shoes are quite a different matter. What to do? Revert to the black shoes and the black socks. Do not wear navy socks with the black shoes because it leaves the shoe “hanging” there and obvious.

As long as we are on the subject of socks with pants, please be sure to wear tall socks that cover your calves. When you cross your legs, if a patch of skin separates your socks from your pants, you have just caused a distraction!

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!

Holiday parties are here and with all the running around and protecting yourself against Black Friday shoppers (can you believe some of the stories!), most people don’t think about what to wear until the last minute. Instead of purchasing items you will never wear again try “kicking it up a notch” using your regular wardrobe as a base to make it festive, affordable and wearable.

This inspiration came from PeopleStyleWatch December 2009 (see how some trends never go out of style). For a party with your friends, grab your favorite dark wash jeans and add a velvet blazer. Yes, black is classic, but a neutral grey is a bit of a surprise and just as versatile. Add a pop of color with your blouse and you are good to go. Ready to go a step further? Add a touch of bling with these ballet flats or a shiny broach (from your grandma’s jewelry box or consignment store for added savings).

Take slightly a different approach by flip-flopping the outfit: velvet jeans, your favorite crisp white blouse, a bright colorful necklace and some great boots. This dark patterned bag will go with either outfit!

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, Certified Total Image Consultant

Recently attended an event where Andy Paige, nationally known fashion consultant, spoke and provided many great tips. One that caught my attention was about accessories. Many woman say that they don’t wear them because they don’t have time to put them on. But Andy pointed out (and I totally agree) that it isn’t that we don’t have time to put them on, it is that we don’t have time to FIND them and put them on.

Since accessories are where you get to express your personality, keeping them organized and accessible is a sure way to “grab and go.” Some of the organizing tools I use for jewelry include:

  • Thread spool hung on the wall (using Command Strips to keep the wall undamaged). I hang my necklaces over the rung and I can see everything I want quickly. (Available at WalMart or your closet fabric store.) For jewelry sets, I put them in little sheer white pouches and then hang the pouch on the rung. (Available at Michaels.)
  • I keep my earrings in a little drawer on my dresser. The organizing tool I use is actually the tray from the frozen quiche I found at Sam’s Club. I love recycling items and finding new uses for them. There are 20 little circles and each circle hold one sets of earrings.

Keep your accessories modern, organized and accessible. May you always look great!

Pat Roland, CTIC

Just because celebrities do it doesn’t mean it’s good. People StyleWatch recent posted this image and stated: Who says you can’t wear sandals when the weather cools down? [Rachel] Bilson’s Rag & Bone platforms look just as good paired with bare legs as with opaque black tights.

I totally disagree with them! Her legs look miles long on the right and her feet look chunky on the left. We all have a right to wear what we want. But when a magazine says this looks good–that’s where I draw the line!   What are your thoughts?

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, CTIC

Click here if you were trying to get to Let’s Polka. There was a glitch in my e-blast! Sorry for the inconvenience.

I received an e-mail from Amber O. wondering whether these shoes (by Kobi Levi, Israeli shoe designer) are a “do” or a “don’t.” My response was:  DO wear to a mardis gras party or any gathering with family members whom you never want to invite you back!

I’ve named them myself.

A: Banan-A-Peel E: Say Ahh
B: Walk the Dog F: Double Trouble
C: Scottish High Roller G: Rockin’ Gold
D: Venus H: Slides
I: Devil Wears B&W

Vote for your favorite or suggest a better name.

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, CTIC

Click here if you were trying to get to Let’s Polka. There was a glitch in my e-blast! Sorry for the inconvenience.

Ah, now here are some shoes we can live with! Finally some choices in heel height. If 4+” heels work for you, you go girl. For the rest of us, those who may have to walk a few blocks or stand on our feet for a few hours, 2″ heels are much more practical. And those of you who keep telling me you can’t wear heels at all, these flats we can work with! The bow gives us the feminine touch no matter what heel height. If you feel a little on the wild side, go for the leopard print bow. These will take your stuffy black suit to a new level!

I’ll agree that the price tag might be a bit high ($139-$169) if you are used to purchasing shoes at your local shoe outlet or even a department store. But most of those shoes are manufactured with “man-made materials.” These are leather and leather shoes breathe. Leather shoes can also be taken to your local shoe repair shop and “refreshed” for several years before they need replacing. This translates into more bang for your buck. Who doesn’t like that?

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, CTIC

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