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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!


My Everyday Image’s Fall Fashion Event was held on September 23, and I had a houseful of women looking forward to seeing stay professional and stylish while staying on budget.

Front and center was the timeless black suit from Vonmaur. The material is very important and needs to drape properly, causing the suit to be more flexible—separating the pants from the jacket and using them in different outfits. The pants with a jean jacket, the jacket with a patterned skirt, etc.

Many jackets have flap pockets, these were slits. Flap pockets add bulk at the waist, abdomen or hip area. Few women like to add weight there! The pockets on most suits are sewn together when purchased and should stay that way. Don’t get into the habit of stuffing your pockets with keys, tissues or cash cards. It stretches out the material, thus adding bulk!

Using cool bright colors in your top (these are from Sears) softens the black, making it more friendly. Adding lapel pins with a bit of whimsy can also minimize the harshness of the black suit.

The hit of the afternoon was, of course, the stylish casual outfit consisting of a red leather jacket, simple white blouse and boot cut jeans. If “I can wear jeans to work” is your favorite saying, this is what your outfit ( should look like if you want to maintain your professionalism.

A long-sleeve single breasted white blouse is the most versatile item in your wardrobe.  Over a shell as a jacket or under a sweater, vest, or blazer. Add jeans, pants, skirt, or jumper, the possibilities just keep going.

Dark wash jeans in a simple boot cut with a bit of stretch in the material will never go out of style. Jeans are eternal when they fit properly. The dark wash adds an air of elegance to any outfit. Don’t ever give up your image for comfort.

Single-breasted red leather jacket is timeless and edgy at the same time. The lines of the jacket follow the natural curve of a woman’s body. This scrumptious jacket comes in a variety of colors and the $99 price tag was very reasonable. The leather was soft and supple, which you don’t often find, even at the pricier stores. One woman tried it on and would have seriously considered it, but alas, it was not long enough for her body style.

There was a variety of jewelry on displayed picked up from Kohl’s. One person bought two pieces right there at the event. I don’t normally sell items, but it was one less thing for me to have to return to the store!

Keep your eyes open for the next free event.

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

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

Leather is big every year and Fall 2011 is no exception. The question is whether you can wear leather in a professional office setting. While a short leather skirt with zippers can scream “biker babe,” a classic knee-length pencil or A-line style skirt in leather can be office appropriate. Make sure it isn’t too tight–it should skim over your hips without molding to them.

Since a leather skirt can appear cold and harsh, you will need to soften it. Pair it with a soft, blousy top (belted if you’ve got the figure), a soft cashmere sweater or a wooly blazer. Turtlenecks are acceptable as long as they are soft and not black. Black head to toe will garner you attention of the negative kind. While leather blazers are beautiful, pairing them with a leather skirt is too much leather in a professional setting (if you didn’t know before, suede is considered leather).

When wearing a leather skirt, steer clear of the leather boots. Black tights and black heels are a great combination with a black leather skirt. If you are wearing black tights, stick to black shoes rather than go for the pop-of-color look. Nude hose are also appropriate with a leather skirt—especially if you are lucky enough to find a leather skirt in a softer color—brown or ivory. If you keep the rest of your clothing soft or classic, your leather skirt will remain professional.

May you always look great!

Pat Roland, CTIC

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