Join us on visit us on Facebook follow us on Twitter connect with us on LinkedIn follow us on Pinterest visit our Yelp page

Beyond the Basic: This Season’s White Blouse

April 23, 2016 in On style

Look in any well-stocked closet and you’re bound to find at least one or two of this perennial favorite.  It’s no surprise…the use-value of a white blouse is immeasurable. It pairs back to absolutely everything you own. It easily transitions the seasons – especially those blouses with a ¾ or long sleeve.  It does double-duty from work to weekend.  And it is literally a blank canvas and can be styled any number of ways with any number of accessories for any number of occasions.  (Do you remember way back when Sharon Stone wore her Gap white blouse to the Oscars? She rocked it!)

Still there are some that say the white blouse is a bit too basic to get excited about. To that would offer that this very feeling of utility is part of its charm.  Contrary to popular belief, looking smart and chic does not have to be difficult.  And fewer pieces worn with greater frequency can be quite liberating!

What’s more, this season the white blouse has been given a bit of a makeover with new silhouettes, lengths, cutouts and twists.  So if you’ve opted out of the white blouse thinking basic = boring, there’s no better time than now to revisit this wardrobe essential.  Check out some of my favorite finds of the season.Phillip Lim Tie w Cutout Blouse

A Cut Above:  Updated for the season, what’s not to love about this crisp, white blouse?  The cut out detail is not only so on trend for spring, it’s also a wee bit sexy – not to mention seasonally appropriate. (Let’s face it, in the next few months, we’ll welcome any kind of ventilation!) The twist-tie at the waist feminizes the fit, while the length makes it a winner for leggings and wide pants alike.  Added bonus:  the longer sleeve gives you flexibility to wear it straight into the fall.  (Available online at

Show Off: If ever there was a time to show your shoulders, the time is now.  Seen on runways and street corner alike, it’s a style that’s universally appealing and easy-to-wear.  (While some women I work with take issue with Tibi Off-The-Shoulder Blousecertain body parts, I have yet to hear anyone say “I hate my shoulders.”) Since this blouse exposes some skin on the top, it pairs well back to the more covered, traditionally difficult-to-style, midi and maxi skirts. In addition the open top leaves plenty of room for accessorizing! (Say hello to a chandelier earring or statement necklace.)  And for those of us that don’t like to show our arms, it gives us a seasonally chic, yet appropriately-covered option.  (Available online at Nodrstrom.)

H&M Blow BlouseTie One On: Fashion is embracing its feminine side but don’t think you have to look all girly to embrace a touch of this trend. Case in point:  this bow tie blouse.  It slightly sweet, yes, but with a modern and sophisticated spin. And even though there’s quite a bit of volume on top, this shirt is surprisingly flattering, creating balance to a wider hip. If you tuck this blouse into the waistband of your favorite pencil skirt, gaucho pant or high-waisted trouser, the volume on top with make your waist look smaller by comparison.  For some clients, I’ve recommended shortening the sleeves to visually lengthen the arm.  Yes, it’s an added expense but the good news is that at $49.99 there’s probably room in the budget.  (Available online at H&M.)

Wear these options – or any of your favorite white shirts – dressed up or down, tucked in or out, paired under a jacket or over a tank. The possibilities are endless!  But before buying Care Instruction Labela new BSF (best shirt forever), you should consider the following:

  • Read the care instructions – carefully. Some fabrics require more maintenance than others.  Make sure the care of the fabric is consistent with the amount of care you are willing and able to give it.
  • Don’t overspend. In general the shelf life of a white blouse is shorter than that of other colored blouses, so carefully consider the price.  The good news is that because the white blouse is such a must-have item this season, we’re seeing sophisticated cuts, styles and silhouettes across all price points.Focus on Fit
  • Focus on fit.  A white button-down can feel a bit more masculine so make sure that it showcases your shape in the best possible way.  While the avant-garde silhouettes this season, make sure to balance any volume on top with a slimmer silhouette on bottom. Conversely, a fitted shirt wants to fit well at the shoulders, honor the sides of your body and be well-fitted at the waist.  For more feminine appeal, consider a ¾ or shorter sleeve (or roll up long sleeves) to show a bit more skin.

Truth be told, there are a dizzying array of options this season which means there’s a shape and style for everyone.  For more options, please check out my curated collection at:

One thing’s for sure…the season’s “basic” white blouse is anything but.

Love at First Sight

February 23, 2016 in On style

Those of you that know me know that I believe that those of us lucky enough to wear eyewear (and I do mean lucky) should really own it.  The truth is no one truly understands the power of the right eyewear until they experience it themselves.  The right glasses put a spring in your step.  You feel glam – almost larger than life.  And there is a feeling of  ‘I can accomplish anything’ with the right pair.  (Note the genuine smile I am sporting to the left with my new pair 2016.01.20 Carol in New Sunglassesof sunnies.)

But what makes the right pair, well right?  While I am about to share some tips for buying eyewear (with the help of eyewear expert Ruth Domber, owner of 10/10 Optics, NYC) please know that first and foremost there needs to be an instant attraction once you put them on.  Your eyewear has to speak to your heart (much like that person you see across the room).  But since we can fall in love multiple times (and with multiple pairs) here are some more tangible guidelines.

It’s so hue.  The right pair of glasses should complement your personal coloring.  Look to repeat the undertone of your skin with the undertone of your glasses.  For instance, people with warmer undertones look better in Undertonewarmer frames while cooler complexions are most flattered by cooler frames.  In addition, the frames should bring out your eyes.  Note:  this does not necessarily mean repeating your eye color (although doing so is never “wrong”).  However you might also think about the clothing colors you wear to enhance your appearance as these are the precisely the colors you’d want to wear on your face.

No two are alike. Your eyewear should look as personal as your Patternsignature.  In addition to paying attention to color cues, Ruth loves to fit eyewear that is “tactile, textured and dimensional.”  She adds,” Natural materials and fibers such as wood, horn, granite and leather not only add visual interest but bring elegant distinction.”

Shop by shape.  The key to finding the right frames is to remember that opposites attract. Select eyeglasses that contrast your facial contours and Shapebring symmetry and balance to your prominent features.  It is often helpful to think about your face shape. Remember, the best frames also echo the shape of your brows. According to Ruth, your eyewear can be your make up. “You can create angles or softness, definition or distraction. Choose to enhance and bring attention to features you’d like to show off, and illusions you’d like to create.  For example, if your eyebrow is weak, the contour of the frame can create or complete your brow line.”

Pay attention to your personal pie chart.  No matter how we slice it, there are only 168 hours in a week.  Ask yourself: 1) how you spend your (awake) time 2) which activities you will do while wearing your eyeglasses Lifestyle Pie Chartand 3) how might your eyeglass requirements change for each activity?  For example if you exercise, you might want a more durable, sporty frame – perhaps with transitional lenses.  At work, you might want a “smart” frame that conveys authority and business savvy.  For after hours and evening, you might want a pair that says, “Come hither.” Just like with clothing, you will want a wardrobe of eyewear that can take you from day to play.

What’s your style personality?  Is your clothing more sporty, romantic, traditional, elegant, casual or dramatic?  Your eyewear should resonate with What's Your Style 2your clothing, your look and your overall vibe.  Since it is the first accessory people notice, you will want to make sure that it is in synch with who you are – or who you aspire to be.  This may mean stretching a bit outside of your comfort zone.  Adds Ruth, “When we take the leap away from the familiar into the extraordinary the joy is tangible.”

Accessorize with impact.  My feeling is this. Unlike other accessories, you wear your eyewear every day.  They should make you look and feel confident, attractive and strong.  Ruth says it best… “We all agree that the right shoe is very important, but truthfully what do people see first, your feet or your face?”

Clearly Ruth and I see eye to eye (smile).

Timeless Style Tips for 2016 and Beyond

January 27, 2016 in On style

It’s a New Year, filled with new possibilities. What if I said that 2016 has the potential to be your most stylish year ever with a few simple tweaks?  Don’t think of these as “style resolutions.”  Instead think of them as 16 opportunities to honor yourself, your look and your life. While I hope that you’ll take advantage of them all, there’s no pressure. You may want to start with one or two and add accordingly as the year progresses. They are yours for the taking, to help you love what you see when you look in the closet – and in the mirror!

Buckle up…It’s going to be a stylish year!

Style Collage1) Clarify your own unique style. Look in magazines or online and begin to assemble a file of items that speak to you. What do they share in common – perhaps it’s the colors, silhouettes, styles or manufacturers? Begin to cultivate (or refine) your style so that you know what to look for in stores and consistently love your look.

2) Identify your assets – and then flaunt them! I’m not sure why, but we all seem to dwell on the negative. Why not take the time and energy you’d use to hide a challenge area and instead think about your assets and how you can best show them off?

3) Embrace your size. Whether you are a size 2 or 22, it’s important to celebrate the size you are today – not 10 years ago or 10 pounds ago. You are so much more than the number on a hang tag. Once and for all, move beyond your dress size and move toward the size thaEmbrace Your Sizet best fits and honors your body.

4) Assess your wardrobe. Try to understand what works and what doesn’t, and why.   Let go of the things that are simply not useful. To borrow a phrase from Nike, “Just do it.” Give discarded items a second life by donating them or giving them to a friend.

5) Don’t put off alterations or repairs. There is nothing more frustrating than having an item that you could wear and enjoy, if only… Just as you schedule everything else in your smart phone, take the time to schedule these activities as well.

Organize Your Closet6) Organize your closet. Does this seem overwhelming? Split this task into one or two hour chunks, over the course of several weeks. Think about your wardrobe routine…Would it make sense to organize your closet by item, by color or by outfit? Play some music and enlist the help of a friend. (Or, call me…I’m happy to assist!)

7) Find new ways to combine your clothes. Pick one item each week and challenge yourself to come up with a new way to wear it. Maybe you don’t really need more items…just some fresh ways to wear what you already own.

8) Make a shopping list. Do not – I repeat – do not – go into a store without a list of what you need. This will keep you from coming home with the ‘nice-to-haves’ as opposed to the ‘need-to-haves.’

9) Try something new. One of the most difficult things to do is to step out of our comfort zone. So if you see something that speaks to you – even if it’s a Try Something Newdeparture from the norm – why not try it on? Luckily we’re not charged based on the number of items so there’s little risk here. And who knows? You might find your new wardrobe go-to – or at least expand your “playing field.”

10) Make a conscious decision to make wiser choices. Assuming an item fits both your budget and your body, ask yourself: Do you love it? Does it flatter you? Does it represent you at your best?

11) Make a point to add color. No one can live in all neutrals all the time. Easy ways to add a splash of color are by way of a bag, shoe, nail color, or as Colorful Accessorypart of a print. Not only will it add visual interest to your outfit, it can help you get through those gray winter days.

12) Discover that comfort and style need not be mutually exclusive. Take the time to search out items that hit the mark in both categories. No one should suffer for fashion. However, no one should sacrifice it for comfort, either.

13) Give yourself permission to shop for the whole outfit. So many clients are frustrated because they have orphans (items that don’t have a companion piece) in the closet. When considering a new item, either make Complete Outfitsure that you own two-three items to go with it,or take the time to hunt for the complete ensemble.

14) Shop twice a season.  Shop once at the beginning of the season for wardrobe essentials (i.e. that well-fitted black trouser or great-looking snow boot) and again at the end of the season to fill in or add items that tug at your heart.

15) Wear your best items today. So many of us save our favorite items for a “special” occasion. I’m here to tell you that there is no day that is more special than today! So cut off the tags of whatever you were saving and begin to enjoy it. Remember you deserve to love, love, love what you are wearing each and every day!

ComplimentLast but not least:

16) Learn to accept compliments graciously. A compliment is both an acknowledgement and a gift that is freely given.   By accepting a compliment, you not only lift your spirits but also those of the person who extended it. So why deprive either of one of you when a simple “Thank You” will do the trick.

The Wardrobe Edit: Less is More

November 2, 2015 in On style

Contrary to popular belief, a wardrobe edit need not be painful.  In fact it can be fun (scout’s honor) if you approach it with the right attitude.  Look at it this way.  The less you have, the lighter you feel…not to mention the more you wear what you have. (H-e-l-l-o higher ROI!)  Here’s the really big plus:  Donating your castoffs gives you the opportunity to do something really nice for others.  (This is priceless.)   So why not set aside some time this holiday season and sort out your wardrobe?  Read on and you’ll see it’s as easy as A-B-C.

Closet Review

A) Advance preparation: It’s going to take some energy – and some time.  So I suggest you eat something before and have plenty of snacks on hand.  (Ditto for water.)  Make sure you set aside a few hours – sans interruptions.  This means no emails, phone calls or little ones (on two or four legs).  You also need to set the mood so I suggest you have a playlist of your favorite tunes at-the-ready.

Set aside clothing and shoes for one season plus anything that can be worn year round.  (Note: I divide the year into two seasons: warmer or cooler.)  Make sure they are all in one area to eliminate unnecessary back-and-forth.

B) Baseline criteria: Now that you have all of your items together, you Dry  Cleaner Shrinkagemust try them on.  I’m sorry, but just looking at an item is not enough – you’ve got to look at the item on you.  Here’s why.  The dry cleaner has a nasty habit of shrinking clothing over time. And let’s face it…”Things” (a.k.a. our weight) can shift over time. Not to mention it is easier to see stains, open seams, holes etc. when the items are actually on you.

With each item, consider the following:

  • Color – Does the color flatter your skin tone?
  • Fit – Does the item fit you now?  If not, what is the likelihood of it fitting in the near future?)
  • Style – Does the item represent ‘you’ and the image you want to project?
  • Currency – Does the item look dated?Outdated Clothing
  • Relevancy – Make sure you get rid of the clothing that does not reflect your current lifestyle and who you are today.   Your closet should not represent who you were before children, when you worked in the city or when you weighted 10 lbs. more or less.
  • Condition – Has it seen better days or is it worn out?  (If so, please do not donate these items but instead place them in the ‘circular file’ – a.k.a. the garbage can.)
  • Last Date of Wear – Let’s be honest.  If it was longer than 2 years, there is a good chance that you will never wear it again.

Make your decision based on these objective criteria and take the emotion out of it!

Valet HooksC) Crescendo:  Once you’ve gone through each of the items, organize what’s left.  (There are different ways to do this but most people find it useful to organize their closets by type of item.) Reward yourself with uniform hangers, pretty storage boxes and other boutique touches!

You are now ready assess your castoffs.  Determine items Donated Clothingwill be donated to a charity, given to a friend or brought to a thrift shop.  Don’t forget to clean or repair the items (if needed) before giving them away.  As an aside, you may be able to write off a portion of the value of your donations.  (You will want to consult your accountant for guidelines.)

Congratulations!  You now have a closet that contains only the items that fit and flatter you.  Bask in the glory of a more streamlined wardrobe. But more importantly…Savor the feeling that comes from giving to those in need. It’s a feeling that’s much warmer than any sweater or coat you could ever own.

White-Hot Picks for Your Summer Wardrobe

July 16, 2015 in On style

I admit it…I love an all-white look. It’s not only fresh and clean but it’s also a color trend of the moment. What’s more it’s a welcome departure from all of the dark neutrals we usually wear. But let’s face it.  Regardless of what’s trending, a head-to-toe white can be tough to pull off. For starters it’s tough to keep white, well white. (Can you say stain-magnet?!) Plus an all-white ensemble can end up looking a bit bland. Also depending on the shape, an all-white ensemble can make us look larger since lighter colors magnify the areas on which they are placed. With that in mind I’m of the mindset that “just a dab will do you” and I usually recommend using white as a “pop” color…When mixed with other tones and shades in your closet white can provide a wonderful seasonal update and help to lighten your look. If you’re looking to add just a few pieces this summer, check out a few of my favorite picks.

   Lauren Blazer - Lord & Taylor Blaze on: If ever there was a time to give up your black blazer, the time is now! (I’m hot just t-h-i-n-k-i-n-g about a black blazer.) That said, there’s no need to give up a polished look. Top off your skirts, dresses and trousers with a wonderful white counterpart. This shorter, cotton pique option is perfect for these hazy, hot days – not to mention a go-to for an over-air conditioned office. What’s more, with the addition of a simple white tank it migrates easily from workweek to weekend. And for those of us who are a bit bigger on bottom, wearing a lighter color on top creates a balancing effect.

The Bucket List: Who doesn’t love a bucket bag? It’s structured, but Marc by Marc Jacobs Bucket Bag - Nordstromslouchy; classic, yet on-trend. Best of all it’s a style that is available at all budgets. This one has a small footprint but is large enough to carry life’s little necessities. What’s more, an adjustable cross-body strap clips on when you prefer a hands-free carrying option. Whether you wear cross-body or effortlessly slung over your shoulder, I think you’ll agree that this bag carries a carefree nonchalance that’s prefect for these warm weather- months.

DKNY Blouse - BloomingdalesPleats please: Nothing says summer quite like a pretty white blouse. But with the warmer weather comes an ease in both our demeanor and dress. So instead of reaching for a crisp, white button-down blouse, why not opt for this breezy, summer-ready style? Part prim, part polished this is an easy add to any wardrobe and effortlessly works back to any bottom you have. I love the sliming elements of the vertical pleats – not to mention the additional touch of trend with the high low hem.

A cut above the rest: I’m not sure why, but white shoes get a bad rap. It 9 West Shoes - Zapposcould be that we associate them with nurses or brides or what little girls wear on Easter. But I say white shoes for anyone that is looking to make a style statement. An all-over cutout details make this sandal a glam and sexy addition to your collection. What’s more, on lighter skin tones they can elongate the leg-line – the same way that a nude shoe can – but look infinitely more interesting.

Lafayette Gauchos - BloomingdalesBack to the Future: You may have resisted this trend and so did I (at first) but this season’s “midi-pants” are nothing like the gauchos from yesteryear. The fabrics are more polished and the cuts are ‘crisper’ which makes for a chic (and current) alternative to a classically-tailored pant. Temperature-wise they are just as comfy as a skirt or dress but have the ease of pants. Let’s not forget the width of the pant balances any width – perceived or otherwise – at the hips and thighs. Just make sure to tuck in your top to define your waist and add a heel to balance the width and you’ve got a piece that’s as easy as summer itself.

So go ahead and whiten up! But just a word to the wise – you may want to keep your favorite glass of red – not to mention your morning cup of joe – far, far away.

Spring 2015: Fashion Trends Worth a Try

April 7, 2015 in On style

After a few false starts, spring has officially sprung. Many of us thought it would never come and had gotten used to planning our outfits around warm and waterproof items. But now it’s officially time to say goodbye to our Heattech T’s and tall boots and welcome what’s new for the season. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, you are not alone. There are a lot of new shapes, styles and colors to choose from. I’ve shared a few of the most wearable and pairable trends that will give a fresh update to any wardrobe. Read on for six trends that are worth a try.

Asos Flare Pants $54Flare-up: This season it’s time to step away from the slim and skinny and embrace a whole new pant silhouette. Be it the 70s boho trend or just the need for something new, we finally have a choice of wider pant widths. Less exaggerated than bell bottoms, flared pant fit the leg and flare out below the knee. The great thing about this silhouette is that it is often accompanied by a higher waist (good riddance to the muffin top!) and balances wider hips or shoulders. You can pair it with one of this season’s platform sandals for more of a 70s vibe or keep it sophisticated and chic with a pointy-toe pump. (Available online at ASOS.)

Gingham Girl: The past few seasons we’ve been mad for plaid but now weDvF Gingham Shoe $375 move past the tartan to embrace a lighter, brighter and more whimsical check option. The new gingham goes well beyond the traditional (and your favorite picnic tablecloth) and is reinterpreted in happy colors, sheer fabrications and exaggerated (and mixed) sizes. Have no fear – it’s also available in sophisticated black and white for those who don’t like to stray too far from a neutral palette. Not sure about this print? Try it on only one half of your body or in an accessory.  (Available online at Saks.)

Joe Fresh Baseball Sweater $39Get in the Game: If there was ever a time to embrace the “athleisure” trend, the time is now. From sophisticated (yet comfortable) jog pants to mesh tops and sweaters to fashionable slip-on sneakers, there’s something for everyone. Rather than sport a head-to-toe look, you’ll want to add no more than one or two athletic touches to each look. Details that give a nod to athletic wear include racing stripes, zipper pulls or drawstring waists. The lightweight sport sweaters (tennis, baseball and so on) are a great transitional item and easily pair back to jeans or a walking short. (Available online at Joe Fresh.)

Pretty in Pastels: Easter may have come and gone, but not its Combining Pastelscotton-candy colors. Pastels offer a great way to visually ‘lighten up’ for spring and introduce a splash of color into a mostly-neutral wardrobe. To minimize the sweet n’ girly factor, you’ll want to avoid things like ruffles and lace. Instead look for items with clean lines and sharp details. It’s never wrong to pair pastels with other pastels, as the soft and light qualities of these colors will visually link them together. But for an edgier look you can combine a pastel with a bright, accent color or a darker neutral.

Zara Denim Shirt  $59.90Denim Redux: Denim seems to be having a moment – and I for one couldn’t be happier. No longer reserved just for jeans and jackets, both high-end and mass-market designers have used it for everything including tops, skirts, dresses and jumpsuits. Even though blue predominates, you’ll be anything but bored with interesting shapes, ombre washes and distressed details. Note: you’ll still find denim items with an even, darker wash and clean lines which may work well in certain office environments and give even more utility to this wardrobe staple. (Available online at Zara.)

Cute in Culottes: Culottes not only add a trendy touch but they provide a Vince Camuto Culottes $89great option for those who don’t wear skirts or dresses but want to keep cool. Because it’s easy for these shorter, wider pants to be less-than-flattering, you will want to add a heel to balance the width. The best shoe options will be tonal to your skin to elongate your leg line. To accentuate your waist remember to tuck in your top. Alternatively you can opt for a wider, crop top that ends right at the waistband. This will define the waist and balance the width. By adding a longer necklace you will further streamline your look.  (Available online at Vince Camuto.)

No sure what makes sense for you? One of the best tips I give my clients is add only those trends that they would still want to wear long after the season – or the trend – is over.

Sexy is a State of Mind

February 9, 2015 in On style

With Valentine’s Day almost here, there’s no shortage of articles about how to look sexy. Higher heels, shorter skirts, tighter jeans…the list of sometimes formulaic and uncomfortable options goes on and on. In contrast, articles about how to f-e-e-l sexy are in short supply. There is a difference between the two.

Looking sexy is all about the external (how you showcase the body), while feeling sexy is a state of mind. Looking sexy may be – at least in part – for others, but feeling sexy is all for you. One might argue that, you cannot look sexy unless you feel sexy. Hmmm. While you may or may not agree, suffice to say that feeling sexy means exuding a certain confidence and loving yourself – no matter what you are wear.

For some of us this comes quite naturally. For others it takes a bit of effort. No matter which camp you fall into, here are a few easy ways to honor yourself…and feel sexier in the process.

Making Friends with the Woman in the MirrorMake friends with the mirror. We are all unnecessarily hard on ourselves. I’ll never understand why we compare ourselves to others or to pictures in our favorite fashion magazines. It only leads to self-doubt and insecurity. Be that as it may, I suggest that you take the same energy and try this exercise instead. For the next week, stand in front of the mirror each morning and say – out loud – one thing that you love about yourself.  Write it down and compile your ‘love list.’   Make sure to post it where you can see it on a daily basis to reinforce how truly fabulous you are.

Pamper yourself. Whether it’s a bubble bath, massage or a manicure, just do it!  Pamper YourselfChances are that you run around and do so much for others, you forget to honor and give yourself a little TLC. There may be many reasons why you feel you shouldn’t (I’ve heard them all) but two very good reasons why you should – because you love yourself and it f-e-e-l-s good. After all…Isn’t that what sexy is all about?

Scented LotionBe scentsational.  Is there a certain scent that just does it for you? Make sure to incorporate it into your daily dressing routine. But instead of spritzing on the perfume, opt for the subtlety of a scented soap and/or moisturizer. Wearing fragrance in this way means that you may be the only one that can smell it, but isn’t that the point? You are doing this just for you.

Wrap yourself in luxe fabrics. Make no mistake here. I am not suggesting that you Woman Wearing Luxe Fabrics Hugging Herselfshould change your style or dress provocatively. Instead I am encouraging you to look at whatever items you love to wear and make sure they are made of fabrics that feel good against the skin. Think soft cottons, yummy cashmeres, sumptuous silks and the like. Make it a point to wear only those things that feel delicious – and that you feel delicious in.

Pretty UnderwearChoose underwear that’s fun to wear. Regardless of the clothes you sport, it’s what’s underneath that counts. Look through your lingerie drawer and throw away anything that’s torn, faded or loved-to-death. Replace those items with others that make you feel special. Nothing makes you feel sexy like a well-fitting bra – especially those of the push-up variety (smile). While we all know that thong underwear adds a certain allure, don’t underestimate the playfulness of boy-short cuts.  Even if you stick with the basics, opt for a lingerie or specialty store instead of a larger department store for the prettiest versions of your wardrobe staples.

Engage in a little harmless flirting. Whether you are in a committed relationship or Harmelss Flirtingnot, you can’t deny the ego boost that can accompany a little extra attention. So go ahead. Play with your hair, bat those eyelashes and give a strategic smile here or there. After all, a little innocent flirting can make you (as well as the other person) feel more attractive. Just make sure to keep it easy-going, brief and out of the office.

With February being the unofficial month of love, there’s no better time than now to honor and embrace your sexy self. If you think that feeling sexy is not your ‘thing,’ you may be ignoring this playful part of your personality. Why not embrace it… not for someone else’s benefit, but for you own?

A colleague once shared a quote from Dita Von Teese (a contemporary burlesque performer and fashion icon) that I never forgot. Dita said: “It’s not about seducing men, it’s about embracing womanhood.” I couldn’t agree more.

Style Discoveries that Stand the Test of Time

January 13, 2015 in On style

You never know what will pop up in your inbox. Last week I received an email from LinkedIn congratulating me on my work anniversary of 17 years.  Talk about cause to pause!  I remember when I first started in the image industry.  No one had a clue what an image consultant was or did.  Back then these types of services were available only to politicians, celebrities and others in the public eye.  (How exclusionary!)  Boy have times changed.  And Lord knows styles have changed!  How wonderful it has been to be a part of such a dynamic, fast-paced and ever-evolving industry.  More importantly, how lucky I am to love what I do and work with such amazing clients and students!

While the years may be many, I’d prefer to count the wardrobes I’ve transformed – and the lives I’ve touched – along the way.  For me it’s always been less about the fabulous clothing and accessories I’ve helped my clients select and more about how these pieces have changed the way they see themselves; given them the confidence to make positive changes in other areas of their lives and empowered them to achieve more personally and professionally than they ever thought possible.

While it’s hard to condense what I’ve learned over the years into a few paragraphs, I’d like to celebrate this anniversary by sharing some of my most important style discoveries with you.  May they always allow you to look your best, feel your best and be your best!

Ready-to-wear is a myth. Somehow we’ve gotten it in our heads that a garment should be a perfect fit right of the rack.  AND if it’s not, there’s something wrong with us.  Let’s set the record straight, shall we?  Only Tailoring - Hi Res5-10% of the population walks into a store, tries something on and it fits perfectly.  The rest of us need to alter.  The reason is that no two bodies are alike.  We all vary in height, weight and distribution.  Yet garments are sized using one fit model.  See the problem?  Tailoring means that mass-produced garments will better fit and flatter your unique physique.  Bonus: Once you open yourself to the idea of tailoring, you will greatly expand your clothing options.

Trend is not a 4 letter word. Granted what’s in today can be so yesterday by tomorrow. But regardless of your age or fashion style, Spring Trends - HI Resthere’s something to be said for looking current and relevant.  Truth be told, people will connect the dots between one’s clothing and their ideas (i.e. she is current in her clothing, so she is probably current with her thinking).  Each season we are given a potpourri of trends to choose from.  I recommend that you select the one or two that resonate with you and add a few, well-chosen pieces appropriate for your age, body type and lifestyle.

A bargain is only a bargain if you wear it.  Otherwise it becomes the Just Say Nomost expensive article of clothing in your closet.  Believe me…I get it. Clothing is an investment.  But shopping by price tag alone isn’t the answer.  Here are a few questions to ask yourself when considering your next bargain purchase.  A) Would I have paid full price for it?  B) Does it look like it will survive the first few cleanings?  C) Does it represent me at my best?  D) Does I love it – or at least like it?

When in doubt, dress up.  There is nothing worse that arriving at an Dress Upevent, function or every day occasion only to realize that you’ve misjudged the situation and under-dressed.  Whether it’s a job interview or a birthday party, when in doubt err on the side of caution and dress up. You can always bring your look down a notch by removing a jacket, pushing up your sleeves and/or relaxing your body language.

Don’t minimize the importance of foundation garments.  I read something in a home décor magazine awhile back about the importance of priming a waFoundation Garmentsll before painting it.  (It allows for a better application of paint and a smooth finish.)  Getting dressed is no different…it’s what’s underneath that counts.  An ill-fitting bra can add 10 years and 10 pounds.  And a peek-a-boo bra strap or VPL is nothing short of a distraction.  Why sabotage your look?  As a side note, I prefer to use foundation garments to minimize the appearance of an extra bump or ripple rather than skip dessert (smile).

Black is not always the answer.  There are a few reasons I say this.  A) Black is the color that commands more visual authority than any otherDress in Color BUT it is also the least welcoming.  So if you’re out and about, looking to meet people, I’d leave your chic NY black in the closet and opt for a friendlier color.  B) As we become more “seasoned,”black becomes less kind to our skin tone and visually aging.   Wearing a bit of color close the face actually gives us a fresher look.  C) Black is ubiquitous. Why not stand out instead of blend in?

Less is more. We all have way too much hanging in our closets.  You don’t believe me?  Ok – just for fun count the number of black pants you Less Is Morehave.  And then ask yourself, do you wear all of them with the same frequency?  With clients I like to play the game of “good, better and best.” Let’s say you’ve got 10 pairs of black pants.  Invariably some are going to better options than others.  In that case, why would you settle on “good” (or in many cases, less than “good”) when you’ve “best” hanging in your closet?  I’ve heard time and time again that people like to save things for a special occasion, but I would argue that every day we’re alive and well is a special occasion.  (Good point, eh?)

Here’s to more style discoveries and another glorious 17 years!

How to Survive a Shopping Diet

April 9, 2014 in On style

Shopping Diet - Final
I’ve got a confession to make. I’m on a diet.  No, not that kind of diet, although I think it would be easier to lessen my intake of chocolate.  I’ve put myself on a shopping diet (gulp).  You may wonder why someone, who makes a living helping others make smart additions to their wardrobe, is curtailing on her own shopping activities? Well for the seven weeks I’ll be doing some home renovations which has meant shift in priorities.  (Think paint, tile and cabinetry instead of clothing, accessories and makeup.)  And since my apartment is now filled with workmen and materials – not to mention that most of my wardrobe is now in boxes – I honestly don’t have the room for much more.

Does this mean I have not/will not add anything to my wardrobe in the next two months?  Not a chance.  But does it mean I have implemented ways to stretch my budget and shop smart? You bet.  Here are some shopping tips that have helped me – and may help you – stay on track.

Expensive Coffee - Final

Review and reprioritize your budget. When going on any kind of diet, the first step is a look at the big picture.  With a food diet, you’d look at the amount of calories you intake vs. the amount of energy you expend.  With a shopping diet, you’ll want to look at your overall income vs. your expenses. While your income may be fixed, your expenses are probably not. In certain instances you may have the option to reallocate.  For example when I looked at my budget and how much I was spending in coffee and metro cards, I made a conscious decision to opt out of Starbucks and leave enough time to walk to my appointments, rather than take a subway.  I have allocated these savings to some new wardrobe additions without increasing my overall bottom line.

Girl Looking in Closet - Final

Re-tool and re-invent. When you need to cut down on new purchases, the first place to shop is your closet.  Consider those items you haven’t worn in forever or wear all the time and are tired of.  Is there a way to repurpose them so they feel more exciting and enticing?  For example, maybe you wear a crew neck pullover over a dress to give it the look of separates?  Or belt a dress and pair it with leggings to give it the look and feel of a tunic?  Perhaps you chop the bottom off of a blouse to embrace the new shorter, crop top trend?  Get creative and have fun.

Gap Flap ClutchAdd impact, not investment pieces. If you are counting your shopping dollars, it is not the time to splurge on too many investment pieces.  Instead opt for ‘impact’ pieces…those little goodies that won’t break the bank but add variety and visual interest to your existing investment pieces and ensembles.  I have given myself a budget of $50/each for these little wardrobe pick-me-ups.  One of my favorite finds has been this leather flap clutch.  It may be small and hold only the essentials (phone, credit card, lipstick & mints), but it’s big on personality and echoes some of the design details found on more expensive bags.

Woman Considering a Purchase

Take time and carry on. When you’re on a budget, every purchase counts so think about the mileage and utility of an item.  Can it be worn multiple ways, for multiple occasions and thru multiple seasons?  If you’re unsure for any reason, walk away and give it some time (I recommend overnight).  If you wake up the next day and are still thinking about the item, that’s one thing.  If on the other hand, you’re not even thinking about the item the next day (aka, out of sight, out of mind)…well, enough said.

Remember to set yourself up for success.  Try not to shop when you are tired or feeling a little blue as retail therapy is not part of this diet.  Also you will want to avoid shopping with your group of gal pals, as often it is easy to get talked into buying things that are not in your budget or that you might not have purchased if you were alone.

The good news is that by cutting back on your shopping, you’ll enjoy more space in your closet – and money in your pocket (smile). What’s more, with fewer purchases you will savor each and every one that much more.

Shop Like a Pro

March 21, 2014 in On style

Author: Long Island Pulse | Published: Friday, March 21, 2014-
See the full article at

carol_2013You are itching for spring and you are ready to shop. We asked the pros to tell us where to find the best deals on the latest trends. These five masters of their craft have scoured thrift stores, racks and showroom floors to provide the intel needed to spruce up a stale wardrobe, work in fads with no remorse and blend vintage with new at home. Follow these words of wisdom and be prepared to start hearing,  “Where did you get that?” A lot more often.

Carol Davidson is president and chief style officer at StyleWorks of Union Square, an image consulting company. She teaches others how to use their visual identity to influence the image they project. For the spring shopping list, she suggested adding a touch of trend:

Floral prints, colored stripes, boxy cropped jackets, collarless coats and pattern matching. Spend on the investment pieces…a great trench, fabulous black pants and signature accessories. Add a bit of “cheap chic” for the trendier items from Zara, Michael by Michael Kors and Vince Camuto. For chic pool, patio or beachside looks, Calypso St. Barth. Shop on Friday—most stores do the bulk of their business on the weekends and the store is fully stocked.

Rev Up Your Wardrobe with Red

February 12, 2014 in On style

If ever there was a month to wear red, February is it. Not only is it the color we associate with love and Valentine’s Day, it’s also the official color of the Go Red for Women® campaign.  While red is often perceived as exciting, assertive, stimulating, dramatic and passionate, it is also a power color that encourages action and confidence.  So if you or your clients are looking to add some excitement to your wardrobe or simply looking for a few, fun ways to embrace this month’s favorite hue, read on for some of my favorite picks.


It’s a wrap.  Baby it’s cold outside…and there are no signs of it warming up anytime soon. What’s a girl to do?  Bundle up in style, of course.  The infinity style makes this scarf easy to wrap around your neck, while the chunky knit keeps you cozy and warm. In addition to adoring the scarf itself, I’m smitten by the company – Paula Bianco.  The company helps give young designers a voice by hiring up-and-comers from a fashion school to design products that are in keeping with their aesthetic.  (A win-win for all!)  No wonder they are a favorite amongst chic shoppers and celebs alike.  ($59.50 at


Stay a step ahead. It’s hard to believe we will ever be out of snow boots, but I know that day is coming.  And when it does, you’ll want to be ready with footwear that easily bridges the seasonal transition.  Cue this wonderful bootie.  A bit retro in feeling, yet definitely of-the-moment, this peep-toe bootie can easily be worn with textured tights now and sans hosiery come spring.  The bootie beautifully pairs with everything from a slim ankle pant to a full, midi skirt or sheath dress.  What’s more the suede and tortoise-toned-heel give it a luxe look and feel. ($149.95 at


Say ‘yes’ to the dress. Chances are you already have (at least) one LBD.  And while it’s always right, sometimes you want to move beyond the tried and true.  Enter the LRD. Curved seam detailing gives a fluid, feminine effect to this vibrant sheath dress, plus the little bit of stretch makes this beauty every bit as comfortable as it is flattering.  If that weren’t enough, is that this is a dress that gives back. Until February 28th Macy’s will donate 10% of each sale to the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women® movement. Think about it this way…why just look fab when you can also feel fab about doing something good for others? ($89.98 at Macy’s)


It’s time for cuff love. The cuff bracelet trend began a few seasons ago and continues to be an important accessory going forward.  This one, with its bold red color and tough girl embellishment, adds a bit of edge to any outfit.  (And Is it just me, or does everyone think that the signature Valentine “pyramids” are really cool?) What’s more the leather band not gives the bracelet a sumptuous look, but it also offers a great way to participate in the leather trend without having to go all-out. ($345 at Neiman Marcus)

narsredPucker up.  There is, quite possibly, nothing more sexy than a red lipstick…unless it’s one that has a patented blend of conditioners and antioxidants to hydrate, nourish and protect lips.  Nars lipsticks are enriched with vitamin E to increase wearability and keep the “true color” intact. While their rich, vivid shades range from neutrals to high-fashion hues, this month I’m all about “Red Lizard” (though there are other fabulous reds to choose from).  Trust me, it was no accident they were voted Best Overall Lipstick by InStyle (2011). ($26 at

Whether you embrace red in a big or small way – with one of these products or with something you already own – please don’t forget to wear red on February 7th to Celebrate National Wear Red Day®.  To learn more about the movement or to get involved at any time, check out

How to Wear Sheer Fabrics

February 12, 2014 in On style

It’s been a few seasons now, yet sheer fabrics continue to be a strong part of the equation for Spring. Elegant and chic, this transparent trend gives a feminine and flirty vibe to any ensemble.  While adding a little sexy to one’s wardrobe can be a beautiful thing, it is important to remember that any peek-a-boo piece can easily transition from tasteful to tawdry.  The key lies in knowing when and how to wear it. If your or your clients would like to add a touch of this alluring accent without bearing all, read on for some helpful tips that are nothing short of sheer genius (smile).


Modesty may be the best policy. I’d first encourage you to think about the situation you find yourself in and what’s considered appropriate.  For most work environments, you’ll want to keep your sheer statement to a minimum.  Think about sheer sleeves or transparent panels instead of sporting an all-sheer blouse or skirt. Alternatively you may want to cover up with a jacket or cardie for day.  On the other hand, you can easily tick up the amount of transparency for social events, as long as you stay within your comfort zone and can wear it with confidence!


It’s what’s underneath that counts. Choose your undergarments carefully. For those more modest amongst us, you might choose to wear a cami and/or boy shorts instead of a bra and panties.  Regardless of the coverage, for the most elegant execution opt for opaque undergarments that match your skin tone or the color of the item.  All-lace underwear amps up the allure and is probably best saved for evening wear.


Maintain a sense of balance. If you decide to go sheer in one area, cover up another. For instance, if you wear a sheer top, team it with a pair of trousers or midi-skirt to limit the exposure.  Or if you are wearing a skirt with sheer panels, think about a top with ¾ sleeves or one with a higher neckline.  Wearing sheer allover may not only send the wrong message, but you could run the risk of looking like a bathroom or kitchen curtain!


It all goes back to our ABC’s. Let’s face it…there are certain areas of the body that we went to accentuate, others that we want to balance or camouflage.  Think about “strategic” sheer placement.  Do you have toned arms?  Look for a blouse with sheer sleeves. Love your shoulders?  Choose a top with a sheer front panel that runs from the shoulders to the top of the bust line. Are you blessed with shapely legs?  Consider a skirt that’s sheer from the knees down.  Transparent fabrics are one of the many tools in our dressing toolbox that allow us to highlight a particular area – and as a result – draw attention away from another.


Keep it simple. This trend is worn best when it’s done in an understated and elegant way.  With that in mind, you’ll want to KISS (keep it simple) with your accessories so that they convey the same vibe and aesthetic.  Less is more here so you’ll want to downsize a bit on the quantity and scale of your jewelry.  Similarly you’ll want to stay away from chunky heels and over-sized bags.  Instead try a thin, kitten heel or strippy, strappy sandal worn with a small cross-body bag or clutch.

Take care. Transparent fabrics are often delicate and require special attention when handling.  Make sure to remove all jewelry when taking a sheer item on or off.  While hand-washing in a mild detergent is best, with certain less fragile fabrics you also have the option of laundering them in a lingerie bag.  If your item is sheer at the shoulders, it’s best to hang it on a padded hanger or fold in a drawer.

Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day or any day, why not go ahead and dare to bare…at least a bit!