Decoding The Casual Friday Dresscode

Casual Friday – Two words that are often a source of angst for employers and total confusion for employees.

What started as a way for creating a more relaxed office environment has morphed into uncharted waters with no one guiding the ship. Some companies have instituted an addendum to their current dress code and some companies have simply termed it as, “It is at the discretion of managers to determine if an employee’s attire is inappropriate,” which basically passes the buck!

Just how did the mayhem begin?
Here’s the scoop – direct from Wikipedia.

Casual Friday (also known as dress-down Friday or casual day) is a Western trend, which has spread to other parts of the world, in which some business offices relax their dress code on Fridays. Some businesses that usually require employees to wear suits, dress shirts, neckties, and dress shoes allow more casual attire on Fridays. Casual Friday had its origin from Hawaii’s custom of Aloha Friday which slowly spread east to California, continuing around the globe until the 1990s, when it became known as Casual Friday.

Seriously, this now explains how Tommy Bahama made it into the corner office!

Without Casual Friday being written into the dress code, this nonchalant manner has created a follow-the-leader type of mentality among many; thinking what is good for one is good for all. Unfortunately, that seldom equates to ‘dressing upward’ with the result being far from what the original message was intended to be.

What then is appropriate for Casual Friday? The answer of course varies depending on your employment. The general rule of thumb is to first consider what your Monday through Thursday dress code is and dress only one level down from that on Friday. Don’t make the quantum leap from formal attire to Kenny Chesney garb.

Corporate dress codes are established to set a standard for professionalism and are usually broken down into three categories.

Formal Dress
– Formal dress is required of employees who are in a leadership role or are regularly visiting clients, or prospective clients, representing the company in the community and/or attending networking events. For these people, a step down on Friday would be to Smart Casual, which is a more relaxed version of their formal attire, possibly stepping away from suits and dressing in sophisticated separates.

Business Casual – Business casual allows employees to work comfortably in the workplace while still projecting a professional image. For these individuals, a step down on Friday may include denim and changing from jackets to sweaters.

Casual –  Casual environments such as creative spaces, start-ups, service industries and the like, will hopefully not dress down any further on Casual Friday!

The key to remember is that when you are at the office, you represent yourself as well as the company you work for. First and foremost, remember that you are dressing for the role that you currently have, if you are not the plumber, then don’t dress like the plumber (no disrespect to plumbers fyi).

As a result of speaking to corporate groups across the country, I have read over thirty dress codes in the last eighteen months. They vary in length, specificity, flavor, rules and of course they also differ by geographic locations. They cover everything from head to toe including types of clothing, accessories, shoes, hairstyles and even body ink and piercings!

But they all have key messages in common, here are the top three.

  1. You must always represent both yourself AND your company in a polished and professional manner.
  2. Your image should project confidence and competence.
  3. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

In working with clients to up-level their casual inventory, I often hear excuses why they do not take the time and effort to build a casual wardrobe. Here are the top three.

  1. I prefer to only think about my dress code 4 days a week
  2. I don’t have the budget to build a subset wardrobe
  3. I don’t want to dress better than the rest of the office

What?? Did you just say that? One of my favorite mantra’s that I share with my clients is. “Don’t be afraid to be the best dressed women in the room – any room!” It is far better to be noticed for being put together than being noticed for a sloppy appearance.

Your image is your friend and your future. You never know when you might meet your next employer, your next client or your next business partner. You could be standing on the sideline at the soccer field, in line at Whole Foods, sitting next to them on the train or simply in your office when the CEO makes an unannounced site visit. First impressions matter and there is no play book that lets you know when that is going to happen.

If you must ask yourself whether something is appropriate to wear to work it’s most likely inappropriate for the workplace. Common sense is the best guide, but if you want to tackle this once and done you should attend the Casual Friday Workshop on March 21st. Details below.

If you want me to host a Casual Friday Workshop at your business or office, contact me to discuss the options.

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Are You Making A Statement With Your Accessories?

A few seasons ago a new fashion term popped up – Statement Necklaces.

We all bought in, the bigger the better, the heavier the cooler, the shiniest wins. Not so much.

Think about it, if not for the term statement necklace, what would we be calling them? Garish, overdone necklaces, over-sized necklaces? I guess the term ‘statement’ does the trick – it gives you the vision without the judgement. Let’s get to the judging.

Adding accessories to your outfit is usually the last step in getting dressed, kind of like adding frosting to the cake.

The only problem with that theory is that sometimes it looks like just that – an afterthought as opposed to what we see on Katy Perry, who appears to have dressed around her necklace thereby creating the perfect outfit!

Have you ever dressed in reverse? What??? I have a fond memory of my children coming home from a day with Gram and Papa a dozen years ago exclaiming it was the best day ever – they had dessert before dinner!

Let’s accessorize before we get dressed!

Don’t worry, I am not pining for a vision of you in your birthday suit sporting dangle earrings, a belly button hoop, a waist chain, a 10-pound necklace and of course an ankle bracelet to pull it all together. But did you get a visual just then? Over accessorized a bit? You catch my drift.

You need to build the outfit around your key pieces but also include the accessories in the pre-planning stages. That’s before you even buy them!

Make sure you factor in the following considerations.

Use the word ‘avoid’ when shopping, so you don’t end up with a ‘wear’ drawer and a ‘don’t wear’ drawer as your accessories need to be comfortable!

Avoid ‘rough ‘necklaces! Be sure to do more than lay it on the counter to pay for it – actually try it on! Consider that it may not always lay on fabric, it may lay on your skin so make sure it doesn’t feel like a Brillo pad!

Avoid earrings that are too heavy (they will turn into spacers), necklaces that are too short (think choking) or too long (think boob riders), shoes that are uncomfortable (even for five seconds), bracelets so heavy they would lengthen your arm, belts so long there are inches of overhang flapping in the breeze or scarves so large they can cover Lady Liberty.

Avoid matchy-matchy. Long gone are the days when the shoes match the bag, match the gloves, match the necklace, match the lipstick. Mix it up a bit – choose complimentary or contrasting colors to pull together an interesting and creative total look.

Avoid the afterthought look! How? Touch it once…

Try playing dress up or stylist and pull out your accessories and review and revise. Are they items you would buy right now? Are they one-shot-wonders? Something you purchased for one outfit, but never wore for some reason? Are some too young looking, too cheap looking, the wrong metal color for your skin tone?

Take a white sheet, lay it on a flat surface and then fetch ALL your jewelry and you guessed it (frequent readers) put it together by category, arrange and shoot (a photo that is). In addition to creating a documented inventory of your jewelry for insurance purposes, you will now know what you have, what you like, what you don’t like (those go in the donation pile) and what might be missing! Yes, if shopping is a motivator for you then you definitely want to engage in this weekend exercise.

Once you have it all out, you may want to consider a trip to the Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, or the like, because it would be a shame if you just stuck everything back into that shoe box where it gets tangled and you only wear what floats to the top.

These are a few of my favorite ‘containers’ by category (of course). Shop by size (know your numbers by category), by price, and consider where these containers are going to live in your bedroom. Living on your bureau? Make sure they are pretty and coordinate with whatever else is already living there. Living in your closet on a shelf? Measure the width of the shelf before buying the boxes. Consider how they open, do you want a hinge so the top stays open while you ponder, or do you want to have a removable cover?

It should be a workable container for you, but if you are graduating from the shoe box, you should be easy to please!

Here are a few of my favorite containers.

Supersize Stackers – These modular units feature a grooved base so multiples stack securely. Add on easily as your collection grows – we know that’s going to happen!

Need more help sorting through the crown jewels? Check this past post – Does Your Jewelry Need A Makeover?

Need some style attitude of your own? Grab Confidence Is Always In Style on Amazon and learn how to rock your own style, jewelry or no jewelry!

Need some one-on-one girlfriend time?
Join us –

Register Early – Limited to 12 Attendees Per Workshop!

Casual Friday Styling Workshop
Smart Casual Dressing Workshop
Executive Image Styling Workshop
Step Into Spring Private Styling Workshop


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Start Your Spring Shopping With Purpose

As a former buyer in the fashion industry, I had several million dollars a year to spend in the market. Every single dollar of my open to buy had to be calculated by category so that when you, the customer, came in any of our stores we had an ample supply of jackets, skirts, pants, dresses, blouses, sweaters, shoes and accessories. What you might not notice in this list is the ratio of tops to bottoms – right – pretty sure that didn’t come top of mind for you.

Here’s the scoop. Women’s ratio of both purchasing habits, as well as subsequent wardrobe numbers, is 3 to 1, tops to bottoms.

Think about how you layer your top half – tank, blouse, jacket – long sleeve blouse, sweater vest, leather jacket –  T-shirt, flannel shirt, cotton blazer – are you catching my drift?

Bottom line here, women buy more ‘tops’ than anything else in their wardrobe.

Top categories are defined as:

Sleeveless shells – solid and patterned

Long sleeve blouses – solid and patterned

Sweaters – solid and patterned

Jackets/blazers – solid and patterned

Well now that I defined the obvious and you are nodding your heads in agreement – let’s do some Spring shopping!

Picking up one new top in each category will give your crossover style the boost that it needs right about now.

Crossover style defined as: Get me out of these tired boring duds that I have been wearing for 6 months and open the heaven gates to the rainbow of colors!

Sleeveless Shells – The building blocks to every well-dressed wardrobe. Have at least two solid neutrals and one solid pop of color. Have at least 2 patterns, preferably patterns that include the color of your neutral bottoms so you can create outfits easily.

Long Sleeve Blouses – The next building block, easy to wear and can be worn without a sweater or a jacket (usually worn to either hide the arms or provide warmth). Again, you should own at least two solid neutrals and one solid pop of color. Have at least 2 patterns, preferably patterns that include the color of your neutral bottoms so you can create outfits easily. Sound familiar?

Sweaters – If you are a frequent reader – you know my rule – No Mr. Rogers cardigans allowed. Your sweater should be sassy and sophisticated and fit better than a tablecloth – yes, no draping allowed either! Again / again – you should own at least two solid neutrals and one solid pop of color. Have at least 2 patterns, preferably patterns that include the color of your neutral bottoms so you can create outfits easily. Seeing the trend yet?

Jackets & Blazers – The final layer, appropriate for any occasion, work-wear or casual-wear! Build a variety but shop wisely. Consider whether you would look best in single breasted or double breasted, then shop away. Add solids, patterns, cottons, spring leathers, both casual and dressy! A jacket is a power piece, sets you apart from the crowd. And the best reason for another jacket purchase – you just have to keep that ratio 3 to 1!

Shop away ladies! Need help – let’s chat!

Need an excuse for a girls outing while rocking your new ‘tops’?
Join us –

Register Early – Limited to 12 Attendees Per Workshop!

Casual Friday Styling Workshop
Smart Casual Dressing Workshop
Executive Image Styling Workshop
Step Into Spring Private Styling Workshop

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It’s Fashionable To Exercise!

So, you finally got your butt off the couch? It’s only been about 55 days since that January 1st resolution! Good for you – this is a PR (personal record – just for the record).

What now? Well let me ask you, if you are working out at a gym, a fitness facility or even a parking lot (desperate times call for desperate measures, we are just glad you are moving and shaking) you are going to want to look good doing it! What….you say? Hey girlfriend, it’s not for me (well maybe a little), but it’s actually for you.

You want to wear workout clothes that make you feel good about yourself, your body and your progress. If you are donning a Flintstones T and plaid pajama bottoms, how does that boost your  confidence?

You’ll be stretching, grunting, sweating and grunting some more, so what sets you apart from the Verizon guy digging a new line outside?

What sets you apart? You are a fabulous female that’s what! And there’s no reason why you can’t rock a look whether you are in LA with your besties or cleaning a toilet!

What started this tirade? Our very own Felice Shapiro, Founder and Publisher of, sharing her skiing skills while fashionably donning a pair of keylime ski pants! Who does that? Confident women that’s who!

Remember – fashion is supposed to be fun. So, if you are all tied up in dress codes all week, why not mix it up crazy in your workout wear.

Definition of workout – anything that gets you moving, smiling, laughing and exercising indoors or outdoors!

Let’s begin…

Have you been hitting the slopes this season? Let me guess, you are wearing those same black ski pants you bought when Stein Eriksen was racing. Probably never washed them either. Well now is the time to shop for something a bit more current and stylish – it’s all on sale, so don’t stress yourself that the lime green wasn’t your first choice – change is good! Ready to shop for you new ski clothing? Check out this Money Crashers link for the Top 20 Brands and how to buy for less.

Have you been staying indoors and hitting the tennis circuit? How’s that skirt fit? Let me tell you girlfriend, this is the time that it is critical to look good from behind. If you think that skirt is too short, it is! And when you bend over to pick up the ball – the peeps in the stands are turning their heads – away! Get yourself a few new tennis bottoms and maybe consider the length of the skirt in inches – yes that’s a thing. You can buy an 11 or a 13 inch – go for the extra yardage – we’ll be glad you did! I have been playing tennis several times a week for many years and my favorite go-to online shop is Tennis Warehouse. Check out this link so you can see what I am referencing about being able to shop by length – either 11″ or 13″ – got a little extra in the bootie – go for the extra 2!

Let’s talk the actual workout – Get In Shape For Women, Planet Fitness, Equinox, whatever plan goes on your credit card. What do they all have in common? Mirrors – freiking mirrors on all the walls – we call that a 360 view. Need I say more? And this is where it is to your benefit to look good, so you feel good, so you feel proud about your progress because you can see your progress as you are not draping T-shirts that are 3 sizes too big for your body. A client favorite (and yes, I help women with ALL aspects of their clothing from undergarments to athletic wear to office attire to wedding clothing!) is Athleta. This company does a great job covering it all – pun intended. They have very inspiring catalogues, that show their clothing in action. They have a wide range of sizes, free shipping and great customer service. I personally prefer ordering online, while sipping Merlot, and I always order two sizes, what the heck, ship one back for free and be sure of the best fit!

Need more help? Just ask…
See you on the courts, on the slopes, on the trail or in the gym! You go girl – just go!

Join me this Tuesday, 2/28 at 12:00 EST! Register below, you will receive the recording if you can’t join us live!

Webinar IamBack@Work
Oftentimes the pending return to the workforce exposes cracks in your confidence that have nothing to do with your skills and everything to do with your professional image. This webinar will provide you with DIY
actionable tips to take strategic control of your image, your personal brand and ultimately your self-confidence.

Casual Friday Styling Workshop
Smart Casual Dressing Workshop
Executive Image Styling Workshop
Step Into Spring Private Styling Workshop
She Did It / Boston

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It’s Time To Outsource Your Style

You heard me correctly, outsource what you are not good at!

For you to continue reading this post we need to get your mindset correct, so you can realize how much you are already outsourcing.

Let’s take an outsourcing challenge and see if you can check off at least 5 things on this list that you already engage in. Some will be obvious unless of course you are a magical mechanic, an amazing landscaper, a master chef or even an accountant by trade.

Do you use any grocery store or plated meals delivery services?

Have you ever bought baked goods and repackaged them for a potluck and called them your own? That’s outsourcing Mildred!

Do you have a trash pickup service or do you delight in driving to the transfer station and sorting your own junk?

Do you have a weekly landscaping service or do you proudly don your Daisy Dukes on your ride on John Deere (or Dear John)?

Do you have your own car mechanic or do you dream about scrubbing your own oil pan?

Do you have a cobbler to repair your shoes or do you only buy disposable DSW’s?

Do you have a tailor to fine-tune your clothing or have you been known to use double-sided tape?

Do you use a dry cleaner out of necessity or is that the only place that you can get those long plastic bags that hang in your closet for years – empty!

Do you have a hairdresser that cuts and colors or is your son Edward-Scissor-Hands and the CVS color aisle is your favorite shopping spot?

Do you paint your own fingernails, maybe, paint your own toes, (reach your own toes) probably not?

Do you take care of your own taxes, estate planning, wills and trusts or outsource that to your beneficiaries – you might want to rethink that!

This one is hopefully a no-brainer – do you have a dentist who takes care of your teeth?

And let’s leave the gynecologist question unanswered.

I am quite sure there are many checkmarks next to these questions right now so the bottom line is you’re the Queen of Outsourcing. Why then have you never outsourced your style?

Here are some of the most common reasons that I hear why a woman hasn’t scheduled a style intervention.

“My mother always bought my clothing because she loved to shop.” Postscript, Mom has been gone for decades and that clothing is still hanging in your closet more as an emotional attachment than anything style related.

“My sister always looks good and occasionally, she sends me some clothing, that now that I think about it, didn’t look so good on her but she thought it would look good on me.” Postscript – it’s still has the tags on it because it is  a size I will never fit in.”

“My husband likes to shop with me because he enjoys the in-and-out dressing room show.” Listen to me – he needs counseling.

“My girlfriend sells Cabi.” Seriously, would you invest in a car after 3 glasses of wine?

“I get lots of new items as Christmas gifts every year because people don’t know what else to buy me.” Hey girlfriend, get a grip, assorted gifts from relatives does not a fashionista make.

“I hate to shop so I just wear what I have.” OMG

Let’s face it ladies – we are busy. We are multi-tasking 24/7 and even have ‘create a work/life balance’ written on our to-do list.

Let me make this easy for you. Figuring out your style, your closet and your wardrobe is a once and done line item on your life list, to-do list or your bucket list. All you have to do is decide who to outsource it to.

You will be among the growing number of women who are currently outsourcing their style, updating their image and their wardrobe.

Finding your authentic style is a very personal journey and you shouldn’t be limited to your local resources. That goes for both stylists and stores! There are many stylists out there, so shop wisely.

You need to make sure you are a fit for each other. What does that mean? It’s simple – use your gut, your intuition, and your Google search bar to find your perfect match. Make sure they resonate with you as a BA50, relate to you, offer a free consult, have a robust LinkedIn profile, provide more services than just shopping, don’t make a commission from the stores they shop at for you, and have a website full of testimonials from women like you, not 18 year olds!

Here’s my approach to vetting your personal stylist times 10!

Take it slow and detailed:

  1. Visit their website to get the flavor of the stylist.
  2. Check their list of services, you want them qualified in every step of your transformation, even Virtual Styling in case you are in a different part of the country.
  3. Sign up for their weekly style tips to see if they stay current and consistent.
  4. See who they align themselves with that you also know, like and trust – BA50.
  5. Visit their LinkedIn page to check experience and testimonials.
  6. Read their client testimonials in regards to their services.
  7. See if they have published a book giving them national credibility.
  8. Check their other social sites to see if their style resonates with you – Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram.
  9. Check your local community or Chamber of Commerce to see how well connected they are.
  10. Be sure they offer a complimentary consult so you can get to know each other. You must make sure you are right for each other before you make any commitments – think of it as pre-dating!

Knowledge is power and we all weren’t born with knowing how to shop, how to edit or how to style. A stylist can help from the inside out – from the closet to the self-confidence.

Be sure to add one of these Style Workshops or Webinars to your
“Bump Up My Style” calendar!

Casual Friday Styling Workshop
Smart Casual Dressing Workshop
Executive Image Styling Workshop
Step Into Spring Private Styling Workshop

Webinar IamBack@Work
Oftentimes the pending return to the workforce exposes cracks in your confidence that have nothing to do with your skills and everything to do with your professional image. This webinar will provide you with DIY
actionable tips to take strategic control of your image, your personal brand and ultimately your self-confidence.



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Upcoming Events – Have You Registered?

Women In Technology International / Boston
How To Make A Powerful First Impression
February 16th 5:30-8:30pm
Key Takeaways:
1. The four key components to creating a powerful first impression
2. Redefining your style to reflect your personal brand
3. How to build and afford a working wardrobe
4. How to become comfortable and confident in any professional setting

Casual Friday Styling Workshop
Is Casual Friday your wardrobe weak spot?
March 21st  5:30-8:30pm
Do you have it all figured out Monday through Thursday, but are at a loss how to pull together professional and casual? This workshop will show you how a few key pieces will help you blend into the trend, but remain authentically stylish at the same time.

Smart Casual Dressing Workshop
Are you ready to make a change?
March 22nd  10:00-1:00pm
Have you recently retired or crossed-over to a more casual lifestyle? If you are clueless how to dress or shop for this chapter of your life then join us for ‘Smart Casual Dressing For Women Of A Certain Age’ and learn how to remain sassy and sophisticated and casual!

Executive Image Styling Workshop
You have 7 seconds to make a first impression, and then what?
April 5th  5:30-9:30pm
Does your wardrobe carry you through the work week, the seasons or the promotions? Are you dressing for the job that you have or the job that you want? Join us for this image branding workshop designed to empower you to take your style, and possibly your career, to the next level.

Step Into Spring Styling Workshop
Do you struggle with seasonal wardrobe changes?
April 10th  5:30-9:30pm
Have you been comfortably hiding in your wooly winter sweaters, boots and infinity scarves? Do you feel clueless about transitioning over to the Spring season? This workshop will help you zero in on a few key pieces that will make your transition sassy, sensible, stylish and budget friendly.

Returning To Work?
Get your professional image ready.
Webinar February 28th 12:00pm
Oftentimes the pending return to the workforce exposes cracks in your confidence that have nothing to do with your skills and everything to do with your professional image. This webinar will provide you with DIY actionable tips to take strategic control of your image, your personal brand and ultimately your self-confidence.

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How To Get Dressed In Ten Minutes

As a stylist, I take all sorts of grief. You heard me correctly – grief. And it most often is served up at the grocery store. You heard me correctly again – at the grocery store. A better headline here would have been Grief at The Grocery Store! But alas what fashionista would open that blog post?

Overheard at the kale aisle, “Oh Doreen, of all people to run into, I just came from the gym.” Here’s the question for all the elementary school teachers out there, is that even a sentence? Does the first half of the sentence have anything to do with the second half?

Overheard in the cheese department, “Hi Doreen, I was hoping you wouldn’t see me.” What is this, the high school mean girls club, “If she doesn’t see us we won’t have to talk to her, quick go hide.”

Overheard at the register, “Yikes Doreen, I looked for another aisle so I wouldn’t have to stand next to you.” Plague maybe? Grief at the grocery store maybe?

No, it is women judging themselves. We are our own worst critic. We see things that no one else sees and wish it were different, but let’s realize that we can fix the things that are fixable if  you are uncomfortable with your appearance.

And despite tag lines like ‘Judgement Free Zone’ popping up everywhere (Planet Fitness dare I say), you are judged, and most often, most quickly, by your appearance. That 7-second rule about making a good first impression simply refers to when someone, anyone, first looks at you, they judge you, they form an opinion about who you are, what your traits or characteristics are, education level, socioeconomic level and the research shows at least 10 other major factors are involved. Sounds like a pretty heavy 7 seconds, wouldn’t you say? But believe it or not, that’s not even what I am referring to here!

How you are dressed, not only affects others perception of you, but it effects how you view yourself. Therein lies the story behind grief at the grocery store. These women are not judging me for looking put together at the grocery store, they are judging themselves (making a comparison) for being not put together in a public space. Judging themselves and making excuses simultaneously.

It is my intention, in my everyday work with women, to instill confidence in your skill to pull it together. To figure out how to do the 10-minute tidy! Because no doubt if you took ten, it would change your day, whether at the grocery store or the gas station! Admit it, when you feel pretty, well damn, you just plain feel pretty.

Sing the song with me from West Side Story, “I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and gay!

Overkill? Okay, but you get my point. I want you to always feel good about yourself and it only takes a few minutes of personal time – we all deserve personal time – no doubt, no argument there! So, let’s get dressed in under 10 minutes and yes, this works for the office, the errands, the school pickups, wherever you go that you should clothe yourself – okay, that’s just everywhere except the shower!

Select Your Outfit the Night Before
This grade school habit still works wonders when you’re an adult. The key is to pull together the whole look the night before, including shoes and accessories. What floats to the top? Possibly the missing items that have been in the laundry pile for weeks, or the multiple forgotten dry cleaner pickups? Wouldn’t you rather know that the night before? You will also find that you are more creative at night when you are not frazzled because the morning coffee cup is empty.

When in Doubt, Dress Monochromatic
Stick with your neutrals – black, navy, brown or grey and wear that single hue head to toe for a long slim line. Pulling those items together is as simple as selecting all the blues from the Crayola box! It’s not rocket science here, just streamlined styling. And by doing it in advance you just might have the energy (time) to add a pop of last minute color with a scarf or necklace.

Check Your Lookbook for a Pre-made Outfit
I just heard you – what the hell is a pre-made outfit? One of the many services that I do for my clients is to create an electronic lookbook. I assemble and photograph any agreed number of outfits seasonally including professional and casual looks complete with shoes/boots and accessories. The possibilities are endless for my clients including creating capsule wardrobes which makes traveling a breeze. Oftentimes the number of outfits created matches my clients’ calendar of events, thereby getting her rocked and ready months in advance. She just flips through her iPad for her daily outfit inspiration! Easy breezy! Check out this Sample Client Lookbook.

Don’t Overthink It
When you overthink it, you tend to ‘over’ all of it – over layer, over accessorize, over worry. Keep it simple. Have good go-to foundational pieces of clothing already stocked in your wardrobe –  a great fitting pair of black pants, dark wash jeans, a solid long sleeve top, a multi-color sweater or blazer, great looking comfortable black shoes and of course a current, flattering coat to pop over everything. Don’t ruin a good quick look with a dirty down puffer! The same goes for the accessories, keep it simple if you are doing the ten-minute drill. Have a few go-to simple pieces of jewelry so the Elizabeth Taylor bling doesn’t outshine your clean, neutral, monochromatic kale aisle outfit! Or, just pop a little monochromatic red – red earrings, red necklace, red lips!

Need help pulling your looks together in ten minutes? Join us for one of our upcoming workshops!

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Translating Fashion Week For The Everyday Fashionista

InstagramOften overheard, ”Trends, smends, I couldn’t care less about trends. I don’t understand them, I can’t afford them and certainly can’t keep up with them.” Sound familiar? Have you muttered these words? Then read on…

These are the top trends from Fashion Week 2017, and a few tidbits on how they can possibly be tweaked for you! After all, high fashion is not (yet) required at Whole Foods.

A trend is defined as a current style or preference. Therein lies the trick. If a current style is not your preference, then by all means don’t follow the trend!

It is however, good to be current, stylish and sassy, so you do have to pay attention to what is happening when it comes to fashion so you don’t look like you live in a cave.

With that said, I have done a little homework on your behalf so you can stay on trend this Spring while still being your authentic self.

I have combed the runways, read the reviews and settled on sharing Stylecaster’s recap. It was clear, concise and inspiring. All runway photo credits –

Now let’s see if I can adequately translate it to fit the ‘everyday fashionista’ needs, considering budgets, bodies and bias’s. I will be quoting their Trend Titles and partial descriptions along the way to set the tone. Let’s dive in and you are going to want to pay attention – there are lots of tips to rock your sassy and sophisticated Spring style!

Super Stripes
Quoted as “Bold, bright, and brilliantly textured, spring’s stripes are a jolt of energy.” We can all agree we love stripes, own stripes and wear stripes. Fashion faux pas include striping in all the wrong places. Here’s the hint – use them to add horizontal volume where your body may need it! Don’t need horizontal volume anywhere? Look for vertical stripes or just buy new beach towels!

Garden Party
Quoted as, “The season’s florals felt fresh in their unabashed femininity, blooming up and down long, tiered skirts, ruffled jumpsuits, and voluminous sleeves.” I couldn’t agree more. Nothing spells SPRING like florals. Incorporate them into your wardrobe wisely and be sure to include them in scarves, handbags, jewelry and shoes.

Bra Tops – nah – not so much…
I would share Stylecaster’s description here but sure this one would land on deaf ears! Suffice it to say this is where you take a trend, tweak it and make it your own. Bra = shorter top. Done. And that no doubt will be a refreshing change from all those long flowy asymmetrical tops we have been living (hiding) in. (Although they do reference working on your abs, which is always a good idea!)

Shades of Blue
Quoted as, “One of the easiest colors to wear was also one of the most popular across the board this season.” Remember ladies, blue comes in endless shades, so no matter your Color Season, Winter, Summer, Spring or Autumn, there is a shade of blue for you!

Quoted as, “Is it just us, or is the future looking especially bright?” Neon’s do come and go, but are always a refreshing site when you pop open your closet door. Let’s be sure they are a refreshing site when you pop them on your body! Not ready for a full-blown day-glo? Pick one item, a top, a jacket, a workout bra or even new sneakers. Make sure you are wearing the color and the color isn’t wearing you!Updated Oxfords
Quoted as, “The classic striped button-down has been turned on its head (sometimes quite literally) this season, with designers adding flounces, slashing shoulders, and super-sizing the silhouette, stripping it of any stale, corporate connotations in the process.” Always a classic, and often only incorporated into the wardrobe in a traditional menswear shirt, but bump up that thought a bit. Here it is updated as both a sleeveless shirt with a ruffle placket.

Quoted as, “Frills were BIG at NYFW, both in terms of proportion (some looked capable of swallowing models whole) and in terms of popularity (you’d be harder pressed to find a show that didn’t feature a little bit of flounce).” Again, ruffles add volume, but you certainly do not have to scale it large – bigger isn’t always better. Add the detail as it works with your silhouette.

All Tied Up
Quoted as, “Thanks to this season’s runways, there will be plenty of creative ways to strap up for spring. The sandal strapping has been around for years and may or may not be a comfortable option for you but that doesn’t mean you can’t tie it up elsewhere on the bod! Think tops, dresses and even skirts and jackets. Once you notice the detailing you will start to see it everywhere.

Quoted as, “Beige” stopped being a synonym for “boring” the second Kim Kardashian slithered into Band-aid-colored bodycon, and this spring, neutral hues will be especially widespread.” Knowing most BA50’s aren’t looking to the Kardashians for fashion advice, let’s knock the khaki back down to our trenches, literally. Hey, it is still a fashion step above wearing khaki pants! We’ll leave those Dockers to the boys.

The Bad Girls
Don’t shoot the messenger – had to include it. Quoted as, “More-is-more maximalism plus a DGAF attitude is shaping up to be the quickest ticket to the cool kids’ table this spring.” Pretty sure despite our age you can figure out what DGAF means; we’ll leave it at that. Taking all that into account – let’s leave the maximalism to behind closed doors, but an occasional strut down the driveway to retrieve the newspaper might do wonders for your self-esteem, your confidence and your DGAF attitude!

Comment below – love to hear from you!

Need some attitude of your own? Grab Confidence Is Always In Style on Amazon and learn how to rock your own style, trends or no trends!

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7 Style Tips To Rock Your Curvy Body

curvygirlssmlAs a personal stylist, I’ve probably heard all of the ‘ER’ questions that are asked. But these 2 are the most common amongst curvy gals.

How can I look slim-ER?

How can I look tall-ER?

Mind you curvy comes in all sizes from a 2 to Plus size. It simply means that your hourglass shape is defined as shoulders and hips being wider than your waist. That’s not a bad thing Marilyn!

There are styling tips that help with the ‘ER’ questions that can be put into practice no matter your shape, size or height and they can be broken down into 7 categories – let’s call them the Lucky 7 as the number 7 is always lucky!


#1 – The Fit

If you have read my book you know I am not a fan of ‘draping’. When it comes to your wardrobe, draping is defined as loosely fitting tents of sorts. Curvy gals often time try to hide their curves. What – why would we do that? Curves rock, so let’s show them some respect. Let’s find a happy medium in between draping and clinging. Clinging can show lumps, bumps and bulges and draping can make the smaller areas look larger! Look for a fit that accentuates the assets and disguises the liabilities. The tailor is your friend. If you need to size up to accommodate the shoulders or the hips, be sure to have a tailor add a few nips and tucks so the rest of the garment is flattering.

#2 The Support

Support your assets with a great bra! Go for a professional bra fitting to make sure you are completely contained – that means all the breast tissue. And remember your bras are the hardest working items in your wardrobe – treat them with respect. Rotate daily, hand wash them maybe in a bit of lavender wash and hang them to dry. They should never make their way to the dryer – ever! 
Need curves? Then use shaped clothing to add them. Want to add volume to the bottom half, consider A-line skirts or pleated trousers. This also accentuates your waist by defining the smallest part of your body. Want to add volume to the top, choose silhouettes that have ruffles, layers or shoulder pads.

#3 The Silhouette

Need curves? Then use shaped clothing to add them. Want to add volume to the bottom half, consider A-line skirts or pleated trousers. This also accentuates your waist by defining the smallest part of your body. Want to add volume to the top, choose silhouettes that have ruffles, layers or shoulder pads.

#4 The Layering

By layering strategically you can slim down your proportion quite effectively. This season’s long sleeveless vests and shawl collar cardigans have been all the rage as they can conceal the widest parts of your body. Also the asymmetrical hemlines on tops and dresses reduce the harshness of the horizontal lines.

#5 The Proportion



It’s all about balance baby! If you are fuller-on-the-top then let’s call attention to your bottom half by adding color, texture, shine, horizontal lines or design elements, and thin layering that skims the hips.

If you are fuller-on-the-bottom then let’s darken up that hemisphere and draw the eye upward by adding eye-catching accessories, great hair or makeup, striking colors or collar/shoulder embellishments.

#6 The Color

Monotone rocks and medium-dark to dark colors create a slimming effect. Try to not break the color story with any horizontal lines unless you have that hourglass shape and you want to accentuate the waistline, then by all means either don shaped garments that cinch the waist or belt away! Stick to matte fabrics, as anything shiny adds volume.

#7 The Shoes

sassypluswoman-560x840-1Shoes tell a story and add frosting to any outfit. They can also be the demise of a good outfit. Make sure your shoes don’t enter the room before you, meaning that they are so heavy they could sink the Titanic. Lighten it up a bit with sleeker toe boxes and less in the sole. If you want a longer, leaner looking leg – then go nude. If you want your bottom half to be in the black zone, then all black it should be including the hosiery thereby keeping the line clean and slim.

Need more help dressing by body type? Opt-in here to receive What Shape Am I – a free chapter from  Confidence Is Always In Style.

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Will You Be Sleeping In Brady’s Pajamas?

screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-12-11-48-pmThe fashionable hot topic these days is SLEEP – do you get enough, do you get any, do you reach REM (seriously?), is it interrupted sleep and now there are even apps to tell us if we are breathing properly when we sleep (seriously again!) So much pressure!

We have been given a minimum sleep requirement, suggested hours to accomplish that (and it doesn’t seem to be the 8 hours in between 4am and 12 noon) and a need to know the definition of REM (and then of course the skill to achieve it). We should no doubt be sleeping with a taser in case someone tries to interrupt us, or a diaper in case we have to pee, and now we have to figure out where to clip on a Fitbit so Big Brother can monitor us 24/7 (keep up girlfriend – not talking about the TV show here).

Damn, I am already stressed before I even reach for my nightcap – let’s make it a double!

AND NOW…OMG… now we have the pressure of sleeping with Tom Brady! Which no doubt requires lopping off pounds, visiting stretching racks to reach 5’11’, jumping into the Back To The Future time machine to reverse the 50 years of aging, and that is not the least of it.

pajamawomanWe also have to fork over $150 for the outfit to sleep with him!

It’s not enough that we drink soy in our coffees instead of 3 pumps of that white Dunkin Donuts crap, spend one to two hours a day exercising, wear shapers, spandex jeans, push up bras and high heel shoes, spend our IRA money at the hairdresser and makeup counter and have stopped eating the blonde brownies at midnight. And now they want us to ‘work’ at it while we sleep. That’s just plain BS.

They call this bull**** ‘The Athlete Recovery Sleepwear’. Come on people, we are all athletes in our own mind. What, no Gold Medal, no worries, they will still sell you a pair of these jammies that contain – as quoted by Dugan Arnett in the Boston Globe, (quoting an Under Armor press release), “Special bioceramic particles that absorb infrared wavelengths emitted by the body that reflect back radiation, a process the company promises will, among other things, reduce inflammation and regulate cell metabolism.” Phew – what a mouthful of (can I say, crap). Oh okay, probably not crap to the so-called real athletes who make 1 million a game, have trainers, masseuses, nutritionists, PT therapists and no doubt the best mattress money can buy! How can they not sleep well already?

For an inside humorous look at the results of donning these PJ’s, hop on over to Dugan’s article when you finish here.

For the inside scoop from those of us BA50’s, I already think you have some thoughts of your own so please let’s get the conversation started below – try to keep in on the PJ’s and keep ‘Deflategate’ out of it because no doubt if you are not from New England, we already know your thoughts on that! And BTW, you would be behind-the-bench on that as Tom loves to laugh at himself and has already done that in this online “Funny or Die” video – worth a lookie from the comfort of your bed while donning that 20-year-old Minnie Mouse T-shirt!

womanpajamas-300x200Then for a realistic approach to sleeping not in-the-buff, head on over to my previous post:

What’s In Your Pajama Drawer?

Need the perfect bedtime read so you can dream about your pending makeover? My savvy style guide – Confidence Is Always In Style is now available on Amazon! If you haven’t picked up your copy, check it out here.


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