The Top 5 Steps to Conquer Closet Chaos

How many times have we heard that we wear only 15% of what is in our closet? Okay then, let’s tackle the other 85% once and for all!

Follow along with me for a moment. I want you to close your eyes and visual your closet. Visualize the space, or the lack thereof, the assorted Target hangers, the shoe boxes, the piles of workout clothes, dog walking clothes, laundry and dry cleaning.

Imagine entering your favorite boutique only to find that it was set up like your closet! Filled with random plastic junky hangers, completely disorganized, with cramped clothing and plastic dry cleaning bags fighting for space. Pretty sure you would leave!

I am certain you understand the visual difference between how a retailer displays their inventory and how your clothing is displayed in your closet. It should be one in the same: organized, shop-able, and pleasing to your eye so you are enthused and inspired when you swing open the doors. It is completely possible for your closet to be an intuitive, inspirational source of joy. You should look forward to throwing open those doors and selecting all things that fit, flatter, and speak to your authentic style.

If this is not the case in your space, then let’s get started.

Step 1 – Schedule Closet Time

Grab your calendar. You need to schedule closet time on your personal calendar. If this is something you have never done and just the thought of it overwhelms you, then do not plan to get it done in one day.

Mind you, I can whip through your closet in several hours, but alas, I am the expert and have been doing this for decades. I can spot an outdated, out of style, ill-fitting piece of clothing in an overcrowded, chaotic closet a mile away. You, however are the student now, so let’s do this in stages! Schedule 3 two-hour blocks of time over the next week or so. Knowing what you’re doing is half the battle, learning as you go is the fun part. Once you have gone through a few categories, the balance of the work flows smoother and quicker.

Step 2 – The Ground Rules

You should be able to close your eyes, reach in and select anything (yes anything) and be happy with the choice because it fits, it’s flattering, it’s in season and it’s in style! If there are items in your closet that don’t fill those requirements, they are a waste of real estate and they need to move out!

Use the 3F rule to decide which items get the boot!

Fit – Does the clothing fit the body that you have now, or the body that you used to have? Are the items looming in the hope section of your closet for the body that you hope you will have? If you have fluctuating weight, keep only one size above your current size and one size below and donate the rest. You need to look and feel pretty today, and stop waiting to feel that way tomorrow or six months from now. You may need to hone your shopping skills and take practical steps towards buying the right type of clothing for your body and your current weight so you always look fabulous.

Flatters – Flattering means does it fit, does it need tailoring, is it age appropriate, does it even match who you are right now or who you want to be?

Function – If it has not seen the light of day in 10 years then I certainly don’t think it is going to be the first thing you pull out for your next important event. If it is not functioning, it is just a waste of space.

Step 3 –  Sort It Out

It’s hard to see what you’re keeping when there is a lot of clutter so grab some shopping bags and label them – donate, consign, tailoring, and have a collapsible rack for out of season clothing so you can move it to another closet. Warning – If you don’t sort out the unwanted’s right away by putting them in another area you may just find they have migrated back into your closet! 

Step 4 –  Conquer By Category

No doubt your closet is filled with fabulous things, as well as a few not so fabulous. By breaking your wardrobe down into the following categories, it will become very manageable for you. I recommend to work in this order – pants, skirts, dresses, tops, sweaters, jackets, shoes and then accessories. You could process one category per session and it will become faster and easier because you will be familiar with the fit, flatter, and function parameters. For a detailed description by category refer to my book, Confidence Is Always In Style, where you will find an entire chapter dedicated to closet editing.

Step 5 – Reintroduce In An Intuitive Manner

It’s time to reintroduce your garments to your closet in an intuitive fashion, left to right. Let’s assume you have the basic closet set up with 2 split rods, top and bottom. Set your clothing up like your body is set up – tops on the top and bottoms on the bottom. Work from left to right starting with sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve silkies, long sleeve wovens, light weight sweaters, and then jackets. All clothing should run white to black within each type, within each category. Be sure to use the velvet soft-grip-hangers which are seemingly available in every store in America because they are kind to the clothing and are amazing space savers.

The bottom bar will house pants running left to right – dress pants, casual pants, jeans –  again white to black within those parameters. Then your skirts, same theory. Use the 4-tier skirt hangers to save even more space!

Dresses, as well as some of our cardigans and toppers, are often a challenge because they require long hanging spaces. Within that space line up those items in a similar fashion, separating work dresses and special occasion dresses but trying to keep them lined up by sleeve length within.

Now add some lavender sachets and a florescent light if you do not have one as you need to be able to see what you are shopping for.

Your new system should make sense and make getting dressed every day stress-free. Remember – you are pretty so make damn sure there is a full-length mirror in your bedroom.

Need more help? Start here and I’ll meet you in your closet!


Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Styling Something Old Into Something New

How does something old becomes something new again? It’s all in how you see it and how you style it.

This is the perfect time of year for you to take a few key pieces and start to transition them from the summer season into the fall season.

Some of your spring/summer items have a higher cost-per-wear simply because you don’t wear them as often during the short seasons.

We tend to wear our winter clothes, at least here in New England, seemingly for about eight months of the year so naturally the cost-per-wear on some of your more expensive fall/winter items can crank down quite a bit. Let’s pick a few key spring items that you might want to fall forward with in order to lower the CPW.

One obvious item would be your white jeans. Now if we lived in Los Angeles, we would see white jeans all year long, perfectly styled and in season no matter what month of the year.

On the East Coast if we saw a woman in white jeans beyond Columbus Day, well let’s just say that I’m sure there’s an emoji for the expression on your face 😱!

Check out a few of the photos below to see how you can add a fall feel to your summer whites and even a bit of a southwestern flare just to mix it up a little. Remember fashion is supposed to be fun if you wear the same thing every day you look the same every day.

Another category of changeover, a.k.a. style it up, is the work to casual or sophisticated to sassy change up.

If you’re a frequent reader you know that I like to have your closet set up by categories simply broken down by bottoms, skirts and pants, and tops organized by sleeveless shells, long sleeve blouses, sweaters, jackets and then of course dresses.

In addition to those category breakdowns, often my corporate clients have one area of the closet dedicated to their casual wear because quite frankly the red plaid flannel shirt doesn’t hang so well next to the 100% silk corner office blouse.

So, this exercise will allow you shop from two sections of your closet and pull together something sexy, sassy and sophisticated, including some otherwise boring work blazers!

Take a look at these photos from Lafayette NY.

Note that this is not meant to be a shopping expedition, this is meant to be just a lesson in how to style something, so don’t shoot the messenger that I selected very lovely pricey items to show you (hard to not find the pretty stuff in my line of work). The lesson is the same whether you’re shopping at Nordstroms or you’re shopping at Macy’s or you’re simply shopping in your closet.

The idea is to take something corporate, AKA conservative, or something sophisticated and style it so that it looks sassy, AKA maybe even a little bit sexy. I personally can’t wait to rock up my boring white blazer!

So throw open those closet doors with abandon and if you have brought wine to this party make sure it is white!

Need more help? Join us!


Date: September 27, 2017
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Studio On The Common, Winchester MA

Join us for The Fall Wardrobe Planning Workshop
This workshop will help you zero in on the 20 Essential Pieces that
will make your Fall transition sassy, sensible, stylish and budget friendly.
Wednesday, September 27th
6 – 9PM

Studio On The Common 22 Church Street, Winchester, MA
Workshop price $99.00
Limited to 12 Attendees
Register –

Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Your Weight Forcing You to Wait?

Are you hovering in the dreaded W’s?
W E I G H T & W A I T 

I meet new women every day. It’s just the business that I am in and I am in it because I am a people person. I guess you could say ‘people’ are my business.

Recently while talking with a business associate, I was sharing the transformation results of a client and she remarked, “You are so much more than a personal stylist, you are a coach, a mentor and an inspiration.

And she is right. When someone lets you in, as a professional you need to be ready to navigate the landscape and go on the journey wherever your client takes you, wherever they need to go. And it is always about the journey, as oftentimes they haven’t yet decided on the destination.

Here’s what I know about what weight loss can do for your confidence. Let me take you down what has become a familiar path for me.

The relationship starts the minute I meet a fabulous new woman through networking, referrals or even just at the grocery store. (Side-note – I know I have told you that you just might meet your next client, new girlfriend or maybe your future partner at the grocery store, so always be sure to dress the role).

She schedules the 30-minute phone consult, which triggers an online questionnaire so that our time together will be well spent. Oftentimes, she will reference weight gain right away as one of the challenges she is having. Other times she will skirt the issue and wait until we are on the phone together and then the conversation becomes comfortable and familiar and she will share that she just doesn’t feel like herself anymore. She has noticed as she approaches the 50-something cliff that her body has a mind of its own and quite frankly it is literally gaining on her.

I specialize in creating a safe zone where we can work on teaching her how to get to know her body, like her body and THEN we can dress her body. I am a firm believer in empowering you to like the body you are in, as long as you like yourself at the same time.

However, I find many women start out being ‘okay’ with weight gain and then they realize that it is making everything else more difficult. Health issues start to pop up such as hurting knees, blood pressure, a general increase in stress and lowering of self-esteem.

They talk about dressing to conceal, also known as draping, which only makes them look and feel bigger. They don’t shop for pleasure; they shop out of frustration because what is in their closet is now ill fitting. They feel guilty that they have a closet full of clothes that don’t fit and now they must go and buy more.

Oftentimes they will shop at deep discount stores, buying bulk instead of quality which turns into a vicious cycle because the clothing doesn’t fit well, doesn’t last long and doesn’t look flattering. It is a slippery slope and many times the women feel alone and frustrated.

The first step is acknowledging that it is challenging and not something that we are naturally adept at.

I have worked with clients at the height of their weight gain and made them look and feel fabulous! That has resulted in increased confidence, activity, enthusiasm, engagement and lo and behold, healthier eating habits and subsequent weight-loss.

You may ask, what is the point of spending money to make yourself look good in clothing that won’t fit 6 months from now? Well the answer is obvious, without that boost of self-esteem the motivation to change may not have come.

So, if you are living in the world of the dreaded W’s – W.E.I.G.H.T and W.A.I.T, it’s time to make a change. Now is the time for you to achieve all your dreams that you have put on hold for everyone and everything else.

Now is the time for you to move your stuff to the top of the list and do something for you.

By defining the checkpoints that may motivate you personally and then taking action, you can get from one side of the mountain to the other in a very short time.

I want to leave you with one final thought from Arthur Ashe.

“Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can.”

Need more inspiration to tackle those few extra pounds? Grab a copy of Confidence Is Always in Style, a sassy guide for taking strategic control of your image. Click the link here and enter discount code BA50 to purchase the printed version at 10.00.

Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Top 6 Fashion Mistakes That Make You Look Older

I often use the phrase, “You have your whole life to look old.” Think about it. Dressing too old is just as bad as dressing too young. How then are you supposed to navigate the median strip when it comes to your style?

Again, think about it! I am pretty sure if I asked you to name the top 6 mistakes women make when dressing too young, you could easily spit out a list as you closed your eyes and envisioned one of your most recent spottings. Mine was last week at the Mall where a mom and daughter were dressed like summer twins. My head was spinning as I was thinking almost out loud – quick give that mom a bathrobe!

Here’s a quick too-young list to get your juices flowing –

  • Too much cleavage, yes Mildred, there is a limit
  • Jeans with too low a rise, exposing even more cleavage
  • Wearing 6-inch heels with your boyfriend jeans at a backyard barbecue
  • Sporting a crop top, any kind of crop top
  • Thinking Victoria’s Secret is just the cat’s meow
  • Wearing a ponytail, since forever

In my line of work, I find that more women dress too old than too young, meaning that their wardrobe choices are better suited to someone one to two decades beyond where they are. Oftentimes we will pull something out of the closet and our eyes roll as we envision her accessorizing the dress with an afghan.

The reasons why these lovely ladies have spiraled down this path abound. The short list includes weight changes, foot issues, what they define as comfortable, a lack of time and/or interest in keeping up with what is current, not budgeting for their wardrobe and even peer pressure – yes, peer pressure still exists for grown-ups!

Many women admittedly lack the expertise to know where to shop and what to shop for. Even though women account for 85% of consumer purchases, approximately 40% of them hate to shop citing feelings of over-whelm and lack of self-confidence leading to dressing room depression.

Commonly heard as I stand in the shadow of a client’s closet is “I recognize my look is dated, but haven’t a clue where to begin.”

Let’s begin with the top 6 fashion mistakes that make you look older

  1. Everything you wear is black – Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 1.07.52 PMYeah, yeah, black has always been the wonder drug when it comes to looking slim and sophisticated, but hello Harriet, your skin color has changed! As we age our skin tone tends to go pale, so you need to brighten yourself up a bit. Wear the black, but not close to the face. Add scarves, jewelry, colorful blouses and jackets for the perfect pale palette pickup.
  2. You are draping – Helloa few pounds do not necessitate a tent. No doubt there is still a body in there but if you are draping, you are actually making yourself look bigger than you are. If you are draping to hide a fuller-on-the top or fuller-in-the-middle proportion you are only creating a more obvious imbalance, making you appear even larger on the top and smaller on the bottom. What we are going for here is the hourglass silhouette so opt for something that follows your curves, not hides them.
  3. You haven’t had a bra fitting in a decade – You'reMyBreastFriendWelcome to the majority! Eight out of ten women are wearing the wrong size bra. Seriously, would you walk around in the wrong size shoes? Talk about an easy fix to make you look both ten pounds and ten years younger, getting those girls locked and loaded! Additional benefits of a well-fitted bra include better posture, a perkier younger looking chest, a classier look in your clothing, the appearance of a flatter and longer stomach and reduced back pain! So get with the program and schedule a bra fitting. Need a referral? Contact me.
  4. Your shoes weigh more than you – Girlfriend, if you fall off the ferry and your cement shoes bring you to the bottom faster than lightning, you should reconsider your footwear. Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 1.10.32 PMBlah, blah for the love of the Dansko’s…get a grip, there are comfortable shoes out there that do not weigh 20 pounds. Your shoes, like your boobs, should not be the first things to enter the room! As an exercise in perusing and exposing yourself to options, use the search bar on the Zappo’s Options include, size, width, style, occasion, color, brand, price, materials, insole, theme, pattern and accents. Phew, a hell of a lot easier than slogging through the Mall. As a test for those comfort lovers out there I simply checked off women’s / flats / comfort and the search offered me 721 options! So be kind to your feet and your fashion sense and let your fingers do the walking!
  5. You have had the same eyeglasses since you started wearing eyeglasses
    Chances are when you purchased your first set of glasses you weren’t exactly thrilled to be wearing spectacles so you probably opted for the least conspicuous. Glasses have come a long way baby. They are one of the most fashionable accessories you can use. The current trends in eyewear have evolved to include an abundance of shapes, patterns and colors with frame materials including lightweight plastics, metals and titanium. The possibilities are endless and are just as important a statement as your clothing and your jewelry and can highlight certain characteristics and personality traits. Here is a bonus tip – if you are trying to conceal circles under the eyes, or wrinkles on the neck, statement glasses pull the focus all up so that people focus on your eyes first.
  6. Your answer to everything is a cardigan –
    If every combo becomes complete with a cardi, then you look the same in every outfit. It doesn’t really matter what you are wearing underneath, it is always the cardigan that enters the room first. If you cannot break free from the cardi at least make it a statement piece. However I encourage you to consider adding a few stylish blazers and jackets to your wardrobe. And no, they don’t have to be lawyer looking blazers if you are not in an office setting. Jackets can be a bit unstructured with soft fabrications, asymmetrical hemlines and even 3/4 sleeves. They can be brights, neutrals, textures, patterns and even mixed media with details like leather, fabulous stitching and buttons. They can pull together your neutral solids and make the outfit pop. Check out my jacket here where I simply styled it with a black pant and a cream blouse. I am pictured with the Lord & Taylor General Manager where I was featured as their guest in-store stylist on their recent L&T Charity Day – the jacket of course was purchased at Lord & Taylor!
    So we have the tip of the iceberg melting now. These are a few actionable ideas to get you going. These tips, and at least a hundred more, are included in my recently published book Confidence Is Always In Style.  Available at a 50% discount – just enter code BA50 at checkout!
Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are You Wearing Summer Leftovers?

It’s bound to happen. The summer soiree season is in full swing and the words “I have nothing to wear” echo through the house! What? You don’t want to wear your white capris 24/7? Hallelujah! What a relief! It’s like a freiking uniform! Set your eyes upon any ladies-night-out  and 99% of them are wearing white pants.

Let’s start with the root of the problem. When you packed away the winter woolies and the black booties last Spring, did you by any chance make note of what was either missing from your wardrobe all winter long or what you plain old wore down to it’s bare bones?

If you did not make note, shame on you! Let’s change that seasonal practice going forward. It’s time to take note of this summer season’s inventory – the good, the bad, the ugly and what needs replacing!

“Why?” you ask. Because my dear, those cherished items are now on sale! You need to buy them now, so next April when you perform your seasonal closet change-over, you will be swapping in something that makes you feel sassy, sexy and sophisticated – or perhaps simply current!

Let’s get to work on planning your future-fabulous Spring/Summer 2018 season!

Take Note ~ Check every category for wear, tear, fit and fabulousness! Shoes are obvious, if they are dirty, frayed or sole-less, be done with them! If your sweaters are all solid, one shape and relatively boring, pair them down and circle the racks for a pop of something different. Proceed through each and every category of clothing and of course if you find things that you didn’t reach for this season or this decade, boot them out the door. If you find items that you keep on – keep on – wearing, ask yourself why? What do you like about them and incorporate those thoughts and feelings into your next shopping excursion.

Plan the Products ~ As much as you might want to add that fabulous new bit of frosting to your wardrobe, first make sure the cake is ready! Check your bras, your hosiery, your over-worked white jeans and patterned skirts, sandals and wedges. My point is to make sure you have the essentials in your wardrobe covered. The essentials are on sale too you know! Everyone restocks the basic household items when they go on sale – don’t forget to restock your wardrobe basics also! Be wary of the shiny object syndrome while pre-shopping online. Also be wary of the sales associates who tell you it looks amazing on you, only two left, blah, blah, don’t believe a word of it. Stick to your guns and only look for, or try on, what is on your list. If shopping online, open several browsers to comparison shop before you hit the buy button. Stand strong and stick to your list!

Plan the store discounts and coupons ~ Sign up for their emails now, you can always unsubscribe later, but be sure to take advantage of the first shot of goodies! They may include an immediate coupon code that can be used on top of the sale price. Be sure you read the fine print and get free shipping both ways! And check out Ebates – it’s your discount reminder on steroids – it pops up on any website that you visit that uses the Ebates program – mindless and simple – you just hit ‘apply’.

Plan the Price ~ Just because it’s on sale, doesn’t mean it’s on sale – what? Were you ever aware of the regular price? Was that high-ticket item really EVER sold at that high-ticket price? Be a savvy shopper. If you are really planning on wasting a beach day and heading to the Mall, then you should already know what you are looking for and what you should pay. Do your homework – Google the item itself, open the top five links and check the price at different retailers! It might be two prices right within the Mall and your favorite retailer might price-match.

Plan the Savings ~ Shop early! Shop your favorite stores online in advance. Here’s a super-secret tip – put your items in your shopping cart and leave them there. Monitor them daily to see if they have been marked down. If you are on the store mailing list in advance, chances are very high that they will not bump your stuff out of your cart or they will send you an email reminder entitled something creative like, “Forgot Something”?

Create a budget before you power up the computer. As with any shopping endeavor, know the limits of what you can spend before you shop. Don’t be lead down the path of credit card over-load as you will spend more time thinking about how to detour the UPS truck away from your house.

Know the return policy in advance of purchase ~ Know their policy, as well as shipping coverage for returned items. Some stores allow exchanges and cover the shipping costs for returns while many others don’t.

Hit the sales early ~ Set your alarm and be outside the store before it opens. Yes, the early bird gets the worm!

Keep all receipts from your purchases ~ Always a prudent idea. If anything goes wrong, such as the item not turning up, the item turning up damaged, the item not being what you ordered or it just isn’t what you want, you’ll need those receipts as proof of purchase to be able to fight off the ‘final sale’ syndrome.

If you don’t plan, you either buy the wrong thing or pay the wrong price. That’s how you end up with one-shot wonders in your closet – lonely items with no mates!

Remember, plan the products, plan the discounts, plan the price, plan the savings, create a budget, comparison price shop, know the return policy, hit the sales early and save all your receipts.

If you don’t shop with purpose, you will no doubt be leaving money on the table and will start the Summer 2018 season without your wardrobe essentials!

Need more style advice? Grab my savvy style guide at the reduced price of $10.00 by checking out with the code BA50.  Confidence Is Always In Style

Got comments? Love to hear them!


Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Too Hot to Get Dressed?

Oh my, it’s 90° with 95% humidity –  how are we going to get anything done and more importantly what are we going to wear?

Not all daily tasks or hobbies allow us to wear short-shorts, midriff tops and flip flops. Actually, very few daily tasks allow us to wear short-shorts, midriff  tops and flip flops, except maybe gardening or sailing!

The best answer for days like this is to literally just let it flow! What’s better than a little breeze sneaking in on all those special places to cool us down?

The sale racks are currently full of linen and cotton loose flowing items. If you are a return reader you know I usually don’t encourage draping because it hides everything that you think you want to hide and more than you would ever need to hide. In the fall and winter fabrics draping adds substantial bulk and hides any potential curves that you might have that you should instead be embracing. But in the summer a bit of draping in a flowing light-weight soft or sheer fabric can disguise the liabilities but still accentuate the assets and allow for the breeze to just come on in.

Here are a few examples – by category of course.

Sleeveless shells that are loose fitting with styling elements are always a good option in the summer and somehow in 100° it doesn’t really matter how much you don’t like your arms, you need to let it go occasionally and let them free! You can always wear a bit of arm candy to bring the attention away from the upper arm to your wrists and manicures!

Having a light-weight linen or chiffon oblong scarf handy in your bag will allow you to wear the sleeveless top but also cover up from the sun or cover yourself in the frigid air conditioned spaces that you maybe darting in and out of.

The cold shoulder top that had such great press coverage in the spring is already seeing its demise because it appears to be a one-shot-wonder trend, however if you already have some, now is the time to wear them because they may not circle back in 2018.

Another option where you have a little bit of arm coverage is a slit sleeve and the beauty of that quite frankly is that if that trend falls from your favor next year you can simply sew that sleeve opening closed and voila – back on trend!


Keeping with the ‘top’ category let’s get that hair off your neck! Consider getting some sort of a shorter summer hairstyle – you know it will grow – this is a low risk update!  However, If you’re still in love with your long locks, make one appointment at the hairdresser where all that you’re doing is learning how to put it up in at least three different ways. There’s more to pulling your hair up than a ponytail so have your hairdresser show you a few quick fixes that you can do on your own.

Speaking of hair, pop a hat! A light-weight straw hat with some oversized Jackie O’ sunglasses makes a great fashion statement, keeps the sun off your face and keeps your hair color your true (wink wink) color all summer long. And carry a pop-up fan – always in style, motorized and self-propelled!

Let’s talk about the bottom half and since we already agreed we’re not talking about shorts, let’s talk skirts. Popping a short skirt (within reason lengthwise) is a good alternative to wearing shorts and is certainly a cooler option.

Wearing a longer flowing skirt may seem like a lot of fabric but if you choose the fabric wisely it not only feels free-flowing it also protects you from the dangerous sun rays while lunching at an outdoor café or cruising along the lake in that antique Chris Craft.

And lastly there is the one-shot solution of simply dropping a dress. Keep with the natural fabrics and free flowing construction that still has a bit of a shape to show off your summer body!

Need more style advice?

Grab a copy of my book, Confidence Is Always In Style, at the reduced price of $10. Link and enter the code BA50 at checkout.

Comments? Love to hear them – pop them in here –

Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Own an Iconic White Shirt?

Aaaah, the beauty of the classic white shirt…and why you should own one!

Despite the current heat wave, pre-fall merchandise is arriving in the stores now, so naturally there are some colors that crossover seasons.

White is one of them. It looks sophisticated, current, great with a tan and if you shop carefully it can be your go-to feel-good fall item that will always look fresh and crisp.

I am talking about the ever classic, essential white shirt of course!

From the likes of Cate Blanchett, Carolina Herrera, Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Hutton, Sharon Stone and of course Audrey Hepburn, the white shirt has stood the test of time.

Through-out the generations, the styles have changed dramatically but somehow the classic white shirt (albeit it potentially a bit boring) seems to be what I uncover in the back of closets the most often. Reasons heard as to why it never gets worn – I feel frumpy, I hate to iron, I look like a banker, I just never think to wear it or I have no clue how to style it!

Come on ladies – take a peruse through my most popular Pinterest board – The Essential White Shirt and tell me if any of these shirts look frumpy, bulky or even hum-drum office dress code! Especially when these looks might be paired up with well tailored suits and separates including your traffic stopping pair of jeans.

In 1992, Anna Wintour featured ten supermodels on the cover of the 100th anniversary special edition of American Vogue. They all wore the same classic white shirt from the Gap, tied at the waist to make it fashionably edgy.

Today, styles abound from designer labels such as Anne Fontaine, Chanel, Herrera, Lafayette,St. John and Ralph Lauren to medium priced labels such as Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, White House / Black Market and Talbots. Pretty much every store and every label will have some sort of white shirt in their line. It is a staple and they know if they don’t carry it, you will shop elsewhere for it.

Your job however, is to take the look to the next level. Step it up from the fitted button down by looking for styling details such as mixed media fabrications, fancy buttons, strategically placed bows or chiffon, double-edge seams, and asymmetrical collars, cuffs and bottoms. The possibilities are endless. After all this is a shirt that has been hundreds of years in the making!

pinterest.comIf I were shopping for just that one item for you, I know I could gather at least 20 different fabulous white shirts throughout any given mall for you to try on. The point being – don’t just buy the first white shirt that you come across!

Do an online search first, see what comes up when you Google women’s white shirts and go from there. Choose by fabric, style, price-point and fit! Be courageous and think outside of the box.

Then of course style it with both fabulous jewelry and swagger!

KeatonPinterest.comYou just might be rocking your new white shirt on your next night on the town!

Need more style advice?

Grab a copy of my book, Confidence Is Always In Style, at the reduced price of $10. Link and enter the code BA50 at checkout.

Remember – shop with purpose and be sure to tell us about your iconic white shirt!

Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Pedaling In Style

How was your 4th of July? I am writing from New Hampshire today – you know that State – Live Free or Die. In the summer, this is translated as the 4th of July that runs through November – aka – fireworks are legal here. We even have a store called Fireworks R Us!  The proud residents and the vacation imports dressed like flags, fireworks, roman candles, Betsy Ross, you name it.

Who started this practice of theme dressing anyway?

Even the ugly Christmas sweater now has its own website, themed parties and networking groups.

What is this innate desire to be like each other? What ever happened to ‘independent’ thinking? (Good one Doreen!)

As the calendar progresses, so does this ritual:

  • Ordinary office workers don pumpkin sox on Halloween.
  • Thanksgiving trussers’ wear anything that looks like it came straight from Sherwood Forest.
  • New Years Eve revelers could light up Time Square without the dropping ball!
  • Nurses and schoolteachers seem to have a special affection for Valentines Day, wearing anything with red hearts and passing out kisses.
  • Let’s not assume this is an American affliction – take a look at St Patrick’s Day – green everywhere including in your beer mug!

So there went the 4th of July, complete with red, white & blue cakes, jello molds, tablecloths and aprons! Every email that came in this month had something about wearing red, white & blue as if it were a dire warning that you wouldn’t be on trend and certainly wouldn’t be invited to next years big barbecue if you arrived inappropriately dressed.

Did you grab the star hosiery, the red jellies, the white shorts, the navy tank top and the trio bottle of hair dye? Did you hang the flag on your porch, boat, truck, bicycle or visor?

Reality check…going too crazy with the holiday themes is just a tad tacky. Embracing a color story for holiday-sake, now that could be perfectly acceptable!

Here are some timeless ideas for your red, white and blue summer statement that are probably NOT one-shot wonders! They just might be staples already living in your closet, or staples that should be living in your closet! Remember – this was Independence Day – show your independence by dressing with purpose – the purpose being to look fabulous and feel comfortable and not look like it is a costume!

The White Pant – But Wait – Maybe a Skirt?

This could be shorts, capri’s, skinnies, straight, bootcut or even a skirt! And oh wait again – they could be red or navy! The only requirement – they must fit and flatter! No visible panty lines, no cellulite peeking through too tight a fit, no muffin tops and no too-short or see-through skirts.

A white linen or denim shirt or a denim jacket

Just bump up the top half with a loose and crisp white linen shirt or top your tank with a fitted denim shirt or top it all with an edgy denim jacket. Try to not always be the sweater girl!

A Pop of Color Shoe

Red seems the obvious choice, however if Dorothy shoes are not your style then wear a neutral color and pop a red scarf, handbag or hat to finish the look. You don’t have to search out flag motifs or star graphics to look explosively festive.

Then there is always taking your style one step further…who said you can’t be the best dressed woman in the room?

Having trouble getting dressed with purpose? Here’s a summer special!

I am offering a special 50% discount on my printed book, Confidence Is Always In Style. Head on over to and check out using the special discount code BA50 to receive your copy of this sassy style guide.

Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Dockers Required on Date Night!

OMG – We women work so hard at pulling it all together and then our guys show up in butt-baggy Dockers – 24/7! 😫

Time to revolt, speak our minds and offer solutions. How often have I said you are not well dressed until you are well-tailored! Too many clients to count have commented, “You made me over, if only you could work with the men in my office, my spouse/brother/son/father!”  Well yes I can. My expertise is in menswear as well as womens-wear having worked in both men’s custom clothing and off-the-rack and having been a buyer in the men’s market for over many years. There is not a man I cannot dress with purpose! But let me share some tips so you can dive in on his behalf.

The biggest complaint that significant others voice is that their man looks good going to the office and he looks like crap the rest of the time – which of course is all the time they get to spend with them. Men often use the same lame line that women do, “I have to dress well at the office 80-hours a week, so when I am not working, I don’t want to even think about what I put on.” Lame, lame, lame.

It takes the same effort to put on a pair of well fitted jeans or khakis as it does to pull on those stupid baggy sweatpants. 😩

It takes the same amount of time and effort to pull a collared polo over your head as it does to pull a Patriots T-shirt over that noggin. 😱

Another common complaint heard by the ‘other’ members of the household is that men never throw anything away. NOTHING is ever worn out enough in the eyes of a dude. “It’s still fine. I don’t need a replacement.” But the minute that car chamois is a tad worn, it’s off to the auto store to replace it!

Let’s dive in dudes…and yes ladies…please forward this article or simply shop with purpose and gift them the Gift of Style with me and let me handle it for you – both of you! 😍

Step 1 – Realize that, just like female bodies, not all male bodies are built alike. But of course, we have already noticed that, why else do we continue to go to co-ed gyms? 😜

Step 2 – Know their body, like their body (what other option is there,) and dress their body. As the frequent readers already know, the best tool in his style toolbox will also be the tape measure! Measure his waist (or in many cases what he calls his waist), his inseam and his out-seam.

Step 3 – Figure out the fit for him, because if you leave it up to him he is going to always choose the RELAXED fit, because after all, he is relaxing, which is why he is sporting the balloon sweats.

Here are the choices of styles – easy to navigate!

Skinny Tapered – Skinny through seat and thigh – narrow leg opening

Slim Tapered – Slim through seat and thigh – slim leg opening

Slim – Slim through seat and thigh – straight leg opening

Straight – Straight through seat and thigh – straight leg opening

Athletic – Roomy through seat and thigh – tapered leg opening

Classic – Roomy through seat and thigh – straight leg opening

Relaxed – Full through seat and thigh – straight leg opening

Step 4 – Move to the next category! A good fitting pair of pants deserves a good fitting shirt! Yes, they too come in different fits. No longer do men have to deal with a billowy back or tuck 18-inches of fabric into their pants! Shop with purpose!!

Simple – nothing left to do now other than make sure he isn’t always wearing boat shoes!

Love to hear your comments below…

Posted in Style Tips | 2 Responses

Pop a Pair of Printed Pants This Summer

Are you wondering how to pop some colors this summer? Is white your idea of color? Come on girlfriend, get with the program and pack away your neutrals.

As always, let’s start from the bottom up.

Printed pants are all the rage and you can certainly incorporate one pair of printed pants into your white jean rotation this season.

Don’t be the girl that always shows up in the white capris – yawn, yawn. Let’s add a little spice to that cocktail mix!

But before jumping into the pool, let’s be sure we can find a pair that suits your body type and comes together as an actual outfit. We are not looking to shop for a one-shot-wonder that never comes out of your closet to play!

If you’re going to incorporate bright summer colors in your pattern (and of course you are) be sure to balance it off with something simple and solid on the top such as solid sleeveless shells or blazers.

When you are creating the daytime look, a white fitted T-shirt is a great option with a statement necklace and a colored sandal.

If you’re going for the evening look perhaps a simple sassy silk top paired with a sexy heel and accessorized with chandelier earrings.

Be sure to realize that the pant itself is a statement piece so make sure you like the pattern. As always, I ask you to determine if you are a floral gal or a geometric gal. To determine that, look around your house and see what you have accessorized your home with as far as the patterns on your upholstery or your artwork. You can also look at your scarf collection and see what types of patterns you have purchased in the past. I recommend choosing a small or repeating pattern so the pants aren’t the first thing to enter the room.

Once you have brought patterned pants top-of-mind and you walk into the stores you are going to start seeing patterned pants everywhere – I mean everywhere!

Shopper warning – do not pick up the first pair that you see. Shop like a stylist and walk through every designer’s collection and see what they have first and then circle back and only pick up the patterns that you absolutely like.

Be sure to take two sizes of each into the dressing room so that you don’t find yourself naked in there with no store help to assist you. (There’s the beauty of shopping with me – I average 10,000 steps on my Fitbit every day while doing my client’s running!)

Once you don the pants, double-check yourself in the mirror to make sure that big Gerber Daisy isn’t sitting dead center on your crotch or your rear end.  If you don’t like what the flower accentuates – don’t pick that Daisy!

Remember that the pattern pant is the star of the show so keep everything else simple so as not to look like a clown.

Be conscious of the body balance you are creating.  If you are wearing the wide leg silk pants, choose a fitted top and vice versa, if you are wearing a fitted pant, choose something free-flowing on the top.

With both choices, choose a shoe that continues one of the colors in the pattern or choose a completely neutral shoe as both will elongate the leg.

Need help becoming a savvy shopper? Chapter 6 ‘How To Become A Savvy Shopper’ will show you the light! Grab your copy of  Confidence Is Always In Style at the reduced price of $10. Link
and enter the code BA50 at checkout.

Remember – shop with purpose!


Posted in Style Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response
  • Testimonial

    "Doreen is a highly motivated, energetic and personable businesswoman, devoted to supporting her clients in their personal and professional development." - LD


  • Confidence is Always in Style

    Condifence is Always in Style-sidebar button (35)