Do Pantyhose Make Me Look Old?

It’s Bare-Leg Season:  Dare You?

old fashioned pantyhose?When the hosiery vs. no-hose controversy comes up in my workshops, a woman or two inevitably resists with an earnest, “No! It’s not professional (insert: proper, hygienic, tasteful, comfortable).”  Usually, she’s a woman in my own age group.

Whether it’s tiny spider veins that start creeping in after 35-ish, a history of sun over-exposure, or any other skin imperfection, some women simply don’t love exposing their legs.  Yet, we’ve crossed the time threshold from when the “bare legs look” was a passing trend, into the realm where panty-hosed legs are labeled “unfashionable.”

If it’s any consolation to those who prefer we’d blast back to the days of suntan-colored pantyhose, I’m with ya in the “my-legs-are-not-my-best-asset” camp.  In my case, time has been of little consequence.  I’ve been the whitest girl on the beach for as long as I’ve been going to it.

If you want a little help before going bare, and don’t like the fuss of sunless tanners, see below for two solutions that make summer’s bare-leg season a bit kinder & gentler.  (Note:  I’m not compensated for promoting these products.  Just offering “Image Consultant-Tested” options!)flip flops to the office?

Visit this post for more tips on how to avoid an image meltdown in the summer heat.

 

Right to bare legsStudio 35 pantyhose in a can

The Studio 35 product (left) can be purchased at Walgreens, Drugstore.com, and other retailers via Amazon.  It acts like a bronzer, evening out skin tone with a slight glow-sheen.  (Application tip:  Spray on your palms to apply and avoid bronzing your bathroom floor.)

The Joan Rivers product (right) adds no color, but acts much like a facial concealer, covering small spider veins, blemishes, and other skin discolorations.  I paid $22.50 from a catalog retailer, then later found it here for $9.99.

To your rockin’ awesome legs!

Patty Buccellato http://refinedimages.net/Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images.  She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups. Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me!  

Posted in Personal Image, Professional Image, Uncategorized, Women's fashion, Women's Image | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seasonal Clothing Storage

Smart Care for Your Off-Season Wardrobe

seasonal wardrobe storageA client recently asked (believing it was finally safe to put her family’s winter coats away), how best to store them.   If you had your own winter wear in “ready mode” for so long you wondered if you’d be able to stow it at all, your coats & sweaters may have landed in an unfortunate heap in the corner of your bedroom floor or laundry room.  It’s time now.  School’s out for summer; your dark colors and lofty woolens can take a rest.  As you send them to their proper location, use this tip list to make sure they’re in top form to serve you another season come fall.

#1 Clean Thoroughly

launder wardrobe before seasonal storageFollow manufacturers’ recommended laundering or dry cleaning instructions before stowing garments for the season.  Even if an item looks clean, when you’re not certain whether it was worn after last laundering, give it a good-measure cleaning.  Stains not visible to your eye now, when allowed to set over time, may surprise you when resurrecting your clothing from storage after a few months.*  Food particles have the added nasty habit of attracting moths.  Fabric softeners and starch can attract insects as well, so avoid these in your laundering process.

* If you notice tiny holes in sweaters or other items, and suspect they indicate moth damage, do this:  put the item in a plastic bag and place in your freezer for 48 hours.  Remove for a day, then re-freeze for another 48 hours to thoroughly kill off any larvae.

#2 Smooth and Press

Make sure items are completely dry before putting them away.  Moisture, locked in over using Jiffy steamer before seasonal wardrobe storagetime, results in mildew.  Take an iron or steamer to laundered items that the are left wrinkled after drying.  Wrinkles can become semi permanent after months in hibernation. (I like Jiffy steamers.  They’re the makers of professional launders’ equipment.  Use the code of “IMAGE225” and you’ll get free shipping at Jiffy’s site.)

#3 Ditch the Plastic

Remove dry cleaners bags before putting your good stuff into storage.  In fact, it’s a good practice to remove plastic from all garments as soon as they come back from cleaning.  Natural fibers like to breathe.  Plastic also locks in moisture, again allowing mildew to form and mold to grow.  This will not make for a pretty reunion with your favorite dress next fall.  Save the paper shoulder covers that come from the dry cleaners — they provide good dust protection.  Alternate protection comes in the form of fabric garment bags like these.  Or, if you’ve got an entire section of closet dedicated to your out-of-season clothing, toss and old (clean) sheet over the whole area.

#4 Pamper Knits

Knit sweaters, tops, and dresses require special care.  Store them folded instead of hanging so they don’t lose their shape during their time in storage.   Hanging them as you do a blouse runs the risk that they will “grow,” or come out of storage with unsightly “bumps” in the shoulder.  The very best scenario is packing your knits in an unused suitcase lined with acid-free paper.  Cardboard boxes can attract bugs and harbor moisture (there’s that mildew issue again), and plastic bins are bulky and, well, plastic. If you don’t have a proper storage container and must use hangers, use this method.  More about protecting your precious wardrobe investment here.

folded sweaters before seasonal storage

Do this.

don't hang sweaters for off-season storage

Not this.

 

 

 

 

 

#5 Repel Unwanted Guests

Once you’ve made wise choices in cleaning, choosing proper containers, and packing, you’ll not want to leave things to chance.  Take the extra measure of insect management by tucking some lavender sachet or cedar blocks into your clothing packages.  (Your grandma might have used moth balls, but we now know how toxic these can be to children, pets, etc.)  Keep your storage area cool, dark, and dry.  And to be sure all is well in the insect department, consider checking in on your off-season wear every few weeks.   A mark on your calendar may help.  Most of us aren’t likely to think about our wool coat and scarf during beach season.

(Read this blog post for help deciding what not to store away.)

Have a comment?  Question?  Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.  I read them all.  (You just might be the inspiration for my next blog post.)

 

Patty Buccellato http://refinedimages.net/

Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups. Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! 

 

Posted in Personal Image, Professional Image, Wardrobe Maintenance, Wardrobe Planning & Auditing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What (Not) to Wear to Work this Summer

Avoid an Image Meltdown when the Mercury Rises

flip flops: what not to wear to work this summerWhen the sunny skies of summer roll around, it’s tempting to let a relaxed mood spill over into attire.  Beware when it comes to your work wardrobe.  Whether you’re the receptionist or the CEO, snap judgments are routinely made based on your appearance.  Many smart and talented workers have lost promotions because their look didn’t match the role.  Take the time to dress with intention so you’re sure to earn all you’re due. In most offices, flip-flops are a “don’t” to no one’s surprise, but what about the subtler choices of dressing for work?  Here, some tips to keep you on course.

Broad Coveragewear to work in summer - Kasper ruched-sleeve jacket from Macys

Summer fashions, by their nature, bare more skin.  Choose office-appropriate image over fashion flair by opting for modesty at work.  Cover up over-exposed skin on arms, back, or chest to keep professional.  Sleeveless summer dresses with halter necklines are made office-worthy with the simple addition of a jacket or cardigan.  Your clothing can do double-duty from work to social with a few simple tweaks.  It’s all in how you wear it.  (Remember that skirt hems at the office are best at or around knee length.)

Lighten Up

Lighter fabrics & cheery colors give that comfortable summer feel.  A head-to-toe lime green outfit isn’t likely to boost your professional image, but there are plenty of ways to incorporate color in moderation.  Consider waking up a basic black trouser-jacket combo with coral pumps for a color pop.  A bright sheath dress gets down to business when topped with a classic navy blazer and simple jewelry.  Maintaining balance is important.  Remember to keep something “serious” in the mix so your outfit remains work-appropriate.

 

 

Keep Your Coolwhat not to wear to work this summer:  blue shirt

… and avoid the “blue”!  Guys, it’s that classic blue cotton shirt that most shows evidence of your overheated body during summer heat waves.  Avoid an uncomplimentary look with white, or other light color options. (And for your health’s sake, keep hydrated!)

Bottom-Up Focus

With flip flops on one end of the continuum, and fully-enclosed pumps on the other, a variety of foot-exposing options in between are now acceptable in many workplaces.  More-baring shoes beg for an extra level of pedi hygiene.   Wearing open-toed shoes require manicured toenails, and sling-backs mean tending to dry heels. Don’t skimp on grooming details — they, too, are a reflection of your work quality.

More on Professional Image.

Patty Buccellato http://refinedimages.net/

Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups. Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! 

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Spring 2014: Floral Prints

Floral Frenzy

Everything’s coming up roses,… and peonies, and daisies, and everything in between.  It’s a season of garden patterns in every color under the sun, and if they’re not yet growing in your yard, you can find them in your favorite clothing boutique.

Patterns can be tricky to wear if you’re not mindful of scale.  A large blossom on your backside is not always a girl’s best friend.  Here are a few ideas to get you in the floral mood.

Floral Variety

Just like in a garden, floral varieties mingle with one another in this spring’s take on prints.  The key to pulling off a pattern mix is having a “link” between your printed garments.  Ideally, the connecting element is a color that’s common to both prints.  In the example above, it’s a color family (the aqua and blue-greens) that links the top and bottom.  This one’s pre-mixed for you in a one-piece dress.

Another key to pairing your prints is choosing them in varied scale (size of the print).  The print on this top is smaller than the allover botanical print of the dress’s skirt, making it work in a quirky sort of way.  The “allover” quality helps, too.  The top has lots of background space, where the bottom does not.  This way, it’s far less overwhelming on the body than full, allover patterns in both the top and bottom.

Floral Pants

The larger the print, the more apparent the body area becomes.  If you’re a bit shy about wearing a loud print on your bottom half, look for one that contains colors that are not in stark contrast to one another.  (A black-and-white mix, for example, is considered “high contrast.”  Ivory mixed with white in a print is not as striking, and thus, “low contrast.”)

Floral Tops

Tops are generally easier to wear than floral bottoms, but don’t overlook scale here either.  If your facial features are small and delicate, you might be overwhelmed by a large-scale print.  Similarly, if your body size and features are large, a very small print tends to look a bit “off.”

Maybe you just can’t envision botanicals hanging in your closet.  If you want to play the floral game low-risk, get yourself a handbag in a fun floral design.  You can flash some flower for minimal investment and look like a pro who’s savvy to the detail of accessories.

 

Patty Buccellato http://refinedimages.net/

Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups. Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! 

 

Posted in Personal Image, Shopping, Women's fashion, Women's Image | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Personal Color: Rockin’ it in Your Closet

Personal Color in Real Life

In my last post I wrote how color temperature, value, and intensity can help you look your most vibrant and healthy.  An awareness of your personal best colors makes it easy to know what to purchase when a wardrobe makeover’s in order .  But what if you’re not planning to overhaul your closet contents?  Let’s face it, in real life we sometimes have boundaries (time, money, etc.).  There’s no reason you have to wait to look your best, though.  Using color to flatter needn’t require a total wardrobe revamp.  Often, a little creativity does the trick.

Building a Wardrobe with YOUR Colors: 3 Quick Ways

  1. Face first. The biggest effect color has on your appearance is when it surrounds your face in a harmonious way.  (Flattering personal color can take years off your “visual age.”)  When you’re presented with the scenario of making a color compromise, do so in your lower body.  Perhaps navy blue isn’t your best color choice, but sage green puts your face aglow.  A sage green, floral blouse containing bits of navy in the floral print can be a perfect solution.  The blouse links back to your navy bottom with the multi-colored print, while surrounding your face with uplifting color.
  2. Think small. Little things can, under the right circumstances, make a huge impact.  Let’s say you’ve got an outfit in a rusty-orange hue.  It looked pretty on the mannequin at the store, but you’ve never felt particularly attractive wearing it — not like you do when you wear your favorite butter-yellow sweater.  Accessories to the rescue!  A relatively small investment in a scarf or bib necklace gets that winning personal color, in this case butter-yellow, right up around your face.  Result:  a new lease on life for an under-appreciated outfit.
  3. Neutral Territory. The fashion world has taught you that black, white, beige, and taupe are “neutrals.”  Your own personal neutrals, though, make for a much more interesting look when you use them in your outfits or as accents.  Finding the variations that make up your eye color are one way to incorporate personal neutrals (more here).  Your hair and eyes aren’t the only place to look, though.  Ever pay attention to your natural lip color — before you’ve added any lipstick or gloss?  That’s a personal color that makes a fabulous statement in an outfit.  The color that you blush when you’re embarrassed?  Another color you’ll wear beautifully.

How have you found that color makes a difference in your wardrobe?  Let me know or ask me a question in the comment box below.  (I read them all.)

If you haven’t taken the color IQ test, find it here.  Want personal color feedback?  Work with me.

Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! 

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Personal Color: Making the Best Choices

What Makes a Color “Yours”?

Personal color, when chosen wisely, has the potential to make your face appear brighter, healthier, and more vibrant. At the same time, unflattering hues hold equal power to drain the “life” right out of you! Short of having a professional colorist in your closet each morning, there are things you can do on your own to look fabulous every day.  Here’s some guidance.

First, some color basics. Three characteristics to look for in choosing personal color:

  1. Undertone (Temperature). Colors can be primarily cool (with a blue undertone), or they might be predominantly warm (yellow based).  Most people look better in one temperature than the other. When your clothing is in the same color temperature as your features, you achieve personal color harmony.
  2. Intensity. This is what might be thought of as the power of a color.  A color can be soft, with a muted or dusty finish.  Alternatively, clear colors are at the other end of the spectrum with strong saturation, or brightness.  For some skin tones  or hair/eye combinations, intensity is the most important quality in personal color.  Achieve color harmony by wearing colors in

    High Contrast

    the same temperature as your own features.

  3. Value. A color’s value can also be described by its depth (or darkness).  It may be light ordeep. This quality rela

    Low Contrast

    tes to the wearer’s personal color contrast level.  For example, dark hair against light skin represents “high contrast,” where skin and hair that are close to one another in depth are in “low contrast.”  When you wear clothing in color values that relate to your own contrast level, you allow the clothing to support you, rather than compete with your natural coloring.

(How well do you see color?  Take the Color IQ Test!)

Simple strategies to make color-wise choices for your next knockout look:

  • Use your eyes and hair color as personal color neutrals.  Neutrals don’t have to be black, white, or navy.  Your own neutral colors might be deep olive, or brick red.  (Look closely when examining eye color – there’s more than one hue in there!  Check out all of the flecks and “spokes.”)
  • Let your Mother Nature-bestowed pearls guide you.  When you purchase your next basic white shirt, see that it relates to the color of your teeth or whites of your eyes for optimum flattery.  (If your teeth are a creamy version of white, you can bet they’ll look yellowed against the coolness of a bright, pure-white shirt.)
  • Determine whether your skin undertones are cool or warm, and choose garment hues accordingly.  DIY home test:  Take 4 sheets of construction paper, or fabric if you have it, in brown, black, white, and cream.  Alternately hold each up to your face In front of a mirror.  (Smile while you’re at it!)  If you’re cool based, the white and black will be the more-flattering set.  A warm-base is flattered more by the brown and cream.  Hint:  look for unevenness in skin tone; dulling of the eyes, or extra shadowing in facial creases as indicators when evaluating your own personal colors.

What are your experiences with color?  Let me know or ask me a question in the comment box below.  (I read them all.)

Watch for my next blog post where we’ll explore building a wardrobe around your personal color palette!

Want to learn more?  Work with me.

Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! 

 

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Personal Color – Are You Color Savvy?

Your Best Personal Colors

What’s the big deal about color?  “Not much,” some might say, but from the perspective of a color geek, it’s THE deal breaker in personal appearance.  And though I haven’t used the term before today (confession alert), “color geek” is exactly what I am…. and precisely what most of my clients are not. And that is where it begins….

When you want to look your personal best, color* forms the foundation for all that follows.  Clothing colors that relate to your natural features (in skin, hair, and eyes), allow you to appear more vibrant and healthy.  Discordant hues often amplify the appearance of fine lines and can accentuate blemishes or unevenness in skin tone.

* For the sake of accuracy, what many people call “color,” is properly named “hue.”  (Blue in it’s pure form is a hue; red is a hue,…).   Hues are altered with the addition of white and/or black to change value and intensity, creating the affected “color.”  Most people simply use the term “color” for all of these, and so I’ve generally done so in this blog post.

Where harmonious colors allow the eyes to sparkle and teeth to look brighter, colors that don’t relate to your own coloring can cast a harsh appearance.   (That’s okay when we’re 25; not so much when we’re 35 and beyond.)  And naturally, choices in makeup, accessories, and eyewear are guided by clothing colors.

So how do you know where to start?

It’s all about you.

There are “hot” colors for every fashion season.  There are “wow” colors for every person.  Sometimes the two intersect and, well,  sometimes ya just gotta be an individual and go with what suits you.

Personal Color Qualities

Three key characteristics determine color harmony: undertone (or, temperature), value,and intensity. These variables combine in different ways for each of us, resulting in our own color palette.  If you’ve had a personal color analysis, you’ve seen just how it all comes together.  If your color sensitivities are acute, you may notice the base color in the veins beneath your skin, or you might notice how you brighten or “glow” when you wear a sweater or blouse of a particular hue.  (See more about personal color.)  The first step, though, is boosting your understanding of color.

Test Your IQ 

Find your Color IQ with the Munsell Color Test

Are you color astute?  As individuals, we perceive color at different levels.  Before attempting to assess your personal colors, do some color play.  Can you tell warm from cool?  Do you quickly recognize the clarity of a color?  Want to know just how color perceptive you are?  Take this Color IQ Test to find out how much you “see” color.

Let me know your score, or ask me a question, in the comment box below.  (I read them all.)

Read my next blog post where we explore the Personal Color Qualities!

Want to learn more?  Work with me.

Patty Buccellato, is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Visit here for your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! 

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Enduring Cold Weather in Style: Three Essential Pieces

Getting Dressed, Cold-Weather Style

It’s 8 °F as I write this, yet another single-digit temperature day in Michigan.  As details of the 2014 Winter Olympics Opening Day in Sochi unfolded, I wondered just how on earth spectators would keep comfortable in the cold.  I was empathizing with the discomfort of frigid temp’s, only to learn that Sochi is the warmest city ever to host the Winter Olympics according to NASA.   Despite the commonly-held image of a subarctic Russia, daily average temperatures in the coastal city don’t drop below freezing at any time during the year.  That is an easy winter to dress for.  For the rest of us tolerating persistently cold days, the art of merging comfort and style on a continual basis calls for some creativity.  Here are three tools to keep you in the game without looking like you’re bundled like a mountain man on hunt day.

Essential #1:  The Underlayer. When even the heavy weight of jeans aren’t enough to keep your legs warm, you know you’ve got to get smart about fabrics.  It’s all about layering when it comes to cold-weather dressing, and that begins with long underwear.  But that’s not the waffle-knit thermal underwear your mom dressed you in when you went out to make snow angels. 

Silk is your best bet for warm layering, minus the bulk.  Get a low-rise version like this one, and it works under jeans or low-riding business casual bottoms.  Silk serves as an insulator with the added benefit of moisture-wicking properties.  That means, whether your legs get drenched walking in knee-deep snow, or you break out in a sweat dashing for the nearest doorway to shelter, your legs stay dry. 

 

Essential #2:  A Hood. If you don’t like the hairstyle that wearing a hat leaves behind, a hooded coat is your best buddy on  -30° “real feel” days.

Cold weather trivia“You Lose 75 Percent of Your Body Heat Through Your Head.” True?  or False?   Possibly true for an infant, NOT true for an adult says results of  a Wilderness Medicine experiment.

Hypothermia aside, you don’t want your precious ear tips frostbitten, do you?  Not to mention having the efforts of your morning hair styling regimen blown to smithereens.   Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last week forecasting six more weeks of winter.  Cold weather clothes are now on SALE.  Timing is everything. (Read this post to make sure you’re choosing wisely.)

 

Essential #3:  Stylish Tech Gloves. Not long ago, using a mobile device with your hands covered meant those knit gloves with little patches sewn on the finger tips.  They’re great.  But if you’re a leather-glove gal, you no longer have to sacrifice your style for cold-temperature coverage.  With lined gloves like these,  you get protection from the elements in your perfect color.  So, text, tweet, and dial away in cozy comfort.  If you’re lucky, you’ll snag a bargain on these, too!  

Related:  What’s Your “Boot Personality”? Find Your Boot Type

 

Patty Buccellato, is image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Visit here for your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! 

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You Are What You Wear — 5 Boot Style Personalities

What’s Your Boot Type?

Think your boot style goes unnoticed?  An interesting study crossed my desk computer screen recently, proving a connection between what we wear on our feet, and our personalities. “Surprisingly minimal appearance cues lead perceivers to accurately judge others’ personality, status, or politics,” the study (Shoes as a Source of First Impressions) tells us.  

“You can get an amazing amount of information from a person in just a fraction of a second,” said Christian Crandall, lead author in the University of Kansas study. So it seemed appropriate to offer some clues to help you find the message you’re sending about yourself through your cold-weather footwear choices.

Identify your favorite boot style below for insight into your own Boot Type Personality.*


“Fur” Trimmed Laceup. If this is your boot style, you’re a practical gal, but you refuse to give up style for protection. You’re the boss of you now, and you see no reason why you can’t have it all. Enter: the best of both worlds. Sorel’s Joan of Arctic laceups are stylish enough for celebrities, but with the perks of keeping your feet warm, comfy and dry. Your inner tree-hugger does a happy dance over the recycled felt liner.


Sky-High Thigh Boot.  It’s new, it’s hot — the height of fashion has your name all over it. High style simply fits you well. You’ve never been one to follow the crowd, and besides, comfort is overrated. You’ve worked hard to earn your place in the world, and luxury feels sooooo good.

 

 

 

Classic Ugg. You love a good book snuggled by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa. You’re an agreeable person, but no fool. You go with the flow — If venturing out in the winter elements shows up in your day, you have no intention of doing so without taking your indoor comfort with you. In the cozy Ugg you feel like you’re still wearing your favorite snuggly slippers, and in down-to-earth tan, coordinating outfits is a snap.

 

 

Broken in. Your boot style is well worn.  You’re comfortable in your relationships, and don’t need to impress.  You could buy new shoes, but they just wouldn’t have that loved-in-lived-in, homey feel.  You’re an extrovert, a liberal thinker, and well-worn shoes suit your days like lemonade on a summer day.  Besides, you and your boots have history.

 

 


Anything in Color. You’re emotionally grounded and know your own mind. You love color where it counts — where your soles connect to Mother Earth — and you prefer to keep them there, by the way. Not the extrovert some mistake you to be, you’ll leave the jumping-out-of-airplane adventures to your globetrotting college roommate. You’re happiest in deep conversation around a table of good food, shared with dear friends.

“Sometimes fancy, sometimes functional, shoes are the ‘sole’ of an outfit,” said Crandall.  Whatever your style, ROCK those soles and let your personality shine!

Not sure if you should spend on that new boot you’ve had your eyes on, read more here.

* Boot style personality types loosely based on University of Kansas study, and presented for entertainment purposes only. No stereotypes are asserted (or believed).

Patty Buccellato, is image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls!   To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

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Holiday Office Party: 5 Survival Tips (Edition 2)

The Work-Hours Office Party

So, your employer is catering in lunch for the company holiday celebration.  How do you maintain your professional stature while lending a merry tone at the office party?  It’s easy if you keep the word “appropriate” at the top of your mind.

1)   Be a participant. The first step is to physically show up. It might be tempting to take advantage of quiet time at your desk to get a jump on a deadline.  Resist.  Your presence at the event demonstrates an ability to maintain balance:  work when it’s time to work; play when it’s time to relax a little.  Attendance at the office party also shows you’re a team player, willing to get acquainted with your coworkers on a less formal basis than usual work projects require.

2)  Remember your organization’s dress policy. If exposed cleavage and thigh-high skirts are frowned upon on a general note, revealing party attire is not likely to be seen as a good display of judgment.  Ninety-two percent of executives surveyed by The Creative Group said office party behavior can impact a worker’s career prospects.  Suggestive dress can be just as damaging as over-drinking.  An after-hours party may offer more leeway (still not a good place to flash skin), but the office environment calls for more subtle party dress.  Better played safe than sorry.

3)  Anticipate the unexpected. Consider the possibility of an unintended encounter with a prospective client on your morning coffee run.  Do you really want to waste the opportunity explaining your Rudolph sweatshirt?  On the other extreme, over-the-top evening attire is inappropriate at the office party when held in the company cafeteria.  A sequined cocktail dress will appear out of place (because it is).  If your party takes place during business hours or in the business environment, take care so you’ll be taken seriously when a business matter arises.

4) Get Colorful. Off-color jokes won’t be welcome, but some vibrance in your clothing will.  It adds to the merry spirit without overstepping any lines.  Incorporate more festive colors and fabrics than you would normally wear to the office.  If you’re a woman who generally wears a suit to work, consider pairing it with a jewel-toned satin blouse or beaded/sequin-neck sweater in place of you typical beige silk shirt.  In a business casual environment, trade your everyday cardigan for a piece with some bling — just one piece suffices.  Head-to-toe glitz is for after-hours.

Guys, you might swap out the standard-issue necktie for one in a tasteful holiday hue or motif.  Unless you’re in a very casual and creative work environment, however, avoid the tie with flashing illumination or audible “ho-ho-ho’s.”  You’ll want to avoid wearing anything that might embarrass you if making your first introduction to the company CEO.

5)  Discretion is golden. When it comes to your career, diplomacy will save the day, over and over again.  Don’t let the less-formal gathering of colleagues fool you into thinking it’s a good time to tell a co-worker you think he’s “hot.”  You’re on company grounds, and appropriate office manner prevails. 

A cheery disposition and light-hearted engagement with coworkers will leave you remembered as the consummate professional, image & reputation intact.

Read about After-Hours Work Party style.

Posted in Dressing for Success, Men's Image, Professional Image, Women's Image | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Learn To Shop Like A Stylist

12 Must-Do Strategies To Grow Your Wardrobe Like A Pro

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