How to envision your personal style – introducing new Success thru Style Avatars – they are updated, modern and original, diverse and “right sized”.

Many women, including myself, struggle for much of our lives to find a style we love. I mean a personal style we can call our own, one that expresses who we are and showcases our best features. It’s tough.  

The problem is, we are presented with awesome clothes on unrealistically thin mannequins or models. Once we get them home, they don’t measure up. And most of us make this mistake again and again. So the average American woman has a closet full of clothes she doesn’t wear. 

There are lots of reasons we buy clothes we don’t wear:

  • We buy things that don’t compliment our body shape and type
  • We get talked into believing it looks great by self serving sales clerks and even well meaning friends
  • We buy “orphans” items for which we have no complement to complete the outfit
  • We are creatures of habit and continue to wear things we are comfortable with over and over again
  • We think there is an occasion for which we will wear the new piece but that time doesn’t arrive

The #1 reason women buy the wrong things is that you can’t achieve your best looks unless you can envision them. 

Therefore, if you learn this one skill, it will change everything about how you dress. 

Once you know your personal brand, this is a crucial next step in achieving a lot that is right for you. 

Visualize Clothes on YOUR Body Before You Buy

This is why I created the Success thru Style Avatars!

Our Style Avatars are visual representations of multiple archetypes that help women understand how clothes will relate for them in the broad arc of “style.”

I initially based the Avatars on the Universal Style System™, created by style industry pioneer Alyce Parsons. Parsons’ concept has become a gold standard for image consultants. This standard was not meant to promote stereotypes; but it has proven to be a very useful approach to helping people define and visualize an image they wish to project — and then dress themselves to be a match for that aspiration.

The universal types identified in the Universal Style System are:

  1. elegant/sophisticated
  2. classic/traditional
  3. sporty/natural
  4. creative
  5. dramatic
  6. romantic/feminine
  7. alluring

When I published the Success thru Style book in 2017, I introduced nine Success thru Style Avatars, adding “exotic/worldly,” “bohemian,” and “trendy/modern“ to the original seven archetypes. I also subtracted alluring. (Yes, we all want to be sexy and alluring sometimes, but I’ve found no woman who wants to be that ALL the time.) 

These nine cute Avatar characters have been a pillar of my personal branding approach ever since.   

Role of the Avatar in Personal Branding

The beauty of the Avatars is that they provide a character to visualize and emulate. This is helpful to almost everyone I’ve worked with, but especially to visual learners and people who find it hard to conceptualize in the abstract.

The Avatars are part of a holistic Success thru Style system, and they help us get started. Our system begins with identifying a series of attributes that get to the essence of your personal brand. Then we move on to your physical traits – what flatters you – showcasing your best features and concealing those you don’t appreciate. Finally, we consider your lifestyle and budget.

It all matters, but if you only focus on one thing – it should be your personal brand, who are you and how do you want to be remembered?  What you wear is your strongest communication tool.  It tells the story of who you are. People assess us in microseconds, and in that short time they are making judgements about our character, our strengths and weaknesses; while all they have to go on is how we look. 

The Success thru Style Avatars can help you understand this quickly. Actually, you can take our Success thru Style Quiz  and get a feel for this in just minutes.

The Success thru Style Quiz

The StS quiz has become a popular tool for internalizing the concepts of personal branding. The series of questions help women quickly get to the heart of their personal preferences. We can then translate these preferences into the fashion choices that most authentically express who they are – and are at the same time an intentional expression of where they want to go. 

The quiz is based on research in psychology — research that shows how humans quickly identify with people and things that resonate with us. More specifically, we are attracted to things and people that reflect our tastes and values. Therefore, by asking you to make quick choices about pictures and words that appeal to you — objects of art, home interiors, pets, cars, etc. — together we get a sense of who you are.  

It’s fascinating the story that our simplest choices tell about us.

At the conclusion of the quiz, you are assigned to the Success thru Style avatar that your answers most reflect. But there is likely not just one Avatar to describe you in all your awesomeness!  You are likely a combination of Avatars and that’s when the fun begins.  Truly understanding who you are, what you want to communicate and going about creating a look that matches.

Introducing the New Success thru Style Avatars – Released October 2020

After more years of experience teaching clients from around the globe how to create a personal brand and style to match, I felt the need to make some more changes in my Avatars. 

For one thing, we are moving away, quite deliberately, from the image of the skinny teenager the fashion industry insists on showing us. 

I remind women that the “average” American woman wears size 14-16! Therefore, it’s very difficult to imagine how the clothes draped on mannequins and models will fit on average-sized bodies. As I look at the clients I’ve worked with over the years, few of them look like the size of my original Avatars.

I also wanted to create Avatars that were more artful and creative than the originals.  I am so thrilled with the original artwork Megan O’Casey created for me.  These new Avatars are original drawings. The clothes are outfits you’ll find on the racks today. The hair styles are contemporary — but not so trendy that they’ll be irrelevant in a year; there’s a classic element to the hair. 

This month you’ll begin to see these new Success thru Style avatars on our website and in our online course. 

These Avatars are pivotal to everything we do, and they represent a “technology,” if I may call it that, that has elevated the style of countless women.

Our avatars are not set in stone. Something tells me they will continue to evolve. Just like we, as women, do every day of our lives.

Tights and Pantyhose: How to Look Modern and Stylish

In Northern Virginia, where I live, cold weather knocks at my door every winter.  Therefore, tights and pantyhose are a winter staple in my closet. Needless to say, I find them more comfortable when I have to go outdoors to brave the cold. 

More importantly, I find adding tights and pantyhose to my winter wardrobe to be a fun fashion accessory, adding variety and versatility to my cool weather looks. And if you worry about them looking out of fashion – don’t. Hosiery is actually on trend this winter.  Specifically, patterned and logo’d tights.  

I like the look of textured, patterned tights and hose for others, but my choice is typically nude, sheer hose, and tights that match my hemline and or shoes –  usually black, navy blue, burgundy and brown. 

For pantyhose, the topic of skin tone matching is important. When your shoes are lighter than your hose, or your hose make your skin look tan in the winter while the rest of your skin is white – it doesn’t look right. You want to match your skin color to your pantyhose.  

As much as I am a fan of online shopping, this is hard to do without being in the store where you can see the exact color and compare it to your own skin tone. For this activity, I recommend visiting the store in person to find your shade and brand. If you want to shop online once you know your brand and color, that’s perfect.

Speaking of shopping for hose and tights, just like all other fashion shopping, it has not been  convenient for women who are shorter, taller or curvier than average. I am happy to say progress is being made.  

Recently I went on the hunt for hose and tights for curvy, petite women, and found “Sheertex.They offer a range of different sizes and options. 

“Sheertex” also promotes their hosiery as being indestructible!  As you know, sustainability and supporting the environment are key for me.  Since “Sheertex” hose last up to 50 wears, you won’t be constantly throwing them away – a plus for the environment.

By the way, if you too are environmentally conscious, you may want to check out our Ethical Ensembles Encyclopedia™ which contains a lot of great information about how green your favorite labels are, and how their business practices impact the world. 

If you are a member of the petite and curvy sisterhood, “Berkshire” is a mainstream brand that carries tights and hosiery for average sizes, as well as petite, curvy and tall women. “Berkshire” describes their products as “simply the finest made, best fitting, sexiest looking hosiery on the market”.  

A bonus with “Berkshire” is their products are manufactured here in the U.S.  “Berkshire” is easy to find online, or purchase at major department stores like Macy’s.   

Finally, we should talk about quality. Quality can be a common issue with hosiery and tights. My recommendation is to consider the source – where are you shopping?  If they are sold at CVS or another drug store, they probably are not beautiful to wear, built to last or concerned about the environment.  

I’ve tried many brands, and my personal favorite is “Spanx.” They are not inexpensive but they are great quality and among the few brands with a super high waist that helps avoid the muffin top effect. Ladies, this is really not a good look.  Plus, I love that “Spanx” is woman-owned.  Women like Sara Blakey, who create a product from scratch and rise to the top, inspire all of us to step out of our comfort zone and change the world.

If you’ve decided to embrace the trend of tights and hosiery, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Don’t wear open-toe shoes with your tights and hosiery; this is considered tacky. 

Women of a certain age will often find hosiery and tights are more flattering of their legs than going au naturel.  In the summer we can wear leg foundation to make our legs a bit more youthful, but I do think sheer hose flatter most women’s legs and offer a polished look.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Are you for hose or tights, or not? Do you like the trendy patterned look?  Please comment below and let me know your thoughts and questions…

Online Shopping Made Easy: Tips for Saving Time and Money While Getting What You Want

In my last blog, (click here to read that if you haven’t already), I made an argument in favor of online shopping. The way I look at it, who wants to traipse around from store to store looking at what’s on the rack in hopes that something, somewhere will be exactly what you’re looking for?

No, you didn’t try it? Are you thinking that browsing the internet for clothing just adds another layer of complexity to shopping?

Or maybe you did try it – and you were frustrated. Do you feel like you wasted too much time browsing sites that don’t have what you want – or that you can’t afford?

No matter what you decided or experienced last week, you can make online shopping easy and – dare I say fun? – even if you hate to shop.

In fact, most of the women I work with start out thinking they hate to shop.

When they learn how I shop for them, they have a change of heart. They enjoy discovering so many options and getting the clothes they want within their budget.

I’m sharing my tips with you, so you can become an online shopper extraordinaire.

Be Strategic
    1. Start your online shopping on a Wednesday for the best deals and the largest selections. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are the most popular days for retailers to roll out sales and discount codes.
    2. Make a shopping list and then use aggregate shopping sites to search for the specific items in the sizes and colors you need. You may even find that multiple sites are selling the same item at different prices. Sites like:

  1. Pay close attention to the stats of the model online and the measurements of the items. A top that falls to the perfect length on a 5’10” model may be way too long on a 5’ 2” petite woman. Similarly, a mini skirt on that model might fit a petite woman just above the knees. And if you don’t love the new cropped pant style, remember the pants may hit you just below the ankle.
  2. If you really like an item but not enough to pay the full price, try leaving it in your online shopping cart. You can return to it in the future when it may be on sale. Just be sure you can live without it, for it may also sell out.
  3. The trick to making online shopping work is to treat your own closet the same way you would an in-store dressing room. Order things in more than one size if you are uncertain which will fit, and try them on at home. If you don’t love them, SEND THEM BACK!

Added bonus: You get to see the items you’re trying in combination with other items already in your closet. See how many outfits you can make with a single item!

Be Frugal

Depending on your level of frugality, you may want to start at the stores where you might find a great deal. Here are some great sites.

  1. I start with Thred-up, my favorite. It is the largest online consignment shop in the world. They have amazing search functionality. The best value is in the designer section where you can find high quality designer clothes often at 90% off with the tags still on the item. They have a full range of sizes from 00 – plus sizes, as well as tall and petite.
  2. Next I go to the major brand department store outlets: Neiman Marcus’s Last Call, Nordstrom’s Hautelook, and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Saks Off 5th.
  3. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, I then move on to the more well-known brands that have inventory at higher prices. But offer quality clothes with good customer service policies. I do pay attention to their annual sales however. Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, W by Worth, Carlisle, White House Black Market and Ann Taylor are regular shops I check out depending on my client’s specific needs.
  4. I also recommend Rent the Runway, where you can either rent an item for a special occasion or try out their unlimited service where you can rent 2-4 items at all times. If you decide to purchase from the unlimited program you can usually do so at a 40% discount.
  5. Finally Poshmark is worth investigating. It’s where social media meets shopping and individuals or stores can set up an online shop to sell new or used clothing.
Use Apps

Let these apps do some of the “leg work” for you. They’ll do the online searches according to your preferences. Then you just decide yes or no. They save you time and money.

  1. My all-time favorite is Shop It To Me. It’s available online and in the Apple and Google Play stores. Tell the app your size and favorite brands and you will get a daily notification of all items on sale meeting your criteria from a multitude of shops.
  2. Gilt on the Go is a member-based site that works in a similar manner.
  3. Rue La La is similar to Gilt but runs sales for just 48 hours.
Be Ethical

This final note is something personally important to me, and I am beginning to educate all my clients on it.

  • If you care about who made your clothes and how they were paid and treated …
  • If you care about the chemicals in the dyes and how they affect the workers and the environment …
  • If you care about using natural fibers that will hold up and also decompose when you are done with them …

Then investigate where the item was made and what it is made of.

My Ethical Ensembles™ Encyclopedia provides the manufacturing ethics behind the clothing in well-known brands and stores, and gives you guidance on where to shop based on your personal brand.

I’d Love To Hear From You

Online Shopping Made Easy
Online shopping is a change of habit, I know. And changes can be uncomfortable, even intimidating.

But think of it this way.

Online shopping is a great way to search the world for clothing that fits your unique personal brand. You have so many more choices than what you can find strolling through local stores.

So try some of my tips and see which ones make that change a little easier for you. Is there one (or more) that sways your decision? I’d love to hear what it is!

Please comment below so we can all learn from your experience.

The One Key to Taking the Hassle Out of Dressing with Confidence

How do you start your day?

Do you happily open your closet door and easily select the clothes you’ll put on? Do they make you smile as you get dressed and see yourself in the mirror? Do you feel comfortable in your own skin, knowing you look great and can handle what the day has in store for you?

If that describes your daily experience, congratulations! You’re among only about 4% of women worldwide.

Unfortunately, too many women start their day frustrated and unsure about what to wear, and unhappy about how they look.

Does this scene look familiar?

You look with bewilderment at your closet full of clothes and think, “I have nothing to wear.” You get stuck in the clutter of items and wonder, “Does anything even go together?”

You try to put an outfit together that suits the occasion, and your mind races:

  • Does this shirt match these slacks?
  • Does this color wash me out?
  • Should it be tucked in or left out?
  • Does it make me look heavier than I am?
  • Maybe a bit sloppy or frumpy?
  • Maybe this belt will polish it off.
  • Okay, maybe I should change the pants.
  • No, this skirt is probably better.
  • Oh, shoes!
  • Are these too high for this skirt length?
  • Are these too bulky?
  • I guess these work, if I don’t have to walk too much.
  • Should I wear a necklace? Let me try a short one… oops, no maybe a longer one.
  • Which earrings will look good without detracting from the necklace?
  • It might get chilly. Will this sweater look good? Or should I wear this jacket instead?

And finally an exclamation of distain, “I hate my clothes! I look awful! How can I show up like this?” Or maybe you say something to yourself that is even worse…

It all adds up

Of course this fiasco doesn’t always happen. You probably have things you wear over and over again because you know they look good. You feel good in them. Confident. Even beautiful.

We are creatures of habit. When we create an outfit, or buy one that is “supposed to be worn a certain way,” we repeat it. This is one reason the average woman’s closet contains so many items that never get worn.

Research shows that, if you are like most women, you only wear 20% of the clothes in your closet.

The remaining 80% of your clothes add frustration to your life. And can even discourage you from stepping out into the world with confidence.

So, what to do about this…

How we feel about how we look makes the biggest difference in how we present ourselves to the world and how the world responds to us.

I have a process that gets you to the point where you know how to look your best, love your reflection in the mirror, and feel great about yourself. You develop a new level of self-confidence. You become empowered to live life on your own terms. Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify your style personality based on your authentic self. You’ll never again feel out of character in your clothes.
  2. Apply art principles to flatter your unique appearance. You’ll never again question what looks good on you and what doesn’t.
  3. Create a Look Book from the clothes in your closet. You’ll never again struggle to pull an outfit together.
  4. Mix and match your clothes for different looks. You’ll never again have an overstuffed closet with nothing to wear.
Apps make the process easier

I use the app Hue and Stripe with my clients to create their Look Book. We photograph everything from their shoes, jewelry, scarves, belts, to pants, jackets, tops, skirts and dresses. We categorize each item into season and occasion. Next, we create Looks from each item, and most items get multiple Looks transcending seasons and occasions.

Like any organizational system, once it’s created it’s there for you. You don’t have to remember how you accessorized your favorite dress, or what shirt looked best with that power suit. Just look up any item and see all the possible ways we determined that piece could be worn.

We can even shop online in the app. When you purchase an item, the store’s image gets transferred into your virtual closet where it is filed into the right occasion and season and paired with other pieces to make new outfits.

It’s simple! It’s fun! It’s a time saver! It’s a morale booster!

This is a done-for-you approach: done by us for our clients. We do the whole process to make your style express your true and best self, and we create your Look Book to serve as your virtual stylist.

Do you prefer a DIY approach?

If so, here’s a list of free apps you might want to look into. You can even use Pinterest.

The main thing is photograph your wardrobe and keep your visuals organized.

Android only:

Android and IOS:

Think about it

I bet you have systems for other things in your life. Why not for something as fundamental as getting dressed every day?

Of course organizing your wardrobe saves you time and money. It reduces frustration. More importantly, it empowers you with the knowledge of which items make you feel confident and ready to face the world. It creates the environment for you to you achieve Success thru Style.

Take action

If you use one of the free apps I’ve listed here, please post a comment. We’d love to hear about
your experience with it! If you want, we could even showcase some of your favorite Looks.
If you’re interested in the done-for-you service, please book a free consultation with me to see
how we can get started.

How to Love the Clothes in Your Closet

Did you know the research shows the average woman only wears 20% of the clothes in her closet – this means 80% are simply clutter.

So, why not pare your closet down to the 20% that you wear?

You might have some things that you rarely wear, clothing for special events, weddings, funerals, graduations, black tie affairs, ski trips, etc. I’m not talking about these items. I’m interested in the rest of the things hanging in your closet and falling out of your overstuffed drawers.

For most of my life, my closet was a big, fat mess, overflowing with clothes that I seldom wore. There were piles on the floor of items that I went through that morning because I couldn’t figure out what to wear.

Sound familiar?

Just thinking about it makes my heart race like loud banging music that won’t stop. But now my closet is like a beautiful soft melody.

With a bit of organization and intentional thought, now all of my hangers match. I have a lovely overhead light that is bright enough, but not too bright. All my clothes are hung by type and color. I only have the current season and only the clothes that currently fit me in my closet. It is a place I like to be. My accessories are accessible. My shoes stacked neatly.

What about you?

Even if you have a well organized closet, I recommend reviewing everything you own twice a year. I do it in the transition from winter to spring and summer to fall. I touch everything. I have an intimate relationship with my clothes. We are on a first name basis. I know what’s there and when I wore each item last.

Can you do this???

I recommend you go through everything you own and

Ask yourself
Do I wear this item?
If yes,
Does it still fit me well?
Is it still in good shape?
Is it outdated?
Do I love it?

If no,
Is it because it’s an orphan (an item with nothing that matches)?
That is the only reason to keep it – in which case you should plan to shop with the intention of completing a few Looks that you love with that item. Otherwise it’s time to let it go.

You really should only have things in your closet that you love, that look amazing on you, that tell the story of who you are, and complement your features.

It’s not uncommon to wear things that don’t meet these criteria and it’s not uncommon to have beautiful items in your closet that you don’t wear because you didn’t finish the process to make a complete outfit with that item.

Let’s face it. We are creatures of habit. Our whole life is built around thousands of tiny habits. Perhaps we are just habituated not to wear many of the clothes in our closet.

We get up at the same time, to the same alarm clock and the same sound, we either walk to our scale or the bathroom or the sink to brush our teeth, then to the shower or the coffee pot, or our closet and we wear our favorite jeans, slacks, dress, with our favorite jewelry and shoes and the day continues like this. It’s how we’re built.

If we want to break a habit or create a new one. We need to be intentional about it. There are lots of ways to do this, but it starts with an audit. I recommend these steps:

  • Get comfortable and set aside a few hours to focus on you and your wardrobe.
  • It’s best to do this when you feel good about how you look, put on make-up do your hair so when you look in the mirror you like the reflection you see.
  • Plan to touch every item in your closet. If you don’t have time to do it all. Start with the high value pieces and focus on the current season. Make sure you evaluate the pants, dresses, skirts, tops, shoes, belts, scarves, and jewelry that you think you would wear in the next 90 days.
  • Try everything on. Ask yourself if you were trying that item on for the first time in a store, would you buy it? If not, why would you keep it? You deserve to feel beautiful, stunning, your best, everyday!
  • Check out the condition of each item. If it is pilling, stained, ripped or worn, it’s time to let it go.
  • If it is dated and reminds you of a time from your past, it’s likely a statement about times gone by. Let it go.
  • If you love it, put in on the shelf, or the drawer or the hanger. If you don’t love it, decide if it should be donated to someone less fortunate or potentially sold at a consignment shop to reap a small return on your investment.
  • If the item is not something you would wear this season but you still love it, pack it up and store it for when the weather changes. Even if you love it, if you won’t wear it soon, it is clutter. It is something you will need to weed through to get to the items you will wear.

Yes, it takes a time commitment to do this work. But when your closet is organized, clean and tidy, it will be a place you want to be. You will feel inspired to create outfits and you will leave feeling great about yourself.

Trending: Cold Shoulders Are Back This Fall

Trending: Cold Shoulders Are Back This Fall

The off-the-shoulder and cold shoulder looks are a HOT way of showing your arms in a lovely flattering manner.

You don’t have to be a trendsetter or fashionista to notice how off-the-shoulder or “cold shoulder” tops are still trending this season. It is a winning look for almost everyone. Why? I don’t know a single woman who hates her shoulders. Arms, yes! But not the shoulders. This style is a very flattering way to show some skin.

Whether you’re style is classic, sophisticated, romantic, or bohemian, an off-the-shoulder blouse can be easily dressed up or down to go from day-to-night, and leaves plenty of room for accessorizing. While it may not be the right look for the boardroom, it certainly can be for casual Friday, the weekend, date night, and for more style-forward work environments. It’s a great item to add to your wardrobe.

As a matter of fact, this style is so hot that it has translated to every type of top available from tee-shirts, to colored blouses, dresses, ball gowns, even wedding dresses!

Of course, it isn’t new as with everything fashion, it is recycled from a previous era. The off-the-shoulder look was characteristic of the early 1800’s and has had a place in fashion ever since. Carmen Miranda, also known as the Brazilian Bombshell beautifully illustrated this style in the 1950s (pictured left).

The off-the-shoulder and cold shoulder look is now mainstream. You can find the style, color, fabric and statement that is right for you and most retailers don’t see it going anywhere soon. This trend will definitely be on the list for fall. It has been a big hit in a fashion industry that has been experiencing lower and lower sales.


If you are like most of my Success thru Style clients you are a conscientious consumer. You want to buy clothes that you can wear often and for years to come. My recommendation: invest in this style. It will be around for a while. Stick to relatively classic versions of the style that flatters you.

If you invest in a top, make sure you can pair it with more than one look, i.e. slacks, jeans, skirts, different accessories and jackets. If you purchase a dress, the same thing goes, make sure you can wear it with different shoes and accessories, sweaters and jackets so you get varied use from each piece of clothing you buy. If you love an item that is highly trendy buy it on sale or splurge if you want to. It’s okay to have short-term items in your closet as long as you buy them with intention and know there is a place for them in your wardrobe.


Trend Report: Want to find out what else is trending this fall/winter? Download our Trend Report to find out what’s currently in style and more importantly, which of the trends are right for your personal brand. This guide will help you see what’s still showing up on the runway, what’s new and what’s for you. 

Download the Fall and Winter Style Guide 2018/2019

What’s in Style for Fall and Winter 2018/2019? Download Our Helpful Guide

Fall is officially upon us! Mother nature clearly got the message last week! … and Boom! We woke one morning and instantly needed closed toed shoes, jackets, sweaters, even coats and gloves.

With the change of seasons we change what we wear and with that there is always a change in the fashion trends. I am not a fan of trends; I am fan of personal style.

Trends are not designed with you in mind. They are not about helping you look amazing. Trends are about fashion, creativity and the designers. We want it to be about us, right!

Fashion should communicate who we are. How we show up at our best everyday. Our personal style!

So why learn the trends then? Because, knowledge is power!

  • If you know what is on trend, you will be aware of what’s going on in the world.
  • If you know what is on trend you know what is considered hip and current.
  • If you choose to bring a few new things into your wardrobe, a few things that you love, that work for your brand and that look great on you, these few things will communicate that you are modern, current and relevant.
  • If you know what is on trend you can easily make decisions on what is dated, these are things you want to move out of your wardrobe. There’s a difference between not being a slave to trends and being dated. We don’t want to look dated 🙂
  • If you know what is on trend you know what’s available in the stores. Are your best colors on trend? Will it be easy to find the pant legs that are most flattering for you? What about your favorite fabrics and prints? Is there a style you seek: are you feminine? Edgy? Sporty? If there are styles, prints, themes that are in style and that tell your brand story, then it might be a time for you to shop!

So what’s in style for the fall and winter 2018/2019 season?
Here are some of my favorites and things you might want to consider:

Cold Shoulders are still on the runway. Check out these styles pictured on the right.

Lingerie inspired tops. I like these as layering pieces to bring a bit of femininity into your look.

Pant Suits. Some of you love pants suits. They will be more available for you now than ever before! (see photo top right)

Jump Suits are such a flattering look on most body types.

Velvet is a beautiful fabric that can now be used casually, as well as formally. Check out these styles pictured on the right.

Mismatched earrings. If you are creative or dramatic this is a fun look.


Remember, unless you are a self-professed fashionista there is no need to run to the mall at the change of the season. If you want a refresh then, of course add a few things, yet be mindful about what you are wearing and what you need. Keep the trends in mind so you know what you will find when you get to the stores. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or post what is on your mind in our Facebook group:, and we will do what we can to help you.

Pantone sets the standards and here’s what they have to say about the fall and winter of 2018/19. The fall and winter colors won’t change much, power blue, pastel pink, mustard and burgundy are readily available. In fact, violet was the color of year. 

Here’s a reminder of the spring 2018 styles and colors. You will notice much of this is still in play this fall.

For a more detailed breakdown of the Fall Winter trends for the 2018/2019 season you can download our report hereThis guide will help you see what’s still showing up on the runway, what’s new and what’s for you.


If you haven’t learned about your personal brand and personal style yet, take our quiz at Determining your personal brand takes time and introspection, this quiz will give you a quick idea of where you might fall.

Many of our clients find they are a combination of avatars. That might be your case too. Take a look at the various styles, see what you like and see what appeals to you! Enjoy!

Which Hat Style Is Best for You?

Do you wear hats?  Do you want to wear hats but you just can’t figure out which styles are best for you?

Lady Kitty Spencer – elegant sophisticated.

I think hats are one of things that mystify my clients the most.

Hats can be bold, fun, exotic, whimsical, elegant, feminine, sporty or edgy. One thing that’s for sure they are expressive and they demand attention.  Take the recent royal wedding for example, the hat’s almost got as much attention as the royal couple.

Hats, like everything else, can be easy to wear if you know your personal brand and your personal style rules.

When you shop for hats, try considering my six S’s: Style, Shape, Scale, Season, Situation and Shade.

Oprah Winfrey – Dramatic

Personal Style—Do you have a personal brand?  A true understanding of who you are?  I recommend that you always consider your personal style when assessing the items in your wardrobe. If you haven’t been exposed to this concept, check out my Style Quiz and see what you learn about yourself.  Once you know your personal brand you will want to choose the hat style that best communicates that brand.

Face Shape—Knowing your face shape will help you determine the best shape of hat or fascinator for you.  If you aren’t sure of your face shape check out this blog.

Scale—It’s obvious once you think about it.  You want to match your natural size and scale:

  • If your face is small, you will be swamped in a big hat so don’t overpower it with a wide brim. 
  • If your face is larger, look for styles with more width.
  • If you are tall you can carry off large-brimmed hats but avoid high crowns – they will only make you look taller.
  • If you are petite you should wear small-brimmed hats with a high crown

Season—I’m sure you have a handle on this one – be mindful that your fabric choice matches the weather and season.







Situation- Clearly, you wouldn’t wear the same hat to a ball game, the beach, the royal wedding or a hot date.

Shade – Always consider your color palette when wearing clothes and accessories near your face.  What shades of colors are most harmonious with your skin hair and eyes?  Most of us are either warm or cool.  Warm shades have yellow undertones and cool shades have pink and blue undertones. I now have a color app for my clients.  We can do your color analysis digitally!  All we need is a headshot.  Check it out here.

Having a closet full of clothes that you love, show you at your best and communicate who you are is very powerful. Wearing hats is fun year round but it can be very intimidating. Stick to these rules and you will stand out from the crowd with style and confidence.

Want to learn more about hats and how to enhance your personal style? Enter your information below to receive the new Success thru Style A Guide to Hats straight into your email! 

How to have a beautiful summer tan without a minute in the sun!

Remember when you were a kid in the summertime, how your skin seemed to retain a deep glow, your hair would achieve the kind of highlights we pay a fortune for now, and you had no concept of long term anything? Of course, we didn’t know the true effects of long term sun exposure on the skin either.

Did you know, use of sunblock lotion didn’t become widespread until the 1970s.

In actuality, a tan is a sign of skin damage. Skin tans in response to sun damage to your skin. Skin tanning is a sign your skin cells and the structures of your skin have been damaged, even if redness or peeling were never present.

But we love how a tan look, don’t we!  The market has responded.  We can have this fabulous look without the cost of our health? According to WebMD, Dermatologists now steer their patients toward sunless tanning products if they want more color on their skin. “It’s certainly much better than going out or going to a tanning salon and getting exposed to UV light,” says dermatologist Robin Ashinoff, MD, of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.

My research on the best sunless tanners led me to my next question – are tanned people perceived as more attractive? According to this article by Psychology Today, tanned individuals were perceived as more attractive than their untanned counterparts. However, when a tan or fake tan was more orange in color, the individuals would be perceived as more unattractive. So, here’s our list of which products are vetted to give you the perfect glow without making you orange:

  • Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self-Tanner, $46, one of my clients, Dianna Baltimore, swears by this one. Not only does it give you a natural-looking tan within 2 hours, but it’s also made with natural ingredients that nurture and moisturize your skin. Buy it through Dianna here.

  • According to one of our Success thru Style Affiliates, Shelley Roberts, MAC’s Studio Face and Body Foundation, $39, is a great product if you need something that will multitask without rubbing off. It doesn’t, however, stain your skin so the glow is temporary. It’s also great at concealing imperfections and bronzing at the same time. Buy it here.

  • Avoid skin-harming UV rays and get a safe glow at the same time with this two-in-one formula that includes a progressive bronzing formula as well as a dose of broad-spectrum sun protection. Supergoop! Healthy Glow Sunless Tan SPF40, $38. Buy it here.

  • According to another of our Success thru Style Affiliates, Kristina Pernfors, this Subtle Tanning Lotion by Mary Kay, $18, is amazing. When used daily, you can build up a gorgeous color in about a week – and it has a lovely coconut/honeysuckle fragrance. Buy it through Kristina here.

  • Bondi Sands’ Liquid Glow, $24, a shimmering, un-sticky dry oil that you can buy at Target.

  • Josie Maran, $38, a quick-absorbing, super hydrating self-tanning body oil infused with 100 percent pure argan oil, coconut water, and aloe. Buy it here.

  • NKD SKN Pre-Shower Gradual Tan Lotion, $20, for the impatient types (and those who just can’t stand that self-tanner smell), this is a pre-shower formula. Just apply, wait ten minutes, and shower away the cream – the color develops gradually, so it’s an easy option for maintaining your shade. Buy it here.

  • Tan-Luxe The Body Illuminating Self-Tan Drops, $59, have you ever customized your shampoo or skincare? Now you can do it with your sunless tanner. This version allows you to add drops of the brand’s self-tanning formula into any moisturizer, dialing in your perfect level of tan. Buy it here.

  • Need packable self-tanning towelettes to keep your vacation tan from fading? Try the super portable Tan Towel Self-Tan Towelettes, $29, for face and body. Buy it here.


If you have to be in the sun – use sunscreen! If you don’t have the time to sun worship but want to look like you do, maybe give one of these sunless tanners a try. Self-tanners are finicky beasts that require a bit of patience, some trial and error, and, most importantly, a really good formula. That’s why we did the work for you. Share your results or add to the list by posting in the Success thru Style Facebook group. Happy tanning!

GETSPECS: Sunglasses

It’s summertime, do you love your shades?  Do they communicate who you are?  Do you feel like a million bucks when you put them on?

If not, you should and you can!

Honestly, It’s tough.  So many of my clients struggle with eyewear; whether it’s shades, readers or prescription glasses.

So let’s dig in and learn how to weed through the options and make the best choice for you!

I invented an acronym which I think will help:  GETSPECS:


Go Up

We need to fight gravity as we age.  So your #1 rule is look for glasses with something in the outer-upper corners that creates lift.  Cat eye’s are currently on trend if you love them that’s a great solution or you can look for chunky plastic frames with a wider corners on top.  You can also look for glasses with embellishments.  Anything that adds lift is great.


Equal Distant

Your PD or Pupil Distance is an important measurement.  Not only is this important technically but it also looks best when your eyes are centers in the lens.  Maybe you know whether you have wide or narrow eyes.  To find out, measure your eye width.  Could you place a third eye over the bridge of your nose?  If so your eyes are neither wide nor narrow.  If you have wider eyes you should buy wider frames.  If your eyes are narrow then narrow frames are right for you.

Stores like Warby Parker have their inventory laid out in this manner to help you avoid this mistake.



The temples of eyewear should not touch your face, but there should not be more than a finger’s width between the temple and your face.



This is a big one and often the main thing people talk about when determining what eyewear is right for each individual.  The concept is the shape of the frames should mimic your face shape.  It is a basic rule in art called repeating patterns or relatedness.  Our subconscious mind looks for things it sees.  If you have blue eyes and wear the color blue, for example, it will bring attention to your eyes.  If you have a circular pendent on and also wore polka dots, this will feel harmonious to the viewer.  And if you have a square shaped face angular glasses will feel congruent.  So the basic idea is oval shaped face – oval shaped glasses, circular shaped face – circular glasses, etc.



Personal Brand

If you know me at all you know I always start by helping my clients discover their personal brand.  How you look, your clothes, accessories and your eyewear communicate who you are.  How you look is your most powerful communication tool.  Pick eyewear that fits with that:


The best pair of glasses can elevate an outfit or send the wrong message if you don’t know what your brand is.  Do you want something that is edgy, sophisticated, modern, or feminine?  The extreme cat eyes are trendy right now. They can be nostalgic and classic on some but forward-thinking on others.  Both of these women are wearing extreme cat eyes which appear to fit their personal brand:



Make sure your frame mimics your eyebrow shape or covers them all together.  This is one thing that is often overlooked.



Your frames should complement your complexion: Warm skin and hair = warm frames.  Cool skin and hair = cool frames.  Just follow the rules of the color wheel.  Is your hair honey blonde or brown? Does your skin have yellow undertones?  Then you are warm.  If you have gray hair, ash blonde hair, black hair and pink undertones.  You are cool.


Keep your scale in mind.  If you are small you will not want to overwhelm your face with large-scale sunglasses and if you are larger you should indeed consider a statement pair that is right for your stature. Even if big is in, there is big and there is too big.



Accessorizing with glasses all year is a fun way to express yourself, especially with your shades in the summer months.

Have fun with it and use GETSPECS to make good decisions so you show up feeling your personal best all day every day.