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.

Why the Average Woman Wears Just 20% of What’s in Her Closet

Many women, including myself, struggle for much of our lives to find a style we love. More than that, we struggle with feeling good about how we look.  We buy clothes we think are going to change all that, yet find more and more items hanging in our closet that go unworn.  

  • We might try it on, look in the mirror and wonder why we bought it
  • Maybe we realize we have nothing for which to pair it
  • We may realize the sales clerk convinced us it looked amazing and we believed it in the moment and now we see it and wonder – what in the world were we thinking!?

There are numerous reasons for it.  But the research indicates you are not alone.  The average woman only wears 20% of the clothes she owns!

Could a personal brand style avatar be the answer? Yes! You can have a personal brand and style to call your own, one that expresses who you are and showcases your best features!

The problem is we aren’t trained that clothing communicates – it’s not just about finding a cute new outfit.  It should express something about us. Each item you put on your body, each piece of jewelry, pair of glasses, item of clothing, communicates something.  Most women were never taught how to recognize what they want to communicate and how to buy items that match who they are. 

It comes down to the ability to envision how you want to look.  What image you want to project and what that actually looks like.

If You Can’t “See” It (In Your Mind’s Eye) – There’s No Way You Can Be It!

If you can articulate who you are, what you stand for – your personal brand AND learn how to visualize what it looks like to embody that image – this one skill – will change everything about how you dress and how you feel about how you look.

This one skill is the key – How to visualize clothes on YOUR body – what they communicate, how they fit and how they make you feel.  

This is why I created the Success thru Style Avatars.

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

I initially based them on the Universal Style System™, created by style industry pioneer Alyce Parsons. Parsons’ tool 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 Styles for women include:

  1. Traditional
  2. Elegant
  3. Romantic
  4. Alluring
  5. Creative
  6. Dramatic
  7. Sporty

However, as I started working with the universal styles I realized they weren’t a perfect match for my clients.  So I amended them – made them my own and released nine instead of seven.

To make it more fun and relatable I created avatars that you can see, and relate to; I named them and created a description for each.  My clients love them and sometimes, when they aren’t feeling great about how they look, they imagine themselves as their avatar and it makes a world of difference to them.

The Success thru Style Avatars

The StS Avatars include:

  1. Classic Claire (the Universal Style’s traditional persona)
  2. Sophisticated Sophia (this is on par with the Universal Style’s elegant persona)
  3. Feminine Fiona (this is similar to the Universal Style’s romantic persona)
  4. Creative Cleo (we separated creative from bohemian – we see a big difference between these two personas in our clients)
  5. Boho Bethany (we added this one)
  6. Dramatic Darla (this is similar to the Universal Style’s dramatic persona)
  7. Active Anna (our version of Universal Style’s sporty persona)
  8. Exotic Eva (this is one we wanted to add for you worldly women)
  9. Chic Cara (because dramatic and trendy are not the same thing)

Note that I eliminated “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.   

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.

In the beginning of my practice I would recommend that, as a way to visualize their own personal style, my clients look for someone whose style they admire and might choose to copy. This could be a celebrity, a model, or a character in a favorite show. This was helpful and it still can be. But I have found the Success thru Style Personal Brand Style™ Avatars work for everyone.

The STS Quiz

I use the avatars when I work one on one with clients, in workshops, in my online course and some clients first encounter our Avatars in the StS Quiz.  The avatars were created to help women imagine their ideal style in action! The quiz helps them get there. 

If you haven’t taken the quiz, you might want to give it a try.  It’s very fast and quite effective in helping you find your personal brand and style persona.

The quiz was designed with research in psychology in mind – the research shows that 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.

As you progress through the quiz, you are assigned to the StS Avatar that your answers most reflect. And you might want to go back to the list above and see if others appeal to you as well.  Most women are not just one avatar.  Some women find they are multiple avatars.  You might be Sophisticated Sophia with touches of Dramatic Darla and Feminine Fiona for example.  

You get to create the style you love that communicates who you are and the avatars are just one more tool to help you get there.

The secret is to envision your style. To visualize the look that is right for you and how the clothes you want to wear will look on you.  This will help you always buy the right things.  If you can see it you can achieve it.  The avatars are an important aide.  

The Magic of the Vision Board!

The next step I recommend you consider is a vision board. This can be a physical type where you buy a poster board and cut out pictures from a magazine or even print them from Internet searches if you have a color printer. I love this option because it allows you to have a physical product to look at and assimilate over time. 

Pinterest Boards are another visual tool to help you articulate and understand your brand. If you don’t have a Pinterest account they are free and easy to set up. You can create one called My Style and start searching for pictures that you aspire to own and emulate. I have a large number of images on my Boards and each avatar has her own Board to make the process easier for you.

I’d love to see what you come up with. Please share your Pinterest Boards with me and follow mine as I am updating them all the time.  

Take the quiz and let me know your findings. And let me know if you’ll use more than one avatar to envision the style you wish to create.

If you like our avatars, I have some great news.  They are being updated! Stay tuned for our next blog, when we will release the new, improved, and modernized StS Avatars.

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 Show Up with Confidence and Style

Want to create an authentic personal brand which aligns with your business? Listen as personal branding expert, Cyndy Porter, shares her insider secrets, powerful tips, and techniques to help professionals who look to balance multiple aspects of who they are while still dressing for success.

Cyndy Porter is the founder and owner of Success thru Style. She coaches professional women in discovering their personal brand and living it inside and out.

She teaches her clients to create an intentional image, showing them how this is the easiest way to boost self-confidence. Cyndy spent 20 years in sales and marketing in Fortune 500 companies. She understands what it takes to succeed in business. Going from being a shy, sensitive and insecure girl, a target for bullies, she now impacts women around the world to show up with confidence and style.

In this week’s Book Marketing Mentors powerful podcast episode “How to Show Up with Confidence and Style” you will discover …

  • Why it’s so important for authors to build a personal brand
  • How to go about finding the right brand promise for yourself
  • What is the right color to use to portray the right personal image
  • If the look and feel of your book should be part of your brand image
  • The role your headshot plays in portraying your personal authentic brand
  • Simple brand imaging mistakes to avoid
  • And a whole lot more…

This episode features practical tools and techniques to help listeners who want to market a book. It provides invaluable and powerful information listeners will want to know to supercharge a book marketing strategy.

Listen to this week’s interview and discover how to get you and your book noticed and your voice heard in a crowded marketplace.

Black Friday Sales: Make Your Plan To Shop And Save

See below for Cyber Monday tips also

Need some tips on how to make Black Friday/Cyber Monday work for you?! I know, it’s sheer madness.  I know, most of you don’t even love to shop when there are NO crowds … but… what about the deals?! Those you truly do love, right? I have some helpful tips below on how to capitalize on those sales, even without leaving the comfort of your own home! 

According to the National Retail Federation, roughly 174 million people visited retail stores or shopped online on Thanksgiving weekend in 2017, an increase of 151 million from the year before. The average shopper spent nearly $335 during the four-day period, with about 75% of the total specifically earmarked for gifts.  But that’s not what I’m going to talk about.

Let’s make it about you!  How can you use this time of discount shopping to enhance your personal wardrobe? If you know me, you know I love deals, too. Yes, I pay retail for some items that I absolutely love, but more often than not, I shop end of season sales and consignment shops. Why pay retail if you can get the same item at a lower price!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, most retailers offer exceptional shopping deals that are difficult or impossible to find any other day of the year. That’s absolutely true. Thanks to extended hours and Thanksgiving evening blitzes at many retailers, it’s easier than ever to score great Black Friday deals without encountering crippling crowds or stress. In many cases, it’s no longer necessary to even leave the house.  

If you prefer to shop in person check here for your favorite store’s hours.

Here are some free Black Friday shopping Apps you may want to consider as well…

  • Shopular: A location-enabled app that automatically serves you with relevant deals when you approach your favorite stores. Since it’s pretty much effortless to use, it’s a great product to bring to the mall when you plan to hit multiple retail locations. Plus, it has a built-in rebate feature that returns up to 25% off select purchases.
  • Flipp: Aggregates flyers and coupons from hundreds of retailers. It lets you upload personalized shopping lists too – perfect for Black Friday. Upload your retail loyalty cards to earn points or rebates on Black Friday buys.
  • The Coupons App:  Another flyer-and-coupon aggregator.
  • TheBlackFriday App: TheBlackFriday’s app is the most narrowly tailored to Black Friday deals. If you’re looking for an app exclusively for the occasion, this is your pick. It does include deals that fall outside the traditional Black Friday window too.
  • PriceGrabber is a price comparison app that allows you to instantly compare prices at top retailers.

So, what about Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday 2017 had online sales of $6.6 billion, smashing the previous year’s record. It was the biggest digital shopping day ever!

I am a fan of online shopping and indeed believe this is the future! Although you can shop online for Black Friday there are some deals on Cyber Monday that are even better.

Here’s some Success thru Style tips:

  • Amazon Fashion: Black Friday: 50% off select Denim, including styles from J.Crew, DL1961 and True Religion; up to 50% off select Calvin Klein Underwear, and more!
  • The Lucky Brand – Black Friday up to 50% off entire store; Cyber Monday Deal: up to 60% off entire site.
  • Guess – Black Friday: Up to 50% off the entire store.
  • Toms – Black Friday & Cyber Monday: 30% off in-store and online from November 21-27
  • 7 For All Mankind – From Nov. 22-27, save 40%
  • Lord & Taylor – Extra 40% off clearance the week of Nov. 20-25 and 25% off site-wide and free shipping on Cyber Monday
  • Nordstrom – From Nov. 20-26, save 60% off select sale items in stores and online
  • Nordstrom Rack and Hautelook – will announce new deals every day Nov 19 – 26.
  • Saks Off Fifth – From Nov. 20-26 50% off all coats, men’s & women’s cashmere, designer jeans, boots, hats gloves, and scarves
  • Cole Haan – From Nov. 18-24, 50% off select boots, bags, and outerwear plus 30% off everything else.
  • Bloomingdales, Saks, Neiman Marcus and other high end stores are not saying WHAT will be onside but they are HAVING a sale so you will have to check online when the day arrives.

The bottom-line is the Thanksgiving weekend has deals that are not a scam.  They are real deals on real things that you need in your wardrobe. Yes, it’s also a great time to do your holiday shopping.  But don’t forget the numero uno in your life (or should be) – YOU.

Review your wardrobe.  What do you truly need or want that will make you feel powerful, confident and beautiful this holiday season and beyond? Now go forth and get those items — on sale! You’re worth it!

p.s. Stay tuned for the Success thru Style Black Friday special! 

5 Tips to Organize Your Closet and Love Your Wardrobe

5 Tips to Organize your Closet and Love your Wardrobe

Did you know that the first week of October was National Get Organized week? Maybe you are just now hearing about it. No worries! It’s never too late to jump in and become clutter free!

Albert Einstein famously pointed out that “if a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Thomas Edison, who had a famously messy desk, would have surely agreed.

This concept has comforted me at times, but honestly, I’m not sure that I agree.

Just think about how you feel when you are amongst clutter … versus how you feel in a beautifully designed room that’s organized and has a place for everything. When I tap into my true feelings on this, I realize that I actually feel more creative and peaceful in a tidier space and more anxious in a messier one. How about you? How do you feel? Would a clutter free space make you feel more calm?

Let’s think now about your closet. How does it make you feel? Is it cramped and dark? Are there clothes in piles, things hanging off the rack, shoes in a pile? No shame here.

For most of my life my closet has been a big 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 all match. I have a lovely overhead light that is bright enough, but not too bright. All of my clothes are hung by type and color. I only have the current season and only the clothes that currently fit me. It is a place I like to be. My accessories are accessible. My shoes stacked neatly. What about you?

Here’s a few suggestions:

1. Do a wardrobe audit.
When was the last time that you did an audit of the clothes you actually wear? This is step one. Learn what works for you and what doesn’t. What shapes, styles, colors, patterns are right for you? Make sure they fit you, perfectly. Make sure that they are in season and that they aren’t dated. Studies show the average woman only wears 20% of the clothes in her closet. Why not pare your closet down to only the 20% of clothes you love? Buy quality and mix and match them in new and different ways.

2. Get matching hangers. Do your hangers match?
Your closet will feel more organized and tidy if your hangers match. There are a variety of different options available to you: Plastic hangers – this is an affordable option. Pick your favorite color and have fun with them.
Wood hangers, especially cedar wood helps absorb odors and protects your clothes against moths and other insects. Another idea is Huggable Hangers. Their ultra-thin design can triple your closet space, and their non-slip velvety finish holds on to clothes. No matter the option that you decide to go with, having them all match will help you begin to feel that your closet is more organized.

3. Organize your accessories.
Accessories make the outfit. Do an audit of your shoes, jewelry, scarves and belts. Follow the same rules as your clothes and decide what to keep and pass on. To make sure you use your accessories, be certain to make them visible. Organize them in ways that they are neat and tidy, but also visible so that you keep them top of mind and actually wear them. Donate any jewelry that you don’t wear often or you feel is outdated.

4. Check your lighting.
Make sure the lighting is bright in your closet so that you can really see the colors, textures and patterns. Also, if you can, have a full length mirror in your closet or nearby as well as a hand mirror so you can see your backside.

5. Organize by type and color.
Once you get everything in order, take the time to organize by item type and color. I put all my tops no matter the sleeve length and style in order by color, from light to dark. I also separate my pants, skirts, dresses and jackets in the same manner. This is likely how you get dressed. You decide first on pants or a skirt or a dress and then look for the right color to accompany that piece to pull the full outfit together. Not only will this help you get dressed and create great outfits. It will be visibly appealing.

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. Hope this helps!

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!