Monday, December 29, 2008

How to Make and Keep Successful New Years Resolutions

It's that time again. A new year, new hopes, new dreams, a fresh start. I hope you look back on 2008 with a smile and the determination to have another successful year. What is it that you want to accomplish in 2009? If you haven't already made a New Years resolution or have resolved not to make one, take a look at this five step process for making and keeping successful resolutions

1. Decide What You Want
What do you really want to accomplish in 2009? One of the main reasons why people don't get what they want is because they haven't decided what they want. You are 100% responsible for your life so you have the power to decide, then focus on what it is you want to accomplish. Do you want to focus on your career, finances, recreation, health, relationships, or your contribution to the community? You can't do it all and you won't do it all in January.

2. Believe It's Possible
You get what you expect. Expect to be successful. If you make a resolution and tag it with "what's the use, I never keep resolutions" then you've already made the decision to fail. Have a deep belief that you have what it takes. It's all about attitude.

3. The Power of Goal Setting
It's not enough to say you want to lose weight. How much, by when, what steps will you take? It is easier to achieve any resolution that you break down into quarters. If you want to be healthier maybe the first quarter you drink green tea, walk for 30 minutes three times a week, and drink eight 80z glasses of water a day. The second quarter you keep doing those three and add three more. By the end of 2009 you'll have the healthier life you resolved to have.

4. Act As If
I'm a believer in affirmations. You have to declare outloud, everyday, that you have achieved whaterver it is you've resolved to achieve. Affirmations should be read three times a day and out loud. I do mine in the car. Statements such as: I only eat healthy foods and drink healthy drinks, I love myself and cherish my health, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Think like, talk like, dress like, act like, and feel like you've already achieved your resolution.

5. Take Action
Talk is cheap - take action. Action leads to motivation. As Nike says "Just Do It." At the end of 2009 you'll be glad you did.

I wish you and your family all the best for 2009.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Worst Holiday Attire

What does holiday attire mean - showing up in a santa suit? Many invitations indicate the dress is "holiday attire." Here is my list of what not to wear when wearing holiday attire.
1. Holiday sweater - keep the sweater that features rudolph's nose lighting up for the second grade Christmas party. Instead of a rudolph sweater try a tasteful holiday scarf around your neck over a solid sweater.
2. Santa hat - only wear a santa hat if you are being paid to be santa.
3. Ornament earrings - not such a good idea, especially the jingle bell earrings. You don't need to announce that you are entering a room with your earrings.
4. Wearing too much glitz - too much shine will overwhelm anyone. Don't be so done up that you out dazzle the tree. Don't electrify the room with too much sparkle. Keep shimmer tastful on your clothing and your makeup.
5. Showing too much skin - if you're going to show off your beautiful legs then cover your upper body. If you want to show off your chest cover your legs. Too much cleavage can turn off party guests. If in doubt, cover up.
6. Christmas ties - those can be stupid or tasteful. Go for tasteful.
7. Muscial Clothing - I've heard socks, ties, and gloves play a Christmas jingle. If you are entertaining kids it's perfect. If you want to be perceived as sophisticated, suave, or glamorous, there not such a good idea.
8. Makeup - highlight only one feature with glitter such as your eyes, cheekbones, shoulders or chest but not all of it.
9. Bold red lips - can be very festive as long as you keep the rest of the face fairly bare with soft eye shadow and a little mascara.
10. Winter jackets - if you are dressing up you need a dressier overcoat. My husband hates seeing a car coat over an evening gown.

I know I've included a lot of what not to do. One thing I know for sure that I want you to do is

Monday, November 10, 2008

Holiday Dress Codes

Are you having trouble deciphering dress codes on your party invitations? If so, keep this list of party definitions handy and you'll always be appropriately dressed.
* Black tie - this means a tuxedo for men and long cocktail dresses or dressy evening seperates for women.
* Formal - usually means the same as black tie
* White tie - ultra formal. Men wear full dress with white tie, vest, and shirt. Women wear long evening gowns.
* Black tie optional - men have the option of wearing a tuxedo and women have the option of a formal or cocktail dress.
* Creative black tie - men can go more modern with a tuxedo. Women wear long or short dress or evening seperate depending on the theme. Example - Texas Black Tie or Diamond and Denim.
* Semi-formal or after five - a tuxedo is not required nor a long dress.
* Business formal - same as semi formal except women opt for a more tailored dressy suit or dress.
* Cocktail attire - short elegant dress for her and dark suit for him.
* Informal - same as semi formal
* Festive attire or Holiday attire - choose looks with a bit of sparkle informal or semi formal
* Casual dressy - most anything except jeans.
* Casual - anything goes.

When in doubt ladies, you can never go wrong with the little black dress. You can dress it up or down depending on your jewelry, makeup and hairstyle. Know your audience and don't go overboard. Plan now and you won't be the diva in distress caught without the perfect party dress. Accentuate your positive and never leave home without a fabulously festive attitude.
Have fun!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chris Fulkerson's Grand Glam Makeover

As the New Year approaches many of us think about Turning Over a New Leaf - in other words, making changes in our appearance, habits, or setting new goals. If you're ready to make some major changes and willing to let the community track your progress - then here is a contest for you! Check out the November 6th issue of the Voice Tribune to enter Chris Fulkerson's Grand Glam Makeover. One lucky winner will receive a grand prize makeover package totaling over $15,000 in services.

Starting January 8, 2009, one female will have the makeover of all makeovers. The prize package includes services from me - VIP Studio - including a closet audit, style and figure analysis, poise, posture, and modeling lessons. Other services include Calospa, Imaage, Varga Image Consulting, Blades Salon, Brooks & Co., Louisivlle Athletic Club, and Mortenson Family Dental. The winner will receive clothing from Blink Boutique and Doncaster Apparel along with a closet makeover from California Closets.

Each week Jan - March the winner's progress will be featured in the Voice Tribune along with pictures and a story. The grand finale will be the winner modeling in the AT&T Derby Festival Fashion Show.

To enter simply write a 100 word essay on why you would like and deserve this makeover - send a current picture to Chris Fulkerson c/0 Voice Tribune 130 St. Matthews Ave Suite 300 Louisville, KY 40207. All entries must be post marked by Friday November 28, 2008. The winner will be featured in the paper on December 11.

Don't miss this chance of a lifetime. Turn 2009 into the beginning of a new life, new look, new you! Good Luck


Friday, September 26, 2008

What is Your Body Shape?

Do you want the knowledge to know what to do to be stylish and confident no matter where you are or who you are with? Looking good gives you great self-confidence; it changes your entire attitude towards life. Perception is everything and the visual impression that we make on others takes only a matter of seconds. Our appearance communicates if we are credible, trustworthy, likeable, intelligent and friendly.

If you think you have a less than perfect figure, you are not alone. You're in the majority. There are six horizontal body shape categoties used by professional image consultants. These categories give us a one-dimensional view of our bodies, as though they were flat paper dolls.

The basic horizontal body types are: Hourglass, Triangle, Inverted Triangle, Rectangle, Diamond and Oval. Each of these shapes have a different set of rules that are applied to bring the body into balance and create a positive visual impression.

You have an Hourglass shape if your bust and hip measurements are similar and your waist is about 10 inches smaler. Your challenge is to dress your curves while finding fashions that fit and accentuate your waistline.

Inverted Triangles are upside down triangles who are wider throught the shoulders and sometimes the bust and narrower at the waistline and hips. This body shape is likely to buy seperates and coordinates from shops which allow you to mix and match smaller skirts and pants with larger size jackets to accommodate shoulders and/or bust comfortably.

The Triangle shape is the most common shape for women. This is when the upper part of your body is smaller than the lower half. The overall guideline for Triangles to remember is to create the illusion of more width in the upper half of the body to balance the width of your lower half.

The Rectangular body has little or no waistline definition and this body type is often short waisted. Legs and arms of a rectangle are usually slender and thighs are average. The key is to provide the illusion of a defined waistline.

A Diamond shaped body has a waistline that is larger than either the bust or hips. The major concern of ladies with this shape is how to disguise the tummy area.

The Oval body shape can be literally described as an apple shape. This is the shape that tends to concentrate weight in the middle area. It differs from the diamond shape in that the bust is quite prominent.

Well dressed, well groomed, polished individuals are routinely awarded better salaries, win top jobs, are promoted and win the approval of their peers. What message are you giving others the first time they meet you? Dressing your body shape will project a sharper message of quality, respnsibility and success.

Go out and enjoy this beautiful day with confidence in how you look and who you are.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Closet Capsules

Capsule dressing is a concept - not a diet pill. Capsule dressing consists of building groups of 10-20 related pieces of clothing that can be worn in a number of combinations. There isn't a specific formula for capsule dressing but there are guidelines. Here are a few:

1. Solid colors will mix easier than patterns.
2. Select classic pieces that won't look out of style next year.
3. Select year round fabrics such as lightweight wool gabardine, georgette, rayon-blend gabardine, crepe, silk, cotton blends, fine-wale corduroy and denim.
4. No two items should be of the same style.
5. Each piece should work with three other pieces in the capsule.
6. Each item should be your most flattering colors and styles.
7. If you are mixing solids, they need to be purchased at the same time from the same manufacturer.
8. The pieces need to reflect your personality wether you are classic, dramatic, sporty, elegant, creative, romantic, or alluring.

Believe it or not - your closet could contain 20 pieces (known as your foundation) and that would be all you need. How many of us only have 20 pieces of clothing in our closet? The goal with a closet capsule is to have less clothing and more to wear. Your lifestyle, the climate where you live, your body type and personality will determine the look of your foundation. Here is a basic foundation for a woman working and/or volunteering outside her home:

One three piece suit that includes a jacket, pant and skirt
One white blouse
One dress
One novelty jacket - meaning it could be worn over the dress, with the suit pants/skirt and with jeans
One novelty pair of pants - works with most tops, the novelty jacket and suit jacket
Four - Six basic tops/blouses depending on your personal preference and body type.
One pair of dressy jeans
Four pairs of shoes - depending on your personal preference - make it a variety from flats to heels. One of the shoes should be a basic pump.
Two high quality handbags - depending on your position, one could be a briefcase.

If all of this seems too overwhelming for you to do alone - call an Image Consultant. We love going into closets. My next blog will focus on clearing out your closet of all those items that should no longer be there - to make room for your foundation pieces.

Until then, enjoy your day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Who is Dressing Sarah Palin?

This is not a political commentary - I'm not saying, nor asking, that Sarah is right for the job. I just found the republican convention fasinating from a fashion viewpoint. Republican or not you have to admit that Sarah had a memorable speech. She needed a memorable look to go with her memorable speech. In my opinion and the opinion of individuals I polled - the republicans are trying to make Sarah to conservative. I would love to work with Sarah. I feel I could give everyone something to really talk about if I could change the following:

1. Sarah needs color. The night of her speech she was in a black skirt and gray or steel colored jacket. The jacket was beautiful and had great lines but I really thought she would come out in something blue. Blue is America's favorite color. When someone wears blue others immediately trust them. Sarah is not well known and needed the trust more than she needed to look conservative (which she is). Did you notice the color Cindy McCain was wearing? It was a beautiful green. I think Cindy has an evil look to her - I'm not saying she is evil- just that she looks that way. Seeing her in the green dress (with beautiful white pearls) and holding the baby changed my opinion of her. I think I could like her.
2. Sarah needs shape to her clothing. I know she has recently had a baby but she was very boxy that night. Boxy portrays a stiff, unapproachable, image. Sarah was very transparent in her speech - it didn't match her look. In order to gain individuals trust you need to be consistent with how you look and what you say.
3. Sarah does a great job on her makeup. I bet her eyes are even more beautiful than we can see through her glasses. If I had her in my chair - I would suggest contacts. The eyes are the mirror of the soul - she has a good soul - let us see more of it.
4. Sarah has a beautiful head of hair but needs to avoid the beehive - that is very 60's retro and she is not trying to be retro. I would love to give her a mini skirt with white patten knee high boots to go with her hair but I don't think that is the look she is trying to achieve. I wouldn't want to cut off much hair but would love to see her with a shorter do and something a little layered and textured. She loves the hairspray and so do I. It's my personality to "fix" my hair. I learned that from my mother. I think Sarah has the same "fix and go" personality that I do.
5. My neighbor tells me that Sarah is breast feeding. Okay - she really is super woman if she is breast feeding during this "spill your life in front of the media" phase. I am truly impressed. You go girl!
6. One last thing - Sarah has so much to be proud of - she needs to stand tall and let her posture communicate that she is proud. Her clothing would look better on her with shoulders that would be pushed back and down. I think she has an adorable wave - her wave tells me that she is truly excited to be in the position she is in.

Sarah if you are reading this - I want you to call me. I would love to work with you. This is going to be an interesting couple of months for all of us. I'll keep you posted on what else I see. Until then - enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

All "Eyes" on You!

Later this month I am having some new headshots taken so I'm very aware of how my eyes are looking these days. Besides botox, I want to share with you some of my favorite"eye" tips.

1. The skin around the eyes is very delicate and does not have oil glands directly above or below. Because of this you need to use a moisturizer made especially for eyes. It is best to apply it from below the pupil out to the crows feet.

2. When applying creams or removing eye makeup, use your ring finger. The index and middle finger are stronger fingers and could pull the skin to cause more lines.

3. I have inherited puffy eyes from my mom and sisters but there is still a way to fight those genes. Dip a cotton ball in green tea, squeeze out the excess, then dab around the eye. Green tea will help to tighten the skin around the eye.

4. Since the skin around the eye is very delicate you should use an oil-based makeup remover, cotton balls and cotton swabs. Gently dab don't rub.

5. Drinking plenty of water not only hydrates you but will reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Water has longer lasting results than cosmetics.

6. Keep a bottle of toning eye makeup remover in the refrigerator. When applied in the morning the chill will assist in de-puffing your eyes as well as clean them.

7. When at all possible - sleep on your back. I love to sleep on my stomach but when your face is toward the mattress fluids drain to your face causing a lot of puffyness. Over time it will also cause more lines and wrinkles.

I think if I stick to at least half of these tips I'll be looking pretty good for my pictures. Actually, I'll let you be the judge of that. Check back in about a month and let me know what you think.

Until then - enjoy de-puffing

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Michael

Happy Birthday to Michael Jackson - he is turning 50 years old! I can't think of another individual who has had so much awe and mystery around his life. I remember as a little girl watching the Jackson 5. I purchased the record "ABC" and would listen to it over and over. All I wanted to do was sing and dance like Michael. Of course I sounded like him when I was in the car with the radio turned up.

I was dating my husband at the time "Thriller" debuted on MTV in 1982. Being a makeup artist I studied everthing about the "mummies". It parts my hair to think about how long it would have taken to get Michael and his scarey crew prepared for filming. Did you know that Thriller had its 25th anniversay this year? To celebrate, a friend and I worked up our version of a Thriller routine and performed it with the Kentucky Derby Festival Princesses at the Fillies 50th Anniversary Ball this past April. Yes we were up on stage in our gowns trying to be little Michaels. It took the crowd by surprise but they enjoyed watching us make fools of ourselves. Actually I think it was quite fun and hip. Michael would have been proud of us.

I'll never forget being at a neighbors house playing Bunco and watching Michael plant a wet one on his then wife, Lisa Marie Presley at the 1994 (?)MTV music awards. I think Elvis had to be turning in his grave that night.

Michael has had a colorful 50 years full of controvery. I'm amazed he has made it to 50 years old. My husband turned 50 this past December and was mailed his AARP card. Do you think Michael has received his?

I choose to remember Michael as the guy in his early 20's singing "Billy Jean" and "Beat It". Yes I own the 25th anniversay Thriller CD and love it. Excuse me now while I moon walk my way to my desk and resume working. Thank you for taking this Michael moment with me. I think I'll have to have a piece of cake in his honor today. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Volunteer - It's Healthy

This morning I was reading in Jack Canfields The Success Principles about finding ways to serve. Since I was a professional volunteer for the 13 years I was home raising my daughters and still find myself serving on several committee's, I almost skipped this chapter. Instead I thought I would skim through the chapter and boy am I glad I did.

Jack Canfield says "research on volunteerism shows that people who volunteer live longer, have stronger immune systems, have fewer heart attacks, recover from heart attacks faster, have higher self-esteem, and have a deeper sense of meaning and purpose than those who don't volunteer". I should be in exceptional health. I still find myself working on several committee's and frankly at times I start to resent all that I have agreed to do. I always volunteer for positions I know I can do, enjoy to do and want to do - but then it takes so much time away from my real job that I get resentful. Reading this was perfect timing. We all need to be reminded of the importance of service. Just be sure to devote time to those causes and groups that are most important to you. I am very passionate about the Fillies, Woman Club, AICI Atlanta Chapter, Dress for Success and especially the Dazzler Booster Club.

What are you passionate enough to spend some time to be of service? It's good for your health and you'll have a great time while serving. The world responds more positively to givers than to takers. Take your talents and go out and shine. Enjoy your day.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Take Action

"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle". This is a quote from our 16th president - Abraham Lincoln. The world doesn't pay us for what we know, it pays us for what we do. Everyday - in everything we do - we tell the world about ourselves. Our actions tell a story about our belief in ourselves, who we are, and what we stand for.

Have you noticed how bogged down people can get with analyzing, planning and organizing? I've done it myself. Weeks before a trunk show I can study the collection, plan the number of calls I need to make in a day to get the number of appointments I want, I'll make sure my husband has my daughter's dance schedule and social engagements so he can be prepared to run her around town. I can spend days on all of this but what it comes down to is that I just need to take action - pick up the phone and make the calls. If I don't have the appointments I won't need all the planning and organizing.

When you take action it leads to motivation. Don't wait to get motivated to do it - you won't. Don't wait to make the call, or start the exercise routine or write the letter. Winners take action. They simply get up and do what has to be done. Even if you make a few mistakes, you correct them and continue to take action.

The Olympics is over - there are no more athletes to inspire us to get up from our chairs. It is up to us. Jonathan Winters said "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to meet it". It's Monday, take action and plant the foundation for a wonderful week. Enjoy the journey.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fall Shoe Trends

It is still very warm here in Louisville but never too early to start planning your fall wardrobe. As it begins to cool down - shoes are a great way to transition from the warm to cooler temps. The gladiator look from summer is still very strong. You will begin to see more hardware and menwear influences in shoe design. Below are 5 trends to watch when updating your fall wardrobe.

1. Motorcycle - lots of hardware
2. Masculine - menswear influence - cap toe
3. Architecture - straps and angles
4. Viking - gladiator looks
5. Mary Jane

Just because it is a trend doesn't mean that you have to adapt completely to it. Try touches of the trend to see how it fits with your style personality and update accordingly. Have some fun with it, there's never been a better time to try some new shoes.

Much thanks to my friend Karen Hughes for shoe info. Enjoy shoe shopping!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Denim Rules

Jeans have come a long way from being sturdy clothing for hard-working cowboys. Years ago I graduated from mom jeans to dressier denims - thanks to an honest girlfriend. I called them my "hot flash jeans" because I purchased them after my one and only (thus far) hot flash. Since then I've given a lot of thought to jeans. As an Image Consultant I've instructed Human Resource managers to steer clean of jeans - however they are here to stay and I believe they can be used but not abused. In the proper work environment they are appropriate. Yes, jeans are important to a woman's wardrobe but with a few rules to keep in mind.

My Denim Rules:
1. All denim is not for all things. Jeans are great on dates, running errands, casual dinner parties but when it comes to a company function (unless it's a hayride), theatre, church or seminars - jeans need to stay in the closet.
2. Jeans do not have an age limit but that doesn't mean you can wear all the styles. You've got to wear a pair that suits your shape and we all change shape as we get older. You should not wear the same jeans you wore 5 or 10 years ago. That's not depressing, just improving how you look.
3. Experiment! There are straight leg jeans, skinny jeans, boot-cut, and wide leg jeans. It really has become trickier because there are so many brands and styles to choose from. I suggest working with an image or wardrobe consultant, purchase from a specific denim store or knowledgeable boutique. Be prepared to try on a lot - and I mean - a lot of jeans to find the perfect fit for you.
4. Look in the 3 way mirror. Don't base your purchase on how you look in the front. Most people see you from the back. Careful not to select a waistband that is too wide, thick or heavy. Those will cut in to your sides and give you the muffin top look. Try to purchase jeans that are higher in the back so not to tempt anyone to peek at your undies. Speaking of undies - please do not allow your thongs to show in back. Check that jeans do not bag around the knees and bottom. Thankfully, most jeans come with a bit of stretch.
5. If possible, have a pair hemmed to wear with flats and one for heels. I love the look of jeans with pointed toe shoes - it elongates the leg and makes you look taller and thinner.
6. Low rise jeans are not for everyone - even if you are a teenager. Please look in the mirror before leaving home - if you are showing me tush cleavage or have flesh rolls falling over the waistline - please change.
7. Jeans should not look like you are a football trying to fit in to a garden hose. Try a different style if they do. Purchase the size you need regardless of the number - cut the label out when you get home if the number bothers you.
8. A skinny tapered leg is not flattering for pear-shaped gals. If you love the skinny jean then be sure to thow on a long top or shirt that extends past your thighs as long as you are tall enough to handle this look.
9. High waisted jeans on long legs is beautiful. If you have heavy thighs or calves select a fuller cut jean.
10. A jean pant or a jean jacket look great but not together.
11. Have a couple of pairs of colors such as a light denim, dark denim, black and I also like white on the right figure. Careful of all the colors such as red, yellow and turpuoise. Do you want to draw attention to that part of your silhouette?

Jeans are fun and versitle. Go out and find your perfect pair and enjoy them.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Louisville's Best Dressed

Last night was the 3rd annual Voice Tribune's Best Dressed Gala to benefit Hosparus. My 15 year old daughter and favorite alterations specialist, Sherry, accompanied me to the event. You can imagine the time it took for me and my daughter to get dressed, do our hair and makeup for an event where everyone is going to look their very best. Of course my daughter looked like a stunning 20 year old with her retro dress and hair. I wasn't sure her dad was going to let her out of the house.

It wasn't until we arrived that the former recipients were given a letter and asked to walk the runway prior to the fashion show. Once over the shock of having to be "on stage" we followed the guides to the reception area. There was Nigel Barker from America's Next top Model. I immediately took his picture with my daughter. What a genuinely nice guy and yes he is as handsome in person as he is on television. I loved the reception, the food was great, I enjoyed the addition of having informal models but my favorite was chatting with all my beautiful friends that were there.

When it was time to enter the room for the fashion show it was fun to see all the corporate sofas and beds. They did a great job giving this event a New York feel. Of course I loved walking the runway. This was a switch - usually my daughter is the one in the fashion shows.

Jo Ross produced the electrifying fashion show. Blades furnished the extreme hair and makeup on the models but it was the clothing that wowed the audience. Even though it was local boutiques and stores, it looked like combinations you would see in Milan.

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the 2008 Best Dressed women, men and couples. Congratulations to all. Welcome to the elite group of men and women with women who will now feel the pressure to go to the grocery in full makeup, heels and only on good hair days because of this new title. You get use to it.

If you have not yet attended the Best Dressed Gala, I highly recommend it for next year. Congratulations to the Voice Tribune for an enjoyable and memorable evening.
Continued success. Can't wait for next year.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cost Per Wear

Yesterday I was explaining how important it is to purchase quality clothing especially during touch economic times. Here is another reason - it's called Cost Per Wear.

Lets say we purchase a $90 pair of nice wool gabardine pants. We wear those pants once a week for 9 months. That is 36 wears per year. The pants last 3 years so we wore them 108 times. If you divide the cost with the amount of times we wore the pants you could say the pants had a .83 cent cost per wear.

If we purchase a pair of $20 bargain pants - what I call disposable clothing - made of a cheap synthetic and we wear them only 6 times and they loose their shape and begin to pill - our bargain pants come to a $3.34 cost per wear. Now which one is the real bargain?

If you are shopping today, take a good look at the quality of the item you are purchasing. That will help you decide if it is a true bargain. Right now so many stores are having good sales. If you normally don't shop in higher end stores you might want to stop and see how low they have marked their high end clothing. If those $90 wool gabardine pants have been marked down to $50 or $60 - you've really got a bargain. Go out shopping with confidence that you are a smart shopper and enjoy those new items. Have a great day.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When the Hemline Drops - Find Investments at the Shops

We know we are experiencing tough economic times - we hear it on the news, see it in the papers and feel it in our pocketbooks. You can also tell by our hemlines. When the economy is struggling the hemlines go down and the waistlines go up. I can live with that - but I won't live without updating my fall 08 wardrobe. Here are a few tips from Doncaster wardrobe specialists on how to make your dollar stretch when it comes to adding on fall 08 pieces.
1. You need an investment attitude. If you purchase anything make sure it is classic and durable apparel that will last more than one season. I always stress to avoid purchasing disposable clothing - those outfits that loose shape and begin to pill after 6 wears. That is even more important now.
2. Get as much newness for your dollar as you can. If you have to go trendy maybe it should be in your shoes and handbags.
3. Stick with your favorite brands, no matter what they cost but buy less frequently.

I love purchasing and wearing fall clothing. Maybe we won't shop till we drop but we can let the hemline drop while we shop. I can live with that. Enjoy shopping.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Top 10 Pant Rules

I think I would rather try on bathing suits than try to find a pair of pants that fit my rectangle figure. If you find yourself with the same challenges try these tips:
1. Pants too tight are not flattering and make you appear heavier than you are. Pants that are too full can make a figure appear larger. Check the fit.
2. Straight leg pants are usually in style and are flattering on most figures. If you are taller than 5'7" it is easier to wear the flared and tapered pants as they come and go in fashion.
3. As much as I loved the 50's I didn't love how they wore their pants - very narrow below the thigh with the waist nipped in tight. Even you skinny gals will look large in overly tapered pants.
4. Wear a style that is similar to the current fashion. Pants scream out when you are dated looking.
5. When hemming pants, a little too long is more attractive than a little too short. When in doubt - stay long.
6. If you are short or have short legs avoid a cuff. If you have very long legs and cuffs are in style it will bring balance to your long figure.
7. Tapered pants make the feet look larger. Straight leg or slightly fuller pants shorten the feet.
8. If you have a fuller derriere like Beyonce - avoid bell bottom pants - unless you want it to look larger.
9. Be sure to look at your back side. Do you have panty lines? If so - get rid of them. If you are not into thongs (like me) go for seamless boy shorts. Spanx are a good option especially if you need to tuck in your tummy a bit more.
10. If pants aren't your thing - there are so many cute skirts available. If you need or want to stick with skirts be sure to check your legs if you're going bare. Of course skirt tips would be another 10 tips.

Katherine Hepburn said " I like to move fast, and wearing high heels was tough, and low heels with a skirt is unattractive. So pants took over".

A well fitted pair of pants showcases a woman's finest curves, makes her legs look long and elegant and hides those spider veins and saggy knees. Take your time and find the style pant that is perfect for you. Then go out and enjoy!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Chinese Etiquette Tips

Friday August 8, 2008 begins the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. If you are fortunate enough to attend I have a few Chinese etiquette tips to use while in the country.
1. Tipping is not a common practice in China however they are well aware that in the Western world tipping is a common practice. I doubt they would refuse the kind gesture.
2. I have never been one to be able to manuever chopsticks. If you are in China and want to give it a try be sure not to stab your food with them, lick them, or point them at others.
3. The Chinese do not show PDA (public displays of affection) like we do in the US. Anything beyond hand holding might embarrass the Chinese.
4. When eating at a banquet it is only poite to try a little of everything. If you don't try food that has been served to you it will embarrass the host. Give it a try - if you don't like it leave it on your plate.
5. When walking and crossing the street don't assume pedestrians have the right of way. Cross the street with a group if possible.
6. Smile. It is your best accessory and universally accepted. Chinese smile for more reasons than Americans. In China it can mean that a person is embarrassed, happy, friendly or trying to be helpful.
I have always been amazed and in awe of the discipline and dedication athletes give to their sport. I look forward to the excitement of the Olympics. Hope you can enjoy them as well and find your gold metal in the week ahead. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Update Your Cosmetics

As we begin to look in our closets and move our summer attire out and our fall attire in - we need to also look in our cosmetic bags to move old makeup out and put new updated makeup in. Have you ever considered tossing cosmetics before it is all used up? Of course not, but you might need to. Eye shadows, pressed powder, blush and pencils should be replaced after one year. This is for sanitary and seasonal reasons. Your pink colored shadows need to be replaced with warmer tones. Plums and abergines are the colors for fall.

Liquid foundations are only good for six to nine months. Remember - as your tan fades you'll need to replace your dark foundations and concealers with a shade or two lighter. Make sure you still stick with the same undertones.

Bronzers are not the best for fall. Bronzers are meant to be used during those sun-kissed months. Play up the cheekbones instead.

Lip products in a tube only last up to a year. Potted gloss lasts up to nine months. Now is the time to invest in a classic red that is good for your skin tone. The corals and taffy pinks for summer need to be replaced with mauve and lip liners that match your lip color. There are a lot of new lip exfoliating products on the market. These are grainy lip scrubs that remove dried skin and plump and smooth the lips. Don't forget to use a lip moisturizer that hydrates the lips. Dry cracked lips in the fall and winter are not only unattractive but painful.

Because of bacteria- mascara needs to be replaced every two or three months. Don't pump your mascara as that will dry it out. Try to find a mascara that add volume without being chunky.

Keep in mind that you don't have to have a lot of color on your lips, eyes and cheeks. Select one area to play up - maybe your lips - and tone down the color on your eyes and cheeks. Maybe you have knock out eyes - play those up and go lighter on your lips and cheeks. If you have beautiful high cheekbones - play those up and go more natural on the eyes and lips - maybe accentuating the lashes. Yes - less is more but make sure you apply makeup daily - it will make a huge difference in how you "face" the world. Have a fabulous day. Enjoy

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Recommended Book

This weekend I am attending a Beth Moore conference with several thousand other women. If you are not familiar with Beth - she is a beautiful blonde, spunky, hillarious, convicted, gifted Christian speaker and president of Living Proof Ministries. Between our group and the ones watching from 715 other churches (including 4 countries) she was speaking to over 70,000 women. I am so thankful that I could get tickets ( I purchased them over a year ago) and it fit in my schedule and I am able to attend. It is a chance to get out of my office and think about my purpose, the journey I'm on and who I impact along the way.

I'm asked on a regular basis what books I'm currently reading, what books I recommend, what books I don't recommend. Those who know me know I have a collection of cookbooks and fashion/image books (women love food & fashion). I also love inspirational and motivational books. When it comes down to the best self help book - this weekend has reminded me that the all time best self help book you never finish reading, understanding, and finding all the right answers at the right time is my bible. It truly has all the answers we need for our inner and outer beauty. Sometimes it takes bible studies or individuals like Beth to help us understand but I guarantee it has all the answers we need. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who has a glow from knowing she is truly loved by our Lord and she spreads that love to those she comes in contact with.

I am heading out to experience the rest of my Beth Moore conference. I wish all of you a great weekend and happy reading from the best self help book ever written - the bible! Enjoy

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fall 2008-Winter 2009 Trends

I know it is almost 100 degrees outside but I can't help but get excited about the upcoming fall fashions. Summer is my favorite season but fall and winter clothing are my favorite to wear - if you saw my closet you would agree. Here are just a few of the trends for the upcoming season:
Purple - I was in Europe this summer and purple was in every window. Purple is my favorite color so I'm very excited about that.
Cobalt Blue - also seen a lot this fall. This is a good color for a lot of skin tones
Fabrics are plaid and there are even winter floral prints.
Jewel neck blouses, sheath dress, cocktail evening dress and a great statement coat.
You will see accessories with sequin or jeweled embellishments. Colored opaque hoisery and leggings. Patent leather, stiletto pumps, shoulder, clutch and handle bags. Marvelous hats, arm bracelets and a belted waist.
Just to name a few...
When you head outside today - don't sweat it - fall is just around the corner. Now is the time to get in your closet and evaluate what needs to be taken out and what needs to be put in. Have your fall wardrobe ready for that first chilly morning. I promise it will come. Enjoy your day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Power of Color in Business & Leadership Part 3

Isn't it amazing how color can affect our mood, personalities, and business interactions? Today I'm going to write about the affects of the colors red, black and white.

Red is the most emotionally intense color. Red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. Red for women says "I'm a powerful person". Red stimulates blood pressure, creates more brain activity and raises energy. When you wear red people cannot take their eyes off of you. The perfect time to wear red is when you want people to remember what you're saying. But don't speak too long - your audience will be exhausted from your red. Red is the color of love. While red gets you noticed it will also make the wearer appear heavier. Red is said to make people hungry (please don't wear it around me). Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Do you drive a red car? Be careful - red cars are popular targets for thieves. Red symbolizes passion, strength, energy, love, sex, excitement, speed, heat, arrogance, ambition, leadership and power.

Black is the color of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black suggests sophistication, elegance, wealth, mystery, rebellion and remorse. In a corporation, black is always reserved for the CEO. It says you are good at making decisions, your own decisions and delivering news with no arguments. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can be overpowering and make the wearer seem aloof. While black is great to look slimmer, wearing black close to your face will make the lines in your face more noticeable. You could possibly add a scarf that is in "your color" to soften the black. Black suggests power, formality, style and seriousness.

White reflects light and is considered a summer color yet we are seeing it more for winter. White implies reverence, purity, peace, innocence, cleasnliness, simplicity, winter, coldness, surrender and fearfulness. White is popular in decorating and in fashion because it is light, neutral and goes with everything. It especially looks great teamed up with black.

I hope all of this "color talk" inspires you to experiment with color. Pay attention to how you feel when you wear certain colors. Notice the reaction you get from others when you wear different colors - especially the color everyone tells you is "your color".

Go out today and color your world not only by what you wear but also with a beautiful smile on your face. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Power of Color in Business & Leadership Part 2

Let's continue exploring the power of color.
Charcoal gray is a great color for business. It says you are accountable, dependable and trustworthy. It stands for elegance, wisdom, balance and respect.
Orange is a color you see used at a lot of fast food stores because organge reminds us of fun! Orange represents energy, balance, heat, fire, enthusiasm, and playfulness. Orange has less intensity or aggression than red and is calmed by the cheerfulness of yellow. Orange reminds us of the outdoors or the fashion industry. Don't wear orange in a meeting if you need to be taken seriously.
Purple is my favorite color, It is the color of royalty, it speaks luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. Purple shows up as creative, exaggerated and prideful. Purple reminds us of sensuality, spirituality, creativity, weath, royalty, mystery, wisdom, and flamboyance.
Yellow reminds us of sunlight, joy, happiness, optimism, intelligence, summer, femininity, and friendship. Yellow makes us feel happy and has been a very popular trendy color this spring and summer.
It is so interesting exploring the power of color. Tomorrow I'll finish up with the colors red, black and white. Go out today and put some color in your life and the lives of others. Enjoy!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Power of Color in Business & Leadership

Much research has been done on color and the messages it sends out. Color can affect your mood and your energy levels, it affects us physically, mentally and emotionally - it also affects how others view you.
In high school I always loved the song by Chicago "Colour My World" (okay I'm showing my age). Color inspires our emotion and gives us the desire to silently communicate our wish to look great, feel great and proud of who we are.
Today I will tell you about the colors blue, brown, green, and pink. Tomorrow I will continue with gray, orange, purple, yellow, red, black and white.
Blue is America's favorite color - especially medium blue. Men and women respond differently to colors however they both respond positively to blue. Blue is peaceful, tranquil, it causes the body to produce calming chemicals - like taking endorphins - it makes you feel good. Blue is recommended to wear to a job interview because it synbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. In many diverse cultures blue is significant in religious beliefs, believed to keep the bad spirits away.
Brown is the color that says I am reliable and dependable. Here in Louisville when we think of brown it reminds us of UPS - an economic leader in our city. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to earth - a classical element. Have you heard the saying that someone is "down to earth"? Maybe you typically see them in brown. Brown can stimulate the appetite, it implies friendliness, wholesomeness, steadfastness and dependability. Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors.
Green is the color of grass and leaves, it conveys a sense of calm and reassurance. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. When you wear green you are saying that you are nuturing, friendly, kind, peaceful and helpful. Green is believed to be the luckiest of colors in some western countries including Britan, Ireland (where it is also a national color) and the US. You will want to wear green when people are looking to you for a new invigorating idea, plan or product. Hospital employees often wear green because it relaxes patients. Dark green is conservative and implies wealth. Green is the color of spring, youth, generosity, envy, balance, harmony and stability.
Pink reminds us of springl. It is feminine and reminds us of health and love. Pink also reminds us of gratitude and admiration but is not a strong color for someone in a leadership position needing to convey strength and power.
I love color - I love to wear color and experiment with color combinations. Check back tomorrow as I continue to explore the affects of color. Go out and color your world.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What is Your Purpose?

Author Robert Byrne said "the purpose of life is a life of purpose". Have a purpose. Find a passion. Spend some quiet time and think about what gives you the most joy. What is not work to you? What would you do with your life if you were assured success? Maybe your purpose needs to include volunteering for those less fortunate. Your purpose might be to mentor others or to raise children who have faith, a work ethic and are good citizens.

We are rarely taught to serve in life - we are taught to work. Give of your time, energy and resources as an act of love - love sparks the fire of passion. Doing what you love has rewards that money cannot buy. Do what you do because you love to do it. Thinking of your work as service gives you a purpose.

Go out and purposely have a great day and weekend.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

July - National Cell Phone Courtesy Month Tips

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. Use extra caution to avoid annoying others with your cell phone usage.
1. Unlike land lines, cell phones go everywhere - when you call someone be sure to ask "is this a good time"?
2. It's okay not to answer your phone. Let it roll to voicemail. If you are in the middle of something important -such as dinner - why would you answer your phone? It makes the caller uncomfortable that they interrupted you.
3. Unless you are expecting a kidney, leave your cell phone in the car if you are going to church, the theater, seminar or a restaurant. If you are expecting an important call at a restaurant put your phone on vibrate and excuse yourself when the call comes through. Then go someplace to talk where you will not interrupt others.
4. Don't put face-to-face conversations on hold while you take a call. You risk offending clients, colleagues or your boss.
5. Get off the phone if you are next in line at the store, post office, doctors office etc. Using hand signals to give instructions to a waiter or receptionist says they are too insignificant for you to end your call.
6. Planes, trains and automobiles are not great places to hold people captive and make them listen to your calls. When people are forced to listen to you talk it is an invasion of their privacy. Use text messaging instead.
7. Talk at normal conversation levels. If the cell phone signal is bad talking louder will not help.
8. Use mute while on conference calls - especially if you have pets and children.
9. The other party would probably rather wait a few minutes to have a conversation than listen to your bathroom activity. TMI
10. Use generic ringtones. Not everyone shares your taste in music and not all ringtones are appropriate for business, the office or around children.
11. Avoid using the phone while driving or use hands free capabilities.
12. Let others know when you are on speaker phone, if not it leaves them open to unknowingly exposing sensitive business or personal information to strangers.
13. How many times have you thought someone was talking to you only to find out they were using an earpiece and talking to someone else? It's confusing and embarrassing.
Spread the word. Discuss cell phone manners with friends and family members.
Enjoy your day!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Brand" New You - Part 2

As with any brand, our personal brand ultimately exists in other people's hearts and minds. Our personal brand is our unique promise of value. It's what those around you expect from us - what we're known for - our reputation.

Know yourself to grow yourself. We must be crystal clear about the values we bring to our organizations. We must determine our strengths as we see them and as others see them. Our personal assets are ours and no one can take them away from us. We must learn to take responsibility for these assets and use them to our advantage.

Successful branding requires commitment and consistency. Being consistent is "having a stardard below which we do not fall" (Lynne Marks). Our business image needs to make us look credible, stable and friendly. It should represent our personal and professional accomplishments. What do we need to be consistent with? We need to be consistent with our values, vision, goals, and position. Do we look like our resume? Do we look like how we want to be portrayed? Is this our best? Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have. If people react positively to our appearance each time they see us - that builds a level of trust. It all says "I'm a person of value. I value myself - therefore I value you".

No doubt about it, image is important to our brand. We must take the time to know ourselves to grow ourselves, then it will be easy to be consistent on a daily basis.

What is your image saying about you this morning? Go out and enjoy your day giving everyone your best.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Brand" New You

Which famous brands do these statements represent: When you care to send the very best, Just Do It, We create magic moments in the lives of families?
If you said Hallmark, Nike and Disney you understand that branding is a global concept. A brand is a companies most valuable asset. Personal branding is the most effective way to communicate what makes you different, special and valuable to employers and customers then use those qualities to guide your career. Unless you identify your unique quality you do not have a competitive edge in the marketplace. We need to know who we are and why we are different otherwise we will just sound like everybody else.

Over the next 2 days I'll give you some tools to begin to build your personal brand. I'll explain why image is important to your brand. You will learn what it means to know yourself to grow yourself. Then I'll explain how to be consistent with your personal brand.

If you refer back to my first blog it touches on why image is important. What does your image say about you? Does your image project a high quality brand? Is your outward appearance a reflection of your qualities, character, integrity and talents? The moment we see someone we make judgements about them based purely on the way they look. We make evaluations about their character, temperament and professional skills. We do this within a matter of seconds. Since our initial split-second contact with people is eye-to-body, doesn't it make sense to choose carefully the way we dress purely to commumicate what we want to have thought about us. When we first meet someone they don't see our beautiful home, framed degrees, certificates amd accomplishments. Your appearance is your most visible and portable possession.

As you walk out the door this morning take one more look in the mirror - what are you projecting and is it your best?

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, July 21, 2008

Part 2 - Turning Your Closet Into a Boutique

If you've completed the first 5 steps I know you are already feeling better. Remember, to keep clutter and chaos out of your life you have to first conquer it in your closet.
6. Remove clothing that is out of style, stained, or discolored.
7. Have you worn it in the last year? If not - remove it.
8. Remove socks without mates, hoisery with runs, shoes that hurt your feet, anything torn, stained or loose elastic. Remove anything of low quality and anything that pinches, rides up or binds.
9. For clothing that is not worn but brings back fond memories, place those pieces in a "sentimental box" and store them under your bed.
10. Remove and discard all wire hangars.
11. Remove items out of your closet that is not clothing, shoes or accessories such as fabric rolls, Christmas decorations, presents, wrapping supplies etc.
Keep your closet a shrine to your clothing that is a daily expression of who you are. Enjoy!


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Turn Your Closet Into Your Boutique

Do you walk into your closet each day with a smile on your face and think "what will I wear"! Or do you walk into your closet with a frown and think "what will I wear"? Today and tomorrow I will give you tips on how to organize your closet so you'll feel better each day you open the door to dress. As Evana Maggiore states in her book Fashion Feng Shui "the physical state of your closet has a corresponding effect on your life. The health of your closet determined by the quality of its contents, your attitudes toward those contents and your interactions with them - is reflected in your own well being". Here are a few ways to conquer your closet chaos.

1. Clothing can carry emotional baggage. Remove clothing that brings back unsettling memories.
2. The sight of clothing can remind us of money we have wasted. Remove clothing that still has price tags attached.
3. We have all missed goals on the weight-loss/weight-gain resolutions. Remove all clothing that does not currently fit your body.
4. Don't worry about upsetting that relative who gave you an unwanted or useless gift - get rid of it.
5. Remove any clothing that needs repair and repair it or dispose of it.

Check back tomorrow for the remaining tips for turning your closet into your Boutique


Saturday, July 19, 2008

"I'm Melting - I'm Melting"

Do you find yourself on these hot summer afternoons quoating the wicked witch of the west from the Wizard of Oz - "I'm melting, I'm melting"!

When temperatures begin to soar it is time to pull out the summer survival makeup tips:
1. Cut back on beauty products. In my VIP Private Collection Cosmetics I suggest to customers the Mineral Sheer Tint foundation with an SPF 20. This foundation is good for all skin types, it moisurizes and protects leaving the skin appearing flawless and radiant - not shiney and tacky. No moisturizer is needed therefore you will not look as if you have a layer of saran wrap over your face in the heat of the afternoon.
2. For those who tend to have more oil in the skin I recommend blotting paper or Invisible Blotting Powder found in the VIP Private Collection. These products can remove the unwanted shine produced from excessive oil and heat keeping you looking cool and refreshed.
3. If you prespire easily I suggest garmet gards. These are pads that can be worn under your arms to keep your clothing free from perspiration and the dreaded wet ring.
4. Camisoles now come with a self bra. This is perfect if you are required to wear a jacket in the office. Office buildings feel like refrigerators after coming in from outside - likewise when you exit the office building. Having one less garmet of clothing on your body will make you feel cooler and refreshed - at least until you can get home and put on your shorts.
5. If your office dress code requires formal business attire that includes pantyhose - you can now purchase toe-less pantyhose. Keeping your piggly wigglies free gives you a feeling of cool freedom. If your dress code allows for open toe shoes but the veins on your legs look like a road map to grandma's - these pantyhose will do the trick to keep flaws hidden and freedom given to your toes. NOTE - if you are showing your toes - a professional pedicure is a must.
6. If your office dress code permits bare legs in the summer months, tanned legs will look the best in the bright sunshine. I suggest getting your legs air brushed professionally or finding a quality product that you can apply without having streaks on your legs or orange palms on your hands.

These are just a few ways to keep from "melting" in the summer heat. If you have any tricks that work for you please email me at I'll be sure to pass those tips on.

Stay in touch and stay cool

Friday, July 18, 2008

Welcome to my blog!

Hi, this is Chris, owner of the VIP Studio - Visual Impact & Presence. The moment we see someone we make judgements about them based purely on the way they look. We evaluate them on a scale of attractiveness, whether we think they're friendly, equal to us socially and intellectually - basically if they're worthy of our time. Since we make these judgements based on how we look, isn't it important to select the proper clothing and accessories for your body type, coloring, and personality? Looking to land a promotion, just getting back in the work force, do you have an important speech to deliver, want to improve your poise, posture & presence? Check daily for tips on how to improve your visual, verbal and non-verbal communication. Welcome to my blog - enjoy transforming yourself on a daily basis. Enjoy!