Archive | February 2013

The Mood of Accessories

[This article is based on a page of the same name in the book ‘Accessory Magic’ by Ann Reinten, founder of TAIC, The Australian Image Co. I have permission to use the article and I am a certified Image Consultant registered with TAIC.]

It is the job of actors to make you believe they are someone that they are not in their normal life. The actors give life to the writer’s words and add the gestures and actions. The costume designer adds the wigs and clothes that help to create the illusion. Then there are makeup artists, set designers etc. Together all aim to create a world of believable characters.

Some characters convince us and some do not. When characters are seen in different outfits, consistency of image is important for them to be believable people. So it is for you too.

For many of us dressing is an unconscious habit. When clothes are put on in this haphazard way, we can give others an unintended or confused message. Your clothes and your accessories reflect who you are and who you would like to be perceived as.

Let me share with you some of the different looks you can achieve with colour and accessories from Ann’s book with the addition of my own insights and examples.

Quiet & Sure Accessory Moods

Delicate Feminine Cue DressQuiet coloured accessories help create a perception of either delicate, gentle femininity or elegant sophistication.

The women who wear these are usually inclined towards the Introvert end of the scale. They enter a room with a quiet air of knowing who they are as well as being quite comfortable with the image they project.

Vogue 1208 Elegant-Sensual Trumpet DressIf delicate and feminine is your style or you want to project that image, wear clothes that are light in colour and add light-coloured accessories. Some light colours are pale blue, lilac, soft apricot, mint, soft turquoise, pale pink, white and cream. Like the illustration from the Westfield 2012 Spring-Summer catalogue on the left, wear a soft turquoise feminine Cue dress with a lilac flower, soft-coloured handbag and silver accessories or this delicate gold watch.

If you want to look sophisticated and elegant, wear clothes and accessories in closely related colours that are medium to deep like this Vogue 1208 rich red dress with a slightly darker shade of red in the shoes and handbag. Other colour examples are plums, raspberry, medium to deep turquoise and rich brown. Elegant accessories are simple in style and rich in colour or metals.

Medium & Confident Accessory Moods

These lift the mood to the next level and the accessories appeal to both Introverts and Extroverts while also looking inspiring and powerful. This level means that you are not afraid to make a confident impression that others notice.

Bhalo DressGrey Herringbone Suit &Purple AccessoriesTo look enthusiastic, fun, inspiring and exciting, wear medium strength warm-coloured clothes with bright contrasting-coloured accessories. Warm colours are red, orange, yellow, brown, olive and red-purple. This mid-brown patterned Bhalo dress on the right worn with bright green earrings and bright green handbag is an example of this fun and enthusiastic look.

To look powerful, confident, wealthy and attract attention wear medium-coloured clothes and accessorise with light and dark colours. This mid-grey pinstripe suit with a light and dark purple scarf and deep fuchsia shoes fits the powerful and confident look without going over the top.

Dramatic & Powerful Accessory Moods

Dramatic Herringbone Shirt & Red AccessoriesThis is a look for Extroverts or to bring out the Extrovert in you. Your aim is to be noticed and most definitely stand out from the crowd. You will use the power of contrast to highlight your self-confidence and sense of drama.

To be noticed and look inspiring, stimulating and confident wear light-coloured clothes with accessories that have light and dark contrast in them. A good example is this Herringbone white shirt on the right worn with a deep red and white scarf or cravat and deep red velvet bag. It is very ‘look at me’.

Black Dress with Pale Pink NecklaceTo look powerful, dignified and dramatic go the opposite way. Wear dark-toned clothes with light-coloured, dramatic accessories. This is when you wear a black dress and add a large dramatic pink necklace (as on the left) or large cream pearls. It is ‘look at me’ with a touch of restraint.

Last Words

Accessories can create all sorts of moods. It is up to you to recognise what your current accessories silently say to others. Make sure that you wear those that give the impression you want them to have not a misunderstood impression of you.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Entrepreneurial Women. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday.)


The Five Images of Success

[This article is taken from Page 2 of ‘’The Polished Professional’ by Ann Reinten, founder of TAIC, The Australian Image Co. I am a certified Image Consultant registered with TAIC and have permission to reproduce the article. I have only changed a few words to make it flow more easily]

Total Image Diagram from 'The Polished ProfessionallContrary to what some may believe, image is not all about the way you dress.

Your clothes, though important, are not the most important factor in gaining success. Ultimate success depends on your mastery of the five areas of total image. Mastering one without the others would be like trying to drive a car with missing wheels.

Your Hidden Image

This is the invisible you that no one else can see. It is comprised of your values, motivations, beliefs, ethics, ability and attitude. Your inner or hidden image created your past and it will dictate your future. Your hidden image is the foundation that your life is built on. This foundation governs everything you do and determines your ultimate level of success. Anyone can be groomed to walk into a room and make a smashing impression but it is the substance and motivation behind the performance that will ultimately sustain the impression. Problems associated with your hidden image can sabotage your efforts to improve in the other four image areas.

Your Assumed/Believed Image

Professional MaleThis is your reputation – real or stereotyped. In many cases it precedes you. It will smooth your way or impede your path with preconceived ideas and prejudices. Your reputation must be carefully created, maintained and guarded. You must know what others say and think of you.



Your Seen Image

Suited Professional Business WomanAs the saying goes ‘seeing is believing’. Therefore, this level is most powerful when meeting someone for the first time. Research has shown that visual presentation accounts for more than half of the impression we make on others. When you dress and act in the manner expected of a successful, motivated and trustworthy person, others will assume that you possess all the other talents and characteristic traits that accompany that image.


Your Experienced Image

Experienced image is closely allied with visual image and comprises your behaviour, your people skills and your communication skills. Being able to quickly gain rapport with people both through effective verbal and non-verbal communication and courteous behaviour will produce lasting relationships that will run more smoothly. You will get results quicker.

Your Proven Image

This area governs your ultimate level of success. It is the combination of, and the results from, your talents, your successes and your failures as proven over time. Included within this level are the four levels above as well as your performance, your decision-making record and your professional experience.

‘Watch your thoughts, they become words.

Watch your words, they become actions.

Watch your actions, they become habits.

Watch your habits, they become character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.’

by Frank Outlaw

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How to Look Slimmer Instantly

You open the email that reads – ‘Photos from XYZ Networking Event now posted’. Then you click on the link and go ‘I look fat and awful. I really have to lose weight.’

Yes, you can start that healthy eating and exercise plan today. Or maybe not.

While looking after your health and weight is an ongoing investment that m prevent or minimise future health challenges, all of us want to look our best in public.

Here are my three tips to help entrepreneurial Baby Boomer women look slimmer instantly. Actually, women of any age can use these tips. Some cost time. Some cost money. All ask you to love and care for yourself.


Good PosturePosture is the simplest and most effective way to look slimmer instantly. It requires no money but it does demand conscious thought and practice.

Posture was once an essential part of every young girl’s experience but it has gone out of fashion. It is easy to forget our posture. Those embarrassing-to-us photos from that networking event or any formal or casual photo are often more about our bad posture habits than anything else.

Go back to basics. Think more consciously of standing up straight, pulled up from the top of your head. Tummy in, lift your bust, square your shoulders, smile and breathe. Perception is important and good posture can take weight off instantly. Slouching can add kilos.

Here’s a simple exercise to practise. Stand against a wall with your bottom, shoulder blades and the back of your head touching it. Wriggle until you feel straight and comfortable. Now walk as many steps as you can in that position. Practise it as often as needed.



ShapewearWhile I believe good posture is essential, shapewear is voluntary. Shapewear has evolved from the old-fashioned girdle to products that instantly slim almost every part of your body. 99% of us will never have our photos published in the women’s magazines and be criticised for being too fat. So the prospect of wearing two pairs of shapewear (as some actresses do) to fit into our clothes for public, world-wide photos is not a concern.

It is your choice whether you wear shapewear regularly, on special occasions or not at all. They do work, especially when you buy shapewear that comes up to just under your bust as in the picture on the left. This slims your midriff area and that is what people will notice first. Then they openly comment on your perceived weight loss.

Other alternatives are clothes with shapewear built into them or materials that have a little bit of stretch in them. Both options instantly slim you.


Cull Your Wardrobe

How to look Slimmer instantlyYes, I know we all have clothes in our wardrobe for those slouchy, comfortable days. The problem comes when the majority of your wardrobe consists of comfortable, loose and baggy clothes.

Spend some time at least twice a year, preferably four times a year and ideally each time you buy something new, to cull your current wardrobe. Have a dress-up day in front of a mirror. Be ruthless and get rid of anything that makes you look bigger. If it makes you look and feel heavier, your posture will slouch and your self-confidence will sag.

Find your ideal hem lengths. Adjust everything to those lengths. The ideal length for you will make your legs look slimmer and by association, make all of you look slimmer. People also see you sitting, moving and standing still. Check your clothes from all these viewpoints. Some clothes look okay standing up but make you look heavier when you sit down.

Then look for some new modern styles like this Butterick 6231 pattern top – a princess line with a modern asymmetrical hem.

TIME = YES; COST = YES (to replace some clothes)

Bonus Tip

A new haircut can also make you look slimmer instantly. It can lengthen or balance your face shape; both of which others notice. The natural connection is for the mind to put the result down to you having become slimmer.

Last Words

No matter what your current age and weight is each of these tips, practised regularly, will cause others to perceive you as slimmer than you are.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Entrepreneurial Women. Click here to sign up for The ‘Stylish Baby Boomers’ eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday.)

21 Fashion Quotes

Today’s Blog Article is a little different. These are fashion quotes in no particular order. Some will make you smile, some will make you go ‘ouch’ and some will have you nodding your head in agreement.

Enjoy them.

Chocolate Strawberry Mousse1.  If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would be devastated.  ~Author Unknown

2.  Just around the corner in every woman’s mind – is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit, or entire costume which will make an enchanting new creature of her.  ~Wilhela Cushman

3.  Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

4.  You have to have the kind of body that doesn’t need a girdle (or Shapewear) in order to get to pose in one.  ~Carolyn Kenmore

5.  On the subject of dress almost no one, for one or another reason, feels truly indifferent:  if their own clothes do not concern them, somebody else’s do.  ~Elizabeth Bowen

6.  Confidence, darling, is elegance.  ~ Desiree Mejer, designer

7.  Clothes can suggest, persuade, connote, insinuate, or indeed lie, and apply subtle pressure while their wearer is speaking frankly and straightforwardly of other matters.  ~Anne Hollander

8.  To be a fashionable woman is to know yourself, know what you represent, and know what works for you.  To be ‘in fashion’ could be a disaster on 90 per cent of women.  You are not a page out of Vogue.  ~Author Unknown

9.  If men liked shopping, they’d call it research. ~Cynthia Nelms

10. Women dress alike all over the world: they dress to be annoying to other women.  ~Elsa Schiaparelli

11. Colour is like food for the spirit – plus it’s not addictive or fattening.  ~Isaac Mizrahi, Designer

12. I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant.  They have expression, modesty, sex appeal and simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.  ~Yves Saint Laurent

13. Clothes are never a frivolity:  they always mean something.  ~James Laver

14. The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.  ~Marcelene Cox

Uncomfortable Nail Heels15. If the feet are uncomfortable, the mind is uncomfortable.  ~ Donald J Pliner, shoe designer

16. Sure God created man before woman. But then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece.  ~Author Unknown

17. You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen.  But if you are beautiful at sixty, it will be your soul’s own doing.  ~Marie Stopes

18. What you wear is a little story about your life.  ~ Victoria Gallegos, Prada Supersaleswoman

19. You’ve got to know the shape of your body and accentuate what God gave you.  ~ Lela Rochan, actress

20. Darling, the legs aren’t so beautiful. I just know what to do with them.  ~ Marlene Dietrich, actress

21. I keep trying to lose weight… but it keeps finding me!  ~Author Unknown

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Entrepreneurial Women. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday.)

15 Best Summer Outfits for Work – Review

15-best-summer-outfits-work--large-msg-134263416825While surfing and researching Pinterest on the Internet I clicked on a link to ’15 best summer outfits for work’ by Lauren Berger.

Most were not suitable for my baby boomer readers but this one (N0 11 of 14) caught my eye. Do not know what happened to No 15. It is a colour combination and style you can adopt and adapt. It is a light, dark and bright colour combination.

Her mid-brown skirt could be replaced with any other plain neutral such as black, grey or a darker shade of brown.  You can substitute pants if you like. A medium or dark colour worn with a light top, jumper or shirt like this white one, draws your attention upward and away from any fault you have or think you have below your waist. The white shirt could be replaced with a cream top or shirt. This colour combination is very effective and stylish because you do not see it often. Most women think that only black and white go together successfully. You could wear your shirt tucked in or left out.

The medium-coloured turquoise accessories add the bright element and look fabulous against both the white and the brown. Remember that three is the maximum times you repeat a colour. Her belt is plain and blends with her skirt so that the necklace becomes your focal point. You could substitute aqua accessories for the turquoise as both are a great contrasts to brown. Not a fan of bangles – then wear turquoise earrings. The model is wearing a turquoise chunky ring. I would take that off. Less is more as too much colour disperses your attention.

As the necklace is elaborate, she is rightly holding a simple handbag.

Now go play with your wardrobe and see how you can adopt or adapt this style.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Entrepreneurial Women. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday.)

The In Colour for 2013

Ever wondered who decides what colours are ‘In’ each season?

Sometimes the colours are universal colours that can be worn by every woman. Sometimes they only suit those with that Season’s colouring so that once a year you can buy clothes in your favourite colours. Occasionally the ‘In’ colour is one that most women hate or cannot wear. Despite the best efforts of fashion writers and retailers, those colours don’t sell even at heavily discounted prices.

So who makes these decisions?

The answer is Pantone. They are a Global Colour Authority and have been doing this for 50 years.

About Pantone

Each year Pantone surveys fashion runways to check what colours are popular with designers. From these answers they create a report based on both the colours used and the themes that inspired the designers. Pantone then makes this information available for those involved in fashion, fabrics design, home designs, paint colours, product designs and new colours for digital application.

From Pantone or their licensees, you can buy a Swatch of a single colour for US$10, a Palette Swatch of the 10 new season colours for both men and women for US$99.50 each or a Trends Forecast Report with very detailed information for US$750. Pantone also sells products in the ‘Colour of the Year’ and the coming season’s colours. You can even download the ‘Colour of the Year’ wallpaper for computers and iPhones. For curiosity’s sake, I did it and it’s not very inspiring.

Pantone SkinTone Guides As well as these products they also produce the ‘Pantone Skin Tone Guide’ for beauty, fashion, photography, toy makers and as a baseline for medical use in restorative and plastic surgery and the manufacture of prosthetics.

The Colours of 2013

Colour of the Year 2013 -EmeraldEach year Pantone names the ‘Colour of the Year’. For 2013 it is Emerald. On their website they describe it as ‘Lively. Radiant. Lush…a colour of elegance and beauty that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony’. Now is your chance to convince someone close that they should buy you emerald jewellery because it is the ‘In Colour’. It might work or you can always buy it yourself, justifying your purchase with the same reasoning.

Last year’s colour (if you missed it) was Tangerine Tango – a rich, bright orange. The colour guides are formulated for the northern hemisphere. Their current colours are for Spring 2013. These will be in Australia from September on. The colours are described as ‘dynamic brights with novel neutrals to create a harmonious balance’. (In the world of Colour, creative writing is a must.) The colours that we may see soon in our shops are the Fall 2012 colours.

Creative Colour Names

Occasionally I dream of having the job of ‘Colour Namer’. I could have fun with it. Come to think of it, the current person or people are already doing just that.

Here are some interesting Pantone colour names that may appear this Autumn in Australia. French Roast – Is that roast beef, roast chicken or roast pork? It’s a dark brown so it must be well-done roast beef. Rose Smoke – not sure what sort of fire that comes from. It is a pale pink. Of course in Fall 2012, there was Olympian Blue. You could put ‘Olympian’ in front of any colour. It is a bright blue. Men have the colours ‘Sea Fog’ and ‘Whitecap Grey’.  Now Sea Fog I can relate to. It is a mid-grey and I have a photo of that exact colour taken in the Inside Passage off western Canada. Whitecap Grey is a very light, almost white colour.

Spring 2013 Women's ColoursFor Spring 2013 the women’s colours are in the illustration on the left. Second from the top on the right is Tender Shoot. I always pictured tender shoots as light green. I am wrong as it is apparently an olive green. For men, their white/grey colour has now become Tidal Foam. It is definitely much cleaner than the sea foam from our Queensland ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald.

Last Words

Now you know who decides our fashion colours. Of course designers can use them or go their own way just as you can.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Entrepreneurial Women. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday.)