Archive | July 2013

Instant Style Update

Two Simple Ways to Update Any of Your Clothes Instantly

I was reminded recently when doing a Personal Style Session on a client’s wardrobe of how to help her update her wardrobe instantly. This is what I advised her with a few extra options.

Modern Shoes - from Big W catalogue, 27 july 2013Tip ONE –
The most obvious instant update is to buy and wear a pair of skin-tone shoes. These have been around a few years and are now a modern classic. Fashion magazine and catalogue Stylists are using them everywhere from the chain store, Big W to Weight Watchers’ magazine where they style women who have lost weight.

You have three options for skin-tone shoes. Dip your toes in the water like the Big W catalogue on the left and wear a shoe that combines skin-tone with black. Go more modern and wear skin-tone, peep-toed, platform-sole shoes or skin-toned wear solid court shoes. The third option is to be bolder and wear skin-tone ankle boots – platform-sole high heels (from ‘Weight Watchers Aug 2013 magazine below), my lower-heeled Diane Ferrari (below) or cut out or strappy styles. If you worry about your legs, wear stockings like I do.

Modern Shoes - from Weight Watchers, Aug 2013 magazineMy Diane Ferari Nude ShoesSkin-tone shoes instantly and stylishly modernise all of your clothes and they go with every colour, even black.

A different option is to choose black or coloured platform-sole shoes, ankle boots or interesting cut-out designs.


Savannah Necklace from SistacoTip TWO –
Add a necklace. Make it a bit interesting like this Sistaco Savannah Necklace so that it define your personality.

In conclusion – Shoes update instantly. Accessories add the final polish.

PS  Before you buy, you can test Tip ONE out. Go to any cheap chain store and pick up some skin-tone shoes in as many styles as possible. Try them out in the privacy of a change room cubicle. Then you can buy them or look for a better quality option elsewhere.

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


Goodbye, Old Twinset. Hello, the Modern Version

 My inspiration for writing fashion articles for Baby Boomer women come from all sorts of places.

One of my inspirational sources is ‘Australian Stitches’ magazine. In the June 2013 issue (Vol21 No 9), Eddi Franz quoted Lucinda Chambers, the Fashion Director of British Vogue magazine – ‘fashion leads you to think differently about clothes’. Eddie added the point that fashion ideas get you thinking which leads you to something more interesting. Eddi’s article about proportion being the modern difference influenced me to expand and apply variations of this principle to the evolution of the classic twinset.

The twinset is a style that has been around for over 60 years. The style is still popular as they keep it in the pattern books. I have written about how to modernise the classic style with a narrow belt worn over the top of it. (Click here to refresh your memory.) The modern twinset version has expanded to include both stiff and relaxed jackets.

Today’s article is about three proportion and style adaptions for saying ‘hello’ to the modern twinset. You can choose a favourite or play with all of them. Simple variations are ways to keep you happy, smiling and content with your wardrobe.

Read on for my three fashion tips to keep you, a Baby Boomer woman, agelessly stylish and ahead of your contemporaries.

Basic Premise

All three variations are worn over straight bottoms ie jeans, tapered pants or straight, slim or trumpet skirts. These styles slim your bottom half and keep the attention above your waist.

Even Cutaway Over Even Over Straight (ECOES)

When you still want to wear or have a jacket and top that are the same length, modernise it by wearing an unbuttoned jacket that has a curved or straight cutaway shape. This is slimming because it breaks up the solid colour across your body.

Diana Frrari Evelyn Drape JacketNatalie Barr as seen in 'Prevention' Magazine June 2013The picture on the right is of Natalie Barr in ‘Prevention’ magazine, June 2013. In this version, her top and jacket are a light and dark variation of the same colour. This is a good idea to follow. Her jacket is angular as it has a straight draped collar and angles away to her side seam. Her cami allows plenty of space for a necklace and lightens her face. If it is very cold, wear a high neck top with a scarf or necklace lower down your neckline to create the same effect.

The picture on the left is from the 2013 Spring Collection of Diana Ferrari and shows the same type of jacket in white, 3/4 sleeves. Looks great over a bright V neck top. You can pass on the printed pants if you like.

Grey jacket over grey Sparkle Tshirt- from ChicosWearing an equal-length straight or curved cutaway in monochromatic variations works well especially if the textures are different. On the left is a Chicos look of a curved wool-type texture jacket over a patterned sparkly top, both in the same colour.

Long over Short Over Straight (LOSS)

This is the most common and a fairly modern variation. The creation of waterfall type jackets whether of stiffer, formal, classic materials or the softer, fluid casual materials have appealed to most women.

The straighter the hem, the more classic and formal it looks. This has been adapted to suit-type jackets where the underneath top is worn over the waist and its hem is lower than the jacket.

Simplicity2148 - Pink Modern TwinsetLong jacket over shorter Tshirt - from ChicosThe more business casual or casual look is demonstrated by this Chicos model on the left who is wearing beige pants, a cream top and a long, aqua pointed jacket. Long over short over straight looks best when your top and bottom skirt or pants are either the same colour (classic) or very close in colour (modern classic) and the jacket is a different colour.

Your top and jacket can be the same colour as in the pattern illustration on the right. This is best when the jacket is a modern style.

Short over Long Over Straight (SOLS)

Jacqui E Purple Hook and eye JacketThis is what Eddi wrote about and which inspired this more expansive article. Short over long over straight is ‘stylishly current’ as Eddi wrote. It is a look that Baby Boomer women tend to shy away from as they feel their lower body shape has relaxed and they grieve their lost slim shape. Not so! You can still wear it because it shows your confidence in wearing what’s current your way.

The simplest way is just a bit shorter over long. This means you only show a little of the underneath top. It’s a good business look as in the Jacqui E black skirt & top & grape shorter jacket on the left.


Sussan Short Silver JacketRhonda B in short Aqua JacketThe more business casual look is shown in the Sussan grey jacket over a white top on the left. The jacket is formal at the front and has a peplum hem at the back (different and modern). I showed this short over long look in my previous short Chanel Jacket article. A casual short over long of printed jeans, white shirt and short denim jacket from Sussan as well as more jacket styles are shown on Sussan website.

I recently styled this look on the right for a client, Rhonda, from her wardrobe. I showed her how to tone it up with her blue shoes or tone it down with black shoes and a scarf.

Last Words

Embrace the modern twinset style look. Remember and play with ECEOS, LOSS and the stylishly current SOLS.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming personal style articles for Baby Boomer Women who want to be agelessly stylish and modern. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly tips every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

Go to the Products Page on this Blog for online styling products for the modern Baby Boomer.

Add Metal to Your LBD

B5179 - LBD with Bronze accessoriesThe Little Black Dress (LBD) or the Little Black Outfit (LBO) can be dressed up in many ways.

Here’s one style idea you may not have considered or experimented with before.

The LBD or LBO (Black Pants/Skirt + Black Top) looks very classical when teamed with gold or silver accessories. They can go from feminine to dramatic when coloured accessories are added.

Not many women wear metallic accessories (ie bronze or pewter) with an all-black outfit. The model on the right, in a Butterick 5719 dress pattern, demonstrates this well.

When wearing the dress/skirt option, substitute sheer stockings for black stockings or tights. You want your shoes to shine. (Stop panicking about your legs!) The model is wearing a multi-strand bronze & glass necklace. The necklace needs to stand out not blend into the black fabric. Her wrist cuff bracelet is simple and doesn’t overpower her necklace. Her earrings are a simple, classic gold style to break up the bronze look (3 bronze items are enough). You could go bronze necklace, earrings and shoes with a simple, classic gold watch or narrow gold bracelet.

The shoes are the essential item that makes the LBD or LBO look agelessly stylish and modern.

Follow the same principles if you prefer or have pewter-coloured accessories.

Metallic bronze and pewter also stylishly compliment purple, grape, red and dark olive.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming personal style articles for Baby Boomer Women who want to be agelessly stylish and modern. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine and get your weekly tips every Thursday.)

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS BLOG – Check out the ‘Style Products’ Page for web-based products to keep you agelessly stylish & modern.

Seven Steps to a Polished Professional Image

When I first trained as an Image Consultant in 2001, the business world was more formal. Dark, stiff suits were the order of the day for men and women. Times have changed. The dark suit is still required and worn in traditional corporate settings. Elsewhere dress standards have relaxed.

Still those who do business with you expect you to look and act professionally. A polished professional image gives the impression that you know what you are doing and will treat your customer efficiently and respectfully.

Today’s main article points come from ‘The Polished Professional’ eBook. The seven steps are about your dress as, from what others see of you, your dress determines 55% of the judgment they make of you.

Use these tips to help you, a Baby Boomer woman, learn and practise the skill of a polished professional image.

Baby Boomer Business WomanFirst Impressions

Next time you meet someone for the first time, take a mental note of how you feel about that person. Then analyse how much of that impression you formed was through their dress, their behaviour, their grooming, their gestures etc. practise analysing  at least one person every few days and you’ll soon discover that in image management all factors work together to create a polished professional image.

Select Five People You Know That Dress Well

Think about their appearance and how they are usually dressed. Look at how they dress, groom and accessorise themselves to enhance their professional image. Write down what you have noticed and see how you can apply thee to the way you present yourself.

Become Introspective

Think about what you have learned and how you dress, act and groom yourself. What things can you think of that would enhance your image? Find someone you trust and ask them what areas of your image they think needs changing or improving. Accept whatever they say with grace. Remember! You asked for their opinion.

Styled Red Dress - from birdsnest websiteStudy Your Clothes

Every day take something different that you wear and study it in detail. This could be a suit, shoes, lipstick or accessory. Improve on it. Change it. Combine it with something else for a new look. Buy an appropriate but different look next time you shop. Find out what works and what doesn’t and work out why.

See an Image Consultant

This is by far the best and most cost effective way to perfect your image. It will cost you less in money, time and stress than the process of trial and error. (Whether it is myself or someone else, it is the ‘Aha’ moments that move you faster towards your goals.)


Read books, newspapers, magazines and Blogs. Watch videos or YouTube. Listen to takes. Study the media. All of these are excellent ways to upgrade your knowledge when it comes to professional dressing and staying current.

Dare to Ask

‘How do I look?’ This is the simplest way to get feedback. Don’t be shy. Ask those you trust and admire. People in most cases will be honest with you. However, don’t make a nuisance of yourself by asking the same question day-in and day-out. (MY TIP – Ask in private, one-on-one. Do not ask when you are in a group situation. Most people are too polite in a group to give you the answers you need to improve your professional image.)

The Polishe Professional eBook - womenLast Words

The ‘Polished Professional eBook for Women’ is a TAIC product. As I am one of their trained Image Consultants you can purchase the eBook through my website for $25.00 by clicking here.

The Polished Professional eBook - MenThere is also a ‘Polished Professional Men’s eBook’ available for $25.00 by clicking here.




(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.)

How to Wear Tone on Tone Colour

It is very easy when wearing all one colour to look matchy-matchy, boring and dowdy.

I use the phrase ‘tone on tone’ to refer to an outfit exactly in the same shade of a single colour. It may be a dress and jacket, pants top and jacket or top and jacket in the same colour shade. For Baby Boomer women matching dresses and jackets are rarely worn now and matching tops and jackets remind us of the out-dated and aging twinsets of our youth.

To Modernise These Clothing Combinations remember and apply these very simple words – ‘contrast and opposites’.

Tone On Tone Outfit - from Oprah magazine, Nov 2012You do this by making one of the pieces an obviously different texture and then adding a statement necklace. The royal blue outfit on the left from Oprah magazine, Nov 2012 demonstrates this perfectly. The model is wearing a smooth-textured wool jacket over a diagonal, uneven-pleated top which creates a raised opposite texture. The contrast is provided by the gold necklace with clear crystal drops in white and blue. The glimpse of tone on tone colour texture underneath the jacket creates a quiet elegant look.


Monochromatic Plum - Simplicity 2148Contrasts and opposites always have two options. The other one is to team a flat surface bottom layer with a same shade of colour, textured jacket. The Simplicity pattern 2148 on the right has a velvet jacket over matt pants and top. Other alternative textures are lace, sheer, blingy or a hand-made wool look. Even with a casual outfit, a contrasting necklace would lift this look from interesting to stylish.

The principle of ‘contrast and opposites’ is a basic principle of stylish dressing. So try both or stick to the option you prefer.


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