Be the First to Own This Unique Tote

 

Clearly a "K".
Let’s hear it for  “K”.

If you are looking for a fun, statement piece for spring, take a look at these Alphabet all-purpose totes. The versatile totes are a durable coated canvas construction, large enough to carry your laptop or serve as a beach bag. Each one comes with a matching zippered clutch. As you might imagine, it is a collection of 26 limited edition designs.

Crative "R".
Crative “R”.

London based designer, Mary Katrantzou, has been inspired by the works of favorite artists while other designs are just the result of her fertile imagination. The designs have also been expanded to T-shirts and sweaters .

Does this have a letter?
Does this have a letter?

Matches Fashion (www.matchesfashion.com) has just received these new totes for sale on their online site.

Matches jumped on the designer’s marketing idea. An approach that equals the creative design of the totes: they are planning a number of dinners in various cities whose guest list is chosen just by the guest’s last name. You guessed it. Guests will number 26!

Clearly a Z for Zebra.
Clearly a Z for Zebra.

I wonder if the guests will get their letter of the alphabet as a door prize? These totes are pricy but that would really make a statement!

Your appearance is more important than your résumé in an interview!

Three great looks.
Three great looks.

Before the last graduation congratulations have faded from the airwaves, finding a job becomes a reality! Where to start? How to be selected?   If these questions are spinning in your mind, here are 5 keys to making a great first impression.

You only have about seven seconds to make a first impression. Of course the interviewer has your résumé but you have to look the part. Every year business journals feature companies recounting horror stories of job applicants coming to an interview in flip-flops, torn jeans, or T-shirts. You want to stand out from your competition starting with the moment your interviewer greets you.

Great fitting suit with blue shirt.
Great fitting suit with blue shirt.
  1. Posture is the first thing an employer notices. One who carries his/her shoulders squared and has a confident walk convey alertness and competence. It goes without saying that grooming must be impeccable; nails trimmed, hair well groomed and facial hair only if you are sure that the culture of the company finds this acceptable.   Long hair pulled back for ladies appears more professional and allows your face to be the focus.
  2. A touch of color.
    A touch of color.

    A jacket is a wise addition to most interviewing attire. Knowing the culture of the company is your best guide. My son works in a software development company where the mode of dress is khakis and polo shirts. However, he saw one of his very competent former colleagues be rejected because he failed to wear a dress shirt and tie to the interview. It is always better to dress the next level above the job you are applying for than to under dress.   A dress shirt with crisp, pointed collar frames the face and communicates, “I’m ready.”   The diagonal lines of the collar signify action. A jacket adds the finishing touch to complete your look.

    Professional woman's look.
    Professional woman’s look.
  3. Suits are a must in more conservative work environment: traditionally, the legal field, finance or banking, and accounting. Choose the suit with the best fit and don’t hesitate to have alterations done if needed. A suit that is too tight indicates stinginess or trying to appear sexy if you are a lady, while a too large fit looks sloppy. Both are images that will turn off a prospective employer.
  4. Charcoal, navy or gray are the best suit colors. A blue shirt or blouse is an excellent choice. It is not only flattering to most skin tones, but blue is the most universally liked color and conveys honesty.   A button down shirt is considered more casual so reserve these for a sport jacket. Ladies can choose a crisp blouse or shell in a flattering color. Jewelry and fragrance should be understated and minimal. Ties can be in red, shades of blue or grays and could be solid, striped or a subtle pattern.
  5. Polished leather shoes and matching belt complete the image. I prefer brown shoes for men, even with gray suits. Although slip-ons work for slacks and sport jacket, laced business shoes present a more professional look with a suit. A classic pump is a good choice for ladies. It could be a sling back but definitely not sandals. Socks should match trousers and ladies look more professional with hose.
Eye contact and firm handshake.
Eye contact and firm handshake.

Don’t forget making eye contact and a firm handshake. Your outstanding first impression will allow you to focus the interview on your competence!

 

This is reposted from April, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeans Come Full Circle!

 

Office casual.
Office casual.

From its humble beginnings of serving the gold miners, laborers, and cowboys, denim is now a fashion favorite. “It’s no coincidence that jeans are worn by billions of people all over the planet every day,” said Jason Denham in a recent WSJ article. Mr. Denham is founder of Amsterdam-based denim label (you guessed it) Denham!

When I was a little girl growing up on a cattle ranch in northeastern Oregon, my daddy wore jeans all of the time. He was a real cowboy and there was definitely a code for wearing jeans. No self-respecting cowboy would wear any brand but Levis and before I was born real cowboys never washed their jeans! Oh horrors! I suspect that changed as these rugged men brought wives into the picture.

Looking good casually.
Looking good casually.

Today, denim has entered the mainstream fashion world. The question now is not whether one should have a pair of jeans, but it is choosing the right quality. It really has little to do with the fancy pocket stitching denoting which expensive brand one is wearing but it has more to do with the quality of workmanship.   Experts interviewed in the article suggested turning the jeans inside out to confirm that the fabric and stitching feel solid and durable.

Jeans dressed up.
Jeans dressed up.

You often pay extra to have the fabric treated to mimic years of wear but why not try adding your own aging process. Try wiping your hand on your thighs to create a 3-D effect along the natural horizontal creases. Many purists do not believe in washing their jeans and definitely not having them dry cleaned.   If you do choose to wash them, use a gentle warm or cold water cycle and a mild detergent. Then hang them to dry.

Off to shopping.
Off to shopping.

Men can toss on a blazer with a great dress shirt open at the collar over their jeans and be ready for a casual day at the office or meeting friends for drinks. You might not want to wear those jeans that look like you have spent the week on a construction site!

Kick it up a notch.
Kick it up a notch.

Ladies can go from a very dressy jeans look with silk blouse, dressy sweater, jewelry and heels to popping on a casual jacket over a cotton shell for a more casual look.

At this moment in history, jeans are in! And…..Daddy was right! It’s all about quality and you don’t have to wash them!  Full circle, indeed.

What makes French Women So Admired?

Carolina Herrera, Designer
Carolina Herrera, Designer

Several years ago Virginie, a French exchange student, spent a month with us. On her first weekend I took her to a nearby upscale mall for shopping and to experience more of our city.   While we were having lunch, I asked her to share some of her first impressions.   Without a moment’s hesitation she responded that she was surprised that women here went out in public dressed so sloppily and that Americans were always eating! It was summer so the majority of ladies were shopping in cotton sports clothes that had never seen an iron.  Many wore little makeup and had their hair pulled back. The average lady could just as easily have been dressed to clean house or work in the garden.

When I asked her to better explain the difference, she stated that young French people wore jeans much of the time while adults were always well put together in casual but attractive, well-fitting clothing and their hair and make-up completed a polished look.   I learned when visiting her family later that the difference in presentation was not that French ladies had spent hours primping in front of their mirrors before starting their day but they had added just a few minutes to their morning routine to produce a finished look. I also noted that these ladies do not reach a point where they don’t care. It makes no difference if they are in their forties, sixties or beyond.   They take a bit of time to make sure that they are put together before going out in public. What excellent examples for us.  

Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda

Our images here are not French but they are excellent representations of how to be beautiful at any age.

Hair: These famous ladies are comfortable in their own skin. There doesn’t seem to be a rule on hair length, although none have chosen an extreme. Jane Fonda has cut her long locks but Helen Mirren wears hers just above the shoulder.   Most stylists recommend that “women of a certain age” opt for a little more length but not below the shoulders. Judi Dench’s short hair, however, seem perfect for her.  Notice that none of them wear their hair like a helmet that looks glued in place. The hair moves naturally.

Judi Dench
Judi Dench

Makeup: Softer lipstick is flattering for most more mature ladies. Dark lipstick gives a harsh appearance. Adding a bit of emphasis to the eye area helps draw the eye up higher on the face and the emphasis is away from the jaw line—often the first area we notice some jowls or sagging.

Posture: Notice the carriage of each of these ladies. They have confidence in their mature beauty and have embraced their stage in life.

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren

Their clothes fit beautifully even though there are probably a few adjustments allowing for a bit more room at the waistline and other subtle changes. Wearing clothes too tight signals that one is trying to look too young or sexy for your age. Wearing clothes too large looks sloppy and actually makes one appear larger.

Whether you are in your 20’s, 40’s, or at another point on the scale, celebrate your beauty by taking a few minutes to be your most beautiful!

Then some age with defiance!
Then some age with defiance!