Spring Sip & Shop Event!

Join Brenda Ferguson Hodges, Certified Image Consultant and local Fashionista for an evening of food, fun and fashion at Chico’s in La Fiesta Square. 

This is an exclusive event offered by First Impressions Matter.

The store will be closed to the public so be one of only 18 guests who will be treated to lite bites, wine & beverages during a fashion show.  Guests will then have the opportunity to be personally styled by Brenda while shopping the latest Chico’s Spring 2019 Fashions and pick up a signed copy of Brenda’s latest book. 

All purchases during the event receive a 50% discount.  

Space is limited to 18 lucky guests, so get your FREE ticket today! 

Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spring-sip-shop-with-fim-chicos-tickets-59929627128

Spring Sip & Shop at Chico’s

I am SO excited to announce a night of fashion, food and fun with Chico’s of La Fiesta Square.

On Saturday, May 4th, I will be hosting a Spring Sip & Shop fashion show and mini FIM Workshop!

As many of you know, I am big fan of Chico’s and they have graciously offered to sponsor this event for ONE NIGHT ONLY!

So mark your calendars and stay tuned for instructions on how to register later this week. You won’t want to miss the AMAZING discounts off all clothing, FIM coaching and styling packages, jewelry, accessories, books, EVERYTHING!

One lucky guest will get to be personally styled by me and I will also be available for questions and guidance while you try on the new spring styles.

This is a private event. The doors will be closed to the public and space will be limited. So mark your calendar’s now and Stay Tuned!!!

Chico's Spring 2019 tie-front, flutter sleeve blouse
My latest Chico’s purchase – their tie-front, flutter sleeve blouse

6 Style Must Haves for Spring

“Fashion is about dressing to what’s fashionable. Style is about being yourself.”

Oscar de la Renta
Style Must Have for 2019 - neutrals!

Mr. Del La Renta’s quote is one of my absolute favorites as it’s a philosophy to which I truly adhere. Every season brings new fashion trends, but this doesn’t mean you should give up your style.

By knowing the elements of your signature or personal style, you can make any fashion trend fit into your existing wardrobe and make every season feel new and exciting!

Here are the 6 style must haves to update your wardrobe for Spring 2019. However, some are “repeats” so be sure to check your closet to “reactivate” some classics you may already have.

They’re back – Florals & Prints

Finally, the cold weather is over and nothing says spring better than floral and print designs.

Style must have for 2019 - floral print, cold shoulder maxi dress
Refreshing floral print dress

While fall colors were dark, this year’s flower motifs represent the color and light that come with brighter spring days.

Here are tips to keep in mind when wearing floral or print designs:

  • Make sure the colors in the print or floral pattern are part of your color palette and match your complexion. Several of this year’s colors lean to the lighter side of the spectrum, so knowing your color palette will ensure they look good on you.
  • Look for light weight fabrics like chiffon or crepe that can cross from spring to summer as the temperatures begin to rise.
  • Don’t limit yourself to bright pastels. Even though bright spring colors are a natural attraction, try to explore the full range of spring inspired colors available, such as this season’s big focus on neutrals such as creme, white and beige.

There is so much versatility with floral and print fabrics this season which makes it much easier to find pieces to add to your wardrobe. 

Casual spring style - Creme, lavender and grey kimono from Marla Wynne
Lavender, & creme print kimono in crepe fabric

Historically, floral designs were found only in dresses, but this year why not try wearing a jumpsuit?  Or perhaps a pair of billowy slacks, patterned shoes or even a light weight, printed scarf? 

The Colors of Spring 2019 – Coral, Blush, Pink, Yellow, Green and Lavender

Pantone Color of the Year – Living Coral

Pantone’s color of the year is coral, with yellow at a close second.  I’m loving this spring’s yellow and if you have an Autumn color palette like me, you can wear a true lemon yellow.  This is not true for everyone so you may need to be careful with yellow. Depending on underlying skin tones, you may need to go with a browner based yellow that leans towards mustard.

Pink and Blush have made a big comeback this season and I see it everywhere. Pink especially has been tip-toeing its way back from previous years. You may have a few items in your wardrobe already, so make certain to check your closet before purchasing anything new.

If you have a lighter complexion or one with olive undertones, light pink and blush can make you appear washed out.  In this case look for a darker Rose with blue undertones to make your skin glow and eyes sparkle.

You will also find lots of lavender and green this year, which fit right in with the leaves and delicate flowers in the floral.

Lavender is a lighter shade of purple and works well with gray, cream, white and pink. Green is also seen in brighter and lighter shades including neon. I recommend caution with neon green.  Like lemon yellow, it’s a shade that you need to make certain compliments your skin.

Wear Neutrals – White, Nude, Beige & Tan

This spring, why not try wearing a neutral color from head to toe, such as white or nude? It is a very classy look for even the most casual of outfits. Accessorize with edgy embellishments like a studded tote & boldly printed sandals to really stand out.

You can also try a top and bottom in one color and the topper in another color such as coral.

Nude is a variation of beige or sand and can be worn with almost all spring colors.

Always in style - head to toe, neutral tones by Marla Wynne
Tonal neutrals for casual style – Marla Wynne

Polka Dots are big this spring…no really, they are BIG!

As in size.

polka dot styles for spring 2019 - dresses with big, bold dots.

This trend  was huge in the 60’s and very popular in the early 90’s (think “Pretty Woman” polo dress), so those of a certain age may have a few of these outfits in their closet. The difference this time around is in the size of the dots; they are much larger than previous go rounds. 

If you wear a two-piece polka dot outfit, I recommend balancing it with a solid instead of the entire outfit in polka dots.  The extremely large dots are difficult to pull off from head to toe unless you are very tall and very thin.  However, it’s also not my style to wear excessive pattern, so while I may not big on large prints, you should always dress to your style not necessarily trends.   If the large dots do not compliment your body type, then wear what looks best on you. Period.

Lace & Crochet

Lace and crochet are feminine, pretty trends I’m happy to see back. Practically anyone can wear lace, it simply depends on what and how you wear it. You will find dresses, jackets, pants, blouses, tops and jackets. Everything is stunning this spring and in so many colors

Day to evening style of yellow floral lace blazer.

It used to be that lace was a fabric you only wore to an evening affair.  But no more!  Lace can now be worn anytime, from easy, breezy casual blouses, business blazers to dressy evening attire with stretch lace for a much more comfortable experience than in previous years. 

Comfort can equate to style

Finally, designers get it: Women want shoes that are comfortable and stylish!

There are now all types of shoes available that include step and arch support which provides the ability to walk for miles in comfort and style.

There are several new brands (Vionic, Fly, Kork-Ease & Gentle Souls) joining classic makers like Birkenstock, Munro and Ugg, that are focusing on comfort as well as style. You can find platform, block or wedge style heals with foam inserts or removable linings that allow custom and discrete orthopedic inserts. You feel like you are walking on clouds.

So rejoice; no longer are style and comfort mutually exclusive.

Style and comfort combined in a versatile shoe
Vionic block heels with arch support

Happy Spring!

stylish taupe strappy sandal with block heel and arch support by Vionic

The key to wearing any color is to know that it looks good on you and that it enhances your eyes, hair and complexion. While using swatches is a temporary and quick fix, knowing your full color palette makes getting dressed and shopping so much easier. If you would like to learn more about color analysis, contact me at Brenda@FirstImpressionsMatter.com or click the link below.

Custom Color Analysis – Learn Your Color Palette

Happy International Women’s Day!


Steph Curry releases sneaker co-designed by girl who asked why only boys sizes existed
Riley Morrison, 9, wrote Curry a letter in November asking why his Curry 5 shoes were not available for girls.

March 8, 2019, 10:04 AM PST By Minyvonne Burke

Steph Curry celebrated International Women’s Day by releasing his newest namesake sneaker, which he co-designed with a 9-year-old girl who prompted the NBA athlete to start selling his shoes to girls.

The shoe, called the Under Armour Icon Curry 6 “United We Win,” is a blend of a dark and light purple, and has a drawing of two girls holding a basketball on a sock liner with encouraging messages that read: “Rock the Currys,” “Girl Power” and “Be Bold.”

To honor the actions of a young girl who inspired a global NBA superstar, Under Armour and Stephen asked Riley to add her personal design touch to the UA ICON Curry 6 United We Win colorway.
To honor the actions of a young girl who inspired a global NBA superstar, Under Armour and Stephen asked Riley to add her personal design touch to the UA ICON Curry 6 United We Win colorway.Under Armour
Sales of the Curry 6 United We Win will go toward a scholarship that the Stephen and Ayesha Curry Family Foundation and Under Armour have created to honor Riley's courageous spirit.
Sales of the Curry 6 United We Win will go toward a scholarship that the Stephen and Ayesha Curry Family Foundation and Under Armour have created to honor Riley’s courageous spirit.Under Armour

Under Armour said in a statement on its website Friday that Riley Morrison, 9, designed the sock liner. Customers also have the option of personalizing the sock liner with their own photo.

“It’s been amazing. It’s a really special experience. I never imagined that this would happen,” Riley said Thursday at a pop-up shop in Oakland where Curry surprised her with her own pair of the new sneakers. “I’m really happy I wrote that letter.”

Stephen Curry surprised Riley Morrison wearing the Curry 6 colorway shoes she helped inspire.
Stephen Curry surprised Riley Morrison wearing the Curry 6 colorway shoes she helped inspire.Under Armour

Riley first caught Curry’s attention in November when she wrote him a letter saying she had tried to buy his Under Armour Icon Curry 5 sneakers online and asking him why the sneakers were not available for girls.

The Golden State Warriors point guard responded to Riley in a handwritten letter saying he was working with Under Armour to put the shoes in the girls section and was going to send her a pair of his Curry 5 sneakers.

The Curry 6 sells for $130. Under Armour said sales from the sneaker will go toward a scholarship for a college-bound girl in the Bay Area. The company will announce the winner every year around the International Women’s Day.

Red. Can You Wear It?

February has us seeing red all month long with Heart Health Month and Valentine’s Day. But due to it’s popularity, I receive numerous questions about the color all year long. So, with love in the air, I thought this would be an ideal time to talk about my favorite color, answer some common questions and help you embrace this fabulous color and say “YES!” to wearing red.

1. Is Red Your Personality?

Red is my favorite color and I wear it in numerous ways; either as an accent color or dress, pant, coat, top, shoes or scarf. However, in nature, as in business and life, red can be an emotionally intense color.

A woman wearing a red suit stands out in a crowd of grey, black and navy.

Red is associated with blood, fire, energy, desire, power, danger and love, all at the same time!  As such, our brain and eyes are drawn to pick up the color instantly, which means if you are wanting to stand out and boost your confidence, then red should be your color of choice.

On the other hand, if you’re hesitant to call attention to yourself and prefer not to be noticed, then I don’t recommend you wear it as the focal point of your outfit. You will not project correctly. 

What do I mean by project? Well, while you may not realize it, people can tell if you don’t feel good about what you’re wearing. The way you walk and talk as well as the your non-verbal body language, will communicate this. However, if you really do like the color, choose to wear red as an accent as opposed to the focal point and feel great about it. REMEMBER: Your subconscious will project, so this is a color where your feelings must align with your outside image.

2. Are You Wearing The Right Shade?

Color blocks showing examples of warm red and cool red

Perhaps your issue with red centers around its various shades.  This is where having a color analysis to determine your palette is helpful.  Don’t worry if you haven’t done a full analysis (yet). You can still figure out the best red for you and your skin complexion.

Red comes in two shades: warm and cool. Look at the warm and cool red side-by-side. It clearly shows how warm red has more yellow as its base while the cool red has blue.

People who look best in warm reds also look better in warmer colors like browns, oranges, yellows, and rust.  Think “fall” tones. People who look better in cool reds also look best in jewel tones like magenta, royal blue, bright purples and black.

You can hold swatches or a blouse in both shades close to your face, to determine which shade looks best on you.  With proper lighting, you will see and feel it instantly.

Get Help From Metallics

Another quick tip is to use your favorite metallic, such as silver or gold jewelry, as a guide. If silver is most flattering on you, then most likely you look better in cool red.  If gold looks best on you, then a warm red is the answer.

There are some skin tones that can get away with wearing either a warm or cool red. (Especially darker complexions). I’m in this category. Even though I wear a lot of cool red with blue undertones, I can just as easily wear a warm shade.  In this situation, choose the shade you prefer and accessorize accordingly, with gold for warms and silver for cool.

3. How Much Red Should You Wear?

In addition to feelings and skin tone, also pay close attention to what your goal is for the day.

Red is my favorite color. I wear it socially and professionally. In business situations I wear it when I need to be in a position of leadership and present new ideas. It evokes a feeling of confidence in me and others see it. However, if you have a sales call or plan to negotiate for something you want, you may want to reconsider.

Red is a power color. Studies have shown it can increase your heart rate. It can raise metabolism and increase blood pressure, which means it has the potential to make the other person uncomfortable.  However, if this is what you desire, then go for it!

Again, the important thing to consider is how you feel when you wear it. Once this battle is conquered, you can figure out the right shade you should wear.

If you truly don’t want to wear red, try these colors instead:

White or Creme – This color is a winner anytime of the year. Wear monochrome from head to toe, for a chic, classic look. Pair different shades of creme to be totally lux and glam.

Blush – Blush is a romantic light pink that represents feminine, delicate qualities.

The Duchess Megan Markle in red coat and purple dress.

Purple or Royal Blue – Both colors symbolize luxury and royalty. Notice in this picture, how the color blocks of purple and red compliment Duchess Megan Markle’s skin tone?

Custom Color Analysis

The key to wearing any color is to know that it looks good on you and that it enhances your eyes, hair and complexion. While using swatches is a temporary and quick fix, knowing your full color palette makes getting dressed and shopping so much easier. If you would like to learn more about color analysis, contact me at Brenda@FirstImpressionsMatter.com or click the link below.

Custom Color Analysis

7 Steps to Closet Zen

Woman in closet staring at items.

Standing there staring into the mass of fabrics and colors, I heard the Netflix’s “Ba-BONG!” go off in my head.  Not One. Not Two…or Three…but Four. FOUR! Four closets jam-packed with clothes!

And over half of them I hadn’t worn in years. 

I had read her book a couple of years ago and truly appreciated her philosophy, but simply couldn’t (Wouldn’t? Didn’t?) find the time to focus on making things happen.  But this time, watching the television program, her concepts in action and not just mentally visualizing but seeing the beautiful results in real life technicolor, it made me want to get up and get started.

I realized in that moment 2019 was the year I would de-clutter, get organized,  reclaim space and obtain….Closet Zen.  

Organization Inspiration

As someone who helps clients organize their closets, I couldn’t believe that it was time for me to organize mine

Initially, I considered contacting California Closets to have a custom closet built, especially since we’re empty-nesters and have the space; however, I realized that many of these once cherished items were no longer my style. (Again, I hadn’t worn half the pieces in years.)

And, after watching several episodes of “Tidying Up” (Oh, the beauty of binge watching),  I was inspired to try out the KonMari Method created by Marie Kondo.   I made the commitment.   It was easy once I looked at a few pieces, asked the joy question and quickly realized my priorities had changed.

My clothes have always been my “friends” since they make me feel and look great. I truly enjoying coordinating outfits and colors along with making a piece look original every time I wear it with different accessories.  Clothes can reflect your personality, your creativity and change your prospective on life.  Clothes can also provide people a sense of who you are and reflect your objectives, your mission, your goals.  When done correctly, the right outfit can make you look like a work of art.

But now it was time to say good-bye to some long, cherished friends.  They had served their purpose and made me happy during their reign, but no longer. And that is o.k.  I’ve come to terms with this. 

So, with inspiration from Ms. Kondo, here are the steps I took to de-clutter, de-stress and start the new year with a clear, clean, organized space filled with joy and calm energy. 

May you find the same refreshing sense of Closet Zen that I did by using this 7-step process.

1. Decide How to Solve the Problem with Your Closet

[This is a very important step and will guide you throughout the process so don’t skip!]

Before you start breaking down your closet and throwing clothes away, decide what the problem really is.

Are you doing this because you have too many clothes you don’t wear? Can’t wear?  Won’t wear?  Do you have clothes you haven’t worn for years? Do you want to organize your clothes by category and color?  Are you tight on space? Has your style changed but you hate getting rid of pieces because of the money spent? Do you have too many casual clothes and not enough business or work wear?  Do you have clothes in your closet that don’t fit right or are not styled for your body type?  Whatever the problem is, figure out your goal before starting.  Recognizing the problem and having a defined goal, will help you stay on track.  It also helps make speedy, efficient, decisions and prevent donation or consignment regrets, later.

2. Make A Game Plan

Closet cleaning can take a morning, an entire day or a full weekend or two, depending on how many closets you are tackling; so, make certain to carve out enough time to tackle it all, otherwise you could get discouraged by having an unfinished project staring at you each time you walk in the door.

Gather boxes, bins or bags for the items you plan to donate, consign or trash and put in the room next to whatever you will use to help organize, such as a bed, a sofa or a table.  I suggest having something to help hold clothes to review and analyze and to not throw everything on the floor, if it can be avoided.  With realistic expectations and a plan, you will see results and remain inspired to the end, versus being overwhelmed, becoming frustrated and stopping mid project.

So take a deep cleansing breathe (pun intended) and begin. 

3. Categorize, Set Aside & Analyze “Yes” Pieces

Start with your larger clothing pieces, for instance; dresses. Take them all out of the closet and pile, per type (dresses, coats, pants, skirts, blouses, etc.), on your organizing platform (bed/sofa/table).  Once the closet is empty and you’ve organized the piles by type, then let the analysis begin.

Designate three additional sorting piles or bins and either mentally note each one or label with a sheet of paper  “Yes”, “No”, “Maybe”.  [NOTE:  I do recommend bins because you can go faster by tossing things into the bin or box. Bags tend to slow things down by having to open and stuff items in each time.]

Ask Analysis Questions

Starting with one pile at a time, pick up a piece and ask yourself these questions:

Do I still like it?  Yes? No? Maybe?  Put in the designated bin/pile/bag.  Go quickly.  Too much pondering and you may lose your nerve.  Many suggest the hard and fast rule:  If you haven’t worn in a year, GET RID OF IT. Some even use 6 months as the cutoff; however, I don’t adhere to this.  For me there were clothes in my closet I completely forgot I owned since I couldn’t see them!  So the 6 month rule didn’t always apply.

Once everything has been sorted in the three Yes-No-Maybe piles, turn your focus to the “Yes” items. 

Try On “Yes” Items

Now is the time to try on each Yes item to make sure it fits well, you feel good in it and it gives or sparks joy. Also, make certain it’s in your color palette and gives you confidence.  If you don’t feel any of these things, then it may not be a “Yes” item.  Toss to the Maybe pile. 

As you’re trying on the Yes items, ask yourself these questions:  Have I worn it in the last 12 months? (Marie says 6 months).  If the answer is No, then ask Why? Is it style?  Color?  Size?   Is there something other than time that could make me love it again?  If it’s not in your color palette, then I suggest you not keep it, even if you do like it.  In my case, I no longer wear colors outside of my palette and don’t find them complimentary to my skin tone nor the primary pieces in my wardrobe, so why keep something I will rarely wear, but this is up to you.  (Click here to find out about Color Analysis).

Once you’ve tried on all the Yes pieces and confirmed they truly belong in the Yes pile, move to the next step. 

4. Bag Up the “No” Pieces

Be sure to purchase strong trash bags or heavy-duty boxes to bag up anything that’s stained or ripped beyond repair or to give away. Label so you know where they are going.

I highly recommend that you donate or sell any wearable pieces to a thrift or consignment store. You can also donate to “Dress for Success” organizations that help unemployed women interview for jobs.  I volunteer and donate clothing to Wardrobe for Opportunity in Oakland, California, a nonprofit organization, where women can shop for outfits for the interview process. You should find organizations like these in your areas to donate. Once your No’s are bagged, take them out of the room and start a new bag for any future “No” pieces.

You may find duplicate clothing pieces, for example the same color shirt or dresses that look similar. Do you really need all of them? Donate or get rid of duplicates.

5. The “Maybe” Pile

The remaining pieces should be your “Maybe” pile.  Assess the feelings that you have when evaluating each piece and ask the following questions with each piece in order to decide:

#1: Does this piece help me reach my goal (i.e. work attire) or my personal style?

#2: Have I worn it in a year?

#3: Does this piece fit my body (and if not, can it be tailored)?

#4: Does this item bring me joy, make me feel confident or good, when wearing it?

If you answer No to to even one of these questions, it should go into your “New No” bag.  You should only keep items that serve your purpose and solve your closet problem.  

6. Separate Your Final Piles

Separate the rest of the clothes into the following piles:

  1. “Yes” pieces that need tailored or dry cleaned
  2. Pieces to donate or sell
  3. Stained, ripped, or unwearable pieces

7. Organize Your Closet

Now you can put your final “Yes” pile back into your closet, but make sure to organize by color to find pieces easier and faster. Also, categorize your tops, bottoms, outerwear, dresses, accessories, etc.

For items that need to be folded and put into drawers, I highly recommend watching Marie Kondo’s video on folding, found here.  It is a simple process that makes it so easy to find things in your dresser drawers.

Congratulations! You have officially de-cluttered your closet. You should feel an amazing sense of accomplishment and hopefully, peace and calm.  To help maintain the consistency and flow of your closet, I suggest incorporating the “One-for-One Rule”: When you add a new item to your closet, you MUST donate, sell or give one away. I promise, this will help you maintain you Closet Zen and be filled with joy.

Would you rather have someone help you obtain Closet Zen? Check out our closet organization options.

5 Must Have Winter Accessories

(This Winter Be BOLD, Not Cold!)

Winter doesn’t officially start for another 10 days, though the cold weather has many of us thinking it’s already here! 

Whether you plan to spend time outdoors or just want to stay warm and toasty while walking to work, in your office or relaxing at home, these winter accessories will get you through the season with style. 

I’ve highlighted this year’s top accessories to help you be fashionable bold and not cold, this winter. 

Ponchos

Ponchos are one of my favorite items to wear when the weather gets colder.  I love, Love, LOVE, ponchos!!  Why?  Because they hide all the “icky bits” (i.e. the weight around my waist), while providing warmth and style.  Most of all, ponchos are an easy layer piece to wear that can also be the focal point of your outfit. 

A true classic never goes out of style (see below)

If you make a poncho the focal point of your outfit,  make sure to find the right poncho for you body type, so it will balance your shape accordingly. 

Ponchos are available in all shapes and sizes ranging from big and bulky, long and draping, to lightweight and body skimming.  Fortunately, you can wear any type.  The key is know how to wear each particular poncho to compliment your silhouette. 

Poncho & Necklace from Marla Wynne @ HSN.com 

For instance, if you wear a draped style (as pictured to the left) then you must balance the silhouette by creating a slimming effect on the bottom.  Do this by wearing skinny, straight-legged jeans or leggings and your favorite leather bootie or suede, over-the-knee boots.  A good rule to remember is that when you wear bulky or flowy items on your upper body, wear straight and narrow on your lower body.  This creates balance. 

Additionally, you can belt a long poncho if you want to create the illusion of a waistline or accentuate one.  Though be certain this works for your shape, as it will also bring attention to your tummy area. 

Try bright colored hues according to your color palette that consists of prints, paisleys, stripes or checks.  

Ponchos for Plus Sizes

Chiffon Poncho by Marla Wynne

Ponchos work for curvy ladies too. 

It is cozier than the summer kimono and can be used as a layer piece or light jacket, especially if found in a fabric like the chiffon shown in the photo. 

A poncho is actually ideal for a plus size lady who feels a little insecure, as it help cover areas she may consider a “flaw”. 

No matter the reason, you should definitely get a stylish poncho to complete your winter wardrobe and feel good when you wear it. 

Winter Hats

Hats are great for fall and winter and this year they are everywhere and available in a variety of styles including knits caps, felt berets (pictured below right) or a wool fedora. 

Color continues to be all the rage this winter, so look for fun, colorful hats to spice up your wardrobe.  As you can see, I have a teal, wool fedora (pictured below left) and I absolutely love it.  I feel great when I wear it, which is often as it can be dressed up or down. 

Winter Fedora in Teal
Wool Fedora in Teal

When selecting a hat to add to your accessories, you want to take into account the shape of your face as well as the color of your hair, eyes and skin.  For example, most oval faces shapes (like mine) is better served by a hat with a brim versus a small beret.  Why?  Because of balance.  Oval faces are longer so having a brim helps to bring attention to the eyes by adding width and creating balance. 

Try on several different styles to learn what looks best on you. 

Boots or Booties

Comfortable & Stylish

There is such a variety of boots and booties this year.  Why not try something you’ve never considered;  you may be surprised of the outcome! Also keep it simple and base your decision on your style and color since there are so many choices this winter.  

The variety of boots includes cowboy or western style, precious metal mules, pointed toes, snake skin, leather or python, (which is considered the new natural).

I’ve never considered myself a cowboy boot person, but I recently tried on a pair of western inspired booties and they were so comfortable!  Not like the stiff leather of yesterday.  Things have changed (thankfully) and you can now find low heels with so much style.

Suede Knee High Boots in Taupe

Another option to consider is the over the knee boots (pictured right).  They have 2” inch heels, pointy toes, a zipper on the side for easy access into the boot along with a stretch grommet in the back, allowing for larger calf sizes, leggings and jeans.  

I love these boots as they too are super comfortable, even with the heel.  I can walk long distances and be in them all day.

Over-sized Scarves

Bold over-sized scarf for Winter
Bold, Warm & Versatile 

Another popular accessory this winter is a big scarf.  Again, the key is finding the one that you really love and looks good on you.  By having your palette colors on the scarf, you will feel even better wearing it.  

The scarf I’m wearing captures both prints and colors found in my palette:  teal, red (a blue red), cream and a leopard print, all of which I absolutely love.   

With the weather already cold throughout the country, find a scarf that will keep you warm and that also coordinates with your coats and jackets.  

Another benefit of a bold, over-sized scarf is that it can also be worn as a shawl or wrap. 

                                                           Tassel Earrings

This year will be remembered as the winter of BOLD jewelry! 

tassel earrings make a bold statement
The “it” earring 

Tassel earrings are one example of this fresh, new creativity in fashion.  The earrings are designed with simple, colorful threads or beads and come in numerous shapes, lengths and sizes, though the overall design is still the same.  Tassel earrings make a strong style statement, so step up your game this year and buy a pair.  

The trick is to make certain the length and width are appropriate for your face shape.  Sometimes this style can make an extremely bold, larger than life statement, so take some time to find the right fit for you.  

About Me…

Where to Buy….

How To Build a Capsule Wardrobe For The Holidays (And Spend Less!)

Worldwide the fashion industry is a $25 trillion industry that is one of the biggest consumers of  water.  People go through 80 billion pieces of clothing every year and the average American produces 82 pounds of textile waste annually.  This is a far cry from previous generations when clothes were viewed as an investment; something so valuable they were to be tended to, mended and worn for years versus today’s cheap wear “once-and-done” clothing items that are considered so disposal, that we dump pounds into landfills every single day.

In this article I will show you how to create a capsule wardrobe for Fall, Winter and the Holidays, which will allow you to look different every time you wear the same basic pieces while also feeling good about not adding to the mounds of textiles in landfills. 

What is a capsule wardrobe? 

A capsule wardrobe is simply building on what you already own in your wardrobe to create groups of 5-12 related pieces that can be worn in a multitude of combinations.

Here I’m presenting a capsule wardrobe of 7 essential pieces and using my favorite palette colors of red, black and cream with a hint of teal.

The capsule contains these seven pieces: 

  • Red Ruana
  • Cream Ruana
  • Black Tuxedo Pants (or Black Trousers)
  • Chambray Tuxedo Pants (or Jeans) 
  • Cream Slacks
  • Black Pointed Toe Booties
  • Red Pointed Toe Booties

Look #1

Red Ruana, Black Tuxedo Pants, Black Pointed Toe Booties with red sweater 

This look goes from work to play!  The red is called a “blue red” hue, so it is not overly bright, which allows it to work for fall and the holidays.  Having a ruana in a bold color will help you work it into your wardrobe.

It also helps if you know your color palette as this will save you a lot of money by not buying colors that wash out your complexion or make you look older.

See the tuxedo strip!? 

Everyone should have a pair of classic black trousers in their closet; it’s a work horse of any wardrobe that can be dressed up or down, especially for the holidays.  However, this year I want to wear a different style trouser. 

While also a classic, the black tuxedo pants have just a little bit more “flair” from the silk stripes on the side.  While these too have variations, especially to the leg (skinny, wide, straight), this pant style has been and will continue to be around for years to come. 

Look #2

Black Tuxedo Pants, Black Pointed Toe Booties with velvet kimono topper and velvet tank top 

With this ensemble, you take the same black tuxedo pant from the first collection and arrange for a more formal event by pairing with a velvet kimono topper and velvet tank top.

This outfit is so comfortable, you will feel almost guilty!  Additionally, it allows for dressing up as much as you want with jewelry.  I recommend either red or silver.

Look #3

Red Pointed Toe Booties, Chambray Tuxedo Jeans with chambray blouse 

This ensemble will quickly become your go-to outfit! The chambray tuxedo pant with a matching shirt is monochromatic (the same color on the top and bottom). However, adding the red booties also adds confidence and whimsy with its cherry pop of color.  Adding a little red to your necklace will pull it all together making the outfit work for numerous occasions. 

Look #4

 Red Ruana, Chambray Tuxedo Jeans, Pointed Toe Booties  

Pair the red ruana wrap with the tuxedo jeans and booties for a fun and  casual, but put together look.   

Look #5

Red Ruana & Cream Pants with red sweater  

Luckily, true white is back too, and beautiful as ever. If you are not sure how you will look in cream, find out through your color palette.  Or, if you haven’t had your color palette done, go to the department store and try on several items in the color cream.

Look #6 

Cream Ruana, Cream Pants, Black Booties with turtleneck sweater

The final look brings the capsule all together with the cream ruana, cream pants and a turtleneck sweater.  Being a true neutral, you can finish off the ensemble with your preference of either black or red booties, both will look amazing!


Two pointers for this season: 

  1.  If you buy only one new piece of clothing, make it outerwear or a topper.  Why?  Because this is what people see first and makes the first impression.  
  2. If your boots or booties are round or almond toe, you may want to consider an update.  Pointed toe is in and will be stylish for some time. 

Warmly, 

Brenda

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