4 Tips For Simplifying Vacation Packing

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I often am called on by clients to assist them with packing for longer trips and my tips prove to be valuable! Besides staying within the required weight for suitcases, which saves on cost, they are easier to handle. Traveling during the holiday season can be hectic. Let’s start with the nightmare of packing a suitcase when you already have a full calendar. Would you believe me if I told you I can make it easy for you and I will help you save money and time and give you peace of mind? Below are 4 tips for simplifying your vacation packing.

I just returned from a month in Italy and yes, I took more than a carryon, because part of the trip included a cruise and I needed some dresses for dinner, however, my suitcases were all under the required weight and… I wore EVERY item in them. In fact, I wore most items many times! Here’s how I did it.

1. Function First

Most people at the end of a trip realize they only needed half of what they packed. I want you to be that person that uses nearly everything you brought because you spent quality time thinking it through. Let’s begin.

Ask yourself how many settings do you need outfits for? If you’re in warm weather, you might want street wear for shopping the outdoor markets, something fancier for dinner in a nice restaurant and of course, attire for the beach or poolside. If you’re in cold weather, you may be hitting the slopes for some winter sports activities, visiting friends or family, taking in museums or historical sites.

Picture yourself in those places. Now go to your closet start building your travel wardrobe with only these functions in mind. Lay out some choices on your bed. See if some pieces could work in more than one setting. My rule is: an item can be worn 3 times. If something works in only one way, start substituting other items for it. The idea is to have pieces that can work in multiple settings. These wardrobe puzzle pieces will start fitting together. Taking the time to do this exercise could even make traveling with just a carryon possible. If you spend no time thinking it through, you’re definitely not going to be doing carryon!

2. Variety Matters

I’m not encouraging a dull, limited travel wardrobe. Not at all. There is a way to get variety without the extra baggage. Variety is easy to manage when you pack things that are either small or can be rolled up. Some easy pieces to add for variety are print scarves (crinkle ones are a great choice), costume jewelry (leave the expensive stuff at home for peace of mind), and tops or blouses.

Curb your enthusiasm for shoes and keep choices to a minimum. I suggest trying to keep it to three pairs of shoes. Chances are you’ll need a great walking shoe, a going out shoe and a casual shoe. If it’s comfy enough, sometimes your casual shoe can double as your walking shoe but know the comfort of your shoe before relying on it to play both roles. A way to really hone in on your shoe limit is to work backwards and build your outfits around the shoes you’ve decided to bring.

3. Colour Cooperation

Many people find it easy to travel light by focusing on one core colour. (My core colour for my Italy trip was navy.) This can be done well if your accessories add variety or there’s textural variety in the clothing pieces. Whatever your choice background colour, you can bring tops that mix that core colour and other colours together. Think stripes, florals, plaid, or checks.

Choose from what’s flattering on you and what’s most available in separates. Include solids and prints. You might choose a duet of colours like burgundy and navy blue, khaki and coral, or magenta and gray. Add a denim piece or two (jeans or a jean jacket) and you’ve really rounded out your travel wardrobe.

4. Added Value

What are those essentials that you don’t want to leave behind? Make sure you leave room for them in your carryon. They could include your cozy slippers, your music speaker, your journal, or your favorite moisturizer in a three-ounce container. Is there an item or items that give you instant comfort? Mine is my pashmina. I always have one in my carryon.

Assistance Needed? I’m here to help. I’ve had lots of experience helping clients plan their wardrobes for all sorts of trips. This is one of the hardest things to do on your own so don’t hesitate in asking for my assistance. I’ll help you with those wardrobe puzzle pieces. You’ll start out your trip with peace of mind and the assurance that you have everything you need.

I welcome your feedback! I would love to know your thoughts. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and you’ll find me on Twitter too!

Until next time,


3 Ways To Be Kind To Your Clothes And The Earth

eco laundering tipsIn my last blog, I shared 3 eco-friendly shopping tips. In this blog we’ll continue talking about ways to be kind to your clothes and to the earth.  Below are 3 tips I hope you will find useful.

I find as I mature, and my body changes, I need better quality clothes that suit my body, style and be age–appropriate. Better quality means spending more on core items. So … I want those classic, core items to last! As well, I want to continue to enjoy the changing seasons and the beauty that Mother Nature provides us. After all, most of us love fashion and the chance to dress for the seasons; especially here in Canada with the change of seasons. It is fun and a new discovery when I change up the clothes in my closet from summer to winter. I can look at items in a new way and see how I can fit what I have into a new style for that year. Continue reading

3 Eco-Care Shopping Tips

eco friendly clothing

You care about fashion, and you care about the environment. You love all seasons: Nature’s season and the fashion seasons. But what if there was a conflict between the two? Awareness is growing about the relationship between these two. Some people feel “fast fashion” is contributing to landfills. More and more we’re seeing clothing made from “new” resources like bamboo, hemp, and soy. So, what should you look for when you’re shopping? Should you even be shopping? What if your fashion habits were harming the earth? No one wants to contribute to landfills, poison the air, or threaten natural resources. If these issues have been on your mind, here are the first 3 tips to help you feel like you’re protecting the environment while enjoying your fashion and style. Continue reading

6 Ideas for Developing Time Honoured STYLE

YSL - Click for photo attribution

Yves St. Laurent – Click for photo attribution

In my previous blog I looked at Fashion versus Style. Do you relate to fashion or do you relate to style? One of my most treasured activities with my clients is developing their “Style” words and helping them to discover what their style truly is. Here are 6 ideas for developing your time honoured style! Continue reading

6 Fashion Notes for Fall 2015

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Karl Lagerfeld, click for photo attribution

Here we are back into September and this always seems like I am starting the New Year. Business ramps up and the fall trends are in the stores. The words “fashion” and “style” get tossed around a lot. How does fashion relate to style and how does style relate to fashion? Do you think they are one and the same? Let’s consider these 6 notes on fashion first.

Fashion Notes, 1-6

1. A prolific designer, Karl Lagerfeld, says, “Fashion is now and tomorrow. Who cares about the past? Fashion is something people are supposed to consume immediately.”

2. New fashion items come into stores daily. There is never a shortage of fashion.

3. Fashion is meant to expire and move off the store floors. That’s the rhythm of fashion. Marketing for new fashion seasons creates demand for your next purchases.

4. Some people love to be in the latest fashion colors, wear the “jacket” of the season, or own the “it” bag. This person may reinvent herself each season. That could be expensive to do. If this is you and you’re on a budget, consider shopping for some of your high fashion looks at lower prices at stores such as Zara and H&M.

5. The great thing about paying attention to fashion is that it refreshes your style eyes. Suddenly you’re seeing pearls all over the pages of magazines and you remember the pearls that are in your drawer that you aren’t wearing. It inspires you to pull out those items and enjoy them all over again.

6. Fashion has specific marketing cycles. It’s easy to get caught up chasing each fashion cycle and feeling like you need more, more, and more. Many stores are open day and night ready to lure you in for retail therapy, using shopping as a pastime, or filling needs other than clothing.

How do you relate? Do you go for fashion or style? My next blog will be about style.

I will be taking a first-hand look at the Fall Fashion Trends right at the heart of it all, in Milan Italy and then Capri. Please follow me on Facebook to see what I discover. You’ll find me on Twitter too!

As always, I welcome your feedback! I would love to know your thoughts. You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,


8 Tips to Successful Clothes Shopping

fashion expert York region

When it comes to shopping, are you getting fair, good, great, or no results? The reason I ask is that there are lots of hazards out there that can throw you off course. Here are 8 tips that will better prepare you for successful, rewarding clothes shopping trips.

Stop and Think
1. Cruise your closet before rushing to the stores. Make a “needs” list. Plan to check those items off first. This will provide you the direction you need to avoid overspending.

2. Has this happened to you? You’ve skipped lunch and you’re finding it impossible to make decisions. Instead of going home empty handed, ask the sales associate to hold your items and go get lunch. When you return to the dressing room, you’ll have fresh eyes and a clear mind.

3. Do you shop when you feel upset or impulsive? This is a dangerous time to go shopping with real money or credit cards. Recognize when you are in that mood to purchase just for the thrill of it or to let off steam. Instead, step back to debrief. Consider another way to vent your emotions or comfort yourself. Try another activity such as walking in nature, meeting up with a friend, or listening to music. Shop when you feel calm and rested.

Full Speed Ahead
4. When it comes to investment shopping, know your best colours. When you shop for coats, blazers, or jewelry be sure they enhance or highlight your eye colour, your skin tone, or your hair colouring. Chances are great that these items will stay in your wardrobe for years ahead, simply because they flatter you so naturally.

5. Shop your best when you look your best. Don’t even think about shopping for a wardrobe right after your spin class. It’s easier to imagine how the clothes you’re trying on will look in your real life when you look like you do in real life. Do your hair and makeup and then go shopping. It will make it much easier to see what really works well on you.

6. If you come across something that’s not on your list but you absolutely love it, give it a chance. Ask yourself if this item enhances your style, is within your budget, and brings something new to your wardrobe that’s been missing. If the answers are yes, buy it.

Be Cautious
7. Sale items can be tempting but are not always a bargain. They can be more expensive than you realize when you take into account the complicated cleaning instructions, the other pieces you need to buy to make this “bargain” work, or the new makeup required to pull off the colour of this purchase if it’s not a colour you normally wear. Even high-end designers make mistakes. Don’t get sucked into buying it just because it’s a designer label.

8. Be aware of the return policy of the stores you shop in. If you can only receive store credit within seven days, is that really going to work for you? If yes, fine. If no, go shopping at a clothing store that has generous return policies.

Styles change and so do you. With changes in your body, age, and lifestyle, it’s easy to make mistakes. It’s best to have somebody at your side who can be objective, informed, and looking out for your best interests. A professional like me can be your best companion to get the most out of your shopping trip. I’m here for you – let’s connect!

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook for more tips and you’ll find me on Twitter too!

As always, I welcome your feedback! You can connect with me via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,


5 Lesser Known Reasons to Have a Colour Analysis

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click to enlarge

You can tell the difference between a colour that looks good on you and one that doesn’t simply because people compliment you on some shades and never on others. But there’s so much more to colour than simply what might look good on you or not. The world of colour has been studied for ages. Wouldn’t it be fun to know which colours you could wear to help you appear more confident than you currently feel, be more approachable to people, attract in more business and increase your energy? Below are 5 lesser known reasons to have a colour analysis. Continue reading

Dating Scene Fashion Tips for Mature Women – Tip #3

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click to enlarge

In my previous blog post, I began a 4 part series of fashion tips for mature women on the dating scene with Tip #1. Tip #2 followed in my newsletter. Have you subscribed yet?  Here is the link! Below is Tip #3. Look for the last one in my newsletter next week. Continue reading

4 Fashion Tips for Reentering the Dating Scene

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click image to enlarge

Dating at any age can be nerve-racking, intimidating, and stressful let alone as a mature woman. Believe me I know because I am there… right now!  You don’t want your look to reflect how you might be feeling! You want to look cool, confident, and friendly, maybe even flirty. Let’s work with what you can control: your wardrobe. Your jitters will back off when your fashionable style comes forward. When you know you look good, you can relax and be present in the situation. Get ready as I give you 4 scenarios full of fashion tips for reentering the dating scene. Continue reading

Wear Color with Intention – 10 Core Colours & What They Mean

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Many of you who have heard me at a presentation, know me through networking, or are a client and friend, know that I believe having a Colour Analysis, is the number ONE step to take before buying any clothing.  But it’s not just about whether clothing colours look good on you or not; they do so much more! You’ll find lots of references about how colour can be very healing, give you emotional support as well has help you express yourself. Wearing clothing with intention and in your colour palette makes you look more healthy, radiant and youthful!! Who doesn’t want to look more youthful? And… colour can actually raise your vibration. Here are the first 5 core colours and what they mean. The next 5 will be publlshed in my upcoming newsletter. Have you subscribed yet? Sign up here! Continue reading