5 Ways to Dress in 5 Minutes or Less

OUCH… It is exactly a month away from the beginning of a new school year!
Even though I am no longer teaching school, I still look at my year as starting in September.
We are more relaxed in the summer and are more than likely to not stick to a routine. However, along comes September and routine mode is back on!
Will you be ready to start your new year, whether it’s September or January, in an organized, stress free way?

Getting dressed in the morning can pose frenzy problems so here are 5 ways to keep your morning calm.

  1. Your wardrobe should be organized and filled with clothes that fit you NOW!  All other sizes are gone from your “everyday” closet and either packed away or given away.
  2. Have some CORE practical pieces in basic colours, such as navy, grey or brown.  Then you can add a colourful top or accessories to give it a unique look.
  3. Set your outfit out the night before.  You can even have your handbag and briefcase beside the door.
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  1. Quickly check the Weather App the night before too.  You know how your mood can change with the weather!
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  1. Create a wardrobe module, with all the pieces hung up together, so you can easily mix and match.  Then, those last minute changes will be easy.
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And here is a bonus tip……CALL ME if you would like help setting up your wardrobe so you can be dressed faster than Superman in his phone booth!

Where you will find me:

Thursday August 11, 2016   NYGARD STYLE DIRECT Fall Fashion show in Toronto. The new line of Fall clothes are here! Gather your friends and book a Fashion Party.

Wednesday August 17, 2016  Company of Women Barrie  6:30 pm

Monday & Tuesday August 22 & 23, 2016   Reiki Retreat  for Reiki Practitioners

Saturday August 27, 2016 Dress For Your Body Type Workshop in Hamilton

Thursday September 1, 2016 Nygard Style Fashion Party in Thunder Bay

Check out my videos on my YouTube HERE

Follow me on Facebook HERE

3 Ways to Update Your Sunday Best Look in the Summer

Today is Sunday and July. As I thought about the day and time of year, I thought it might be an idea to give you some ways to still look stylish going to church, or Sunday brunch, if that is something you do.

I know we like comfort in the heat and summer clothes can look a little too relaxed, so how can you step up your look and be cool, without wearing shorts and a tank top?

  1. Put your everyday work clothes to one side. It isn’t about having to wear a jacket type blazer. Carry a colourful pashmina to warm your shoulders if the air-conditioning is too cool or even a jean jacket over your dress.

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  1. Long skirts and dresses are everywhere these days and look so comfortable. Add a necklace and stack some bracelets to add fun to your look. You can wear a flat sandal or a heel.

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  1. Yes, capris will work too! Outfit them with a long shirt, a statement necklace and a wedge heel, to dress up your look.

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You can go from to church to brunch and even take a stroll through the park before heading home. You will look, stylish and pulled together, yet feel comfortable as well.

Where you will find me:

  1. Come in and visit me at STUDIO FIVE Hair Salon in Newmarket for the first week of August. See my display. Book a mini consultation!
  2. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel and please SUBSCRIBE. You can click here to see the latest video.
  3. August 11, 2016,  I am in Toronto for the Nygard Style Direct FALL launch. Follow me on Facebook to get a sneak peek at the new line.

Five Rescue Tips to Get You Out of Your Rut

Getting stuck wearing the same clothes over and over can happen to anyone. In fact, many of my latest clients have called to say, “Help! I am tired of wearing yoga pants everyday. How do I dress casual, yet look and feel good?”

If you can answer YES to any of these questions, you may be in a rut too:

  • You have had the same hairstyle for 5 to 10 years.
  • You haven’t changed up your lipstick shade since ???
  • Your feet can no longer fit in shoes because you have been living in your ‘Birks’ for so long.
  • Your bra is stretched beyond recognition, and your breasts are sagging onto your ribcage.
  • Your casual look is a t-shirt, yoga pants and slippers.
  • There is an inch of dust on your sparkly dress.

I am here to help but…I’ve come up with some self-help exercises you may want to try to first. It’s amazing to say this, but even the smallest change can create big results. Suddenly you have a lighter heart and more bounce in your step. Review this list of unstuck tips and pick one to do this week.

  1. The solution is to take baby action steps. You don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe. You could buy one pair of new shoes. Or you could purchase one pair of pants in a pattern or a colour that’s not your basic neutrals. Just one thing. When you wear those shoes or those pants, you’ll feel rejuvenated.
  1. Take a break from your makeup routine.Go to a makeup counter and give up control to a friendlyHip Gray Haired Woman Applying Red Lipstick beauty stylist. Let someone with fresh eyes give you suggestions. One new technique or one new lip colour can make you feel more confident. We’re never too old to learn new tricks!
  1. How about shopping in a new store. Walk in and scope out the sales people. Don’t go with the first one who speaks to you. Walk around and see if you can spot someone whose style you like and then give her a problem or two that you’re having. See what solutions she comes up with. She could be a new style muse for you.
  1. You need to be prepared to feel differently when you’re comingIMG_0639 out of a rut. When you try on something that’s out of your comfort zone, you may feel giddy or excited. You may love it but think it would suit someone else’s lifestyle, not yours. This is the time to pause and have a conversation with yourself. What’s stopping you from wearing this wonderful color or silhouette or accessory? Maybe that new look is the real you, the part of you that’s wanted to be expressed for a long time. Experiment and have fun.

 

  1. Find someone who wants to get unstuck too and form an alliance. You can be accountable to each other. Call one another or e-mail your successes. (“I finally went and got fitted for bras and I feel like a new woman!”) Or call me and let’s make an appointment. I’d love to help support you in finding ways to get out of your rut.

 

Summer has brought some new changes here at Image Connections:

  1. My You Tube channel is now up and I would love you to SUBSCRIBE to my channel.  (Make sure to check out my Bloopers video here
  2. My dream of having a ONE STOP STYLE SHOP has come to fruition. I have added  Nygard Style Direct clothing to my studio. Also to help you complete your look, I have added scarves and a few jewelry pieces that will be arriving soon. Bring in those “orphan “ pieces that match nothing in your closet and I will help you mix and match to create new looks.
  3. EXCITING … From August 1st to August 7th, I will be set up in Newmarket at STUDIO FIVE Hair Salon on Main Street. Come in a say hello.

Be sure to follow me on Facebook on my Image Connections page

 

4 Ways to Look Confident and Relevant…Even if You Are Retired!

Avoid sinking to the lowest level of dressing. Our lives have gotten more casual but that doesn’t mean we can’t dress in a meaningful way. If you hit the gym first thing in the morning you’ll be in your workout clothes. But when that activity is over, change into an outfit. You’ll stand out from the crowd and be seen. This is good! There may be people and opportunities that come into your life that wouldn’t have if you were in your yoga pants. Getting dressed each day with intention raises your energy level.

Think about ways to do the unexpected.

  1. If you’re going to a black tie event or party, swap out your Little Black Dress and wear something in a flattering colour that’s not black. Or wear tuxedo pants instead of a cocktail dress.
  1. Introduce a distinguishing detail to your look. Maybe it’s time for a distinctive haircut or a brighter lipstick colour.
  1. Updating your shoes from what’s comfortable to what’s comfortable and fashionable could change your whole look. Maybe you’ll be that person flat leopard shoewho always gets compliments on your shoes.

 

 

  1. Use accessories on a regular basis. Some clients have started to enjoy wearing more thIMG_2299an one bracelet at a time or more than one necklace at a time. If you’ve always loved scarves it could be time to think about wearing them most days of the week. Delve into whatever delights you. Do more of what you already enjoy.

 

If you get a look together once in awhile, consider making that happen 50% of the time. And if you’ve been putting thought into how you dress on a part-time basis, consider making it more fulltime. There really is so much enjoyment that can come from caring about your appearance.

Q: Where can I find help to make some changes that will lead to creating a lasting impression?

I’m here to offer you my expertise. From easy tips to simple changes, I can help you either tweak what you’re doing now or go deeper and help you realize your personal style and show you how you can dress in a way that brings you pleasure every day. Call me and we’ll do this together.

Also… BIG NEWS… watch for upcoming videos on YouTube and please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, so you can be the first to see them!

If you enjoy my newsletter, please share it (forward it) to your friends.

 

5 Top Tips for Making a Lasting Impression

“You only get three seconds to make a first good impression.” Have you heard that before? It could sound like too big a project to take on to make that happen. The clock is ticking and you don’t know which shoes to put on or whether pearls would be right for this occasion or not. Ding, ding, ding, time is up! You’re heading out the door and you don’t know if you got it right.

Maybe you think your lifestyle is pretty relaxed and you don’t need to worry about first impressions.

Chances are you may not realize how important learning how to leave a lasting impression could be for you and your family. If you have a family member in the hospital, you want to give the impression that you are smart, watchful, and a powerful advocate for your family member. Taking time to think about what pieces of an outfit would convey that message is important to your whole family.

If you’re getting older and worried about becoming invisible, you can make that worry go away by creating a consistent impression that stays in people’s minds. It’s good for you and it educates others about what it looks like to get older and wiser. Why not instruct the public about how beautiful getting older is?

Here are 5 ways you can bring in a sharper focus through clothes, colour, or accessories.

  1. Repeating colours throughout your outfit (skirt, scarf, earring, for example). If you are wearing a red print in your skirt, then add a red scarf or red earrings to bring the focus to your face.DSCN3713
  1. Repeat hair or eye colour in clothing pieces or accessory pieces. If you have brown eyes, then wearing brown boots, sandals or a brown handbag, gives a pulled together look.DSCN3723
  1. Layering on interest using more than one necklace, more than one bangle, more than one ring.
  1. Carrying a handbag that has design elements that are repeated elsewhere (metal detail, ribbon detail, shapes, etc.)
  1. Repeating the curls of a haircut by wearing a top or jacket that has swirls like paisley or abstract floral prints. Someone with long straight hair could be wearing stripes and making a stronger impression for that reason.

If you aren’t following me on Facebook, I invite you to. I will be posting pictures from my trip to San Francisco, as I meet up with 20 other image consultants from my Mastermind group.  Find me here!

Also… BIG NEWS… watch for upcoming videos on Youtube and please SUBSCRIBE to my channel, so you can be the first to see them! 

I am also working on an ONLINE course and tips so keep posted!

If you enjoy my blog, please share it (forward it) to your friends.

2 Ways to Look Stylish and Savvy in Retirement Years

Fashion and style take a backseat now that you’re retired. Everything’s set up for you to ride off into the sunset without worries. Who needs to fret over fashion at this stage of life? Bring on the baggy clothes and slippers. Freedom is ahead.

News flash! You may be retired but you’re still vibrant. In fact, with the stressful workplace pressures gone, you may actually have a chance to bloom like never before.

The freedom you’re about to enjoy is the freedom to express yourself; to enjoy the good times you can have from getting up each day dressed in a way that pleases you. There is one possible catch: You may not know what pleases you! You may not know what’s out there in the fashion world for a woman your age. You may be worried that if you step your toe into dressing for yourself that it’s going to cost a lot of money.  I am here to help!!

  1. Get creative in using some of your past “work” pieces. Mixing informal and casual together can give you a whole new style formula. Consider this:
  • A patent flat shoe that you can team up with a rolled up jean or crop pant.
  • A “work” trouser that has been paired with a floral print top under a jean jacket.
  • Brooches that can be added to a jean jacket or a closure on a cape. (one of my favourite things to add on to my jean jacket.)

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  1. Add fashion splash and dabble in some current trends. You grandchildren will have a whole new impression of you when you wear something modern and trendy. Here are some items to add current style:
  • Hats (watch my video to show you various types and tips on how to wear them).
  • Sunglasses… always chic!
  • Lipstick colours that are more vibrant than ones you wore to work.
  • Totes or cross body bags, especially in a pop of colour.

Now… take it a step further and deal with those out of date work items. They can serve someone else via a charity like “Dress For Success”, donate them to a church or to a second hand store. There are also charities that will come to your door for pick up.

Its time to express yourself in a new way and enjoy the adventure that lies ahead!

I have already gone through this process, so call me and I will kindly help you to let go of the old to make way for the new.  We can discuss your new life and all the possibilities awaiting you!

Get Ready for Spring with These 5 Fashion Pairings

As you get out of your wool turtlenecks and warm gloves, watching spring roll in may give you a moment of panic. What do you wear when you come out of hibernation? Here are a few fashion pairings that can ease you into the spring/summer season in style!

  1. Crinkled scarves and sleeveless summer dresses

Pclose up of grey scarf and dressull out a favourite summer dress from last year and team it with a crinkled scarf in linen, cotton, or silk. Find a colour that the dress and scarf have in common. Get extra fashion points if you’re mixing prints!

  1. Maxi dresses and roomy totes

With Farmer’s Markets up and rolling again, wear a maxi dress and carry a roomy tote big enough to stash lettuce, carrots, and green cabbage.

  1. Oversized sunglasses and stacks of bangles

Nothing says spring more than an oversized pair of sunglasses. Balance the scale of the frames with a stack of bangles on your wrist.

  1. Blue jeans and bright red lips

These two items are standalone classics. They look great together and will give you a way to leap into spring in a flash.

  1. Long layered tee under a short, cropped jacketgrey dress and scarf

This is a perfect combo for breezy spring evenings. You may still need long sleeves to keep comfortable but if a heat wave shows up, trade the long sleeves out for a sleeveless tee.

 

 

 

 

Are you ready for your spring fashion fling? I hope these ideas have got you excited about shifting seasons. I’d love to help you come up with a few new outfit recipes to wear this season. Give me a call!

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and watch and SHARE my videos!

2 Ways Look Fresh in White This Spring

White tops are filling the stores right now. The time for white is now even before the old rule of waiting for the May 24th long weekend! If the weather is warm… go for it! Or at least go for getting items while they are plentiful in the stores.

Also, as I look at the trend reports on how to wear white, I see they are mainly shown on very young women and usually as t-shirts.

I am here to rescue you!! The tops I have seen are perfect for mature figures, for hiding the meno – middle and looking cool and fresh, even with a hot flash.

You may want to buy 3 tops- one with sheerness, one with cut outs, and one with layers.

Your top will add texture and interest, especially if you wear them with white jeans.

You can mix and match these tops throughout the summer with pants or skirts in other colours.

I was surprised at the variety of tops I have been seeing.

The following pictures of tops were found at Spanner in the Tanger Outlet in Cookstown.

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But Karen… I can’t wear white up near my face. What can I do?

  1. How about the option of this knit vest? It would look great over another light top in your colour palette… even over a cream top!
  2. Wear jewelry in your colour palette as noted with the green pendant in the picture. And don’t forget, you can add a light, airy scarf in your colours to add sparkle to your face!

I am not usually a fan of white tops, but the textures and layers in white, are pulling me in.

Have fun browsing and call me to help you make the perfect choice.

Where you will find me:

Keep glued to my Facebook page during May, as I am in India. First, doing some sight-seeing and then giving presentations at the Womens’ Economic Forum.

 

7 Ways to Perk up You and Your Wardrobe

What do most women these days have in common? They are busy, stressed out, and having a hard time remembering who they were before they became moms, entrepreneurs, even retired and now volunteering! It’s easy to hear a woman compare her former self to her current reality and say things like this:

“I used to take time and wear makeup before leaving the house. Now I’m lucky if I take a shower.”

“I used to have time to browse stores. Now I pray I run into what I need at one store.”

“I used to get dressed for work. Now I stay at home and dress in whatever.”

“I used to know what worked on my body. Now I don’t have a clue.”

While it would be easy to give up on fashion and style, I encourage you not to. Everyone benefits when you feel great about yourself. When you are dressed in a little something more than yoga clothes, it can make you feel more in control of your life. Looking put together on the outside can help you feel organized on the inside.

Even though you might think there’s no time for style, I’d like you to consider some of these tips.

  1. Be comfortable but don’t use “comfort” as a copout for sloppy, no-expression clothes. A T-shirt, a belt and a pair of rolled up jeans are just as comfortable as yoga pants and a hoodie, yet more intentional and put together.
  2. Put some lipstick, lip-gloss or mascara on even if you don’t have time for anything more than that. It will help you feel more refreshed. If you have time, add another product, like a mineral based foundation that will give you a glow even if you’re not feeling it.
  3. Wear clothes that fit you properly. Too tight or too baggy are two faces of the same problem. Good fit, even if you’re not the weight you’d like to be, makes you look thinner, brighter, and happier.
  4. No-iron fabrics could be a good choice for you. Also, fabrics that already have crinkles embedded in them are great choices. If you want to be cool in hot days, consider linen only if you can agree to not fret over the wrinkles. Linen is supposed to wrinkle.
  5. Prints are great for not showing areas you would rather hide. Pick an all over print in a paisley, a plaid or a floral. They’re fun, attractive, and will disguise lumps and bumps.
  6. The current trend of wearing high-low fashion means you can find fashionable looks at minimal prices. See if you can find that one item that when you put it on, it transforms your mood and your look. It might be a leather jacket, a trench coat in a bright color, jeans in your favorite color, or a super cute pair of wedged sandals. Think of this item as a personality piece, not a basic. Something new to wear can really lift your spirits.

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When you take time to care for yourself—even if it’s something small—be prepared to hear these sweet words, “You look great!”

I’d love to help you raise your energy or shop for some cute pieces this Spring.

Where you will find me:

Tuesday April 12, 2016
SWAN Barrie evening

Wednesday April 13, 2016
Client for Colour Analysis

Friday April 15, 2016
Client for Spring clothes shopping

Saturday April 16 and Sunday April 17
Think and Grow Rich Seminar   Mississauga

Tuesday April 19, 2016
Company of Women networking

Wednesday April 20, 2016
SWAN Barrie daytime

Friday April 22, 2016
Client for consultation

Saturday April 23, 2016
Barrie Beauty Café  Accessorize 101  2:00 – 4:00 pm   $25 pre paid/ $30 at door

Sunday April 24, 2016
Concert at Bourbon in Barrie  6:00 – 10:00 pm

Tuesday April 26, 2016
LIPS Fashion Show in Aurora

Saturday April 30, 2016
Foxy Lady Café in Aurora  Accessorize 101   2:00 – 4:00 pm

5 Fashion Tips to Take You into Spring

It’s that time of year: the weather’s unpredictable, allergies are acting up, and spring fashions are just coming in… but THIS WEATHER!! It jumps from warm to cold so quickly, how can one be prepared? Here’s a little study guide to help you take baby steps toward warm weather fashion.

Cardigans can move into springIMG_1308

Cashmere sweaters or cardigans can be a great choice heading into spring, even summer, especially when they are in lighter colors and/or are lightweight. Reach for them as great layering pieces for when days are flip flopping between warm and cold.

Boots keep on giving

Not only are boots great for the fall/winter fashion season, but they also march right into spring months. Boots, especially in lighter colors, make great companions to skirts and dresses. Ankle booties are sweet with rolled up jeans or when worn with a knit skirt and a chambray top.

Scarves and ponchos may be your go to accessoryIMG_1309

A great way to add spring colours to your wardrobe for a small investment is a colourful print scarf. Keep wearing wool ones if they don’t look too heavy or too dark. It might be time to shift to scarves in silk, cotton, or linen. I love to wear a poncho or wrap at this time of year. It adds a layer of warmth over my spring jacket and if it gets too warm by afternoon, all I need is the poncho.

Outsmart the weather with layers

When the weather can jump 20 degrees in spring days, you have to dress smart. Smart layering is the answer. Be sure your outfit looks cute with or without that outer layer because you could be taking it on and off a few times in a single day. Look for cardigans or crocheted sweaters, and of course a poncho or wrap. My other find this year are vests. Down-filled over a sweater, or a cosy fuzzy one will add a little extra warmth.

Black is forever green… what Karen?

Your black clothing items do not have to hibernate in the spring and summer months. They are great year round and can be part of your outfit…. When worn as a bottom piece. Help black shift into spring by adding a spot of colour in an accessory. Or do some colour blocking by wearing a black pant with a geranium red or turquoise top.

Call me if you need a Fashion Mentor this Spring…

Here is where I will be in the upcoming weeks:

Thursday March 31, 2016
BWNYR Networking in Vaughan

Saturday April 2, 2016
Join me at the Foxy Lady Beauty Café
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm for a fashion show and style tips
RSVP required and please visit my website for details  www.imageconnections.ca

Sunday April 3, 2016
Ava Gray Fashion Show in Markham

Sunday April 10, 2016
Think and Grow Rich Seminar all day

Saturday April 23, 2016
Barrie Beauty Café
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm All About Accessorizing
RSVP  and information is on my website   www.imageconnections.ca

Let’s bring on Spring Ladies…come out and see the newest fashions and then learn how to accessorize, uniquely for YOU!