Apr 152014

When is a look enough? When is it too much? After posting about the 16 12 point accessory “rule”, I got feedback from people who, like me, feel that is alot. I also feel like there is too much structure to these “rules”. What about creativity? Finally, there is the concept of personality within personal style idiom: some of us prefer to have our clothes carry the interest, rather than our accessories.
Save 20% on select Heels and Flats, valid 4/6-4/19

Sale on select Jewelry for Spring, valid 4/6-5/10

In the picture below, the pieces are strikingly simple. All together, the look is relatively complex, very interesting, and appropriate for an evening of Van Gogh and Merlot. In the high fashion jewelry business professionally, the girl pictured nevertheless chose to accessorize with only one extra ring and pair of earrings.

Her count:
– 2 garments and 1 pair of shoes = 3
– 3 accessories
– around her face: stylish, purple/auburn hair; beauty makeup; a crystal dermal piercing.


Without counting any of the interesting details in her clothes, this outfit would be a 9; adding an extra color, as per the previously-mentioned system, brings the total to 10 for this outfit. I suggest it should be higher.

I would add a point for each print (3) and a point for the studs on the shoes.

The takeaway: evaluate your entire look for points of interest.

Apr 082014

Blogging around the Internet recently, I ran across the idea of a 16 point rule of accessorizing. Hadn’t I blogged about that before? (Before I actually became accessory positive, that is?) I couldn’t find that I had, although I remember discussing it with my sister and her friend Dana; I also had an idea where it originated.

In the classic,Casual Power:: How to Power Up Your Nonverbal Communication & Dress Down for Success, Empowerment Consultant Sherry Maysonave recommends a Professional Image Point System.

A classy, professional image does not score over 10 to 12 points for any outfit. Here’s how my point system works: … Give each item of clothing one point. In addition, count your shoes as one point and earrings as one. Then count your watch, or any belt, ring, bracelet, necklace, or scarf that you’re wearing as one point each. All accessories (including hair ornaments) get one point each.

Sherry Maysonave (1999)

Times have changed. A couple of years ago, Karen, an Image Consultant in The Great Northwest, put out an updated version of the classic “16 points accessory rule”. I love that your hair counts as an accessory if you have received a compliment on it in the last two weeks! OTOH, I still feel like, even with glasses and always wearing a belt, 16 is way too many points for me.

So here is my analysis of the matter: level of embellishment is a distinct element of personal style idiom. Do you feel over- or under- embellished? If so, you may wish to count your “points”. If not, you may also wish to count your points; the range you are in may be just right for you.

Apr 042014

I decided to choose this for my blast-from-the-past (October, 2008) this week NOT because I wish to dwell in controversy, but because I’ve been talking about values this week. Personally, I value my productivity – not saying that is a virtue! – above cleanliness. I also value my visitors. When, as a guest, I am required to take my shoes off, I may feel less welcome, although I probably shouldn’t.

Lowest Prices of the Season at! Offer valid 4/2-4/6

Increasingly, I am feeling alone in this.  But I don’t know that I care.  When I am puttering around the house, I wear shoes.  In fact, if I’m not wearing proper outdoor shoes, I feel as if I’m not dressed – simply lounging.

Jennifer was wondering.

How about the rest of you?  Are you like Jennifer, wearing house shoes in the house and keeping a pair of outdoor shoes near the door for running into the yard or to get mail?

Tell me I’m not the only one who needs shoes to feel dressed!

Feb 182014

On the one hand are the Classicists. They say things like, “everyone needs a little black dress”, “black is slimming”, and “cuz it goes with everything”. On the other hand are the Idealists; they declare brown and navy and other (presumably more flattering) dark neutrals black equivalents. But equivalent they are not.

Browse related books.

I have made the point many times that black is not that flattering on alot of people. While charcoal and navy are perfectly acceptable as business wear, and midnight blue or chocolate brown can be a chic alternative to the LBD; can we just be brutally honest? There is no reason not to wear any of those “black alternatives” with a black shoe.

After many years of trying to delete black entirely, I just have to face facts:

certain basics are only available (and/or practical to shop for) in black

This is particularly true of leather items. (Not to mention that brown leather presents an entirely different vibe than black.)

So, although my Keirsey Temperament Type is Idealist, I am choosing to be more of a Realist in this and wear solid black by my feet and not by my face.

What other items are better in black?

Jan 072014

I think I am obsessed with color theory. And I am only just beginning to realize all that I do not understand about it. Expect lots of color commentary to come, and probably some rewrites of old material.

While not strictly a color topic, sheen is certainly related. It is a major component to a person’s appearance that sometimes gets overlooked.  

I don’t have alot of rules to add here, just a question for us all to consider:

Is your visual appearance more shiny or matte?

When I was younger, my skin was very reflective. Now that it is slightly more “textured”, my hair – the most eye-catching element of my appearance – is extremely shiny. It seems fair to say that “shiny” is a fixed component of my best look. I am moving to all shiny metals in my accessories to support that element of my appearance (can I say “beauty” when talking about myself?).

And a tip: if it is hard for you, as for me, to find belts with the right color hardware, check men’s. Save up to 60% on men’s apparel at NORDSTROM.

And a thought: 2014 may be the year when I finally give in and officially learn color analysis. If I can afford it. 😉

Dec 052013

So, I joined the YMCA. My daughter and I have gone nearly every day since then; I am helping her get the kids settled into the child care AND enjoying her company.  And on a little streak of blogging about exercise clothes.

May I also take this opportunity to add that my newest athletic shoes are neon pink? For those who may not have noticed (which would have been me six months ago), <strong>bright is the new white, when it comes to athletic shoes.</strong>

Browse related books.

My shoes are Merrell, which I love; Puma, however, is my perennial favorite athletic shoe brand.

Sep 242013

At the recent Portland Fashion Week RTW show I attended, my companions and I stumbled onto a hat retailer among the pop-up shops. Of course, we all started grabbing hats and putting them on; I expected the usual response: hoots of laughter. Instead, the fabulous Katy of Bonnet informed me that I was putting it on wrong and would always look bad in hats (which I knew) unless I put them on correctly (which I did not know).

The trick: pull the hat on from the back of your head, rather than pushing it down from the top, and then pull it forward to frame the eyebrows.laurenleighton meester gossip girl in aubergine cloche

So, this actually works.  And they had a darling wool cloche in aubergine, with self-fabric flowers, which reminds me of this photo of Leighton Meester from Gossip Girl (which I have never watched, I confess), although the brim on the Lauren is shaped differently – it sorta swoops down on one side, like a wink ;).   I looked decent in it.  Imagine my sister’s surprise when, after she had been trying on hats from US $80 to $130, I said, “I’ll take it!”

lol.  The Lauren is only $46.  And still available at Bonnet.

Aug 212013

That moment when you realize (almost) all your _____ (insert article of clothing staple) are on or past their last legs.

I have been packing. Or at least I have been thinking about packing. In a day or two, I fly with a small group of female friends/family to Hawaii. I am purposely packing light. But suddenly I find myself with the following wardrobe of shorts:

  1. one pair Bermudas that I wish were an inch shorter. Sort of a soft, sagey green that doesn’t go with the rest of the color scheme I am packing, so I am wearing them while I do laundry, shop, and pack. They will be clean for me to wear upon return.
  2. one pair mid-thigh, chino-style which fit fabulously but seem to have a defective “barn door”. Or operator ;). Yeah, the other day I looked down after an afternoon of shopping and selling stuff at Plato’s Closet to see my zipper down! It had to have been that way all afternoon, if it didn’t come down on its own. 🙁
  3. my favorite summer pair of shorts, lipstick pink, which came out of the wash recently with spots that looked like a pair of jeans had bled onto them.  I washed them again and I think they are okay, but …

I needed to buy some shorts.

So, it was back to Value Village for the one day, half off summer, card-holders only sale. And a quick stop at Goodwill on the way home.

(I could have gone to shop clearance at the regular store, at this time of year, but it isn’t as easy for me to get to. Shop Clearance at

Shorts added:

  1. Khaki, white, orange, and O.D. green plaid Bermudas
  2. Brown knee-length board shorts
  3.  O.D. green mid-thigh Athleta shorts with oversized grommet trim

In addition to shorts, I plan to take:

  1. Coral roll-up light-weight twill pants
  2. White gauze trumpet-gored skirt

Anything you would add? Besides tops 😉

May 302013


So, for the past several years, the hero’s annual office party has been held in April.  This year I happened to be involved in an upcycling project (still unfinished) which I had hoped to wear.  In the middle of the afternoon that day, I woke up to the fact that it wasn’t happening and I needed to find something to wear.  Thankfully, I remembered a brown silk Ann Taylor dress I had picked up for $2 months before and had never even tried on.  But it fit!

Today I went back to the same thrift store, Salvation Army on Division, for their weekly 25 cent sale.  On the way out the door, I noticed a cart full of shoes and found a like-new pair of these: image13.jpg


The Kitt shoe in brown by Life Stride is classified as pumps. This Life Stride shoe is made from suede, rubber sole with a heel height of about 2.5 inch. The Kitt also features studs & grommets, pointed toe, cap toe.  Msrp $60.


Note: single sole pumps, cap toe, pointy toe, silver studs. All very current elements, but classic enough for longevity.
Don’t you agree these will be perfect with the dress? And I am not just buying them, for a quarter ;), for the one dress; I did not own brown pumps. I do now! Yay! In the picture, I am wearing tights and boots, just cuz I didn’t have a closed-toe option. In the picture with me, the co-worker I most wanted to award some kind of best-dressed citation.