Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Fashion victims have been the killing themselves for the sake of wearing the latest trendy garment or accessory to the point of causing themselves some very serious health concerns. This penchant to suffer is not a new phenomenon; women and men have been torturing themselves throughout the ages with devices that are too tight, too loose, too heavy, and too high, all for the sake of being on the cutting edge of fashion. When you fall suddenly tired or your body or legs ache the type of clothing you are wearing may well be the culprit. Unassuming fumes from fabrics may give you a headache and fabrics that don’t ventilate can suffocate. Stop to think about it. A disturbing reaction to your clothing may be a warning sign that your health is in jeopardy.
KILLER HEELS and FOOT AGONY Squeezing your feet into killer heels made even higher on a platform shoe may seem to be, as the French say, "the dernier cri," the height of sexuality, but with steady wear you’re heading for the podiatrist or worse foot surgery. According to studies heels higher than two inches have been the culprit of any number of foot disorders that develop over a lifetime. Hammer toes that cross over one another because the foot has been pressured into pointed toes and nasty bunions may even require surgery to relieve the agony and pain of expensive medical treatment.
FALLING FOR FASHION I have noticed any number of women falling off their fashion prerogative and spraining their ankle when they lose their balance as a result of killer heels. Further complications include shortening of the Achilles tendon, which can cause leg trauma. Some foot bones merely die due to lack of circulation caused by wearing plastic or imitation leather shoes that do not breathe. Need I say more? Yes, one thing, forget about those flip-flops, except for the beach. I once had a case of plantar facilitis, an inflammation at the bottom of the foot by wearing flats that lacked arch support. A word to the wise. Your feet have such an enormous task in carrying you throughout your lifetime, why not make it a comfortable journey.
RECONFIGURING THE BODY From the beginning of fashion adornment women have been reconfiguring their body through undergarments with various forms of padding or pillows and wire cages to affect a silhouette that nature never intended. Today’s answer to reshaping your body comes as Body Shapers that are touted to reconfigure bulges and bumps into a smooth, slimmer silhouette. These contraptions that are made of Spandex or other elastic materials may do the trick but if they are too tight they can compress the body’s organs and may even cause nerve damage. This is essentially the case if the body shaper extends from under the bust right down to the hips. Such compression may cause shortness of breath and headaches flare. Tight jeans that slither over your body without an inch of ease not only compresses you’re abdomen but may trigger leg pain or even sciatica.
I HATE MY BRA By the way, “I hate my bra.” That’s what so many women lament because if a bra is too large it does not give support and results in inevitable back pain. An ill fitting bra will look lumpy and questionable under a blouse or sweater. Okay you can purchase a padded bra, but that too must be the right size. If the bra is too small it will dig into your flesh and compress the breasts, which is something you do not want to do on a day-to-day basis as it could lead to other medical side effects. Solution: Visit a reputable bra boutique and invest in the proper measurement and fit.
VICTIMS THROUGH THE AGES Today’s fashionistas are not alone as fashion victims. Consider the court of Marie Antoinette. The ladies were suffocating themselves with a heavy load of rich silk or brocade fabric encompassing their legs in massive skirts that concealed their bodies. Adding to this extravagant silhouette were added phantasmagorical wigs, the harbingers no doubt of lice, and huge, weighty millinery atop their heads. They must have looked like a formidable fashion battleship.In addition, imagine the stench, more cosmetics and perfume were used than soap. The Victorians were not any better. Women were willing to squeeze themselves into corsets that could compress ribs and curtail breathing. No wonder there were fainting couches. Imagine the displayed organs from the tight lacing of corsets that may well have deformed their physique into a thirteen -inch waist, but worse such restriction may probably have been responsible for a woman’s inability to deliver a full-term baby.
IT’S A CRIME TO BE CHIC The fashion police ought to give women who tote around heavy-loaded satchels a desist notice. Even those new fashionable humongous handbags where women stash all their gear are the blame for that unattractive shoulder sloping. It can send you to the chiropractor to adjust your back or worse cause arm strain that rivets right down to your fingers. One lovely friend of mine is permanently off center, one shoulder seems permanently bent lower than the other from slinging a heavy bag over that shoulder. Good news is that there are some rather attractive retractable handle, rolling totes/handbags on wheels to accommodate laptop, paperwork or to use as an overnight bag. It’s better to protect the structure of your body than to abuse it to the point of seeming deformity.
Why not be inspired by the TV soap opera title, “One Life to Live,” and make it your mantra for healthy fashion choices that assure you the key to fashionable longevity.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Making an entrance like a star may not be exactly your aim, but you should want to make a good first impression especially in business circles and social encounters when looking your absolute best is de rigueur and breaking through conversation circles is essential. Like yourself, I am constantly meeting new people at business meetings, industry events or social occasions and I discovered that being prepared is really paramount to my success and yours too. Preparation means advance planning and research about the subject and the occasion so that I will be able to converse with other colleagues or guests about the business at hand or the charity event I am attending. Advance planning will also provide information on how to dress appropriately. So let preparation be your mantra. It is the key element to feeling confidant and comfortable in any business or social occasion.
PREPARATION Very often people come to a meeting so totally unprepared that they cannot make a contribution to the proceedings. You don’t want to be caught ‘asleep at the switch,” so to speak. When I first entered the corporate world I learned that fact the hard way. I was in such a fuzz about the whole discussion that when the president of the company was discussing the fiber ‘polyester’ I piped up, “Yes, Mr. Garson,” as I thought that he had spoken my first name, Polly. “Do you have something to add?” he said looking at me over his bifocals which had slid down his nose. I awkwardly replied, “Not at the moment.” That embarrassing episode taught me a severe lesson. After his disdainful look and a few muffled guffaws by my colleagues I vowed stay alert and never to be unprepared again. So I humbly told you this little tale because I have become a beacon of preparedness ever since, and so should you.
BACKGROUNDER TIPS Remember that whatever the occasion first tap into the research you did previously about the event. Whether it is a business or social occasion you’ll want to appear to be more than a “Yes,” man or woman. It’s a good idea to know about the purpose of the event and why you are involved and invited. If you have worked on one of the committees don’t be shy, mention your participation. Find out about the speaker or the celebrities or individuals who may be honored at the event. Not only will you impress others with your preparedness but you’ll have more reason to speak to other individuals and discuss current business or world news. Maybe you might even catch the eye of an executive who may want to eventually invite you to become a team player in their company. Better yet you may just find that Mr. Right is sufficiently impressed to ask you for a date.
INFILTRATING THE CIRCLE It is sometimes difficult to break into a conversation circle that seems to have closed its ranks to newcomers. If you find this is the case, you may still have a chance to be recognized. Just hover nearby and wait for someone to notice you and invite you to join them. If within a few moments this does not happen don’t slink away just regally walk away and try another conversation group. Sometimes I find it best to merely introduce myself to an individual who seems to be alone, like myself. I look them square in the eye and start the conversation off with a firm handshake while smiling in a friendly manner. Usually, this individual will be glad that you singled them out and you may be presently surprised when they will introduce you to other like-minded people.
TALK, TALK, TALK Being talkative is a good thing, but do not overdue it and monopolize the situation. Once you have center stage in a conversation circle be sure to engage other people into the conversation. Ask questions and let them reply and have the floor, so to speak. Keep up good eye contact and smile even if someone is somewhat boring. Take particular note of an introverted individual who merely stands by on the fringes of the conversation circle or a wife who seems to be rather quiet. Try to engage either one of them in the discussion as well and watch how much they appreciate your interest. It’s just good manners and someone will invariably say about your talent for being polite, “Isn’t she charming.” However, if someone who you are addressing seems to be distracted or their eyes are roving around the room, take the clue and simply say, “It was nice to meet you,” and move out of their orbit and onto the next conversation circle to find a more welcoming and interesting group of people.
DRESSING FOR THE OCCASION Many women make the mistake of wearing something brand new to the office without giving the outfit a trial run beforehand. In order to make the best impression in the corporate sector you want to feel confidant and comfortable. The week before or the night before an important business meeting put on the entire ensemble: blouse, suit, jewelry, the shoes, handbag, gloves and coat that you will be wearing, and stand before a full length mirror. Survey the affect and ascertain what has to be eliminated or adjusted. For example, accessories like costume jewelry may have to be eliminated for a more conservative earrings and broach. Killer high heel shoes may not be appropriate with the suit, and while you’re at it check the hemline of the skirt, sit down and be sure that the hemline is at a length that provides modest coverage. Check the blouse. Is there a gaping window at the button closure? If so a tiny hidden safety pin can hold the closure in place. Well, you get the point. Be your most severe critic and always be fashionably correct.
FASHION EVALUATION In these days when most of us do not have a ‘Lady’s Maid,” to assist us in dressing you can do a self-evlauation of the entire outfit. Before the company dinner, party or gala event I suggest that you try on the entire ensemble from the hairdo and hair ornament right down to the underwear to evaluate the look and to be sure that all the pieces work perfectly together. If not, eliminate or add something more effective. I did just that recently before a gala dinner in Rio de Janiero, Brazil during an International Art Deco conference. I tried on my dressy outfit only to discover that I had a deep décolleté top but that I had forgotten to take a strapless bra. Fortunately I had a black elongated chiffon scarf and was able to tie it in place to create a more modest plunge. The dressy shoes were a problem and I could not attach the buckle because the holes in the strap were too small. So out came my mini scissors and I inserted the point to enlarge the holes, making it easier to attach the strap. Having performed this costume evaluation and its accoutrement in advance I avoided becoming anxious or worse being late the night of the occasion.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Fashion is awash in orange, splashing through the color palette in a burst of melon, salmon, pumpkin, orange juice, lemony orange, sherbet tints, mango and intensive vibrant orange. Just wearing this shade will give you a boost of optimism and happiness, because orange combines the vibrancy and energy of red with the sunshine feel-good of bright yellow, a color that dispels rays that brighten any day.
BRIGHT INTENSE ORANGE is a powerful color and as such women sometimes shy away from it, thinking they cannot wear it. This is not true. Bright orange is a standout color, remember it has a base of show-stopper red. It says you're an extrovert, a go-getter, an individual who has fashion savvy. Wearing intense orange can pump up any basic wardrobe and boost your confidence and optimism. Bright intense orange also works well in combination with colors plucked from autumn leaves. Think of adding forest green, goldenrod, crimson or brown to the mix. A sporty jacket in terracotta with forest green pants and a bright orange turtleneck looks rustic and outdoorsy. It says you're approachable and friendly. The same is true for men working in creative fields and the corporate world. They too can adopt autumn colors in wardrobe separates for weekend wear and continue to make a statement on casual Fridays. CITRUS CHIC To tame the flame of bright orange other options are available from flattering tints to soft earth shades. However, you don't have to look like Halloween or a Thanksgiving pumpkin, instead just like an artist's palette you can reflect nature in all its autumn glory. Artists of the Hudson River School were colorful interpreters of America's autumn countryside. In the painting, "Autumn" 1853, the artist, Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) in his desire to portray a true American landscape created a masterpiece, a brilliant evocation of fall, portraying a season whose colors are a sublime vision of harmonized tones:copper, forest green, burnt sienna, and brilliant crimson give forth a spectacular panorama in the full triumph of autumn’s resplendent hues. Similarly fashion also takes its inspiration from nature and offers a wide range of orange possibilities. Visualize the autumn leaves that inspire flattering shades of burnt peachy rust and brown basted orange and golden sunlight.
FASHION FORWARD A tailored wool dress in a deep rust shade is conservative. It says you're serious and businesslike, a person who is warm-hearted and a good team player. You're gregarious personality who keeps everyone snapping to attention in an atmosphere of cooperation that makes work far more pleasant each day. Why? Because deep rust has the energy of red with the grounding of brown in its formula and like autumn leaves you project a powerful multi-faceted persona. Pumpkin looks chic and sophisticated in a blazer coordinated with steel gray wool pants and a shimmering gray silk blouse. The look has executive punch and is elegant for town wear. Add a gray suede tote and you're ready from day into night with a powerful sense of well being. Men also look great in autumnal colors. A deep pumpkin, suede bomber jacket with gray trousers and a gray turtleneck says he's coordinated with executive punch for casual Fridays.
EVENING ALLURE By evening the desire for more sumptuous outfits calls for a dramatic approach to enriching your image. The total effect of amber has stunning impact, especially on auburn haired women. Wear a shimmering amber rust taffeta strapless evening gown with a matching stole and sweep onto the dance floor as your magnetic charm garners all eyes' approval. Add a necklace of Russian amber jewelry and the look is elegant and breathtaking. Be adventurous and don't be intimidated by orange. Tints of peach, coral and cantaloupe are dainty, feminine versions of orange that create a sunny disposition for any woman and give you a springy upbeat look. A creamy peach silk blouse softens a black suit and transforms it into an ensemble for a night on the town. Wear coral with brown and its warm glow says you're down to earth and reliable. Get on the wild side of fashion and coordinate with orange handbag and shoes coordinates fashioned in leopard spots or tiger prints. A classic blazer in a zesty shade of bright orange, tangerine or dazzling reddish orange may be all you’ll need to spring forward as a savvy fashionista. ACCESSORIES ADD PUNCH Orange is definitely on trend and has managed to touch everything from jewelry to handbags, scarves and shoes. An injection of orange into your accessories wardrobe is all that is needed to punch up the benefits of looking perky and positively citrus chic.