Category Archives: accessories, jewellry, handbags, shoes

Even models have ‘frumpy’ days

We revere models. We want to look like them. We think they have close to perfect bodies. Perhaps? Well I’m here to say hogwash! Find me a model who isn’t dependent on her stylist to look pulled together, and I’ll  show you a woman who struggles to get her look down pact like everyone else. What we often forget when we drool at glamor shots in magazines or watch celebs on the red carpet or being interviewed on TV is that 9 times out of 10, that woman (or man) has had a lot of help and time to look fabulous. There are glam squads behind the scenes, makeup, hair, wardrobe stylists, you name it, to ensure that person looks polished from head to toe.

Want proof? I want to use this post to share photos of two models who are having off days (in my esteemed opinion). Clearly the wardrobe stylist or image consultant had the day off. The first is the usually fab Selita Ebanks at a recent Prada event. Two words: School Marm! I mean really, this looks out of date, out of proportion and simply not well executed. Yes her makeup is pretty, but not loving the hair. Yes there is a necklace but the top washes her out and is so baggy and then  paired with the overly long ‘granny’ skirt, that it ages her by 10 years at least. And sorry, not digging the shoes either which could easily pass for running shoes. Thumbs down on this ensemble!

A better interpretation of this look keeping skirt intact? A more fitted, body contouring top in a color that pops with her skin (let’s say bubble gum pink). Then a belt at the waist to give further definition. I would change the necklace to one that had an edgier vibe. Finish off with nude tone strappy heels so there is no mistaking that she is young hip and gorgeous. Can you picture the difference?

I present next, popular model Christy Turlington. That boxy black jacket with a white lace summer dress? Really? This simply does not work-the black overpowers her face and is just too heavy for the white lace. Her hair pulled back with minimal makeup does nothing to hide the starkness of the jacket. I feel like I want to see a necklace to break up the drab. And again the shoes–ick! This looks like she was trying to be comfortable yet stylish but so did not pull it off.

What would have made this look work? Lose the black heavy jacket and instead opt for a cute cropped number in blush or even light denim. Hair needs to be down so the look says feminine casual. Drop earring and an elegant necklace would be great compliments. No black bangle but instead maybe a collection of skinny silver ones stacked together for a relaxed vibe. And the shoes? A wedge sandal in nude (still comfortable) or a cute ballet flat with a bow or other accent. Better!

 

I am being overly harsh in my critique of these models, yes. It is just to make you, average woman reading this post feel emboldened to know that ‘perfection’ is just an illusion. And even those we hold on pedestals can fall from grace quickly…without the help of their glam squad

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, image consulting. Author: Frumpy to Fabulous, Flaunting It

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What to Wear? Comfortable yet Stylish Shoes for Work

As an image consultant and personal shopper one of the questions I get asked most often is where to find comfortable yet stylish shoes for work. It amazes me that many women will forgo wearing skirts and dresses because they do not have the right type of shoes that give them the comfort they desire yet not  frumpy. My answer is typically that options now are so much more plentiful than they used to be. Designers like Naturalizer, Aerosoles and Cole Haan have made comfort a priority in their shoe designs.

Naturalizer has a whole line–the N5 comfort series designed for women with these challenges in mind. There are also brands like Sofft shoes, Born, Dansko and Munro Italian that can be found in major department stores that offer designs that are a more fashion forward than your grandmother used to wear, while still keeping the ‘comfort first’ mentality in tact.

I typically advise women to look for a shoe with at least an inch and half heel to wear with skirts and dresses because a slight heel will be more flattering than no heel at all (in other words ballet flats really can’t be worn with a sheath dress!). Also examine the type of heel. A kitten heel with a narrow base on the bottom is infinitely harder to walk in than a block or wedge heel. Some platforms can also be forgiving in the comfort department.

So you don’t just have to take my word for it, here are a few stylish options for work that keep your foot comfort in mind (all available at Nordstrom).

Anyi Lu Dainty pump

Sofft Napoli III

 

Cole Haan Lainey pump

 

Munroe Odetta pump

Anyi Lu Soul pump

Naturalizer Verstood Mary Jane

Paul Green Faith pump

Trotters Jaden sling back

ECCO Coventry pump

Softspots Sherise pump

Colre Haan slingback

Natalie Jobity, image consultant, Elan Image Management

 

 

 

Dress to impress: 5 tips to dressing like a winner

We’ve all heard the phrase “dress to impress” but when you get to the nitty gritty what does it really mean? Dressing to impress is more than just the clothes you wear. It is your total image presentation, including your clothing, how you accessorize, how groomed you are, your poise and posture, non verbal cues, and more. Because research has proven that people make first impression judgments about us primarily based on how we look, the “dressing” part of dressing for success is very critical.

Dress like a winner and you’ll find that the way the rest of the world interacts with you will change for the better. So how does a winner dress? Here are five tips.

 

  1. 1. They own their signature style. Your style is an integral part of who you are—it is your personal stamp. A woman of style has a particular way they carry themselves–it stems from confidence but its more than just that. It’s perhaps the ultimate physical manifestation of their self expression.
  2. 2. They understand the benefits of investing in high quality clothing. High quality is not mean the same thing as “expensive” or designer brands. You can find quality clothing at many price points. But the common denominator is that the clothing is manufactured well, holds up to multiple washings and wears well over time. Moreover it fits well because it is made with better fabrication and attention to detail.
  3. 3. They ensure their clothing fits them impeccably whether they are wearing a suit or a sheath dress. Have your clothing altered by professionals as needed or pay attention to the designers and brands that work well for your figure and proportions. When your clothing fits you well you feel better in it and are able to exude mire confidence.
  4. 4. They pay attention to the accent pieces that impact their image and make them a stand out. Accent pieces are like the bow around the wrapping of a present—it makes the gift look more pleasing to the eye, more polished. It is the same with your ensembles. Accents your shoes, handbag, jewelry and scarves punctuate your look and takes your image up several notches.
  5. 5. They look fabulous regardless of the occasion and know that the way they dress speaks loudly about the type of woman they are. They choose classic or timeless designs. They don’t follow fashion trends but instead invest in clothing uniquely appointed to reinforce their style, lifestyle and preferences. In many cases they are the type of women we all look up to and admire.

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, an image consulting firm

7 Ways to Look Fabulous & Flaunt It on Valentine’s Day!

I love this quote from Michael Kors who was recently interviewed for In Style magazine. He shares, "Don’t dress to go with your age. Dress to go with your body. So much depends on self image! I know women over 49 who love their legs and 29 year old girls who hate their arms. Don’t let ‘age rules’ dictate what you wear." If you read my book ‘Frumpy to Fabulous: Flaunting It‘ you’ll know I highly endorse this perspective. Sometimes we are what we wear and if you dress frumpy,  you sure won’t be turning any heads.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Celebrate your inner lioness and break out all the stops, regardless of how you spend your evening. Here are 7 quick tips to guide you!
 

  1. Take time to style your hair. So many women I work with just don’t bother and they have a litany of excuses as to why. If merely to please the man in your life on V-Day (or to get glammed for yourself) take the time to style your hair in a way that makes you feel beautiful.
  2.  Wear a skirt or dress. For most of us it’s winter and we’re all clothed up. Show off some leg on Monday. Don a pair of textured stockings that are all the rage now. Or show your arms. Or a little cleavage. Or a peek of your back. You will feel more feminine and will exude allure.
  3.  Please go the extra mile with your make-up, especially your lips and eyes. You can’t imagine the difference it makes to your sparkle quotient. Dare to paint your lips a shade of red. Put on a couple coats of mascara. Try a new eye shadow.  Make your command central, your face, simply irresistible.
  4. Come thee bejeweled. This is one of those days when you want to bring your ‘A’ game. Dangly earrings, a statement necklace, killer cuffs on the wrists, blinging rings-all good. Wearing jewelry will make you feel as fabulous as you’re going to look.
  5. Even if you’re a tall gal like I am, heels really do make you strut that much more convincingly. I’m not asking you to wear them all day now and they don’t have to be 4". Just skip the flats, ok?
  6. Wear a color that makes you pop! Ensure that there is no mistaking that you are Present and just radiating beauty. Any color that makes your eyes sparkle will be a winner.
  7. Wear a scent that will make your man want to cuddle with you all night. Perfume is an invisible accessory but on a day like this it can seal the deal. Your man will be hopelessly and happily yours all night long.

 
Be Fabulous!!

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management, an image consulting firm

Shoe challenges: Finding the Perfect Fit

There is something incredibly alluring about a woman wearing heels.  And with 5 " heels all the rage, women are stepping it up–literally.

Yet at 6 feet 1" tall, I never had any inclination to rock heels (after all I wasn’t trying to add MORE height to my stature) so I never learned how to walk in them. I think my  very narrow, long feet also play a role in the wobbly unattractive gait I develop when I try to wear any heel higher than 2 " –forget it if they are kitten heels! The unfortunate thing is that all this limits my  shoe options considerably!  I have two pairs of love sandals with kitten heels or the equivalent that may be 2.5 inches and I swear I have never worn them outside my house. I have tried (unsuccessfully) to walk around the house in them in an effort to dare to wear them out, but the wobbly, shaky ankle look is so not cool and bordering on spraining my foot. I’m averse to injury so the moment my whole foot bends while trying to walk it’s over.

I don’t need heels to add height I want them for the sex appeal–and 3 inches will more than suffice. If only…I got excited recently when I tried on a pair of Sam Edeleman’s that were SO cool–funky and edgy–just the type of shoe missing in my closet. Amazingly I was just almost able to walk in them–they may have been 3.5 inches but they had a nice solid heel base (which makes a huge difference BTW). The problem however was that my feet were too narrow for the shoe–argh!! That is always the ultimate "gotcha" with shoes and me.

What is interesting though is I thought I was alone in my shoe challenge. But as an image consultant I have met so many women –petite, average, tall–who struggle with shoes that fit comfortably for one reason or another. For some its the inability to master walking in them. My heart goes out to the woman if she is petite and actually could use the height leverage heels provide. For others, it is a too wide foot that limits their options. Others have unique foot issues (large or narrow heels, one foot larger than the other etc.) that make finding shoes period very challenging. Then there are the MANY who used to rock heels decades ago and now suffer the consequences with ailments from foot pain, bunions, arch issues etc.

Moral? There are lots of women out here needing options that are stylish and funky in a variety of sizes and widths and styles. I have met women who wear their heels but then they have to sit down in them because to walk in them is torture. I’m sorry– comfort over style is my mantra-if I can’t sit, stand, walk or run if I have too in complete ease I’m not wearing the shoe.

Shoes are a critical part of one’s style and look. I’ve had to ‘make do’ and it’s unfortunate. Unfortunate for me and the many women who wistfully long to rock a pair of really hot shoes but struggle to find styles that work. Designers like Softspots, Clarks, Sofft, Cole Haan, Naturalizer, Munro, Trotters, Van Eli and even Aerosoles are trying to provide comfortable options for women like me. Nordstroms now has a section called comfort shoe shop on their website. If I can find a shoe like this Sofft peep toe that fits my narrow feet that I can walk in, I’ll be a happy gal.

Sofft Raine pump @ 3.5 "

 

For me Van Eli is really the only brand that gives me my length and width (11AAA) in lower heel options. Suffice it to say most of my shoes are mail ordered and made by Van Eli. But options have definitely  gotten more promising in the past two years. The gladiator trend put flat shoes back on the market and a big hallelujah for that!  And the recent trend in boots of all heights and styles is a huge boon–its one of the (few) reasons I look forward to fall/winter season so I can wear boots from my increasing collection of riding style boots.

So there is hope! Looking forward to being pleasantly surprised this season!  I just found this cute pair from Van Eli that comes in narrow that might work–don’tbe surprised if you see me Flaunting It!

 

Van Eli Phebe Calf

Natalie Jobity, Elan Image Management

Shoe Love

Thank you Via Spiga for allowing Elan Image Management to celebrate your 25th anniversary with you. The winner of the April shoe giveaway in honor of the anniversary that was promoted on  the Women’s Image and Wardrobe Examiner column is Susi Dupuis. Susi was selected from among comments to the question: why do you absolutely love shoes? Her response celebrates the beauty of shoes and the attitude they imbue to the wearer!

Susi’s response:

 

"Thank you for this article that celebrates finely crafted ladies footwear from the designer mecca of Milan, Italy. Without a doubt, it is our shoes that help us "feel" an attitude about our clothing and ourselves. I traveled in Rome in January and enjoyed the style and grace of the women there, particularly the staggering heels they wore while still managing to gracefully navigated along the cobbled avenues! As I said earlier, shoes inspire an attitude with their heels, straps, sparkles, buttons and buckles. Casual, business, evening and formal outfits are each often defined by the shoes chosen to go with them. There is a strut, a runway mentality that must go with strappy heeled shoes! And put on flats with a skirt to go about casually attending to what you need to do; then simply change into heels and take on the world! I AM attractive when I wear sexy shoes and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Thank you Via Spiga for inspiring the beautiful attitude in all of us! "

The contest offered 3 shoe choices and Susi selected the Ivory flats shown below.

Congratulations Susi!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management

Mothers Day Giveaway via Quintessential Consulting sterling silver and diamond necklace!

It really wasn’t until my son looked at me and called me mommy for the first time, that I realized the true impact that word really has. I have been very blessed to have the greatest mother, but with the hustle and bustle of life its so easy to take that for granted. Since having my own children, my relationship with mother has taken on a whole new meaning that words could not explain. I am so thankful that she is such a giving spirit and I’m glad that I can return the favor and take care of her.

So in honor of Mother’s Day I would like to make a special announcement. Quintessential Consulting in collaboration with DRZ Jewelers are offering a beautiful Andrea Candela 18k, sterling silver and diamond necklace!!!!! ($250 value) Sound wonderful? It is!!!

So here’s how you can enter to win this fabulous gift for you or your mother….

Rules:

1. You must become a fan of DRZ Jewelers AND Quintessential Consulting on facebook.

2. If you have a blog, repost this contest on your blog.

3. Leave a comment on this blog (that you fanned us, that u reposted on your blog) and tell us what you LOVE about your mom or what you LOVE about being a mom.

This contest starts NOW and will run until midnight May 4th.

A winner will be chosen at random so GOOD LUCK and we look forward to hearing your stories.

 

My comment:

What a great way to celebrate Moms! I love my Mom because especially because she gave me the gift of reading. She would buy us books every week when we were kids and I couldn’t wait for the latest Enid Blython, Nancy Drew or Secret Seven book to come into our house. My brother was a very avid reader and could absorb a book overnight. I’m more like a slow boil, taking weeks to indulge in the latest ‘escape’. Books have been an integral part of my life ever since. I have learned and grown so much from the wisdom of writers. My mother is extremely creative and I believe it is that creativity that inspired me to be in my chosen career today as an image consultant. Thanks Mom!

Good luck readers!

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, image consulting

Win a pair of Via Spiga shoes! Read on for details

Ladies how often do you get a chance to win a pair of shoes valued at over $200 just by reading a column? Not often. Well through April 25th (THIS SUNDAY) you have the opportunity  to do just that. It’s Via Spiga’s 25th Anniversary this year, and one of the ways they want to celebrate their loyal consumers is by giving back. So we’re doing an exciting giveaway of a “special gift” from Via Spiga.

But before I tell you how you can be eligible to win this ‘prize’ let me tell you a little bit about Via Spiga!

Via Spiga takes its name from the legendary street in Milan. Their shoes are steeped in a heritage of pure Italian designs, leathers and quality materials. Today the brand delivers sleek and architecturally inspired styles, binging luxury fashion within reach of all women. The entire collection has a feel of amped up femininity, for women who like to command attention when they walk down the street… whether in Milan, New York, Washington DC or anywhere. And as you know, shoes are the ultimate accessory, that can take your outfit up several notches in the flick of an ankle strap.

What can you expect from a Via Spiga shoe? Quality materials, superior workmanship, style, the latest in footwear trends and an attitude!

The Image and Wardrobe Examiner column in partnership with Via Spiga is giving away a gift bag with a pair of shoes (your choice from three selections) to one lucky woman and a couple other surprise giftables for those who participate in the contest.

Here are your choices of shoes!

Jasmin valued at $225

Ivory valued at $164

Jolie valued at $225

What do you have to do to enter?
Comment on this article about why you love shoes and why they are the ultimate accessory. Get creative. If you own a Via Spiga shoe tell us about it. The winner will be chosen from among the best responses and then chosen at random.You can comment  on the column, via my twitter account  or on my Facebook fan page or to my e-mail Natalie@ElanImageManagement.com.  If you do comment on the column directly, e-mail or DM me on Twitter so I know who you are!

The winner will be chosen and announced on The Image and Wardrobe Examiner column and my Facebook fan page on April 25th in honor of the company’s anniversary.

The odds of wining are very high! Good luck!

 For more information visit Via Spiga’s website, become their Facebook fan and follow Via Spiga on Twitter.

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, image consulting

Look Stunning with These Tips on fit, color and accessorizing

The Oscar red carpet is the crème de la crème of red carpets and we all wait in anticipation to see what our favorite celebs would wear. For me, as an image consultant I’m always curious to see who I think nailed it and who missed the mark. Definitely a lot to learn from the fashions at this year’s event.


What makes stunning?

I have two favorites for who just looked amazing from head to toe. First, Meryl Streep. Simply sublime. Kudos to Project Runway alum Chris March who designed this figure flattering drapey shawl collar creation. Meryl is a vision in this classic white tuxedo inspired gown which fits her impeccably. And every detail works, her hair, makeup, silver clutch and diamond earrings, bracelets and ring all by Fred Leighton. She looks fabulous.

Steve Granitz/wire.

Demi Moore, looks so stunning in a very feminine diaphanous salmon gown designed by Atelier Versace. Silk ruffles cascade down the skirt with a fitted strapless bodice on top. The color looks amazing on her, it fits her like a glove and her gorgeous drop earrings and diamond cuff are just the details that make for a slam dunk.
So what makes these two stunners: Gowns that fit them and suit their personality. Colors that work for their complexion. Accessories that punctuate and enhance. And hair and makeup that finish off their looks .

Jason Merrit/Getty

The Importance of getting color right
I am a big proponent on women wearing colors that make them shine because it can have such a huge impact. I am always amazed when some celebs walk the carpet in a beautiful dress that just is not the right color for them. At Sunday night’s Oscars, Penelope Cruz in a deep wine dress got her color right—she radiates in her dress because her dark hair and eyes and skin are enlivened by that color. Gabourey Sidibe also rocked her cobalt blue off-the-shoulder dress by Marchesa.

/ Frazer Harrison/Getty

AP photo/Matt Sayles

Who got color wrong? Julianne Moore just disappears in her white dress. It does nothing for her. A snooze. Diane Kruger, also missed the mark with a creme dress with black accents. Not crazy about the dress’s design (Chanel) and the color does not help. Washes her out and the black is just too jarring.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

 

Ap/ Chris Pizzello

On the Flip side, I love fuchsia and I love that Vera Farmiga dared to wear that color in her very constructed Marchesa ruffled gown. But if you look long enough you’ll realize you are staring at the dress and not her face. Why? Because the color is too strong for her skin eyes and hair. In other words, the color is wearing her- not such a good thing.

Jason Merrit/Getty

Lesson, if your dress is not the right color it does not matter how gorgeous your gown is, you just won’t nail it. Read more in my article on 6 ways to wow with color

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management, image consultants

Why Attend Elan’s Spring Wardrobe Bootcamp? Winter Recap

February 27th was a lucky day for 11 ladies as they participated in Elan Image Management’s Winter wardrobe bootcamp at Hotel George. Natalie Jobity, image and fashion consultant and personal shopper, President of Elan Image Management facilitated the wardrobe bootcamp seminar. ‘Bootcamp’ really makes it sound a whole lot more serious than it was because we had lots of fun and laughs in addition to great education, empowerment and ‘aha’ moments for those in attendance.

Each woman got figure typed so each left with a clear sense of ways to flatter and enhance her figure and what to wear for greatest impact. Each also had a brief personal style assessment to help guide her in the ways she could express her personal style. Everyone wanted to know where to find the perfect pair of jeans and I shared sources and resources for jeans, shapewwear and more. We discussed the importance of leaving a great first impression, the essentials every closet should own, ways to accessorize and the importance of knowing your ‘wow’ colors.

This group of ladies asked some great questions and were wonderful sharing their personal stories and insights to share with other women in the group. We all had a blast with the accessory swap activity where each woman got at least two new acessories to take home with her to add to her collection. It was a delight to share with the group and lead another successful workshop!

Thanks to Monifa Smart for assisting me in faciliatining this transformational workshop.

Pictures speak a 1000 words so here are a few of my favorities from the day:

 

Group shot at end of Bootcamp!

Helping participant with personal style assessment

Participant demonstrating age appropriate creative chic!

Accessory swap activity: earrings were awesome on her!

Participant asking a question

Accessory swap table: All items were donated by participants to swap with each other. Great stuff!

Front of room shot with participant sharing her story

She swapped for that lovely necklace. Doesn’t she look great?

Join the fun at the next wardrobe bootcamp on Saturday April 17th at Hotel George. All details and registration at: Spring Wardrobe Bootcamp

The Image Diva, Elan Image Management