Three Ways to Up Your Style Game


Is it possible to be seen exactly the way you want to be seen?

The short answer is YES. Did you know it takes one tenth of a second to form a first impression? We form our mental image of a person as soon as we come into contact with them. The unfair part of this equation is that we are a very image focused society and we make our assumptions based on what we see.

So, that frumpy dressed person that appears to have just rolled out of bed? You would likely determine they are uneducated, lazy and broke.


Now here’s the good news. It can work just as easily the other way around. We can be in control of our image and it starts with our clothing. When life transitions happen - returning to work after kids, changing careers or dating again in mid-life – we want to make that first impression strong and memorable.



The first step is in knowing what we are about, what we value and what resonates with us so we can move this into our personal style. I call these “style words”. Everything moves on a scale. Are you more classic? Romantic? Trendy? A little rock n’ roll? We could be classic and trendy in the same outfit but it would be confusing. Normally, we tend to fall to one end of the scale a little more than the other.

Pay attention to your energy, where you feel most comfortable in your style and then apply this to your clothing. The bonus? You can determine where to shop and which brands work for you once you’ve identified your style words. 

The second step is know your environment and the people in it. How will they be dressed? My golden rule is to always elevate your look. It’s OK to be the best dressed person in the room but it is NOT OK to be the most casual (or, ahem, worst dressed). You will end up feeling uncomfortable and you will miss opportunities to engage because you won’t be feeling as confident as you could feel.  When you stand in your closet in the morning trying to decide what to wear, consider where you’ll be that day. Are you sitting in an office, traveling to meetings, presenting in front of people? Think ahead to how you want to feel while networking and work back to how you want to show up.


The third and final consideration is know your own body and what looks good on you. And notice, I didn’t say, “Go and change your body”. Your physical being is your vessel that deserves respect. It’s healthy and alive and carries you from A to B probably very efficiently. We all have body issues and areas we’d love to change and it's normal. However, we can dress in ways that make us look and most importantly FEEL beautiful – because we are ALL worthy of that and it IS possible. Trust me!

I challenge you ... get serious about your personal style and then watch all the amazing first impressions that take place. It’s powerful stuff.


Wherever you go … Plant your feet.

amandaleephotography-337Two weekends ago, I went to camp.

In the weeks leading up, I was very focused on only one thing. Packing. I mean ... camp? The when you were a kid, up north kinda camp. I had to find my sleeping bag and then make sure there were no strange inhabitants in there after spending years all rolled up. Not to mention the long list of “don’t forget to brings” such as blanket, flashlight, rubber boots, long john’s, toque? Wait, did that say…toque? This was September, on the heels of summer! But I digress.

I was going to camp.

But this was no ordinary camp – this was “Fall Fit Weekend” – 220 woman all geared up and ready to … get fit? I had no idea what I was getting myself into but from the list of ‘activities’ to choose from, I knew I had 5 classes to attend on our Saturday. The camp weekend is the brainchild of Kimberly-Jo Turley-Smith, a beautiful, glowing gal with a smile that has you drawn in immediately. She views the camp experience as a safe, magical place where we are all equal, we all get to be “cool” and we get to be in a very grounding environment – away from our responsibilities, if only for a short, sweet weekend.

Our group set off, first shoving 7 women (who were all fantastic and accomplished in their own right and pictured above!) and all our ‘stuff’ into two vehicles, not before being gifted personalized hats, each with a different saying fitted to our personalities, from our leader, Anna Ruff; who is a natural motivator herself. I’ve known Anna since highschool but I got to watch her, in her element, having recruited myself and five other women for the weekend and so I call her a ‘leader’ because of this but also because of her amazing trail-blazer energy – where Anna goes, you just want to follow. After I’d completed bootcamp for an hour, then another hour of a KILLER pilates class led by Lori-Ann Succo McLeod (just google her, trust me), I thought I might literally fall over. I wanted to skip kickboxing, my next class. Anna convinced me to go with her and it turned out to be the most grueling and fun hour of my day. Who knew punching and kicking could feel so awesome!

I also managed to sneak in an hour of time just for me. First, I met with Laurie Goodman, a fabulous photographer who has been doing an amazing project called "Life Messages". She's collected so many now, she decided to compile them in a book which she is launching tomorrow! Check her work out here.


But beyond the physical aspect of Fall Fit, Anna saw in me a need to have this weekend. There was no pressure, no pushing. Just encouragement. I said “yes”, and that, funnily enough, was the theme of the weekend. Whatever opportunity crosses your path, just say “yes”. Go for it and have some faith. Take the plunge (yes, I actually did the polar bear dip, twice!).

Packing only the essentials and entering into a two day stint with some women I’d never met – ended up being exactly what I needed. To get out of my space, out of my head, out of my comfort zone. I was not alone. I think there were many other women there just like me. There’s something about challenging yourself that reconnects you with you. Everything you need is in YOU. Your most awesome, deserving, empowering friend, is you. That’s a very tough thing to chew on, but it begs the question - what have you done for YOU lately?

For me, the fall fit weekend was an act of self-kindness. I'm so glad I said yes.

Life Messages image courtesy of Laurie Goodman Photography.

Group photo courtesy of Amanda Lee Photography

Clothing Confidantes - A Night of Dance with PushPULL

We were thrilled to be in the audience last evening for PushPULL Dance's First Decade Opening night show at the Winchester Street Theatre in Toronto. We were there to support our friend - and ridiculously talented gal - Kelly Fanson. She can act, write, direct, pitch, whistle … and now we learn she's a wicked dancer. What can't she do?IMG_2825

It was also exciting to see our very first ad in print in the PushPULL show program!


The dance numbers are choreographed by the members (yes, Kelly can choreograph too - check out her number "Happiness is a Work in Progress") which consists of Lawyers, Doctors, Ad Execs, Actors and teachers to name a few. And you can FEEL their passion and love for dance.

At the end of the evening we enjoyed some patio time, well … because, patio season is here.


Go see the show, you'll be glad you did.

It runs June 5-8 and June 12-14. Visit for more info.



Today I did something really stupid.

I keep thinking about it. I start to forget and then, WHAM – it creeps back into my mind and I feel small all over again.

So I’m having a hard time letting it go.

Selfishly, I’m hopeful this blog post will help me with that issue.

I forgot … completely forgot … how to be compassionate. How to, even for a second, think like a somewhat compassionate person.

Without going too deep into the people and players, let me just say I got angry. A supplier didn’t do what he said he was going to do which resulted in me being very inconvenienced. He gave a really lame excuse (at least in my eyes) and when I called his bluff he had to dance around it a bit and basically proceeded to tell me he was sorry he couldn’t help because he was very busy with his second business.

Basically – he didn’t really care about my issue and he let me know it.

Isn’t this on the customer service 101 list of DON’T EVER DO?????

Well then I got really mad. Here is where I went wrong. Instead of letting the anger sit for a little bit (which would have resulted in some dissipation of the emotion, I am sure) I wrote him right back.

I told him I was disappointed.

I might have accused him of not being honest.

And then I challenged (no, I JUDGED) his way of running his business. I might have insinuated he sucked at it.

For a few hours at least, it felt kinda good. I mean, I told him what I really thought – gave him a piece of my mind, let him know it was not OK by me that he didn’t care about me as a customer.

When I received his response text (while I was working with a client, I might add) I started to heat up. You know that feeling when something has happened and you just can’t go back, and you KNOW you were wrong and you feel stupid and small and awful and sick and like you want to fall into any size hole in the floor that would take you?

Yep, that. This man’s car broke down and he’s had to take a second job to pay for a cancer drug that might help his wife of 32 years who is dying of Cancer.

And he really let me have it. He told me I had no right to judge him when I didn’t even know his circumstances.

Now, some might say it was not fair of him to make it personal (after-all, my rant was completely professional) – which is kinda true. And others might say he could be further scamming me with a sob story.

In any case, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how that made me feel. He should have just said I’m an awful person and it would have had the same effect.

Of course, I wrote with an apology – that I never intended to judge and that I was very sorry. That I understood. That I wished him well.

He never responded.

So, people – here’s the lesson – at least, my take away :

Try not to be too harsh when you feel someone isn’t meeting your expectations. Maybe you don’t know their whole story. Maybe they are doing the very best they can. Maybe they have it worse than you. Maybe they just need some compassion. Someone to say “it’s OK, I understand”.

Next time, I’ll be checking my ego at the door and thinking about today.

Dress … for Spring



Spring has arrived in stores … but not outside. It’s extremely difficult to start thinking about dresses, bare legs and sandals when any exposed skin could lead to trouble out there.

But, eventually, spring will come. And the number one question I will likely get asked is, “What’s my perfect dress and how the heck will I know?”

There are some main things to consider if you are out on your own, searching for the right one for you. Colour is BIG. It deserves it’s own line.


If you buy a dress in the wrong colour(s) for you, the cut, fit, and fabric – won’t matter much. The dress will be wearing you instead of you wearing the dress.

So if you can’t find a dress in your perfect colours (depending on the ‘it’ colour of the season or what happens to be in stores) then make sure the colours near your face are correct. Sometimes you can cheat this with jewelry or another accessory like a scarf.

The fit is next. Buy good quality and befriend a good tailor should you need one.

Pay attention to the cut of the dress, the fabric and the smaller details. Are there any lines? Do they work for your shape? Does the fabric complement what the cut of the dress is doing? These are all important things to consider.

So to break it down by shape, there are some good examples of dresses that work more often than not. Here are a few:

The Boy Figure (or H … or straight …)

There are a lot of names for this shape. Basically your shoulders, waist and hips are pretty in line with each other and so to the ‘eye’ you are considered ‘straight’. You could also be considered athletic and broader in the shoulders. Look for details in a dress that draw the eye up and out, like this stunner.

The Hourglass

Channeling Marilyn Monroe. You are curvy (and sometimes busty ) which means your bust and hips are the same and your waist is smaller. You want to look for cuts and fabrics that follow this curvy shape. A wrap dress is great on this shape and a V-neck draws the eye up to the face. Pattern play is fun on this body shape.

A Shape, or Pear

Since you have a smaller torso and are larger in the hips, you want fabrics that flare off your lower curves and emphasize the torso. A line dresses are fabulous in a fun pop of colour.

What’s your shape? Have you found the dress that works for you? I’d love to hear from you!

Till the next … snowfall.

Social Media Meltdowns?

facebook-lulea-data-centerI recently saw a story on TV about Facebook’s data centre. It freaked me out. We post photos, comments and likes and never think about it again. But, it’s all housed in their massive warehouses located in a small town at the northern edge of the Baltic Sea, 62 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

Weird eh?

Anyway, so it’s their birthday and they launched a stupid movie link (which, btw, mine had the same photo show up twice in the 1 min clip – shame on them. Yep…I WAS curious enough to watch). Whatever.

I read a great article all about 'social media lying' written by a young mom. She lovingly referred to Facebook as 'Fakebook' and rewrote posts made by other moms in the 'real' sense. Waking up to well-rested, smiling children who get along and behave marvelously turned into waking at 4:50am to groggy, cranky, stinky children who then proceeded to spill cereal all over the place, among other things. So, which is real? I would have to guess the latter is more probable and that the former is ... possible?

But the article really begged the question for me ... is it OK to give ourselves permission to just say it like it is sometimes? And when does saying it like it is just too plain personal? Don’t get me wrong, I love being on a personal level with my friends and family. But for some reason, I resist being too personal on my twitter or Facebook page. For some people there does not seem to exist a real line here.

There are some things I just don't want to read about you. Some things just make me feel a little ... icky. However, I can recognize that for some, perhaps social media is their only outlet for being able to express themselves in this personal way. Or maybe it’s just their favourite way. Perhaps they are seeking approval in their lives or they want to make their life look really cool. Or maybe they want that feeling of instant support. Watching for ‘likes’ does that…doesn’t it?

It makes me wonder, what did we DO before social media came along? I find myself longing for a time when I just called a friend or made a plan. Can you imagine just making a plan? I’m talking about not being able to know where someone is or follow them on a GSP system telling you how many minutes away they are (which is extremely convenient I must add!). You made a plan to meet at a certain spot and a certain time. And if someone didn’t’ show up, they didn’t show up and no one thought anything of it.

Having said all of that, I realize social media is a connector. It gives us news and information immediately. It's great for business and raising awareness for causes. I get all that. When I first joined, I was a bit scared. But then it became fun each day to see who had sent a friend request. My best friends from camp, an ex-boyfriend who moved to the states, old school friends and then there was THAT guy ... the one I had crushed on for years. It was both awesome and depressing to have a glimpse into a life that I'd fantasized about being mine...

But I digress.

I guess in some ways, social media has made me feel more connected AND more disconnected. This is still my personal struggle with it. I have both real friends (I’ll say ‘real friends’ as a differentiation between those who are actually in my life vs. the old camp friend) and non-friends (those people whom I knew from my past but are no longer in touch) and I suspect this is the norm. Only a few of my friends in media have thousands of “friends” who they don’t even know. I sometimes feel like I’m ‘caught up’ with someone based on them showing up in my feed. It’s nice … but it’s also a bit false.

I’ve tried to keep a very level head over the years when it comes to social media. I’ll admit there have been times when I’ve seen my ‘real friends’ (yep, real) at an event or party, and I’m at home in my fat pants reading the post. Here’s my truth – it makes me feel bad. BUT, only for a few, short moments. I have enough confidence to know that I’m not at that particular gathering for a reason and my friends have a right to see who they want, when they want, myself included or not. I’m still valuable, loved and fun. And, I don’t need to feel bad.

And, fifteen years ago, I never would have even known about that party.

That, was bliss.

How to style the statement necklace (SN)

Sick-Day-2-650x433Love. The. Statement. Necklace.

I am always trying to find new ways to wear it and lately one of my favourites is with a blouse buttoned right to the top with the statement necklace peaking under the collar. So fun.

There are so many ways to wear it and many unique ways to be creative. I often hear clients and even some friends say “I don’t know how to accessorize” or, “I could never wear chunky jewelry because I just don’t know how to style it”.

Well, if you see photos or other women rockin’ the look and wish you could too, it’s really easier than you think. It’s not always dressy, but when it is – it’s all you need. Here are a few ways to style the statement necklace (SN):

The Tank top + SN Multi Colored Neon Statement Necklace DIY Neon Necklace

The White Tee + SN celine

The Collared Shirt + SN necklace1

The LBD + SN LBD-style-blog_2

And my #1 rule … I’ll say it again … make it your own and have fun with it! There are really no rules.

How to stay cozy AND stylish @ below zero


Ok I’ll admit it. I love winter. I also know it’s because I am fortunate to have access to a place where winter is a playground. Skiing, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are activities I love to partake in. Even when it’s cold, I’m happy.

It’s a totally different story when you’re in a major city. Dirty snow, slush, ice, salt, layers and layers of clothing … this makes it difficult to really enjoy being out in winter. How do you wear a hat without ruining the hair you just spent an hour drying and styling? What the heck do you wear on your feet? How can you possibly where heels when it’s a sure-fire way of bailing and breaking something? Those stylish leather boots? Oh yeah, ruined by the salt … again. I get it.

The good news is … winter style has come a LONG way. There are ways to invest in quality gear that is both functional and fashionable. Here are my favs:


Can’t go wrong with these puppies here. I bought a brown pair years ago and they can handle anything. My feet stay warm and I still get compliments and asked where I got them, all the time.


I am currently lusting over this sweater right now. By Ralph Lauren, it is cozy, fun and I love the shawl coller. This sweater screams “sit me down by the fire at the ski chalet avec wine”. Right now it's on sale. Beautiful.


This hat is SO CUTE. And warm. And the price is right. Olive green is my fav.


It does not matter what you have on your legs. As long as you are wearing these underneath. They are amazing. And here’s the best part…you don’t need to wash them until after about 5 wears (NEVER put them in the dryer though PLEASE!). They don’t hold your sweat and they won’t stink! Seriously, I know it sounds odd but it’s just plain true. Less laundry means more play. Bonus.

Stay warm, have fun.

Wishing Peace and Joy

photoI'm stealing a moment away to write what will likely be my shortest post yet…

While my family showers and dresses in preparation for a country walk (albeit a cold one!) with our furry members, I am basking in the afterglow of another Christmas morning. Coffee, stockings, and opening gifts with a glass of bubbly is our family tradition.

This is not an easy time of year for everyone. It's the time of year where we tend to reflect and it's the annual time stamp for many … we think about what has happened this past year, relationships made or maybe lost, loved ones that may no longer be present, hard times and happy times. All packaged into another year gone, another year older.

But the energy and the spirit of today is palpable. At least, it is for me. There's a special beauty that covers everything on this day. I'm together with my family and that, quite simply, is awesome.

Wherever you are today, I wish you peace, joy and the ability to stand and bask in the glory that is Christmas.

See you in 2014.

How to navigate the holidays with style

holiday-fashionOne thing is for sure – when December hits, my calendar starts to fill up with social gatherings. I have trouble saying “no” to things sometimes (this is especially true if I consider it ‘fun’) but I am aware of this personal challenge and so I guess that's good? Yet…there in my calendar lies a few dreaded double bookings. I reply “maybe” or “We’ll try to drop in … “ but what I’m really saying is “I want to cut myself in two and do it all”. We all know this is impossible and so why do I continue to pile things into my schedule?

I love to socialize. Unless I am physically out of commission, I have trouble missing the party. A friend once told me I suffer from “FOMO”. Sounds good, I thought. Wait, what the heck is “FOMO”? Well, it’s simply the fear of missing out. Hmmm. Yet, I CAN spend time alone (I know many people who can’t think of a worse fate) and actually I NEED my time alone. I schedule this into my calendar as best I can so that I don’t do too much and run myself ragged. Because everyone wants you to be at THEIR party and saying ‘no’ just feels wrong. Or, at least, very un-festive-like.

So, here’s my list of what I’ll be trying to remember as I navigate December 2013:

1. Do what you WANT and not what you THINK you should do This is very important. Throw away your feelings of guilt and do what you want. This time of year we are doing so much for other people. We are gift giving and baking for our kids at their schools and caring for our family and working….and the list goes on and on or so it seems. We forget about doing things for ourselves. So, look at your potential commitments, socially, and only do what you want to.

2. Wear something you feel GREAT in

This is extremely important. The way in which you float around a room depends on how you are feeling. If you are feeling fabulous, you will be fabulous. It’s really that simple. Most holiday events will fall into the cocktail or festive category, so as long as you have an elegant party dress, or some bold statement jewelry (this would fly with leather pants/leggings and a holiday top – think silk or sequins) you will feel more at ease knowing you have something in your closet already. There is nothing worse than feeling like you have to rush out to shop because you have ‘nothing to wear to the party’ – especially when the stores are full of people doing just the same. Invest in some quality pieces for this exact scenario and you’ll be glad you did.

3. Take time to remember where you are

There is no other way to say this other than to just say – damn, we are lucky. We live in a free country, we have a voice, most of us have a roof over our head, food on our table, friends and family who love us and help us. When you feel like you’re going to explode because you can’t find a parking spot, stop and remember.

4. Breath

Much like my last point, just breath. We are running at mach speed most of the time and we STILL feel like we should be doing more. This is somewhat ridiculous to me. We are a society that places value on ‘things’, this is just the way it is. So if you don’t necessarily place value on ‘things’ you might sometimes find yourself at odds with society at large. What do people pay attention to? Kim Kardashian gets more attention than our environment (both need work, by the way). So, if you’re like me, and get overwhelmed by how screwy things seem to be out there, a lot of the time, just breath. A few deep into-the-lungs breaths can really slow things down and bring perspective almost immediately. And it feels good.


Have fun, it’s Christmas. No, I’m not going to say “it’s holiday time” because I celebrate Christmas. I respect all faiths and religions but I ask the same for me. This is what I celebrate so there you go. Whatever you are celebrating, just enjoy it. It only comes once a year.

Is shopping more fun when there are deals to be had?

shoppingIn a word: Yes. And in a word: No.

I have not met anyone who does not like a good sale. I have met plenty of people who hate to shop (I might not have a business if everyone loved to shop) but when there are sales – meaning your money goes farther and you can get more stuff – it can mean there are more … people. Who are also shopping. And when there are more people the stores can be messy and chaotic and noisy and there are long lines … you get my drift.

This is not how I like to shop.

I like calm, organized and quiet. But I digress.

I am heading to the US for BLACK FRIDAY. I went last year and although I did find some good deals I also only lasted for 3 hours – for all the reasons I mentioned above. This year, my list is quite short so I am hopeful to find what I’m looking for and be done with it. After-all, I’ll need this time for poolside and happy hour.

The good news is, Canada has kind of jumped on this US holiday from a retail perspective. Besides boxing day, we don’t really have a ‘bargain’ shopping day that can compare to our southern friends. (In some parts, black Friday is a downright dangerous event so be warned.) Starting next week, some stores will be offering deals upwards of 30-40% on select days and this is a nice way for them to gain a head-start pushing holiday items for gift buying as well. If you love to shop online, the deals are even sweeter.

Shopping for a fun holiday maxi dress? Find it here for up to 60% off. Colourful bulky sweaters that are all the rage? Starting tomorrow, Forever 21 has some pretty sweet deals. Even locations like HR will have some nice discounted items like these street style looks, if you're willing to hunt.

So get out there! Have some fun and score some deals or start tackling your Christmas gift list. Need some help? You know who to call…

On that note – watch for an AMAZING Holiday offer from moi coming next week!

Happy shopping.

What does being 'present' really mean? Really...

IMG_0881A friend of mine lost her father this weekend.

It was not expected. At least not for me. If it were, the family did a good job at not letting it be known. As a matter of fact, her mother has been ill and going through treatments – that much I did know.

Anyway, it does not matter. The loss is complete. Deep. Real. Forever. And my heart is feeling broken for her and her entire family. I do not know this pain, as I have not been through it. I do not want to know. But someday, I likely will. After all, saying goodbye to a parent (or parents) is a part of life. And, a difficult part, no doubt.

When I asked her. “What can I do?”, “What do you need?, she replied “Cherish your dad”.

This rocked me. Not because I don’t cherish my dad. But because I knew what she meant.

It got me to thinking of a conversation I often have with my husband and my mother. They are always (seemingly) after me for being on my smartphone or ipad or computer … and often while a conversation is going on around me. Or, when a conversation is happening WITH me. I hate to admit this. I resisted the technology for so long. I think it is just so rude…but yet, I do it. I figure since it’s family and since I have ‘work’ to do or an email to respond to or maybe … maybe my phone made a SOUND (gasp!) – god forbid I don’t get to it right away. Right? I mean, I’m so important…right?

I know this is the message I send to others when I do this. That I am more important than they are, in this moment, and that whatever, or, whomever is on the other end of that message – is more important than them.

When the fact is, NOTHING is more important than them. Nothing.

And so, I am really going to make a change. Make a new effort to put the damn devices down when I’m around people I love and am thankful to be with. There is nothing that needs your attention more than being PRESENT in the moment you’re in. TODAY is a gift, for we don’t know what will happen tomorrow – prepared for it or not.

Look people in the eye. Be engaged. Take a walk. Look at the sky. Hear the sounds. Respect the earth and simplicity of life. Make others feel like there is nothing more important than them. That’s what “presence” means to me.

Presently yours … kylie

But, why would I want to work with an image consultant?

angella-hlymbicky-wardrobe-detail61OK, so maybe you’re not quite ready to actually hire an image consultant. What is an image consultant anyway you ask? Good question. It’s a fairly broad one with a wide range of answers. And, there are many different types of image consultants, which can be even more confusing.

First, I’ll tell you a bit about how I came to be one. I was actually in a rut. A big one. Like a big … deep … life one. I didn’t feel depressed necessarily (and there is a big difference people) but I just felt sort of … lost. Call it a mid-life crisis – although I’m not sure if I love that. I mean, a crisis can happen any time in life, no? Call it a tipping point. Whatever it was, I was searching. Life was still good but I had all these questions. Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose? And then, on a less serious note, why am I buying 5 of the same sweaters?

That question got me to hire an image consultant for myself. She spent four hours with me in my closet and it was the best purging exercise I’d ever done. You know when you spring clean your house? Ok … you know when you spring clean a drawer? (yes, sometimes we need to start small.) You just feel a little lighter afterwards. The same was true for my wardrobe. I was in a rut and that fact was reflected in the way I dressed, the activities I was doing (or not doing) and when you get right down to it – how I carried myself and behaved. And I felt SO good after my session, I said to myself, "Self … I think I want to do this!". And so, I did.

I had always been good at putting a “look” together. It was not always a ‘hit’, in fact, sometimes it was a ‘miss’. But, I still took the chance and allowed my style personality (creative) to come through. This is where a lot of people get stuck. They often reach for the same jeans, the same top, and the same sweater – over and over again and never try any new items or combinations. And, then they go shopping and they buy another sweater that is exactly the same as the one hanging in their closet. They just get … stuck.

You see that’s where an image consultant – on one level, at least – can help. They help you SEE what it is you are not seeing. Or rather, they can help you NOT see what you ARE seeing! You see?

I recently worked with a client who said to me, “I’m self-conscious about my knees”. She was a double zero in size and had a figure most women I know would pay for if they could. But it was HER body and she lives in it every day. And she saw … bad knees. Once we talked through the why of it and she could see that to the rest of the world, her knees were beautiful, she relaxed a little bit. And then she got a little better at relaxing INTO trying something totally different than what she would normally try on. And, guess what? She liked it AND she walked out of the store a little lighter and happier than before. Awesome.

Did you know that looking great leads to feeling great which leads to carrying yourself better which leads to behaving better which leads to BEING better … see where I’m going with this? You can WILL the results you want in your life and it can start with the simplicity of what you’re wearing when you walk out the door.

People’s motivation for wanting an element of their life to be different, is different for everyone. Maybe it’s preparing to go for that promotion at work. For some, it’s how to dress after a new baby. And for others, it’s just to do something amazing for themselves, which we women are perrr-ritty bad at. Whatever your reason is, it can feel scary. But once you take that plunge you may wonder why you didn't do it sooner.

Till the next pair of shoes … kylie

Leather Leggings

Grasie214-004-1One of my proudest “shopping finds” moments was when I scored my leather leggings last fall. I got them for like, one million percent off. Or at least, that’s what it felt like. I was so excited I don’t even really remember getting home. It was like I was in a shopping blackout. I’m just as in love with them today as I was during my retail-therapy fueled haze. I love them because they are so versatile not to mention, comfortable. They are easy to dress up (think sequin or animal print top and statement jewelry) and they are easy to dress down (think comfy, cashmere sweater and a black Frye boot). Either look you choose, you’ll look like a million bucks.

Till the next pair of shoes … kylie

Photo courtesy of Style Me Grasie

Thanks :)

UnknownThank-you. Thanks. Thx. Tnks. TX.

I’ve seen it written many different ways. In this age of texting and emails and twitter and postings, it’s used an awful lot. These days it seems to be pretty much tossed around as an after-thought. But what’s really in saying or giving “thanks”? I’m not entirely sure we say it often enough to those people in our lives who have impacted us (either in a big way, or small) or supported us or who were just there at the right time, in the right place, saying the right things to get us through. It’s easy to say “thanks for the coffee” or “thanks for the chat” or “thanks for holding the door”. Those are things that come out of us somewhat unconsciously and we even say it to perfect strangers out of courtesy. “Thanks for being amazing” or “thanks for being beautiful” or “thanks for being my friend” or “thanks for being you”. These statements are not said often enough. So today, or tomorrow, or the next day…try it. Tell someone you love that you thank them for something BIG. Because THAT is what being thankful is truly about.

May the spirit of THANKSgiving bring you love, laughter and a warm heart.

Till the next pair of shoes … kylie

P.S. This picture reminds me of ... home.



Now here’s a trend I can’t decide on. I keep seeing it in the stores and sometimes I’m all “ooooooooh, that is Keeee-yooooot”! And other times, it’s a little ‘meh’. For me, houndstooth is one of those. But when I saw these leggings from Forever 21 (yes, I said ‘leggings’!) I fell a little in love. Paired with a really rich, bulky (aka long) sweater, such as this little cobalt blue number – it looks like a really sheik skinny pant. Add a pair of metallic heels (HUGE this fall) and you’re all set for this year’s yo-yo fall weather!

Time to hit the stores?!?

Till the next pair of shoes…kylie

Photo courtesy of Dainty Girl

Changing of the Seasons

IMG_1458I’ve always been really into fall. It’s my favourite time of year. I used to love the anxious anticipation I’d feel every September when I’d head back to school to see my friends. It always felt like there were many adventures awaiting me. I think I still feel it in the air every year, which I look forward to. I love the cooler nights and days requiring sweaters and even when I have to bust out my boots, I’m happy. But then … there’s also this bittersweet sadness I feel. Like saying goodbye to a camp friend you know you won’t see for a long while. Knowing you just didn’t have enough time to really say and do all you wanted to. That’s kinda how I feel about saying ‘see-ya’ to summer this year. It was really, really short. And really, really sweet – like most summers are I suppose. So, I’ll change my closets over sometime soon and trade my sandals for sorels. Soon … but not too soon … just in case ☺

Till the next pair of shoes … kylie

It's in the Details

Grasie198-008I love everything about this look. Like, EH-VREE-THING. The hair, the lipstick, the rings, the bag, the shades, the statement necklace … the SHOES. OMG. Super cute. What I love is that it’s a casual look but it’s so put together that you know she cares enough to take the time. After all, when you peel it all back – that’s really the goal isn’t it? When you see someone who’s a little on the sloppy side, it says, “I don’t care”. When you see someone who’s put thought into the details, it screams, “I feel good about myself”. Try it – I promise you, without fail – if you are looking great on the outside, you are most likely feeling fantastic on the inside. And the beauty is – it goes both ways.

Till the next pair of shoes … kylie

Photo courtesy of Grasie Mercedes

Waking on the Right Side


I was having lunch with a very dear friend yesterday. I don't get time with her often and life has been far less than kind to her. That's an understatement if i've ever made one. We got to chatting about how everyone has their own “s__*t”. Excuse me for that one, but really there is not a more appropriate word for it. We all know (deep down, anyway) that many people have it ‘worse’ off than us. You just have to turn on the news to see it. But, that does not take away from the fact that our life is our life and we have to get through our own experiences – both the good and the bad. It’s how we choose to respond to life’s lemons that really define if we come out smelling like, well ... roses ... or something else entirely. What’s that saying? It’s our REACTION to experiences that determine the outcome. Sometimes we need to have our own perspective tool, a way to put us on a path to having the kind of day we want. Am I breathing today? OK, well then great. It’s going to be a good day.

Till the next pair of shoes … kylie

Keep it Casual

imageI go to a lot of casual events. Cottage dinners, lunch meetings, even what I do for a living invites mostly casual wear. But there is a huge difference between your 'couch' casual and a more refined, 'smart' casual. One of the most important rules is to dress (appropriately) for your shape. Wear clothes that fit you properly and if you want to start playing around with more 'stylish' casuals - pay close attention to what you gravitate to in life. Are you romantic? (Ruffles and girly details). Bohemian? (Play with prints). Classic? (More tailored pieces). Pick one statement piece and then build your outfit around that. Much like Jacey in the above photo, when in doubt - pair a pretty top with jeans and heels (with a pop of colour always looks great). Add a fitted jacket and a clutch and you're GOOD. TO. GO.

Till the next pair of shoes ... Kylie

Photo courtesy of Damsel in Dior