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.

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.

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



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

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

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

The New ‘Classic’ Jacket

Tangerine-2-433x650I have very often heard clients say, “I would never wear that”. This is especially true when women are looking at expanding their professional wardrobe. Suits and blazers are typically found in black, gray or a deep neutral, like chocolate. In many corporate cultures, these deep shades make the mandatory “power suit”. However, in more creative and casual workplaces, there is opportunity to wear some colour while presenting yourself as being a ‘professional’. I love this coral jacket as an example. Paired with all white, it’s a stunning look. I also love how she’s tied the navy tote to the navy polka dots found in the top. A jacket like this is also very versatile - for work, wear it with all black. For play, add dark denim, a white tee and a statement necklace. Or a light coloured capri pant and a summer scarf. The possibilities are endless!

Till the next pair of shoes … kylie

Photo courtesy of Wendy’s Lookbook

Rainy Day Style

rainy-day-wedding_rain-bootsSo summer is here and yet I can count on one hand the number of steamy, sweaty, lazy (happy!) days we’ve been able to enjoy. The grass is greener and gardens are smiling as a result of all the wet weather that’s come our way so far this season, but the constant rain tends to drench the summer spirit a little. So, if you have to venture out - how can you keep your sense of style and avoid puddles? Invest in a great pair of rubber boots – brands like Hunter are functional and fashionable and even comfortable! Buy a super cute umbrella, something with a pattern or some colour – boutiques like Trove have some fun ones. Trust me, you will just feel cuter under a cover with some personality vs. typical black. You can wear a light raincoat or jacket but it's not needed. Instead, opt for a lightweight summer scarf and then you're good to go – rain or shine.

Till the next pair of shoes (boots?) … kylie

Pretty in Pastels

guess-colored-denim-pastels-spring-2013-1_2013_04_11_14_35Pastels are not always easy to wear. It’s difficult to incorporate this trend into your existing wardrobe, especially if you’re on the classic, “love your neutrals” side of the coin. But they are so pretty! And, there is lots of it in stores this spring. Some very important things to remember about soft lavendar, minty green, peachy rose and baby pink is NOT to wear it head to toe (unless you’re one of those go for it trendies) but instead to layer it with what you already have. Buy a statement necklace or fun garden earrings in a pastel and bring it into your accessories. Or add a soft touch of colour in a belt with a neutral outfit (think capris and tee’s). Or just go for it and get a soft coloured jean. They are going to look STELLAR with tanned legs, a soft pedi & sandal.

Go be pretty!

Till the next pair of shoes …


Photo courtesy of Guess

How to make it work for you

5c1103091dfca06f0c57026959042afc_2013_02_04_15_38We are seeing a lot of nautical in the stores for spring 2013. Now let’s be clear. I am NOT a fan of sailing (unless there is a full crew operating the boat) but I am a BIG fan of this look. If you’re like me and want to try it – but don’t want to look like you’re heading for the boat … add another pop of colour to the theme. My favourite is red (think scarf, shoe, skinny belt) but you could do yellow, coral, purple, neon … the list goes on. Another fun way to make the look work would be to add another pattern in the same nautical colours (think paisley, polka dots) and in a piece that you can remove if you’re not feeling it, like a jacket or scarf. Remember my number one rule – have fun with it!

Till the next pair of shoes … kylie