Archive for September, 2010


Bikini or Bust

Every single day we wake up and have to make a very important decision. What is the first thing we are going to put on? Have you ever thought of your underwear as a component of your personal image? Yes, it is worn under your clothes and no one can see it, but your lingerie is more than a bare necessity. No matter what the time of the day, it has to be comfortable, of good quality and stylish – even if you’re the only one noticing!


Your everyday, core lingerie doesn’t show, doesn’t move around and it’s comfortable enough to make it through your work day. It should include plenty of nude, white and black bras and panties.


Before planning your outfit, check weather you have the right pieces to wear under it. Make sure that your choices remain invisible and opt for a bra that converts to all necklines. Don’t forget a few lightweight shapewear pieces!


Visible Panty Lines

In a recent study, 51.3% of the women surveyed said that visible lines are the major panty issue. To avoid it, wear a microfiber shaper that will smooth your silhouette top-to-bottom. You can also choose  seamless thongs or panties that don’t press the skin.

Thong Offenders

As much fun as low-rise jeans may be, visible thongs are not! First of all, wear a very low rise to keep them undetectable.  Try a style that is trimmed with wide stretchy lace bands or a microfiber fabric that won’t ‘cut’ into the flesh but will stay discreet.

White Pants Panties….

Always opt for a nude-colored panty – ideally a thong. Definite no-no’s: dark colors and white on white.


The Right Fit

-Measure your chest to find the best band size. Secure the measuring tape low and snug at the back.

-Test whether the underwire surrounds and supports your breast. You know that the cup size is too small when the wire pulls away from the body.

-A new bra should feel a little snug at first- it will become looser as the Lycra relaxes.

– Accept your true cup size.

– If your weight fluctuates by five pounds, it’s time to refit the bra.


Consider your lifestyle and wardrobe needs before deciding on the style of your bras. Do you need a strapless bra, a sports bra and a bustier? Do you need a full-cup bra, a push-up bra or a plunge bra? For more styles, go to

Bra Makeover

Here is the difference between a properly fit bra and the wrong bra….

(image courtesy of

Bikini or bust, don’t overlook the underthings – they can increase your comfort, your confidence, your posture and health and your overall image!



To the Hairdresser

Who knew a trip to the Hairdresser could cause such angst? Recent conversations have revealed that there is some confusion and lack of communication brewing at the salon. Key points of concern have related to that always dodgy topic of tipping: Does one tip the salon owner when he or she is your stylist? Traditionally this was not done as the owner was perceived to be benefitting overall from the success of the business. Endless discussion groups on-line show this has been changing. Customers are now willingly adding gratuities to their payment for salon owner/stylists and the owners themselves are gratefully accepting (even encouraging in some instances which isn’t seen as particularly gracious in our opinion)  a little something on top. Another issue among patrons and for stylists as well is the prevalence of cell phone usage. We expect you will begin to see signage along the lines of: “For your privacy and the comfort of others, please refrain from using your cell phone while enjoying our services.”

Debrett’s, a UK authority on “Etiquette, Style and People of Distinction”, posted the following guidelines for a visit to the Hairdresser.

  • When you first visit a salon, the hairdresser will observe your clothes and style, so dress normally in clothes that match your natural style.
  • The best cut will suit your hair type, the shape of your face and your features, and requires little maintenance.
  • Ask your stylist how to blow-dry or straighten your hair, and what products best suit your style and hair-type.
  • Hair should be kept clean and grease-free at all times. It goes without saying that dandruff should be treated at first sight.
  • Avoid bad dye jobs. Colour should enhance and compliment your natural tones.
  • If you have dyed hair, keep roots at bay and fork out for regular maintenance.
  • Don’t feel obliged to sit in the chair and chat the whole way through the cut. Be polite, but it is also acceptable to read a magazine. Just don’t sit chatting on your phone.
  • When tipping, both the stylists and colourists should be tipped five to ten per cent of the cost of the cut/colour, handed over in cash when paying the bill. *
  • The hair washers should receive a couple of pounds into their hands after washing your hair. Salon owners usually allow grace on tipping as you have already had to stump up for their own vastly inflated rates. **      (source:

* We would modify these points for North America to say tipping of your stylist should be more in the 20% range. Clarify if her assistants (hair washers etc) will be forwarded a percentage of her gratuity. If not, they should be given two to five dollars in cash as above.

** As stated before, the tradition of not tipping a salon owner who is also your stylist, is evolving. Standard tipping may be applicable or welcome. If new to a salon do feel comfortable asking what their policy is.


Style Fiesta!!

Two of my favourite Sartorialist pictures ever capture how denim is worn… Italian style!  Enjoy the style fiesta right from the streets of Italy!

(photos from The Sartorialist)


The Little Things …


I was told two image tales this week: one good and one … well you determine for yourself!

A friend with whom we were visiting last week was very eager to share an experience she’d recently enjoyed at the Bearfoot Bistro at Whistler. Never had she encountered such extraordinarily fine customer service. Firstly, her group pulled up in front of the restaurant and appeared confused as to where to park. Immediately, an employee of the restaurant came to the rescue and offered to park the car for them. Only when the same employee arrived at their table a few moments later to serve them did they realise it hadn’t been valet service, just a very helpful server!  My friend was dressed in black and was offered the choice of a black napkin rather than a white one in order to prevent the light coloured lint from marking her clothes.  Even though the group was considerable in size, all special requests and inquiries were attended to graciously. As the group enjoyed a number of drinks the wait staff discreetly inquired about driving arrangements and even offered to drive the car in order to be sure they returned safely home. (My friend was a designated driver and did not drink so while this service was appreciated, it wasn’t necessary that evening) Throughout the evening the group was impressed again and again by outstanding service. A week after the experience, my friend was still eager to share her story with others. I’m sure every one of us has now put the restaurant high on our list for future visits.

On the other hand, an associate who works in international business was equally eager to share his recent experience. He and his team were joined at their South American destination by the Canadian Consul and another member of the Diplomatic team. The other member was a young woman whose role was not made clear to the group. She was new to her job (whatever it happened to be) and did not have business cards available yet to exchange. (They were being printed and shipped from Ottawa) Early the following morning the group expected to be joined at the day’s meetings by the Consul himself but instead found this young woman joining them. They assumed by her demeanour that she was a junior assistant and were a bit surprised that they’d not been shown more respect due to the scale of their potential business endeavours. The woman climbed aboard the van in which they were traveling together and awkwardly adjusted the poorly fitting dress she was wearing. (It was buttoned down the front, pulling and gaping, revealing more than it should.) Immediately upon departure she rummaged in her handbag and withdrew a tub of yogurt and a spoon. She removed and licked the lid then stuck it back in her purse. She enthusiastically consumed the yogurt as she commented freely and not always appropriately in the group’s conversation. At the end of the day after she was returned to the Consulate, the group discussed her behaviour. It was then revealed that she in fact holds a very senior position within the Consulate – second-in-command Deputy Consul!  The team of Canadian business men representing one of the country’s largest companies was disappointed to think she’d be responsible for promoting communication and business between the two countries. Her poor image did not match the significance of her role and in fact, may well undermine future business dealings.

So there you have two tales circling the globe … both relating to an “image” experience.  An important element in each to note is that apparently “small” details make an enormous impact. Best that impression be positive rather than negative!


Updating the Classics

Our favourite three looks: the little black dress, the white shirt, the cashmere cardigan. Here is how to wear them and… what to wear them with! Enjoy!



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