How are you supposed to wear those cute fall/winter peep-toe shoes and boots?

As seen in Knoxville Style Magazine, September - October 2018

Indeed, peep-toe shoes and boots are DARLING, but they present a chilly challenge when winter strikes. It's often best to wear them when transitioning from fall to winter, creating a magical mix of multi-seasonal clothes.

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These stylish sandal-and-boot hybrids complement skinny-silhouetted pants; avoid donning them with wide-legged trousers. They really shine with fall skirts and dresses. For a chic look, try them on a warmer day of the season with a sleeveless dress - the "heavier" shoe coupled with your bare limbs has a slimming effect.

 While it’s still warm enough for your stems to be bare, make sure you have a great pedicure (or clean, trimmed tootsies). If you wear tights, keep them opaque and aim for a color close to your shoe to stay on the safer side of daring. Choose seamless-toed tights, otherwise, work the toe seam to the underside of your foot as you pull them on. And although we love Grandma, don't be like her… under NO circumstances should you wear reinforced toes!

 Ready to make a statement? Try patterned tights or a contrasting neutral color such as plum. (Think about it: plum goes with everything!) And as the months grow colder, avoid wearing the abbreviated footwear during your daily travels to avoid cold or wet tootsies, but do pull them out if you have a fun, casual party to attend indoors!

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How do I tastefully use patterns in a professional outfit?

As seen in Knoxville Style Magazine, April-May 2018

Using and mixing patterns is an art anyone can master, and guarantees a stylish touch. The key is how to pull it off looking like Beauty rather than the Beast!


When using patterns in a professional atmosphere, less is more. Start small with a simple piece like a patterned scarf; vintage stores are a great place to find interesting and inexpensive options. Or, try wearing a patterned blouse under a solid jacket or cardigan.

 As you grow more confident, combine patterned pieces that follow the same color palette (choose one piece with a variety of colors, and use it to match other items that may have two to three of the same shades). Stick with muted tones rather than vivid to remain work appropriate. Vary the size and design of the motif, such as a large floral alongside a smaller scale floral or polka dot.

 While in the workplace, avoid busy designs on larger, core items of clothing such as suits, pants, or full skirts. Choose the proportion of the pattern based upon your body type and avoid using patterns near areas you would like to de-emphasize. The reverse goes for areas you’d like to bring attention to, such as your pretty face!

Patterns can become a part of your signature style. Do you love stripes? Plaids? Make them your own!

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I can’t put it off any longer… I have to buy a swimsuit this year. Help!

As seen in Knoxville Style Magazine, Summer 2019

Oh, the joys of summer, and the woes of finding the right swimsuit. Give yourself time and attention and you’ll find a suit that will complement your summer fun!


Create a plan to help clarify your search. Make a list of your activities: will you be chasing after your children, socializing at a pool party, relaxing in the sun, or romping in the surf? This will help you determine whether you need a supportive and secure suit for frolicking with freedom, or a more glamorous one- or two-piece that looks pretty when posing.

Now it’s time to shop. Will you let your fingers do the walking through your computer keyboard, or venture out and go to the mall? If you shop at a store as opposed to online, put your makeup on and your hair in a cute style, and wear wedge shoes for ease of walking and a beautiful leg line when you’re in the dressing room.

When going through the racks (or pages), of suits, opt for bright colors and patterns around the smaller regions of your bod, with dark, solid colors on bigger areas. If you are larger in the bust and wish to wear a bikini, for heaven’s sake don’t wear a triangle top. Support the girls by looking for a structured top, with underwire if possible, designed with substantial straps. Smaller in the bust? Look for ruffles and bright prints and celebrate the fact that you can pull off a bandeau. Most bikini tops and bottoms are now available separately.

Most importantly, don’t fret about the size. Tags are irrelevant – it’s the fit that matters most. Do a little bending and sitting to make sure all stays in place. Don’t settle - the styles and shapes of suits are more plentiful than ever before. Find the one meant for you… and smile when you envision that beach vacation!

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Every summer I end up with one beloved "Cartoon Character" dress that I wear ALL THE TIME. How can I build a wardrobe around it?

As seen in Knoxville Style Magazine, July/August 2018

Your "Cartoon Character" dress sounds like it represents your signature style! Therefore, it’s the perfect piece on which to build capsule wardrobe.

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A small, square neckerchief scarf offers instant, easy chic and is a great place to start. If your dress is patterned, choose a solid-colored scarf, vice versa if your dress is a solid (in both cases, choose lightweight cotton or silk for coolness in the summer). Use your scarf and dress to pull out 3 - 5 colors to serve as a guide in selecting other clothing pieces.

For a dressier work look, add a blazer with heels, and on Casual Fridays wear a soft cardigan with flats. As the weekend begins, remove the cardigan and keep the scarf and flats for a breezy, French-inspired option (perfect for sightseeing or shopping!). Or make a change to strappy sandals and layered delicate necklaces for date night.

If the dress has a gathered waistline or self-belt, try adding or changing the belt. Another, more edgy option would be wearing a shirt over the dress, creating the illusion of a top and skirt. Experiment with the shirt silhouettes – try a button-down shirt with the top two or three buttons left undone and the bottom knotted at the waist, or leave it completely unbuttoned and worn open like a jacket.

The transformations you can make with your favorite “cartoon dress” can be so varied, folks may not even realize it’s the same piece. And you will have as much fun as Minnie Mouse!

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How can I freshen up my wardrobe?

As seen in Knoxville Style Magazine, Feb/March 2019

This may sound odd, but simply go shopping. Before you start to groan, let me assure you: you don’t have to make a day of it, go to different stores, research what’s in style or spend a lot of money.

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Stores from Nordstrom to Walmart will carry a version of the latest fashion trends. It’s what they do! Take a quick spin through the clothing, shoe or accessory section of a store that strikes your fancy (or my favorite – a shop that carries vintage, which is ALWAYS in style) and pick up one or two new items.

My golden rule on making the purchase: make sure you can easily think of three outfits using the items. Don’t buy if you are feeling “meh”, but don’t stress too much about it either. You’re just looking for a little pick-me-up!

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