Image Focus: Up Your Style As Temps Go Down

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I am in a state of shock as I write this column — could it really be November all ready? Seriously, where did the time go —  and how is it that 2011 is knocking on the door? I know people who are nearly done with their Holiday shopping while my number one focus is to finish up my kids “good” Halloween candy before it all starts tasting the same. Since no amount of denial will change the fact that the season of celebration is upon us, I’ve put together some pointers for you on how to survive it in style. Hectic times and cold weather doesn’t have to mean a disheveled look. ‘Tis the Season when many of us want to throw on a bulky sweater as we rush to and fro through the elements. I promise you, it is possible to stay warm and look chic while doing it.

Wear a great coat

If you don’t own a ¾ length dark color wool coat it is time for you to buy one. This coat will look fabulous and take you from a black tie event to the grocery store in style. It will also keep you warm on the coldest of Michigan winter days. A classic piece like this will last you ten plus years if you take care of it properly. Remember ladies, your overcoat should be longer than our hemline — this piece will ensure that you always look appropriate. Once you have this necessity, you can venture out and get more fashion forward outerwear.

Choose stylish accessories

Accessories add a sense of intention and completeness to your look, so choose them wisely. Most of us aren’t likely to buy ourselves a Burberry scarf, but you can find a well made, quality scarf that will take your look up a notch without breaking the bank. Locally, I found a number of nice pieces in wool and cashmere blends between $30 and $100. I’m sure you can find even better deals at our plethora of amazing consignment shops! Gloves are a “must have” in Michigan, so why not have a pair you’re proud of? I prefer leather myself, but you can find wonderful, fashion forward gloves in warm fabric blends. Nothing says “fashionista” like a pair of animal print gloves or the amazing cashmere, fingerless, studded gloves I came across on the Internet (hint, hint Santa — now you know what’s on my wish list!). Also, accessories are a great part of your wardrobe for lifting the spirit on a gloomy day. Our daily outlooks have been proven to be affected by the changing of the weather, especially when the sun is out or not. By wearing bright and happy colors, gray and cloudy skies will not overshadow your positive attitude.

Keep your feet warm and stylish

Winter boots are a must in Michigan. Subjecting your shoes to snow, salt and ice is a sure fire way to ruin them or risk a painful slip and fall. Personally, I’m a fan of UGG’s and have them in multiple colors. I know they are not for everyone, but they are super-warm and in style again this season. I use mine as my travel footwear and keep my “real shoes” in a shoe bag to change into once I arrive at my destination. If being a quick-change artist isn’t for you, it is possible to find a warm boot that looks polished. Wedges are hot this season and I have found no shortage of tall, warm, wedge style boots that can take you from the parking lot to the board room without missing a beat. These won’t be quite as easy to navigate a patch of ice on as a flat boot, but will certainly fair better than a heel. Speaking of flat bottom boots, riding boots are all the rage this year. Admittedly, not as warm as my beloved UGG’s, a riding boot can go great with slacks, skirts or skinny jeans. It is possible to look (and feel) great in colder weather and still be comfortable for the inevitable hustle and bustle of the season. Remember, consistency is key when it comes to your personal image — make sure you’re putting your best foot forward at all times. Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner with the family or early morning shopping on black Friday — you never know when your next big opportunity is going to come along — make sure you look prepared!
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Tags: Image Focus, mieshel image consulting, shelley davis mielock

Shelley Davis Mielock

Shelley Davis Mielock is a certified business image coach and the founder of Mieshel Image Consulting, a Lansing-based firm that specializes in image development for individuals and businesses. She is also a co-host of In Her Shoes, a a weekly women’s talk radio show. To ask Shelley an image question, please e-mail her.