Issue #20

Tel: 780.472.0767

Style & Substance Secrets


The resource for business professionals to improve credibility, relationships and bottom line, through image, etiquette, dining and social skills advice.



Listen to Job search advice

Brush up on the "soft skills"
(5 min) CBC Interview


Public Seminars:

Protocol For Building Business Relationships

June 11 in Calgary

Seminar info & registration


Workshops For Women

'Brand' New You -

Image Enhancement

for Career Women

May 23 and June 19
in Edmonton

Workshop info & registration




Feature Article -

Choosing Your Right Colors


Etiquette/Networking -

How do I get out of conversations?


Clothing -

How to de-clutter & help women looking for jobs?


What's New With Us -


Joanne's New Book


California Here We Come!


Are your dining skills
letting down your image?

View a Free Demo

10 minute demo of

Dining for Success
Online Training


For your free subscription to this newsletter or to forward it to a friend just click link at bottom of page.


Got a question or feedback?


More resources & back issues


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About Style for Success
Business Image and Etiquette Consultants, Speakers, Trainers


Joanne Blake & Terry Pithers can help your organization and your people improve their personal image and social skills to build credibility and inspire stronger business relationships.


Specializing in business dress, demeanor & dining, we add enjoyable, unique, profitable content to your training, conferences, retreats and in-house seminars.


View our services brochure (pdf)




The Right Colors for Your Complexion and the Planet


The fashion industry is all about color but it isn’t particularly green. If they had their way, we would all be throwing out most of our clothes at the end of each season and buying a complete new wardrobe of the latest styles and colors.


Flavor of the Season

Every season designers introduce new colors in their new clothing lines. It is easy to be tempted to try some of these new colors but not all colors will look good on you.

To get the biggest bang for your clothing buck you want to be sure that the colors that you are purchasing are not just the “in-colors” but that they make you look outstanding.


The Color of Money

All of us have variations in skin tone and hair color which dictate which clothing colors and shades make us look better and which colors ... not so much. Color doesn’t affect the price of a garment but it certainly affects the value that you will receive from the piece of clothing.


Here are a few tips and tricks to use when choosing your best clothing colors:


Dispel Myths

There are some color myths that just need to be tossed out the window. A good example is the common assumption that redheads should stay away from anything pink or red. The truth is that depending on the strength of the red in the hair, it is quite possible for redheads to look good in clothing with certain shades of pink or red in them.


Take a second look at any coloring myths that you have heard especially if you follow the test outlined below to see if you really do look good in these colors.


Do Your Colors Pass the Test?

Take a selection of colors both warm and cool, light and dark, and stand in front of the mirror in a well-lit room with natural light and hold each one up. Place it around half your face, chin and one side, to get an accurate idea.


You’ll find that some colors tend to make you look pale or sallow or otherwise not as striking. These are the colors you should NOT be using in your wardrobe. The colors that make your eyes sparkle, your complexion come alive and that go with your hair are your complimentary colors and they are the ones that should definitely be included.


Use Buffer Colors

The colors near your face are the ones you need to pay particular attention to. So the tops, jacket, sweater, shirt or blouse need to be colors that are flattering to you. When you see a current fashion color that you like, but it does not particularly go with your skin tone, you can use a buffer color.


Put the color that does not go as well with your skin tone on the bottom and a shirt  that flatters you on top . . . the shirt acts as a buffer. Another option for women is to use a scarf. Let’s say you see a lovely black top that you like, but it washes you out and makes you look pale. Add a scarf in a color that does look good on you to buffer the black from your skin.  Click here to see some great scarf tying options.


Men can use their ties as a buffer. Stark or pure white shirts do not suit all men’s complexions. Choosing a tie in one of your complimentary colors can act as a buffer.


When it Comes to Colors – Think Green

In the current economic climate overconsumption in fashion isn't good for your pocketbook and it isn't really good for the planet. Invest wisely and green. Your larger ticket items like your suiting should be in your most flattering perennial colors.


If you want to indulge in the current fashion colors, try to find shades that work better with your complexion and save those purchases for less expensive accent pieces like shirts, blouses and sweaters.

Color Help

The best way to be sure you are wearing the colors that make you look dynamic and to be confident every time you get dressed is to have your colors professionally assessed by a certified image professional. They will give you an individual color wardrobe game plan that will save you money year after year by ensuring you are getting the best clothing value for your complexion and your dollar.


De-clutter Your Colors
Knowing which colors look best on you is only the beginning. If you focus on a wardrobe of colors that look good on you this can make it easier to streamline your wardrobe with clothing that works well together.


Now you need to make sure that your wardrobe is made up of these colors. Go through your closet and give away or donate everything that is in a color that doesn’t work for you and when you buy new pieces only replace them with your best colors. You will be doing something green, you'll simplify your life and you'll be amazed at how many more compliments you'll receive.


Joanne Blake



Time to update and revitalize your personal image/brand for success? Joanne is offering image enhancement workshops for career women in Edmonton. Click here for information on the 'Brand' New You workshops.


See the Q & A below to learn and listen to a great way to donate your clothing to Suit Yourself charity Business attire for women.

Business Etiquette, Dress & Dining

How do you de-clutter your wardrobe and make a difference in another woman's life?



I caught part of a radio story about a charity that you can donate your career clothing to women that are looking to get jobs. Have you heard about it?


- Charity Minded



We sure have. it's a great idea, a chance to de-clutter and streamline your wardrobe and help other women get a head start.

Here is an audio link- Listen to hear a radio clip about

Suit Yourself charity Business attire for women (5 min CBC Story)


Isn't it a fantastic idea?

Here is the link to the Edmonton organisation

You can Google your own city to find a similar organization. If you don't find one, you might start one yourself with a group of friends. Women helping women.


- Joanne



Gracefully Ending a Conversation?



I feel really awkward when I'm trying to end a conversation with someone I've just met. This happened the other night at the chamber of commerce mixer where I know I should be moving around speaking to lots of people. I got into a conversation with another woman and it felt rude to end it abruptly so I found myself standing there talking until the conversation awkwardly petered out. Could you give me some suggestions that would make this feel better?


- Stukin Themidle



You're not alone.  Your conversation partner was probably feeling exactly the same thing. When we ask seminar participants what they would like to take away from our networking and conversation courses, most say they would like to be smoother at ending conversations. 


The smoothest and classiest way to end a conversation is to sum up the conversation and end on a positive. Paraphrase what you talked about in one or two positive lines. Use phrases like, “I've enjoyed talking with you, I didn't realize there was so much to environmental design”. Or “That project you're working on sounds fascinating, I wish you luck with it.” Then extend your hand and as you shake hands end with “I hope I run into you again”.


- Terry


PS- These days with increased job transitioning and people needing to build stronger internal and external business relationships, our Protocol for Building Business Relationships seminar is an excellent way to build and practice your people skills. Click here for information on the June 11 Calgary seminar.



If you want to be sure your dining skills look polished for those networking meals, check out our Dining For Success video training program.


To view a Free Demo of our Dining for Success Online Training.

Click here to log in for a 10 minute free demo

Just enter user id - diningsample

and password - sampleit




In Our Mind We're Going to California

Well, not just in our mind - mid May we will be attending the annual AICI Conference - Association of Image Consultants International, in Irvine California. Let's hope Joanne doesn't forget her gala gown this year. Terry hopes to get in some sports adventure or at least get Mickey and Minnie's autographs.




Personal Branding Are Us

We've been helping some companies with their image and personal branding. 


Assisting HR administrators in a large organization, helping them fine tune their personal brand and give them strategies for coaching dress issues with their departments.


And once again we've been working with the progressive team at Ready Engineering, this time to further enhance their brand and come up with distinctive site wear that promotes their expertise and credibility.



We've got some exciting public seminars coming up


Public Workshops for Women in Edmonton

‘Brand’ New You - One Day Image Enhancement
Workshop for Career Women


  • Want to look as vibrant as you feel?
  • Want to ‘dress for success’ and save money?
  • Ready for a dynamic new you but don't know where to go?

Limited to just 10 participants this 1 day workshop combines Joanne’s exclusive individual consulting with the best of her popular image seminars to give you a Brand New You. This transformational workshop will pay dividends year after year.



May Workshop

Sat. May 23rd

June Workshop

Fri. June 19th



$650 +gst

Save $100
Early bird until May 11th

$650 +gst

Save $100
Early bird until June 4th


Click here for more info and to register for either workshop.


View or print workshop brochure (pdf)



Terry and Joanne are co-facilitating a

Public Seminar in Calgary


If relationships are important to your success,

this is the seminar for you


Protocol For Building Business Relationships

Calgary, Alberta, Thurs. June 11, 2009, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM


According to studies by Harvard and Stanford business schools, the ability to converse and build relationships with employers, colleagues, clients and co-workers is identified as the #1 success factor.


This session will enhance both your personal and professional life by providing you with simple strategies to build credibility and rapport with others, overcome shyness and engage in conversations with finesse. Includes a module on professional dress.


Fee:$650 CAD
Early Bird - Save $100 - register before May 22th

Use Discount Code - "early bird" on the payment page


Click here for more info and to register for this seminar.

Then click on Progress Seminars Course Calendar.


View or print seminar brochure (pdf)


Click to listen to CBC interview with latest seminar participants   (5 min)




Joanne's book is almost here!


Executive Image Power Book Cover - Dress and Etiquette Advice to Succeed


Executive Image Power

Executive Image Power is the key ingredient to building confidence, making a great impression and getting what you want every time.


More savvy and sophistication are yours with the insider insights of top corporate image experts. With Executive Image Power you can be your best everyday.


Click here for more information


Available for sale June, 2009



Looking for entertaining and empowering presentations with a difference for your next conference or retreat?

Check out our website and give us a call.


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This article was provided by Terry Pithers and Joanne Blake, business dining, image and etiquette experts, speakers and creators of the Dining for Success Online Training Program.
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