Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

Professional, Structured Handbags

I return to blogging to present a collection of professional, structured handbags for Fall 2011 – perfectly appropriate for the corporate, yet fashion-conscious woman who jets from home to office to meetings to dinner.  A structured and sleek bag helps keep your materials tidy and organized.  It will take you farther in the eyes of your clients and superiors than handbags which are slouchy and or have canvas/cotton/nylon fabrics, festive prints, distracting embellishments, and /or obnoxious logos.  Below with a few of my top choices for the stylish professional executive:

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Filed under: Accessories, Dress for Success, Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2011, Image advice, Personal Shopping, Style Services, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Client Testimonial – Personal Shopping with Jennie Peterson

Most of my clients are international professionals with demanding schedules, but exacting tastes.  Their leisure-time is maximized with friends and family away from the rush of the city, therefore shopping is often a chore rather than a pleasure.  It was a joy to receive the below testimonial from a treasured client this morning:

“Jennie brings a fresh perspective to the world of personal shopping. Where else can you get a fashion advisor who can also play the role of best friend (giggling over impossible outfits), spouse (keeping an eagle eye on the budget), mother (your most honest critic) and agony aunt (who has the answer to all questions)? Jennie was all this and more. Her passion is evident in her involvement: she is very conscious about delivering on her brief even outside of her time commitments, and goes the extra mile to give clients tips on shopping. Her own sophisticated and chic dressing style inspires, and her willingness to help answer the most basic questions on style makes it a complete experience. I came away from my session with her much more willing to try out new styles and brands, and of course, a whole new wardrobe to enjoy!” ~ Sabita; Feb. 19 2011

Allow me to coordinate 3 1/2 hrs of shopping for which I will extensively prepare and pre-shop beforehand for a smooth, efficient, and enjoyable experience.  Kindly email me at jennie@imageandlifestyle.com or call directly 9663-7719 to arrange a half-day of focused shopping for your specific lifestyle needs.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Hong Kong, Image advice, Jennie Hope Peterson, Lifestyle, Personal Shopping, Shopping Advice, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Impressed with Nu Bra

A few days ago I tried on a strapless dress with a very structured and secure bodice – complete with boning, a double-layer lining, and intricate fastening system.  I wondered aloud to the shop attendant whether I should wear a strapless bra inside as well.  Before I knew it, I had been given an egg-like case containing 2 perfectly moulded, soft, silicone fillets to try.  Hmmm… I had seen the infomercial on these bad boys and highly doubted they would help me defy gravity considering they had neither straps nor ties.  The attendant unclasped the two halves, and guided me on how to insert these cups under and to the side of my curves (There is a bit of an art to it).  Oh my goodness, what a difference a Nu-Bra makes!  As the strapless dress was structured and tight anyhow, the jury is still out on the actual support action of the nu-bra… but they did provide a more rounded, lifted, and very comfortable natural enhancement… though subtle and not wonderbra-ish.  Interesting.  A neat little find I wanted to share with women who wear dresses such as those pictured below requiring creativity in the bra zone such as backless, strapless, low cleavage, etc.  Also particularly helpful for more revealing Spring/Summer fashions and dresses in Hong Kong.

Cost for a pair in the box below, not including the egg-like case, is about $100 USD; $800 HKD.  Available at Lane Crawford department stores.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Hong Kong, Image advice, Shopping Advice, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pretty in Pink

Happy St. Valentine’s Day Lovers and Lovettes!  Men and women across the globe are busting out their pink and red clothes… blushing and grinning with anticipation for tonight.  Men, in particular made me smile today as I walked through IFC and noticed all the gorgeous men strutting their stuff in pink ties and shirts… and really, they looked incredible.

Pink is one of the few colors that everyone can wear – you just need to find your shade.  Generally, a soft/pale pink compliments every skin-tone.  Clean-cut finance studs pull it off with a lighter, button down paired with khaki, grey, chocolate, or cream trousers.

Studly, street-savvy guys look playful and fun in brighter, fitted t-shirts and jeans.  

Men in the smart-casual setting look relaxed and dashing in an un-tucked chambray or casual fabric shirt.

Another option is going with a lovely pink tie, contrasted against a start white or pale blue shirt = classic, yet different.  

Wearing black and pink together looks a little out of date, but if you are confident, you can wear pretty much anything.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Hong Kong, Image advice, Shopping Advice, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Brazilian Blow-out

 

Hello Friends,

A quick post about the frizz-fighting Brazilian blow-out hair treatment.  Although it’s been around for a few years, many salons have only mastered the treatment within the past one year. Essentially, this is a semi-permanent chemical treatment requiring approximately 2-3 hrs in the salon for the full process.  The treatment eliminates frizz, curl, and puffiness – particularly in humid environments and lasts several months until the chemical gradually washes out.  This differs from the classic Japanese/Asian hair-straightening process which aggressively changes the physical structure of your hair.  My  understanding is there are 2 different types – go for the one which allows you to wash your hair immediately… the other one requires a 3 day wait.

About one week ago I tried the Brazilian treatment.  While my hair is smoother, straighter, and shinier than before, it now lacks body and falls flat after a few hours due to the fine nature of my fair hair.  On the plus side, it is easy to style, requires less time to dry, and looks more polished.  Overall, I do not recommend the Brazilian unless it is during the most humid months and/or you have thicker, more unmanageable hair… otherwise, leave well enough alone and learn to love those odd-ball face framing frizzles.

As a side note, it is necessary to use special shampoo and conditioner products after the BB treatment; examples below.

 

Filed under: Beauty, Grooming, Hair, Image advice, , , , , , , , , , ,

Shoe Repair and Maintenance in Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

Hello Men and Women of Hong Kong,

As you well know, shoes are easily worn out in this city with high foot traffic, uneven surfaces, escalators, slopes, and stairs.  Keep your shoes in great shape by seasonally taking new and old shoes to the cobbler.  Why take new shoes to the cobbler?  You’ll want to have a sole protector glued onto leather bottoms right at the get-go with to prevent damage and keep them lasting longer.  Read on to find out more of my tips for keeping shoes looking great year after year = save $ and keep your favorite shoes looking great.

The absolute BEST place in Hong Kong for shoe, handbag, belt, and leather care & repair (recommended by LV) is “The TOP” located in Central: Rear Shop B, Ground Floor, Comm House, 35 Queens Road Central (right next to the ally entrance of McDonald’s on Queen’s Road).  Very nice guys, very excellent workmanship.

Another great place is “The Groom” – located in various MTR stations throughout HKG; http://www.thegroomshoesrepair.com.

Sole care: Flat shoes with leather bottoms/soles (men and women)

have a protective layer glued onto the bottoms which adds traction and years of life to your shoes.  Cost = approx. $200-250 HKD.  (Several cobblers have red protective covers for Christian Louboutin shoes – see picture)

High heel tip replacement: A cobbler is able to remove the worn-down tip and install a new one.  Once your tip is worn down, immediately get them repaired rather than walking on the metal tip – this will crack your shoe and cause aches and pains in your body.

Keep the shape: Use shoe trees, shoe-shape holders, tissue paper made into the shape of the shoe toe… something in the toe of your shoes for a nice, strong shape in storage.

Shine on: Cobblers and leather smiths will help buff, polish, and shine your shoes to keep them respectable and looking new.  Patent leather shoes should never touch one another in storage because the finish will scuff and scratch.

Storage: Consider to keep your shoes in their original boxes, put them away neatly each night, keep a photo on the outside of the box, and organize on a large shelving unit so they may stack vertically and take up less space and keep shoes dust-free.  If this is too extreme, simply purchase 2 stackable stainless steel wire shelving racks from IKEA – functional, sharp looking… and able to hold approximately 24 pairs of shoes.

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Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Hong Kong, Image advice, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

She’s Got Legs

Even though it’s winter and your legs can hide behind opaque tights for a bit longer, it’s time to start thinking about your Spring wardrobe and fitness routine for the best pins around town.

  • Without a doubt, resistance workouts with weights will help tone and sculpt your legs.  The best exercises for great gams include squats, lunges, and dead-lifts.  However, without cardio to burn the fat on the surface, your tone will never show.  Running, jumping-rope, swimming, elliptical training, etc are all great fat-burners… just keep moving and get a good sweat going.
  • Aside from exercise, the right shoes will help create the illusion of longer and leaner legs with nude-toned high-heels (see pic above).  I recently added the two below Jimmy Choo darlings to my arsenal of shoes for Spring.  These will be perfect with shorts, dresses, and skirts for creating a clean line of color from hip to toe.

  • Know your hem-line.  Avoid letting your hem end at the widest part of your leg.  This means if you have heavier legs, don’t rock very short skirts and dresses… opt for knee-length or slightly above-the-knee and wear high-heels in a neutral shade such as nude, light silver, or light gold tone.  Below-the-knee hems are hard to pull-off without looking overly matronly.
  • Lotions and potions will help as well.  Before going out, put a lotion with a subtle shimmer on your legs to help reflect the light and add tone.
  • Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.  Smooth thighs, knees, and bum are definitely always in style.  Aim toexfoliate in the shower 2x/week and follow with a body oil or lotion immediately after to moisturize and keep your skin youthful.
  • Pedicures.  I have a different opinion on pedicures from most women (I think).  I care much more about the softness and health of the skin on my feet than the color of the nails, although you cannot go wrong with a feminine pink.  Your feet need to be healthy and looked after.  I find that getting a quickie pedicure is pretty much all about the nail polish rather than the foot care, so go to a nicer salon or buy sanders and scrubbers to keep your tootsies looking great for those peep-toe shoes.
  • Shaving, waxing, etc all go without saying…. smooth and silky is the way to go.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Exercise, Fitness - Motivation, Grooming, Image advice, Legs, Losing Weight, Skin care, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pretty Woman …Walkin’ Down the Street…

Consider how much the way you walk affects your personal image.  There is something stunning about someone who moves with purpose.

I’m a BIG believer in walking like you’re going somewhere.  When someone moseys along, shuffles his/her feet, or lingers in high-traffic areas it makes me think they really just aren’t going anywhere… literally and figuratively.  If you walk with purpose, posture, and a touch of pride (not too much), you’ll project a better self-image… and you’ll get places faster.  Put a confident man or woman in jeans and a white t-shirt next to a well-dressed timid person and I believe confidence will win out over fashion every day of the week.  It’s very attractive.

Filed under: Beauty, Image advice

Psstt! Let’s Talk…

Hello there ladies,

This week signals the flow of champagne rivers as holiday parties get into full swing, and that means lots of dresses, heels, manicures, blow-outs, and… SPANX.  If you’ve just raised an eye-brow of confusion, don’t worry.  Many women still are not familiar with the contouring under garments which help smooth and slim your bits and bumps into mounds of perfection.  Forget about looking super skinny or trying to squeeze into a tight dress, the purpose of control under garments is to create a smooth line beneath your clothes and improve your confidence on a big night out.  Several brands make control undergarments:

Wolford is sexy + function+ premium.  Sold in Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, and Prince’s Building boutique shop

Spanx is all function + not so attractive.  Sold in Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols, and internet delivery

Marks and Spencer undergarments are functional + well-priced + less comfortable

Victoria’s Secret, H&M, La Perla, and many other brands offer body suits in sexy patterns which also help keep everything in check.  My advice: try to exercise 5x/week, eat well, drink lots of water, get your beauty rest, buy a fabulous wardrobe, and then wear Spanx from time to time on those evenings you need to wear a slinky white silk dress to the holiday party.  The point is, unless you’re hitting the gym to perfectly tone your tush… a bit of under garment magic will work wonders on your special occasions and Christmas parties.  Have fun this weekend!  x

Filed under: Beauty, Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Image advice, Shopping Advice, Uncategorized, , , , , , , ,

My Blue Jean Rebellion

The right pair of jeans with the right t-shirt is classically hot and I’ll always love denim.  Sometimes though, a girl just wants to slip into a pair of comfy trousers for everyday life – jetting out to buy milk for example – which are not yoga pants.  Skinny jeans make “slipping into” an impossibility, they flatter so few bodies, and they aren’t comfortable.  Bootcut denim these days is all about looking great  with a 4″ heel due to pant length and the aspect of hip-leg length proportions.  I could just give in and wear jeans and running shoes like Jennifer Garner for the Soccer Mom look… but this doesn’t feel too removed from the aforementioned yoga pant.  I’m a bit tired of blue jeans being all about the backside and less about the freedom to move and relax on the weekends like they were when I was 16.

So… I’ve decided that I will hugely embrace the new upcoming trend of silk trousers.  I feel liberated!  They look pulled together and elegant, while extremely comfortable and lovely for Hong Kong’s tropical climate.  Sure, they verge on pajama territory, but DVF at left shows how it’s done and Marc by Marc Jacobs (see below trousers) has at  least 3 pairs  in IFC Lane Crawford which I spotted last night at their 160th birthday bash ( in for a quick look-see, a flute  of bubbly, and glancing the new Spring collection arrivals).

Rue Madame in IFC and Lee Gardens has a HUGE assortment of silk trousers (I bought a pair in burnt orange/red last week).  Expect to see a huge number of designers carrying these trousers for Spring 2011.  However, lighter colors will make your bum and hips look bigger and will reveal cellulite if you have any.  Wear darker colors and pair with cute flats and a slimmer fitting top so the whole look isn’t baggy.  Buy a pair, wear them, love them… and feel a bit relieved from the skinny jean and leggings trend.

Aside from silk trousers, dresses are a feminine and liberating option.  Have fun with your fashion and try new  things.  Why not?  🙂

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Image advice, Shopping Advice, Silk trousers, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , ,