Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

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.

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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, , , , , , , , , , , ,

My New Love….

I am now officially in “love” with a new man in my life who knows my curves, hugs me in all the right places, and knows just what I need: Michael Kors.  Truth be told, I’ve never paid much attention to Michael Kors’ collections and I suppose I dismissed his designs as conservative and basic.   That is, until the below peach-colored dress caught my eye last Friday in NYC Bergdorf Goodman department store and I slipped it on along with the LBD above.  A-Mazing!  Now, I’m a real dress-person and wear them all the time… walking the dogs, casual dinners out, fine-dining… I know dresses.  And, I have just discovered that Michael Kors makes dresses that fit better than any other dress designer I’ve tried.  Of course, it is all subject to individual tastes and body type, but if you typically enjoy wearing Diane von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan… give Michael Kors a try.  Once the zipper was up, it was mine… promising timeless elegance and vowing to behave out on the town.  Was it an epiphany?  Not really… it was just dress shopping… but now I absolutely adore Michael Kors for dresses.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Shopping Advice, Spring 2011 Fashion, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New York, New York!

While Hong Kong is home, America has my heart and welcomed me back for the holidays… and is there any place as magical in the lead-up to Christmas as New York City?  From Rockefeller Center to the displays at Saks 5th Avenue to the wondrous excitement of shopping for my nieces and nephews at FAO Shwartz… New York is definitely alive with the holiday spirit.  I hit the shops yesterday armed with free-time and comfortable shoes, but was caught off-guard by my lack of shopping enthusiasm until it really hit me around 5pm as I sat in a cafe listening to a German family sing Christmas carols with their kids “Oh my goodness… it’s Christmas!!!!”  This year, like never before, I need the warmth and cheer of the holidays!

Bright and early this morning my eyes opened with new-found giddiness that I was indeed going to shop, drink the holiday flavored fancy high-calorie drinks at Starbucks, find stocking stuffers for my parents, go back to Rockefeller center to see the tree and ice-skating, and buy a ticket for the Radio City Rockettes, my all-time favorite show.  Today I feel the magic!

If you haven’t been swept into the holiday spirit yet, put on a CD of carols, spend the day out and about, call your Mom, and before you know it, the cheer will warm your heart and you’ll be tasting eggnog and wrapping gifts for your loved ones before you know it.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

Radio City Rockettes

 

 

Filed under: Shopping 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, , , , , , , , , ,

Best Shopping in Hong Kong – Department Stores

Harvey Nichols shop in The Landmark, Central, ...

Image via Wikipedia

People often ask me “where is the best place to shop in Hong Kong?”  My personal preference is Central – blissfully surrounded by convenient suspended walkways connecting the power hubs of Landmark and IFC shopping malls which boast Lane Crawford and Harvey Nichols… with Princes Building, Alexandra House, and Chater House dotted along the way with their luxury Chanel, Prada, LV, Armani, etc.  In terms of the best area to shop, my answer is Central.

In terms of where to shop?  Oh my… thought you’d never ask!

  • Lane Crawford, is my first-born and favorite because it feels easy.  I love shopping in either the Pacific Place location in Admiralty or the IFC location in Central because the layouts are welcoming… and their accessories are presented well with extremely helpful staff.  I would say the layout seems more American… which feels comfortable to me and it is busy, hip, and less intimidating than other HK department stores.
  • Harvey Nichols in Central is for a unique taste level and a confident shopper will do well in this mecca of a department store.  The costume jewelry section and ladies’ dresses are particularly different with slightly off-beat, yet very hot labels.  It is more European … and the store is never busy which means that while the staff will hound you, the service is excellent.  Worth a walk-through at the very least… particularly the beauty floor with refinement not found at other department stores in Hong Kong.
  • Joyce is a totally different kind of shopping experience for someone who has a little bit of time to appreciate the unique quality and selection chosen by their buyers.  I really enjoy shopping here… and I always find myself inspired to try something new and  different because when I shop here, I feel more fashionable.  I think that is important – to feel fashionable when one shops.  Joyce offers a wide selection of carefully chosen clothing labels.  Beyond that, Joyce Beauty is the place to find premium cosmetics, perfumes, candles, and all things lovely for gifts and spoiling oneself by labels such as Eve Lom, Diptyque, Annick Goutal… and my favorite parfumeur  – L’artisan.  Yes, Joyce is a fun place to shop and explore.
  • The “IT” and “it” stores in Hong Kong offer totally unusual and special designers.  “IT” carries more European brands, while “it” carries causal Japanese jeanswear and young street clothing.  My experience is that the staff, sizes, and brands are tailored for the fashion savvy and artsy local Hong Kong population.  Go in, look around, and don’t feel bad if you don’t find anything because some of it is hard to wear and difficult to integrate into your wardrobe.  It takes time… but try because you’ll find many gems in these stores.  My favorite designer – Isabel Marant is part of the IT group and her shop is located on Fashion Walk in Causeway Bay and sold within the IT stores.
  • Seibu – I’ve very rarely found success shopping in Seibu, a Japanese department store.  It is definitely tailored for the local market, though the brands are international and interesting… I must be on a different wave-length with the buyers for this company because it genuinely feels like I’m looking in someone else’s closet and I don’t like anything they own, though it might be full of well-designed pieces.  The fitting rooms, music, staff, and lighting all feel dated and somewhat stale – not my pick unless I need a particular brand sold here.

Filed under: Fall Fashion 2010, Hong Kong, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

For the love of cable-knit

Marilyn Monroe effortless in a cable-knit sweater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn understood the power of a simple sweater.  What a fox!

My most recent and easy-to-wear closet obsession: the cable-knit sweater.  I was recently in the US for a long break and delighted in purchasing a “women’s chunky cable cowlneck” cotton sweater for just $69.50 from Lands End Canvas (www.landsendcanvas.com)… and honestly, what feels better than soft cotton?  Sure, I could have paid more for a luxe version at Lane Crawford, but why pay a premium for a comfy weekend staple that begs to be cozied up with a book or on a walk with the pooch?  Now that I have my cream-dream of a sweater, I have noticed cable-knits on trend watch-lists, in store window displays, handbags and scarves… and along with this classic, a ton of East-coast throwbacks to the early 90’s are floating around… Tretorn shoes, tartan skirts, pleated chinos, and braided belts.  I half-expect French-braids and twists to come back any moment.

So, back to the cable knit.  Wear it loose, wear it effortlessly, and keep in mind the knit pattern is the most visible in light colors.  My preference – soft grey, pale pink, light lavender, baby blue, or classic cream.  Pair this closet essential with just about anything for a timeless and comfortable style… perhaps with tan loafers, minimal jewelry, and great undergarments for emphasizing the few curves visible in a chunky sweater.

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , ,

Horizontal Stripes are OK

Horizontal stripes have been a fashion faux-pas for years… right next to tight white jeans – AVOID, AVOID, AVOID unless you’re very slim.  The good news is, horizontal stripes in the correct pattern and size will make you look slimmer… just like wearing the wrong vertical stripes will make you look wider.

SLIMMING LOOKS:

Thin horizontal stripes, evenly spaced, contrasting tone (navy/white; red/white, etc) or very muted – such as the Isabel Marant shirt pictured above.  Thin stripes work well to slim because the eye will see the pattern and keep moving up and down along the pattern.  This look is especially popular in the classic Breton sailor style in both snug-fit knit shirts and dresses.   These days, a good look is throwing a blazer or jacket over a striped shirt with a pair of chic jeans.

Thin vertical stripes – a safe bet, these stripes will elongate and slim.

Very wide horizontal stripes in 2 tones are very popular now.  The bold color and pattern should not be worn too snug (unless you have a rockin’ bod) and is best bought a bit over-sized and matched with slim-fit jeans or a slim skirt to balance the proportions.  The below is Kate Moss wearing Isabel Marant – my favorite designer.

Descending horizontal stripes and color:  a flattering look is a top or dress with horizontal stripes that become thinner and more closely spaced towards the waist as seen below in Eva Longoria Parker‘s dress.  She accentuates her waist with a bold belt.  Also nice is wearing a brighter color on the top, and darker color at the waist and below to create an hour-glass shape.  See dress below.

AVOID – thick vertical stripes.  The eye will count the number of stripes and make you appear wider.

AVOID – horizontal multi-colored stripes in bright colors.  It is an unflattering and widening look unless you are very young.

A good rule of thumb when you are in doubt – go for it.  It’s only fashion… be confident and look terrific!

Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , , , , , ,