Civility: For a polished appearance

Part Two: Neutral colors, communication skills

Continuing last week's column with ideas on how to achieve a polished appearance:

Shoes: Should be darker than the hemline and should be of good quality leather. Heel should be of medium height, particularly for comfort. Pumps are good. Nylons should be keyed to shoe color or a skin tone. Your natural hair color is a good basic shoe color, handbag and coat color.

Best neutral colors for skirts, shoes, suits and jackets: Neutrals are worn as background colors and are worn best in prints, mixed with two or more neutrals together. These colors are darker and more passive in nature and need brighter colors that add energy. Black or gray (for those with black or gray hair), beige and camel (blond hair), dark navy, green, and burgundy are neutrals. Neutrals are the best wardrobe coordinator and good for travel capsules.

Jewelry: Should never dominate, and should be tasteful, simple and supportive in color and style. For example, a petite woman with dainty facial features should avoid wearing large earrings that will be dominant.

Professional color and style analysis: An individualized color and style analysis is a practical system that saves time and money and helps to implement a wardrobe plan. It is an education on coordination of colors, styles, textures, design lines, body structure and personality expression. The color profiles of the 1980s and '90s need to be updated. As one matures, the coloring in the eyes, skin, and hair soften, and, more often than not, there needs to be a change in the colors that will work. Anyone can wear any colors, but shades, tints and tones of the color vary from person to person.

A color profile can diminish age lines in the face to appear younger; eyes will appear shinier; teeth whiter and skin healthier. A personal color profile will help with the blending of skin tones to present a more flawless complexion; will provide a formula for coordination of make-up colors and clothes with personal coloring; will add flexibility to your wardrobe because of an increase in color-combination potentials; and will provide vital information on accessory coordination and personal expression.

Business and social etiquette/entertaining/communication skills: There are many advantages to having knowledge of what to do in business and in life. Obtaining etiquette and communication skills will help in business negotiations in the social world; will sharpen personal skills that help you to be in control of business and social situations; will help develop poise and confidence for business socializing; will help build healthier professional and personal relationships; and will help provide a lifetime investment with returns that can be rewarding, both financially and personally.

DIANA OLSON, MA AICI CIP, is an image stylist/ etiquette & civility specialist. Reach her at or (626) 584-9761.

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