Hot Handbags

Big is in

With gadgets getting smaller it’s interesting that the hottest trend in handbags is “the bigger the better.” Is it our mobile lifestyles-the need to have essentials (i.e., emergency sewing kit, makeup bag, mouthwash, Blackberry, personal hygiene items, cell phones, etc.) within reach at all times? Or, maybe we just want roomier bags (it’s always nice knowing that if you need the space, it’s there). Whatever the reason, handbags are as big as Texas. Oversized totes, hobo bags and Jackie O bucket and shoulder bags provide enough choices to accommodate business, casual and a night on the town.

“The hottest handbags are big, bigger, biggest,” said Susan Sommer, former fashion editor turned fashion and business etiquette coach and founder of Dresszing, a wardrobing and visual communications company “Think oversized. Get to your essentials-wallet, keys, phone, compact and lipgloss-quickly by putting them in a small zippered case tucked inside”.

Mary Jo Matsumoto, whose bags have appeared on the arm of A-list stars, chimed in on the big bag phenomenon. “One of the biggest upcoming trends for bags is big, roomy, and black sack-like bags like the ones that Chanel put out this season. Also, oversized doctor’s bags are a trend as seen in the Marc Jacobs collection for Louis Vuitton”.

Okay, so we get that bags are big. What else is influencing top designers? Fortunately there is a lot of carryover from past seasons-so that metallic gold bag you got last year is back for a repeat performance. Neutral colors are always a safe bet, but with flashier twists, such as patent leather, you can have some fun too.

“The 80s influence are back again in the world of fashion,” said Barbara Glass, Image & Wardrobe Consultant, Fashion Editor, and TV Fashion Reporter. “The spring and summer seasons kicked off with oversized straw and colorful canvas totes and the double-strapped pocketed schoolbag look in patent leather to hold your most basic essentials or flip-flops for when those wedge skyscrapers create pain with no relief.”

When going out on the town, styles shift away from the gargantuan daytime bags. “For evening, try to simplify your life with one of the new mini bags, clutches or wristlets and find a deserving guy to carry wherever else it can’t hold,” Glass said. “Lipgloss, keys, breath mints and cab fare should be do the trick. Look for patent leather to be an important fabric in handbags and shoes for fall and winter. It’s practical and has a retro influence”.

Handbag designer Rebecca Ciccio says stick to the basics for a classic, sophisticated look. “For the fall, earthy colors like chocolate brown and camel are perfect, but black is definitely making a comeback.” Metallics are still in favor with designers and consumers, so spice up that black dress or clinging cashmere v-neck with a metallic bag or clutch. “Metallics will show up for fall into holiday, in dark golds, bronze, and taupe, as well as some accent colors like plum and winter white. For play, a clutch in a fun and exotic material”.

Matsumoto echoes Ciccio with her prediction about bold metallics and earth tones. “Another big trend that will be emerging as we move quickly from fall to Resort (that season started in November) is tons of silver and gunmetal, especially in day bags,” she said. “Plus surprisingly, gray will be emerging as a major color in accessories.”

9-5 It’s a way to make a living

Listen up working girls. Women’s business accessories are no longer dull and drab. With colors and designer details, you can make a style statement with your workbag.

“For work, large bags are still as strong as ever,” Ciccio said. “There are many women in the work force who want to have a bag that will fit everything from their wallet and make-up case, to magazines or even a lap top. However, make sure the bags is not too big and over trendy.”

Believe it or not, the shelves are lined with colorful bags bearing crocodile prints or leather trimmed tweeds with gorgeous brushed silver hardware, all shaped into the season’s must-have accessories. We’re not talking about a women’s specialty boutique – this is Staples.

Forget the unisex laptop bag – business women now have new choices that go well beyond the basic. Accessories are evolving new styles, finishes, color and fittings to match the best-dressed businesswoman.

Targus offers a pair of stylish business totes, each roomy enough to accommodate a laptop, plus cell phone, business cards and essential papers. The Quilted Messenger Bag shows the softer side of business. The satiny black nylon is criss-crossed with bright magenta stitching with a matching magenta lining. The bag is padded and has plenty of pockets for pens and accessories.

Buxton’s Kelly Bag wraps practicality into a leather tote with a clean style. The Kelly Bag features a center zip pocket, a full-zippered main compartment, and a fully padded laptop section. Expandable utility loops, card and cell pockets give the Kelly bag plenty of carrying power. Available in red, dark brown and black.

Is your handbag still in style?

Amy Covington is a fashion writer with a penchant for silk

Yellow Box Sandals For the Fashion Forward Flip Flop Fanatic

Flip flops aren’t just for bumming around the beach anymore. Years ago and seasons past, flip flops and sandals were considered too casual for most places. They didn’t cover your feet sufficiently and although they were incredibly convenient, they were made of cheap plastics in bright colors and we’re mostly geared towards home, beach, camp, water and the yard. Flip flops of today have taken on a new level of fashion, incorporating higher quality materials, bold graphics and embellishments that make them worthy of your favorite spring and summer outfits. And you’ll see that trend in Yellow Box shoes like you will nowhere else!

Yellow Box shoes are becoming really well known as a brand that is maintaining its boutique roots and modern styling in the face of huge growth. Rather than compromising on style, they keep amping it up, creating super cute women’s shoes that are as happy and fun as they are fashionable and interesting. In fall and winter, Yellow Box brings their innovation to trendy shapes like the Mary Jane, bootie and clog. They even have a delicious and cozy line of slippers that use materials in really interesting ways. But spring has sprung and we all need to grab some new go-to sandals and flip flops for summer!

Let’s take the Yellow Box flip flops this year as an example! An animal print trimmed with crazy bright colors, giant jeweled embellishments, perky polka dots or funky snakeskin like texture are all available this season in the Yellow Box sandal line. You can get your preppy or your bling on with Yellow Box. These are flip flops like you’ve neither seen nor imagined, supported with a well cushioned EVA foot bed. You get the comfort and relaxed feeling of a flip flop with the fashion forward look you crave – what could be better?

If you’re looking for a little height, Yellow Box sandals can hook you up with a trendy wedge in the flip flop or thong style or without the toe violator. You can get a cork foot bed or the black EVA foot bed depending on the look you’re after – and either way you’ll be amazed at how effectively Yellow Box manages to make you look fabulous while keeping you comfortable. Yellow Box offers total sandal versatility from higher wedges with a 3 inch height, mid height 2 inch wedges and sandals with a more uniform and chunky sole and even subtle ½ inch platforms with an actual 1 and ½ inch height.

Each pair of Yellow Box shoes has a unique and modern twist, whether from texture, color or even material. You’ll find metallic, plaids and even textured animal prints and every pair is fashionably versatile working with jeans, capris, summer dresses and even some of your spring and summer business casual outfits.

So if you are a tried and true flip flop fanatic and you’re looking for a flip flop sandal that has an edge, a little height, some varied embellishments and some new textures, you should definitely consider checking out Yellow Box sandals this year. As usual, Yellow Box has taken and simple idea and added several unique and modern twist

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for Job Hunting Success

LinkedIn – The World’s largest Professional Network

Nowadays, everyone who will work with you and wants to learn more about you is going to look you up on LinkedIn at some point. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and has more than 250 million members. It is a great resource for job hunters, recruiters, employers and business owners.

Therefore, it is important to get your mindset correct about LinkedIn – a well-organized and carefully written profile can open countless opportunities, not only locally, but across the entire world. It is our goal in this article to learn how to create an effective LinkedIn profile page and to point out some techniques that will allow you to stand out and be distinguished among the plurality of profiles.
Let’s focus on some of the main aspects of your profile:

Photo

First off, it’s really important to choose a professional photo. No selfies allowed. This is a social network and that is why it is important to show yourself to your contacts. Try to select a colorful photo, in which you are smiling and wearing professional clothes. Business casual attire would be fine. Take a photograph of your head, your face, but don’t choose a picture of your whole body, as it makes difficult to see your face and smile. You want to be smiling in your LinkedIn profile picture, as this will allow you to relate to your profile visitors. A smile shows that you are a positive and pleasant person; the type of colleague that everyone wants to work with.

Headline

One of the first things that someone who comes across your profile will see is your headline. Make sure that it is professionally written and that it tells people very quickly what is it that you do and maybe also what it is that you would like to do in the future (this is something most college and university graduates do). The use of keywords in your headline is highly recommended as this would optimize your profile for “search”. Look at the top line of your LinkedIn page as a quick, concise statement of what you do. Something like a teaser that would attract the reader’s interest and will hopefully stimulate him/her to go through your entire profile.

Profile completeness

The profile completeness meter that you would see on the right side of your profile page measures the degree of completeness of your profile. By following the steps that are suggested on the top of the page, you can make sure that your profile is fully complete. You will have to add your education, work experience, language skills, volunteer experience, interests, certificates and other types of relevant information in order to complete the profile. LinkedIn points out that users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities. Not one, not two… but forty times! Therefore, it is crucial to have a complete profile. Once you do, you will show up with a preferred status in the LinkedIn search results section. This is very important because job recruiters use LinkedIn as one of their main tools in order to find candidates. By completing your profile, you will pop-up higher when they search for a profile that is similar to yours.

Keywords

Let’s say that you want to find an opportunity in the field of Investment Banking. Mergers and Acquisitions in particular. Perhaps you are open for opportunities at boutique Investment Banks, Private Equity firms, Venture Capital firms and possibly Internal M&A departments of large industrial companies. Many of these organizations need a profile just like yours. What is the best way to ensure that your profile appears in front of them when they click the “Search” button? Again, you need to optimize your profile for LinkedIn search. It has to be keyword rich. Certain keywords are more likely to draw the attention of recruiters, especially if they are relevant and contained in the job description of the position that they need to fill. For the specific example that we considered head hunters may be combining “M&A” with “Financial Modeling” or “Financial Modeling and Valuation”, or may be “Multiples Valuation”. There are countless variations of these keywords. Having a profile that is keyword rich means including these keywords in your headline, summary, work experience, skills and interest section.

Recommendations

There is one great way to massively boost the credibility of your profile – and that is by getting recommended. This is precisely the type of social proof that your profile’s visitors are looking for. If one of your current or previous colleagues is ready to vouch for you, this is excellent for your profile. In order to get recommendations on LinkedIn, you need to ask for them. There is no other way around it. It is highly unlikely that people will write recommendations on their own initiative. You have to be proactive and ask nicely whether the person can write about 3 or 4 concise sentences that describe your professional skills and attitude. Having several recommendations will make you look like a premium person in your industry; someone who relates well with his colleagues. This is something that job recruiters are always looking for.

Convey your success not your responsibilities

Try to sound excited and proud when you write your LinkedIn resume. Excited about what is ahead of you and proud about the accomplishments you achieved in the past. Don’t talk about your duties and responsibilities in any past work experiences, but instead “sell” what you did as accomplishments that you managed to achieve. Besides everything else, your LinkedIn profile is a marketing brochure of yourself. A good salesman will always focus on a product’s positives and will be excited when talking about them.

Gain credit by association

LinkedIn offers you several ways to gain credit by association. Take advantage of that. You can list your interests, join a particular group of interests and fill in information about your volunteer experience. Look at these fields as a door of opportunity. Not only will they complete your profile and improve its search ranking, but they might also draw a reader’s attention. One out of four Hiring Managers said that they hired somebody who had similar volunteer experience. Don’t be shy to list all of your experiences, even if they did not include payment. The same goes with interests. If you have similar interests with someone, it is much more likely that he will be interested in learning more about you. Take full advantage of this feature, given that you will need just 10 or 15 minutes in order to complete this information.