Fashion Fridays: The Finishing Touches

Have you ever seen a woman with the perfect outfit and there was just one thing awry that threw it off?

I have.  Heck, I’ve been that woman.  (I won’t even start with panty lines because when my pants got too tight, I know I had that!)

But there are few things you should consider when putting together an outfit to polish it off:

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1.  Manicures/Pedicures.  Honestly, I have little budget or time for these, so I keep my fingernails trimmed, filed, and bare.  But I do try to get a pedicure every month, a necessity in Houston spring and summer, in case I decide to wear a peep toe shoe.  If you do not have well groomed feet, keep them in heels or loafers.  Don’t wear open toe shoes with chipped polish.  Also be mindful of the polish you select.  Kelly green may be a lot of fun, but it won’t blend in at a financial institution or law firm and makes it harder to take you seriously.  (And it should go without saying but don’t wear sandals to the office.)

2.  Undergarments, particularly your bra.  Get fitted for a bra.  Every other year, if your size has changed.  Find undergarments that fit you well and stay put.  I’m the world’s worst on bra straps, constantly losing one no matter how much adjusting I do, so often I resort to a well-fitted strapless bra to keep from fidgeting when I’m speaking or in a big meeting.  Of course, make sure your bra straps do not show!


3.  Hair color/roots.  This is another hard one if you have a lot of premature gray like I do (seriously, I was going gray in law school at 22).  I have budgeted a visit to the salon every eight weeks and by week six it’s getting hard.  However, I get highlights in an attempt to blend the growth.  If you are a solid color at your roots, and there’s a dramatic difference from your color, make your appointments more frequently.  Bold changes in colors from root to growth take away from what you’re wearing.  This photo is a lovely example of muted growth so it can be done.  (If you have any solid tips on what to do in those interim weeks, post in the comments for the good of the order.)

What is a small thing that takes away from the polish of an outfit?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  1. It is really hard to find cute shoes with good cushioning and arch support when you can’t wear heels. I have a really narrow, long foot with high arches. Most shoe stores don’t carry my size–even online stores. My clothes look good, but I will always be found in SAS or Naturalizer “comfort” shoes, not fashionable footwear :) I am with you on the hair color–I have told my daughters I want my hair colored even if I an in the nursing home with dementia :)

    • I am so lucky with shoes – I’m a regular 9 or a 9 1/2, nearly any shoe off the rack, of course, it would be better for my budget if shoes were hard to find!

    • Cassie McGarvey says:


      Have you tried Brucette’s for shoes? If you are in Houston, they have locations near the Galleria and Baybrook Mall (possibly others). While I too am lucky with a common shoe size, I have a family member who is not. Like you, she tends to wear SAS-type shoes (mainly because of sizing). But when she needs something different for her short, wide feet, she goes to Brucette’s.

  2. This post contradicts you last post!

    • I’m sorry you disagreed but Fashion Fridays are intended to help career women polish their look. There is nothing inconsistent with being well groomed and looking professional and making sure that your children (and you) don’t dress suggestively.

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