Jacket: Ralph Lauren, Dillard’s
(Sale Price: $50)
Blouse: Jones of New York, Ross,
Jeans: Coldwater Creek, $20

Understated elegance…I am not sure what this phrase means to you…but it is the phrase which motivated most of my decisions for my FOUNDATIONAL FIVE 
. I want my style to reflect a strength, dignity, and class that doesn’t look like I am trying that hard to achieve.

The first of my personal criteria (and please remember, we are all different and will aim at different goals) is I desire to look STRONG. When I look in the mirror….I want to see a strong, confident, in charge woman. I want people to mistake me for an executive or the principal of the school rather than a teacher. In reality, I might sponsor a high school newspaper…but I want my style to look as though I was publisher of the Washington Post. Since I am in the workplace and also a public speaker and writer, I want the strength of my style to reflect the many hats I wear. When I look in the mirror now, my first question is “DOES THIS LOOK PORTRAY STRENGTH, CONFIDENCE…. A WOMAN IN-CHARGE? I believe I can do this on a teacher’s middle class budget…by combining some quality pieces with well- placed budget shopping.

Bag: Bueno @ Marshall’s
Shoes: Target

Your comments and support for the FOUNDATIONAL FIVE
 idea were overwhelming!! I truly hope this works for many of us and not just myself. One of you asked if the FIVE can change as our lifestyle changes….and I say OF COURSE. If I am retired or strictly working from home, then I just do not need the professional looks that many of us are striving for. But I do want to encourage those of you in that position to remain determined to look your best whenever you go out of the house. I have noticed that salespeople will treat you better when you dress up for any type of shopping from grocery to clothing. Also, when you feel better about you…your confidence level will grow. And, as my mother used to say, you just do not know who you are going to run into!!

A couple of you asked on the YELLOW post, yesterday, why I would not purchase the first blouse pictured under my new shopping guidelines. I will answer that question in the next post…when I discuss FOUNDATION #2, CLASSY!

Bracelet: Kohls

I know that there are several of you working on your list of five, is anyone ready to share??

Message: Confidence

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