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JMP Image & Style, LLC


Parents Behaving Badly at a First Holy Communion

First Communion is in full swing and thousands of young children are entering into what Catholic’s deem a very important step in their lives; receiving for the first time, the body and blood of Jesus Christ. While these children are taught the importance and significance of this event, I can only ask myself; do PARENTS understand the importance? I pose this question to my readers because this past Saturday I took part in my niece’s First Holy Communion and was completely horrified at the behavior of many of the families sitting inside the church. I would love to hear if any of you have experienced what I am about to tell you so please comment below if you have.

First, I come from a large Italian / Irish family and attended mass every Sunday while growing up and I was taught to be respectful of the church and observe good etiquette during the mass and if me or my siblings didn’t, we’d get the “look” from our parents and know that we were teetering on being punished once we walked outside. These teachings from my parents have served me well in conducting myself in an acceptable manner in many situations whether I’m entering into a church, a synagogue or any other house of worship. However I found myself scratching my head on Saturday wondering if my siblings and I were the only ones taught such things.

I’ll set the stage for you: The First Holy Communion mass was to begin at 11 a.m. so families were encouraged to get there early in order to get their children lined up and in order because there were 51 kids receiving communion that day so there was a lot to do. While assembling the children and providing last minute instructions, the noise / conversation level was so deafening that the catechism teacher had to PLEAD three times for the congregation to be quiet because the children were not able to hear the instructions. The “family” sitting behind ours, were quite annoyed by this plea and called the teacher NASTY! Really? This woman is trying to prepare YOUR child for an important moment in his/her life and because you can’t or won’t keep quiet, she’s the nasty one? This same family THROUGHOUT the entire mass continued to talk, curse at each other and speak on their cell phone. I was dumbfounded.

After multiple pleas to quiet down, went ignored, the priest had to finally get involved and request the attendees to stop talking. However, even when the priest walked in, attendees continued to “chat.” I couldn’t believe it and I honestly think the priest was perplexed at the behavior.

As the mass continued and the children received the host for the first time, the families were then invited to come up and receive the host as well but I honestly think for many that this was probably the first time these parents had actually received the host because some did not know what to do with it once it was placed in their hand! At one point, the priest had to run down the aisle after a woman to inform her that she had to place it in her mouth!? Is this the example one will set for their children? Did they not participate in their child’s preparation for that day? Did they not ever take them to mass up to this point? Will they take them to mass AFTER this day? I don’t say this in judgment but if I don’t understand that if a parent is going to go through the lengths of having their child receive First Holy Communion shouldn’t you set an example for them?

As an image and style consultant, I have a better understanding of appropriate attire for certain occasions so I’m willing to acknowledge that at times some people get it wrong. However, when you walk into a church and you are celebrating a child’s First Holy Communion why would one think it’s appropriate to wear micro mini skirts, plunging and revealing necklines, shorts, sneakers and baseball hats? In other cultures, one is not allowed into a house of worship unless they are covered up completely so why would one think it acceptable to walk into a church dressed in a suggestive manner? Children follow our lead, they look to us for guidance and it’s important to lead by example.

Here are a few basic etiquette reminders:

- Keep the cell phone off and that includes the vibrate and texting options.
- Refrain from using inappropriate language before, during or after mass.
- Refrain from chatting during the mass; it’s one hour and unless there is an emergency of some sort, have the conversation AFTER mass.
- Dress appropriate which means: no flip flips, sneakers, mini skirts, bare shoulders, bare midriffs, backless anything, revealing tops and baseball hats!

I only hope that my experience was unique and that this is not happening nationwide.


The purrfect heel; kitten heel!

While many style sites and magazines are touting the fact that “kitten heels” are back, I can only say that they have never left. Kitten heels are a classic and although today’s styles have been updated, they have and will continue to be a crowd pleaser amongst most women.

The kitten heel is defined as a heel height between 1.5” to 2” with slight curve setting the heel in from the edge of the shoe which make this heel more manageable and comfortable for women.

How do you wear them? Quite easily. However, keep in mind that the shoe itself projects a very sophisticated and elegant image so I would not pair them with a micro mini or short dress.

Who can wear them? Everyone! Yes, this heel can be worn by anyone. However, for the petite flower (and this includes me) I would suggest opting for the higher heel with a pointed toe since this will elongate the leg and make you appear taller. Lastly, be sure to avoid ankle or cross straps as well as a round toe because it will shorten the length of your leg. As for the fuller figure gal, it’s important to select an option that helps balance your overall figure. Avoid wearing a super tiny heel but instead opt for a thicker heel.

Good options for petites:

Good options for curvy women

Options for weekend looks


5 Tips to Get & Keep the Job You Want

The US Labor of Statistics recently issued a statistic that predicts every American worker will change “careers” – not jobs but careers, at least 3x throughout the course of his or her professional life. This statistic proves there is a whole new career landscape out there and we need to learn how to navigate through it. These 5 tips will help you do just that!

1. DO be flexible & adaptable / Don’t hold on to the “dream” job syndrome

Many companies are thinking outside the box on how to hire and maintain the right employee so it’s behooves the professional to be open to new opportunities, challenges and changes in the workforce landscape. For example, if you are offered a part-time job in the field you want to stay in, take it. While it might not be the ideal situation, you are one step closer to illustrating your talent and it's a matter of time before you are recognized for your flexibility and willingness to adapt.

2. DO dress the part at all times / DON'T get comfortable

Remember the old saying, "Dress for the job you want?" Well that still holds true today and is relevant Monday – Friday! Companies more than ever, want to project a professional and established image at all times so it’s essential for the employee to continue wearing appropriate attire beyond the initial interview. Casual Friday’s are falling by the wayside.

3. DO elevate the conversation / DON'T ramble

Whether you are interviewing or have been hired, when engaged in conversations or meetings with key stakeholders, always elevate the discussion so that they see and know you are interested in what is going on within the company. If you bump into your CEO and he/she asks how things are going, he doesn't want to know about your evening plans, he wants the 3 minute elevator pitch on how you think the business is going. This holds true for the interviewer as well. Be sure to prepare your elevator pitch so when asked “why should we hire you?” you will have a pointed and articulate response.

4. DO network; in and out of the office / DON'T get personal

Build relationships with people outside of your current business unit and begin to learn all areas of the business (sales, marketing, finance). This will help round out your knowledge of the company and provide insight into other potential career opportunities. Keep conversations on a professional level versus divulging private or personal information.

5. DO be self-aware / DON'T ignore reactions

Self-aware is defined as “aware of oneself, including one's traits, feelings, and behaviors.” Having the ability to understand how your overall image and behavior is being perceived provides an opportunity to change the dynamic of a meeting or situation. You have to factor in how you speak – are you saying lots of “um’s” , Are you fidgeting? “Is your voice quivering from nerves? How is your diction? Are you enunciating clearly? Being aware of your body language will also help you understand the image you are projecting. For example, avoid crossing your arms since this projects defiance, keep good eye contact and don't look down. Looking down or away from person you are speaking with could be perceived as being dishonest or that you have something to hide.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you find these tips helpful! Good luck in your career search!


Sip, Shop & Swap – Fun had by all!

This season’s Spring Frock Swap was a bit of departure from our previous swaps because this one was held in a beautiful winery. The Stoutridge Vineyard is 70 miles north of Manhattan and is a premium estate winery offering wonderful unprocessed wines. A must visit for anyone interested in wines or just looking to take a fun day trip.

The wine tastings paired with “guilt-free” shopping turned out to be a wonderful combination! One woman left with 4 pair of never worn shoes and 7 “new” clothing items to add her wardrobe. She left saying “Wow, I can really tell my husband that I didn’t spend any money shopping today!”

The Frock Swap continues to be a community driven event; everything from soliciting volunteers from Marist College as well as Ulster BOCES, purchasing food items through the local grocery stores to (and most importantly) donating the remaining items to the wonderful non-profit organization, The Grace Smith House. In addition to donating the clothes, we conduct a post-swap image workshop to the courageous women seeking shelter at the Grace Smith House.

Swapping brings communities closer together by reminding us all that even though we might be done with something we have, someone else may really treasure it. The idea of reaching out to our neighbors to pool everyone’s resources and make everyone’s lives easier can be forgotten in an economic climate where everyone is so focused on making sure they’re able to cover their bills and keep their families happy. Frock Swaps are way to help remind us of the importance of communicating with our neighbors in a fun, spirited and productive way.

Check out our Frock Swap photos! Shout out to our wonderful volunteers from Marist College and Ulster Bolces! What a great crew!


And the color of the year goes to.....

According to Pantone (renowned color authority and trend tracker for fashion & home-decor industries) names Turquoise as the color of the year 2010!

Many meanings of the color Turquoise have been published but the common theme / meaning is that this color creates emotional balance and stability. I personally chose this color for logo and repeated it on my website for this very meaning.

Listen up ladies, this is one of the universally flattering colors for all individuals so whether you have warm or cool undertones, this color will look fabulous on you!

A little tip: If you want to add brightness to your face, opt to wear a turquoise scarf. Talk about face brightening!

Test it out and comment here to let me know!

7 Tips on Cubicle Etiquette

Tips on how NOT to alienate your co-workers

Before I took the leap into the entrepreneurial world and started my own business, I worked in the fascinating world of technology. I say “fascinating” because there are truly very interesting, highly intellectual and well, “fascinating” people in this industry. Along with these characteristics comes a bit of eccentricity within each person and this was revealed to me on a daily basis in “cube world.”

There are all sorts of etiquette lessons on everything from appropriate dining to email communication to a hand shaking but rarely do I see anything written that highlights the etiquette of sitting in a cubicle. So, based on my profession as an image consultant and years of experience sitting in a cube, here are my do’s and don’ts to be a better cube mate. Would love to hear what your tips or pet peeves are? Comment here or send me an email at

1. Don’t pump up the volume on your PC or laptop while listening to music, a webinar or funny video that was forwarded to you.

Do use headphones so that you are not distracting to those sitting around you. It’s important to understand that your co-workers might be on an important call conducting business.

2. Don’t come to the office looking unkempt, unclean or exuding an offensive odor.

Do pay attention to good hygiene. Hygiene is usually covered in the company dress code guidelines so if you are not sure how this applies to you, ask your human resource person for a copy. However, from my experience this can include but not limited to: opting to not shower, avoiding deodorant, mouthwash or appropriate laundering of apparel. Additionally, clipping of nails whether it’s fingernails or toenails is NOT acceptable. And yes, I did have a cube mate think it was OK to clip his toenails during office hours.

3. Don’t make unnecessary noises and by “noises” I am referring to passing gas, belching or plain old tapping on your desk.

As for the “do” here, I don’t think I need to elaborate.

4. Don’t put your feet up on the furniture (i.e., desk). If we weren’t allowed to do it at home, we shouldn’t expect to do it at the office. I personally never enjoyed viewing the dirty soles of my cube mate.

Do invest in a foot rest. Some individuals may need to keep their feet elevated during the day so this would be a good option.

5. Don’t remove your shoes. While other cultures might require shoes to be removed as soon as you enter a dwelling, here in the office world, this is a no-no.

Do keep your shoes on at all times. You might get an unexpected visit from a senior manager and while you scramble to put your shoes back on, you’ve already made a negative impression.

6. Don’t shout across the floor. I was taught that if I shouted to someone located in another room, this was considered bad manners so I wasn’t allowed to do it.

Do engage in conversation with your co-workers but opt to use a meeting space or common area that will allow you to speak more freely and openly.

7. Don’t lunch loudly. Often there isn’t enough time in the day to get work done let alone take an hour for lunch so it’s common for one to eat at their desk. If this is the case, please remember what your parents taught you which is; don’t eat with your mouth open.

Do try to eat your lunch in the designed cafeteria so that are you not distracting those around your cube. Additionally, if you opt to eat at your cube, remember to throw out your lunch packing in the cafeteria. There is nothing more nauseating than lunch remains after a few hours.