So here we are suffering through the dog days of summer. Ever wonder where that phrase came from? The ancient Romans referred to Sirius as the "Dog Star", so named because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (which is Latin for "Big Dog"). The hottest days of summer happened to coincide with the seasonal ascendancy of Sirius as the brightest star in the heavens, and the Romans believed that it was the added heat of the Dog Star which caused their hot and humid weather. It's also been said that the "dog days" were the part of the year when dogs, driven to distraction by the heat, were most likely to "go mad." I don't know about dogs, but I'm so sick of summer heat and humidity and RAIN at this point that I could definitely bite something.

If you are looking for a distraction, come to the Wildflower Boutique at the Venetian Village shops in Naples on Tuesday at 4:00 pm. I'll be presenting "It's Not All Black and White." If you are one of the many who has a closet full of black clothes, I will show you how to use and wear those items to your best advantage and how to add more color into your wardrobe - and perhaps into your life!

I'll also be at the Wildflower on Tuesday, Sept. 10th - "It's All Relative" (learn how scale and proportion dictate your best choices for prints and accessories) and Tuesday, Sept. 14th - "What's Your Fashionality?" (learn how to choose clothing and accessories to present your authentic self to the world). These are all free events at one of the most beautiful stores in our area. Call the boutique to RSVP - 239-643-6776.

Read more to learn about some other great places to shop. These "dog days" won't be with us forever. Hang in there. Stay cool.

Consignment shopping can unearth some fabulous treasures. You can find beautiful clothing, sometimes barely worn and even brand new, for great prices. There's also a plethora of designer handbags at our local consignment shops. And these stores make seeking out those hidden treasures a fun and rewarding experience. As someone who loves to shop, I spent several days "researching" so I could provide my readers with updated information. Here are some of the best consignment shops in our area:

Ooh La La
17901 Summerlin Road in Fort Myers

You'll find the best selection of Chico's and White House/Black Market clothing here. Owner Karen is very particular about what is accepted for re-sale so you are assured everything is in prime condition. Of course there are many other labels available here, as well as a great selection of accessories.

T his pink leather jacket by Yves St Laurent is priced at $275. The St. John beaded coat is priced at $250. And the Valentino bag studded with crystals is priced at $695.

13251 McGregor Blvd in Fort Myers

This store carries Johnny Was, Chanel, Trina Turk, Tory Burch and other well loved designer labels. And they have one of the largest selections of Louis Vuitton and Chanel handbags. Definitely worth the visit.
The Johnny Was tunic is priced at $188. The Trina Turk print sundress is $68.99. The Tory Burch black and cream jacket is $67.99. The Chanel patchwork handbag is $2868.

975 Imperial Golf Course Blvd. just off Route 41 in Naples

This store is small but has a great selection. I found St John, Akris, Eileen Fisher, Ralph Lauren, Burberry, Joseph Ribkoff and J McLaughlin to name just a few of the designer labels there. They've been in the same location 23 years and have a strong customer base.
Look at the back of this fabulous silk dress from Itsly priced at $75. The white coat from IC is priced at $75 as well.

2355 Vanderbilt Beach Road at Shoppes at Vanderbilt in Naples

This store has a particularly large selection of designer handbags and shoes along with labels such as Nanette Lepore, Valentino, Lily Pulitzer and Lulelemon.
The Nanette LePore zip front jacket is priced at $46. The to-die-for Gucci animal print shoe is $227. And someone needs to snap up this gorgeous ivory silk blouse by Valentino for $66.

985 5th Ave. North just off Route 41 in Naples

This is consignment shopping on a whole other level. No department store labels here (unless it's from Saks or Nordstrom) - only top designers and many of them European. Escada, Armani, Moschino Couture, Pucci, Oscar de la Renta, Ted Baker London and Diane Von Furstenburg are just a few of the pieces I spotted. Handbags from Chanel and Louis Vuitton of course; but also a to-die-for Hermes bag priced at a number higher than what my parents paid for their first house in 1957. Of special note is the separate room filled with nothing but ballgowns. If you need a special occasion dress this season, head to Audrey's!
This Chanel coat dress is brand new with the original tag still on it - was $5395 and is now priced at $1590. The black sequined Escada jacket is $239 and the teal dress by Diane von Furstenburg is $89.
I want to mention another place to shop for hidden treasure and to serve our community as well. The Fig Leaf Boutique on Route 41 in Fort Myers (near Lee Memorial Hospital) is a thrift shop and all proceeds go to victims of human trafficking. Florida is the #2 state for incidents of human trafficking (not a great honor) and SWFL is the #1 area in the state to endure this outrageous crime. Shopping at the Fig Leaf provides you with great bargains and provides someone else a chance at a new beginning.
Image Presentations Available

Do you belong to an organization, club or social group that meets regularly to listen/learn from guest speakers?
Call me to book an Image Matters presentation for your group. The presentations are always informative, entertaining and just plain fun! 
The most requested topic is "Look Good and Feel Great . . . with Color!" Many other image-related topics are available, such as 
"SW Florida Style", "Fashionality" and "Accessorizing with Ease." 

All presentations are tailored to fit the needs/goals of the group.  You could be the one to introduce Image Matters to your group - and be a STAR!

Call me at 239-454-0044 to discuss.