Leah's Fabulous Finds
Inspiring women

It’s Kentucky Derby Party Time!

Posted on: April 23rd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

The Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 3 and the only way to watch the best two minutes in sports is with friends while donning big hats and sipping mint Juleps.    So it’s time to plan your preppiest outfit, buy a big floppy hat, and decide where to watch it!

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The first step is to plan what you’ll be wearing.  For the ladies, sundresses are the perfect attire.  Go for a bright spring color or try a fun pattern such as floral or stripes.   Next you need to coordinate your hat to your dress.  Choose a color that will contrast nicely with your dress or choose a neutral colored hat such as black or tan that you can add color to.  If you don’t already own a big floppy hat, you can purchase one at most local clothing boutiques.

Next you’ll need to purchase some hat accessories.  I recommend flowers, ribbon, rhinestones and feathers.  Some of this you may be able to find hiding around your house, if not, try your local arts and crafts store.   For the Kentucky Derby, more is better.  You want to look fashionable and yet a little ridiculous so go for big accessories that will coordinate to your dress.  Some fun color combinations could include teal/pink, navy/red, and purple/yellow.   If you are wearing a purple dress, buy a yellow hat and add a purple polka dot ribbon with a big purple flower.  To secure your hat accessories you’ll need some pins and a hot glue gun.  Once you’ve bedazzled your hat and coordinated your outfit, it’s time to make a plan for where you’ll be watching the race.


I’ll be hosting a Kentucky Derby party at oo-tray at 80900 Overseas Highway starting at 4 p.m.  oo-tray will be serving a special Kentucky Derby themed menu and prizes will be given out for the best dressed and best hat.  In addition, there will be a 50/50 raffle for betting on horses, live music after the race and an Islamorada Derby where local celebrities will race with horse sticks for guests’ amusement.  Call 305.922.2027 for more information or RSVP on Facebook here.


Fisherman’s Hospital Foundation is hosting a Kentucky Derby fundraiser at Cabana Breezes at 401 East Ocean Drive starting at 3 p.m.  Tickets at $75 and all proceeds raised will benefit Fishermen’s Community Hospital.  Bet on your favorite derby horses and enjoy mint juleps and southern fare.  RSVP to kim.gregory@fhcares.com or call 517.214.6754 for tickets.

Key West

Aqua Nightclub at 711 Duval Street will be hosting a Kentucky Derby party from 5-8 p.m. with races and bourbon tasting.  Call 305.294.0555 for more information.

See you at the races!

Last year's Kentucky Derby Party in the Upper Keys - Image Courtesy of Sedura Photography

Last year’s Kentucky Derby Party in the Upper Keys – Image Courtesy of Sedura Photography


Leah’s Fab Finds: My Shoe Picks for Spring

Posted on: April 14th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Get excited!  Spring is finally here which means it’s time to bring out your spring wardrobe and get inspired with some new wardrobe staples.  Below is a look at several of my picks for the best drool-worthy, outfit making shoes for spring.  I’ve already purchased two of these and can’t believe how much they’ve re-energized my wardrobe.  After all, if the shoe fits….


I love the asymmetrical shape and the magenta color of these Jessica Simpson Pumps – $89 Available here

Jessica Simpson Shoes for Spring

Jimmy Choo goes bold in a big way with this neon flame orange caged leather bootie – $995 available here.

Jimmy Choo Orange Sandal


These classic black & white espadrille would look fabulous with shorts or a cute sundress.  $54.95 available here

Classic Espadrille for springBasic flats with a punch – $79.95 available here

Striped flats for springFeminine mid-heel sandal with a classic kick – $198 by Coach available here

Coach Black and White Marci Heels


Look ladylike in this vibrant floral sandals by Steve Madden – $79.95 available here.

Floral Sandals by Steve Madden

Fabulous floral-print wing sandal by Paul Andrew – $795 available here.

Floral Wing Sandals by Paul Andrew Bold Basics

Asymmetrical white and silver sandal by Miu Miu – $690 available here

Miu MiuBlack edgy cuff wedge sandals, so comfortable and eye-catching at the same time – $99.95  available here

Trouve Black wedge sandal

The Go-To Outfit

Posted on: April 8th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

We’ve all had a day where finding something to wear seems next to impossible. And before you know it, every item of clothing you own is now strewn across your bed and floor. It seems the more important the event, the more stressful getting dressed can be. Most of us do not have the time to expertly style our outfits each day. This makes getting ready somewhat of a hassle when crunched for time.

For those days, when nothing seems quite right, you need to turn to your go-to outfit. A go-to outfit is a look that you feel great in. They are the clothing pieces that you are frequently  complimented on and that you are guaranteed to look wonderful in.

My go to outfit - coral hued jacket and matching shoes, animal print clutch and gold and black dress

My go to outfit – coral hued jacket and matching shoes, animal print clutch and gold and black dress

The hardest part for most women is identifying which outfit this is. When perusing your closet, look for a piece of clothing that you love wearing and makes you feel like you. This is exactly the look that needs to become your new go-to outfit.

If after looking through your closet, you have yet to identify your go-to outfit, try looking through photos of yourself. Facebook is a great resource. Most of the photos you’ve uploaded to your page or marked as a profile picture are likely photos that you liked what you were wearing. Scroll through your photos and look for those clothing pieces that make you look and feel your best.

If you are not on Facebook, think about the last time you received compliments on what you were wearing. This is now you’re go-to outfit. Still lost? Call your bestie and ask her which outfit she loves on you. She’ll be honest with you about your most fabulous look.

Next, you need to organize your closet. You should lay out your go-to outfits in an easy to reach location with as many accessories layered on them as possible. If your go-to outfit should be worn with a jacket, hang it together. This is to make it easier to remember how it should be worn.

Beyond picking out your go-to outfit, an organized closet will also help you with getting dressed each day. Organize your clothing by type. Hang each type of clothing together so that when you need a sweater or jacket for a cooler day or air-conditioned interiors, you know where to look for it.

If you’re feeling like, “I always wear the same black dress for every occasion,” swap out the accessories. Instead of wearing plain gold or silver jewelry, opt for a statement necklace with color and coordinate your shoes. The black dress can continue to be your go-to outfit but by swapping out your jewelry, shoes and handbag you’ll create a different look each time.

I recommend including at least one dress into your go-to outfits. Dresses are great for the Florida Keys, as they’ll keep you cool, they’re versatile for both work and play, and can be worn year round. Wearing a dress with heels and a blazer instantly pulls together your look for work, while wearing the same dress with sandals and statement jewelry is perfect for brunch with your girlfriends.

Most women say, “I’ve been shopping all my life and I still have nothing to wear!” With your Go-to outfit already in mind, you will never have to make this statement again.

Spring Trends and How to Wear Them

Posted on: March 21st, 2014 by Leah No Comments

The key to making an outfit work is a matter of dressing for your body.  Clothes should complement you and make you feel good about how you look. If you don’t feel great, you won’t look great.  When considering spring trends, keep this in mind as trends are meant to inspire you to try new things while also complementing your look.

The new trends you try should also blend easily into your current wardrobe.  Before buying a new item, envision three outfits that the new piece can be worn with.  If you can only think of one, than its probably best to let it go as you’ll get minimal wear out of it and it will spend more time hanging in your closet than being worn.

In reviewing the spring 2014 trends, there are some that are just not that flattering.  Crop tops are very popular this year but look good on only a fraction of people.  If you’re young and have a fabulous figure, you could try this trend but I recommend showing no more than a few inches of skin or try layering it over a cami.  It’s always best to leave a little to the imagination.  Likewise, sporty sandals are a 2014 spring trend that was revived from the 90′s. Sadly, they should have stayed in the 90′s as mandels aka “manly sandals” do not flatter even the most fashionable fashionista and instead make her look more like big foot.

Below is your go-to guide for embracing spring trends:

Bright Colors

When we think of spring fashion, most think of soft pastel hues in skin-baring designs.  Nothing says spring like baby blue, white and a soft pink.  However, this year, Radiant Orchid is Pantone’s 2014 color of the year and is perfect for spring.  In addition, orange is also a big color for spring.  Try these hues in shirts, shorts, or fashion accessories to add a pop of color to your outfit.  These two hues are also popular in the beauty department, with orange and radiant orchid making the perfect new bold lip color.

Vibrant Prints

Spring is a great time to try a new print.  Still on-trend and hotter than ever are your graphic black and white prints, polka dots and stripes in every color and floral prints both big and small.   A new print to add to your collection is that of the novelty print.  Novelty prints (think cartoon-like cats and bright pink flamingos) are nothing new in the fashion world, they’ve been around since well before the 50′s and this spring we’re seeing small novelty prints plastered on ladylike dresses and sophisticated separates.  These prints tend to add a lot of color and flamboyance so try them in basic cuts and styles and pair them with neutral accessories.

It’s All in the Details

Sheer, fringe, beaded and bedazzled, this spring’s fashions have embellishments to swoon over.    Sheer tops and strategic sheering on dresses can look buttoned up while also feeling cool while living in the tropics.   Always pair a sheer top with a neutral, black or similar hued cami to show off the shirt and not something else.  Fringe looks amazing on everything including skirts, shirts, dresses, necklaces, handbags, and belts.  Literally amazing on everything and everyone.  So don’t be shy about trying out a new item with a little pizzazz.  After all,  it’s these types of embellishments that really make an outfit and separate those who like fashion from those who have fun with it.

Where to Find Spring Fashions

Zero Dress Code in Islamorada has a large selection of spring on-trend fashions

Zero Dress Code in Islamorada has a large selection of spring on-trend fashions

Zero Dress Code is the perfect place to find all your spring fashions with on-trend, quality clothing at reasonable prices.  Their newly expanded store located at 82205 Overseas Highway in Islamorada, offers double the inventory allowing them to feature expanded sizing, extra small through extra large, and a greater variety of items.  They also provide smaller quantities of items so that you can be sure not everyone in the Keys will be wearing the same outfit.   Suzanne Gleason, the owner of Zero Dress Code, travels all over the world to bring beautiful and unique clothing, accessories and gift items to the Florida Keys.  You’ll find everything from party dresses to bathrobes sure to make you feel beautiful.  With new inventory arriving weekly, you’ll want to stop in regularly to find your next fabulous find.

Striped wedges and flats found at Zero Dress Code.

Striped wedges and flats found at Zero Dress Code.


Get out of your style rut and get inspired with spring fashions.  Happy Shopping!

Polka Dot shorts $76, novelty print seahorse top $48, and orange fringe scarf $15.

Polka Dot shorts $76, novelty print seahorse top $48, and orange fringe scarf $15.


Frock Blocking and Croc Blocking – Fashion Terms to Know

Posted on: March 13th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Mastering fashion trends can be tricky but ultimately, fashion is meant to be fun.    Below are a few style related terms to make you laugh and help you overcome the everyday challenges of dressing up.

Frock Blocking – The urban dictionary assigns a different meaning to this term but I prefer to think of this in reference to giving and receiving compliments.  (Frock Block a.k.a. not allowing another woman to learn where you bought an outfit so that she can’t also buy it.)  If a woman gives another woman a compliment like, “I love your dress, where did you get it?” there is no need to frock block her.  Tell her where you got it and revel in the fact that she adores it on you enough to want to buy one for herself.  Too many times, women will receive a compliment like this and say, “Oh, I can’t remember” or “I’m not sure, I got it as a gift.” No you didn’t, stop frock blocking and tell us where you got that fabulous dress!

Label Shaming – Don’t judge others for their lack of designer labels.  Designer labels are wonderful but also incredibly unaffordable for most.  The art of dressing is in the styling of an outfit not in who designed it. Sometimes the best wardrobe finds are from unknown labels found at thrift stores and discount shops.  So if you like something and it looks good on you, buy it regardless of who makes it!

Croc Blocking – Unlike frock blocking, croc blocking is something that you should do.  Friends don’t let friends wear crocs.  Crocs are not an attractive form of foot wear.  If you have a friend who wears crocs, you need to help her and throw them away.   Repeat after me: I will not wear them with a coat, I will not wear them on a boat, if you catch me with them on dry land, you can tell me I look bland.

Crocs, Croc Blocking

Trend Taming – Some trends can be hard for even the most fashionable to achieve.  So when you see a friend go overboard with a trend, help her tame her look by gently letting her know it’s too much.  Fashion trends can inspire us to try new things but not all trends are meant for everyone.  The easiest way to pull off a new trend is to ease into it.  If you’re trying out an on-trend color, try it in an accessory, like shoes or a necklace instead of a head-to-toe ensemble.

Kim Kardashion wearing head to toe floral by Givenchy was in need of some trend taming.  Yes, floral is a huge trend, but perhaps a the matching floral shoes and gloved sleeves took the trend a bit too far.  Image courtesy of New York Magazine.

Kim Kardashion wearing head to toe floral by Givenchy was in need of some trend taming. Yes, floral is a huge trend, but perhaps the matching floral shoes and gloved sleeves took the trend a bit too far. Image courtesy of New York Magazine.

Selfie – The advent of social media has led to the popularity of the selfie.  Yes, it’s absurd and a bit egocentric, but take one look at a group of girls in public and you’ll likely find one of them holding their  camera phone out to take a picture of themselves.

To take a good selfie, follow these steps:

1. Lips are important – add some lipstick and be sure to show us a great pout as we’ve all been wondering what your lips look like before you try to kiss someone (insert sarcasm here).

2. Place your arms away from your body – Arms hung away from your body will make you appear 20 pounds lighter…okay, not exactly 20 pounds, but it will make you appear slimmer.

3. Take multiple shots – Taking multiple shots, especially if it’s a group selfie, will ensure you’ll capture the perfect shot of everyone.  It may take you 20 takes, but at least no one leaves crying.  There is no crying when taking selfies!

Hopefully you’ve gotten a good laugh out of these fashion terms as I giggled throughout while writing it.  Stay true to yourself and have fun with fashion, even if it means ending up on the worst dressed list.


Flavor Explosion at Olive Morada

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Who knew olive oil could be so delicious?   With flavors like blood orange, red cayenne chili, wild mushroom sage, and white truffle pure olive oil, any meal is sure to be flavor sensation when drizzled or cooked with these bold flavors.

Former partners of Island Grill, Ann and Jack McCormick, have opened Olive Morada in the new Casa Mar Village shopping center at MM 90 in Tavernier.  Their store features 42 flavors of white and dark balsamic vinegars, extra virgin olive oils and flavored olive oils as well as Stonewall Kitchen products and gourmet food items such as pastas, dips, jams, and spices.

Olive Morada shopping in the Florida Keys

Olive Morada in the new Casa Mar Village shopping center at MM 90 in Tavernier

While shopping at the store, you’re welcome to taste the different flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegars.  Go for heat or perhaps something sweet, or better yet, combine an infused olive oil with a flavored balsamic vinegar.  Garlic infused olive oil combined with cranberry pear white balsamic vinegar offers a sweet and savory flavor that tastes amazing over salad, used as a dipping sauce with bread, drizzled over rice or quinoa, used as a marinade for fish or poultry, or drizzled over vegetables before roasting.   A flavor infused olive oil is also excellent for using in place of butter in prepared recipes.

On Thursday, February 27, at 6:30 p.m. Olive Morada will host a food and wine event at their store with French chef, Cris Loung, who will be preparing tasty dishes using olive oil and balsamic vinegars from the store.   The event is limited to 25 people so purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your spot.  For just $25, you’ll learn the benefits of cooking with olive oils as well as the type of dishes that can be prepared with them to include everything from appetizers to desserts.   You can purchase your tickets in store at 90773 Old Highway in Tavernier, open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  or call (305) 735-4375.

Olive Morada, shopping in the Florida Keys

Olive Morada offers 42 flavors of white and dark balsamic vinegars, extra virgin olive oils and flavored olive oils

In addition to taste testing great olive oils, Casa Mar Village also offers the opportunity to shop, grab lunch, and go paddle boarding all from the same location.   Featuring great shops and restaurants including One Drunken Monkey, Florida Keys Coffee Roasting, Fresh Press Cafe, Capt. Slate’s Dive Center, Islamorada Lobster Company, Muchies, The Jolly Pelican, Jewels by Vivi, PaddleThe Florida Keys and, of course, Olive Morada.  Casa Morada Village is a great way to spend the afternoon, I highly recommend a visit.

Get Inspired by Iris Apfel

Posted on: February 14th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

I first discovered Iris Apfel in the glossy pages of Vogue a few years ago and have been drawn to the eccentric style of the 92-year-old ever since.  In every sense of the word, she is a fashion icon.  Her captivating style has been the subject of museum exhibitions, coffee table books, and fashion advertising campaigns.  She also launched a line of jewelry sold on HSN – all while in her 80s and 90s.

In fashion, finding inspiration can be the difference between being plain and fabulous.  My inspiration is the audacious Iris Apfel.  Signature round black glasses, red lips, lots of color and bold statement jewelry evoke originality from an effortlessly curated wardrobe of which she has stowed in a warehouse near her New York City apartment.   Can you imagine a warehouse for your wardrobe?  Sounds like heaven to me.

Iris Apfel, Fashion Icon

Iris Apfel – Portrait by Bruce Weber

Leah Maki - Channeling Iris Apfel

Leah Maki – Channeling Iris Apfel

Iris Apfel says “that when you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everybody else.”  One look at Iris and you can see how comfortable she is in her own skin.  She exudes confidence.  Coco Chanel once said that you should take off one item before leaving the house.  This fashion rule has long been followed by many fashionistas, but in the case of Iris, this is one fashion rule to break.  She wears bangles from her wrists to her elbows showing that piling on the bling can be absolutely fabulous.

“For me the key to personal style lies in accessories. My friends tell me that my oversized glasses and my pairs of bracelets have become my unwritten signature. I have amassed an enormous ‘collection’ of bags, belts, bangles and beads without which I would be lost. One can change the entire look of an outfit by substituting one accessory for another. I love objects from different worlds, different eras, combined my way. Never uptight, achieving – hopefully – a kind of throwaway chic.” –Iris Apfel

It’s never too late to develop your own personal style and what better way than through beautiful one-of-a-kind baubles.  The Key West Jewelry Bar, located at 510 Fleming St., has been stocked by local artist, Barb Grob, with her own unique creations as well as handmade jewelry by other artists found on her travels around the world.  Thus far, she offers jewelry from over 25 countries.  Each original piece is offered a various price points providing a little something for everyone.   Earrings start at $30 and go up to $700 for the serious bling that includes fine stones such as sapphires and diamonds.   Necklaces range from about $60-$600, with an average of around $150.  The Key West Jewelry Bar is open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

So ladies, pile on the baubles and create your own bold look.  Because according to Iris, “More is more and less is a bore.”

Grand Opening for Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery

Posted on: January 24th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Mark your calendar for Friday, January 31st for the Grand Opening and Re-Opening Party for the Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery, Seaside Glassworks and Islamorada Mercantile located at mile marker 81.9 in Islamorada.  From 5 to 8 p.m., these three wonderful  stores will be opening their doors for the public to enjoy fabulous art, great shopping, tasty treats and libations in celebration of their new locations.

This is the first art gallery and studio space for Michelle Nicole Lowe, however, her stunning tropical paintings have long been a favorite for local art collectors and Florida Keys travelers wishing to take a piece of paradise home.  Previously her work was featured in Gallery Morada.  You may also have seen her paintings on display at the Green Turtle, Islamorada Fishing Club, Third Thursday Art Walks and national art shows around the United States.

Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery featured by  Leah Maki

Michelle Nicole Lowe in her new art gallery in the Keys.

The Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery not only has her original and limited edition prints of her paintings but also great gift items with her artwork on them including: Tervis Tumblers, women’s tank tops, note cards, plates and platters, and cell phone cases.  Imagine your friends reaction when they see Michelle’s tropical fish on the cover of your phone!   In addition, you’ll also find gorgeous gemstone jewelry and one-of-a-kind oak, ash or walnut wood bangles made by artisans from around the country.  In addition, Michelle does commissioned work for those wanting a one-of-a-kind painting for their home.

Michelle’s neighbor is Seaside Glassworks, who’s expanded shop now includes a classroom for art classes.  Owner and artist, Stephanie Martin will start offering classes this spring for crafting jewelry and artwork all your own.   Within her gallery you’ll discover beautiful glass fused jewelry, drop light pendants, and wall art made from combining dichroic two-toned glass and artisan glasses.  My favorite are her one-of-a-kind pendants and earrings which have a metallic coating on its surface that reflect light and look great with everything.  As each unique piece reflects different colors depending on what you’re wearing.   This affordable, wearable art is a must for all jewelry lovers.

The final shop in this building is Islamorada Mercantile who’s new space offers an expanded selection of  resort wear for men and women.  Find easy-to-wear dresses and wardrobe staples in bright hues and patterns perfect for life in the Florida Keys.   In addition to clothing, they also offer jewelry, sun hats, gift items, big beach bags, and driftwood clocks handmade by store owners, Mike and Susan Johnson.  Each clock is constructed with driftwood found on the beach made in a style common to the Keys and Colonial Caribbean.  Each clock ranges in sizes and colors that will fit your style and space.

I hope to see you on Friday, January 31st but if you’re in the neighborhood sooner, the Michelle Nicole Lowe Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Monday by appointment.  Seaside Glassworks is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  and Islamorada Mercantile is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Happy Shopping!


Sip & Shop Event Thursday, February 6

Posted on: January 23rd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

You’re invited to sip, shop and socialize during the ultimate shopping soiree. Enjoy complimentary wine and light hors d’oeuvres from Green Turtle while shopping with your girlfriends.

Buy a new outfit or a great gift for your sweetheart in preparation for Valentine’s Day. Shop local and support some of your favorite local boutiques including: Miss Monroe Boutique, uCúmbe, Seaside Glassworks, The Banyan Tree, D-Luxe Boutique, Islamorada Mercantile, Stella & Dot jewelry, and Island Decor.

When: Thursday, February 6 from 6-8 p.m.

Sip & Shop Soiree will be held at Ocean Sotheby’s International Realty in Islamorada – 81888 Overseas Highway, MM 81 Bayside.

Hope to see you there!


How to Dress Professionally in the Florida Keys

Posted on: January 10th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Looking professional in a hot and humid climate can be challenging.  Although our Florida Keys attire tends to be more casual than mainland office apparel, it’s still important to look professional when you’re working in an office environment.  Consider who your customer is.   Often in the Florida Keys, those customers are tourists and snowbirds from other parts of the country who have a certain expectation of what their banker, real estate agent, or attorney should look like.  Dressing inappropriately can reflect poorly on both you and your company.  If you want to be taken seriously and make a positive impression on your clients and customers, you need to dress the part.

If clothes could talk, what would they say about you?

The reality is clothes do talk and they speak volumes about who you are.  Your appearance is as essential as a well crafted resume or years of experience.  Consequently, your clothing is an important piece of your professional brand that defines who you are.  In a world that is more and more image obsessed, the first impression is largely based on your look.  Before you even articulate a sentence, assumptions are made about you based on something as miniscule as your nail color.  To impress your clients and customers, you must think about what you want your clothes to say about you.    Avoid attention getting pieces and instead focus on clothing that fits and flatters your body type.   If your clothing and shoes are in need of repair, then don’t wear them.  A pair of dirty worn out shoes would leave a customer with a negative impression.  Is that the image you want to portray?

No flip flops

Even in the Florida keys, refrain from wearing running shoes, flip-flops, and Crocs.  The rule of thumb is if you wear them to the pool or on a boat, you shouldn’t wear them to the office.  For men, loafers or topsiders  are the perfect Florida Keys footwear for casual office apparel.  Because we live in a more casual environment, nice sandals are also perfectly acceptable at the office.  If your toes are in dire need of a pedicure, don’t wear open toe shoes or sandals.  Instead, opt for loafers for men or closed toe heels for women until you can get your toes in check.

No bare shoulders

Skimpy tank tops and strapless dresses are a definite don’t for the office.  This doesn’t mean you can’t wear them, it means they need to be covered up in an office setting.  Lightweight, short sleeve or three quarter length cardigans and jackets are professional wardrobe staples which are perfect for layering over dresses and blouses.  By covering your shoulders with one of these items it will also serve to keep you warm in air-conditioned interiors and can easily be removed for a day-to-night look.

No cleavage or short skirts

Cleavage is a definite no in the office.  Not only is it best to leave a little to the imagination but showing a lot of cleavage does not gain you respect.  Likewise, short skirts are also not office appropriate.  Lord Balfour, a British nineteenth century politician said it best, “A good speech, like a woman’s skirt, should be long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” Skirts should hit just above or below the knee.  In addition, sleeveless tops for women are just fine but should hit right at the shoulder and not be overly revealing.

What you should wear:


  • Dresses are a girl’s best friend in the Keys.  They’ll keep you cool and can be worn with sandals, flats or heels depending on the event and your preference.
  • Look for lightweight but wrinkle resistant fabrics that won’t show sweat.  Stay away from 100% linen because of the excessive wrinkling, and silk as this fabric shows sweat marks instantly.
  • Invest in a few lightweight cardigans and jackets to pull your entire professional wardrobe together.
  • Nude heels are a must.  They go with everything and will make your legs look longer and leaner.


  • Khakis with button-down shirts are always stylish and will keep you looking polished and professional.  Try button-down shirts in a fun pattern.  Many button-down shirts have added some excitement by making the underside of the cuff an entirely different pattern.  When you flip up the cuff of your shirt, the pattern shows and can be very stylish for work apparel.
  • Polo shirts are a classic for men in the Keys.  And if you work in a more laid back office setting where shorts are permissible, a polo shirt if the perfect accoutrement.

You owe it to yourself to shine as brightly as you can.  Now it’s time to dress the part.

MacKinzie Ash expertly dresses professionally for an Islamorada Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

MacKinzie Ash expertly dresses professionally for an Islamorada Chamber of Commerce luncheon.