Tawnja’s Treasures

On the Runway Section

My fellow Minnesotans, Winter 2007 has surrendered, and Spring 2008 is within our grasp. Good-bye, black mittens, gloves, scarves, and thermals. Farewell, black turtlenecks, black trousers, and black nylons.

According to the glitzy magazines, Spring 2008 is all about…flowery pastels—yuck!—and big floral prints—yuckier yet! If we wanted to dress like a float in the Rose Bowl Parade, we could raid Bozo the Clown’s closet.

When a dear old friend of mine, a former Mrs. Minnesota, was in the last stages of breast cancer, she once shared with me, ”I don’t buy black clothes anymore. Colors just make me feel better.” She lost her battle with this awful disease, but her words stuck with me forever.

When I was Mrs. Minnesota, back in 1984, one of the categories we were judged on was the personal interview—five minutes of hell in front of five strangers: the judges. We were allowed to wear a suit that best represented our personal style—the ultimate first impression. I practiced in front of friends and family. Consulted “color experts”—folks trained in the belief that colors elicit feelings and emotions—I learned that men love pink, yellow is either loved or hated, red is confrontational, and black is cold and stern.

So, let’s agree: We are tired of black, and the Easter egg motif is for a children’s birthday party. What’s left?

I suggest we should dress to complement our eye color. I have blue eyes, and when I wear blue, I always hear, ”Blue is your color!” If you have brown eyes, I bet you shine when you are garbed in chocolates. For you kids with green eyes, I am guessing you are breathtaking in emeralds and evergreens. Maybe we also have a new insight into why a bullfighter uses red to infuriate his prey.

Accessories have been, and always will be, our saving grace. A pink scarf or groovy white sunglasses can transform your look in a heartbeat. Jewelry always has been my favorite fashion makeover tool. Turquoise is gorgeous on all of us, and a strand of colorful beads can accent your eyes perfectly.

Shoes are flat-out an expression of our mood. You know when you reach for those worn-out sneakers a Sopranos-like jogging outfit is in your near future. Crocs—you probably are running late for the bingo palace. Flip-flops—it must be State Fair time. Six-inch red heels—well, that’s another type of column. My advice: Pick your shoes like you would pick your mate—smart, fun, and sexy. The wedges in today’s shoes stores are just that: They make your calves looks great, you won’t teeter or fall over, and most styles are infused with color.

Handbags—because the folks at Lavender only allow me to pen 700 words, I have to keep this short and sweet. Buy anything that says Prada on it. I purchase a lottery ticket every week with this dream in mind. I own a few of these juicy morsels with an extra “A” in the word Prada. I hear they are all the rage in China!

Hats—I adore them. Men look “hot” in a great hat. Women send out the signal…“I’m confident in my own skin,” and, chances are, if a woman is stylin’ in a hat, the rest of her outfit rocks, too. Never be afraid to wear a hat—just make sure it fits your noggin.

So, let’s recap: When you hit your favorite T.J. Maxx, Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Outlet, Opitz Outlet, or Second Début, purchase these Spring baubles: a silk blouse or man’s shirt in the same color as the eyes God gave you; a hat that fits your personality; shoes that make you feel taller, sturdier, and sexier; and jewelry with limited gold and silver in it (we all have that in our wardrobe), plus some turquoise beads. Lastly, tie the whole look together with a smile—it’s your number one Spring 2008 accessory.

For more information on my favorite hot spots to find your Spring baubles, visit www.Tawnja.com.

And always remember: God loves all his children, especially you, and especially when you make the eyes he gave you sparkle!

Hugs and Kisses.

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