Monday, October 26, 2009

Join Me at Banana Republic's 'After 5 Style Event'

Join me on Thursday, November 5 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Mall at Millenia’s Banana Republic in Orlando as we celebrate their “After 5 Style Event.”
Attendees will receive 25% off all purchases of $100 regular price merchandise (plus an additional 5% if you use your BR card) of $100 or more, and preview the exciting new winter arrivals. Mix, mingle and enjoy the fun. For more details, call (407) 226-8640.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Gaylord Palms® Resort, a hot spot for the next generation “girlfriend’s getaways,” has launched a special-edition getaway program to bring women together while serving a cause – the Girlfriends “Positively Pink” Getaway. The new program will support local affiliates of Susan G. Komen For the Cure®, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations devoted to the fight against breast cancer.
A spin-off of the successful Girlfriends “Truth or Dare” Getaway, “Positively Pink” offers an exclusive rate of $149 per room (based on a 4-room minimum.) For every group that holds a Girlfriends “Positively Pink” Getaway through December 30, 2009, Gaylord Palms will donate $50 to Susan G. Komen For the Cure® to aid in breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.

For more information, visit or call 407-586-2984.

Friday, October 23, 2009

See you at Fantasy Fest!

Fearsome fanged vampires, wicket vixens and villains of all sorts are expected to prowl the streets of Key West Friday, Oct. 23, through Sunday, Nov. 1, during the island city’s annual Fantasy Fest celebration.

This year themed “Villains, Vixens and Vampires,” Fantasy Fest offers 10 days of masquerade balls, quirky costume contests and other delights climaxing in a glittering grand parade set for Halloween night.

Conceived 30 years ago, Fantasy Fest has grown to be internationally recognized for its uninhibited flair and lighthearted spirit. Revelers flock to Key West to shed their real-world personalities and live out their fantasies on the island city’s quaint downtown streets.

Event organizers encourage 2009 participants to take their cue from the festival theme, designing floats and costumes to salute bloodthirsty creatures of the night such as Dracula and Lestat, villains ranging from melodrama’s bad boys to money-hungry Madoffs, and vixens both evil and enchanting.

“Villains, Vixens and Vampires” are to run wild in the streets Friday, Oct. 30, during an open-air bizarre bazaar known as the Fantasy Fest Street Fair. Key West’s Duval Street will be transformed into a mile-long marketplace where attendees can find tempting delights such as feathered masks, exotic costumes, arts and crafts, island edibles and frosty libations.

Fantasy Fest’s frivolity is to reach fever pitch Saturday, Oct. 31 — Halloween night — as vampires prowl for prey and villains and vixens join forces during the spectacular Captain Morgan Fantasy Fest Parade. Some 70,000 spectators typically throng Whitehead and Duval streets to watch the parade’s brilliantly conceived floats, some breathing “flames” or incorporating mysterious animatronics, proceed along Key West’s main thoroughfares accompanied by Caribbean marching bands and lavishly costumed dancing groups.

For more information about Fantasy Fest and a schedule of events, visit the festival’s Web site at or call (305) 296-1817.
See you there!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Travel Expert Recommends “Spooktacular” Getaways

Travel expert and Daytime TV Travel Correspondent Casey Wohl foresees some big Halloween parties this year with Oct. 31 falling on a Saturday. After some bewitching research, The Getaway Girl® provides her top picks for some “Spooktacular” getaways.

Key West, FL: For 30 years, no other island has celebrated Halloween like Key West has with its annual Fantasy Fest. This year themed “Villains, Vixens and Vampires,” Fantasy Fest offers 10 days of masquerade balls, quirky costume contests and other delights climaxing in a glittering grand parade set for Halloween night that draws 70,000 per year. Some of the event highlights include: the Pet Masquerade & Parade, where pets dress as people and people as pets; Toga Party; Annual Headdress Ball, with elaborate head pieces; Celebrity Look-A-Like Contest; Halos & Horns Pool Party and of course….the infamous body costume painting.

Salem, MA: Located 16 miles north of Boston, Salem's long history with witches make it an obvious choice for Halloween revelers as hundreds of thousands of people visit this town each October. As home to the Salem Witch Trials more than 300 years ago, the city is now home to the Festival of the Dead, which helps visitors explore death from various perspectives. The cornerstone is the Annual Psychic Fair and Witchcraft Expo, featuring a range of colorful personalities. They also host Séances and Mourning Teas, a series of Balls including the Retro Zombie Ball and Vampires Masquerade, and the internationally known Official Salem Witches Halloween Ball. You can also visit the numerous witches museums, ghost tours and cemetery tours.

Tucson, AZ: Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a religious holiday that dates before both the European arrival in the New World and Christianity. Like Halloween, Día de los Muertos is closely associated with All Saints and All Souls days which are major holy days in the Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Churches. In recent years Día de los Muertos has been becoming a more common celebration in Tucson. While still celebrating the traditional Halloween festivities, Dia de los Muertos also honors and remembers the deceased with graveside gifts and a parade. This is much about the fun aspects of Halloween, as well as the spiritual side of death and grieving.

West Hollywood, CA: The annual West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval is returning for its 22nd year on October 31, 2009. Described as the “World’s Largest Street Party” by local Los Angeles media, the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval is a truly unique experience where nearly half a million costumed revelers and spectators are the focus in a street fair-type of scene. With live entertainment, celebrity appearances and “let your hair down” revelry, West Hollywood, as always, is THE place to be on Halloween night. The Carnaval takes place from 6PM to Midnight on Saturday, October 31 between La Cienega Boulevard and La Peer Drive on Santa Monica Boulevard, “Route 66” in West Hollywood. Free week-long events lead up to the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnaval, including a youth carnival, a pet costume contest, “Drag Races,” featuring competitive relay races for people dressed in drag and stiletto heels, pumpkin carving contests and more.

To see more on these haunting destinations, watch Casey’s Daytime TV interview at

Casey is available for on-camera, on-air and print interviews to discuss these and other travel topics. Contact or (863) 224-6326 to schedule.

Casey Wohl, known as The Getaway Girl®, is passionate about two things: her girlfriends and traveling the world. By combining these two loves, Wohl has created a unique and helpful city-specific travel guide series for women worldwide. Born and raised in Central Florida, Wohl has traveled to 19 foreign countries and has organized many girls’ getaways to more than 20 different cities. She is a travel correspondent for the nationally-syndicated Daytime TV show and has been featured in Woman’s Day and Parenting magazines as well as on CBS Radio. For more information, visit

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How To Stay Healthy While Traveling By Air

Many thanks to for this great article!

With the cold and flu season upon us, the question on most travelers' minds is how to avoid a vacation-spoiling illness. The reason people are more likely to get sick during the winter is because they spend more time inside with others, and the close quarters on an airplane can mean even more contact. In fact, one recent study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research says that passengers are more than 100 times more likely to get sick on an airplane compared to everyday circumstances. This year, the added threat of H1N1 gives travelers even more reason to be wary of flying. Here are a few tips to help prevent catching a nasty bug if you do decide to take to the skies this cold and flu season.

Before you go:
*Pack items in plastic bags to prevent germs from spreading to your personal items. TSA officials go through hundreds of suitcases each day, increasing the chance of transferring viruses and bacteria to your belongings.
*Get plenty of sleep before your flight to boost your immune system and make sure it's ready to handle anything it's exposed to.
*Drink plenty of water and avoid dehydrating beverages like soda and alcohol, since dehydration inhibits your body's natural ability to fight infections.
*Get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine as the best way to protect against getting the flu. Remember that this year there are two: the regular seasonal vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine. You'll need both to be fully protected.
*Consider taking vitamins, especially vitamin C, to help protect and enhance your immune system. Some travelers swear by supplement products such as Airborne or Emergen-C, which are dissolvable in water, as well as easy to pack.

While in Flight:
*Wash your hands. Use soap and water or an alcohol-based gel, and be sure to rub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Studies show that regular soap has the same effect as antibacterial soap.
*Again, drink water. Airplane cabins are very low in humidity—as low as 4 percent—which can dry out the sinuses, making it easier to be infected. Also, ask for bottled water whenever possible, since the aircraft's holding tank water often contains total coliform bacteria.
*Use a saline spray. This will also help to moisten the sinuses and prevent dryness.
*Use tissues to flush toilets and turn faucets and doorknobs in the bathrooms. Traces of E.coli are found in many airplane bathrooms.
*Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes, since this is the easiest way to introduce bacteria to your system.
*Wear a face mask, which can help protect you from any bacteria that your sneezing neighbors might pass along.
*Consider wiping down the armrests and tray table with a sanitizing wipe, since germs can linger on hard surfaces for a day or longer.
*Avoid using blankets and pillows offered by the airline personnel, as they are rarely laundered and can harbor germs left by previous passengers. Instead, bring your own and be sure to wash them as soon as you get home.
*Don't put your belongings in the seatback pocket. Passengers put everything from used tissues to toenail clippings to dirty diapers in there, making the pocket a holding tank for germs and bacteria.

Flying can always mean exposure to more germs, but by taking these preventive steps, travelers can lower their chances of becoming ill.

For more information, visit

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Let the Good Times (and two stuffed girls) Roll!

Just when we thought we could not eat one more bite, we woke up Sunday morning just in time for the Jazz Brunch at the Palace Café ( Classic and contemporary Creole cuisine is served daily at this lively, grand café located at the entrance to the French Quarter. After a quick laugh at their funny menu cover, we soon discovered we would be laughing throughout the meal as our server, Rich, was hysterical. From the Bananas Foster Beignets to the Crabmeat Cheesecake to the Café Eggs Benedict, once again, everything somehow seemed to jump off the plates and fit in our ever-expanding bellies. The Bloody Mary lubrication probably helped a lot.
With a free afternoon, we decided to stroll a few ‘blocks’ down Meeting Street to the shopping area. A few ‘miles’ later, we found a great area with vintage stores and boutiques. A few more ‘miles” was the shopping area everyone told us about complete with more boutiques, home décor stores and much more.
That evening, we met with psychic/tarot reader Judith Faye ( in the Séance Room at Muriel’s Restaurant for a reading. Liz and I are both convinced that Judith is a true talent as she talked about things in our life, from professional to personal, with great insight and advice. She also joined us for dinner and is quite the lovely young lady. We enjoyed her company very much as she provided her perspective into the city from a local’s point of view. Muriel’s Jackson Square ( is located at the heart of the French Quarter and is nationally recognized for its Contemporary Creole menu. The second floor offers an elegant Séance Lounge (where their resident ghost is believed to spend most of his time) and a balcony that overlooks historic Jackson Square. We started with some Alligator (sorry Gatorland, but it was pecan-crusted Louisiana alligator), and I just had to have a steak (loved the Filet Mignon that is wood grilled and served on New Orleans oyster dressing with crisp friend oysters and finished with a Worchestshire butter sauce). Liz enjoyed her Double Cut Pork Chop, which was wood grilled and topped with a Louisiana sugar cane apple glaze, served with pecan glazed sweet potatoes and Southern style greens. For dessert, we both zeroed in on the Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee, which is one of my favorites.
As we rolled ourselves back to the Hotel Monteloene, we reminisced about our fabulous Girls Getaway to New Orleans and how we must come back to see all the things we missed while we were here. “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler” or as they say in New Orleans, “Let The Good Times Roll!!”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why do we have more photos of food than of us?

Dining in New Orleans would not be complete without a visit to the world-famous Brennan’s Restaurant ( where we dined Saturday morning. Since its beginning in 1946, Brennan’s has received countless culinary accolades. We were so hungry and everything on the menu looked so good that we could not decide what to order. Finally, we went with our server, Billy Mario’s, suggestion of the Eggs Hussard (poached eggs atop Holland rusks, Canadian bacon, and Marchand de Vin sauce topped with hollandaise sauce) and the Eggs Owen (roast beef hash, poached eggs topped with Marchand de Vin sauce). We savored this amazing cuisine while sipping our “Eye Opener” drinks, the Bloody Bull and the Pelican, along with tastes of the Turtle Soup. For dessert, Billy Mario (ok, not really his name, but that’s what we called him), insisted we try the “scandalousy delicious” Bananas Foster (glad we still have our eyebrows) and his personal favorite the Crepes Fitzgerald. All of it was just as Brennan’s promised…scrumptious!

We left Brennan’s to do some shopping up and down Royal Street. One of our favorite stores (and where we spent a lot of time) was MAH International Trade at 710 Royal Street ( Co-owner Mohammad Anvari was very helpful in telling us all about the masks that he creates himself. We even got to watch him make a mask, and the one I bought was made just one day prior. The masks are incredible and range in sizes, shapes and prices. It is definitely worth a stop here, especially because Mohammad is so helpful and informative.

Saturday afternoon we made our way to Antoine’s Restaurant (, which is the oldest restaurant in New Orleans and home of several New Orleans culinary treasures, such as Crayfish Etouffee and Shrimp Remoulade. Here we met with our tour leader for the New Orleans Culinary History Tour ( The 2.5 hour walking tour makes its way through the French Quarter where we heard the fascinating stories behind legendary pre-Civil War restaurants including some that are remembered only through the meals that they once served. The tour took us past such other notable historic landmarks including the Napoleon House and St. Louis Cathedral. We stopped at several places during the tour to sample the cuisine. We learned so much, like why New Orleans is world renowned for its distinct cuisine and is one of the most historically interesting cities in the U.S. We learned the history behind the food in describing how this unique city developed the country’s only true regional cuisine, as well as why New Orleans ranks as a major destination for serious food lovers everywhere.

After almost a whole day of walking, we were ready for some R&R at Balance Spa (, which is located in the Loews Hotel ( on Poydras Street. Many thanks to Renee and Olivia for terrific massages. What fabulous treatments!

After a quick trip back to our hotel for showers, we walked back to the Loews Hotel for dinner at Café Adelaide and The Swizzle Stick Bar ( This newest member of the Brennan Family Restaurants is shaking up the New Orleans scene, dishing up a playful take on Creole cuisine with a side order of Big Easy bacchanalia served by the gracious hands of the new generation of the infamous Brennan clan while named after their favorite Aunt Adelaide Brennan. With starters such as Shrimp & Tasso “Corndogs” and Blue Crab Pound Cake, how could we go wrong? Entrée options included Cayenne Five Spice Rubbed Ahi Tuna, Buttermilk Biscuit Paneed Grouper and Praline Encrusted Tenderloin of Pork. All of it ridiculously good! I encourage everyone to at least visit their menu online and drool. Many thanks to Chef Chris Lusk for one incredible dining experience, as well as to Lally Brennan for meeting with us and giving me her book, In the Land of Cocktails.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Welcome to New Orleans!

Welcome to The Big Easy! I arrived at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to a sea of orange and blue as the Florida Gators were also in town to play LSU in Baton Rogue. I grabbed a taxi and headed to the Hotel Monteleone (, which is located in the French Quarter a block off Bourbon Street. This historic landmark is a member of Historic Hotels of America. The hotel boasts 600 newly renovated rooms and suites, two award-winning restaurants, the famous Carousel Piano Bar & Lounge, Logo Shop, heated rooftop pool, Spa Aria, state-of-the-art exercise facility, business center, and valet parking. We were thrilled with our lovely and spacious room, the convenient location of the hotel and the friendly staff here. Definitely a great place to stay in New Orleans.

After quickly unpacking, I met up with some fabulous New Orleans residents and visitors at the Inn On Bourbon ( for our departure, via Limousine Livery, to The New Orleans Opera Association VIP cocktail reception. The Inn On Bourbon is the site of the oldest French Quarter Opera House in America. It continues to embody the city’s rich history and is still a focal point for arts and culture in New Orleans. We arrived at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of Performing Arts for the New Orleans Opera Association’s performance of TOSCA. Being my very first time at an opera, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The promos for this performance read: “Love, Lust, Revenge, Assassination, Remorse, Betrayal and Suicide.” Sounds like I will enjoy it. This perennial favorite by Giacomo Puccini, once derided as little more than "a shabby little shocker," opened the season and is sung in Italian. Fortunately, they provided sub titles above the performers, so I was able to follow along. I felt like Julia Roberts on Pretty Woman when Richard Gere takes her to the opera and she starts crying. It was very moving but I (unlike Julia) did not almost “pee in my pants.”

After meeting up with Liz (her plane arrived at 10 p.m.), we strolled down Bourbon Street to take in the “scenery.” We finally stopped at Pat O’Brien’s for their world famous Hurricane. After a few hours of Bourbon Street chaos, we were ready to call it a day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fabulous Fall Travel Destinations

Where to go for fabulous fall travel? Take a look at these magnificent destinations.

New Hampshire
Fantastic Fall Foliage - With 62 deciduous leaf-bearing tree species, there are few places on earth that begin to match New Hampshire’s display of fall foliage. And 84% of the state is covered with trees! Foliage experts predict an especially beautiful harvest season this fall due to all the summer rain, which won’t change the duration of the foliage season; however, it will certainly make it even more magnificent than in previous years. NH Tourism Dept has developed three new motorcycle itineraries for those who want to enjoy nature’s changing beauty on two wheels.

Terrific Tours – Newly expanded and updated Wine & Cheese Tours are a great way to see the New Hampshire countryside and taste award-winning fruit and grape wines at local wineries and sample delicious fresh cheeses at local dairy farms. On the tours, you can meet the winemakers and dairy farmers who have a passion for farming and tour their facilities. For those with a sweet tooth, start at the coast then head west on Route 101 and experience the Chocolate & Martini tour. It includes New Hampshire Magazine’s “best martini”, handmade Belgian chocolate, award-winning Swiss chocolate, and a stop at Chutters that features the world’s longest candy counter.

Keene Pumpkin Festival, Keene – As the sun starts to set, hundreds of volunteers rush to light thousands and thousands of carved pumpkins at the annual Keene Pumpkin Festival. Visitors from around the world descend upon this Monadnock Region town to watch the night sky light up with approximately 25,000 votive candles; the final countdown is announced before the fireworks begin. While waiting to see that spectacle of lights, the entire family can spend the day downtown with special activities for the kids, including a costume parade, seed-spitting and pie-eating contests, live music on three stages and more.

Return of the Pumpkin People, Jackson – Spend the day in the charming Town of Jackson, and take a self-guided tour viewing the Pumpkin People. Area businesses and homeowners get into the fall foliage spirit and create unique, colorful and playful pumpkin people throughout the village of Jackson and surrounding towns. Visitors will see everything from the Red Fox Bar & Grille's "Pumpkin Nightmare before Christmas" to the Inn at Ellis River's Pumpkin Magic Tricks. Outdoor recreation continues to be an area attraction for everyone including pumpkin people who can be seen fishing, snowshoeing, playing hide and seek and enjoying activities on the school lawn.

North Carolina
With more than 120 species of trees, NC turns into a brilliant palette of color each year as the autumn leisurely makes its way from the mountain peaks down to the coastal plains. See the state from a fresh, active perspective by taking advantage of these five unique ways to experience fall color in NC.

1. Leaf Watcher's Favorite: Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, including popular Mystery Dinner Theatre Train

2. Roads Less Traveled: Bike Off the Beaten Trail with stops at charming vineyards and historic inns.

3. The View From Above: Enjoy the Color on a Balloon Adventure

4. Ride the River Wild: Whitewater Rafting on Nantahala River (8 miles ending at Nantahala Falls)

5. Driving the Blue Ridge Parkway is like taking a journey through fall colors. Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2010, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular ways to view North Carolina's changing fall foliage.

Illinois is becoming more popular for getaways with its unique combination of cultural experiences, centralized location and mix of both urban and rural destinations. In fact, more than 70% of Midwest residents believe Illinois offers an easier and more convenient getaway than any other Midwest state. The unique combination of cultural experiences, centralized location and mix of both rural and urban destinations makes Illinois a great fall getaway choice. Some highlights include:

*St. Charles Scarecrow Festival. Scarecrow fans of all generations gather for this free event on the Fox River to explore hundreds of hand-crafted, whimsical scarecrows and vote for the favorite scarecrow of the festival in six categories. Families can enjoy the carnival rides, see the free Autumn On The Fox Art & Craft Show or Harley-Davidson Exhibit, listen to top-notch musical entertainment and savor delicious specialties from local vendors.

*Abe’s Corn Maze. Located in Springfield, this 10-acre Abraham Lincoln-themed corn maze takes visitors on various paths cut out in the shape of an American flag, log cabin and a portrait of the legendary president. It’s a patriotic, fun and festive family adventure that is sure to be an unforgettable part of a fall getaway. After making their way through the maze, fall festival-goers will not want to miss out on the pony rides, a petting zoo, flea markets and fireworks display.

*Applepalooza! Located in Alto Pass, stop at Rendleman Orchards Farm Market for everything apple, including fall recipe and baking needs. Bake seasonal delights with fresh apple ingredients such as apple butter and applesauce. Visitors can shop for all things apple, or browse the farm market to stock up on baking necessities such as spices and jams before the holidays. Don’t forget to pick up an apple gift box for your friends and family.

*Chicagoween: Chicago is packed with an array of haunted activities during the month-long Chicagoween festival, which includes pumpkin patches, haunted houses and a theater showing live performances. Daley Plaza is transformed into “Pumpkin Plaza,” an eerie city block with Halloween-themed decorations and pumpkin decorating stations. Kids can join in the fun by marching in the costume parade and enjoy the Midnight Circus.

Oktoberfest – Dubbed Georgia’s Alpine village, the quaint town of Helen was formerly home to a logging industry. The city resurrected itself by becoming a replica of a Bavarian town - in the Appalachians instead of the Alps. Located on the Chattahoochee River in the Blue Ridge Mountains (northeast of Atlanta), Helen hosts a fantastic Oktoberfest September – November each year.

Gold Rush Days - The oldest, most established mountain festival in Georgia. An Appalachian celebration, it marks Dahlonega’s place in history as the site of the first gold rush in the U.S. Selected as a “Top 20 Event in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society, the fun unfolds on Dahlonega’s Town Square and will include a parade, children's activities, a fashion show, gold panning contest, wheelbarrow race, King and Queen Coronation, hog calling, live entertainment and food booths.

Corn Maze – Located 45 minutes north of Atlanta in Dawsonville, Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch has been recognized as one of most-well attended mazes in America, with 40,000 guests each fall. All 4 weekends in Oct have a special haunted maze. Other activities include bonfires and hayrides, and guests can also select their perfect pumpkin and shoot the corn cannon.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Girls Getaway to New Orleans

Let the good “girl” times roll…in New Orleans. This cultural “gumbo,” where European living blends perfectly with Caribbean flavors, makes New Orleans one of the nation’s most unique cities. With its spicy food, history, music and architecture, we are sure to have a great time in The Big Easy. Many thanks to the historic Hotel Monteleone ( for hosting us!

Follow us during our Girls Getaway to New Orleans Oct. 9-12 at or Girls Getaway Guide.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Celeb Stylist Robert Verdi Talks Fashion with The Getaway Girl

Hello everyone it is Casey Wohl, The Getaway Girl®, and I am here with a very special guest today. Celebrity stylist Robert Verdi joins me today to talk all things fashion.

As most of you know, Robert is America’s most notable TV fashion personality & style expert with several shows including Fashion Police on the Style Network. He has worked with celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Mariska Hargitay, Bobby Flay and Cynthia Rowley, just to name a few.

Before our call I asked the Girls Getaway Guide fans if they had any questions for you, and I got a huge response, so let’s talk fashion shall we?

One of the biggest questions for fall…boots (peep toe, over the knee, etc). Are these trends here to stay and are these items worth the investment?
Robert Verdi: You must think of buying clothing as an expense or an investment. An expense is something you want to splurge on; an investment is something you need or will have for several years. Think about your lifestyle and how you will incorporate key pieces into your wardrobe. For example, if you are a princess, you will need several ball gowns. If you are not a princess, you won’t need tons of fancy dresses. I think the over the knee boot, if worn correctly, is very fashion forward and very versatile. This is a look I think we will see for several years.

The girls tell me they are seeing lots of flannel. What are your thoughts?
Robert Verdi: Flannel is part of the trend of ‘borrowing from men’s wear’ that is very popular right now. The secret to pulling off flannel on women is to make sure it is fitted for a woman’s body. Don’t pull a flannel shirt out of your dad’s closet. Get one that is tailored for the female form and still flatters your figure.

What are some of the hot trends for fall this year?
Robert Verdi: It really is all about items versus trends. As you mentioned, the over the knee boot portrays a rocker quality. The flannel shirt, along with plaids, suede and denim, is portraying a cowgirl look. Other staple items I like this year are skinny legs, elongated sweater/cardigans, belted coat and jackets, and the always classic pencil skirt.
Not many people, even celebrities, purchase entirely new wardrobes each season. The best thing to do is to invest in key pieces to spruce up what you have.

What are the trendy colors for fall this year?
Robert Verdi: What we saw on the fall runways is already carrying over into spring 2010 and that is the color blue. It is a great color because it looks terrific on everyone and is a universally flattering color. For fall, look at shades of blue such as navy and royal blue. For spring, we will see a lot of cool colors, blues and greens, in lighter shades such as turquoise. I also like the jewel tones for fall (peacock blue, emerald green, deep purple).

I travel a lot but still want to look fashionable. Do you have any advice for maintaining personal style while you travel?
Robert Verdi: For easy traveling, I always take pieces that are great for layering (tank tops, jackets, cardigans, scarves). By having the right layers, you can ensure you are always ready for any climate and social situation. I also stick with neutral colors to keep things versatile. Some great packing tips include: 1) always use shoe bags to keep shoes and clothes looking nice, 2) fold clothes first then pack them (versus folding while you pack) and 3) put small items (cosmetics, belts, undergarments) inside your shoes to maximize the space.

What is your #1 style tip?
Robert Verdi: Style and fashion is less about any one item or any one piece of advice. It is more about your own personal expression, and how the clothes make you feel. Don’t be tied to rules and regulations. Try things. If they work, that’s great. If not, just take it off and try something else. The great thing about fashion is that nothing is permanent.

I have had several women ask me why you wear the sunglasses on your head. Is this a fashion trend we should all follow?
Robert Verdi: This started when I was doing a TV show where I interviewed people on the streets of New York City. I would wear the sunglasses, and then take them off to do the interview. After one interview I realized I put them on my head and they helped my look less bald (they added something to all my flesh). So they have become a “look” for me ever since.

Casey Wohl: Well Robert, thank you so much for being with us and sharing all of this great fashion advice. We hope you have a great trip to Orlando!

If you’d like to meet Robert in person, plan to attend the LUXE 2009: The Fashion Benefit on Thursday, October 8 from 6:30 – 11:00 p.m. at Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH at the Prime Outlets - Orlando. For more details, call 407.352.9611, ext. 114.