Nurturing Beauty Style Secrets Blog

Back to School Fashion: How to Look Like the Cool Mom

The ads of kids roaming classrooms are everywhere and the evenings are getting a bit cooler…the summer is coming to an end. Another school year is in our near future. Although it is the child going to school, the moms will be just as busy…band practices, PTA meetings and carpools, oh my! But, while it is time to buy the backpacks and pencil sets, moms should remember they, too, need to get themselves ready as well.  But, with all that’s going on, who has the time to make sure they look their best, too? Just throw on the yoga pants and the handiest top in the closet, right? But while your body may be comforted, how is your confidence?

In my work with countless women over the past 27 years, I have seen even the most comfortable outfit result in less comfort for the wearer because it undermined her confidence and inner sense of well-being.

So how do you feel comfortable and confident this fall during those days of running around with the kids?  Here are three commandments that will assure a great start to the school year for you and your student.

Commandment #1: Outer Comfort is Key, But So is Inner Well-being

Throughout my career, I have heard so many women say they don’t feel comfortable getting out of the car when they drive their kids to school because they are embarrassed or feel uncomfortable with what they are wearing…no matter how soft the fabric. They often just throw the easiest thing on to get out the door and not be late. Does this sound familiar? If it is, how confident do you feel (remember, inner comfort as well) when you throw on your yoga pants and a worn t-shirt and then hop in the car?

As a client once said to me after we’d worked together for a bit, “Who knew it would be just as easy to throw on something great as something dreadful. I now have comfy, easy clothes in my closet that I feel wonderful wearing.” This is the key many moms miss. Although the idea here is comfort, the feeling is not just found in the fabric but more and more in how wearing it makes you feel. In fact, not surprisingly, there are many items in your closet that do not exude confidence despite being the most comfortable on your body.

That being said, you want to make sure whatever you wear to catch the first pitch at your child’s game or get them to class on time makes you feel joyfully confident when you hop out of the car; whether you are dropping your child off at school, running into the dentist with her or chatting with other parents at a soccer game.

It is understandable and quite common to realize that if given the option, and if the comfort level were the same, you’d always choose the more flattering look. The reason you’re not is generally one of two things:

  • Either you don’t love the experience of shopping for yourself and always will find a distraction to keep you from doing it or go to the mall on the pretense of buying something for yourself but give up and shop for your kids instead!, or
  • You don’t know how to find things you love so you have (temporarily, at least) given up and resignedly settle for yoga pants and a T-shirt.

If this sounds like you, consider this: Purposefully set aside some shopping time just for you. I understand that if you don’t like to shop this can feel like torture. But, remember, it’s even more tortuous to shop when you’re hurried and frazzled.

When the time comes, you either make your way to the mall or stay home and peruse your favorite website. When you find something that intrigues you, see if you can picture yourself at a school event in it. If, in your mind’s eye, you have your head high and are confident, buy it! If not, while it may look comfortable, you won’t feel fully comfortable once you put it on. Please don’t buy it just to buy something.

Always hold off until you find something you love.

(And, if you don’t know how to find something you love, that’s a different story and there is help available.)

Need some guidance?  Before and after photos of Amanda will illustrate what I’m talking about:

 

Here’s another idea…I just got a pair of NYDJ jeans that are super skinny.  They feel like leggings, but look like jeans.  Mine are in a ‘natural’ color, but they come in a variety of colors. Or, check out these pull on JAG jeans.  So comfy and no worries about a front tab sticking out through your top:

The idea is to feel pulled together without compromising the comfort factor!

Commandment Two: Be Wary of the Evolving T-Shirt World in Which We Live

The mall is packed with them: “Cute” T-shirts splashed with designs, funny phrases and such or, just as bad, basic, shapeless, oversized T-shirts. As a result of their pervasiveness, it is easy to fall prey to the ease of buying and wearing them. But be careful of this…as I’ve said before, while comfort is key, true comfort comes not only from how something feels physically but also from the self-confidence and delight you feel on an emotional level.

Here are the three things to consider when choosing a top (t-shirt or otherwise):

Color: Make sure the color is flattering.  Don’t always settle for supposed ‘safe’ colors like black, gray or white. They rarely do anything to help you feel joyful and radiant.

Class: Is the wording or design classy? (i.e., per your age bracket as well as what you are trying to portray).  Are you really sure you want to wear the tired t-shirt from the road race you ran 6 years ago or the spaghetti strap top with your bra straps exposed?

Cut:  Does it fit your body well (not baggy or too tight) or does it have interesting design features like ruching, a beautiful print or details like this: (SAMPLE)?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, although comfortable, they will do nothing to make you feel good about how you look. As a result of this, they will not bring the confidence and joy of true comfort. Also, since they don’t have any ruching, prints or design details to add a little ease and camouflage, they can be very unforgiving and will quickly end up in the pile of “What was I thinking?” on the floor of your closet instead of being a new, savored ensemble for the school year.

Commandment Three: Remember, There’s a Reason They Call It ‘Running Around’ – Consider Your Shoes. 

Whether you are chasing a 5-year old at the park, lugging soccer equipment to the field or running to pick up a sick teenager at school, what you wear on your feet is important. Defaulting to clogs, flip-flops and sneakers is the norm, but those are not the only options. Make sure whatever makes it to your feet is both comfortable and good looking (they should make you smile when you walk and when you look down!). You don’t have to be walking a fashion runway to have your shoes add a special spring to your step.

While everyone’s idea of what is comfortable and good looking is different, here’s one idea by Fitzwell:

Or, if you want something more sneaker-like but a little less clunky, try these:

Bottom Line: Confidence Makes the Comfort, not the Cotton

Because of the busyness your children bring to your life (often in addition to a busy work or volunteer life), sometimes you don’t realize until it’s too late and you’ve pulled up to the school that you don’t feel like the “cool/fun/confident mom” you are when you’re wearing comfy top and crocs. While your body may be comfortable, the presentation to others as well as to yourself says something completely different than you want it to and weighs on your psyche. Even if that discomfort is tucked neatly away in the back of your mind—it still nags at you.

Whether the answer is getting a pair of nice stretchy jeans (as I mentioned above) instead of your typical yoga pants or exploring other shoe options to replace your worn clogs, it’s all good as long as it makes you feel good about you. When you take that top or pair of jeans out of the closet and ready it for the drive to school, ask yourself this one question: “Will this make me feel like the amazing woman I am?” Yes, ask yourself this question and listen to the answer.

If not, choose something else or keep a notepad on your dresser and leave a message for yourself to update your ‘back to school’ wardrobe soon so you feel the same sense of confidence you want your child to feel as he or she walks into the classroom on the first day of school.

It is scary how many months, years and even decades can go by while you keep putting off finding a style you love. You don’t want to look back with regrets. Make these changes now and you’ll love getting dressed every morning—even when you’re in a hurry!

(If you’d like a bit more information on how to create your best ‘back to school’ ensemble, contact me for a quick phone consultation. I would be happy to help make this your (as well as your child’s) best back to school experience ever.

Note: All garments pictured here are vegan-friendly (made from fabrics that did not harm any animals).

How to Dress for an Interview: The Good, the Bad and the Frizzy

In a recent article for Real Simple, entrepreneur icon Barbara Corcoran discussed an evolving error made by interviewees every day: missing the mark on what is acceptable; either wearing too much of the right things (“too much makeup and jewelry or impractical shoes”) or too little of the right things (i.e., inappropriate things like “stretchy pants, oversize tops, and sneakers”). So with the fall bringing in new opportunities for so many, let’s discuss three commandments to getting an interview outfit right in a way that will ease your mind and make a positive impression.

Tip One: Know Thy Audience, But Also Know Thy Common Sense
When reviewing your closet for your upcoming interview, make sure you’ve done your research. Know with whom you are meeting, consider what they are looking for and how they want a candidate to be portrayed. Unless the interviewer is a fashion designer, he or she probably won’t be impressed by excessive jewelry or shoes that are very fashion-forward, but make your feet feel (and look) like they are in a torture chamber.

In fact, while presentation is key, so is looking comfortable and confident. Two reasons for this: 1) You are already going to be nervous, why add to it?, and 2) No company is looking for an applicant who is not even comfortable in her own clothes. The last thing you want to do is project your discomfort when you have more important information to impart.

Tip Two: Even if the Job is Informal, the Interview is Not
Let’s face it, we live in an informal business casual-type world these days, but even if the company or job for which you are applying has an informal dress code that doesn’t mean your interview attire should follow suit. For one, you don’t have the job yet and not only will an outfit that is too relaxed look presumptuous, it will look unprofessional. A human resources expert once told me that a company expects someone’s dress to decline by 30% once they get the job. If you show up already underdressed, that does not bode well for your expected professional attire of the future. Whereas if you wear an outfit that includes a jacket you can always remove the jacket to create a more relaxed feel.

Barbara Corcoran in fact had an example in the article of a young woman whose attire was below the mark for a babysitter interview. After all, she was theoretically going to be entrusting her daughter to this person and wanted to feel comfortable and safe with her decision. Being too casual does not inspire confidence. If she was taken aback by the look of potential babysitters, imagine the reaction when you wear an inappropriate outfit to a company?

To make sure you hit the mark for any job interview consider this before choosing your outfit: “How I look provides the first impression I will make to this company. What do I want that impression to be?” Then, keep in mind that your appearance includes more than the clothes you wear. If you have unruly hair or hair that requires a little extra maintenance (I can speak to this because that’s exactly what my hair requires!), be sure you allow enough time to style it in a way that allows you to breathe a sigh of relief when it’s done (again, I can identify!).  If it helps, have your stylist blow it dry the day before. As a friend once said to me, “When you’re having a bad hair day nothing else matters.”

Perhaps that’s a bit of an over-statement, but I can attest to there being at least a smidgeon of truth to it. The last thing you want to do during an interview is fuss with your hair or worry about it. And, of course that is true for the outfit you choose as well. In each case, take pre-emptive steps and you will be happy you did.

Tip Three: Remember to Be Yourself!
Remember, you are the person they selected for the interview, which means they want to meet you.  Make sure the outfit you choose truly reflects your personality and doesn’t just meet the mark of acceptable. This will help you stand out in a good way. It is only then that you will fully resonate the confidence of an individual that can take on any task and job. (This is a very big topic and one I address in depth with each of my clients. For more on this (and to get the ball rolling), check out my book, ‘That’s So You! Create a Look You Love with Beauty, Style and Grace.’

You can also take a cue from Diane. Except for a few fit issues, her ‘before’ outfit is okay. It’s gray and black which work well in a more conservative field, but the outfit does absolutely nothing to express who Diane is—what makes her unique. I work in depth with each of my clients to find her 4 inner beauty words that express what makes her special. Two of Diane’s inner beauty words are ‘delicate, natural beauty’ and ‘independent.’  Do you see anything in the before picture that expresses that?  No!  But, in the after picture, she is still professionally dressed AND exudes self-confidence because she is being true to herself.  It’s a win-win.

 
Photos by Meri Bond Photography

       Diane Before             Diane After

Bonus: If you Must Get Something New, Then Get Comfortable
If you must get a new outfit, consider wearing it around the house before the interview, this will allow your body (and spirit) to get used to the new outfit before you walk into that conference room. In fact, this simple exercise will make you increasingly more comfortable on the big day as well as give you a phenomenal boost of confidence as a new outfit should. Plus, you will avoid potentially embarrassing situations such as a skirt being a bit too short when you sit down or wobbling in heels that are too high or a bad fit.

Bottom Line: Know Thy Audience but also Know Thyself
While an interview is definitely not a time to wear that T-shirt that feels to you like a security blanket, it is just as much not a time to try anything new that your body or skin has not yet had the chance to get used to. Anything too foreign has the potential to make you feel out of sorts or like an imposter or cause problems (such as a skin reaction) that will not help your composure and self-confidence the day of the interview.

Just as you prepare for what you will say during the interview, feeling confidently prepared for how you will present yourself visually will give you a competitive edge. The ultimate purpose of an interview is to put your best foot forward in all ways and to do so with confidence and in full expression of who you are.  Go in with no regrets and allow the best of you to shine through.

10 Reasons You Have Too Many Clothes

Women never come to me and say I want lots of clothes. Nope…never. In fact, more often than not they tell me that they want to simplify. My interpretation of this is that they want fewer clothes that they wear more often. And while some women might want and actually enjoy accumulating clothes, mostly the pleasure comes from wearing them.

Does this ring true for you, too? Does your sense of yearning come from feeling unfulfilled in your wardrobe (often over a period of years before it gets to the breaking point). You’ve settled into a “good enough” look and then one day notice that you wear the same things over and over because they are easy, and many things hang unworn in your closet.

Multiply this by a million (I suspect it’s at least that many) and that’s a lot of clothes not being worn, and, more importantly, a lot of women feeling out of sorts.

So, why do you have too many clothes? There are lots of reasons and I’ll discuss a lot of them here:

  1. Shopping WomanYou Love To Shop — Let’s get this one out of the way because chances are good that if you’re reading this it is not one of your reasons: you love to shop and enjoy creating beautiful outfits and the biggest problem you encounter is that you don’t have enough days in the week to wear them all as often as you’d like. Okay, so there…we said it. There are some women out there like that for sure but unless they run out of closet space they are usually pretty happy with what they have. If this is you, it can still be helpful to pare things down periodically to the outfits that are your most favorite. Why not do this quarterly? Donate garments, consign, have a clothing swap with your friends, or at least pack lesser-worn items away to see if you really miss them.

And, just to clarify, there are certainly women (maybe you?) who used to love shopping or would love to enjoy shopping, but now just stare at their closet and wonder why nothing is working the way they want it to!

If that sounds familiar, keep reading. I’m sure you’ll see yourself in one of these other situations.

  1. You Might Need It Someday – This is a biggie. You’ve rarely (or never) worn it. You’re not even sure you like it or that it fits, but, hey, what if you need it someday to complete an outfit. No! No! No! If you can’t make an outfit with it right now (and especially if you don’t love it), get it out of your closet. At least pack it away if you can’t bear to get rid of it completely. And, if you’re not sure if it can work in your wardrobe get help to find out first. You won’t believe the relief you’ll feel knowing one way or the other. Remember, there is no room in your closet for things you don’t love.
  1. Giveaways and Hand-Me-Downs – This is one of those really tricky areas. People feel good about passing things along but they need to work for you…I mean really work for you and who you are! If there’s a disconnect between the garment and your inner beauty, forget it, you’ll never feel good wearing it. And, if you don’t know what your inner beauty is, it’s time to find out!

Comfort and free clothes are not the most important criteria to consider – it’s a reasonable (and fun) starting place but, before you decide to keep something and wear it, you must ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it a good color?
  • Does it fit or can it be (and will you) tailored?
  • Does it reflect who you are on the inside?
  • Can you make a complete outfit out of it?

If it can’t pass those tests, it goes away!

Money down drain

  1. You Spent Good Money On It – The last thing you want to do is waste your money. All the more reason to understand why it does or doesn’t work so you can either wear it or let it go. Once you know how to complete the outfit you can get your money’s worth out of it. Or, if you finally understand why it doesn’t work, you can let it go and chalk it up to a learning experience (and be wary of making that same mistake again).

Scale

  1. Your Weight Fluctuates – Join the crowd! Raise your hand if you own clothes in more than one size. I can assure that 95% of all women (especially those of us over 40) just raised their hands. It’s okay. Relax and take a breath…phew. What’s not okay, however is keeping all the sizes in the same closet. No! Only the clothes that fit you now belong in the closet you use on a daily basis. Everything else needs to be in another closet or packed away until they do fit.
  1. Clinging to the Past – Do you have clothes in your closet from 1995…1987 or even before? Clothes from another job where you had to dress more conservatively? Clothes from a past lifestyle when you used to sail all the time or attend a lot of formal functions? Assessing whether your wardrobe addresses your current lifestyle needs is very important. Hanging onto things you used to wear will keep you stuck in a rut and won’t help you feel authentically you anymore.   (And, a special word about the energy of clothes. If some of your past outfits were from a painful or unpleasant time in your past, all the more reason to remove them immediately. You don’t need to keep that energy alive in your closet – it will only deplete you.)
  1. It’s Classic – This follows right on the heels of “clinging to the past.” Yes, some styles have a timeless quality about them but many fewer than you would think. Chanel jackets are one thing but even little black dresses and something as basic as jeans go through style changes as the years pass. Yes, you want to take good care of your clothes so you can wear them as long as possible, but the main purpose of your clothes is to be worn!

If you really love them and enjoy wearing them…then wear them so much that they wear out. Yes! That means you’ve gotten your money’s worth (so no regrets) and you have enjoyed the garment before it goes out of style (which 99% of the time will happen).

  1. Shopping with Best FriendsPeer Pressure – This is a tricky one. There’s a fine line between helpful advice from BFF, mother, sister and friendly sales woman and being railroaded into buying something you don’t love. Who needs to add one more thing to their wardrobe that doesn’t feel wonderful? Yes, you want to step out and try new things AND at the same time honor who you are (not the people who are trying to help you). The more you can feel self-confident knowing what you love and what you don’t love the easier it will be to say no to unwanted pressure to buy.
  1. Searching For the Perfect Pieces – I once did a wardrobe consultation with a woman who had easily 40 white blouses in her closet. Of those 40 blouses, she generally wore 1 or 2. That’s it! So why did she have so many? Because someone had mistakenly told her that every woman should have a white blouse in her wardrobe and, even if that were true, she discovered that finding the perfect white blouse was trickier than she thought. She kept buying them hoping she’d find one that she loved. She never did. The solution? Stop buying white blouses! Find out if a white blouse really speaks to who you are and if so, hold out for one that makes your heart sing (and out of which you can actually make a complete outfit). Otherwise, try something else or get help to understand how to find the perfect garment (whether it’s a white blouse, pair of jeans or trench coat, to name a few common challenges).
  1. Holding on to clothesYou Can’t Get Rid of Anything – This one is arguably the trickiest. It really depends on why you can’t get rid of things. It could be a combination of the reasons above or it could be more deep seeded in which case getting some outside guidance will be so important. Holding on to things that no longer serve you because of past experiences or because they give you peace will eventually backfire.

I recently did a wardrobe consultation with a delightful woman who felt absolutely committed to clearing out her wardrobe to just those things that looked good on her and that she enjoyed wearing. When we got to one item, she said, with a gentleness in her voice, “Oh, my late husband gave that to me,” as she hesitated about what to do. It was more than 10 years old and she hadn’t worn it in years. Then, she took a breath and with smile in her voice said, “I have many better things that remind me of him.” And, with that, she added it to the to-go pile. Finding peace within your soul will help you move things along with grace and ease.

Wow! Do you see yourself in one (or more) of those? If so, the most important thing is to take one baby step at a time. That’s it. Just one!

Overwhelm is one of the big reasons women never do anything about an out of control wardrobe. The closet door closes and it’s out of sight out of mind until the next time you get dressed. And, then it smacks you in the face again. Living with that kind of frustration day in and day out does not make for a happy experience.

Getting dressed is meant to be a joyful (or at the very least easy and satisfying) experience. So, what’s the one step you will take in the next 24 hours to move you out of overwhelm and closer to joy?

Please share your next step on my blog and I will help you hold the intention for success. Making this commitment will tell the universe you are ready to do some clearing, and we’ll all help support you!

 

 

Have You Fallen Victim to the Comfort Trap?

With today’s hectic pace of life and constant demands on your time and energy, it is natural to seek as much comfort as possible whenever and wherever you can.  Feeling comfortable physically, especially in the clothing you wear, is one of the key components to being able to deal with the rest of the stress life throws at you.

But, what happens when that natural desire for comfort goes too far?

Continue reading…

Do You Feel Frumpy in Your Summer Casual Clothes?

Summer is a time for relaxation and fun.  It’s also generally a time when the temperature, and sometimes the humidity, soars.  You probably spend more time outside where you get hot, and dare I say, sweaty which begs the question…what do you wear?

You might be shaking your head saying, that’s easy!  I wear shorts and a t-shirt and feel great.  And, that’s fabulous.  You are blessed.  For some people dressing casually feels so natural and easy and for others (like me and so many of my clients)…well, not so much.

What’s the problem? Continue reading…

Learn to Add Beautiful Prints to Your Wardrobe and Stop Relying Solely on Solid Colors

If you’re like many women, you have a mortal fear of prints.  You look in your closet and what greets you?  A sea of solid colors.  There’s not a print in sight except for the striped button down you bought (but rarely wear) and an old animal print/floral/plaid/geometric sweater you’ve had since the 1990’s.

It’s not because you only love solids.  It’s more that buying a print seems like a good idea at the time, but weeks, months and even years go by and it rarely, if ever, makes it out of your closet.  You like the idea of wearing a print, but every time you put one on you feel out of sorts, overwhelmed or too obvious.  Animal prints feel too trendy.  Geometrics feel hard, and florals remind you of your third grade teacher.

So, with a sigh, it’s back to basics and solid colors.

But…and it’s a big but…you feel like you’re missing out.  Your wardrobe feels predictable and limited.  You know there has to be a perfect print for you, but finding it has proven to be a very expensive enterprise—too many items sit unworn in your closet.

Let me put your mind at ease.  It’s not your imagination that choosing a print involves a bit of sifting and sorting—there are plenty of wacky prints out there.  Last season I decided that designers had run out of ideas when they introduced patchwork animal print as a trend.  Yikes!  Really?  I’ve always been a fan of animal print, but as soon as you put it in a garment with florals and plaids, it’s downright scary!

Prints can be your friend.  They immediately add visual interest and spice up an otherwise mundane look.  But…

It’s all about finding the right prints for you.

So get ready, because you’re about to learn how to choose a print that makes your heart sing and looks great on you!

2 Steps to Choosing the Perfect Print for You:

The two most important components to consider when choosing a print are color and personality:

  1. Color – the predominant color (at least) needs to be one of your best.  If the print you are considering has orange, olive green and a speck of purple, but you look terrible (or just so-so) in orange and olive green while the purple is your best color, don’t buy it!  That little speck of color cannot overcome the bad vibes of the orange and olive green.
  2. Personality – This element is arguably the most important.  In the photos below I will share the women’s inner beauty words (the words that describe who they are deep down to their soul).  Paying attention to who you are is a critical component in selecting a print (and your wardrobe, in general).

I could talk until I’m blue in the face about how if you have this color hair, this body shape and these personality traits, this print might look good on you, but it’s just talk.  Seeing is believing and this conversation needs to be highly visual, so let’s keep going…

Jackie Before Cropped-Aws

While the colors in this print are technically black and white, because the design is so small and delicate they actually look more like gray.  As a result, the color seems washed out, too cool and simply blah in comparison to Jackie’s beautiful warm skin tone and rich colored hair.

Three of Jackie’s inner beauty words/phrases are ‘richly expressive,’ ‘playfully fun’ and ‘bound and determined.’  Look at the print she’s wearing.  None of those is expressed in this print so it does nothing to support her natural beauty.

Jackie no earrings print headshot-ws
Here we have Jackie in black and white again, but this time more obvious distinction between the colors.  In fact, the garment is repeating some of her natural colors – black of her hair, white of her teeth and red of her lips and cheeks.  The overall design has more oomph (bound and determined!) and is richly expressive and the color combination and swirls of the design are playfully fun.  (She also has great earrings to compliment the outfit, but I wanted you to see the print unadorned so you could see it has beauty all on its own.)

Jan before_6982
This pattern has the opposite problem from the one Jackie was wearing in her ‘before’ picture.  While Jackie’s underwhelmed her, Jan’s completely overwhelms her with its frenetic bursts of color.  Jan is ‘open-hearted’ and ‘grounded’—neither of which is reflected in this print.  Add to that the fact that Jan’s coloring is relatively warm with her golden hair and peaches and cream skin and the predominantly cool colors of this print conflict with her natural coloring.

Jan after_Casual
Ahhhh, here’s the open-hearted, grounded feel we want!  The print is a soft floral as opposed to huge bursts of color.  Even though the pattern of the flowers and leaves is fairly large, the colors are soft.  The rich periwinkle of the background brings out her eyes and the warmth of the green leaves and soft turquoise flowers reflects Jan’s ‘snazzily creative’ nature.

Meryl after_Dress
Meryl’s natural coloring has more high contrast than Jan.  Her medium light skin and dark hair mean she can wear more striking contrast in her prints as well.  But that alone would not be enough if Meryl was someone who was, for example, ‘dreamy’ and ‘quietly gracious.’  In contrast, however, two of Meryl’s inner beauty words are ‘powerful’ and ‘quick.’  This print has that feel.  While it’s still a floral, the sharper distinction between the colors and vibrant outlines of the pattern give it a very lively intense feeling without overwhelming Meryl’s petite frame.  And, the simple, elegant design of the dress speaks to the ‘graciously classic’ part of her nature.

What about you?  Do you need a softer print like Jan or more intensity like Jackie and Meryl.  What about color?  When you exam prints already in your closet or what you see in the stores, are you choosing colors that suit your natural coloring?  If you are unsure, you will find more information about four easy-to-wear colors in this blog post.

What prints naturally appeal to you?  If you are genuinely joyful and fun, polka dots might appeal to you.  Have a little fire or feistiness in your personality?  Animal prints or zigzags might be the answer.  Quiet and luminous?  Your prints will reflect that – maybe soft tone-on-tone paisley or watercolor florals.

There is no end to the combinations that can work, but it can also be overwhelming to walk around a store surrounded by prints with no clue as to how to approach them.  With these two guides you will be surprised by how much more success you have!

[Need some help?  Set up a free 20-minute call with Ginger to find out how she can support you either through one of her private programs or in her virtual coaching program.]

Note: All garments pictured here are vegan-friendly (made from fabrics that did not harm any animals).

Photo credits: Meri Bond Photography and Johnson Photography

9 Summer Dresses that are Easy, Comfortable & Versatile

Dresses are so easy to wear, can be light and comfortable and feel perfect for everything from work to a warm summer evening get-together.

Summertime screams for dresses!

Theoretically dresses are an easy solution to getting dressed every morning, but finding the perfect dress can be an exercise in patience and tenacity.

Last winter a client knew her work schedule for the next three months would be more demanding than usual.  The last thing she wanted to think about in the morning was what top went with what pair of pants.  She was getting up at the crack of dawn and would have long days, seven days a week.  She wanted to get dressed in a flash and be out the door AND know that she looked great.  Dresses for her were a blessing.  She had several dresses she rotated regularly and never was there a day she had to worry about what she was wearing.  She just felt pulled together.

What could be more relaxing in the summer than a few beautiful dresses that make your life easy?  But, how do you navigate the world of dresses to find one that suits your personality, body shape and the occasion without taking all summer to find what you want?

After walking the stores (or searching online) looking for dresses with a lot of my clients this spring, I’ve seen everything that’s out there.  Some are too fussy or the pattern is too busy while others are too dressy.  You’ll find some that are shapeless or too short and others that are too sweet—in many styles it is easy to look like you are trying hard to be twelve again (that raised waist line and short full skirt is not a good combination!). Continue reading…

Are You White Pant Phobic? Let Me Share My Secrets…

Every spring, as the temperatures rise, the question of white pants comes up.  Either you live in them all summer or you are intimidated by them and keep them firmly at bay.

If you have banished white pants from your summer wardrobe you are missing a great opportunity to lighten up your wardrobe and add a summer feel.  Sure, there are pitfalls to overcome before you welcome them into your closet, but I promise these pitfalls are not so overwhelming that you have to exorcise white pants altogether.

I am going to help you bust through the typical misconceptions about wearing white pants so you will feel confident and excited to wear them. Continue reading…

How to Look Great in Cropped Pants

Capri pants make your legs look shorter.  Yes, it’s true for everyone.

The eye stops where the pant leg ends and gives the impression your legs stop there, too!  Now you’re thinking, “Drat, I love my cropped pants.  What do I do now?”  Let me assure you there is hope and you don’t have to skip wearing them entirely.  The key is to know how to select a pair that makes you look and feel great!

If capris* are a seasonal favorite of yours, or you want to explore wearing them successfully this upcoming season, use these 5 tips to make the most of the cropped pant craze!  While there are endless variations and there are always exceptions to every rule, let me share a few ideas to get you started wearing cropped pants successfully (or knowing you’d rather let them go): Continue reading…

Do You Dread Shopping?

It’s spring and summer is right around the corner.  You can’t wait to get out of your winter clothes and you realize you need a few new things to add to last year’s warm weather wardrobe.  So you build up your resolve, push down your chronic dread of shopping and head out to the stores.  Despite your past shopping experiences, you try to remain hopeful, but when you arrive home after hours perusing the racks and more time trying things on in the dressing room, all you have to show for it is more ‘stuff.’ Continue reading…

jackie-after
Jackie: Before
jackie-before
Jackie: After
diane-before
Diane: Before
diane-after
Diane: After
amanda-before
Amanda: Before
amanda-after
Amanda: After
donna-before-closeup
Donna: Before
donna-after-closeup
Donna: After
jan-before-closeup
Jan: Before
jan-after-closeup
Jan: After
sara-before-closeup
Sara: Before
sara-after-closeup
Sara: After
marianne-before-closeup
Marianne: Before
marianne-after-closeup
Marianne: After
annie-before-closeup
Annie: Before
annie-after-closeup
Annie: After
meryl-before-closeup
Meryl: Before
meryl-after-closeup
Meryl: After

Last night I attended a going away party in downtown Boston. During the course of the evening, I was called upon to make an impromptu speech. The fact that I was able to casually walk to the front of the room, get up on the platform, take the microphone, and comfortably talk and get people laughing and clapping is due in no small part to the work I’ve done with you. Thank you. Bobbi