Nurturing Beauty Style Secrets Blog: Personal style Archives

How to Get into Fall Without Fall

The chill in the air is starting to re-enter into our daily lives and the ads for back to school are now so consistent they can be ignored like the other ads.  It is fall.  But while you pack away the bathing suits and shorts, how do you move into fall with style?

Understand The Summer To Fall Evolution

While this is a time to bring in the layers, it still is a time for style. Find a basic top and accessorize it with a scarf or jacket instead of shades and a hat. And, by all means, don’t put it all away. Beauty and Fashion Editor for Cosmopolitan, Dawn Davis, recently said that your favorite summer items from your light colored bags and even that sundress you love can become wearable for the new season by ways such as fashionably layering it like the top. And, for those of you who live in New England, you know that there can be a 40-degree change in temperature throughout the day. Before you dash for your polar fleece hoodie and throw that over everything, let’s explore alternatives that will delight you as well as keep you warm!

A top like this one from Anthropologie:

looks great with shorts in the summer, then pair it with jeans and a cardigan in the fall and even add a scarf in a similar color:

or even a scarf in these colors for a little added pizzazz:

This way you are set for fall (and the layers are handy when the temperatures vacillate).

Time to be Professional Again, but That Doesn’t Mean Drab

One thing that the fall brings is more events for which you need to look professional.  For many companies, gone are the relaxed business casual days of summer and more professional attire is expected. That being said, it doesn’t mean you have to give up the comfort level or get all stiff and heavy. You can still wear your favorite crisp, white cotton top with the charcoal grey suit or that purple tank with a pair of dark slacks…fall means rich, not dreary, colors and comfort comes in many forms!

For example, this top from Nic+Zoe:

that you wore alone with a pair of white jeans to work in the summer can now be paired with a jacket and skirt or trousers in your favorite neutral for a more formal professional look.

Or, keep a slightly open weave sweater handy for those days when the temperatures fluctuate. It still has a touch of linen in it, but it has long sleeves so it will keep you warm without feeling overpowering. Wear it with light or dark colored pants depending on how far into the season we are and what works best with your natural coloring:

Keep in mind that while the color trends will naturally follow the seasons, you don’t have to. Fashion expert Clinton Kelly recently said in Woman’s Day that every outfit should have a focal point…why not let that focal point be a bit of fun color from the just passed summer? If ocean blue looks good on you you can wear it all year round! The same is true for all softer or bright colors. You don’t have to pack them away just because the temperatures dip. It’s how you combine them and what fabrics you choose that makes all the difference.

Put Away the Things You Know Cannot Work in the Fall…All Away!

Picture it: Kids are late for school and you are still in your robe…what do you do? Reach for the first clothing item you see? No. To make sure you don’t default to that top you wear to the beach, put it as far out of sight as possible. Be strict about what stays in your closet and pick the items that you don’t put away carefully. For instance, while the sundress can stay for a while by adding layers, do not think the sandals can also join you. Instead swap them for a pair of ballet flats or a low wedge. Linen, especially white linen, can be packed away, but this linen-cotton blend sweater in beautiful deep periwinkle can stay for a bit:

Bottom line, especially in places like New England where the weather is wacky this time of year (we had the hottest week of the summer in September!), you can adapt your wardrobe to the cooler weather, but keeping some items from the summer. Remember, mornings can be chilly while mid-day can be downright hot. Wherever you live, if the temperatures change with the seasons, you will want to transition your wardrobe as the weather does the same. When you feel comfortable with what you are wearing it’s easier to enjoy the natural beauty that autumn brings with it!

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

Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered: Fall 2014 Fashion Update

While I was not ready to see the glorious summer fade away this year, I have to admit I always enjoy witnessing the upcoming trends, especially in yummy fall colors. This season will not disappoint. While some trends are expected, like velvet and turtlenecks, others are a delightful surprise, like tassels and A-line dresses.  Then, of course, there are the ones that leave me feeling bewildered, wondering if the designers are either tired or are simply at a loss for new (flattering) ideas. Continue reading…

The perfect scarf tie

The Scarf Tie that Will Keep You Cool, Stylish and Pulled-Together

I get a lot of questions about how to tie a scarf so it doesn’t feel fussy, to hot or overpowering. So, I made a video to show you the best scarf tie ever! Click here:



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? Continue reading…

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.

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…

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

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…

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…

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Every Time You Get Dressed

Every time you look in the mirror to get dressed you wonder who the woman is staring back. You shake your head in disbelief. When did you let your wardrobe dwindle to a handful of outfits that are easy and safe—none of which makes you feel fabulous? You sadly acknowledge that you have learned to settle for passable!

Sure, you can get out the door each morning in a jiffy, but it does absolutely nothing to help you feel good about yourself. It can even go so far as to undermine your self-confidence and take up space in your head as you push back the concerns about who might notice that your pants are a tad too short or that you’ve worn the same tired jacket three times this week. You feel aggravated as you tug at the waistband of your pants or keep checking to make sure your bra isn’t peeking out of the neckline. It’s exhausting, but you’ve gotten used to it.

Phew! Take a breath. It does not have to be that way forever and I’m going to show you how to get unstuck. Continue reading…

Jackie: Before
Jackie: After
Diane: Before
Diane: After
Amanda: Before
Amanda: After
Donna: Before
Donna: After
Jan: Before
Jan: After
Sara: Before
Sara: After
Marianne: Before
Marianne: After
Annie: Before
Annie: After
Meryl: Before
Meryl: After

I matched my colors that you did for me to pantone shades and gave them to my website designer (pink, green and silver) so I’m not surprised the colors work. :) And I also kept your words for me in mind with the branding. See how you’ve influenced me personally AND in business? Debra Woog McGinty