Nurturing Beauty Style Secrets Blog

Trapped in a Fashion Rut … and the Secret to Getting Out

Trapped in a Fashion Rut?

You want to get out of your fashion rut and feel good about how you look, but every time you go shopping you leave discouraged or overwhelmed. The reason has as much to do with your mind as it does with your body and by incorporating two very important changes to your shopping experience, you can find new success every time you shop.

Think about it. You have been in a fashion rut for years (or maybe it just feels that way!).  Nothing you buy ever feels right any more. You’ve resorted to reading fashion magazines with titles like “99 Little Ways to Your Best Body” or “200 Secrets to Looking Great Now” with less than flattering results, and you even allowed your two best friends to take you shopping. Yes, they helped you choose new clothes, so why don’t you feel any better? Even after that intervention, you are still in a rut (you can’t remember what you are supposed to do with that long flowy plaid vest anyway?). You feel like an imposter every time you look in the mirror where a poor imitation of your friend stares back at you. You’re $500 lighter and no closer to finding a wardrobe that makes you happy. A cloud of hopelessness is descending so now what, you wonder!

The key here is that you don’t feel confident choosing clothes that you feel good wearing because you don’t love your body and you think nothing looks good on you. You feel like your body parts are shifting nearly daily or you’ve gained weight (or both) and somehow clothes just don’t fit the way they used to. You hyper focus on the parts of your body you don’t like and when you do go shopping all you see are things that don’t look good. You walk into a store and walk out again empty handed or you take those two well-meaning friends with you and walk out with clothes, but you don’t really feel any better when you get dressed than you did before you went shopping. Fashion magazines aren’t helping — they are all written for svelte twenty year olds who could be your daughters — and you don’t know where to turn. All you can think is that nothing works and that you’re doomed to look frumpy and boring for the rest of your life.

You’re left wondering that if magazines and makeover TV shows (where all the style gurus are handing down valuable fashion advice) and even your stylish friends can’t help, what hope is there for you? Wow … with that kind of attitude I can see where shopping would not be fun and it certainly wouldn’t be productive.

I promise, however, there is plenty of hope. First of all, when you look out into the real world, do you see women (be they female friends, family or strangers you’ve seen at the mall, work or grocery store) whose image you admire — women who look like they are well put together whether it’s for work or leisure? Of course you do. Get a picture in your mind’s eye of two or three of them and ask yourself this one important question: Are they all built like a super model? No, of course they are not and this is good news! Chances are good you are not shaped like a super model (I know I’m not!) and you just confirmed that you do not have to be super model tall, thin and very young to look great. You can look great no matter what size you wear, how tall you are or how young or old you are.  These women prove it — they are just like you with things they like and don’t like about their bodies.

What these women do have that you don’t is two things:

  1. Fashion guidelines to help you identify garments/outfits that have potential, and
  2. The belief that you CAN create a look you love.

These two things lead to increased self-confidence and the well put-together look you want for yourself.

Is this learnable? Yes.

Did they learn all of this in one day? No.

So, give yourself a break, use the information I’m about to share with you to move you step-by-step closer to having that put-together look you long for and the self-confidence will grow with each positive step.

So, where do you start?

Change Your Mindset

Begin with your mindset. Otherwise, the fashion tools will be ineffective. Why?  Because you get what you expect and if you expect not to find anything you love or you find something you love but they don’t make it in your size or you approach the shopping experience as if you were going into a losing battle, guess what you’ll get: nothing you like (everything will seem ugly, shapeless and too trendy) and things that don’t fit. You will prove yourself right.

Even if this has been true in the past, you must find a glimmer of hope in your shopping experience because if your expectations are based on the past and the past wasn’t good, then guess what you’ll get now? That’s right … more of the same.

Or, if your past shopping experiences were terrific, but now your body has changed (and not in a way that makes you happy) and you can no longer wear what you used to, but you wish you could and berate your body for not staying the way it was (you can see where this is going…), then you will go in with frustrated energy and all you will see are things that were created for your former body. Your mindset is crucial to a successful shopping experience.

Okay, you say, but how do I do that when I can feel my anxiety rising when I simply think about shopping, never mind step into a store!

Create a positive affirmation and visualize success. You have to train your mind to approach the shopping experience from a different place. Here’s a great one for starters: “More and more I find clothes I love and that look great on me.” Notice I didn’t say, “Everything looks good on me.” Or “I look great in everything I try on.” Even I (who knows what I am doing when it comes to shopping for clothes) do not look great in everything I try on and I won’t even think about shopping when I’m crabby or don’t think I’ll find anything I like. My results will be the same as yours would be — my mind will say, “You think you’ll only find things you don’t like or that don’t fit you well or are too young or badly made? Great … let me go find those things for you so you won’t be disappointed!” I’ve had this happen and I now know to laugh at myself and realize I went in with a bad attitude!

Create a positive affirmation that you can relate to. Then, don’t just say the affirmation once and wait for fairy dust to sprinkle down on your head and the perfect new store to open next door (although, hey, wouldn’t that be nice if it happened!). Say it over and over. Say it with as much joy and positive expectation as you can muster. Your mind/body believes what you tell it, so tell it something good and positive. Give your mind the assignment of finding things that will make you happy rather than prove you right that there’s nothing out there that looks good on you.

Then, as you are heading out to shop, visualize yourself having a great experience finding things you love in your size and color. Picture yourself trying something on and feel amazing. (It’s less about the specific item — so you don’t have to visualize exactly what that amazing piece is — and more about the feeling attached to it.) If you start to get overwhelmed and some of that old history comes flooding back (which it will from time to time), take a deep breath and repeat the affirmation and visualization.

Getting your mindset heading in a positive uplifting direction first is critical. Once that is flowing we can add in a few fashion tools to get you started.

Most of us, myself included, need to have guidelines when we shop. Understanding how to create a look you love takes more than just walking into a store and grabbing something random off the rack hoping it will work because it looks good on the mannequin or you saw it in a magazine. It is important to make your selections with intention. Knowing what to look for helps you ignore the parts of the store that don’t work for you and concentrate on the parts that do. Follow these rules for more success when you shop:

  • Search for colors that look great on you. If you don’t have a personalized color palette here are some basic guidelines. Do not buy light gray, yellow, army green or beige unless you are absolutely sure it is your perfect color. When in doubt (which should be most of the time with those colors), choose one of these colors: emerald to forest green, deep periwinkle, medium to deep teal, or watermelon. These colors all look good on a lot of people.
  • Make sure it fits. While this is not the only criteria for choosing a garment, it is very important. For instance, be sure the fabric skims your body and doesn’t cling too tightly or look too big and messy (lift your arms and if there is a lot of excess fabric there that creates buckling at the bustline, then the top is too big). And, if it doesn’t fit consider whether it can be altered by a tailor. Yes, if you love the garment it is ALWAYS worth having it tailored. A word of caution: a current trend is for oversized, shapeless tops. I generally recommend avoiding these, but if you love them, try wearing one with a pair of skinny jeans or leggings.
  • Make sure you love it. There is no substitution for loving something you are wearing. Look for patterns that make you smile, textures that feel good and fabrics that feel nice on. Never buy something because you think you should (remember how that worked out when your friends took you shopping).  You will never feel happy wearing it unless you are excited about it.

When you combine these tools with positive affirmations and visualizations, you are setting yourself up for success — one step at a time. Knowing what to look for is helpful and while everyone’s body is different and different styles appeal to different people, let me give you a few ideas that look good on a lot of women:

  • Get a wrap top like this one (the color pictured here is a pretty color on many people). The wrap is flattering because it hugs your curves and draws the eye up, the neckline is flattering on most women (balancing your head and neck) and the fabric has a nice weight to it and has stretch.

Nic+Zoe Wrap Top

  • Want a terrific jacket? This one looks good on a lot of women. A fun twist on the classic blazer. The fabric is cozy — like wearing a sweatshirt and the colors are gorgeous — deep teal, dark malachite (green) and nightshade (deep purple) among others. It also tends to hit just below the widest part of many women’s bodies. Wear it with jeans or trousers — even over a little black dress!

Nic+Zoe Jacket

You will notice that both of these are by Nic+Zoe. I have been very impressed with their line this season. They have a variety of colors, some gorgeous, dreamy prints, most items fit well and aren’t as oversized as we are seeing with other designers and everything I have looked at is cruelty-free/vegan friendly. Not only can you find Nic+Zoe online, but Lord & Taylor is now carrying some of the line, as is Nordstrom and many smaller boutiques like The Studio in Brookline, MA and you can even find them online at Zappos.com. Please note that they also make petite and plus size styles!

Remember, keep these ideas in mind when you shop:

  • Look for color, good fit and things that make you smile when you look at them.
  • Don’t go shopping until you have done your affirmations and visualizations. Don’t just say them rotely — they won’t work. Say them with passion, desire, as much positive belief as you can muster and say them often!

You WILL make progress if you do this.

You have to start somewhere or you’ll stay mired in doubt and frustration for the rest of your life — never feeling good about how you look and envying the women who do. That is no way to live and, better yet, it’s absolutely unnecessary. You CAN look great. I have just shared several steps you can take in your journey towards feeling like one of those women whose image you admire. Just take it one step at a time and celebrate each success no matter how small. You will get there!

* * *

NOTE: Do you need guidance in helping you make choices that get you out of the rut? I know it can feel like a foreign concept at first! If so, get your copy of “Who Taught You How to Dress?” here: www.whotaughtyouhowtodress.com. Not only will you get a 180 page workbook and CDs — you will have access to an exclusive on-line forum where you can ask questions to move you along in your journey more quickly and with more confidence!  If you have questions about whether it’s right for you, let me know.

3 Style Tricks to Look Taller, Elongate Your Legs and Hide Your Tummy

Ginger's Style Tips & Tricks

You are quick to jump to conclusions that certain styles don’t look good on you. Time and again you try things on and instead of feeling beautiful you feel inadequate or worse yet, frumpy! BUT, there are 3 simple style tricks you can use immediately to make an outfit work for you and feel great wearing it.

Do you have a model’s body? Probably not. I know I don’t. In fact I wouldn’t be writing this if I did because I wouldn’t understand the issues you deal with every day when you get dressed. But, I do understand because I have many of the same concerns. The difference is that I know how to create the illusion that I have a well-balanced body.

Now, if you’re thinking, “But I’ve seen you and you always look terrific!,” that’s great and I appreciate your kind words. It means these style tricks work because, like you, I can (without hesitation) list 10 things about my body that I would change if I could wave a magic wand. I used to cringe and bemoan the fact that my body wasn’t perfect starting with the fact that I’m knock-kneed, have narrow shoulders and wider hips and I’ve always had a tummy. I always felt like everyone was staring at the parts of my body that embarrassed me and I felt so conspicuous and insecure. It took me years to make peace with my body, but I did because I learned how to hide what I don’t want someone to see and accentuate what I do. I feel so much better and you can, too. I am going to show you how to do the same thing for your body and your wardrobe!

You have to remember that the styles that are out there are designed for a model who is 5’10″, 120 pounds, broad shoulders and no where near busty. She is in the minority, not you! Very few of us, myself included, fall into that category. Clothes that are meant to look great on a 5’10″ model don’t necessarily translate easily to someone who isn’t, i.e., the rest of us. So, before you start getting down on your body and how it isn’t a super model’s, let’s look at things you can do to look taller, slimmer, and more balanced and give your body a fighting chance with some of these crazy styles that are out there right now.

Feeling good about how you look in an outfit has everything to do with understanding how to balance your body with the clothing choices you make. If you find yourself scratching your head wondering what that means, don’t worry. You are not alone. The problem in the fashion world today is that designers are ignoring the rules or worse, suggesting that they don’t matter. But, they do! Of course, if you are 5′ 11″, 125 pounds and have legs that go on forever, you can probably wear a paper bag and look stunning. But, since most of us aren’t super models, the rules do matter. In fact, they matter a lot if you want to feel good about how you look!

What happens if you ignore these rules? You start blaming your body. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought, “Why aren’t my hips/tummy/thighs smaller?” Or, “If only my legs were longer, ankles slimmer or bustline bigger.” Yesterday?  Five minutes ago? Maybe even ten times in the past hour?

Give your body a break. Keep it as healthy and strong as possible and then use fashion as your secret weapon! Style is all about illusion and understanding how to balance your body to give the impression of longer legs, broader shoulders or a slimmer tummy gives you an edge. It is all part of the experience, so why not use it to your advantage?

Before you get discouraged and give up on your wardrobe (and your body!), check out these three common culprits. Here are three of my favorite body balancing tips:

  1. Change Your Shoes. This doesn’t mean you have to wear spike heels to look taller and thinner (in fact, stilettos are not always the most slimming choice anyway because the heel is so thin that it can make your ankles and legs look heavy in comparison). Elongating your legs has less to do with the heel height and more to do with the vamp (the part of the shoe that goes across the top part of your foot). The higher the vamp (the closer it comes to your ankle), the more it shortens your legs and body. The lower the vamp, the more it elongates your legs and body.  It’s that simple.Don’t expect the fashion designers or trendy celebrity TV shows to help you with this. They’ve all gone wacky and have women wearing clunky shoes or black cage heels or ankle boots with skirts. If your legs go on forever, fine. Otherwise, think twice before adopting that trend.Notice in this picture how your eye stops at the top of the boot making her legs appear like they stop there, too.

    Don't wear this!

    If you really, really feel compelled to wear cage heels or ankle boots with a dress, the color must match either your skin or your tights to keep an uninterrupted leg line and make your legs look long.

    Wear This!

    Or, the next time you put on a dress or a pair of skinny jeans and think you can’t wear it, switch to a pair of shoes with a low vamp like this and you will be surprised at the difference it makes.

  2. Keep Your Armholes Slim. Dolman sleeves (a.k.a., batwings) have been popular for a couple of seasons. They are comfortable to wear, but they can also make you appear broader and more stout — especially someone who is short waisted and/or large busted. Look at the difference between these two armholes. The width of the dolman sleeve interrupts the vertical line of her body making her appear wider and heavier. Of course, since she’s a tall, slim model, a little width doesn’t matter as much. The top with the higher armhole makes the model look taller and slimmer. The next time you are feeling heavy and frumpy, however, check your armhole and see if it is making you look wider than you are. 

    See the Difference?

     

     

  3. Wear the Right Bra. At least two-thirds of all the women I have worked with have been wearing the wrong size bra. Or, maybe you are wearing the right size, but you have worn the same bras for so long that they have no lift or elasticity left in them. When you’re twenty and small busted that might be okay, but as you get older, a little support is helpful if you want your clothes to fit you properly. If your bust is several inches lower than it should be or your bra is too big or too small, darts won’t hit you in the right place, you will look like you are slumping and your tummy will look fuller. Yes, the right size bra can fix all of that and more! (Hint: you need to have at least 5 bras that you rotate regularly and even then, you should plan to replace them at least every 18 months.)

    Don't Let This Happen to You!

    And, never, ever go shopping in a sports bra. It’s not worth your time. You will never be able to tell if something looks great on you. You’ll feel dowdy and leave frustrated and discouraged. A quick bra change can save the day! And if you need a bra-fitting my favorite place is Intimacy. There’s one in Copley Place if you live in the Boston area (ask for Maria!) and if you don’t, check out their website at www.myintimacy.com for other locations.

If you want to look taller and slimmer or just not shorter and wider, then use these three guides the next time you get dressed or shop, especially if you are questioning an outfit and really wonder if it is flattering. Your clothing choices can make body parts look bigger, smaller, wider or longer — use that to your advantage! These three style tricks will get you started.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you like these tips and find them helpful, please comment below.  If I get enough comments I’ll be happy to share three more body balancing tips!

Are You Dressing for Yourself or Someone Else?

Are You Dressing for Yourself or Someone Else?

When you don’t know what your personal style is and you don’t feel confident about choosing clothes you love, it is tempting to let someone else dictate your style for you.  But, don’t do it!  You will never feel completely satisfied with how you look as long as you are dressing by someone else’s rules!  It is never too late to explore what makes you happy when you get dressed.

Who do you see when you look in your closet?  Is your mother’s face smiling back at you from that ruffled shirt you’ve never worn?  Or is your best friend’s favorite dress hanging out in there taunting you?

In response to the question, “Who do you see when you look in your closet,” I most often hear:

  • My mother
  • My sister
  • My best friend
  • Myself, pre-children
  • Myself, pre-thirty extra pounds
  • Myself, pre-menopause
  • My favorite celebrity
  • Whoever was working at the store the day I went shopping
  • The store window mannequin
  • All of the above!

Guess what?  When you look in your closet you want to see YOU — just you.  You want to see items that make you smile and that you associate with fun times and delicious moments.  Maybe the memories are of pushing your daughter on a swing, lunch with girlfriends, a successful business presentation, or a precious date with your sweetie. These are the simple pleasures that make up life.  And you want these feelings to be reflected in every aspect of your wardrobe — down to your nightgown and slippers!

So evict the strangers and weed out those garments that make you roll your eyes or cringeThey have absolutely no place in your wardrobe.  This exercise will help you make your closet all about you!

  1. Remove one item from your closet that feels more like someone else than you.  If you are near your closet, go there right now and do this (if not, write down the first thing that comes into your mind so you will remember to remove it later).  Do it even if you don’t know why it isn’t you or what to put in to replace it.  The very first step is to get it out of there.
    As long as something that is not you is taking up space in your sacred closet (yes, it is sacred because this is where your essence is expressed every day), you will feel overburdened, frustrated, annoyed or discouraged — or resigned to all of those feelings — every time you get dressed, and none of those is good.  It is also very likely that you are not wearing this garment anyway.  It is more like a security blanket, but the security is a sham.
     
  2. Identify one garment or outfit that makes you smile the second you put it on your body.  It can be a dress, pair of pants, a pair of shoes or a scarf.  No item is too small or insignificant.
  3. Lay the stranger and the item you love side by side, and get a piece of paper or a notebook.
  4. For the item that is not you, write down everything you do not like about it.  Be as picky as you can.  Maybe it’s the way the fabric feels.  Perhaps the buttons seem overwhelming, or there are just too many of them.  It could be that you dislike the pattern or the way it clings.  Or perhaps it has a belt, and you do not like belts.  Write down everything!  If there are a few things you like about it, write those in a separate column.  Maybe the color is pretty, but it can’t make up for the fact that the style is so shapeless.
  5. Write down everything you like about the item you love:  color, texture, fit, shape, ornamental details, the way it feels or anything else about it that comes to mind.  Maybe it makes you feel sophisticated, down-to-earth, spunky or pretty.  Whatever it is, write it down.
  6. Use these lists when you go shopping to help you stay focused.  They are your lifelines!  The next time you try on an item, run down both lists and see how the garment compares.  It is so easy to get distracted by all the choices, the lighting or the helpful “advice” from sales women or your shopping buddies.  Keep this shopping mantra in mind: Only buy or wear something if you love it.

 

This is an excerpt from my book, That’s So You! Create a Look You Love with Beauty, Style and Grace. It’s a big topic and the foundation of creating a personal style you love.  If you are not sure how to tell what makes you happy when you wear it and you need more support, get a copy of my book here: www.createalookyoulove.com  And, if you want even more personal support check out my “Who Taught You How to Dress?” virtual coaching program or my upcoming “Your Style, Your Way” workshop. The most important thing is that you take step forward to get yourself unstuck.

Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered: Fall 2013 Fashion Trend Update

Don’t let seasonal fashion trends run your life. There is a way to manage them without becoming a slave to fashion or completely ignoring them and feeling out of touch. Adding seasonal fashion trends to your wardrobe helps to keep your style feeling fresh and new.  Knowing what to add and how much is critical otherwise you run the risk of buying things that just sit in your closet or wasting money on items that are out of style in 6 months. That’s where I can help!

This is my seasonal “Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered” trend update where I help you identify what trends to explore and which to avoid like the plague!

Bewitched

Colors: The colors you wear are vital to creating a truly beautiful look. If you wear a color that makes you look sickly or drab, then no amount of styling will save it. If you are someone who lives in black and gray, give it a rest this season and step into one of these fun, fabulous colors.

  • Emerald green. Actually nearly every shade of green is in right now so take advantage (two years ago you couldn’t find a green item of clothing to save your life). A deep emerald/forest green looks great on most people so grab it while you can. (I am wearing a perfect example of emerald green in the segment I did on TV this week)
  • Winter white is hot. It’s a softer version of stark white and, of course, as the temperatures cool down you’ll want to adjust your fabrics accordingly.  No linen and light weaves. More densely woven sweaters and weightier fabrics will let you stay warm while feeling light and cool.
  • Plum DressDeep plum is a seasonal favorite and back again this fall as is bright fuschia — although be careful with the fuschia. If you have ruddy cheeks it will clash and if your coloring is soft it will overwhelm you.
  • When in doubt a bold, meditative blue can be lovely.

Animal prints: Animal prints never go out of style. They have been “in” for the past 26 years! I’m not complaining. I like them. If you are intrigued but don’t want to wear animal print head to toe, add a hint of it with a scarf. There are so many options out there from traditional animal print to colored variations.  Or, keep it simple with one of these:

Animal Print Scarf - Nordstom.com Animal Print Scarf - Nordstrom.com

or or make a statement with your handbag:

Animal Print Handbag - Nordstrom.com

or even your nightgown:

Animal Print Nightgown - Nordstrom.com

Plaid: Another perennial favorite, plaid is everywhere. If it intrigues you, but you don’t want something screams PLAID, then check out this dress. Or, if you are feeling really adventurous, wear a pair of plaid tights (these come in black, brown or deep navy!). And of course, there are lots of other ways to wear plaid including as trim on an outfit, in your handbag or tote and even your shoes. Have fun with it!

Plaid Dress - PeruvianConnection.com Plaid Tights - Bloomingdales.com

 

Shoes: Both pointy and rounded toes are in so there’s something for everyone. And, over-the-knee boots are still popular.They can be fun. Just one word of caution. Unless you work in a very relaxed atmosphere, save these for leisure and fun – not to be worn at the office.

Velvet: Velvet is just so luxurious, warm and elegant that I invite you to add a touch of it to your winter wardrobe.  It’s still a bit early to see a lot in the stores, but watch for more as the season goes along.  And, if you are vegan and don’t want to purchase wool or cashmere because it contributes to animal suffering, velvet is cozy and can add another layer of warmth without hurting anyone! In the meantime, is this jacket exquisite or what!

Velvet Jackie - FarFetch.com

High Shine: What they are showing on the runway is in-your-face shine. What I propose is a smidgen of shine to add fun contrast to those cold, gray winter days. While some of you might feel comfortable pulling off this much shine (photo on the left), I suspect that something that has a soft sheen rather than super high shine might be more appealing day to day (photo on the right). And, of course, jewelry is always a fabulous way to add just the right amount of shine for you!

High Shine Sweater - Nordstrom.com Soft Sheen Sweater - Nordstrom.com

 

Bothered

Oversized: Really? You’ve got to be kidding. Most of us will look three times our size when we wear these oversized sweatshirts (yes, that’s what they are suggesting!) or just as bad…oversized coats! Horrendous idea! Who thought this was a good fashion statement? — and in light gray, no less (one of THE hardest colors to look good in!). Or, this hideous style of oversized coat!

Oversized Sweatshirt - Nordstrom.com Oversized Coat - Nordstrom.com

 

Rounded Shoulders: I have spent more than half my life trying to make my shoulders appear wider and less sloped. There is no way that this style appeals to me…ever. Stay far away from it if you have narrow shoulders and wider hips unless you want to accentuate your hips and look droopy or if you carry weight in your tummy and want to look like a balloon — this look will help you do that.  Here’s an example:

Rounded Shoulder Jackiet

Bewildered

I really haven’t seen a lot of trends that bewilder me and make me wonder who thought that was a good idea. The ones that are truly horrible I put in the ‘bothered’ category. That said here are two that can be problematic.

Grunge: Mostly you will see this on the very young crowd. I am not a fan of clothes that look like they need to be washed (and that’s how most grunge looks to me) or the heavy soled shoes worn with dresses. But, when a couple of “grungy” pieces (maybe we could translate that tough girl or rocker vibe) are paired with something fun and feminine it can be intriguing. Again, with rare exceptions (and if you have to think about whether you’re an exception, you aren’t!) leave this to the under 25 (and that’s pushing it!) crowd.

Turtlenecks: The only reason turtlenecks are in this category is because for those of us over 40-ish they can be problematic by drawing attention to softening jawlines. If your jawline and neck are still firm and you enjoy wearing turtlenecks, go for it. If your jaw is slacking a bit and you don’t want to draw attention to it, then choose a turtleneck that’s wider and fuller than your jaw. Like this one.

Turtelneck - Macys.com

This is a sampling of what’s out there this season. Menswear prints like houndstooth are also popular as are trendy details like metallic mesh, but I’m not seeing a lot of that in the store just yet.

The most important thing is that you LOVE the trend. If you don’t, then ignore it. Never wear something just because it’s in style. You have to feel and look great in it and you have to OWN it!  By that I mean, it has to feel like you and make you smile every time you put it on.

Remember, trends, just by their definition, are fleeting so choose one or two and wear them a lot while they are fashionable.  Fall shopping is just getting started so have fun!

If you are completely stumped or find you have lots of old trends in your closet you’ve never worn or simply don’t know how to incorporate them so you feel good, then email me – ginger@totalimageconsultants.com — and we’ll set up a free 20 minute call.

What Do You Wear When No One Else Sees You?

Understanding your personal style can change your life by turning the dread of wearing something you don’t like into the power your style can give you as you go about your business each morning.

If you work out of your home or have a day you spend running errands, what are your go-to outfits?  Do you dress in a way that makes you smile and stand a little taller or do you throw on whatever is handy and try to avoid looking in the mirror?

Dianna Huff’s experience speaks directly to this common issue.  Her story is something that not only makes me proud but inspires me every day. She is a talented marketing consultant who works with small industrial companies and ghostwrites books for CEOs.  Here is a chance to let her story inspire you, too!

 

Dianna BeforeOne of the things I’ve learned, working with Ginger, is that her fashion advice is always spot on – especially her advice that it doesn’t take any effort to dress “up” each day if you buy clothes in your color palette that make your heart sing.

When I first contacted Ginger about five years ago, I was a stressed work-at-home mom with a young son. To save time, I wore standard-issue mom clothes that I could order in bulk online: “mom jeans” from L.L. Bean, khaki shorts and pants, and polo shirts. I felt depressed much of the time; I knew I didn’t look my best but didn’t know how to change. Like many of the women Ginger works with, I would get completely overwhelmed in a department store, so I avoided them altogether.

As Ginger helped me with colors, style, fit and makeup, I began to fill my closet with bright, colorful, beautiful clothes — what I call my “happy” clothes — clothes that make me feel good and look good on me. Because Ginger is all about working with you and your personal style, I now have clothes that I can wear anywhere, whether to a client meeting or out to dinner with a friend.

Dianna HuffAnd, I do wear them, every single day, even though some days I’m the only person who sees me in them.

Getting “dressed” each day has changed my life.

I had read somewhere years ago that our environments impact how we feel. If you live in a cluttered house, for example, your cluttered surroundings can impact your thinking and your energy. It works the same for your clothes. Before Ginger, I would throw on my old shorts and polos — or worse, my smelly gym clothes. (I’d put them on in the morning as reminder that I’d needed to go to the gym – and then never make it.)

Due to working with Ginger, I was now wearing clothes that I loved. I felt happier, confident, and more energetic — and it showed, because more and more people began telling me I was “glowing,” “beautiful” and “stunning.” (And trust me, no one had ever used those words before to describe me.)

Dianna in RedWhen I ventured out to Staples one day, a woman asked if I had bought my dress in New York as the style was “so sophisticated.” “No,” I replied, “Lord & Taylor in Burlington, Mass.” When I had my picture taken in front of Niagara Falls earlier this year, my friend said, “Dianna! Look at you! Look at that red coat and matching scarf. You look fantastic!” Just today the woman at the pharmacy said, in reference to the purple top I was wearing, “Oh my gosh! That purple – it’s gorgeous. It looks so good on you! And I love the necklace, too!”  Thank you, darling. :-)

Another benefit of getting dressed each day is that it changed my perspective on my work and my business. Slowly, over time, I stopped viewing myself as a “freelancer” and began viewing myself as a CEO. In fact, I found myself saying on a regular basis, “I am the CEO of DH Communications, Inc.” By looking and feeling like the CEO of my company, I began changing things inside my business that I had wanted to change for years. Today I’m doing work I love – which shows on the bottom line.

Dianna HuffThe most important thing I’ve learned, however, is that getting “dressed” each day doesn’t take any more effort than putting on those old khaki shorts and shirts I used to wear. All this summer, for example, I wore the colorful skirts and tops Ginger and I picked out at the beginning of the season — plus the bright sundresses we had found a couple of seasons ago. Putting on a skirt, a top, a necklace and some earrings takes as much time as pulling on a pair of ho-hum shorts and a t-shirt. Only now, I look and feel fabulous. When I look in the mirror, I find myself saying, “Darling, you look marvelous!” And that to me is priceless.

***

Dianna Huff is a marketing consultant who lives and works in Plaistow, NH. She enjoys walking her neighborhood with her two dogs in her fabulous wardrobe.  You can learn more about Dianna at www.diannahuff.com

Is Your Wardrobe Holding You Back?

 

Is Your Wardrobe Holding You Back?

If I had a dime for every time a woman told me that she had declined an offer because she didn’t feel like she knew what to wear and it felt too hard and overwhelming to figure it out (and, what if she was wrong and what she wore was inappropriate!), I would be rich. It is a shame to pass up amazing opportunities because you feel overwhelmed and insecure about how you look. You cannot go through life like this and I am going to make sure you don’t have to!

Sally is a perfect example. She once stood in front of her closet for two hours wringing her hands and sighing as she tried desperately to figure out what to wear to a dinner with her husband’s colleagues. A half hour before they were supposed to leave, her husband found her half dressed sobbing on the closet floor. She felt discouraged and embarrassed because she couldn’t figure it out on her own. She ultimately wore something she didn’t feel great in because she didn’t want to let her husband down. Not surprisingly, the whole time they were out, she couldn’t wait to get back home.

Then there was Catherine who wanted to put her name in for a job promotion, but she knew that the new position meant much more personal interaction with clients and she realized her existing wardrobe wouldn’t fit the bill. Her heart said yes, but one look in her closet said no way. Her existing job was relatively solitary and she wore jeans and a casual shirt every day. She felt torn about the possible promotion, but couldn’t make herself take that step without the confidence of knowing she would feel comfortable in how she presented herself. She felt discouraged but didn’t know what to do next so she did nothing and stayed where she was.

What have you said no to that, if getting dressed for it were easy, you would have said yes in a heartbeat?

What opportunities in life have you missed either because you declined an invitation, never took the steps toward your goal or did step out but were distracted the entire time because you didn’t feel comfortable in your clothes?

How is your wardrobe holding you back?

This is not about fitting into someone else’s expectations about how you should look. This is about not living up to your own expectations and even more to the point, it is about not feeling like you express yourself authentically in a way that honestly reflects your true inner beauty.  While it’s easy to get dressed (anyone can throw on a T-shirt and jeans), it is not as easy (but, oh, so critical) to express your inner essence in your wardrobe choices.  Sally wasn’t looking for just something to clothe her body.  She was looking for something that made her feel beautiful and special.  But, no matter how hard she looked, she couldn’t find it in her existing wardrobe.

If you try to make your life fit into your wardrobe instead of your wardrobe into your life, you are missing out on a powerful form of self-expression — one that impacts all areas of your life.

This concept is expressed beautifully by L.V. who said:

“I want to share some news that results from the investment I made when I first started working with you: I have a new job — one that I wouldn’t have gotten without the personal growth that came from thinking about clothes, and identity, and how I wanted to put myself out in the world.  By making the investment in good clothes for myself, I was really sending an internal message that I was valued, and that in turn shaped how I set a professional path to work with a remarkable group of women.”

Wow!  She says it all there.  Was she trying to be someone she’s not?  No! In fact, she has been practicing expressing her inner essence in her wardrobe choices as she shares here:

“For my first interview I wore a dress and shrug from Max Mara (bought on sale and where I was smart enough to buy the matching sweater on the spot, even though it wasn’t).  I’ve gotten so much value out of that one dress!  Dare I say, it was sagacious and poetic. This summer, in the casual realm, I also found myself in a deep blue top and turquoise shorts, and green shorts and a blue shirt—the shorts were actually a steal from, of all places, Kohls. (Who knew?).” 

Was she using the tools we had worked on together (both inner (she’s sagacious and poetic) and outer (focusing on color and fit)) to create a wardrobe that felt authentically her?  Yes!

Does this kind of transformation happen overnight?  No.  As L.V. shares:

“I remember you said more than once that this would be a slow process, and sometimes that frustrated me, but it’s really unfolded just the right way, and I have stronger shopping skills and a better sense of myself to make me more comfortable in my new realm.”

You can have this kind of transformation, too.  Whether you are sobbing on your closet floor or just throwing your hands up in despair, resigning yourself to wearing the same thing over and over, the results are the same: lost opportunity to tap into what makes you special and share that with others.  The only way this won’t happen for you is if you give up and just keep doing what you’re doing.  The transformation begins by taking the first step.

So, how do you begin to make the changes L.V. made in her wardrobe that supported powerful changes in her life?

Every time you get dressed, ask yourself these four questions about what you are wearing:

  • Do you love it and think it is beautiful? (This is the first step in identifying things that you feel great wearing and that capture your inner essence.)
  • Does the color look great on you?  (You’re not going for OK, decent or just good enough.)
  • Does it fit you right now?  (If it doesn’t fit you right now, move it out of your existing closet. Why take up space with something that you can’t wear now.)
  • Is it comfortable?  (If it’s not comfortable and the cause of discomfort cannot be remedied, it goes away.)

Do you love it and think it is beautiful is first because without that none of the rest of it matters!

Here’s the bottom line: If you apply this one day at a time, within a short amount of time you will have analyzed every garment in your closet, learned a lot about what makes you happy and eliminated a lot from your closet that doesn’t.  If you don’t do it, you will stay stuck in a wardrobe that is not making you happy or supporting your life.

Imagine what a freeing experience it is to love getting dressed every day.  This is your chance to take the very first step in claiming your personal essence and purposely designing your wardrobe to express that brilliantly.

* * *

Need help?  You don’t have to do it alone.  If you are local or excited about traveling, register for my next “Your Style, Your Way” workshop coming up on Saturday, October 19 — www.YourStyleYourWayWorkshop.com.  If you are not in the Boston area and can’t travel all is not lost!  Women are experiencing amazing successes as part of the”‘Who Taught You How to Dress?” community.  Learn more here: www.WhoTaughtYouHowToDress.com

Banish Overhwelm from Your Shopping Experience

Frustrated? Overwhelmed?

There is no worse feeling than walking into a store and feeling overwhelmed that even with all these choices you won’t like how you look in anything in the store and that you will waste time, buy something you don’t love and leave empty handed. That leaves you feeling discouraged and hopeless!

That was exactly Marilyn’s dilemma. She is petite, about a size 12 on top and 14 on the bottom. She recently gained a few pounds and, as a result, had put off shopping until she was almost desperate. Although she had set out several times to shop, she always found something else she needed to do instead. Sound familiar?

But now, things had changed. Marilyn was invited to be a featured presenter at a weekend conference, and she wanted to look her best. Anxiety began to set in as she realized that the conference was only three weeks away. The anxiety was not about what she would say in her presentation — she had that down cold. But when she thought about what she would wear she actually considered canceling her appearance! She felt frumpy and old in everything she owned and could not imagine walking out on stage feeling that way. She knew she had to do something about that right away or she would be standing in front of an audience in a pair of worn black pants and an ill-fitting blue button down shirt and that was not an option. She wanted a new outfit that made her feel confident and sassy, but the problem was she had no idea where to start and was dreading the entire experience. So, she called me for help.

We met at a department store and after we had walked around for a few minutes and did not yet have anything she wanted to try on, I could feel her anxiety growing. She got more and more quiet with each step we took and I could sense discouragement and sadness in each of her sighs.

Finally, she turned to me and said with a slight break in her voice, “I would have left the store by now.” Without missing a beat, I smiled and jokingly said, “You can’t leave.”  (Actually, I was only half joking) “I promise we’ll find what you need.”

We stopped for a minute and I asked her what she was feeling. She looked around and with a wave of her hand said, “There’s too much here. I don’t know where to start and everywhere I do look I don’t see anything I want.”  I had heard this before from other women and know that this feeling of overwhelm is something many women struggle with all the time.

The truth is that department stores are big and at first (and sometimes second or third) glance can feel completely overwhelming. It is not your imagination. There is a lot to choose from. Look one way and you’ll see a sea of dresses — some sparkly and dressy, some short and flirty, and everything in between. Look the other way and you will see a wall of designers’ names, jeans in every imaginable color, not to mention shoes, handbags and jewelry counters that seem to go on forever.  It can make your head whirl! And, this is not only true about department stores. It is just as easy to feel out of your element in an off-price store, a consignment store or boutique.

Do you know your colors?So, how do you break the shopping experience down into manageable steps so you don’t flee the store immediately?  First of all, take a breath and begin by focusing only on these two things to start. (We’ll add more tools later.)

  1. Know what you needIf you go in trying to find everything all at once the overwhelm will haunt you. Purposely choose to shop for only one thing at a time. With Marilyn, for instance, our very first goal was to find her a beautiful jacket. We started in the suit section and then made our way to some of the designers — the whole time only looking for jackets. If you don’t find what you want you will know pretty quickly and you can choose to go to another store. Very little time wasted this way.
  2. Sort by color. While looking for the perfect jacket we didn’t look at every jacket there. That would have invited in more overwhelm. Instead, we started by focusing on finding colors that look fabulous on Marilyn. We skipped the light gray and mustard and headed for any deep purple and red we saw. By doing this we drastically reduced the amount of time we needed to find what we wanted and she knew that at least the color would be a success.

(If you do not have a current personalized color palette or know for sure what colors look great on you, review this article where I talk about the four colors that look good on many people)

Just focus on those two things for now. One more thought: Practice at different stores and see how you do. I know that, especially in department stores, there is a lot to see and it is so easy to get distracted. (No, you cannot make a detour to the children’s department to get your daughter a new dress!  You know you will never go back to shop for yourself.)

Plus, sometimes a store that used to be your favorite doesn’t work for you anymore. For instance, some of my clients used to love Ann Taylor and then several years ago, Ann Taylor changed their focus and, as a result, their styles changed. I rarely go in there now because it tends to be less classic and more trendy and often has a very limited color selection. It wasn’t that there was something wrong with these women, it’s that the store stopped making what worked for them. So, it was time to find a new store.

Remember, even if your wardrobe needs a complete overhaul, just focus on finding one thing at a time for now and only the colors that look great on you. Even if you don’t buy something, the experience will be quicker and much more enjoyable.

In my next blog, I will share how to take this experience to the next level so you can continue to refine your choices and banish the overwhelm.

Beauty and the Beach: How to Create a Beach Wardrobe You Love

Beauty & the Beach

As you may recall from a recent blog post, I am not a beach lover — at least not at full sun! I do occasionally go down to the ocean, which is one block from my house, replete with my beach chair, umbrella, a towel (in case I need to cover my legs), and sunscreen.  And, even with all that, I don’t stay too long. I also have not had a swimsuit on in over 10 years and I’m happy with that. Of course, I know I’m unusual in this way and I help plenty of my clients find beautiful swimsuits. What I have learned over the years is that it’s not all about the swimsuit! Yes, some of you step into your swimsuit, toss on a pair of flip flops and sunglasses and are raring to go. Others need a little emotional and fashion support and that’s what I’m hear to talk to you about.

It doesn’t matter whether you get a one-piece, tankini or bikini — swimsuits are all revealing. Every one of them exposes more skin than we allow for any other outdoor activity. So, it’s no surprise that we can feel anything from low-grade anxiety to out and out panic when we put one on.

The good news is that your anxiety can be lessened. With all the fun beach accouterments (cover-ups, hats, beach jewelry, totes and more), you can breeze through this experience with confidence and joy. Of course, as always, whatever you choose from bare-bones basics to over the top beach bling it has to be in keeping with who you are.  That’s the joy of it. No one-size-fits-all beach shopping allowed!

The first step is knowing what your options are, so I would like to share a few of my favorites!

Here is an example of a beach wardrobe that looks cool, stylish, flattering and comfortable.

Ready for the Beach

 

If that cover-up isn’t your cup of tea, try one of these:

Hot Pink Sarong Paisley Coverup 60s Style Coverup

 

Plus size women often get the short end of the stick when it comes to swimwear, but there were so many options, I had to stop myself from listing too many here! Check these out:

Plus Size Coverup Plus Size Coverup

 

Want a little fun beach jewelry? Try one of these cute bracelets:

Cube Bangle Bracelet Sea & Sky Bracelet Crocheted Bracelet

 

And, I just couldn’t resist these:

Flower Earrings Sea Glass Earrings

 

These are just a few ideas! If you are someone who spends any time at the beach, why leave it all to chance? If the idea is to go to the beach to have fun and you go hoping no one will see you and plan to spend all day hiding under your beach blanket or in the water, take a breath. There’s still time to catch some great summer sales and add a little extra beauty, peace of mind and joy to your summer festivities!

Are You Trying to be Invisible?

Are You Trying to be Invisible?

Leslie had called me because she was feeling unsettled with her personal style … actually, she felt like she had no personal style and wanted to find out if she could change that.  As we chatted, she shared, “I never paid much attention to fashion or style. In fact, I poo-poo’ed it. I tried to be invisible or neutral and was purposefully indifferent about my appearance.”

With this admission, Leslie precisely verbalized how so many women approach their image and express themselves through their wardrobes — they don’t!  When she reached a point that she felt so unsettled about how she looked that she didn’t know how to address it effectively any more (or maybe she never did and was just exhausted from trying), she gave up and resorted to blending in as much as possible.  While feeling invisible was not her (or any other woman’s) preference, she didn’t know what else to do.

While, yes, a lot of women have succumbed to indifference about how they look, not everyone ignores fashion or style for the same reason.

Here are stories women have shared with me:

  • Meredith never used to pay attention to fashion or style because she felt comfortable with herself and how she looked.  Then things changed! Her body started to shift, she was getting older and her effortless beauty no longer felt effortless. Not knowing how to adjust to the changes, she poo-poo’d “fashion” and convinced herself (rather ineffectively) that how she looked was not important to her. She resorted to wearing a lot of black and gray because it was easy and spent as little time as possible fussing.  Meanwhile, she readily admits that if she were truly honest with herself, the fact that she doesn’t feel good about how she looks weighs on her psyche and distracts her (if only sporadically) from the things she really wants to focus on.

 

  • Andrea never felt like she fit the prescribed definition of beautiful: she felt a little too short, a little heavier in her middle, her hair had a mind of its own and her feet often hurt.  As a result, she always felt like her efforts to look good were in vain. She could never measure up to her own expectations and suspected others were equally as judgmental. So, instead of trying to fit in, she dismissed all efforts at feeling beautiful and developed a ‘take me as I am’ attitude. Meanwhile, on the inside she felt less empowered than the message she was projecting and it was exhausting to keep her insecurity undercover.

Whether one of these stories rings true for you or your history is somewhat different, here are two steps you can take to elevate your indifference to hope and positive anticipation.

  1. Infuse Your Wardrobe with Color.  “Sure,” you say,“That’s easy for you to do.  You know about color. But, I can’t tell what looks good and what doesn’t so I stick with neutrals.”You’re right. It isn’t always easy for us to know exactly what colors look good on us.  There is conflicting information everywhere and the colors in the stores change constantly. So, what’s the answer? Ideally, you will want to have your colors analyzed by a professional. Choose your expert wisely since you are relying on his or her eye to guide you. If that is not an option, here are three colors I talk about in my book, That’s So You! that work on many people. Even if you just take these colors and mix them with your favorite neutral, you will be way ahead of many people: deep teal, watermelon and periwinkle blue.
    Teal Morpheus Dress Deep Teal. You can make it a bit more blue teal or green teal depending on your preference. Visit this Pinterest board for more examples of teal.
    Watermelon Watermelon. A beautiful red that is between a pink and coral so it works on many, many people.
    Periwinkle Periwinkle Blue. Visit this Pinterest board for more examples of periwinkle.
    Forest Green BONUS! Forest green is another great option.

    When colors flatter you they have the potential to elevate your look from ho-hum to striking all on their own. It’s an easy fix!

  2. Elevate Your Tops.  So many women get stuck in a top rut.  They gravitate towards button down shirts or basic T-shirts because they are “classic,” but they feel bored or feel like these tops now accentuate fit issues.  What can you wear on top that will make you smile?
    Chico's CardiganOne World Crochet Top
    Layer for Comfort and Ease. It’s so easy to add a layer and this helps to camouflage arms, tummy or bustline. Here’s one cardigan that has a classic feel. Or, try something slightly more trendy like this crocheted top over a tank
    Chico's Printed Cowl
    Use Prints to Distract the Eye. Have you been sticking with “safe” solid colors? Why not branch out and incorporate a print into your wardrobe. Prints can distract the eye so the focus doesn’t rest in one area. These colors are pretty and the cowl neckline is flattering on most body shapes.
    Susan Graver Scarf Top
    Try Something Completely Different. This will be too big a stretch for some people and it will not appeal to everyone.  But, if you love the idea of wearing something flowy and elegant, why not try one of the summer’s hottest looks: a scarf top. Here’s a fun example and it is not expensive so it won’t cost a lot if the experiment doesn’t work out.

Phew, that’s a lot! Remember, do not try to do it all at once — change doesn’t happen overnight. And, if you do try to do it all at once there is a good chance you will feel overwhelmed and throw in the towel before you see any results. Instead, take it easy and have fun with it. Choose one possibility from above and explore. See what happens and leave me a comment below!

I’d Love to Go If I Knew What to Wear! 3 Summer Casual Ideas

It’s summer and that means it’s officially shorts season. Perhaps you are wearing a pair as you read this? Or, are you like me and will do absolutely anything you can to avoid wearing shorts? There’s no way around it: with the warmer weather come certain expectations (even if they are self-imposed) about what one is “supposed” to wear as the temperatures soar and we all spend more time outdoors.

I live with someone who loves shorts. She puts them on in May (sometimes April) and they don’t come off until sometime in November! And, when she finally has to give in and don a pair of long pants, she is noticeably despondent for days. I, on the other hand, have not worn a pair of shorts in well over a decade, and I have absolutely no intentions of changing that anytime soon.

Given that, the question arises: if you do not wear shorts, what do you do when you go to a baseball game, family barbeque or the neighbors’ pool (and in case you are wondering, it has now been 11 years since I’ve worn a swimsuit).

Some of you are sure I’m crazy, and you can’t imagine summer without your favorite pair of shorts and sandals. To be honest, I am in awe of you and more than a little envious that you look so good and feel so comfortable in shorts. I wish I did, but I don’t and the relief I felt when I finally realized I never had to wear shorts again if I didn’t want to was palpable!  And, I know I’m not alone.

Ginger's Beach OutfitYou’re possibly wondering what to wear if shorts are not an option, right?  Basically, I have created my own rules.  My neighbor loves to see me heading to the beach, which I don’t do very often, but since we live only a block from the ocean and Marion, my partner, loves the beach I do go occasionally. She teasingly calls me Casper the Ghost since I am so white and never tan, and she marvels at my “beach outfit.”  It consists of a blue knee-length cotton jersey skirt with a matching tank and cardigan (which I don’t necessarily need because it’s cool, but I always need it to protect myself from the sun after the first 15 minutes). The outfit is comfortable, casual (by my personal standards) and relatively easy. As you can imagine, most people at the beach are not dressed like I am, but that’s okay with me.  I’m all about personal expression!

The beach is one thing, and certainly most people will wear a bathing suit, but there are plenty of other summer occasions that crop up throughout the season. As I contemplated the various inevitable invitations, I immediately began thinking about all the possibilities for how to dress for them. This led me to think about the idea of casual dress overall.

Do you remember when “business casual” first exploded into offices everywhere? We’re talking over twenty years ago. Everyone was so excited and said, “this will be so easy.  I can wear what I wear at home and feel comfortable.” Within a short amount of time, however, most women realized it wasn’t as simple as it sounded. There is a wide range of clothing that is considered casual and not everything translates well from one occasion to another or even one body to another! What originally seemed like a great benefit turned into a regular source of frustration. Even though business casual prevailed, the sense of confusion that enveloped it in its early years has not completely disappeared.  In fact, business casual still confuses many people because the concept of dressing casually, in general, is not as effortless as it sounds like it’s supposed to be.

Let’s forget about business for the moment and just talk about casual summer dress, in general. Let’s say a good friend of yours snagged tickets to a Major League Baseball game and has invited you. It’s possible your first thoughts are, “Yippee, I’ll wear my khaki shorts and my favorite team T-shirt and I’m good to go.” No question, you’re all set. Then there are the rest of you who are thinking, “Do I have to go? Maybe I have something else that day/evening and I can meet everyone after the game instead.” Or your thoughts run something like this: “I’d love to go, but I have no clue what to wear and I feel silly saying that out loud to anyone. Why can’t I even dress for a stupid baseball game!”  Let’s nip these worries in the bud while the summer is still young.  These three ideas are for you.

Baseball Outfit #1:

Casual Shorts Outfit

 

 

This outfit is for you if you want to wear shorts, but you don’t feel comfortable exposing your thighs and you feel dumpy in a traditional T-shirt. It’s casual, comfortable and pretty. I’ve even given you a choice of sandals vs. sneakers in case the temperatures are cool or the stadium is dusty or muddy.

Baseball Outfit #2:

Summer Casual Outfit with Hat

 

 

Jeans feel too hot and heavy, but you don’t want to wear shorts. This outfit combines a pair of cropped (not ankle length) chinos with a simple top (make it sleeveless if it’s really hot out), cute flat shoes and a fun hat. Okay, so the handbag is a little fancy, but I couldn’t resist (and if it suits your personality you can pull it off!). You can always substitute a more basic tote instead if that makes you feel better.

Baseball Outfit #3:

Casual Summer Dress--dressed up and dressed down

 

 

The summer is short so why not take every opportunity to wear a pretty sundress (if you are so inclined to wear sundresses). This one is created so you can pair the dress with the jean jacket, rope bracelet and flipflops for the game and then switch into the dressier wedge sandal, sparkly earrings and soft cardigan (leave them in the car) for dinner out later.

As you can see, the options are pretty varied.  These are just ideas to get you out of the shorts and T-shirt box. What is most important is that you express who you are in the choices you make. When you do that you will feel comfortable and can focus on having fun at the game rather than feeling distracted by what you are wearing. Who says there’s just one way to dress for a ballgame?

I would love to hear if one of these outfits speaks to you or if you have a favorite way of dressing for a casual summer event like a baseball game. Please share a comment below. I will randomly choose one winner after noon on Saturday, June 29 to receive a free copy of my new book That’s So You! in ebook form. So, be sure to check back a day or two later to see if you were the lucky winner and so I can get you all the download information.

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Jackie: Before
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Marianne: Before
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Meryl: Before
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Meryl: After

Shopping with Ginger gave me the chance to see how to use my words to pick clothes that really work for me! I tried on things I never would have considered previously and saw everything in a new light. Rather than coming home empty handed as usual, I left the store with many pieces that I love and that will work with things I already have. 
Laura Craig-Bray