Nurturing Beauty Style Secrets Blog: Ginger Burr Archives

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…

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…

Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered ~ The Best & Worst Spring Fashion Trends!

After a long, cold winter, spring fashion designers have a tendency to get a little crazy with floral mania, explosions of color and a variety of exposed body parts. While it is certainly a welcomed relief from the bleak winter doldrums, it can also be a bit of a shock! How do you make sense of it all? No worries. That’s what the “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” seasonal trend update is all about.

I have a grand time revealing the upcoming trends, some of which are bewitching, others are quite bothersome and there are always a few that are downright bewildering. I’ll help you decipher what trends are worth pursuing and which require some serious eye-rolling!

Keep reading and find out what will make its way to your closet and what will stay on the racks. Continue reading…

Hello Beautiful! 7 Styling Tools to Enhance Your Natural Beauty

You are beautiful no matter what your size or shape. Yes, I know, society wants to dictate a particular standard of beauty and that’s what you see day in and day out in the media. It is also what you use to compare your body to see if it measures up. Perhaps you’ve already noticed that this only makes you feel frustrated and deflated. Very few women, if any, actually achieve and maintain this standard. Instead, why not embrace your natural beauty and use a few styling tools for creating balance and harmony.

Beauty is not about looking like every other woman out there – how boring is that! It’s about celebrating who you are and creating a look you love. The key is to choose clothes and accessories strategically to give your body an uninterrupted line and draw the eye where you want it to go. It’s easier than you think! Continue reading…

You Are Not Flawed, Imperfect or Botched

Be Yourself

It’s your differences that make you unique and beautiful not how well you fit a prescribed standard of beauty. Shefinds.com, an online shopping guide, clearly missed this point and the results made me fume!

I subscribe to all kinds of online fashion newsletters to keep up with what’s going on in the world of fashion. Recently, I saw a message from shefinds.com entitled, “H&M’s Huge Facebook Mistake.” Their marketing is brilliant and I was hooked. I couldn’t click to the site fast enough to read more. Continue reading…

Want to Look Great Every Day? Create a Daily Uniform!

Every morning when you get dressed and stand for what seems like an hour in front of your closet trying to find something to wear, you dream of being able to grab a uniform and go. Your mind goes to a fantasy of reaching into your closet while still half asleep and pulling on something fabulous without having to try on ten or twenty things.  Then, your mind snaps back to reality and you think, “Sure, I already have a ‘uniform’ and it’s so boring I can hardly stand it!”

While your mind is intrigued at the thought of wearing a uniform, your heart says no because it sounds so dull and limiting and holds out for something more exciting.

Before you give up on the idea altogether, let’s rethink the concept of a uniform.  It can run from firefighters’ and police officers’ mode of dress to your Catholic school outfit or what you and every other girl in your girl scout troop wore.  In these cases it identifies you with a particular group.  The problem is that none of those is appropriate to your every day dress now.  While that’s true, you don’t have to give up entirely.  You can create your own group uniform with a membership of one: you. Continue reading…

How To Never Hurt An Animal Again and Not Sacrifice Anything In Your Life

How To Never Hurt An Animal Again

It’s that time of year — winter — and who doesn’t want to be warm! When I first became vegan I was so concerned I wouldn’t be able to find warm clothes and I’d go through the entire winter freezing — but 8 years later, I can safely say it’s just not true.  And even better I realized that I don’t have to sacrifice ANYTHING to be vegan. In this day and age, we can have it all without ever hurting a defenseless animal again — and that feels great.

To be honest, up until eight years ago I had no idea that any choices I made were hurting animals. It wasn’t something anyone I knew ever talked about and, as a result, it never entered my consciousness. I’m sure the same is true for you. I know you don’t set out to cause misery and suffering to animals when you go shopping. But, if you are purchasing anything made of wool, silk, fur, leather or down, then you are. I know. I know. It was an eye-opener for me, too!

Nearly 20 years ago, I vaguely remember someone pointing out to me that although I didn’t eat red meat, I did wear leather. At the time, I thought, “Well, of course I do. What is the alternative? And, besides, leather is a byproduct of the meat industry so it’s not like they are killing the animals just for the leather.”*  Oh, dear. Can I tell you how much I WISH he had continued the conversation with me! I had no idea how misguided I was and how just a little more information would have changed my life (and saved the lives of so many animals). Sadly, I do not even remember who this phantom person was or why we were on that particular subject in general. I just know that I dismissed the notion that I was contributing to animal suffering because I didn’t know any better and thought there were no alternatives.

It was many years later before I learned the truth. I would like to share with you some of the information I waited so long to hear and understand, because I suspect that you might not know either, and I don’t want you to have the same regrets I do. Plus, let me share a little secret, it’s SO much easier now!

Two things are keeping you from making clothing choices that are cruelty-free:

  1. You aren’t aware that traditional, beloved fabrics like wool, silk, down and leather come with a very high price tag. Whether the actual monetary value is high or low, the one thing that is true across the board — they all cause immeasurable suffering. Yes, even wool production causes misery and ends in the death of the lambs and sheep (maybe not immediately, but always way before their natural life would end). You can read more about it here. Those pretty, delicate, soft, cozy sweaters are covering up a lot of pain and suffering. Believe me, I, too, was so sad to hear this.
  2. You think you will have to sacrifice beauty and comfort if you don’t wear clothes made from those fabrics.

I was in exactly your situation eight years ago. I had just learned about the horror these animals endured to make it to my plate (even though I hadn’t eaten red meat for over 25 years, I still ate chicken, eggs, fish and dairy) and then the full realization hit me! Animals didn’t just suffer to be on my dinner plate — some of the clothes I was wearing were fraught with that same pain. This was such a source of sadness for me and at the same time I had this awareness that it could dramatically impact my livelihood! I am, after all, in the business of helping women choose clothing they love and that they feel good wearing. Not only that, but I like to feel good in my clothes. I quickly realized that I had to find a way to do both — feel good about how I looked AND not cause any more animals to suffer so I could still look good and be a good representation of my business. Wow! I had a few moments of abject fear when I thought maybe it wasn’t possible. Could I really have a cruelty-free wardrobe and still feel stylish? Yes! I was determined to make it work and, even more importantly, I committed to making it an adventure, and that’s exactly what I did.

Lucky for you, though, times have changed. Since then, as awareness is growing and people like you and me are choosing cruelty-free fabrics — the options are exploding. Just today I took a client shopping and, without even looking (she’s not vegan…yet) the sweaters she purchased were soft and lovely and unless you looked at the tag you would have had no idea they were not cashmere. I have watched this happen over and over this fall and it is so heartening to see. Eight years ago you were hard pressed to find anything like those sweaters. The best you could do was cotton or a scratchy acrylic. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Yes, unfortunately, there is still plenty of wool, cashmere, alpaca, mohair and angora in the world, but if you want to find the other options, they are there, too and the choices are growing daily!

Are you ready for a change but not sure how to begin?

  1. Read labels. Everything you need to know is on the garment’s label. If it says wool, silk, fur, leather or down, it is not cruelty-free.
  2. Layer. This is good advice no matter what you are wearing since temperatures vary everywhere you go.  Recover offers great layering pieces in 28 different colors and at a great price point. I’m especially fond of the long sleeve scoop neck top. They are one size fits all (pretty much a size 2 to 16) and I take the sleeves in a bit at the wrist since I like them more fitted. I mention another layer piece below.
  3. Speak up. If you don’t see what you want … ask. It is easy to miss something that could work AND it is important for the stores to know that you are looking for something they might not have. If they know there is a demand for cruelty-free garments, they are more likely to consider including them in future seasons.

Not sure where to look? While you will certainly find some alternatives at the major department stores (Lord & Taylor and Nordstrom carry Nic+Zoe, for instance), you can find options everywhere from smaller chain stores like Ann Taylor Loft to boutiques and from all price points (Bloomingdale’s to Kohls).

Here are just a few examples:

Nic+Zoe Sweater
Texture Top from Nic+Zoe
(55% Cotton/35% Acrylic/10% Rayon).
Add this 3/4 sleeve layer piece for extra warmth.
Ann Taylor Cowl
Cowl Neck Sweater from Ann Taylor Loft
(60% Acrylic, 40% Nylon)
Chico's Sweater
Flame Stitch Chelsea Pullover from Chico’s
(76% acrylic, 12% nylon, 6% rayon, 6% polyester)
Kohl's Sweater
Lurex Cardigan from Kohl’s
(acrylic and polyester)

* In case you are wondering, leather is not a by-product of the meat industry. It is a co-product and helps keep the selling of meat economically viable. By buying leather you are supporting the meat industry. (I’ll share another article about leather and non-leather alternatives soon.)  You can learn more right here.

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

The other day, I went to a wake (I know, not exactly a place where one feels good) and a friend of my cousin’s whom I hadn’t seen in a long time said ‘you look great’, she said it in such an authentic way, I knew she wasn’t just saying it to have something to say. I graciously said thank you to her, but inwardly, I thought ‘she’s right, I do!’ Because I have been spending more time with my hair and make up AND clothes to look great and that helps me feel great! I want to say that because of you I am absolutely moving from feeling frumpy, boring and dull to energetic, fun and beautiful! Kim Raymond