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. Continue reading…
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! Continue reading…
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.
- 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.
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. A beautiful red that is between a pink and coral so it works on many, many people. Periwinkle Blue. Visit this Pinterest board for more examples of periwinkle. 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!
- 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?
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!
In the show “Wife Swap,” two wives switch families for two weeks – the first week living by the family’s rules and the second week setting their own rules by which the family must live. For the sake of dramatic tension, they choose families whose values and philosophy are diametrically opposed. I have to admit that I don’t watch the show much because it’s just too stressful but I remember one show where the women expressed their views about personal image. One woman believed that how you look is all that matters. The other, who felt strongly that beauty comes exclusively from the inside, was appalled at how much time her temporary family spent on grooming and dressing and was very outspoken about it. She rarely brushed her hair, never cared if her clothing matched, and shopped exclusively in thrifts stores and only when absolutely necessary. As you can imagine, much drama ensued! So, who is right? Does how we look matter above all else? Do clothing, makeup and hair choices have that much influence? Or, should our personality and inner essence be the primary focus with no attachment to how we look on the outside? Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that our society is obsessed with image. Not only that but the image they revere is young, thin and white. It’s no wonder so many women feel excluded! The key is to match your outer appearance with appreciation and expression of who you are on the inside. How do you do that?
- Be True to Yourself: Do you feel good about how you look? Hopefully, the answer is yes. Being aware of certain parameters for appropriate dress is important, but once you understand those conditions, you can tweak them to suit your personal style and preference. The biggest question is “do you know how you want to look and how to make that happen?”
- Know the Rules: I recently spoke to a large group of young professional women. Most were incredibly appreciative of what I shared (“Fantastic! Great addition to this year’s program!”), and a couple of them were up in arms and called my talk sexist saying that the organization that brought me in would never do the same for a group of men (wouldn’t they be surprised to know that yes, they would!). Little do they know that I am a feminist from way back (possibly, yikes, before they were born) and that my passion has been and still is to empower women. Knowing the rules (both spoken and unspoken) of how to dress for the workplace can be critical to professional success, and who would want to risk that – especially because you didn’t know any better (talk about disempowering)! If you understand the rules about dress then you are well equipped to make choices that serve you. Knowing the expectations, you can then make a conscious decision to disregard them (if you choose to) and are better prepared to deal with (or circumvent) the consequences.
- Show Respect: Take pride in how you look. Good grooming habits are essential and have nothing to do with where you shop or how big or fancy your wardrobe is or isn’t. Others notice when you take good care of your body and your clothes…and when you don’t!
- Dress With Intention: Many women have fallen into a state of unconsciousness about how they look. Is it any surprise when you consider the factors working against us (e.g., body image issues, social pressure, compromised self-esteem, disinterest in fashion…)? Women are bombarded with messages about how we “should” look and what we “should” wear. After a while, many give up and resort to dressing in what is safe and easy. After this pattern is repeated enough, it becomes an unconscious choice. If this sounds familiar, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself this question “If my clothes could talk what would they say about me?” Do you like the answer? If not, it’s time to make changes. And, if that feels like a daunting task, ask for help.
How you dress gives people visual cues about who you are. True or not, they will make assumptions about you based on what they see. While it is not possible to meet everyone’s expectations, you can meet your own. Dress with authenticity, respect and intention, and you will feel good about how you look everyday. Discover Your Style with Ginger! Grab your spot for your free ‘Discover Your Style” phone consultation. Simply fill out the “I Need Help ” form on the Total Image Consultants website and we’ll get you all scheduled! http://www.totalimageconsultants.com/i-need-help.shtml
I have never been a t-shirt and jeans kind of gal. It’s just not me. So, you might be wondering, why do I love Glima so much? That’s easy! Because they take the comfort and ease of a traditional t-shirt and add personality, flair, and, hey, they even make them flattering!
For the past 23 years I have been a fashion stylist who helps women from all walks of life feel good about how they look. Most of my clients want to look great not only in their professional lives but also in their personal leisure time or simply when running errands.
Too often, however, women feel frustrated (I know, because I felt that way earlier in my life) trying to create a wardrobe that flatters their body, is comfortable and fits into their lifestyle. Phew! They don’t know where to begin, and my job is to help them break it down into baby steps to make it manageable. While ease of dressing is important, understanding how to do that in a way that truly expresses their personality often eludes them. My role as a stylist is to offer them valuable tips to make it easier and more fun and to introduce them to fabulous resources. That’s where Glima comes in!
Think about it. Your typical t-shirt is shapeless, has an unflattering crew neckline, and sleeves that invariably make your body look wider than it is. What woman wants that! But, that’s what they often settle for because they don’t know that there are other choices.
What a joy it was to discover Glima shirts where you can get a beautiful scoop or v-neck, a variety of sleeve lengths (none of which is oversized or baggy), pretty colors, and even better, fun designs that are elegant and can express your personality. Plus, the fabric has enough weight to it that it won’t draw focus to every lump and bump (which is a concern for many women). Can you tell I like them (which is why I feature them in my personal style home study program “Who Taught You How To Dress?” – www.whotaughtyouhowtodress.com).
I have had many women tell me that I have a dream job, and I have to agree. I adore helping women create a wardrobe and personal style they love. It all begins with understanding who you are at a deep level (I like to refer to it as ‘aligning your inner and outer beauty’) and then we address how to use tools like color, fit, style, details and accessories to fully express your personality through your wardrobe. As one client put it, “I have to let you know that every day I get so many compliments on how I look. You gave me the tools to put it all together, and I am very grateful.” Well, I didn’t do it alone. Glima helps make my job easier by offering women a casual look that really has grace and ease!
Want to know even more? Sign up for their weekly newsletter at www.Glima.com (the subscribe button is in the lower right corner).
Total Image Consultants
You, too, can have a wardrobe and personal style you love. Simply go to http://www.totalimageconsultants.com/i-need-help.shtml, fill out the ‘I Need Help’ form, and we’ll schedule a free ‘Discover Your Style’ phone consultation.
The other day I was people watching as I walked around a local Target buying a new, pretty (ocean blue (in case you are wondering)) bath mat. One of the things I was struck by was the abundance of ratty sweatshirts (believe me, they had seen better days), ill-fitting capris and sneakers worn by women shoppers. Yes, I know it was a Sunday afternoon and everyone was clearly in errand-mode and wanted to be comfy. Mostly, I felt sad that these women were so harried and distracted. It was clear that their personal appearance was low on their list of priorities.
Are you nodding in agreement? Feeling a connection to these women? Do you position yourself at the top or the bottom of your priority list?
As a woman, you are conditioned to believe that you are first and foremost a nurturer of others (sometimes to the exclusion of everything else). As a result you often ignore or poo-poo your own needs and desires to satisfy the never-ending demands on your time and energy. Do you tell yourself that surely something as inconsequential as how you look cannot possibly be important enough to take time away from your other pressing responsibilities?
I cannot begin to tell you how often women share with me that they just stand in front of their closets and cry when they get dressed to go almost anywhere. After they do that often enough, one of two things happens – either they give up completely and dress on autopilot just putting on whatever is clean and “not horrible” (their words, not mine). Or, they stomp their foot and say enough.
Recently, a client of mine told me that her husband was so upset watching her get ready to go out for an evening with friends. He hated (and felt helpful to offer assistance) that she felt so deflated and unattractive because she had nothing to wear that made her feel good. Does any of this sound familiar?
What I have discovered over the years is that rarely are women low on their own priority list by design. It is often more that all their attempts to create a personal style and wardrobe they love have been thwarted – they can’t find things they like when they shop or they don’t know what looks good on them, so they give up and concentrate on others. It’s easier, more satisfying and causes less personal angst.
What is keeping you from putting yourself high on your priority list?
___ Guilt (that you should be doing for others instead)
___ Frustration (don’t know what looks good on you or can’t find it when you do shop)
___ Body image issues (you don’t feel like you deserve to look good)
___ Overwhelm (you don’t know where to begin and/or find it impossible to navigate the stores)
If it is one or more of the above, list them in order of priority and begin to address them one at a time. Just like everyone else, you deserve to (and can) look good and feel good about how you look every day. Why settle any longer for “not horrible” or worse. Unsure where to start? I can help.
1. Start by reading Cheryl Richardson’s book “Take Time For Your Life” and find the chapter on “Get Your Priorities Straight.”
2. Next, I recommend Cheryl’s book “Stand Up For Your Life” and check out the chapter called “Stop Hiding Your Power” (Cheryl talks about my work with women and the benefits of feeling good about how you look.)
3. Finally, get a copy of my personal style home study program
“Who Taught You How To Dress?”
Yes, we all have demands on our time – many of them important. The nice thing about creating a look you love is that with a short investment of time in the beginning you can have a lifetime of feeling good about how you look! Start now so you can feel great about how you look now and for years to come!
**Need more personal assistance, fill out my ‘I Need Help’ form and we’ll set up a free ‘Discover Your Style’ phone consultation.
The Wall Street Journal reported recently that when it comes to fashion “There are no more trends. Everything is in style.” (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704320104575015141536429662.html) Women wear what they want to wear, and I’m all for that! If you look around, it seems that every length of skirt is available as is every cut of pants. As the WSJ said “The trench coat has been ‘in’ for the past five years, and will be hot next year, too.” As it should be!
It has not always been this way. For those of you who remember the 1970’s, you know how liberating this new concept is. Back then, there was one skirt length – short!! Pants were low rise and bell bottom and good luck to anyone who wanted to wear (or looked better in) anything else. Or, how about the 1980’s when all you couldn’t find a pair of attractive flat shoes if your life depended on it. Thankfully, that has all changed. But, have we gone far enough in the choices we offer?
I can’t help but think that when they say that the concept of trends is dead (or something to that effect) that they might have jumped the gun just a bit. Ask women who were shopping this past season (or two) and found mostly yellow, gray and purple, short boxy jackets and very few skirts anywhere, and you know that the designers still have some influence.
I have a novel idea. Rather than dictating to women what the current fashions are, how about if the designers ask women what they want! For instance, just try to find a nice looking, scoop neck tank in a fabric that isn’t tissue paper thin to wear under a jacket. There are a few out there, but you have to hunt to find them. A designer could make a fortune just providing those in beautiful colors. And, yes, women wear jackets (especially the baby boomers), and we’d like something other than black and gray and maybe some elegant details, please. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask. It would also translate into more sales for the designers and retailers. I cannot tell you how many women told me this past year about how they wanted to buy more than they did (a coat, jacket, or suit, for example), but couldn’t find anything they liked. Is anyone listening?
The other day I was at the salon getting my hair colored (yes, I am a natural redhead…no, it’s not natural anymore!) and it struck me…Does anyone else hate staring into a mirror while your hair is all gucky with color or wet and looking like a mess while it is being cut or blown dry? I find that every appointment is a huge test of the strength of my self-esteem! Is it just me?
As I get older, lighting matters hugely as well. If the lighting is harsh and comes exclusively from overhead instead of being soft and flattering (my personal preference!), every line and droop is magnified about a thousand fold (or so it seems). I try to wait until I get home to take more than a quick peek at my hair, but it’s hard to ignore mirrors on every wall as I sit there for a couple of hours. I am always so happy to leave!
I know the stylists need the mirrors to work their magic, but there has to be a better way! Or, maybe I could just wear a blindfold. Just my beauty musings for today.
Is Your Wardrobe TOXIC?
Do you feel a sense of dread each time you get dressed?
It is my intention to help YOU free yourself from your toxic wardrobe and detoxify forever – because you deserve a beautiful wardrobe, that makes your heart sing!
No more dread when you open your closet door each morning. What was once an overwhelming task to tackle is now resolved through four doable steps I created with YOU in mind – and I want to share them with you for F.R.E.E!
In the Total Image Teleclass:
“5 Signs Your Wardrobe Is Toxic…and 4 Steps to Detoxify It Forever”
*Taking place on November 18th 2009 @ 3 PM EASTERN*
Reserve your spot now – this is going to be a packed call! http://tinyurl.com/ToxicWardrobe
Here are five tell-tale signs your wardrobe is toxic:
- It’s overflowing – everything is squished in
- It’s a mess – clothes are everywhere, and there’s no discernable system or way to find things easily.
- Big or small, there’s nothing in it you want to wear.
- It’s filled with separates that (despite honorable intentions) refuse to mix and match.
- You have two or three different sizes in there at once.
You no longer have to live day in and day out with a toxic wardrobe. In this teleclass, we will look at concrete solutions for tackling this chronic issue. Every step you take brings you one step closer to creating a wardrobe you love. What have you got to lose besides frustration, daily annoyance and a wardrobe that doesn’t feed your soul?
Reserve your spot now:
*If you cannot attend make sure you register so you can receive the recording of this very special call!
With Style, Beauty & Grace,
PS: Don’t forget to register so you can be the first one to receive the special bonuses I am going to be announcing on this call!
Money doesn’t matter. I have been in the fanciest closets with the most expensive clothing you can imagine and in closets with a meager wardrobe where every penny is accounted for. You can look great at any price!