How to discover your signature look

By IN Advice, Personal Style

When your closet looks like a catalogue of the last several years (or more) of trends, creating an outfit can feel like building a puzzle from mismatched pieces!

Putting outfits together is much easier when the clothes you own have a cohesive look to them, like they all belong together.

You’ll find that shopping is easier when you’ve identified your personal style, too.

Here’s how to bring some order to your closet chaos and discover a signature look.

How to create your signature look

  • Identify what you like. Are there pieces in your closet that you reach for over and over again? And not just because they’re clean! What makes you happy when you wear it? If nothing you own truly speaks to you, think about a celebrity whose style you admire. What is her signature look?
  • Eliminate what you don’t. You know the old story about the sculptor who creates the masterpiece by carving away the marble that doesn’t belong? OK, so closet editing isn’t exactly Da Vinci territory, but the principle is similar! Sometimes it’s easiest to get to what you do like by process of elimination. (And while you’re at it, actually eliminate those things; in the end you’ll have more clarity and a cleaner closet.)
  • Still not sure? Get step-by-step help to bring some order to that closet chaos. You’ll find the full personal style discovery process in one place with What’s My Style?. It’s the Frantic But Fabulous workshop designed to help you find your signature look—the kinds of clothes that feel most like you. In just a few fun, easy-to-follow activities, you’ll learn how to ignore the trends and identify your true sartorial voice.

Ready to get started? Learn more and get instant access to What’s My Style? today.

Outfit idea: Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo

By IN Advice, Personal Style, Work It Wednesdays

Outfit idea: Casual chic basics from Uniqlo's Ines de la Fressange collection
Weekend chic outfit idea: Polka dot collared shirt + red cardigan + grey knit pants
Red handbag and flats make perfect coordinating items for this weekend chic outfit idea with a red cardigan.

// the outfit [level 3/casual Friday] //
shirt: Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo / cardigan: Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo / leggings pants: Uniqlo / flats: Cole Haan [similar] / handbag: Kate Spade Wellesley Small Maeda [1 available on eBay]

Ever since Uniqlo added online shopping to its U.S. website, it’s become one of my go-to places for affordable wardrobe basics.

I was especially happy to hear about the special collection created in partnership with French style icon Ines de la Fressange. This button-down shirt and cardigan are both from that collection.

The shirt turned out to be a very lightweight cotton, not too surprising for a $29.90 item, so it will work best as a layering piece or in warmer weather. I liked the little design touches: contrasting floral print under the collar and cuffs, and a single buttonhole outlined in red thread.

The cardigan is a nice soft weight with a cashmere blend, nicely priced as well. I opted for red; I wear it a lot as an accent color but I didn’t already have a red cardigan.

And speaking of red as an accent color, I had to go with my red flats and handbag. Call it matchy-matchy if you want, but I like the way the coordinating color ties everything together.

The pants are Uniqlo, too, and ladies, these are genius. Uniqlo calls them “leggings pants.” Sounds suspiciously like jeggings, right? But they’re much better than that. They’re not as tight as a legging, but they have the styling of jeans (waistband with belt loops, faux zipper placket, button at the waistband) and the softness of knit pants.

Think of them as your new replacement for yoga pants on the weekend.

Learn how to create outfits that fit your body, your budget—and your busy life. Get No More Yoga Pants: How To Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style, the only style makeover workshop you’ll ever need.

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What to wear on a Caribbean cruise

By IN Advice

capsule wardrobe: cruise

Deciding what to pack for a Caribbean cruise is a special—and fun!—challenge. Not only is there limited space in your stateroom to stow luggage, but you have to bring clothes that will be appropriate for a variety of activities.

Start by checking your cruise line’s website for suggested packing lists. My mom, who just returned from an 11-day Caribbean cruise, recommends packing in layers and bringing suitcases that can nest together.

What to pack for a Caribbean cruise

This cruise capsule wardrobe covers many of the bases for days poolside, oceanside or ashore. Use it as a starting point to plan your own packing list.

  • Bring more than one swimsuit and be sure to bring some sort of cover-up; Mom says they were often told to wear their suits ashore and having items to wear on top was essential.
  • Don’t forget waterproof beach shoes for oceanside days and good walking shoes for touring days. Rubber sandals, like these Kate Spades, can work as both poolside shoes and cute casual footwear.
  • Most days are casual wear, either T-shirts and shorts or sundresses, or both. Mom got a lot of use from a pair of lightweight travel pants from Columbia that could zip off into shorts.
  • Be sure to protect yourself from all those glorious rays with sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, too.
  • Depending on the number of nights for your cruise, you may need more or less dressy wear for evening dining. Formal dining is optional but if you do plan on using this option, bring cocktail dresses; an LBD is a classic option. And some dining rooms require smart casual (no swimsuits or shorts).
  • It can get cool on the ship in the evening, and it may even be chilly from your port of departure if you cruise in winter, so include a cardigan, jacket or shawl, like a pashmina, in your layers. Mom left from Baltimore in February and they needed to wear all their layers at once on arrival and departure days.
  • Plan to use the ship’s gym? Don’t forget exercise clothes and shoes. If you bring an exercise skirt/shorts combo, it can do double-duty as a daytime skirt, too.

And in addition to these wardrobe items, Mom recommends a daypack to carry whatever you need ashore on stops, such as towels, windbreakers or rain poncho and cameras.

Here are more tips on what to wear and pack on your Caribbean cruise from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and USA Today Travel.

No More Yoga Pants: The personal style workshop series that will teach you how to dress better, shop smarter and reclaim your style!Learn how to edit your wardrobe—and fill it with clothes that fit and flatter Get “No More Yoga Pants: How To Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the fun, easy-to-follow style course. For less than the price of a new pair of jeans, learn how to look like a million bucks. Get started today!

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Style SOS: Post-maternity leave wardrobe ideas

By IN Advice, Style Q&A

Style SOS: Post maternity leave wardrobe ideas

I took some time off after my daughter was born, but now I’m ready to re-enter the workforce. How do I transition my wardrobe back?

Style Q&A: Your personal style questions answeredAny kind of workforce re-entry can mean a wardrobe transition, especially if you’ve been spending most of your days in super casual new mama wear.

How big the transition is depends on part on the dress code at your new workplace. If you’re doing a full 180 from jeans ‘n’ T-shirts to office wear, try this capsule wardrobe of career clothes basics.

If you’re going back to a more casual workplace, you can build up your wardrobe gradually by mixing in a few more casual chic pieces with your existing clothes: a knit dress or skirt, a soft blazer or two, some fun necklaces or scarves.

Keep your favorite casual stuff on hand for weekend wear; over time you can weed out what doesn’t work for you any more. And congratulations on the new job!

Need extra strength help with your wardrobe overhaul? The Frantic But Fabulous personal style workshop is designed for you. It’s all the advice you need, in one convenient download.

Capsule wardrobe: Casual (and practical) for a preschool teacher

By IN Personal Style

capsule wardrobe: preschool teacher
Gap spacedye sweater / Gap chambray shirt / black T-shirt / striped T-shirt / yellow T-shirt / Uniqlo Batgirl T-shirt / Old Navy Hello Kitty T-shirt / Old Navy Rockstar boot cut denim / Old Navy boot cut cords / Gap true straight pants / comfort ballet flat / Vans sneakers / Humble Chic giraffe print scarf

Designed for a busy preschool teacher, this capsule wardrobe is built around comfortable casual pieces that are practical, too: knits and other washable fabrics, darker colors or patterns to hide tiny fingerprints, and pants that go from sitting on the floor at circle time to playing games outside.

Although a preschool teacher could probably wear denim all week, I mixed it up with a pair of cords (khakis would work here, too) and straight leg black pants.

Two long sleeve tops make layering pieces over the mix ‘n’ match T-shirt set. The shoes are flat, one super casual and the other a little nicer, but both walkable.

I’ll admit I was a bit challenged by the accessories. I’m not sure how practical it is to wear anything around the neck in a room full of little ones? But if a scarf will work, this fun giraffe print seems like just the thing.

Learn how to build capsule wardrobes in the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials. Love everything you wear, starting now!

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Drab to fab: Travel outfit idea

By IN More Fabulous Fridays, Personal Style

drab to fab: travel outfit

Kick your outfits up a notch. Drab to Fab shows you how to choose clothes for your everyday outfits that will make you feel like a more confident, put-together version of you.

More Fabulous Fridays: Wrap up your work week with a working mom style treatTraveling, especially flying, has become less like a fun adventure and more like a mountain expedition. There’s you, your suitcases (not checked because who wants to pay the baggage fees), your kids and your food (which you’re carrying on because they aren’t going to give you anything to eat on the plane).

No wonder you want to dress comfortably! But comfort doesn’t have to mean drab. Just because you don’t enjoy the travel doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your travel outfit.

Here’s how this casual travel outfit idea goes from Drab to Fab—without losing the comfort.

  • Fit. Trade in those baggy sweatpants for something a little more streamlined. These travel pants are just as forgiving, and they won’t wrinkle.
  • Selection. Save the sweatshirt for the gym or early-morning dog walks. Try a chambray shirt for your cover-up. It’s got a bit more style and is more versatile, too: now you’ve got another shirt to wear when you get there that you didn’t have to stuff in your suitcase.
  • Pattern. Keep the long-sleeved T-shirt but trade the plain solid color for something a little more fun, like stripes. Bright color would work well, too.

Still want to wear colorful sneakers? Try a pair of classic Vans. Cute and not nearly as bulky. If you’re flying, get the slip-on style for easier security line passage.

Take your whole wardrobe from Drab to Fab. Learn how today with “No More Yoga Pants: How To Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the fun, easy-to-follow style workshop.

Working mom outfit idea: A bit of print

By IN Personal Style, Work It Wednesdays

Working mom outfit idea: Grey blazer paired with printed tee for an unexpected bit of color.
Add a bit of color to an otherwise neutral #outfitidea by wearing a printed T-shirt under a cropped blazer, like this.

// the outfit [level 3/casual Friday] //
T-shirt: Supermaggie / turtleneck: Uniqlo / blazer: Isaac Mizrahi [similar] / denim: James Jeans Couture bootcut / boots: Anne Klein [similar] / necklace: Payless [similar]

Work It Wednesdays: Working mom outfit photos and ideasIt’s hard to go wrong with a fitted blazer, dark wash boot cut denim and ankle boots.

But it can get a little boring.

I wanted to add some color to this otherwise super neutral outfit. When I pulled the turtleneck out of my drawer, I spotted this printed tee. It’s a super thin knit, so it was easy to fit it over the turtleneck and under the blazer.

I like the way the print just peeks out a bit in the midst of the grey.

Maybe I’m also subconsciously looking forward to the days when spring flowers will arrive to break up our winter grey?

Learn how to create outfits that fit your body, your budget—and your busy life. Get No More Yoga Pants: How To Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style, the only style makeover workshop you’ll ever need.

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