Have you ever bought a pair of shoes that felt fine when you tried them on in the store, but discovered that they weren’t quite comfortable–after you’d worn them and could no longer return them?
Don’t give up yet! Before you toss them in the giveaway pile, try these quick fixes to make uncomfortable or loose shoes fit and feel better:
- Moleskin. If your shoes are rubbing against part of your foot, try easing the spot with moleskin, found in any drugstore. Moleskin is a soft felt-like material on one side, and super sticky tape on the other.
- Heel inserts. If your heels are sliding up out of the back of your shoe, make the fit a little tighter with a heel grip. (These helped me keep a pair of pumps that seemed OK when I bought them, but started slipping off my foot once I really walked in them.)
- Insoles. If your shoes aren’t comfortable to walk in after a few hours, try slip-in insoles with padding or arch supports. They can extend the wearability of many types of shoes.
- Ball of foot pads. If you find that your feet slide forward with every step you take in a pair of heels, stop the slipping (and reduce the friction on the ball of your foot) with pads that stick on at the front of the shoe, like the TipToes cushions from Foot Petals (above).
Where to get them: You can find these products online or in any drugstore, and often in shoe stores, too (I’ve seen them at Payless and DSW).
- Fab mamas: How do you keep your feet happy?
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“Core wardrobe.” “Wardrobe essentials.” “10 (or 15 or 20) items every woman must own.”
These phrases are talking about the same thing: your wardrobe foundation. After all, the foundation is the best place to start building something new, including your wardrobe.
This foundation, or Core Wardrobe, is a list of the classic, fundamental clothes around which you can build outfits for any occasion.
Think of it like a set of basic building blocks for style.
Some lists include only a few items, while others are more expansive. The Frantic But Fabulous Core Wardrobe identifies foundational pieces for different types of clothing because we fab mamas often need to create outfits at a range of Working Mom Levels.
For this series, we’re going to look at the Core Wardrobe for selected categories:
In each category, we’ll look at the shapes and styles to start with — and talk about how to vary them for your own personal style and preference.
- Fab mamas: What are your wardrobe essentials?
Learn more about the Core Wardrobe and get a detailed, comprehensive checklist of what to buy in “No More Yoga Pants: How To Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the step-by-step personal style transformation system. Join the Style List and be the first to get a sneak preview (and an early discount code, too)!
Last week we were talking about how to incorporate a specific color–Emerald, the 2013 Pantone Color of the Year–into your wardrobe.
And what better time to add color than the tail end of winter, when we’re longing for spring but it isn’t quite here, no matter what the groundhog says?
Adding some new color will also freshen up the cold weather clothes you’re growing weary of wearing.
Here’s how to brighten your winter wardrobe with color
- Accessorize brightly. If your scarves and mittens and hats are all in shades of grey and black and tan, trade them in for brights! Bonus: red gloves are easier to spot when you drop them in the snow.
- Make a statement. Ditto for inside accessories, like necklaces and belts. Find a color that makes you happy and find a way to wear it, whether it’s a chunky bead necklace or a shirt under your cardigan.
- Sneak in spring. Who says your scarves have to be wool? When temperatures moderate in late winter, ease into your spring things: a cotton scarf in pastels, a lighter weight shirt worn as a layer, something in florals.
Just think of it as wearing your own sunshine!
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find many winter items on deep discount. If the mall shops have cleared the coats away to make room for swimsuits, look online. Seasonal sales tend to last longer there.
- Fab mamas: How do you wear color in winter? What are your tips for getting through the late-season doldrums?
This is your year to be more fabulous and less frantic! Join the Style List to get more working mom style advice and a special bonus: “7 Days to Better Shopping,” a daily series that will teach you how to shop smarter and save money.
Every year the hue gurus at the Pantone Color Institute choose a Color of the Year. Last year was Tangerine Tango, a frothy reddish orange.
For 2013, the Color of the Year is Emerald, a jewel tone that Pantone describes as “lively, radiant and lush.”
Here’s how to incorporate emerald green into your wardrobe
- Try a little. As with any color trend, if you don’t want to invest too heavily in a hue that may be gone in a year–or if it’s not a color that works for you in big amounts–go small. Try accessories, like scarves, belts and costume jewelry. (Easier on the wallet, too.)
- Choose wisely. If you’d like to add something a bit more substantial, like a garment, think strategically. What do you already own, such as a neutral or complementary color, that would work with a jewel-tone green? If most of these items are pants and skirts, for example, then you’ll look for an emerald green top.
- Want to fully embrace Emerald? Look through Pantone’s Pinterest board for Emerald-incorporating outfit ideas and inspiration. Color-blocking fans will find they can pair green with many items in their closet today.
Can’t get enough Emerald? Here are some more 2013 Color of the Year trend reports from Refinery 29, VentureMom, and stylist Bridgette Raes.
And Fab Over Fifty tells you which shades of green–including emerald–work best for different hair/skin tones.
- Fab mamas: Are you on board with the Emerald trend? What’s your favorite way to wear it?
This is your year to be more fabulous and less frantic! Sign up for the Style List to get more working mom style advice and a special bonus: 7 Days to Better Shopping, a daily series that will teach you how to shop smarter and save money.
Figuring out what to wear for Thanksgiving can seem like a challenge. You’re not at work, but it’s not a regular stay-at-home day, either.
But if we apply our usual rules for outfit creation it gets a little easier.
Here’s how to figure out what to wear for Thanksgiving
- Choose your outfit Level. Start by thinking about the way you spend your day on this holiday. Do you go out to eat? Do you stay home and cook for family? Are you in a big group, or an intimate gathering? How do the others usually dress? If you’re going to have a big, boisterous day with close family and friends, including an obligatory outdoor game of tag football, that’s more like a Level 1 or Level 2–casual to smart casual weekend wear. If you’re going out to eat at a white-napkin restaurant with your grandma who always dresses up, then it’s probably a Level 3 or 4 kind of day.
- Check the forecast. Yes, it’ll probably be cold. (Unless you live someplace like Florida or Arizona, in which case the rest of us don’t want to hear about it But rain and snow dictate different footwear, and total number of outfit layers, than clear and crisp.
- Find a foundation item. OK, you’re having a Level 2/Weekend Chic Thanksgiving, it’s going to be dry, but you’ll be outside part of the time, maybe even playing with the kids. You’ll probably want to build an outfit around pants instead of a dress or skirt. Maybe your slim fit cords or dark wash bootcut denim? Now you can add on garments from there. (For more hints, read the 5 Levels of Working Mom Outfits guides and remember the Rule of 3.)
I usually split the difference and aim for a Level 2/Weekend Chic look in my main outfit, then add a dressier accessory or item on top for some extra polish. So I start off at the relatives’ gathering with, say, a blazer and scarf over a simple sweater and denim.
As the evening progresses, I can get more casual by removing the blazer and even the scarf. It gives me more options than only wearing the denim and sweater or going all out in a dress.
Oh, and there’s one more step: Calculate the volume and weight of turkey you plan to consume and adjust your waistband size accordingly
- Fab mamas: What do you plan to wear for Thanksgiving?
Want to learn more about how to build outfits–and how to find the garments for them that flatter your body and personal style? I’ve created a new self-guided course, No More Yoga Pants, that teaches you just that–and more. Sign up for my email list to be the first to find out when it’s available (and get a special insiders’ launch offer).
Do you ever see an item in a store window or a magazine spread and think, “Oh, I could never wear that”?
Well, why not?
Maybe it really isn’t the right color or shape or style for you.
Or maybe you’d like it more than you think.
So challenge your conception of what you’re “supposed” to wear or are “allowed” to wear. Sometimes the only way to break out of a style rut is to be a little daring.
Try this today: Don’t let your preconceived ideas of what you “should” wear keep you from trying something new, even if it makes you a little bit nervous. The next time you go shopping, pay attention to what catches your eye, but makes you hesitate–and try it on! You might be surprised by the results.
[Looking to break out of your style rut? Tired of wearing the same things over and over? Wish shopping could be fun again? You can get your style mojo back! My new self-guided course will show you how. Sign up for my email newsletter to be the first to hear when it launches and get special access to the sneak preview sale.]
Today I’m launching a new weekly series called Try This Thursdays.
Each week I’ll bring you something new to try in your style life, like an item to wear or buy, a specific outfit combination to discover in your wardrobe, or even a thing to do.
Together we’ll experiment with style and have fun with fashion.
And if you find something that really works for you, let me know, either in the comments or via email.
Try this today: If you’re in DC, tonight is Fashion’s Night Out and we have our very own version in Georgetown. Check out the schedule, find an event, and give yourself an evening to do nothing but be fabulous.