Posts Categorized: Personal Style

When the style you are is different from the style you want to have

By IN Find Your Style, Personal Style

the style you are vs. the style you want

So here you are, embarked on the process of figuring out what your personal style is. You’ve clipped photos from magazines, pinned things to Pinterest and done some window shopping.

That’s when you realize that the style you’re identifying for yourself is very (maybe even completely) different from what’s hanging in your closet, and what you’re wearing on your body, right now.

What happens when the style you are and the style you want aren’t the same?

Here are some options for reconciling this seeming contradiction.

Take a step back. First, stop and reassess. Does the new and different style resonate with who you are inside, or are you trying to transform yourself by changing from the outside in?

Make sure you’re telling the world who you truly are instead of trying to convince yourself. If you’re not already there, that new style can feel like a mask or costume rather than a personal expression.

And make sure it will fit the way you live. If you’re at home with preschoolers all day, rocker chic may not be the way to go.

Embrace the change. If you really feel the new style is the real you, then celebrate this discovery! Your new wardrobe won’t be born overnight, but now you know what direction you want to move toward.

When you do your big wardrobe edit, you’ll have a clear sense of what to toss. (If everything you own is in the style you want to abandon, keep key pieces in the most basic styles and build from there.)

Create your own hybrid. If you discover your dream style is more fantasy than reality, that doesn’t mean you have to set aside the work you’ve done. There are aspects of this aesthetic that caught your attention. What are the key features—shape, color, texture, pattern? What could you incorporate into your wardrobe and look for in new items?

The stay-at-home mom who loves rocker chic probably won’t stride about daily in a motorcycle jacket and studded stilettos, but she can work more leather embellishments, chunky silver jewelry and vintage denim into her look. And a concert T-shirt never goes out of style, especially if you have some from Back in the Day.

I have learned to manage a style contradiction myself. I secretly long to be an ultramodern Disciple of Lanphear, but my actual wardrobe is mostly a Classic/Chic hybrid with a dash of Sporty in the footwear. So I occasionally buy tops in unusual silhouettes and indulge my addiction to graphic black and white patterns. For me, a little Modern goes a long way.

Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style”, the Frantic But Fabulous wardrobe makeover workshop.

My style is changing. Has yours changed, too?

By IN Create Outfits, Find Your Style, Personal Style

Style evolution

We often think of fashion as the part of clothing that changes all the time, season to season and trend to trend.

Your personal style is considered to be longer lasting and less susceptible to the whims of the fashion industry.

And it’s true that the luxury and even the joy of personal style is that you aren’t tied to trends. The best kind of personal style is one that’s connected to who you are.

Which means that your style is allowed to change, just as you are.

As I’ve written before, there are lots of reasons why this might happen, from a new job to a new body to a new baby (or maybe even all of the above).

I’m now seeing it play out in my own life and my own closet.

How my style is different

In April, I changed jobs. Although my previous office environment at a creative agency was pretty casual, I also had some client interaction and I sat at a desk. I often wore Client Meeting level clothes, including heels, and experimented with accessories.

I’m now in house, and part of the development team. I went from an office dress code of Casual to Programmer Casual. You can wear to work what you’d wear on the weekend and it’s totally par for the course. Just wearing a skirt makes me one of the most formally dressed people in the office.

We also have standing desks, which I love, but it means I’m now on my feet several hours during the day.

Six months later, I find myself wearing flat shoes almost every day. I’m incorporating more soft fabrics, such as pants in knits with some stretch. (These are not your mama’s knit stretch pants!) My outfit silhouettes have more loose lines, and I’m more likely now to combine high/low, or dressy with casual. Everything is simpler, and I have begun adding Sporty elements to my wardrobe, mostly in the footwear, but in other pieces, too (somewhat to my surprise).

How it isn’t

My working mom wardrobe is still primarily a mix of Classic, Chic and Modern pieces. I continue to love wearing a streamlined silhouette. I’ll never give up my beloved black and white. And even though I’m starting to dress down (relative to where I was), I’ll never stop dressing up.

My shift in style is a pretty common process. Fellow personal style blogger Sally McGraw of Already Pretty wrote in depth about her recent style evolution—her new clothing touchstone: is it “badass”? Love it!

Have you noticed changes in your personal style lately? What does your evolution look like?

Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! It’s all included in your instant download of the “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” style makeover workshop

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Working mom outfit idea: Fall to winter transition

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love, Find Your Style, Personal Style, Try This Thursdays

Outfit idea: Fall to winter transition

One shortcut for creating outfits for colder winter weather is to take the building blocks of your autumn wardrobe and transition them with layers. (It helps with variable fall temperature days, too.)

On an early fall day of blue skies and warmer sun, this weekend casual outfit of classic pieces like a simple long-sleeved tee, cords and flat shoes will do.

Once the highs get lower and the sun gets weaker, trade the sneakers for more insulated suede desert boots and add a cardigan and scarf (this Burberry is from my Fantasy Closet).

When winter arrives, pile on more layers with a chambray shirt and taller, warmer boots.

In any of these scenarios, the outerwear you add on top will depend on the temperatures where you live and your tolerance for cold. You might toss a puffer vest on any one of these, or go all the way to turtleneck underneath and down coat on top. That’s the beauty of layers; you can adapt your way from “cool and crisp” to “downright Arctic.”

Learn more about how to dress for your figure, clean out your closet and create outfits in the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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What’s hanging in your Fantasy Closet?

By IN Create Outfits, Find Your Style, How-To Tuesdays, Personal Style

What's hanging in your Fantasy Closet? The answers will give you clues about your personal style and the clothes that make you happy.

One fun way to play around with ideas about your personal style is to imagine what it would be if money (and space) were no object.

What are the clothes you dream of wearing? What are the items that catch your eye when you flip through a magazine or skim a website? (Fab blogger Une Femme calls this your Fantasy Wardrobe.)

And while Fantasy Clothes are often a fantasy for a reason, thinking about them can be more than an enjoyable daydream with a cup of coffee.

So start by noticing. What do you notice when you look at clothes, whether they’re the clothes you see on other women or in the store or online?

Pull them together on a Pinterest board, in a Polyvore outfit college, in a binder or whatever way is fun for you.

As you look through your Fantasy Closet, here are some questions to ask yourself about what’s “hanging” inside.

  • Do your selections surprise you?
  • Are they the opposite of what you’re wearing now?
  • When you imagine dressing that way, is the idea exciting? Scary? Both?
  • What are some characteristics these clothes have in common?
  • Is it a color, a shape, a designer, a cut or even a feeling?

You may never be able to fill your real closet with your Fantasy Clothes, but the things you learn about what you like when you answer these questions will help guide your choices the next time you look for something new to buy, or put an outfit together.

In my Fantasy Closet: lots of classic / chic and touch of modern. Black, red, bolds and patterns (OK, this is already in my real closet!). Marni, Armani, Chanel, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors. Impeccable cuts. Fluid fabrics. And because this is a fantasy, I could wear high heels without hurting my feet!

It’s your turn to go Fantasy Shopping. What are you buying?

Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. Say goodbye to “I have nothing to wear”! It’s all included in your instant download of the “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” style makeover workshop

[Affiliate links disclosure]

Working mom outfit idea: Outdoors in autumn

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love, Find Your Style, Personal Style, Style, Try This Thursdays

What to wear outdoors in the fall
Calvin Klein puffer vest /
Joseph Long Sleeve Sailor Tee
/ patterned scarf / Citizens of Humanity cargo khakis / MiH Jeans the Tomboy narrow cords / TOMS suede desert booties / Vans Authentic Lo Pro shoes

Autumn is such a great time of year for outdoor activities: crisp, clear, moderate. This weekend casual outfit will suit you for a range of activities, from the neighborhood block party to an apple-picking day trip.

Start with a ¾-length T-shirt, longer-sleeved if you’re in colder climes. I love a classic mariniere, like this one, but any pattern or solid color will do.

You could always wear a pair of jeans, but why not mix it up with slim fit cords, or cargo khakis? The pockets on the latter come in handy for stashing extra Kleenex, binkies or anything else a mama-on-the-go might need.

If it’s a cooler day, or you’re outside for a while and the temperatures start to drop, wrap a scarf around your neck and toss a puffer vest on top. If it’s later in the fall, keep adding layers, like this or this.

Leave the running shoes at home and try something equally comfortable but with a bit more flair. Desert boots, or chukkas, have been around for decades, but are making a bit of a trend resurgence. Speaking of long-time classics, lace-up Vans or Keds like these are a great choice, too.

Accessorize with a cross-body bag (hands free!) and an insulated mug of your favorite warm beverage.

What’s your favorite outdoor fall activity?

Learn more about how to dress for your figure, clean out your closet and create outfits in the Frantic But Fabulous style workshop—including a checklist of closet essentials.

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Don’t be daunted by statement necklaces!

By IN Advice, Create Outfits, Find Your Style, Personal Style, Work It Wednesdays

Don't be afraid of statement necklaces: Here are some ways to wear them

Chunky, blingy, colorful, big, cascading or bright. Sometimes all of those things at once. Statement necklaces live up to their name, and they can seem a little intimidating. You can’t hide behind your outfit when you’re wearing one.

Paradoxically, I became a fan of the statement necklace because jewelry is my weak spot. I have a good set of basic pieces, but tended to rotate through a handful of simple, and nearly identical, silver necklaces with the occasional pair of earrings to match. Jewelry was always a bit of an afterthought, and you could tell.

But put on a big dramatic necklace and bam! Deliberate jewelry.

So fear not the statement necklace, mamas. They can be a fun addition to your accessory wardrobe. Here are some ways to wear them fearlessly.

How to wear a statement necklace

  • Dress up a casual outfit. Put on a multi-strand beaded necklace and suddenly no-one will realize you’re just wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Instant glamour.
  • Contrast a solid color. Make a solid color top or dress pop with a patterned statement necklace. (I’m fond of leopard print with red.)
  • Contrast a pattern. Do a little pattern mixing between your necklace and your outfit. Try contrasting two multicolored pieces.
  • Fill in a neckline. Want to wear a dress or top to work but the neckline is a little low? Fill it in with a big bad necklace.
  • Make it your power piece. Superheroes often have amulets; Wonder Woman has her bracelets. Find a bad-ass statement necklace and wear it when you want to feel (even more) powerful.

So which statement piece is right for you? Classic and Chic mamas, your statement necklace might be a bigger than usual multi-strand pearl necklace. Boho mamas, you might like an organic piece with oversized wooden beads mixed with stones. Modern mamas, anything big and bold and dramatic is right up your alley. Romantic mamas might like a choker style. And Sporty mamas might opt for a rope of thicker than usual metallic chain.

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.

How to know when your wardrobe is “done”

By IN Advice, Create Outfits, Find Your Style, Flatter Your Body, How-To Tuesdays, Personal Style, Style Q&A

How to tell when your wardrobe is done

This reader has an interesting question about the process of building a clothing wardrobe:

What are the signs that my wardrobe is basically “established” (as opposed to an overall in progress) and I can pat myself on the back? What can I expect in terms of phases, time/effort?

For anyone in the midst of fashion frustration, the idea of having a wardrobe that’s done can seem like a faraway, even impossible, destination.

But you can get there, mamas! Here’s how to do it, and what to expect.

Signs your wardrobe is established

First, let’s talk about what the destination looks like. What is an established wardrobe, anyway? For me, this means a closet full of figure-flattering fundamental pieces around which you can build any kind of outfit you need. To put it another way: you no longer have “nothing to wear.” I call these fundamental pieces The Core Wardrobe.

The phases of wardrobe building

Getting to this delightful place happens in three phases: editing your closet to remove the stuff you don’t like and don’t wear; identifying what you need to buy to fill in the gaps between what you have left and what you need; and acquiring those missing pieces, whether by shopping, thrifting or making them.

The amount of time and effort it takes

Those first two phases—the edit and the audit—can sound like a lot of work. And in a way, they are. It’s no small matter to decide to get rid of things that may have been hanging in your closet for years. The time required, however, is not as much as you might think. These phases are Steps 3 and 4 of “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style,” the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop, and I designed the activities to be achievable in a single weekend. Because if it takes you a lot longer, you’re just not going to do it, right?

As for the final phase, filling in your wardrobe with what you need, that can vary a lot for a number of reasons, beginning with how long your list is. But it’s also usually the most enjoyable; shopping is a lot less exhausting when you actually know what you’re looking for and how to know when you’ve found it.

Here’s one more way I think of a wardrobe as being established: when you get to go shopping for things you want, not just things you need.

Ready to start building your wardrobe foundation? It’s easier than you think! Get step-by-step help editing your closet of the clothes you no longer need and filling it with style for the way you live. It’s all included in your instant download of the Frantic But Fabulous style makeover workshop, “No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Better, Shop Smarter and Reclaim Your Style.” Get it today!