My Virtual Assistant (Richard Wilmore) and I recently ran a Facebook poll asking women if they owned a full-length mirror. The overwhelming response was YES, but I have to say from closet-editing experiences, approximately 35% of the clients I’ve worked with did not have one.
If you don’t own a full-length mirror, my question to you is how can you get the whole picture of your outfit? Ya can’t! You’re only getting half the picture.
So don’t leave the house like I’m about to do (bottom left) in an outfit that’s 1/2 polished and 1/2 crazy!
You can find full-length mirrors at Target, Wal-Mart, and numerous other places for under $20.00. Consider treating yourself to one. Get the picture?
Here’s the case study set up: you have an important meeting, coffee date, interview, networking event or first date. How do you show up? What do you want to project? What can you do to feel your absolute best?
Do you show up sans makeup like me in picture #1? Or maybe you apply a tinted moisturizer and lip balm like I’ve done in picture #2. I can tell you this for sure, I feel most confident and authentic in picture #3.
I know many who can just wear mascara or a beautiful lip color to look and feel amazing. But as you can see in picture #1, that’s a tentative smile. If I were to leave the house like that, I’d pray I didn’t run into anyone I know. I freely and happily admit that I LOVE what just a little makeup can do to make my features pop, and help me feel more attractive. And if I feel my best, as I do in picture #3 by adding eyeliner and mascara, I’ll have a much better chance of shining!
A couple of weeks ago while scanning my closet for things to purge, I pulled out “Ole Yeller.” I had only worn her once this summer, so I decided to do a day-test, that is, wear her for the day to see if I still liked her enough to keep her.
Later that morning I met a few friends for coffee. As soon as I walked into the café, they complimented me on Yeller, and even suggested I wear her for a style video I was shooting later that day. Flattered by the compliments and not listening to my gut, I wore her.
Here’s what I learned: Listen to your gut, especially when you don’t want to bring attention to it. HAA! I liked the top whilst standing, but when it came to sitting, all bets were off. You see, in the seated position, Yeller became clingy, making me feel quite self-conscious of my torso area. I became a mini-diva, as I couldn’t find what I thought to be a flattering position to sit in. I had to change into pants from a skort, thinking that would camouflage my tummy more. It didn’t help. And as Richard Wilmore of The Richard Wilmore Show filmed a conversation between Kathy Wise of Streetwise and myself, I was sweating buckets, not only because it was a 1000 degrees outside, but because I was uncomfortable/self conscious in Yeller. I don’t even know what the hell I said in our conversation. I hope it made some sense because Kathy and I talked about 2 great topics: 1) what to wear when you’ve lost a lot of weight and 2) the importance of situational awareness if exercising outside alone (please see the attached videos).
Standing room only? I think not. Life’s too damn short to waste time feeling that self conscious. Therefore, Ole Yeller is in the “donate” pile, but in her honor, I’m going to find another lemon-yellow top or dress that I feel terrific wearing.
Expand your comfort zone. I love how that sounds. My friend Keith gave me that fresh perspective when it was time to take the next step with The Wright Fit. The same can be said when it comes to our Personal Style. While I totally believe in having “go-to” personal uniforms, unless we venture outside our comfy-style confines, we may never know what we’re missing. My sister Val recently did just that, and as you’ll see, it can pay to seek the road less traveled.
Val and her husband were invited to a cocktail event in the DC area a few weeks ago. She had a perfectly lovely LBD in her closet, but she wanted to take a risk and wear something different. After a day or so of shopping and not finding what she was looking for, Val scheduled an appointment with a stylist she’d worked with before. She specifically requested the stylist not bring over any sleeveless dresses.
So much for that! (haa) Val fell in love with 2 sleeveless dresses her stylist had picked out. And if she hadn’t been open to expanding her comfort zone more than she’d originally intended, Val would’ve missed out on looking and feeling incredible! Notice how the flowy, two-toned Grecian style dress shows off her toned arms and shoulders. And how about the asymmetry of the whimsical bird dress? It’s extremely flattering. Val called this one the “20 lb dress” because as soon as she put in on, she felt like she’d lost 20 pounds.
So if you’re tired of the same ole same ole, follow my Big Sis’s lead…. and expand YOUR comfort zone.
Raise your hand if you’re not fond of clothes shopping. Yep, that’s what I thought, lots of hands went up. Hey, I don’t like to empty the dishwasher, but if I haven’t timed it just right so that Will ends up doing it, I have to do the honors. The same goes with clothes shopping, sometimes we just have to do it.
Improve your shopping trip by wearing a stylishly, comfortable outfit. Wear makeup. Wear a supportive bra. Bring shoes and shape-wear to try on with the outfits you’re shopping for. Case in point: you’re looking for a cocktail dress to wear to a friend’s wedding and you head out directly from the gym. You have on sweaty workout clothes, a ball-cap and running shoes. There’s no way you’ll be able to get the true picture of how you’re going to look in that killer dress if you’re donning socks and clunky athletic shoes.
More sage advice…..don’t shop hangry, but watch the fiber intake before shopping too. Nothing is much worse than being totally bloated out while trying on jeans! (LOL) Do grab yourself a fun coffee or tea while you’re out-n-about.
Now that we’ve established how to get started, please read my Style File Side Bar in the current issue of Harford’s Heart Magazine: Clothes Shopping – Learn To Love It. Give these strategies a try because they can make your clothes shopping experience way more productive and enjoyable.