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style

What Kind of Shopper Are You?

By | style
Have you ever asked yourself that question? Wondering why it would even matter? I believe the more you know about yourself, what you like and don’t like, what you’re willing to spend, how far you’re willing to travel to shop, etc, helps take some of the stress out of getting dressed.
Here are a few examples:

When I’m clothes shopping for myself, convenience and price are big factors. But even more important, I know that I get bored wearing the same pieces over and over. Therefore, a structured Capsule Wardrobe feels too restrictive for my personality. I enjoy clothing variety, like having 30 casual dresses to choose from at any given time, but hey, that’s just me. And since I’m not independently wealthy, along with being short and curvy (not always easy to fit), I choose to shop at stores like TJ Maxx, Target, Old Navy, Ross etc, where I feel I get a lot of bang for my buck.  I also take great care of my clothes and can get 3 – 5 years out of them.  My somewhat – splurges are on shoes and jeans. I need the shoes to be as comfy as possible, and I don’t mind spending more on a great pair of jeans due to the cost per wear factor.  If I spend $85 on a pair of jeans and wear them 2 x week for 2 years, my cost per each wear is $0.41. That works for me.

My sister Val (with impeccable funky-classic style and who happens to be much older than me 😉 is totally different.  Her wardrobe is smaller, more expensive, and she doesn’t like to wear things for more than about 2 years.  Val shops mostly at Nordstrom Rack, TJ Maxx and occasionally Ann Taylor. She also loves shopping online at HauteLook (beware – this site can be addictive! Haa), with the added convenience of returning no-go’s back to Nordstrom Rack.  Val has a knack for finding beautiful, expensive-looking pieces at incredible prices.  Her admitted splurges are on good boots, Cashmere sweaters and the occasional use of Trunk Club, because when you and your hubby are big-time foodies living in the DC Metro area, you gotta look and feel great when you’re checking out all those fabulous restaurants!

Maybe you’ve been told, or maybe you’ve read in fashion magazines that you should shop a certain way.  HHHmmmm, I can guarantee you if I tried to shop like Val, or she tried to shop like me; it wouldn’t work for either of us, because it’s not us.

Maybe you’re a shopper who’s somewhere in the middle.  Maybe like my friend Patricia, you get the majority of your wardrobe from eclectic boutiques, or Glenna, who finds fabulous clothes from QVC. Maybe you’re a lovely, fun combo of all of the above like my friend Suz. The beauty of it is you get to decide what works best for you.  And when you know and do what’s best for you, it, as my friend Stacey says, “Makes shopping so much more fun, enjoyable and easy.”

Quick Fixes for Common Fashion Emergencies

By | style

First things first, if you have an upcoming important meeting, event, speaking engagement or similar, I would highly recommend having a backup outfit, including shoes, at hand in the event of a major fashion emergency. But if you don’t, here are a few ‘quick fix’ solutions that can be kept in your purse, car or desk, and they’ll help you cruise through your day, rather than having your day ruined.

*Get the lint off

Ever been to a restaurant with white cloth napkins only to realize your dark colored clothes are then covered in white lint?  Easy solution, keep a small lint roller handy. If you don’t have one, roll scotch tape around your hand and pat your clothes to remove the lint. Simplygoodstuff.com has a washable mini-lint roller for about $3.00

 *Flyaway hair

What to do if your hair is a bit askew? If you have hand lotion handy, apply a small amount to your hands and then run your hands over the flyaway area.  In a pinch, this will help to weigh your hair down for a while. Want to be more proactive? Check out the anti-frizz/flyaway hair sheets by Redkin, Pacifica and Nunzio Saviano on Amazon. 

*Wrinkled clothes

A wrinkle releaser spray won’t give you the same starched effect that a steamer or an iron will, but it’s a great alternative when you’re on the go. Downey makes a travel-size wrinkle release spray.

*Stains

I’m not saying these will make your spaghetti sauce-stained white blouse look like new, but Shout Wipes can be pretty darn effective. Baby wipes do a decent job on some stains too.  In either case, give the stain a gentle rub before it has time to set.

*Fallen Hems, Shirt Gaping, Slipping Bra Straps, Plunging Necklines

Temporarily fix all these fashion mishaps with two musts for your Fashion Emergency Kit – double sided/stick tape and safety pins!

*That inconvenient pantyhose run

Make sure you stash clear nail polish in your kit and then dab both ends of the run with the polish. Pull it away from your skin and let it dry.

 Throw these items into a small zipper bag and keep them in your car or purse, or have one for each place. Don’t feel like making your own emergency kit? You can find pre-made purse size kits like Hollywood’s Fashion Secrets Style Emergency kit for around $10.

Summer Essentials + A Few You May Not Have Thought Of

By | style
Summer’s heat and humidity are right around the corner. Are you prepared with the essentials to help you breeze through the season? No? Al-rightly then, let’s remedy that situation with the aid of FAB and The Style File Side Bar in the current Harford’s Heart.
Fab is feeling cool and unencumbered in her lightweight, cotton-rayon, relaxed fit dress, Dona Bela Shred Scarf  (one of her bestie’s/Patsy gave her for her Birthday) and comfy Rockport wedges. Instead of lugging around a heavy bag that falls off her shoulder, Fab opted for a small cross-body purse. She topped off her stump-head with a cute hat to keep the sun out of her eyes, that is if she had them.  Anywhoo, Fab is ready for a day of carefree fun.
And now, for those Summer Essentials You May Not Have Thought Of….

Don’t Apologize for This….

By | style

Have you ever apologized for being a little more “polished” than you’re used to? An entrepreneur friend of mine, who dresses quite casually day to day, did just that at a recent networking event. Funny thing was, she looked fantastic, just the way you’d want your marketing specialist to look: professionally approachable, confident and creative.

And full disclosure, I used to do the same thing…. a lot, especially when I was figuring out my own personal style. It was as if I felt bad about feeling good.  Deep down I was probably a bit self conscious of my newly found confidence. Wow, a psychologist could have a field day with that, right?  But if you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or you just want to feel better about yourself, what you put forth in the world, including your personal style, shapes not only YOUR self perception, but also the perception of how others see you.

Think of the power in that. Right now, if you don’t feel great about your appearance, or you have no idea what your style is, ask yourself what you want others to see about you, but more importantly, ask yourself what you want to see when you look in the mirror. Then take a step in that direction. If you have a closet full of corporate attire, but you’re working in a more relaxed environment or retired, it’s time to make some wardrobe changes.  And guess what? This can be so much fun!

In my case, I want to see, and want you to see, that I’m not trying to be anyone other than myself.  I don’t live for fashion, but I love to feel and look sassy, confident and tree/mountain-top grounded. I love the outdoors, mountains, wildlife, laughing, cherry-pink tinted lip gloss and tons of print dresses! (HA) This is what I attempt to project, because when I finally released the notion that I had to look a certain way, it was immensely empowering.

So the next time you feel yourself about to apologize for looking great, receive that compliment with a huge smile and a “thank you,” while allowing yourself to feel THE POWER of the authentic POLISH.

And who knows, maybe we’ll run into each other summiting a mountain….or climbing a tree.   😉

Case Studies in Making an Effort

By | style

A couple of months ago while clothes scouting at TJMaxx, I ran into Nettie Owens, Productivity Consultant and owner of Sappari Consulting. She looked amazing in a simple wrap dress, kitten heeled – nude pumps, and minimal makeup. I asked her if she had an important meeting to go to and she informed me she did not.  I admit, I was a little surprised to see her dressed so professionally when she didn’t have to meet with a client, and yet I was proud of Nettie. You see, she had hired The Wright Fit two years prior to help her tweak and update her wardrobe. It had taken. Nettie told me she had been working from home and then had some errands to run. She said dressing professionally and feeling good about how she was presenting herself made her much more productive.  Boy oh boy do I get that.

Here are a few more thoughts on the subject in my Style File Side Bar in the current Harford’s Heart Magazine: