Standing Room Only?

By | lifestyle, style

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.

Expanding Your Style Comfort Zone

By | style

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.

Clothes Shopping Strategies

By | style | No Comments
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 MagazineClothes Shopping  – Learn To Love It. Give these strategies a try because they can make your clothes shopping experience way more productive and enjoyable.

Crop, Ankle, Capri….What’s the Difference?

By | style, trends | No Comments

Nothing like accosting friends for a self-serving picture! Well, I did just that to Laura Musser at a recent CPWN meeting and to Cheryl McComas by the Peeps at Wegmans.  Poor things, but I couldn’t help myself, they were the perfect models to help me differentiate ankle-crops from capris.

A cropped pant is actually anything that’s shorter than a regular/standard hem.  They make casual, summer dressing stylish and easy, while also crossing over into year round business attire. The characteristic that distinguishes them is where they fall in-between the bottom of your knees and the tops of your feet . Time to make some sense out of all of this:

  • Ankle pants(typically referred to as cropped pants) – hit right above the ankle.  They are often tapered or straight, though we are also seeing a lot of flared-cropped jeans this year.  Pair dressier ankle-crops with sharp booties, regular and/or pointy toe pumps for a modern-classic look.
  • Capri pants– typically more casual and they fall about halfway between the knees and ankles. Therefore, they are obviously shorter than ankle pants and also a little trickier to wear.  Why? Because they can shorten the look of the leg if you aren’t tall. But don’t let that stop you, just avoid the hem hitting at the widest part of your calf.  Instead, try to find capris that fall where your shin indents.  A good tip is to pair with wedge sandals to add height and lengthen the legs.   And unless they’re culottes, look for slim and skimming fits.
  • Cropped Flare Jeans– are a big trend this year.  A friend said they remind her of Cpt. Kirk pants, so it’s a good thing I love all things original Star Trek, including Cpt. James T. Kirk! (haa)  Throw on a light-wash pair with blush colored fashion sneaks and a slouchy, front tucked tank and you’ll be set for a spring day of shopping or sightseeing around the Baltimore-Washington area.  Full disclosure, I don’t own a pair of these yet, but I’m on the lookout!

Many people have strong opinions on whether the above pants are flattering or not, but those people are not you! So give em’ a try and see what you think.  My bet is there’s a version out there for all of us!

You as Art

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I’ve been called a piece of work, but a piece of art? Guess that depends on the art. Visions of  black-velvet paintings of dogs playing poker are popping into my head (LOL).  But last week as I read a blog titled “How Early Childhood Shapes Our Self-Image and Style” by Carla Mathis, it got me thinking about this subject.  Carla is a world renown Image Consultant and owner of The Style Core in CA. I received my Styling Certification through her company. One of the first assignments I had to complete was to send Carla my favorite pictures of art, nature and architecture.  I had forgotten how powerful this exercise was.  The thought is that when you are describing why you like your favorites, you are describing yourself.   As you can read in her blog highlighted above, the client she was working with had a disconnect between his everyday image/look and who he truly is and who he’s meant to be.

I challenge you to think about your favorites or even better, go round them up and take a looksie.  What does your art say about you? Are you elegant, sophisticated and classic? Maybe you’re quirky, colorful, funny and independent? Does your current look/style represent what is depicted in your favorites? If not, why not?  How can you get there?

The first thing you have to do is get really clear. Life Coach Stacey Andon and I would love to help you do just that with our “Find Your Authentic  Style” workshop on Saturday, March 18th. We want you to not only fall in love with your closet, but to think of yourself as a beautiful and unique piece of art.  If you plan on joining us, please bring a favorite picture of art, architecture and/or nature so that we can help you find and share your own beautiful shine!