Let’s do a little classroom exercise. Raise your hand if you enjoy being your child’s Uber. Raise your hand if you are excited about running to Staples six times in three days this week. Raise your hand if you enjoy screaming at your kids to go bed and then yelling at them to wake up in the morning. I’m assuming no one has raised any hands so we will try a different question. Raise your hand if you would like your outfits picked out for you this week so you can get up and get out the door faster. Okay, that I can help with. I can’t plan ahead for meals or a weekly family dinner menu but I can to that with outfits. True story – this text below is an exchange between me and one of my very good friends.
Whereas this is what happens when I go to events at her house.
So I’m going to stick to what I know and let my friend shop for Octopus. Below are suggestions for those mornings where you just need a starting point. I’m throwing in as many realistic type of photos I can find on Pinterest to help with some visual inspiration, (so no pics of celebrities wearing Chanel and 6 inch heels since we know we aren’t going to go to Staples this week in that). It’s all on this little cheat sheet below so you can save the plan and reference it. Hope this helps and good luck this week!
MONDAY – Back to Basics Black
Keep it simple and go all black. It could be a little black dress, jumpsuit, or pair different textures of black together. Keep jewelry minimal or go for larger statement pieces like a cuff or chunky necklace.
MONDAY – Opposites Attract
Pair a trendier cut or style of denim (frayed, distressed, cropped) and pair back to a classic white top. The more casual the denim the dressier your top can be. If you can’t wear jeans to work try throwing on a jean jacket as a blazer back to a pencil skirt o pants, or over a dress.
WEDNESDAY – Start With The Shoes
Pick a pair you haven’t worn for a while and build your outfit around the shoes. Pull out colors from your closet that will coordinate with the shoes, or choose a cropped pant or flared hem that features the shoes.
THURSDAY- Pick A Pattern
Go with something classic like a striped shirt or mix it up with a floral skirt. Leopard, polka dots, and checks are all easy prints to pair back to solid or to wear as a dress.
FRIDAY- Keep It Simple
Solid black with solid white. It’s a classic combination and you can’t go wrong. Even a black t-shirt with white jeans looks pulled together.
Well, hopefully you made it till Friday night. Time to take off the bra, put on your comfiest oldest t-shirt, sweatpants, and pour yourself a gargantuan glass of wine!
*Insider Tip – Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Personally I am pretty useless when it comes to brain after dark. I could possibly be solar-powered but not sure. But if you are one of those proactive organized types who likes to get as much done at night in order to streamline your morning, then try finding a spot in your closet, or maybe a hook on the back of your door, to designate as your O.O.T.D. (Outfit of the day). Just like when you were a kid, or maybe for your own kids, laying out your outfit the night before can save you so much time and ease that pre-morning coffee sluggish brain into getting dressed. Or, if you are more like me and like a glass of wine before bed, you are better off not picking out your outfit at night because Lord knows what you could come up with. (Poor Kylie, clearly she has new mommy brain because this yellow thing is not a good choice).
I have a love/hate version with technology, specifically with my iPhone. I love how it can connect me to all kinds of information anytime I want. But sometimes I hate the pressure of feeling like I always have to be connected at all times. My brain is starting to function very much like my current iPhone, which is actually no longer very current and definitely needs an upgrade. Honestly between all of the social media I feel like I can’t keep up with responding, both socially and professionally, in an intelligent and meaningful manner.
Storage Almost Full
Much like my phone that is overstuffed with photos, my clothes are becoming overstuffed with, well, me. Too much pizza, too much wine (Damn you summer rose`), and too many cookies. Those are my favorite three things to eat and drink and I am pretty sure none of them are in the food triangle that gets pointed out to our kids at their well check. I know what I need to do. I need to take the time to purge the photos off of my phone (I have 12,092 and 83 videos as I type this right now) and onto Dropbox or iCloud or one of a million other options but, I’m lazy and haven’t taken the time to figure out how to do it without accidentally deleting or sharing everything. And I need to hire someone to follow me around and smack my hand whenever I reach for pizza, cookies or wine.
There are two types of people in this world. There are those that just have a picture of their battery in the form of an icon in the corner of their screen, and then there are those who have the actual percentage rate of battery charge posted right next to the battery icon. Guess which one proves to be more stressful? Those of us who have the number posted can’t fathom how the rest of you can function. It is like the gas tank in your car just showing a level but no actual mileage or numbers. I so wish I could be laid back and not stress when I see that battery going low, but, if I am being totally honest, I start to freak when I see my levels go under 50%. I panic because I have no idea what the rate and speed of depletion is. We have all looked at phones and thought, “Hey I’ve got 57%, I’ll be fine.”, only to look down 30 minutes later and see that awful RED battery with a single digit percentage. Lately my brain feels the same way. My energy drains at an inconsistent rate. Somedays I get up and can get a million things done and feel great. Other days I feel spent after simply getting the kids off to school. The one thing I know for sure is after too many social events my battery plummets and I need to be home, alone, staring out at the trees in my backyard, usually eating cookies and drinking rose`. This has to happen immediately or I will shut down and cease to function at all. My introvert self needs to recharge BEFORE the battery turns red.
Too Many Apps and Too Many Open Apps
When we realize our phones are running low on battery and on storage we immediately check to make sure we close or delete any open apps that we aren’t using. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do that in our brains? This is where yoga and meditation are really as important as everyone tells us. They allow us to close all the noise of all the thoughts that are going simultaneously inside our heads. “I need to make the kids dentist appointment…when was the last time I was at the dentist…do I need toothpaste…I know I need to pick up that prescription from the pharmacy…when I go to the pharmacy I should grab a birthday card for that party my son is going to…did I rsvp for that party…oh and what can I get for a gift…what am I going to do my kids’ birthdays this year…oops red light I thought that was yellow…SQURRIEL! ” When our brain has too many apps open we are not present and that is when we do things like leave our wallets on top of our cars or bang our toes into doorways. Not good stuff. And sometimes we just have too many apps, as in you don’t even know what they all do and if you need all of them anymore. People who are really helpful tend to say yes to everything and the next thing you know they find themselves involved in an overload of activities and obligations. Sometimes you just have to look at all of them all together and see which ones are sucking up the most data and draining the most battery. Often times we don’t use all those apps or things in our lives.
Unable to Install Update
When our phones start to get old we start to notice that they are not charging as fast or effectively as before. Sometimes it’s the chargers themselves, the cords get too bent, the ports get dirty, and sometimes it’s just because the phone needs and update. Most of these nagging update messages pop up and we generally hit the Later option which tells us that it can do the update overnight as long as it is plugged in to charge. Sounds simple but how many times have you fallen asleep without plugging in your phone? If the phone isn’t charged properly it can’t update. Well neither can I. If I don’t get my downtime or a good nights sleep I can’t seem to prioritize the things I know I need to do to upgrade my life. Exercise, eating right, making time for friends all feel like things that slip further out of my reach if I haven’t been able to properly recharge. And the more I put off the updates I so desperately need, the further and further I get from trying to effectively reach my goals personally and professionally. And how many of us put off the update for fear of it changing what is familiar to us? Sometimes we repeat a negative cycle simply because it takes less work than consciously changing a bad habit. We all fear change but usually it creates growth and something positive. This will require me to swap out my cookies and wine for carrots and seltzer, which I have been putting off even though I know I need to do to feel better. I think there is a bit of a rebel in all of us who hates being told by our phone what to do. I don’t want it to tell me I have to install an update. I want to decide and be in control if I want the update. This is so childish but I am very guilty of not always wanting to do something that is told to me rather than asked of me. Stupid and stubborn but I’m working on it. I think Apple needs to work with reverse psychology and tell me not to the update and then maybe I would…totally messed up.
Phone Is Overheated
Well this one isn’t fun. Who has left the phone out in the sun on a hot day, or maybe even in your car? Of course this happens when you need it the most, not like a clown with a bloody knife is chasing me emergency, but more like I need to use the phone to get directions type of emergency. Well again if you are a female over the age of 40 you probably know what it feels like to feel overheated and it ain’t fun. Sweating into your sheets and adding to your mountain of laundry isn’t a great start to your day. Plus when you are overheated you don’t sleep well which means you can’t recharge your battery which creates to our overall slow overall performance. There is only one cure for this one and that is to give you and your phone a chance to cool down. I also recommend lowering your thermostat to 65 after your husband goes to bed and buying these moisture wicking pjs from Soma.
Insider Tip – Upgrade You and Your Phone
Sometimes you do all that you can do and then it is just time. You need to upgrade your phone. There is a famous quote about the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. I am totally guilty of this. Sometimes we just need a new phone. While we can’t just run to the hospital and ask for a new brain, (which of course we would back up first to make sure we could upload all of our memories and feelings), we can make some changes to our outside. We are often told we need to feel good on the inside so that we can look good on the outside. While I do believe this I also believe that we need to both feel and look good. And sometimes these may happen out-of-order. Sometimes a person has done all they can do internally but things just aren’t changing for them in their mindset. That person may just need an extra push and that extra push may come from changing the outside and working in. Sounds confusing but hear me out. I know clients who have lost weight, been through a divorce, or just generally felt insecure or struggled with self-esteem. They are stuck with a voice inside their head that they are desperate not to hear. When someone compliments you how do you feel? It can be something as small and simple as “I love your earrings!” and the next thing you know that person is standing a little taller, holding their head a little higher. I can’t tell you how good it feels to get to know my clients, to understand them and to see their beauty, and then to able to put them into clothing that reflects what I am able to see on their inside. When we feel pulled together on the outside it helps us to feel pulled together on the inside. When we feel pulled together inside we can act pulled together, resulting in a positive shift. Let me be very clear in that this is not a makeover. That would be like trading in your phone and never copying over any of your previous contacts, apps and information. There is a reason when we get a new phone we first connect it to iTunes and reload our backup info. There is comfort in seeing all that information and apps come back up into this new phone. Now we are in the position to edit what we want to put on the phone, so instead of deleting apps and information we get to choose what we want to add in. This is exactly what happens when I first meet with a client and help them go through their closet. I hesitate to use the phrase “get rid of stuff” when I prefer to think of it as choosing what we want to put back in. What items work for their life RIGHT now, fit them RIGHT now, and make them feel good. When you fill your closet back up with the good stuff then you can put together new outfit combinations out of your favorite things, sometimes the clients hardly have to buy anything new. This is kind of like when you finally check with your phone provider and realize you are actually eligible for a free upgrade or that it will cost you very little. Sometimes a client may need just a few key pieces, like jeans in an updated rise and cut or shoes that in line with what’s currently in style, and then they can mix them back into their wardrobe and upgrade. Upgrading is a good thing. It means that it was already good but that it can get even better, just like us.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post,
Full disclosure, I was going to call this blog post “Why I love my job”, but I feared most people would roll their eyes and hit delete. I know I would if someone else posted that title. So why am I still going to write about something that sounds like its dripping with sticky sweetness? Because I am a true blue pessimist, or, more politely, I’d call myself a realist. I look at the good, the bad, and the what could go wrong.
There is a beautiful quote that I love:
See I tend to live my life in the past, constantly beating myself up about mistakes I’ve made, things I’ve said wrong and what I could have done differently. I play it like a highlight reel in my brain, like reliving that awful final episode of Lost, where I’m left with more questions than answers. And, when not enjoying the sad-masochistic sport of beating myself up, my thoughts wander over to hang out in the worry department of my mind, also known as the future. No, I don’t mean the future as in global warming, although that is stressful and I’m convinced we will all end up like the Disney Wall-E movie, I mean my personal, and usually immediate, future. “What are we going to have for dinner? When am I going to find time for that car appointment? Am I ever going to get that stain out of the rug?” This is where a normal person’s brain would take chicken out of the freezer and decide to grill it for dinner, then call to make the car appointment while getting online and ordering miracle carpet cleaner from Amazon, all within 5 minutes. I KNOW this and I KNOW how to do these things but something in me just gets stuck, and, quite frankly, I don’t claim to be a normal person. So I’m currently trying to focus really, really hard on the present, where if I stay really, really, focused, it’s peaceful happy, and generally a good place to be.
So how do we stay “present”? Stop that thief!
I know so many of us struggle to be “in the moment”, and why I can’t possibly get into all the reasons why, I can give you some small tricks and tips I’ve picked up that are helping me. True confession, my career stresses me out. I love my job but it’s that big word career that I struggle with. I’m supposed to be a badass hashtag girlboss entrepreneur. Sadly, I just had to use spellcheck to find out how to spell entrepreneur. I’m not competitive but I struggle with comparison. I don’t want to compete with others but I can’t help but compare.
Another great quote:
And by human nature when we compare, we contrast, it’s pretty much what we learned at an early age at school. Compare and contrast these two sentences/pictures/objects, see what makes them different. Different IS good, but, we are conditioned to think one version is better than the other. Again, I’m going to blame this on school, we look at choices or options and we determine which one is good, better and best. That’s just not real life. Stop that thought process that is robbing you of your own joyfulness. Focus on youand your accomplishments. Compare those to how far you’ve been and I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Talk to inner parent and inner child – just not out loud in front of people, preferably.
I’m throwing out yet another quote, this one from the movie that may have been overlooked by the Academy, but in my family it’s a masterpiece.
From Talladega Nights: The Ballard of Ricky Bobby
Poor Ricky lives his entire life based on advice his own father rambled out one day. But eventually his father even admits that it was stupid advice.
It’s Ricky Bobby’s dad who gives out this poor advice and it’s years later that he explains how nonsensical that same advice sounds. We strive to teach our children to do their best, and, to not compare themselves to what other people are doing. Does winning feel good? Hell, yeah. No one loses a game and says they feel great. You don’t bomb a presentation at work and think, “Wow, that felt amazing!” But what if we started treating ourselves like children again? While I wish that meant more snacks and afternoon naps, what I really mean is a little dose of kindness. I’m really hard on myself and pretty accepting of others. When it comes to my own attitude I don’t tend to pull it all together, put my big girl panties on, and go into battle. I’m more of a grab my blankie and go back to bed kinda chick, who then lies there and beats myself up for being that kind of chick. Good times. What if, bear with me now, you could take the rational adult out of your body, and have it have a chat with the frustrated, upset, confused child that is still in there? Even if you are not a parent I know you know how to speak and give advice with compassion. What would you tell this child version of yourself? I’m pretty sure it’s not “you suck”. Just try this for five minutes and give yourself some words of kindness, encouragement and reassurance. Then go in your room, slam the door, and take a timeout if you still get mad at your own inner parent for trying to help yourself.
Mind over matter.
Kids’ activities and sports are brutal these days. I recently had the very honest conversation with my son that when he is deciding to participate in an activity I want him to ask himself two questions.
Are you going to have any fun? Are you going to learn anything?
Hopefully he’s learning something AND having fun at whatever he’s choosing to do as an optional activity. I say optional because school is not optional and while I know he is learning many things, most of the time he is telling me how it’s not very fun. There’s also activities that we find ourselves in and realize that we aren’t having fun and we aren’t learning anything. We can’t control other people so why would we depend on them to make us have fun and to make us learn something. With the right mindset we can CHOOSE to have fun, and, we can CHOOSE to learn something, even in negative and/or boring situations. Mind over matter is HUGE. It’s so simple and yet so complicated because it involves actively listening to and consciously changing the dialogue in our minds. That dialogue can quickly grow into a chaotic chatter like listening to the ladies of The View talking over each other and arguing about who knows what. So turn the volume down and change the channel. Put on music you love. Take control by listening to your thoughts and sending the bad ones off to walk the plank.
Share your strengths…and your weaknesses.
A few years ago my friend and her family moved into a new neighborhood. The homes were pretty much picture perfect and the other moms looked the part as well. One of them came over to introduce themselves and drop off homemade muffins. Before you think this gets too Wisteria Lane-like, my friend shared with me the best part. Those muffins were had Halloween themed wrappers on the bottom, yet it was April. This is the moment my friend knew she’d become good friends with this neighbor because the kind gesture and cooking skills came with the big ‘ol reality check that says, yeah this is all the wrappers I had and I am good with that. Nobody likes perfection. It’s annoying and it’s not relatable. If she came over with homemade muffins, in a handmade basket with wrappers on the muffins that said welcome I think things would have turned out very differently. So why not share our gifts and strengths, put them out there and be proud of them. Just don’t forget to share the other real parts of your life, because that’s where we all can relate to each other. And when we relate to each other we understand each other. We forgive, we accept, we open up and we help each other. It’s a safe place, a happy place.
You’ve got to believe to receive.
This is the same thing I tell my kids every Christmas, mostly because I still love the fantasy and magic of the holiday, but boy have I been learning lately how very true it is. See I had this post finished yesterday morning and ready to post last night but yesterday afternoon I had a bit of a shakeup. I went out yesterday evening to go to the wine store and the grocery store. On the way to those two stores I decided to stop at on outdoor flower market. It’s finally feeling warm and sunny and I wanted something pretty by our door. I left the flower place and pulled into the parking lot at the grocery store and was stopped by a man in his car who politely asked if I had a pink wallet. Shit. He said he saw what looked like a pink wallet blow off the top of my car just outside of the flower place and he followed me her to tell me. I thanked him profusely and jumped into my car to go back to where I was. I was walking up and down the road and encountered another man who was working nearby and said he saw a car stop and grab what looked like a wallet off the side of the road. Double Shit. All my credit cards, drivers license, and contact info were in that wallet. This was either a good thing because the person would have no problem contacting me, or, a really horrible thing, as in identity theft. The pessimist in me quickly canceled everything and reported everything and went home and cried. Like really hard cried. I was so mad at myself. My mind quickly started the blame game and snowballed all the things I felt like I had done wrong. I was not being present, I was not paying attention and I was sick of always feeling like I am messing up. And then I threw myself in front of that runaway train in my head. Stop. Enough.
One of my best friends recently shared a really fabulous mantraof hers with me:
Show up and shut up.
It was time to do something and shut up all that crap in my brain. I posted on our local community Facebook page that if anyone saw the wallet, even if it was empty, that I’d love to have it back. I received so many relatable, funny, hopeful, kind and caring replies. A friend of mine wrote that one time her mom left their cat on top of their car. Yes, she was serious, and yes, the cat did indeed have nine lives because it survived until someone notified her mother to pull over. Many more women let me know all the places they have left and lost things so I didn’t feel like it was just me. I went to bed feeling oddly at peace. There was nothing I could do but send out good vibes into the universe and hope for the best. I was going to will that wallet back to me, somehow, someway. I also saw it as a sign as heavy as a rock being dropped on my head. I didn’t need that wine from the store last night as I probably would have drank too much of it and woke up tired and bloated. I needed to get rid of some of those credit cards that I wasn’t using and didn’t want to use. I needed to slow down.
This morning I woke up and hit the restart button. I had some cash in my other bag and I set out to Dunkin Donuts for my liquid motivation. I said another quick prayer to the universe and set a positive mindset. My father-in-law always says “keep the faith” and since our daughter is named Faith I think of this so very often. Two minutes later my cell phone rang with an unknown number. A man asked for me by and said he found my wallet in the middle of the road this morning, right where I had lost it yesterday. He was in the parking lot across from the Dunkin Donuts that I was headed to right then. I drove over and thanked the man profusely and then I cried in my car. I was so happy. Everything was in my wallet, even my Dunkin Donuts gift card. Today will be a good day.
*Insider Tip – Dress the part, play the part.
We’ve all heard the advice that sometimes you have to “Fake it till you make it”. Your clothes can help with that. Ever hear the term “Power Suit”? Or how about to “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”? There is truth to all of those pieces of advice, and yes, I don’t advise dressing like Batman at your current job unless you are Robin and work in the bat cave. What this really means is, sometimes you have to shop a bit outside of your comfort zone, stocking your closet with items that you know you can put on and FEEL differently when you are wearing them. I want to stress the emphasis on only going a bit outside of your comfort zone. Buying a cone-shaped bra will not make you feel as sexy as Madonna if your idea of wearing something revealing is open-toed shoes. Imagine your personal style to be a box. Now draw a circle around that box. When people recommend to go outside your box, a.k.a. your comfort zone, they don’t mean to go onto another planet.
Just outside that box, but still inside the circle is where you want to be. This way you stay true to who you are without compromising your character.
There is this really cool part of my job where I get to play fairy godmother to a Cinderella. As we all know, in the fairytale, Cinderella didn’t go all Bravo Real Housewives and change who she is when she put on that dress. She was always the same girl who was mopping the floors and she was always beautiful. The Fairy godmother didn’t make her beautiful, she simply placed her into a dress that made her feel beautiful. If Cinderella put that dress on and looked down, and slumped over and never made eye contact then she probably wouldn’t have danced with the Prince. It’s not like the Prince thought, wow, is she wearing a dress from the new Chanel Spring collection? He simply noticed her, as she was radiating because she felt beautiful. When we feel beautiful outside we start to feel beautiful inside. A dress can’t transform an entire person, but sometimes it’s the kickstart we need to start to feel better. A new haircut, a little makeup, it all helps us see to see ourselves a little differently when we look in the mirror, and, ultimately, think a little differently as well. So what can a woman who feels and looks baeutiful do? Anything she wants.
This is what I love about my job. I get to bring out the beauty that I see in my clients. But in order for me to see it I have to see them, as in really, truly see them for who they are, flaws, strengths and weaknesses. Making someone feel better about themselves? I’m not gonna lie – it’s what drives me, it’s what feeds my ego, it’s what motivates me to take this job and turn it into a career. I’m so damn lucky and so very grateful to have found something that I know I can do well. I don’t say that with conceit but with confidence. I build relationships with my clients and they mean everything to me. I mess up emails, I have missed deadlines and I’m disorganized as hell, but I will always work my hardest to make others see all the good that I can see in them. Finding clothes and a style that showcases the woman inside the dress, not just the dress. When I find that sweet spot of the outfit that truly fits the client, inside and out, that’s the joy. It’s the satisfaction of looking through all of the pieces in the puzzle box and doing the work to put the right two pieces together.
Just like a puzzle, there are more than just two pieces needed to put together the whole picture. I can’t stress enough how grateful I am for all of the other pieces in my life. From an efficient and talented tailor, to a well staffed salon with talented stylists, to a beautifully curated boutique staffed with helpful and kind sales associates, I need all of these people and places in my life to help me complete the picture with my clients. Much like Cinderella, it takes a village (birds, mice and a very large pumpkin) to carry out the whole scenario.
Stop comparing yourself to others, talk up your inner child, parctice mind over matter, share your strengths and weaknesses and believe to receive all the good you deserve. Find your people and hold on tight. Share your gifts and believe in the good. Ask questions and ask for help. Believe in your own beauty and share it, rock it and scream it. Go change the world.
In fact you can’t even wear these items. But I promise you they are essential.
Item #1 – PAPER.
I know, super exciting, right?? Okay, on its own it’s not much. But, add in most important item number 2, and you’re off to great things.
Item #2 – A pen.
Or a pencil, or a crayon, or whatever you can write with – eyeliner works in a pinch but I don’t recommend it.
Why are these 2 things so important?
Besides the fact that you need both – I don’t want you writing on your walls so paper is important, and it’s of no use to use without a writing tool – together, these two items will create….
I know, you are probably thinking, “What is she talking about??? I can’t wear a “list”, and, the last thing I need is more stuff crammed into my closet, but hear me out.
What do you do when you are in your kitchen and you realize you are out of something? Maybe you have pasta but no sauce, dip but no chips, etc. Maybe you have eggs but they are expired. Typically you write it down, or, for the tech savvy, you type it onto a list on your phone. Your closet is similar to your pantry, or at least it should be. There are basics like bread, milk, and butter (white t-shirts, jeans and, hopefully, underwear). And then there are the extras, like a pair of red high heels, which become the fresh ground cayenne pepper we can use to spice up our wardrobe (corny pun totally intended).
How many times have you gone to the grocery store and forgotten your list? Isn’t it the most annoying feeling ever? You walk up and down the isles trying to be reminded of what you need. Instead you end up throwing random items in the cart and leaving without what you truly came to purchase.
There is not much difference with your wardrobe shopping list. Going into a store unarmed, without any kind of list, is dangerous. More than likely you will spend too much time, and worse, too much money, buying something that you don’t really need, or doesn’t have anything to go with it once it joins its other clothing friends in your closet. Human nature and instinct take over when we go into a store. Remember, with regards to food, we started out as hunters and gatherers. Clothing is no different in that we hunt (shop) and gather (buy) it. The problem arises when we shop for the wrong clothes, or we buy something we don’t actually need. Let’s say Fred the caveman hunted bison, while his wife Frida gathered poison ivy. They bring it back to the cave but their daughter Finley says she hates bison, (she’s debating on going vegetarian, typical teenager), and, Fred Jr. can’t use the poison ivy leaves as toilet paper because, well, I think that one is fairly obvious. Now Fred and Frida are tired, hungry, annoyed, AND they don’t have any toilet paper (i.e. leaves).
The point is that we feel the need to buy something, even if it is not the right thing, just to feel like it was worth our trip and our time. But this can lead to poor choices, like coming home from the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale with a cute yellow dress that you got for a total steal. You think it will be the perfect dress to wear on a lovely Spring day, you can even picture yourself strolling through a park, or the farmers market, wearing this exact dress. You go home and put the dress in your closet. And there it sits, staring right back at you, two years later, tags still attached. The reality is that you don’t really look that good in yellow, and the dress is a bit tight. And that walk in the park you pictured never happened, and your farmers market trips were done in sneakers and stretch pants, just like Jennifer Garner who always keeps it real when she is out and about. Love her! That dress purchase may have felt right in that moment, but it ends up being so wrong for you, your body, and your lifestyle.
It’s time to shop smarter. It’s time to save money. Keeping a notebook or notepad right inside your closet, along with a pen, ensures that when you discover you are about to run out of something, or, you are missing something to complete an outfit, you can write it down immediately, and remember it. This list needs to be kept in your closet as opposed to somewhere else, because in your closet is where you’ll be when you realize you need something. Once we walk away from that closet we barely can remember what we own. Have you ever gone into J.Crew and saw they have t-shirts on sale and they have every color under the rainbow? We have no idea what one we NEED, only which color we WANT. Only when you are standing in front of your closet will you be aware of what you are missing to complete potential outfits sitting right inside your own closet. When you go to toss your basic black cardigan into the donate bin (which I also suggest you keep right in your closet), you can quickly jot down that you need a new black cardigan. When you put on that beautiful printed skirt you bought at Anthropologie, but take it off yet again, because, you have no idea what will match with it, then write that down! Maintaining a list will help to keep your shopping focused and efficient. Much like compiling a shopping list for a specific recipe, you can compile a list for an item or even a type of outfit you think is missing from your wardrobe. This way, when you open that flash sale email, you can check your Need list and be prepared. No more buying stuff just to buy, needlessly adding more stuff to what could be an already crowded wardrobe.
ARE YOU ON MY LIST?
Sign up HERE to get my monthly newsletter focused directly on what to buy, where to buy it, AND how to wear it. I will still continue to blog post but this newsletter will allow be to deliver specific tips on style directly to your inbox.
*Insider Tip – Take a picture, it’ll last longer.
Afraid of being out and about and forgetting to bring your list? There is no need for that list to ever leave your closet. Every so often just take a picture on your phone of the list, then create an album under your Photos app and call it Shopping. This way, no matter where you are, you will know what you need. All you have to do is look at your list, and you can take advantage of buying something that fulfills a specific need, or want, in your wardrobe. Bonus points for taking a picture of that hard to match item, giving you a visual to reference if you are out. Show your picture to the sales staff for suggestions on how to complete the outfit. You can also take photos of your clothes as they are hanging in your closet and post those photos to the same Album. Now you will have a visual reference reminder of what is hanging in your closet. Even if you can’t see each and every item, it is still more helpful than drawing a blank on what you have and what you need. Say goodbye to impulse shopping and hello to taking control of your closet.
Compiled a list but not sure where to shop for new items? Don’t have the time, or the patience? I’m here to help! Choose any or all of the services below…
Audit your closet – take stock of inventory and see what is in there and what you need – together we will start your list.
I’ll go to the stores and pick out the clothing on your list and deliver it right to you.
Prefer to shop online? I’ll send over an interactive shopping list customized to your needs and you can click and shop at your convenience.
Ladies and Gents we may have to change the red carpet to black…because it’s dead.
The red carpet has we once knew it has forever changed. It was flat-out painful watching the E Network as you could literally see the stars dancing past Ryan. The rest of the crew tried to fill in with painfully awkward conversation but it was indeed painful and awkward. Oh Joan…how we miss you so.
ABC, which has the exclusive pre-show red carpet rights, wasn’t really much better. Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino looked like they were on a manhunt and not in a romantic type of way, still they were interviewed no less than 300 times. Add in about 5 other celebrities and that was about it even for Michael Strahan. My personal opinion is that this wasn’t some kind of backlash to these particular interviews (although maybe in Ryan’s case, even though the thought of him being sexual in general is just kinda funny), but rather a back away movement as the celebrities and their publicists are now terrified of saying anything at all. If you just talk about your dress and your hair and jewelry than you are deemed shallow and insensitive and assumed to have slept with Harvey Weinstein. If you talk about the women’s movement you are bound to say something that can misconstrued by someone, somewhere. If you talk too much about the movie and your “craft” it’s just boring for everyone. So what’s a star to do? Stand still and look pretty for some pictures or just avoid the whole thing and run in at 5 minutes till showtime through some backdoor.
But, alas, the show must go on, and so will my annual red carpet review. Usually I like to give credit to the designer of this dresses but it was so difficult this year to find out who made the dresses since the women were zip lipped about their look. Let’s just saw that there was some definite themes going on – some good and some bad.
I like big bows and I cannot lie…
Hip bows, back bows, fluffy bows, all kinds of bows. I’m thinking this would make a good Dr. Seuss book.
There are two things to be observed about this trend. The first is big bows can only be worn by very tiny people, and I am talking about a size -1, if that even is such a thing. So big bows need a little body. The second is never ever go up against Nicole Kidman in fashion. She will slay it every single time.
Here comes the bride…
White was out in full force last night, and no I am not referring to race. This is a color that is bright, light and evokes hope. I like it. I just think it is dangerously close to looking like a wedding gown.
I think three of these ladies pulled this off really well. To think they didn’t even spill anything on themselves or get grease from the limo on their train is a feat unto itself. I’d be covered in makeup marks and probably a piece of chocolate from the protein bar I know I’d be chowing on in my limo on the way. But one of these ladies took it too far. Matthew McConaughey’s lovely wife Camila Alves definitely looked as if her plan was to liquor up her hot hubby and renew their vows after midnight. Just too much dress, too much tulle and too much white. (Although if you saw how much Timothée Chalamet fawned over Matthew then it may look like Camila may have to fight him for that vow.) Switch this color out for black and you have a whole different look with a lot of drama.
Bling it on…
Metallics melt my heart. Anything shiny with sparkles and I am on board. Shiny sequins and beads scream star and it takes some serious star power to hold up these often heavy dresses, both physically and mentally. You cannot be timid in a head to toe metallic dress. You have to own it and work it and believe it.
This is hard as I think all of these ladies looked fab. J. Law is so good in her golden gown that this is nearly a tie. I think I have to go with Gal Gadot because of THAT FRINGE! Plus that is not an easy kind of look to accessorize but I think that necklace is perfection. And you all know how much I dislike the sternum low front cuts but this is done correctly on her because it’s not too too low and she’s not totally flat and she’s not making us stare at her boobs being stuck together. And although many ladies went with their hair down and loose, I like Gal’s elegant updo with her classic red lip.
The bold and the beautiful…
In truth color can be hard when worn formally. It rides a fine line between going straight to bridesmaid land. Case in point.
If you go with a bold color choice it’s got to have some very creative lines to look sophisticated. This avoids that process where the bride picks one color and then you all pick the cut that “flatters you best.” Even though this is her first go at the Oscars Allison Janney showed us how to do it right. She looked like a winner and she was a winner. Those sleeves would never ever be on a bridesmaid dress because you know you would get drunk and trip on them.
And I am obsessed with how fabulous her Vanity Fair after party look is…did you know the majority of celebrities need not one but two dresses for this big night? The bigger questions is when and where do they get changed?
Now to what is probably my favorite look of the night. It helps that she is so gosh darn likable, even with being a good, wholesome type of mom. In fact the only people who don’t seem to like her are Ben Affleck and his girlfriend Lindsay Shookus, and I am sure secretly even Lindsay wants to stay home and have cocoa and bake cookies with Jen. She’s just that great. And I absolutely love even more when she glams it up. Just gorgeous.
Sleeves can be sexy…
Worth mentioning is these unicorn dresses, because finding a dress with sleeves that doesn’t make you look like a Granny is an elusive search for me as a stylist for so many of my clients. These pros nailed it. Even Meryl, who usually relies more on her acting chops that her fashion sense, looked radiant in these gorgeous shade of red.
The key when wearing a long sleeve dress is to keep the overall silhouette sleek and sexy. Notice how with all these dresses it is about the cut of the dress. Jewelry is simple and stunning, with the focus on these gorgeous ladies. This is what chic looks like.
And then there is the not so chic…
Whoopi and Audra wore someone’s drapes. I have no idea why.
This pose didn’t help her to not be compared to an upholstered floral chaise.
I love Viola Davis – but I don’t love this look. As my friend Andrea pointed out my text last night, she was clearly channeling a Donna Summer vibe…at least as far as her hair and earrings go. The lower half? That is clearly what Elle Woods would wear to the Oscars.
Selma – why? Why would you do this? And so much of whatever it is. The hair was not good either. She may have gotten into a fight with her hair stylist.
Oh Cookie…you are gorgeous…but why are you showing us your own cookies?
Do these two fight over the mirror at home to admire who is better looking? Or when you are that good looking do you just forgo mirrors altogether because you wake up knowing you have been genetically blessed. They should start another planet with the Crawford/Gerber clan, unless there is sometime of anti-trust laws on having a monopoly on all of the beautiful genes. Btw Cindy and her ugly clan weren’t there – but just take a minute to absorb how unfair this is.
Age is just a number…
This is Rita Moreno. She’s 86 years old. I’ll tell you again – eighty-six years old.
This is what enjoying life and giving zero effs looks like. She is in a strapless dress people! And not just any dress. She wore this exact same dress…in 1964. Rock on Rita.
*Insider Tip – W.W.J.L.D.?
When life puts you in the wrong “row” just grab a glass of wine and step over it – Jennifer Lawrence style.
There is no doubt that some actors take themselves very seriously. The Academy Awards is kind of like the peeps of Harvard throw a wine tasting party and really you’d rather being at a state college kegger. I love that Jennifer Lawrence, gown and all, is always relatable and real. She was one of the few people last night that looked like they were actually having fun. Granted she wasn’t up for any kind of award so it is a little bit easier to let loose. But in general I think we can all take a page out of her book and remember to not take life too seriously. It’s simply much more fun that way.
Thanks for reading – and please let me know…do you agree? Disagree? Who do you think looked good and who did not?
February is gray, really, really gray. It’s a sad gray, it’s bleak. It’s not warm enough to feel like Spring, but we probably aren’t getting any pretty winter snow. It’s damp and it’s damn depressing. This is what I call the February Funk. It happens every year and it’s that total tweener time where we are stuck between the seasons. February is not fun and nothing really goes on. Sure there is Valentines Day – you know that holiday that is set up for husbands to fail, to the singles to feel worse, or just to eat candy and chocolate and gain weight while you wait for Spring Break. Ahhhh…..Spring Break….if you are lucky enough to get out of dodge, and into some warmth and sunshine, then you can cling to that little light at the end of the tunnel known as vacation. This is a lovely thought that gets ruined by the reminder that I will need to stretch skin tight spandex over my body and expose my pasty white smoosh body.
Everything about buying a swim suit is a set up for failure. For starters we usually are shopping for one when our bodies haven’t seen the sun and a proper wax treatment for several months. Then there is that ick factor that someone else has already slapped this saran wrap over their own body, thoughtfully recognized by the sanitary hygienic panty liner sticky strip that is still half adhering to the crotch. While I am super grateful that they include this liner so that my crotch doesn’t touch a stranger’s crotch, there is no getting around how awkward it is to try on a swim suit over your undies. Whether you are full on in granny pannies or going minimum with a thong, there is no way to get a true view of what this will look like in real life. Case in point – this bikini bottom clearly is getting a little too close to showing me this model’s birth canal.
So then you reach the moral dilemma, do you pull back your underwear underneath the suit so you can see what it looks like without said extra material, risking the exposure that someone else has done exactly what you are about to do and let their lady bits be exposed in an effort to see what your suit will look like panty free? Or do you helplessly stare in the mirror and just imagine you aren’t wearing a bikini under a bikini? Either solution frightens me for multiple reasons but ultimately the fact is that I am paying for something to be worn in public that will cover less acreage than my usual underwear. God knows I don’t walk around in my underwear, yet, if you put me near any form of water, this is suddenly totally normal to have my ass cheeks exposed to friends and neighbors at the pool and beach. Yick.
Now we get to move up the body to the belly region – good times. Either you expose what your child did to your body or you find something like the Miraclesuit brand one piece in hopes that in can perform a miracle on your midsection. They will use a generous about of shirred fabric, bright colors and clever cuts to create an optical illusion of a svelte bod, just short of looking like your Grandma’s suit that has that flowy top that floats underwater.
But one pieces can get hot and are not fun to peel off and back up again when you have to have use the ladies room. Two piece suits are essentially made up of less fabric than my bra and underwear. There is no winner here. You just choose the lesser of two evils. Unless, you are one of those moms who gets her butt to the gym, eats right and takes care of herself. Then by all means show off those abs. I’ll be sitting under the umbrella eating crap and feeling jealous, knowing that I am too lazy to change my ways.
Continuing the evaluation under the fluorescent buzzing lights in the store we work our way up to the girls, aka your boobs. Either you got ’em or your don’t. And if you have ’em and they are real they are probably in the process of working their way down toward your toes, making you feel like one of those topless tribal women you would see in the National Geographic magazines as a kid. They had better things to worry about, like food, and not getting eaten by a lion, so they layered on some necklaces and figured ‘eff it, I’m not bothering to find something with metal in it to hold these hush puppies up. We, on the other hand, don’t live in the South of France, or in a tribe, so it becomes necessary to find some sort of support system that lifts, separates and doesn’t make it look like you have a baby’s butt worth of cleavage on your chest. Good luck with that.
Then, if your children literally sucked your boobs dry, you are left with the task of finding something with chicken cutlets stuffed into it to bring you back to some resemblance of your former figure. Even if you avoid the overstuffed tops you still need to find some sort of padding or coverage so you can avoid having your high beams on every time a breeze blows, or you, (God-forbid), actually get into the frozen cold water and get wet. There’s nothing like seeing your kid’s soccer coach while you are dripping wet with some fabric stuck to your chest, hoping he is not trying to figure out what happened to your boobs or where they went.
And what about if you have had a little help up top, with a quick trip to the surgeon? I think that’s great, and I would love to have someone pull things back up to where they once were. Just be prepared, even with a really great surgeon most people will know if you did or didn’t, because there is no woman over the age of 40 who has given birth that has naturally great separation and lift. You can be subtle about it when you wear clothes but when you break out the bathing suit make sure you put on your earmuffs to avoid the other mommies talking about whether you did or didn’t (Oh now we know what Shelia was really recovering from when she said she had “the flu”) and guessing when you did and by whom, and also how much it cost. If they are really good they will probably then ask your for your doctor’s number.
Just try not to want to kick aforementioned coach when you remember that he is a man and gets to wear a bathing suit that conveniently has a mesh hammock to keep all their junk up near their trunk, while throwing on any old t-shirt to cover any dad bod they may or may not be hiding. And just think, they probably just grabbed their normal size in pants or shorts right off the rack and bought it without even trying it on, because, let’s face it, these are just shorts with quick dry fabric, no sticky weird panty liner included. I’m glad they are not wearing speedos because frankly I don’t want to se the size of everyone’s frank and beans, but man wouldn’t it be nice for them to have to suffer through being in complete display for just one day. Totally not fair.
*Insider Tip – Celebrate the Caftan.
Listen, it’s a sad but true fact that at my age I care more about the cover-up because quite frankly I spend more time in it. I do love the water – when it’s warm, and private, and hopefully on a private beach. Public and club pools are just weird because there’s always that one floating band-aid that you know came off of someone’s open wound. Plus I pay way too damn much for my highlights to let the heavily chlorinated water wreak havoc on my hair. So I’m putting my money into the good stuff. Here’s some of my favs via this link Chic-Cover-ups. – I created a catalogue you can click and shop from in case you are into hiding out too.
All joking aside at the end of the day it comes down to confidence. I’ve seen all types of women in all shapes and all sizes in all kinds of suits. It’s what we doo when we are “laying out” at the beach or the pool – we people watch because it’s so damn interesting. The women that look the best are the ones who are standing up straight, they are smiling, and they are living their life totally unaffected by what me or anyone else thinks. They are bodysurfing the waves, jumping off the diving board and playing paddle board with their kids. Even if there is some kind of wardrobe malfunction they just laugh and put it all back into place, wedgie be damned. I’m working on appreciating the face that I have 2 working legs, 2 working arms, and a family that loves me no matter what. In the end nobody ever wishes they spent more time sitting and watching. That’s not living life. Being, doing, enjoying…now that’s living life.