Now that Fall is coming, layering will add those needed changes to your wardrobe. It's also a great way to mix colors and prints to show your creativity. Although it might seem like you need to buy more items to layer, it actually helps you use more of the pieces you already have, because you are combining them in different ways.
Scarves are the most obvious addition to your fall outfits. Try a lightweight cotton or linen one in a contrasting color or print to add a little warmth to a late summer top.
Tank tops or camisoles always add a layer of warmth, which can extend the use of your lightweight summer tops, especially when combined with a light sweater or denim jacket.
Have fun with layering and stay warm and stylish!
I recently met a woman business owner at a networking meeting who was around 60 years old. She had a short, stylish haircut, bold, modern earrings and necklace, an up-to-date gray tunic sweater, black leggings and black boots. She was carrying an orange leather tote bag and wearing well-done make-up. Her nails were short and polished a dark color. I realized the importance of her entire, overall image, and how she truly looked like a business owner with whom I would want to do business.
I couldn't say the same thing about every woman in the room. I saw over-grown hair styles, ill-fitting clothing, too-long nails and other details that made some of the women look less impressive. They probably had knowledge and competence equal to the first woman, but it wasn't obvious by how they presented themselves.
The differences in these women is in both their clothing and the little things. Every detail counts, especially in a business setting. Even if you don' t notice the small things, when they are combined to present an overall image, they send a clear message--good or bad.
Women who don't update their style in even the smallest ways appear to be behind the times and might cause others to question their abilities or relevance in the job market.
Shopping for yourself is definitely difficult with small children. Try short amounts of time with promises of things they like to do after you have "mommy's turn to shop." I spent a lot of time in the Disney Store when mine were little, but they had to spend some time in my stores too. We would go back and forth with stores for them, and stores for me. It also helped that we went often enough that they were used to a similar routine on each shopping trip. We always took time for snacks and playing at the mall play areas, too.
Ideally, you need to have regular shopping outings when the kids are with dad or a babysitter. You'll get so much more accomplished, and not feel so pressured to get everything done during those unavoidable times when you must shop with the kids.
Online Shopping. Moms today are fortunate to have this option, so take advantage of it, even if only to get ideas of where to look and what's out there. Use sites that have free shipping and returns, like Nordstrom and Zappos.
Budgeting. Keep a separate budget for kids clothes and your clothes. Make sure you actually spend your budget, and don't use it on the kids.
How can you be authentic, real, and true to your best self? Most women would say they want this for themselves. When I speak to groups of women, I always talk about this concept of matching your inside and outside. I give them the list of adjectives shown, and ask them to circle the ones they think describe them, then we talk about whether their current look sends that message out to people around them.
Here are two examples of women whose inside and outside do NOT match.
How about a woman who is a musician, loves art, is warm, modern, friendly and artsy. She is drawn to bohemian styles, but has a misguided idea that she "should" be dressing "professionally" in structured suit jackets and white shirts with collars. She isn't comfortable in these clothes, and feels like she isn't being herself, because she loves more free-flowing clothing like this long, striped cardigan by Free People and that expresses her artistic side more authentically. She will be much happier and more comfortable with herself if she makes some changes in her wardrobe to reflect her true, best self.
Or how about a teenager who wears all black, hats that cover her face, and t-shirts with scary messages, but is confident, strong, intelligent and reliable, and wants to be seen as approachable? Her clothing is sending the opposite message. This outfit from Nordstrom BP shows those around her how she really feels and IS inside.
Take a look at the qualities listed above, then look at the clothes in your closet and think about whether your clothes are sending the message and portraying the person you want to show to the people you come in contact with every day. Be your best, true, authentic self by learning your style and shopping to fit that style.
Balance the sparkle in your clothing with your jewelry. For example, a silver and pearl necklace would go with a sequin tank, but not a necklace with its own sequins or glitter.
Limit your "bling points" to 3. Bling points are places on your body where you could wear something sparkly, such as ears, neck, hands, feet, and your dress, top, skirt or pants. Don't let every one of the points sparkle, spread them out and keep it to only 3 total. (From the late fashion editor Charla Krupp)
It's OK to mix metallics, such as gold, silver, bronze and copper. For example, dark bronze metallic shoes can go with a silver top. Golds and silvers can go together. Colored jewels look beautiful with metallic fabrics.
Use color sparingly with metallics, glitter and sequins. If you're wearing one glittery piece, like a top, mix it with only one color. Black always works, and it can be combined with one other color in addition to your sparkly piece.
Have fun looking and feeling your best this season!
I talk to so many people who truly hate shopping for clothes. But even if you like it, it can be challenging. Here are a few ways to make it a little easier:
Avoid Crowds. Go when the stores are less crowded, like when they first open or weeknights. Obviously, this is not always possible, but it's less stressful to have more space to look at the racks, more available salespeople, and no waiting for the fitting rooms.
Wear Comfy Clothes. Wear clothes and shoes that are easy to take on and off, with a camisole that can be left on. Slip-on shoes are much easier than something with ties or worse, boots.
Try Two Sizes. Take two sizes of everything into the room. Sizing is incredibly inconsistent, even within the same stores and
brands, so don't assume you know your size in a particular garment.
Keep Options in Mind. Find fit first, then color. If you love the style and fit, ask about having the color you like shipped to you
or sent from another store, if not in stock.
Be patient with yourself and remember you can always finish at another time, and return items that don't work out once you get them home. Know yourself, and whether you shop best alone or with a friend or relative. If I'm serious about finding what I need, I usually do best by myself. Don't give up and try to enjoy it!
Wardrobe Consultant and Personal Shopper. Love to help women match their outside image to their unique inner beauty.