My goal for 2018 is to play bar chords on the guitar without that chunky thud that comes when one of strings hasn't been pushed down enough. Occasionally, I get the chord the chord right and the sound is smooth and beautiful. Often the difference between a rough, flow stopping sound and smooth melodic sound is picturing what my fingers should look like playing perfectly...before they even get in position. According to my guitar zhar instructor, you have to envision every detail of performing the act beautifully and then half the work's done. Your fingers know where to go, the action becomes efficient, and beautiful music follows.
What's your goal for 2018? Can you picture what you look like performing it well? What's the environment? How are you feeling? What are you wearing? How do others respond to you? The more detailed your vision for a successful 2018, the greater your chances for achieving it. This truth resonates with guitar, it works in sports, and especially with your image. You've heard the expression, "fake it til you make it". Social psychologist, Amy Cuddy suggests you "fake it til you become it". But if you can envision your goals, put yourself in your own story and the clothes that will get there, there's no faking it. There's only making it. If you can envision it, and truly believe, dress the part and you'll achieve.
Let's get you achieving
and making the best music of your life in 2018.
Don't believe your image affects how you think, feel, act and your ability to make music in 2018? Here's a few studies that prove otherwise.
Shopping with clients is one of my favorite things to do. With many different types of people and budgets, I have a long list of stores that I visit. On back to back days of shopping with two very different people, I found myself amazed by the contrasting environments between Ross Dress for Less and Nordstrom. Ross is obviously more budget friendly, which is a nice option when my client is facing weight fluctuations and doesn't want to invest thousands of dollars in a wardrobe that may last 6 months. After pulling some great pieces, my client and I are greeted by the dressing room attendant, aka Seinfeld Soup Nazi, who is only concerned with the number of items you can take into the dressing room. 1 item over 8 and "No soup for YOU!"
After a few minutes of prioritizing the pieces that go together and shuffling hangers between the two of us, we were allowed to pass through the security check into the dimly lit dressing room area. Hallelujah! We enter the inner chamber of the store to find cold gray concrete floors with more than a few dust bunnies...if you dare look that close. Yes, it's tough to see with the sparse lighting, but hey, we made it in. The first outfit is dynamite. Then we run into some sizing issues. Which is great because if I take something out, I can bring something back in! Happy dance. But what if you take 2 things out and only bring 1 thing back in, says the Soup Nazi. Ugh!!! Shopping should not feel like prisoner negotiation. It's hard enough for people to shop in a store with an overwhelming amount of merchandise, confusing aisles and departments, not knowing which items would look fabulous or like a fashion victim without having to negotiate terms just to try something on. It's not about numbers. It's about people. It's about the joy they feel when something finally looks good on them.
The next day, I find myself at Nordstrom. Pulling clothes for a different client. As my arms start to feel loaded down, this angel of an associate says, "you don't have to carry that, let me put them aside for you." No counting the clothes! Just taking the load I'm carrying. And when I describe the client, there is a collaboration on what would be the best fit. No security check at the dressing room and it's so warm in there! (No dust bunnies detected either.) I find the clothes all laid out folded neatly in a diagonal pattern, shirts together, pants together, jackets together. Someone knows how to sell clothes! In contrast to the Soup Nazi, I'm pretty sure this salesperson wore a halo.
Christmas season is here and the race is on. Gifting could be all about the numbers and the gifts and checking and balancing or it could be about making life easier / lighter for someone else. The question is how to be the "let me carry that for you" type of person? Og Mandino, author of my new favorite book titled, The Greatest Salesman in the World said, "I will greet the day with love in my heart....With love I will tear down the wall of suspicion and hate which they have built round their hearts and in its place will I build bridges so that my love may enter their souls." What does that look like for you? May I suggest listening to another person without judgement but with fascination. Every person is much more interesting and talented than we often give them credit for.
Building bridges, carrying a heavy pile of clothes, and of course world peace...those are the best gifts this Christmas. May your arms be light and bridges strong. Merry Christmas!
Of course I'm here to lighten your gifting load for that person who would love some direction and a listening ear in the personal style department. Click below for details.
(Btw, if you go to Nordstrom, you can look for the halo or just ask for George.)
Whether you're staying home or traveling this week, you're going to have enough on your mind without having to think about what to wear. And there's no getting around it, you're going to eat more than your share, (wait a second did that just rhyme?)
Eating well doesn't mean you should give up hope of looking put together. Besides, Thanksgiving is one of those lovely holidays where you can focus on the abundance in your life, a wonderful gift only you can give to yourself. So let's dress up for it! One of the traditional ways of showing respect for an occasion is to dress differently. We alter our appearance for different occasions to look and feel appropriate but also to show we care about others enough to look nice for them. So how do you balance comfort with style? Is it possible to wear stretchy fabrics without looking like you're headed for the gym? Yes, yes it is. Find a classic example below. The key is to start with a basic white shirt, I prefer a stiffer fabric in the collar so I can stand it up under a turtleneck or cowl neck sweater to create a little face framing magic. The shirt also adds angularity to the look, balancing any curviture on the bottom half of the body. Next add the comfortable pants, yes with stretch. Then longer lengths on the sweater or jacket to camouflage the hips and tummy. And last but not least, add a detail near the face to draw attention to your loveliness. Like this.....
I hope you have a lovely holiday this week! As always, I'm just a click away to create magic in your wardrobe so you can focus on the magic that's happening all around you.
I used to be one of those people who thought if the clothing didn't have detail or personality to it, it wasn't for me. If it's too simple, it's boring and I'll never wear it. This was fine until I had a closet full of pieces that would only work with one other thing, and soon became tired of wearing that same combination. Talk about boring! I have since learned the "beauty of basics" from Judith Rasband. These are clothes with simple lines and shapes and generally minimal patterns. I love that they don't attract a lot of attention to themselves so I can easily change how they look to fit my mood and occasion. They don't get boring quickly because they are so versatile. They have become my WARDROBE WORKHORSE pieces and will also serve you well. You won't regret investing more into these pieces because you WILL WEAR THEM MORE! They actually allow more freedom to be creative! Which of these basic clothing style have you tried? Which would you like to try?
Here are few boss options in basic styles from the list above...
Looking for more ways to make basics work for you? I'm just a click away...
After speaking at a conference on Friday, I was approached by a man who was in the audience. He was in the minority in this particular meeting and the presentation had been focused more on the hundred or so women there. He had been standing up in the back of the room the whole time. He looked like someone in charge, he was dressed more formally than the other men there, wearing a sport coat and dress shirt. So I was expecting some kind of reprimand for something...although I wasn't sure what. Changing my clothes on stage maybe? Discussing what the word casual really means in the dictionary? Or my high school friend's experience with ripped jeans? But no, I was pleasantly surprised when he said he resonated with my message. Straight out of college, he began working for the D.A.'s office. In his first meeting with the office staff, wearing his pressed shirt, tie and jacket, he was met with comments like "check out the new guy" and "you must be new here". Everyone is the room wore cotton knit polo shirts and khaki pants. For this young straight outta college kid, a jacket and tie were his way of looking more mature and capable despite his young age. He kept on with this look because as he said, "I have always looked younger than I am. Others take me more seriously when I dress up." Within the year, he was put on the D.A.'s close team, promoted over the knit polos in the conference room. He had no idea what he was doing, but learned fast and became the D.A.'s right hand man. Despite the lack of experience, his appearance instilled confidence in others who felt he must be capable. He learned at a young age how a jacket can expand your visual boundaries and create a more professional, "I'm serious about my job" appearance...aka street cred. Are you looking for an update in the jacket department? Here you have my top picks for jackets this Fall with a more relaxed style: (See the complete catalog for women here and men here.)
There's more where this came from. See the full catalog women here and men here. Looking for something other than a jacket to boost your image? How about a custom, unbiased approach? Let's chat!
I'll be the first to admit that make-up is not my first love. Yet there was always that lady with the 60's era blue eye shadow, working at the grocery store, to remind me that make-up is as trendy as clothes. And the last thing I wanted was to be was stuck in time by my stagnant face paint. The truth is that make-up can be as classic as clothing. Learning what works for your facial features and personal coloring will never go out of style, unlike the blue shadow. (And yes, it's gone and we're not bringing it back...for good reason.) My job, as your personal stylist, is to save you from being a fashion victim. And I don't take my job lightly. I'm also relying on you to spread the word. You may have a friend or family member who is at high risk of falling into said traps. You have been warned...the following are likely to be the millennial version of "stuck in the 60's" blue eye shadow.
Lash extensions can be just the ticket for fuller, longer lashes. If you're up for the monthly maintenance, then go for it. But don't take a break from mascara all together. The bottom lashes need to be anchored with a little mascara to balance the weight of top-heavy lashes in order to create a reasonably natural appearance. You wouldn't frame the top half of a painting, why frame only the top of your eye? The result looks off somehow. Instead of noticing the brilliant color of the eye, we focus on the visual confusion. We may even envision a heavy black butterfly that's about to fly off your eyelid. Eek! The solution is simple, apply mascara to the bottom lashes when wearing lash extensions and create a visually pleasing appearance.
I spent 45 minutes having my make-up done with this lovely make-up artist for a photo shoot. With an array of colors in dozens of round pods she would switch from this pod to that one, then change brushes and add something else. She would spray a misty something every now and then to set it all perfectly and start again. I was feeling like I should be looking very made up. After all that effort, my eyes looked very natural, a little too natural. There was no visible shadow, it was nude colored shadow. Is that like the invisible gold threads in the Emperor's New Clothes? What's the point of applying eyeshadow to make your eyes look like there's no shadow on them? Why spend 45 minutes fussing over my eyes to make them look the same as they did after I washed my face this morning? And no, the nude shadow did not enhance my facial features. My smallish eyes seemed to fade into oblivion. Dark / light contrast is vital to creating the illusion of larger eyes. If you want your eyes to appear bigger, a duller, darker shadow does the trick. The basic laws of artistic design come into play here. The rule of simultaneous contrast tells us the dark colors make light colors look lighter and advance or appear larger. When we wear darker shadow, hence the name "shadow", the lights of your eyes appear even lighter, they appear to advance and look bigger. Notice the image below, our model has nude colored shadow on the left and soft brown on the right. In which picture do her eyes appear larger and brighter?
Heavy, dark eyebrows have been in the Pinterest spotlight of late. Fashion magazine models are also celebrated for having thicker eyebrows. Should you adopt this trend? Many of us don't have a choice in a naturally bushy brow, but we can choose the brow shape, its outline and how much to fill it in. Here in lies the trap. Draw in an outline too big to be within any realm of natural and the appearance is fake and greasy. Leave out the arch and we risk looking angry.
Creating visual harmony and balance in your make-up and hair is as important as it is in your clothing. Your face is the "money-maker" after all, according to Ashton Kutcher in Cheaper By Dozen. Don't ignore it and definitely don't overdo it and you may escape this decade looking classy, fabulous and oh so you!
Wondering how to make the most of your facial features? Book your Fresh Face & Hair session here. We'll also discuss best hair styling ideas and glasses for your face shape.
Looking for hand picked clothing selected just for you? Your shape, coloring, and personal style?
Do You Have a Pair Of These? Formerly white, currently yellow soled...because you love to wear them so much...shoes? Here's how to clean them.
Do you have a pair of shoes with white soles? That magical combination of dressy shoe top meets comfy sneaker bottom? They come in so many different varieties. Gold on the top for women and classic brogues for men. These shoes are the perfect double threat of classy meets comfort. The problem can be the white sole. If you wear them often, the edges of the sole tend to turn brownish yellow and destroy the sharp looking image entirely.
An efficient way to clean them is to put a little Comet and water on an old toothbrush and scrub around the white edges, careful not to touch the leather or canvas, which may cause discoloration. White clean with a sponge. Looking to pick up a pair of these snappy looking shoes? Now is a great time to find them on sale. Here are a few choices...
This is the time to shop for summer clothes on sale. Go through your clusters in your closet and write down what you're missing in order to have a nice functional cluster/group of clothes. (Get the process here.) Then start shopping! Of course I'm happy to guide you, talk you through what's working, what isn't and why and give you new mind blowing style ideas perfect for you unique figure type, coloring, and personal style.
Who doesn't like to capture happy moments? The phrase, "take a picture, it lasts longer" came from somewhere, after all, but it's true. When you're enjoying yourself, you want it to last forever. Maybe that's why we take a picture, write about it, or paint it. It really does last longer. And it's often the memories that were recorded in photos that tend to stand out the most, there may be a scent or a song that brings back a memory, but more often than not, it's an image. Maybe that's why Mom and Grandma were so pushy about having family pictures taken. I have to admit, those planned photos were not my favorite. But now that I have growing children of my own, who will soon be leaving, I understand how these people become my happy moment that I want to keep close. So I have become the pushy mom and will one day be the pushy grandma yelling to gather everyone for family pictures. Whether it's a family photo, you may or may not be excited about, or you discover an artsy wall downtown, or a breathtaking waterfall off the beaten path, here are 5 ways to look your best as you capture that happy moment.
While some men might wish they had a more comfortable chair to sit in, a.k.a. Jerry McGuire's father, most men I know wish they had more comfortable shoes. Based on my client focus group these are by far the most comfortable shoes they have ever worn - the kind you can wear all day on the concrete floor of a convention center without your feet screaming for mercy at the end of the day. I've put them into two categories: on the casual side - meaning wear them with anything from shorts, to jeans, to khakis (I highly recommend the Lululemon variety), and on the dressy side - meaning wear them with suits, trousers, nice jeans and khakis (again the Lululemon variety never fails.) Oh and did I mention that most of them are on sale at Nordstrom's for their half-yearly sale? Which means great quality, easy returns and you better pick them up quick before they're out of your size.
Wondering how to style these bad boys? I'm just a click away!
Image consultant and personal stylist. Dani is happily married, the mother of 3 charming children, and an Aussie named Josie Wales.