Traveling to a cool place this winter? Is it possible to pack everything you need to be warm without packing a jumbo suitcase or multiple jumbo suitcases? It’s easy to pack small when you’re taking swimsuits and flip-flops, but jackets? No way. What if I told you it’s possible to have over 20 different cool weather looks in a carry-on? Impossible you say? Prepare to learn my method for the impossibly possible. (Check out the shopping links and video at the end.)
1. Start with the shoes. Nothing is worse than having a blister or aching feet on the second day of vacation because you didn’t take care of them on your first day of vacation. If you’re looking at vacationing in a cooler climate with the potential for wet weather, your shoes need to be considered carefully. Waterproof boots that can be dressed up or down are a good place to start. Plan the looks that coordinate with them. I love a variety of activities on vacation - my last trip included the opera, going to church, running & hiking, with maybe a beach or spa day depending on the weather. You may take an additional 2-3 pairs of shoes that include running shoes, sandals, and another good pair of walking shoes. These 3 pairs that you’re not wearing on the flight all fit in one side of the carry-on. Shoes take up a ton of space so maximize their storage capacity by putting socks, belts, and underwear in a zip-lock bag inside the shoes.
Pro stylist tip: zip-lock bags are your friend for any liquids or items that are wet once traveling. A friend of mine showed up at the hotel on the first night of vacation, and opened her bag only to find her bottle of lotion had exploded inside the suitcase and had gotten on everything. What a mess! And what an easy way to ruin your first night of vacation. This could have been avoided by putting the lotion in a zip-lock bag to contain a potential spill. Packing cubes are great to contain dirty shoes, or dirty clothes while traveling.
2. Plan the clothes. What does your itinerary look like? Plan 10-15 simple basic pieces that mix and match to accommodate all of the fun included in your agenda. (With a few extra looks for whatever else might come up.) I will usually include 2-3 jackets in this mix - one more dressy, and one more casual. 8 tops and 5 bottoms. Wear the most bulky pieces on the flight to maximize the clothing space in your carry-on. Layering is key! With each item you add, ask yourself these two questions: does it work with 2-3 other things & can I layer it? If the answer is no, chances are it doesn't add value to your carry-on. See all of the looks I created with the pieces above, with shoppable links, HERE.
Pro stylist tip: Cool weather game changers include tights or stockings (that you could layer under everything if needed), gloves, a warm hat, a stuffable windbreaker, and a blanket scarf. If you need a heavy coat, take one that compresses down. The first 4 take up minimal space but can make a huge difference in cooler weather. Wear the blanket scarf on the flight to double as a blanket when you’re cold.
3. Don’t forget a tote bag that slips over the rolling carry-on. This bag should include anything you might need to have overnight and the next day. It’s not uncommon for you to get to the gate with your rolling carry-on and tote bag only to be asked to check the rolling carry-on. Once in a while these little bags get lost and you find yourself on vacation waiting 2-3 days for your bag to show up. Yes, you may be able to track it but being able to see where it’s at almost makes the waiting-for-it-to-get-to-you game all the more painful. Pack the essentials for at least the first day in the tote just in case this worst-case scenario happens to you.
How to pack warm clothes in an itty bitty bag and still have enough pieces for a variety of occasions is the classic conundrum. A strategy that includes lots of layers, wearing bulkier items on travel days, and smart footwear will have you traveling light AND prepared for the little emergencies life may throw at you. Speaking of which, you will love this post on how to be ready for any and everything while traveling here.
Looking for a little assistance with your vacation planning? I've got you. Get the details here.
PACKING FOR WINTER VACATION IN A CARRY-ON WITH GOOD THINGS UTAH
There’s that word I’m hearing everywhere. Vulnerable, lately it's used in a positive way such as, “I appreciate your vulnerability.” And, “if I can be vulnerable, I can start the process of healing.” It’s generally used as a term for a weakness, one you have the courage to admit to having, when in a safe environment. Or used as a way to show you are human, and somehow relatable, approachable with a degree of humility, because like everyone else, you have flaws. Where there are appropriate times to be vulnerable, there are also times when we need to be strong and resilient. Because what you wear affects your mindset and therefore your actions, choose the colors you wear strategically. Turns out, you may need both this February! If you're vulnerable to seasonal depression, like me, one surefire way to become more resilient is to wear the right colors. Here's how:
Soft and muted colors like pastel tones, pinks light blues, or gentle greens are often associated with vulnerability, conveying a sense of openness and sensitivity.
The opposite of vulnerability is often perceived as strength or resilience. Colors associated with strength include bold and deep tones such as rich blues, dark greens, or powerful reds.
The same principle applies to clothing colors. A bold strong red is more dominant - wear when you need to feel and appear more reliant. The subordinate and more vulnerable soft pink - is a great way to show your more sensitive side.
A darker, more saturated green is infinitely more strong than a softer pastel green - despite the expression on "soft green guy's" face. (Is that an I'm annoyed expression or smolder? Not sure...)
Still wondering which colors appear more sensitive and vulnerable vs. bold and resilient? Maybe the blues below will help.
Vulnerable is good at times, but prepare to be bold as well if you're going to conquer the world! In the end, it pays to have a variety of clothes in your wardrobe that represent you well for the different occasions you find yourself in. Finding the right color for you is not only about skin tone and hair color. It's also about how the colors you put on make you feel. For a comprehensive color analysis that includes the psychology of color AND your personal coloring (skin, hair, eye, lips, blush color) AND the colors that transition well into every season, contact me HERE.
The studio is prepped, the color sort cards are spread out, and workbooks are ready to dive into when my clients walk in. Two women who couldn’t be more different from each other. (I’ll call them June and Jane to protect their privacy.) June is the younger of the two, in her late 20’s, petite, dark brown hair with some cranberry highlights and hazel green eyes. Jane is around 50, tall, with thick blonde hair, blue eyes, and full lips that would have been colored bright pink if I hadn’t told her not to wear make-up. It seemed fairly obvious that the two were not related. So the natural question comes up, “how did you two meet?” The answer was the last thing I expected to hear, “in prison.” June was serving for drug-related charges and Jane was her mentor, having gone through similar experiences in her youth. My next question was, “why did you come to me?” “We never had a positive motherly figure to learn from. This kind of thing just doesn’t come natural to us.”
Have you ever felt alone in your personal style journey? Where those who are influential in your life either have no clue or are built so differently from you that what works for them couldn’t possibly work for you? You’re not alone. Countless others are clueless as to what works for them and what doesn't. Here are my top 3 solutions after working with hundreds of polished style wanna-bes (as a professional stylist/image consultant).
1. KNOW YOUR COLOR PALLETTE
The truth is, you can wear any color when worn in combination with your personal colors. The colors you wear everyday on and around your face: your hair, skin, eye, and blush coloring. With a defined set of color swatches, you will understand how to enhance your most stunning features, look age appropriate and UNIQUELY YOU. Not exactly like Mom, or Dad, not like the most popular kid in high school, or the most followed influencer, but looking like who YOU were always meant to be. You can study your personal coloring yourself and over time get really good and matching your own colors, see how HERE. Or you can come in for a consult and get your physical color swatches that eliminate any doubt as to the colors that will light you up (in the best possible way). Details HERE.
2. EMBRACE YOUR FIGURE TYPE OR BODY BUILD
In my family, we have four women. Since we’re all related, one would assume that we could wear the same shapes in clothes. But in reality, nothing would be further from the truth. What works for Mom’s hipless shape doesn’t always flatter mine, and my sister’s broad shoulders rarely fit into my button-up fitted shirts. Knowing your shape and how to create your version of the ideal opens up options you never knew existed in your world of “it looks better on her than it does on me”. To get a rough understanding of your body shape, take a measuring stick and line it up from your shoulder joint to the outside of your hip. You will be able to see if your shoulders and hips are balanced over one another or if one is fuller than the other, creating some imbalance. See how HERE. For even more accuracy and an understanding of how to create the illusion of the ideal, book a session HERE.
3. DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE
Your personal style is a presentation of your inner values through your physical appearance. The difficulty is how to reflect your innate brilliance within on the outside, in a positive, true-to-you way that breeds confidence in others. My client, Karen, is a tall, blonde, blue-eyed very dominant woman. After getting to know her a bit, you could tell in an instant that the short sundress with the tiny pale flowers was terrible for her. But when she pulls out the dusty blue neoprene sheath dress with an abstract pattern, it’s obvious that the dress appears to be made specifically for her and her personality. She kept saying, “it’s neoprene!! I have to keep it!” In reality, the fabric, pattern, color and shape all worked in harmony with her personality and therefore her personal style. She looked polished, which was her personal style word. Through identifying and writing down the lines, shapes, colors, textures, and patterns that reflect not only who you are but who you strategically want to become, you will be able to define your own personal style. Or create personal style clarity sooner when working with me in a one-on-one session to create your unique style map. Choosing clothes that represent THE BEST IN YOU will become a breeze! Details HERE.
Regardless of where you are in your true-to-you style journey, which by the way is constantly evolving, a little tune-up is never a bad thing. Especially when we are all reevaluating our hopes and dreams for a fresh new year. Book a free 15 minute call with me HERE to learn how you can break the cycle of inadequate style role models.
P.S. If you have worked with me in the past, you still have access to my Member’s Only online portal with video tutorials, workbooks, and continually updated motivation to help you keep the momentum going in your journey to style success, pushing you toward success in all areas of your life. Take advantage of this free opportunity now! More robust content will be launching on April 1, 2024, when members will be allowed continued access for $7/month. GET your free ACCESS HERE until April 1st.
I see it all the time. That section in the closet of clothes you wear once a year, for the holidays. But when the holidays come around, those special occasion pieces often stay buried beneath the dust that’s been accumulating for years. Or they resurge in December and appear hopelessly dated. It’s time to learn from our mistakes! When you pick up something you’re going to wear for the holiday, ask yourself if it would also feel wonderful for another occasion such as New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, a winter wedding, dressy dinner party, etc. If the answer is no, it better be special enough to be dust resistant in the years to come. Below are some guidelines for classic pieces to look for. Be sure to check out my catalog for shopping links.
Jewel tones with a touch of shine. Matching the top and bottom adds to the elongating effect.
Work the unexpected winter whites. Play up the gold accessories and touch of sparkle in the top.
Take a cue from the classic tuxedo with feminine styling.
A winter midi length dress with tall boots keeps the legs warm, slim, and elegant.
And if we must we must…go for the plaid shirt that has a face framing ruffle collar. Pair it with slim straight cords or denim jeans that will prove to be dust resistant for sure!
The holidays are upon us but that doesn’t mean you need to panic, or go out and shop for that wear-once outfit. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your house to shop. I’ve done the shopping for you in the catalog below. And if that isn’t the absolutely perfect fit, I’m happy to find that for you as well. I’m just a CLICK away.
Are you or do you know someone who seems to be more at home in warm weather climates than cold? You know that person who has tons and tons of summer or all-season clothes with an itty bitty winter section? Is it possible that you or “your friend” is layering deficient an underdeveloped layerer? If it’s cold, layering is good. It satisfies one of our basic needs of being warm. That doesn’t mean it has to look forced. Here’s how to do it with style. (Feel free to pass this onto “your friend” who needs a little layering education.)
1. FIT - Wear more fitted pieces under less fitted or bigger-sized pieces. This one may seem obvious, but when it’s a piece you really really like, you may be tempted to wear it even if it doesn’t work. Like that sweater you love but fits a bit snug? Best to wear something very fitted under it or nothing at all. Otherwise the shirt will be bulky under the sweater and cause it to bag out in awkward places. Same goes for vests. Be sure the shirt below the vest has a smaller arm hole than the vest.
2. FABRIC WEIGHTS - Layer lighter weight pieces under heavier weights. Have you ever noticed that a silk blouse over a sweater appears off? The reason is that the layered weights don’t make sense. You know it’s wrong but may not know why. Now you know! WARNING: advanced stylist tip coming… Beware of the visual weight, or the illusion that the fabric is heavy due to the texture of the fabric, even though it is actually lighter weight. You’ll want to make sure the visually weighty piece is layered over something that visually appears lighter weight.
3. PATTERNS - Mixing patterns can be a daring endeavor which is why some people will avoid it at all costs. When done right, the effect can be a harmoniously creative expression that will set you apart from the pack. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. Just remember that matchy-matchy is good in terms of color. You want the patterns to have at least one color in common. And matchy-matchy is not good in terms of the size of the pattern. You want to pair small-scale patterns with medium to large. Small-scale with small-scale will fight (and make you appear grade schoolish), medium with medium, large with large not good. Instead go with a small-scale pattern with a medium-scale, medium with large, etc.
No more excuses. You are now permitted to own more layers than a puffy coat because there is officially a cure for being an underdeveloped layerer. You only need to put this new-found knowledge into action. Implementation is the key to surviving in a style starved cold weather climate. I believe in you! Should you need a little extra support in your layering quest, I'm just a click away.
Are you wondering how to apply this to clothes you (or “your friend”) currently own? A wardrobe evaluation is a great place to start! It also makes an extremely thoughtful gift. Learn more HERE.
Yes, you may have a love-hate, bordering more on hate, relationship with birthdays but they do happen and chances are you will be invited to participate. Part of your gift, besides showing up, is giving others something nice to look at. Why not take your cue from birthday gifts? They’re wrapped with paper that may have some shine to it, possibly a curly bow, a pop of color and all things happy! While taking on all of these elements could feel a little too 5-year-old to you, adopting one or more is a great way to get yourself into party mode while being oh so supportive. After all, what you wear affects how you feel, act and how others react to you! (Be sure to check out my catalog with more shopping links below.)
Yes, it is better to be more dressed up than down these days. But feel free to adopt a middle of the road approach while adding a hint of the elements above. For men, this might mean slacks or dark jeans with a button-up shirt. Women can opt for a nice dress, skirt and blouse, or stylish pants with a fashionable top. Always check the invitation or ask the host if there's a specific dress code or theme to follow. And as usual, your personal stylist is here to help! Click below to learn more about personal shopping. Or message me HERE.
"Charmed, I'm sure." The expression that sums up the quiet luxury trend. It is absolutely, and subtly charming. Also terribly classic. Quiet luxury is the epitome of old money, “don’t notice me” because I am subtly fabulous. We're talking about quality pieces that aren't flashy or extreme in any way. Basically, the complete opposite of the logo-drenched check-me-out look you find on runways, fashion magazines, and urban streets. Why should you adopt this classic trend? The pieces tend to fit and flatter most figures and are appropriate for many occasions. These are pieces worth investing in because the style will last 7-10 years or more without looking dated, but they don’t have to be expensive. In fact, most people can afford to buy classic/quiet luxury styles. Here’s how to get the look without being a trust fund baby. (Be sure to check out my shopping catalog below.)
For more style ideas or to shop your own Quiet Luxury looks with Dani contact her HERE.
Or click below to see my online shopping catalog.
I get it, Fall is in the air, but the daytime temps don't warrant sweater weather quite yet. How to feel the cozy Fall vibe without overheating? Look for those Fall-esc earth tones and darker shades in the closet that are still in lighter-weight fabrics. The effects of color on the psyche can't be underestimated. Even though the fabrics and textures may feel like Summer, when the colors say Fall, you feel right in sync with the changing seasons. Look for these colors in lighter to medium-weight fabrics: cinnamon rust, burgundy, brown, brick, terra-cotta, granet, curry, maple mustard.
Check out my Fall Color Picks for End of Summer Weather HERE.
Looking or suggestions on your BEST or most Brilliant Coloring? You'll love my one-on-one session HERE.
What comes after my clients begin to feel amazing in their work clothes? The desire to feel that great all the time! I often have requests from clients to help them look and feel amazing for work. Once we get this aspect tackled, and they begin to notice how great they feel in their new clothes at work, the question inevitably becomes why wouldn't I want to look and feel great for the other areas of my life? Say for example, golf, paddleboarding, hiking, walking, etc. There's so much talk about everyday wardrobe essentials that work for many occasions, but what about summer activewear? As some of you know, I am a full-on mermaid and completely at home in the water. Paddleboarding is one of my favorite, find my inner peace, activities. Golf has also become a fun family favorite. Who knew that the same basic pieces could be used for both? And many other fun-in-the-sun summer sports. (AKA pickleball, tennis, hiking, walking, running, kayaking, jai alai, squash, fill in the blank....). Who knows which sports you are apt to try once you have the versatile pieces that will transition as you do.
Start with these basics, then feel free to add in more sport specific layers and accessories. A few ground rules; focus on quick drying fabrics, styles that are simple/versatile, flatter most figures, and include wardrobe neutral colors.
1. Start with a sport skirt and tank made from quick-drying fabric. It will look like a golf skirt when golfing but can also double as a flattering swim skirt that dries quickly for paddleboarding, boating, and hiking in case you feel the need to jump in the lake. Sunglasses and a great sun hat will work well for multiple activities, a neck strap is a plus in case the wind decides to pick up. It never hurts to have a winder breaker, and I love those that fold up into an easy-to-pack pouch. Don't forget a sunny necklace and light-weight earrings (with backs that won't come off in the water).
2. Add more sport specific details.
As a golf beginner, I am perfectly happy swinging the club at city or municiple courses where there is no strict dress code. For country clubs you will need a shirt with a collar. Add golf shoes, golf glove, (and possibly a hair bow if you're really wanting to look legit lol).
For boating, feel free to add bikini bottoms to the tank or swimsuit and water sandals.
For tennis, pickleball add the right shoes, visor, and a sweat band. A tank dress is also great here.
For hiking add a bandana & hiking shoes (although your water sandals could work hiking in a pinch).
3. Finish it off with sun protection. You may choose something tinted on the face to blend in differences in your skin coloration.
Wondering if Dani can help you take the guessing out of dressing?
She's just a click away...
To Pioneer or not to Pioneer? It's fairly obvious why this trend is such a heavy hitter in our area. It's not hard to imagine a cute little pioneer walking through the fields wearing an easy breezy dress like this. We love our pioneer heritage in Utah! Not only that, this dress style is modest, also a Utah fave, and fits virtually every figure type. Win-win! But is it always flattering? Here are a few tips on how to make this cute trend work for your figure type.
Narrow shoulders? Avoid the drop shoulder and love on the ruffle or puff sleeve details with seam lines on the shoulder joint.
Broad shoulders? Avoid big puffy sleeves with visually weighty fabric instead focus on flowy fabrics.
Little to no waist indentation? Or are you a combination of the above? Avoid seem lines right at the waist, be sure the horizontal lines hit at your narrowest point and bring the attention to the middle with a necklace or second layer such as a vest.
These are lovely dresses for weddings and graduation season. Enjoy looking your best in them with my pro stylist picks (below).
Are you wondering what your figure type is? And what exactly IS the BEST SHAPE for YOUR SHAPE? You'll love my Fabulous Fit session. Learn more HERE.
Image consultant and personal stylist. Dani is happily married, the mother of 3 charming children, and an Aussie named Josie Wales.