Tips for Wearing All Black, Pattern Mixing, Letting Go of Maternity Wear

People say black is slimming, but guess what, it's only half true! The color black (especially in matte fabrics) does absorb light, which camouflages the user's lumps and bumps, yes. But it also can make you look completely 2D if worn incorrectly. Why is it a bummer to be 2D? Because you end up looking like the overall silhouette (which can sometimes be pretty boxy if you're layering all your black on) and you loose all the highlights and lowlights that show off your shape. And everyone's shape is worth showing!

So how can you layer on the black and not loose yourself in there? Play with texture. Mix it up! A black cardigan over a black velvet top with black faux leather pants. A black blazer over a silkie black blouse with blacks jeans. A black tee shirt with metallic fleck and a black sweater vest with black crepe pants. A black matte dress with a black leather moto jacket. Notice how each piece is a different texture? It helps you not loose your shape, any lengthening effects you're gaining from your finishing pieces, and not loose your leg line in separates (which lengthens us as well). See examples for more ideas!

Trending Trendy Trends

This week let's talk tips for pattern mixing. I go into a lot of detail in the podcast, but here are my top two tips.

1) Mix feminine with masculine: Examples include floral with stripes, dots with plaid, nature print with houndstooth.

2) Mix pattern size: Try to keep the sizes different. For example a large floral with a small stripe. If you get brave and want to mix two kinds of the same pattern be sure to mix up the sizes! Large graphic floral is super fun with a small more realistic floral.

MomStyle Must-Have

This one is quick and simple...if you're done having babies and you're a few years out from your last kiddo it's time to let go of the maternity wear. I know it's comfy, but it's doing you ZERO favors, it's keeping you from having space for grown woman clothes, and I'm sure it could find a home with a pregnant woman out there who needs it.

I realize you might have special feelings about some of this specialized mom gear (I accidentally sold the shirt I went to the hospital in at a garage sale and didn't realize it until it was walking away...and cried a bunch). But if you must keep it for this reason get it out of your work closet and into a keepsake box. That is all! #truthbomb

If you'd like to learn more tips and tricks like this check out my E-Course at www.mystyleclass.com/e-course

Join our conversation in my Facebook group:
www.facebook.com/groups/123197405…6/?ref=bookmarks

Styling Yourself After Change, Peplums, and Block Heels

Change can come in many forms in our lives, causing us to either want to or need to update our style and the image we present the world. It can come in the form of physical changes (motherhood, weight loss, weight gain, illness, normal aging processes), mindset changes (catching your style up to a new way of thinking or presenting yourself to the world), or location changes (starting a new business, graduating, retiring, career changes, moving to a different climate). Learning how to style yourself through big changes is SUPER personal, but I talked about a few tips in my podcast this week that can help you style yourself through this transition.

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1) Trust your gut (and try it on): Okay, this only works if you get out into the world and try things on (you CAN do it!), but most women know what they like. Media and society makes us constantly question our beliefs, values, and thoughts about our style, among other things, but when you try something on in the mirror check in with yourself. You! You know if you like it or not. YOU liking it is the first step in feeling confident in that item. And YOU feeling confident is the key to everything, which I blab about constantly. Trust your gut through these changes, whatever they are. Almost every client I've had has better style instincts than she gives herself credit for. That doesn't mean a stylist isn't helpful or fun. We definitely will point you towards things you would have never tried, but feel amazing in. It just means you should give your own gut more credit.

2) Map out your goals for the future, specifically the next 5-years: I've spoken about this in this podcast and this blog post, but knowing who you'd be in 5-years with absolute success (whatever that looks like for you) is key to styling yourself because that's exactly how you should be dressing NOW. How does that women enter a room, how does she feel about herself, what are the positive adjectives people will use to describe her? Now just play the part, babe! Cause it's you and seeing yourself as her will make you step up to those goals. Promise, this stuff is powerful!

Trending Trendy Trends

This week's trend was peplums, and in-particular drop peplums. The peplum that, instead of riding fitted at the waist, flows out a bit and peplums out closer to the hip. This can look boxy on some, but surprisingly I've had some curvy clients try these on and fall in love. And so do I! It makes sense. Their curves bring these tops to life. More in the podcast! Give it a listen and a review if you love it.

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MomStyle Must-Have

This week I spoke about block heels and how they are a great way to dip your toe (heh, get it?) into the heel pool if you've never dared while mumming. I'm not saying that you should head to the park in them, or wear them everyday, but if you want something in a heel that looks super polished and adorable, and can go from work or client meetings to a school event, and STILL is comfy, stable, and easy to chase a kid in I suggest a block heel. Here's a pic of my favs right now from Caslon, which I found at Nordstrom Rack.

Learn more about these tips in my E-Course! And if you have questions you'd like answered in my podcast and blog join our conversation in my Facebook group:
www.facebook.com/groups/123197405…6/?ref=bookmarks

3-Ways to Get Ready Faster in the Morning

This week I tackled the 3-ways you can make mornings faster and less stressful. Let's get to it!

1) CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET! You can learn more in this podcast and in this blog post, so I'll just get to the benefits of this life altering exercise that I do routinely once a season. It will decrease the eye clutter in your closet and decrease the amount of clothing you have to sift through in your mind before you land on something the fits, feels good, looks good.

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2) LEARN TO SHOP! Shopping might not be your jam and I talk about that in this podcast and this blog post (and even teach you how to shop like a PRO in this e-course), but I urge you to get out and at least try things on before you commit to shapes and colors bought online. I get into so many closets every year and see things with tags on them and ask, "What's this about?!" Why are these items bought if they aren't being worn?! Because when they come in the mail you are far less likely to return them if they don't quite fit or aren't exactly what you thought they'd be - and companies bank on this fact. So demand more from your purchases. I go into far more detail in my e-course, but items should check ALL of these boxes: fit, shape, color, comfort, budget, and buddy (all items need a buddy in your closet).

3) PLAN YOUR OUTFIT THE NIGHT BEFORE! I can't tell you how many rushed mornings I've had trying to plan my outfit around my day with a child pulling on my PJs asking for cartoons and milk. Plan the night before and it will GREATLY decrease stress in the morning, whether or not you have a little turkey waking you up. Trust me. I hang ALL the items I plan on wearing on one small rack on the back of my door (you could use a few hangers or one), including the bra, underwear, outfit, and accessories I plan on wearing. I make a mental note of where the shoes are I'm going to wear with it, or just set them below the outfit. DONE! It takes 5 minutes, ladies. Try it!

If you have questions about your style and aren't quite ready for my e-course, a virtual session, or a personal session yet, join our conversation in my Facebook group:
www.facebook.com/groups/123197405…6/?ref=bookmarks

Budget Friendly Wardrobe Updates, Ruffles, and Vests

One podcast this week (I post two now!) featured a question from my Facebook Style Support Group about updating a wardrobe on a budget, how to deal with the ruffle trend that is still hot, and a MomStyle Must-have that reminds me of Chandler from Friends.

Budget Friendly Wardrobe Updates

What's the cheapest, easiest way to update a wardrobe is with accessories, finishing pieces, and shoes. K, bye! That's all! Okay, there's a little more to it than that. Chances are you can build hundreds of basic outfits by mixing and matching the clothing you have already have in your closet. Add a few updated finishing pieces (jackets, cardigans, vests) and some new accessories the outfits multiply over and over.

Trending, Trendy, Trends

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This episodes trend is ruffles, a polarizing trend to say the least. It seems they are sticking at least through Spring/Summer 2018 so here are a few tips for using them or knowing when to decide they just aren't for you. They've been used lately a lot on blouses, sweatshirts, and various other tops which can make it rough(le) because it adds so much volume to the top half of you. If you're like me (more athletic on the bottom half) the addition of some interest and volume on my top half is welcome as it balances my frame. Though if you tend to stress about looking broad on top due to a bigger bust or wider shoulders, the added volume and interest is likely unwelcome. This has been the case with EVERY gal I've taken shopping who commented on how many ruffle tops we saw. It's funny how we can zero in and see only one thing when we get annoyed by it, isn't it? 

Tip: Know the shapes you love on you and focus you're gaze on finding those pieces. If you let all the other items take up space and emotional capacity in your brain you'll get overwhelmed shopping.

MomStyle Must-Haves

Vests! This topic had me giggling on the podcast this week as the word "vest" immediately brings up images of Chandler from Friends for this 90s kid. Ha! But seriously, I'm loving the effortless style vibes that the duster length (approximately knee length) sweater vests out now are giving off. I made it my MomStyle Must-Have this week because it's just SO SIMPLE to toss these on over a tee and jeans and look put together! Along with that it leaves your arms unencumbered to deal with spit-up, sippy cups, bike crashes, paint projects, pick-ups, soccer gear toting, while still looking chic and adding a light layer in the Spring. The long line they create is awesome too. Basically, they make you look a little taller. And who doesn't love that?!

Alright, loves! Have a magical week! And don't forget to subscribe to the podcast so it automatically pops up in your favorite podcast app.

Making Morning Dressing Easier, Cinderella Shoes, and Mom Closet Hack

What's the hardest part of styling yourself? Getting out of bed and put the clothes on. Seriously. If you're waking up and putting something other than PJs on then you are already doing the hardest part! Doesn't that feel great to know?!

Now that you're already putting something other than PJs on to leave the house or feel productive the next step is putting some intention behind what you're putting on. It takes just as long to put on any old thing than it does to put on something you've chosen with intention! So, the only thing you have to put into action is the intention part. That's the only addition of time to your routine. 

My best suggestion, as always, is to pick out what you'd like to wear the following day the night before and I even found a closet hack to help you accomplish this even easier that is addressed in the MomStyle Must-have segment.

Trending Trendy Trends

This weeks trend is "Cinderella Shoes", a term used recently by Harper's Bazaar to describe a flashy statement shoe that will be worn a lot this Spring and Summer. Of course, the flashier the show the more you have to balance it, especially for daytime, or it ends up looking over-worked and too nighttime. So for daytime, let the flashy shoe be the star by keeping everything else simple, well-fitting, and fairly neutral to balance out the shine. You could even down play the outfit a bit, for example, wearing a shiny silver shoe with distressed cuffed jeans.


MomStyle Must-Have

This week I didn't gravitate towards a wearable item, but rather an item that helps you organize your outfits for the following day (remember how I told you to pick out your outfits the night before?). An over the door closet bar, as pictured, is a perfect way to expand your closet a bit more or you can use it like I do, to hang EVERYTHING you're going to wear the following day. Outfit, finishing pieces, coat, jewelry, even under garments! All ready to go so in the morning (when a certain little person is pulling on my PJs say "mama let's go watch cartoons!) I don't have to try to think about what I'm going to wear to drop off, a client meeting, and for the video later that day. It's already done for me by past me. Thank you, past me! Now where's the coffee!

Closet Organization and Trending Trendy Trends

On one of the two podcasts this week (YES, you read that right, I will now be putting out TWO podcasts a week - Mondays and Thursdays) I spoke about closet organization and added a few new segments to the podcast, including goofy intro music for each. Ha!

Up Your Closet Organization Game!

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More than just cleaning out your closet, you can decrease the time it takes to get ready and the stress you feel in the morning by amping up your storage game. No matter how small your closets are you can use ALL of the space in a clever way. Let's say you just have a closet with a small bar and a shelf above. Can you better utilize the space above the shelf with more shelves and bins? Can you fold your pants, jeans, sweaters, and tees and stack them on that shelf to leave more space on the bar for pieces that NEED to be hung? Can you store shoes beneath your hanging items on floor shelving?

Get creative! Look for all the empty spaces and for goodness sake only store the items your wear and love in your closet. No board games. No memento boxes. You want a working closet. Winter items stored out of sight in the summer and vice versa. If your closet is a fun, pretty, organized space you will want to keep up with styling yourself. If it gets messy, cluttered, and is full of eye clutter you won't enjoy yourself. And this is supposed to be fun!

NEW Podcast Segments

So, I've added to fun segments to the podcast in addition to adding an extra podcast every week. The first is a segment called Trending Trendy Trends...LOL! I realize it is absolutely silly, but really, so are trends. Ha! So let's have fun with it, right?

This weeks trend was inspired by the goddesses over at Who What Wear and their piece on new fun ways to wear sweaters and cardigans. The cross body tie is slaying me. Love it. Totally going to try to pull that off.

The second new segment is called Momstyle Must-haves because the majority of my clients are mamas or women on the go and these trends will speak directly to their needs. This week was fashion sneakers because I bring them up to mamas that want to look current and still be comfy. These can be dressed up or dressed down and you can run run run around in them. Here are just a few examples with links to purchase.

Before I go, what do you want to talk about on my podcast? Know anyone that would be a great interview? Let me know in the comments! Have a great weekend, lovelies!

Thanks to Rebecca Rizzo Photographics for the closet photo and Haute Madre for hosting!

Style Class Headquarters and Bargain Hunting Tips

In this week's podcast I talked about my Style Class Headquarters reveal and great ways to bargain hunt for fancy items (at not fancy prices). 

Headquarters Reveal

Oh my gosh, guys! I love my office sooooo much. It's so important to eek out some special space for yourself. Whether its a sewing corner, a garage workshop, a bitching kitchen, zen closet, or an office. Just make some space for yourself in your home that is just for your passion. My "headquarters" was once just an office/storage area/extra room and now I've transformed it to the office of my dreams, complete with pretty shoe storage. Gah! Over the moon!

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Here are just a few pictures of my pretty little corner of the world.

Bargain Hunting for Designer Goodies

I also spoke about all my best bargain hunting tips for finding designer bags, shoes, etc at discount prices. Does it take more work? Yup. Is it worth it if you like the finer things, but are on a budget. You bet! Most of my tips include finding items in resale shops and online spots, consignment, and thrift. Here are a few of my favorite Portland consignment, thrift, and swap joints as well as some national resources for finding designer goodies at a discount. And of course, a picture of the sweet, like new Kate Spade cross body bag I found for less than $20 on www.shopgoodwill.com 

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Show Links:
www.shwoppdx.com
www.buttonpdx.com
www.consign-couture.com
www.viceresale.com
www.poshmark.com

I also mentioned that I made a cute little closet clean out video over the week that I wanted to share with you here. Never work with kids or animals...they always steal the show!

Learn more about cleaning out your closet in my E-Course at www.mystyleclass.com/e-course

Find me Facebook and online at: www.facebook.com/mystyleclass

Don't forget you can join our conversation and request video topics in my Facebook group:
www.facebook.com/groups/123197405…6/?ref=bookmarks

5-Pieces Every Mom Can Use to Up Her Style Game

I was asked when I was speaking at the MOB Conference in February 2018 what a few pieces I could recommend everyone have in their closets were. I was high on the good stuff at the time (adrenaline) so I'm not exactly sure what I said in response, but I'm sure it was something to the effect of "everyone is so different and has such different tastes that without knowing you it's hard to say exactly what I would recommend". But after giving it some thought, and taking a look at the items I wear/recommend constantly as a stylist, I have five pieces that EVERY mom (or just boss lady) can sprinkle over any wardrobe to start pulling the pieces in her current closet more together. Because the more put-together we look like (while still being ourselves!) the more people believe what we have to say.

I've chosen two trendy pieces and three classic pieces in this effort. Remember! Spend less on the trends and more on the classics. The classics will be with you longer and you need them to be the highest quality your BUDGET can afford. Notice how I didn't say the highest quality your BANK ACCOUNT can afford. Ha! Major difference there! So, here they are:

1) Duster Length Cardigan (trendy piece): Such a cute finishing piece to throw on over outfits (everything from work wear to athleisure). BONUS: It creates a long line (leave it open) and makes you look taller. Neat trick! Just don't let it go much past your knee for all my ladies under 5'5".

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2) Pointy-Toed Slides (trendy piece): These quick, chic shoes are perfect for chasing a little out the door, because you know you put their shoes on first every time and forget they are just going to bolt out the door! BONUS: more leg elongation. Looks at those gams!

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3) Black and White Striped Tee (classic piece): These go with almost everything, especially the finishing pieces, in your closet and look best if worn fitted and tucked into pants/skirts or loose/oversized and styled (half tucks, front tucks, tie ups, twist and tucks). MYTH: horizontal stripes especially medium/small ones, don't make you look wider. Just cooler. BONUS: black and white stripes are a great way to start dipping your toe in the pattern mixing pool!

4) Moto Jacket (classic piece): This badass little jacket can turn any mom into the coolest chick at the park. Rock it over some coordinating, monotone athletic wear, rock it over jeans and a tee, or rock it over a feminine sun dress for some cool girl contrast. BONUS: if it's cut to your hip or slightly above it also makes you look like you have longer legs (taller).

5) Tan Trench Coat (classic piece): Oh, the classic, classy, chic AF trench. It can elevate almost any outfit. It's true! It's the number one thing I suggest to mom's with businesses in fact because you have customers to impress and this piece will pull it all together.

MOB Conference Speaker and Dressing in Defense

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This week's podcast was all about my speaking engagement at the MOB NW conference for the first quarter of 2018. It was so fantastic. The setting was a large bed and breakfast on a vineyard (what?!) and the attendees were even more beautiful than the scenery. All 100+ women in attendence were mother's with businesses, there to up level their mindset, strategy, and business while getting support from other mom bosses. Cause who knows better the challenges of raising a business and babies better than another mom boss, right?

My colorful and authentic speak got down to the heart of how I believe we should be dressing: like ourselves, but 5-years from now and very successful. However that version of yourself dresses, ladies, that's how you should be dressing now. Like, now! Go! ;)

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I also spoke about dressing in defense in my podcast this week, which is when someone deliberately dresses in a way that deters others from seeing them or getting close to them. Some gals don't realize they are doing this and are more likely to be the sort to try to disappear. If you dress in an extreme (everything from scary goth to ultra femme glam) it better be with intention, an understanding of why you choose to do this, and a full understanding of the ramifications of who you could be turning away from your light.

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If you find that you could be dressing in defense the first step is to outline the pros and cons of this action. Why do you think you do it? Are you a disappearing dresser or one who is actively keeping people at a distance? What have you gained from dressing like this? What have you lost out on because of this. Which side of the list out ways the other?

I truly believe we all have something to bring to whatever table we want to sit at, but dressing in defense can keep us in the shadows. Step out, lady!

Photos by the talented Jessie Photo Doula!

The 5-Year Success Rule and Announcements

I speak about this in my e-course (available here), but I think it's such a powerful tool in explaining how style and dressing with intent can change your life that I really wanted to share it with my listeners and readers. It's kind of an idea tailored to women who own businesses, but really any women can take this idea and run with it!

5-Year Success Rule

First, you have to know how important your branding is and how important your own image is to your branding. First impressions, both in-person and online, are almost instantaneous. This means we don’t have the time to explain our background, experience, education, etc. The only tool we can use in that instant is our visual representation. Sure, what you are wearing helps, but confidence is number one. It doesn’t mean looking like every other successful gal out there, you don’t want their customers...you want yours!

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That’s just a long winded way of encouraging you to shine your light! Because your customers are out their looking for it. So, how do you achieve this? You start by thinking about your top three business goals for the next 5-years. Now close your eyes and think about the woman who achieved those goals. What does she look like when she enters a room? How does she hold herself? What does she expect from the people around her?

Now what is she wearing? Because that’s what you should be wearing NOW.

When you see that confident woman in the mirror it propels you forward and assures your clients you aren’t desperate for their business and they’d be lucky to work with someone who has it so together. What is a quick way to look put-together you ask? Well, I have a formula for that in my E-Course. ;)

Announcements

1) I'll be a speaker at the MOB Conference on Feb 11, 2018. Mom business owners in the Portland/Vancouver area should visit www.themobnation.com for tickets.

2) I'll be a speaker at the Vancouver Women's Show on March 11, 2018. I'll be speaking in the morning and afternoon with a booth open between 10am-6pm. Come visit!

3) I've been named the 2018 Style Maven for Women with Moxie Portland! How freaking fun is that! I'll be choosing the themes of the mixers held every of month and helping with other various style related tasks. 

4) I'll be hosting Vintage Fashion Fridays live on Curiosities Vintage Mall Facebook page every Friday at 2pm PT, showing new fun ways to style vintage goodies. Follow Curiosities for reminders! 

Phew! All caught up! ;)