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13 Ways to look like a million for under $10

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13 ways to look like a million

 

You don’t have to have a million dollars to look like you do! Here are 10 quick tips to have you looking your best…for just $10 or less.

 

1, Wear clothes that fit. You wouldn’t believe how much of a difference this makes- and how many people wear ill fitting clothing. Wearing clothing that fits your body shape is incredibly important and sometimes that means getting clothing altered. (Not sure what your body shape is? Take the quiz here) Many men’s stores will hem pants for free and do other alterations for minimal cost. Nice department store might also offer this service. Going to a tailor to bring in a button down shirt will cost around $15 while changing hemlines averages around $10. If you know someone who sews, they might be willing to do it for free or for an exchange (did anyone say wine?) Cost= $0+ depending on the alteration. 

 

2. Be picky when you’re buying second hand. You can save a lot of dough by buying clothing and accessories second hand, but beware of purchasing items that look too rough. Make sure that you actually love the items you are about to purchase and that you aren’t just buying them because ‘they are so cheap!’ Garments still need to fit and be a flattering shape and color. (Hint: here are the top 20 basic garments every woman needs in her wardrobe- plus the perfect fit for your body shape) They should also be in good condition. Pretend like you’re in a high end store where everything is $500 plus. Would you buy the same thing in that situation? This will prevent you from having a closet full (cha-ching!) of mediocre clothes that look okay on you. Cost= $10 or less for second hand clothes. 

 

3. Fill in your eyebrows. As we women get older, we often lose our hair (sorry guys, who didn’t know this), which is why thick locks are a sign of youth. Filling in your eyebrows is one of those changes that can make you look younger without being blatantly obvious. Make sure you choose the right pencil for your hair color and, if you are in a beauty store like Ulta, ask one of the salespeople to teach you how to use it. Cost= Eyebrow pencils on Ulta.com ranged from $1.99-$24. Want more tips on how to dress your age? Here’s how to dress in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s (coming soon!)

 

4. Improve your sleeping habits. Sleep looks good on everyone, and it’s free (Win-win? I think so) The biggest enemy of good sleep is your cell phone. Avoid looking at your phone (or any other screen) one hour prior to sleeping. I also use the ‘do not disturb (silence except for emergency numbers that I dictate) until my next alarm’ feature. Even if you don’t realize that your phone is glowing and beeping all night long, your REM cycle might. Getting a couple of extra Z’s will improve your complexion and save you money on cucumbers (or all those costly cremes and cover-ups). Cost= FREE!

 

5. Tuck in your shirt. My husband works in a factory setting and this tip works just as perfectly for factory workers as it does for top level executives. Why? Well, tucking in a shirt creates a waist (or any body definition) where there was none which looks better on any body shape. It also looks more pulled together and generally less sloppy. You didn’t just throw on a pair of pants and a shirt, you carefully manipulated your clothing to look more professional. Watch how much of a difference it makes here. Cost= 10 seconds. 

 

6. Take care of your shoes and/or handbags. I have a friend who cleans her shoes off after every wear. It doesn’t matter if they were $300 or $3, she simply takes a clean cloth and wipes them down before putting them in back into her closet. The result is that she always looks polished and sharp, not to mention her shoes last forever. We may be able to fake a million dollar look, but shoes and handbags usually rat us out by looking slightly tattered. If you’re like me and don’t have time to daily clean your shoes, try doing it once a week while you watch tv or talk to a friend. Cost= FREE!

 

how to dress like you have money

 

 

7. Exercise. Another freebie that makes a big difference. When you look at people in upper class society, you’ll see that they look more healthy than their lower socio-economic counterparts. Additionally, clothes look and fit their best when the wearer is at a healthy weight for their body type. You can blame cheap fast food, expensive gym membership access, or a multitude of other things on why this rich/poor healthy/unhealthy paradox exists…or you could do something about your own body. Planning out your meals will save you money, calories, and time. Parking further from your destination, getting off the bus a stop early, or going on an evening after dinner stroll in your neighborhood are all simple ways to start living a healthier life. Cost= FREE + a little time.

 

8. Learn how to barter. You may not have the financial resources it takes to buy the best clothes and purchase the best haircuts, but you might have something else. Think about what talents or services you provide and then use those to barter for what you want. Maybe you are great at social media. Ask a local salon who’s struggling with their online presence whether you can help them with their social media in exchange for haircuts/colors. This usually works best with friends and acquaintances. Just make sure that you are good at the service you’re offering and that you follow through on your end of the deal. Cost= FREE (or the cost of your services). Here are some quick tips on bartering from RealSimple.com

 

9. Straighten up. Standing up straight can visually make you look 5 lbs lighter and years younger! There’s nothing more aging than a hunching posture. Look at any wealthy business person and you will see someone who carries himself or herself (upright!) with confidence. Practice sitting up straight while at your desk, typing, or even browsing your phone. Cost= FREE

 

10. Break out the blush. Our cheeks naturally flush when we are excited or aroused. This almost always reads positively by the person viewing you, because they subconsciously connect your excitability to being with them. Luckily, all it takes to fake this effect is to throw on some blush. A little bit of blush will immediately make you look fresh, vibrant, and youthful. Cost= $2.99+ from your local drugstore. 

 

11. Choose colors that flatter your skin tone. Everyone has a certain color or set of colors that really bring out their best features. Work on identifying your colors (I dedicated a whole lesson to this in my e-course: The Ultimate #STYLE Guide!) and then start wearing them! Cost= nothing if you have clothing in your ‘good’ colors. If you don’t? Try buying a scarf. It’s a lot cheaper than buying a whole new shirt and you can pair it with items you already have.

 

12. Smile. I know it sounds cheesy, but have you ever hung out with someone who has a resting bitch face? Even if they’re saying nice, friendly things it’s hard to not think that they are constantly judging you, or are unhappy about hanging out with you, or are just plain uninterested. Cost = some face exercises.

 

13. Discover the many uses of coconut oil. Coconut oil is incredible. It will make your hair shiny and strong, your skin smooth as a baby’s butt, and your teeth several shades whiter…to name a few. Beauty gurus have been touting the positive beauty affects of coconut oil for years! Check out a whole list of things you can do with the magical stuff here. Cost = $7.99 usually for a jar.

 

Above all, remember to take control of the things you can, and don’t worry about the things you can’t! Money can’t buy attitude, manners, kindness, or presence.

Cheers,

Leslie

 

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4 Easy Ways to Dress Young…without looking like teenager

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The most common woe clients come to me with goes like this: “I don’t want to look frumpy because I feel young, but I also don’t want to look like my 16-year-old daughter.”

 

These middle-aged women are often vibrant, active, and far from looking like how their mothers did at the same age. But, it’s one thing to feel young and another thing to dress young.

 

Here are four easy ways to strike a balance between frumptastic and teenager.

 

How to dress young without looking like a teen

 

 

  1. Stay out of the juniors department (and stores specifically geared at teens).

This one sounds easy, but it can be challenging. Have you ever wandered into the juniors department thinking, “oh, that’s cute” without even realizing where you were? This happens all the time to me at Target. (Speaking of Target, did you read about what happened when I picked out plaid outfits for every age there?) One minute you’re looking at work attire and then you’ve crossed the invisible line to juniors clothing. Additionally, try to avoid stores that are geared directly at teens like Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, Forever 21, etc. While you can find suitable items in these places, it’s much easier to pick out age-appropriate items in a place like Banana Republic than H&M.

 

70 c clothes

Sometimes it’s hard to tell where Junior’s ends and everything else begins…especially during sale season.

 

2. Let quality and fit be your guide

Clothes designed for teenagers are made poorly. Companies know that teens and young adults rotate through clothing more rapidly than other age groups, so they don’t spend as much time and money on quality. If you can’t tell whether you’re in the juniors department or not, just ask yourself, “how well is this made?”

 

Choosing well-made clothing is going to make you look more age appropriate because it will actually fit you well. Designers go through lots of measures to make sure their clothing fits their target market properly. That’s why Aeropostale fits one way while Talbots fits another. If an item is too tight, too short, and generally ill-fitting you will look like you stole clothes from your daughter’s closet. On the other hand, if the fit is baggy and ill-fitting in the too big direction, you will look older.

 

Did you know? Every brand has someone called a ‘fit model’ who works for them. The fit model is a woman (or in the case of menswear- a man) who is the exact measurement of that brand’s average size (usually a medium or 6/8). All of the clothes for that brand are based on the body shape of the fit model- and they aren’t always perfect hourglasses. That is why J. Crew fits better on rectangle shaped women and Talbots looks better on apple shaped ladies. Not sure what shape you are? Take the quiz here!

 

 

3. Look for the word: Contemporary 

Many nice department stores like Saks, Barneys, Bergdorfs, etc. divide their products by floor. As a result, you’re likely to step into an elevator and be given options like ‘beauty, shoes, contemporary, designer…” If you don’t understand what defines and differentiates floors like contemporary and designer then you’re already fighting an uphill battle before you’ve begun.

 

Essentially, contemporary is the way to say ‘current’ without saying ‘trendy’. Contemporary clothing is trendy clothing designed for adults rather than teens (that would be the juniors dept.) In a department store like Saks, contemporary clothing is less expensive (though certainly not cheap) and more current and mainstream. It’s not just big department stores that use the word contemporary. Forever 21 uses it to describe their more modern, looser fit collection (which fits more like…forever 31). Current but not trendy is exactly what will make you look your age and these pieces are often categories as ‘contemporary’.

 

 

4. Stay current with silhouettes, not patterns

Loud patterns, bright colors, and offbeat prints will all make you look younger, but not necessarily in a good way. Instead of dressing younger through patterns, do it by keeping your silhouettes in style. That may sound hard, but intuitively you know the difference between a black suit from the 80’s and one from today. The silhouette of today’s black suit is going to be more modern. This is especially important if you are super petite and have to shop in Juniors or Children sections! 

 

When you look through magazines or are window shopping, try focusing on the shape of garments rather than colors and prints. Are boxy jackets everywhere? What about pleated skirts? This will clue you into what is currently in style and allow you to choose colors that may be more age appropriate. With that being said- never buy anything you don’t love or love the way it looks on you! Not all trends and ‘modern silhouettes’ will look good on you and that’s okay. The basic garments that make up your wardrobe should all work well with your body type. Update those garments as they come into style and add trendy pieces only when they work with your wardrobe (and your body!).

 

Lastly-

 

If you’re still in doubt whether an item or an outfit is ‘too old’ or ‘too young’ for you, I always recommend erring on the side of caution; don’t purchase or wear the item/outfit until you can get a second opinion from someone you trust!

 

Dressing appropriately for your age can be tricky. In fact, I created a whole lesson in  The Ultimate #STYLE E-Course that addresses just that issue because it’s so commonly asked about! For the complete guide of style tips, including how to dress for your body type, how to wear jewelry, and how to style scarves, click on The Ultimate #STYLE Course link above.

Cheers!

Leslie

 

Check out these blog posts (60’s+ is coming soon!):

what to wear after 50 3 tips to dressing in your 40's How to dress in your 30's

 

2

How to get out of a fashion rut

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Raise your hand if you’ve been wearing the same shirt for the past week straight and the graphic below hits a little too close to home.

 

style rut graphic

 

Rest assured, you’re not the only one; I fall into fashion ruts and I’m a stylist!

 

In light of this issue that we all face, I want to share my top 6 tips for pulling yourself out of a style rut. First, though, it’s important to know HOW we got into the hole of monotonous fashion before we figure out how to get out of said hole.

 

How did we end up here?

 

Humans are creatures of habit. Just mess with someone’s daily routine and you’ll receive a backlash that is reflective of a person’s desire to avoid change. Our instincts tell us that change is bad, although, our minds know otherwise. Combine our dislike of change with our addiction to dopamine and you’ve got a style rut waiting to happen.

 

Here’s how it plays out:

 

You put together a new outfit. You like the way it looks and the way it feels. People tell you how good you look and this makes you happy (i.e. your brain is secreting dopamine- the happy drug).

 

You continue to wear your new go-to outfit because 1) your brain likes dopamine and getting compliments and 2) you like the outfit.

 

Once you have several of these go-to outfits that you like, you stop creating new outfits. Your brain tells you that change is bad and you have enough good options already. And, if you’re me, you’re too busy/lazy to put together more outfits. You end up wearing the same five outfits until you die (or buy something new and start the process over again).

 

 

How to get out of a style rut:

 

Now that you know how you got into the rut (more or less), here are my top tips for getting OUT.

 

1. Use the hanger trick

The hanger trick is something I use on clients to help them clean out their closets. It is also a great way to force you to wear every item in your closet and not just your go-to items. Here’s how it works: Every time you wear a garment, return it to your closet on a backwards hanger. Try to wear all your clothes on correctly facing hangers before re-wearing backwards hung clothes, if you can. At the end of each season, I remove any forward facing hung clothes (aka: the ones that haven’t been worn) and donate/sell them and start the process over again.

 

2. Give yourself extra time

One of the reasons I end up wearing the same outfits is because I know what works and I don’t have time to put together something new. I’ve found that giving myself even an extra 15 or 20 minutes in the morning allows me time to play around in my closet and try on a new outfit without feeling rushed.

 

3. Know what works for you

We tend to wear clothing that looks good on us and fits well while avoiding the clothes in our closet that are ill-fitting. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find out what looks good on your body shape. When you have even the most basic clothes in silhouettes that flatter you, you have more options of outfits. This is because you actually like more garments in your closet and thus are more likely to wear more garments- resulting in more outfit options. To see the 20 basics I think every closet needs (and what silhouettes are best for each body type), click here.

 

4. Keep clothing and accessories visible

It sounds obvious, but the easier it is to see something, the more likely you are to wear it. Is it easier to put outfits together in Goodwill or a fancy boutique? The answer is: a fancy boutique. When items are displayed well, it’s easier to pull them from the rack and put them on (which is why boutiques look the way they do). Consider re-organizing your closet to make every item more accessible.

 

5. Get inspired

Inspiration can come in all forms, but two platforms I love are Instagram and Pinterest. I recommend finding someone (celebrity or instagrammer) who has a similar body shape/lifestyle/style to you. Watch what they wear and how they put outfits together. You never know what you’ll learn and what you might want to try! Instagram accounts I like are: @fashion_unfolded_by_mandy (40+ style), @sustainable_consumption (20’s/30’s urban professional), @round2it (plus size), @stylishprofessor (40+ and tall styles). There are also lots of boards on Pinterest focused on things like: Petite, Plus, Specific Body Shapes, and Work outfits.

 

6. Get a second opinion

Remember playing dress up as a kid? Who says that stops when you become an adult? If anything, you should play more often because you actually have things to dress up for! One of the easiest, and most fun, ways to get out of a fashion rut is to host a fashion party and invite a couple of close friends over. Uncork some wine, turn up some tunes, and have your friends play dress up in your closet. See what new and fun outfits they come up with! A casual get-together like this is the perfect incubator for creative outfit ideas.

 

 

What gets you out of a style rut? Who do you follow for fashion inspiration?

Share in the comments below!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

0

What to wear to work in the summer

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Ah, summertime.

 

Love it or hate it, you still have to go to work and look like a decent human being no matter how hot and/or humid is it outside.

 

Although I am definitely in the #lovesummerhateeverthingelse camp with Leandra Medine, I realize that looking professional in the hot hot heat isn’t always the easiest accomplishment. That’s why I’ve decided to come up with a couple simple steps to getting dressed for work in the summer.

 

 

summer work 2

 

Step 1: Choose the right fabrics

Did you know that some fabrics can make you hotter than others? It’s true! Here’s a breakdown of what materials you should be wearing (and which you shouldn’t)

 

WEAR THIS:
  • Cotton, bamboo, and linen natural fibers. Natural fibers are ‘breathable’ meaning that they let air pass easily through them. The more air passing through the fibers, the more your body is cooled down (not to mention all the hot air isn’t stuck right next to your body). BONUS: they also dry fairly well.
  • Performance fabrics. These are specific fabrics that are designed to wick (aka: pull) water away from your skin and transfer it through the fabric letting it evaporate into the air. Think: your fabric yoga outfit. The tricky part is to make what is essentially work out clothes work appropriate (no fear though, I’ll show you some examples below!)

 

NOT THAT:
  • Wool. Wool’s specialty is trapping body heat which is why it’s so effective at keeping you warm in the winter. Even if you are opting for a summer sweater, be sure to choose cotton.
  • Anything plastic (that isn’t a performance fabric). Plastic fabrics are the worst in hot weather. Not only do they allow NO air flow, but they also take forever to dry out…meaning that you’ll sweat a lot and everyone will know. I use the term ‘plastic’ to describe these fabrics because they are literally made out of plastic (fun fact!). The most popular plastic fabrics are: polyester, acetate, and nylon. (IMPORTANT! Technically, performance fabrics are made from some of these same materials. The difference is that PF have been specially modified for athletes. A button down shirt from your local department store made from polyester IS NOT a performance fabric).

 

Step 2: Work around your classic wardrobe

Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you have to neglect your entire wardrobe. The first step to putting together a great summer work outfit is to have the right basics. (Not sure what the basics are? Click here to learn more about the 20 basics every woman needs in her closet.)

Once you have the right basics, you can build off of them for summer. Here’s an easy formula to doing just that:

1. Start with a skirt or pants (or tailored shorts if your work allows)

2. Add an undershirt (this soaks up most of the sweat, if you’re a sweater)

3. Choose a blouse that is sleeveless or short sleeve (you can stop here if you aren’t required to cover your shoulders)

4. If your dress code requires you to cover your shoulders, wear a light cardigan instead of a blazer

5. Top with fun accessories. Since you aren’t wearing as many layers, use accessories to make your outfits more interesting.

 

Keep reading to see outfit ideas using this formula!summer work 1

 

Step 3: Know the tricks of the trade

 

When you live in a hot place, you develop ways to work around the heat (and still look professional).

 

Here are my favorite tips:

 

1. Wear an undershirt.

I know I already said this, but it really does work! There’s a relatively new company that makes ‘sweat proof’ undershirts. I have never tried them, so I can’t vouch for whether they work, but if you have tried NUMI, leave a comment below and let us know!

 

2. Keep things as loose as possible.

A-lines skirts > pencil skirts. Swing dress > sheath dress. Loose blouse > fitted blouse. I think you get the idea. The more air flow you have, the better things will be. To achieve a more tailored and less bohemian look, tuck in shirts, belt tops and dresses, and add fitted clothing once you get to the office. See picture below.

image

3. Layers are just as important in the summer as the winter.

With the summer heat also comes severe air conditioning abuse. Keeping several blazers or cardigans at work allow you to still look professional without the need to walk across the city in a suit jacket.

 

4. Get your hair and makeup to play along.

Wearing your hair in a nicely coifed up do not only looks professional, but it keeps it off the back of your (hot) neck. As for makeup, you need some sort of setting spray or powder. Seriously. If you don’t, your makeup will take an unfortunate pilgrimage down your face as the day goes on.

 

Need some outfit inspo? Check out these ideas:

workoutfits1

(Can you tell which items are actually activewear? I’ll give you a hint: both dresses and two shirts are made from performance fabrics)

 

What do you love to wear in the summer when it gets hot? Tell me below in the comments!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

 

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The pair of shoes you can wear with anything

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The only pair of shoes you'll need

 

Anyone who knows me (or follows my blog) probably knows that I’m a neurotic packer.

I absolutely love packing for trips. This, in and of itself, is weird (or so I’m told). But while the rest of world dreads packing and procrastinates until the last minute, I start planning months in advance.

My goal is to pack the least amount (I almost never check a bag!) but still have enough clothes to look really stylish and appropriate for my destination. Because of that, I approach packing like a puzzle. How many outfits can I make from the least amount of clothes? How many accessories do I need to make each outfit look amazingly unique, even if I wore it the night before? And, the question that brings us to today’s topic, what is the least number of shoes I can pack? (psst. My biggest packing tip is to only pack some of the basics from your wardrobe.)

Shoes are a big deal. For one, they take up a lot of room in a suitcase. They are also extremely important when it comes to enjoying your trip. You don’t want to get blisters on the first day from bringing shoes that don’t fit well.

I just went to New York City for the weekend to meet up with my sisters. Activities included everything from walking around the Met to going out and laying out. I needed a shoe that would look great with a fancy dress, jeans, and a swimsuit. It was a tall order.

What did I end up choosing? A cute pair of black mules. The picture below is the exact pair of shoes I wore.
target black muleBlack Mules from Target ($24.99)

Since I had copious amounts of time in airports and cars this past weekend, I got to thinking, “Is there one shoe you could pretty much wear with anything?” The shoe above did just that, but what happens when that shoe is outdated? And that’s when I got my follow up answer; it wasn’t about the exact shoe itself so much as the type.

The picture above, is a fancy flat. If you’re not familiar with that term, don’t feel bad, I literally made it up in the Delta lounge last weekend. More on what makes a fancy flat fancy later, but I want to hit on why this type of shoe will always be around:

When that fancy flat gets outdated, another fancy flat will take it’s place.

Just think about the last couple years of fashion when it comes to flats: ballet flats were all the hit (a la Tory Burch), then loafers, and now mules. In a few years (or months) another flat will take the place of mules.

So what makes a fancy flat fancy?

So glad you asked. It’s some sort of embellishment or attribute that takes the shoe from completely casual to gussied up. It could be an actual embellishment like tassels (see above) or rhinestones. Or it could be as simple as using leather or satin instead of canvas or some other cheap substitute.

This is the secret to having a shoe that can go back and forth from a maxi dress to a swimsuit.

Below are two flats. The one on the left is just a normal, casual flat while the other is one I’d consider ‘fancy’. Can you tell the difference?

Galinsky Loafer

Left (Toms $49.95), Right (Aldo $59.99)

The two shoes above are very similar, but because the one on the right uses leather instead of canvas and has a pointed toe, it looks fancier. Crazy how such a small change can make a big difference right?

Both shoes will look great with jeans, but only the one on the right will look good with fancier skirts, dresses, and even work pants.

Keep reading to see the top 3 reasons why fancy flats are so incredible.

you can wear these shoes with everything

 

The top 3 reasons why the fancy flat can be the only shoe in your closet:

  1. It’s a flat, so it’s easy to walk in. If you have one shoe in your closet, it better to be easy on your dogs.
  2. It’s fancy (or part of it is dressed up in some way) so the casualness of the low heel is contrasted with the more formal embellishments or materials. These two qualities ying and yang to create the perfect shoe that can work just as well with jean shorts as it can a silk slip dress.
  3. What’s en vogue changes enough, that by the time you wear out your pair of fancy flats, another pair will be on the market (which means you are always in style)

 

I love fancy flats, and think they’re so important, that they actually made my list of the top 20 items you need in your closet.

 

 

Looking for more fancy flat options? Try these:

Renzo Flat

DSW $44.99

Rodney Pointy Toe d'Orsay Flat, Main, color, Pink Snake Print Leather

Nordstrom $83

Sunflower Studded Mule Slide

Bergdorf Goodman’s ($347)

 

As you can tell, not all fancy flats have to be plain black (although that is pretty versatile!) Pick a pair that works well with the color scheme of your closet or opt for neutral colors like beige and black to get the most wear! They also don’t have to be fancy priced. The pair of mules I took to New York were less than $25. I’d say that’s a win-win.

Do you have a pair of fancy flats that you love? Tell me below!

xoxox,

Leslie

3

What to wear if you’re PEAR shaped

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It’s great knowing your body shape, but if you don’t know what to DO with that information, it can be quite pointless. That’s why I’ve written a series of blog posts that will help you always find the perfect outfit.

The first post is going to be about the pear-shaped body. A pear-shaped body (also sometimes called a ‘spoon’ shape) is the most common shape along with the apple. So, if you think you’re the only one who struggles to find dresses that fit your bust AND your hips, you’re not alone. 

Keep reading to find out:

  • What a pear shape actually is (pssst, if you’re not sure, check out this post and take our quiz!)
  • Celebrity pear examples
  • What to wear 
  • What NOT to wear
  • Sample Capsule Wardrobe

 

Please note that this post contains affiliate links. I use affiliate links in the form of clothing suggestions in order to help you best discover (and locate!) clothing that will work best for your body shape. If you click on the affiliate links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost for you. Thank you for supporting us, so we can continue to give you quality content. ~LF

You’re a Pear If…

You know you’re a pear shape because you have these three attributes:

  1. Your bust is smaller than your hips
  2. Your waist is defined (in other words, you have an obvious waist)
  3. Your hips and bigger than your bust area

 

If you’re still confused about your shape, check out my original blog post on shapes (and how to dress any shape no matter if you fall neatly into a category or not)

 

Celebrity Pears:

Thanks to the Kardashian clan, big hips and butts are having a moment right now. Here are some celebrity pears who are really rocking it (or should I say, their personal stylist is really rocking it!)

See the source image

Rihanna uses a wide V-neck to draw your eye up and out (making her top half look bigger)

 

See the source image

Beyoncé shows off a monochrome suit. Notice the wide leg pants and the long jacket (hits lower than the widest part of her hips). It’s also hard to see because of her hair, but her jacket is fitted at the waist and features a wide lapel and scarf (that, once again, distract the viewer’s gaze upward)

 

See the source image

America Ferrera uses black to draw attention to her waist and her upper body. 

 

The Main Idea:

In the original blog post about DRESSING YOUR SHAPE, I talked about my easy secret to always knowing what will look good on you regardless of shape. The secret is to always wear clothing that makes you look like an hourglass. If you missed the post, you can read it here. You may also remember the graphic below, and how we need to ‘fill out’ the top of the hourglass.

Essentially, dressing for your shape is all about using clothing, jewelry, and other accessories as an optical illusion to make us appear a certain way.

The optical illusion is formed when we distract the viewer away from one part of our body and attract their eyes to a different part.

In the example below, the dark neutral skirt is boring, thus not meriting much attention. The striped shirt, on the other hand, draws your eye upward and from side to side (because of the stripes), thus making her top half seem bigger than it is. All of a sudden she looks like an hourglass shape, even though nothing else has changed.

 

What to Wear:

Remember the main idea here: we need to distract away from the hips/butt and draw the attention upward. The following are several ways to do that, with an explanation of how it works. (Want to take a shortcut? Click here to see the 20 items every wardrobe needs and what that looks like for your body shape)

    • Tops/Blouses: You want to choose tops that are fitted UNLESS you have something that is defining your waist. An important part of keeping that hourglass shape is to make sure your waist is visible. There are two ways to keep your waist visible: 1) wear a top that is fitted, especially around the waist, or 2) Make sure you have on a belt or your loose shirt is tucked into a pair of pants or skirt with a waistband. You also want to draw attention upward, so your tops are the place to go ham with colors and patterns. Boat necks and wide V-necks are going to be the best option for you.

    • Blazers/Jackets: Make sure any blazer or jacket you buy is nipped in at the waist. Look for blazers/jackets with more detail on the top than the bottom. For example, you would want to choose a jacket with a wide lapel over one with a peplum. A wider lapel brings the eye up and out while the peplum brings it down and out (making your bottom half look bigger).

    • Skirts: Pencil, A-line, full (circle) skirts. A lot of pears don’t think they should wear full skirts, but just the opposite is true! A full skirt can do a wondrous job hiding your hips and butt and making them look smaller than they are. The key is to choose dark, neutral skirts with little detail (that are boring) so the eye has no choice but to look upward to your fabulous necklace, shirt, or piece of distraction on your top half. Skirts just above the knee and longer are going to look best on you.

    • Pants: Opt for wide leg or boot cut pants. When you have more volume at the bottom of your pant leg, it evens out the fullness of your hips/butt. The bigger your hips/butt the bigger the bottom half of the pants need to be. The top of any pair of pants should be as smooth as possible (no extra pleating or detailing) and should be fitted through the knee area.

    • Dresses: Dresses can be difficult, especially if your bottom half is much larger than your top half. If you’re wearing a dress alone, fit and flare dresses will almost never steer you wrong. Dresses with detailing or fullness at the top (like an embellished neckline or full sleeves) are also okay. If you have a dress that you love, but you think it makes you look bottom heavy, try layering more distractions (a blazer, necklace, earrings, etc.) to your top half.

  • Jewelry: This is the time to go crazy with statement jewelry. Necklaces, earrings, and brooches are all your friends…and the bigger the better. Jewelry is a really great and easy way to draw the eye upward towards your face.
  • Purses: Opt for shoulder bags that you can put right up under your arm. Clutches are a great option also.
  • Bathing Suits: Click here to read my entire blog post on choosing swimwear for your body shape!

If the thought of putting outfits together makes you cringe, here are 200+ already styled outfits that have been selected just for pear body types.

What NOT to Wear:

  • Tops/Blouses: Anything baggy that hides your waist (like the t-shirt in the picture below). This will just make you look thick around the middle (which you aren’t!) and like a big triangle (also not desirable). Avoid blouses that end right along the widest part of your hips. They will make your hips look wider than they are. You will be better off, 9 times out of 10, with shirts that are shorter rather than longer.
  • Blazers/Jackets: Avoid shapeless blazers and jackets. They will just make you look big all over. If you like a certain look (like a peacoat) opt for a version that is fitted in the waist. Avoid jackets and blazers that end along the widest part of your hips. Just like tops, you’re almost always better off going shorter than longer when it comes to jackets.
  • Skirts: Avoid bright colors and patterns. Horizontal stripes are always a bad idea, and vertical stripes can work at times (especially if you’re petite!) Avoid miniskirts as they will make your hips/butt look like one big (and super weird) rectangle.
  • Pants: I know you love leggings, but they aren’t your friends. Save your leggings and jogging pants to wear at home. Low rise pants are also a no-no. The higher your pants are, the better you’ll look.
  • Dresses: You are too sexy for sack dresses and other shapeless dresses. They will make you look like a big triangle (which you aren’t). Fitted tank dresses are also a bad idea if worn alone, because they usually don’t have enough interest above the waist, to distract the eye away from your hips. Avoid drop waist dresses like the plague.
  • Jewelry: Bracelets are rings are okay to wear, just don’t go too crazy. When you are standing up and relaxed, your wrists usually hit around your hipline. Loud bracelets or rings will draw attention to that area.
  • Purses: Avoid large purses that hang low (that you would fall around your hip area) and cross body bags. Both are going to draw unwanted attention to your bottom half and make you seem bigger than you are.

Sample Pear Capsule Wardrobe:

A capsule wardrobe is a small collection of clothing where each piece can be worn with every other piece to make a maximum number of outfits. Below, we have put together a capsule collection for a Pear with classic style.

You’ll notice that I tried not to pull anything over $200 to keep this wardrobe budget friendly! (yes, I know the necklace is expensive but you can find similar ones for far less.)

Ps. Don’t forget to look under the collection to see how to put these pieces together for a week’s worth of activities!

Here are just a few combinations you can make for an entire week’s worth of activities!

Monday: (work) White t-shirt + white cardigan + black pants + heels + shoulder bag + belt (over cardigan).

Tuesday: (work, then school meeting) blouse + black skirt + black blazer + heels. Take off blazer for a more casual look.

Wednesday: (work) Blush dress + black blazer + belt + heels.

Thursday: (work, volunteering) Turtleneck + black pants + shoulder bag + heels + necklace. Change from heels to tennis shoes and a white t-shirt for volunteering.

Friday: (work, after work dinner date) Red tank top + black skirt + black blazer + heels + clutch. Take off blazer after work for a sexy date night look.

Saturday: (playground with kids) White t-shirt + jeans + tennis shoes.

Sunday: (baseball game, book club) blouse + jeans + sandals + shoulder bag.

Psst. If you’re a visual person and like to see outfit ideas all put together in a picture (rather than written out like above) you’ll love this book of 200+ pear outfit ideas. 


Want more ideas for a pear-shaped capsule collection? This e-book shows you how to choose the top 20 items everyone should own, which versions you should wear for your body shape, and outfit ideas for work and play. Read more about it here! 

 

The Big Take-Away:

You have a hot body…don’t sell yourself short. Keep it dark on the bottom and bright (or patterned) up top and have fun with the accessories! Anything that makes people look up (from your hips) is a good thing. And never, ever forget to accent your waist. 

And most, importantly, you’re a stud muffin. Never forget that. 

xoxo, Leslie 

 

PS. Now that you know the rules, you can break them. 😉

 

Want instant inspo and fabulous outfits (from clothes you already own)? You’ll want this e-book.

Read the Pear Outfit Style Book on any device!

 

 

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How to Pack a Carry-on like a Pro this Holiday Season

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how-to-pack-a-carry-on-like-a-pro-this-holiday-season

 

There are two camps: people who will check their bags, and people who will do anything in their power NOT to check bags when flying. I’m the latter. The strong desire to never check a bag isn’t a matter of money so much as it is convenience. For example, this past summer, my husband and I went to Thailand for ten days and I packed us both a small backpack. There was nothing better than landing, grabbing our bags from under our seats, and walking right off the airplane and straight to our resort (no lost luggage or long luggage pick up lines to deal with!)

Unless you travel with bulky medical equipment or lots of kids, I truly believe that most people can pack whatever they need in just a carry-on…especially during the holidays. Here are a couple of tips to beat the holiday chaos around baggage claim and get your carry(on)!

Tip 1: Pick the right bag.
A good carry on bag will have a firm bottom and flexible sides. This allows the bag to keep its structure while you are allowed to pack more. I prefer duffels and back packs over roller bags because they are easier to navigate large crowds with.
backpack

The backpack on the left is what we took for Thailand (yes, we had enough to last 2 weeks in there!), the bag on the right is my current heartthrob.

Tip 2: Don’t pack anything with only one purpose (except a bathing suit and/or coat)

Sequin jacket? Body con dress? Sweater that only goes with one pair of pants and nothing else. Those items are great, but they don’t belong on this trip. If you can’t pair an item with everything else you’re bringing, then it needs to stay at home. I don’t even pack real pajamas when I go home because they really only have one purpose. Instead, I wear my lounge clothes to bed. Be realistic about what you’ll be doing at home. If you’re going to be sitting around with your immediate family, leave the fancy stuff at home.

Tip 3: Choose a color scheme.

Either go all browns/blues or all blacks. This means you only have to pack one (or two…max!!) pairs of shoes. Everything should coordinate with your color scheme including your purse.

Tip 4: Wear your bulkiest outfit while traveling

When you have everything laid out on your bed before you actually start packing (something I highly recommend, so that you can see what outfits you can create with what you have) remove the bulkiest items. This is what you’re going to wear on travel day. Ex: Set aside your boots, jeans, sweater, and coat….while you pack flats, leggings, and t-shirts.

Tip 5: Remember where you are going

Are you going to a family member’s house who has every hair device you could possibly need (blow dryer, flat iron, etc)? Don’t bring your own! My little sister never packs pajamas when visiting my parents because she knows my mom owns, at minimum, 35 pairs of flannel pajamas. If you’re meeting up with siblings at your final destination, divvy up any items that you can share while you’re at home. Are you going somewhere with a washing machine? Perfect! Now you can pack even less. There’s no need for 28 pairs of panties when you have a washing machine.

Tip 6: You need to plan ahead

Packing with just a carry-on does take a little planning. If you’re rushing around the morning before a flight, you’re not going to make great packing decisions. Instead, make it into a fun activity or (if you have kids) a game. If you’re by yourself, put on some great music and pour yourself a glass of wine. If you’re helping your kids pack light, turn it into a fun game of matching or a critical thinking challenge (how many outfits can you make and put in this backpack?)

You can’t beat all the airport chaos this year,  but you can make it a little bit easier on yourself- by only packing a carry-on! It never hurts to try.

What’s your biggest deterrent to only packing a carry-on? Not sure how to pack the bag? Shoe addict? Chronic over packer? I want to hear your reasons!

Cheers,

Leslie

 

 

Like what you read? You’ll probably love Chapter 4 of my new book. Check out a free sample below!

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Why You Need a Uniform NOW

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Have you ever seen someone well dressed and think, “I could look like that if I just had some more time to get ready.” Or maybe your reasons are more along the lines of,  “I’m too busy“, ‘there are more important things I need to worry about”, or simply “I don’t care”. While I can’t help you with the last reason, I can fully sympathize with you on all the others.

why you need a uniform

My life has been more stressful than usual lately. Combine an impending cross country move with home buying, home selling, and a sinus infection and ‘looking my best’ isn’t exactly at the forefront of my priorities. Some days I’m lucky just to get out of workout clothes and into jeans. Unfortunately however, your appearance still matters even when it’s the last thing on your mind.

 

Future clients are still seeing you in the grocery store.

 

Your employer is remembering you by that last impression you’re leaving.

 

People are still making judgements about your character, work ethic, etc. even if you aren’t willing and ready for it.

 

It sucks, but you still need to make some sort of an effort to pull yourself together, even if you’re busy and stressed out…and that’s where the uniform comes in. If you remember nothing else about this post, remember that:

 

  1. Uniforms are glorious
  2. You need one

 

A uniform is essential to getting you through those particularly rough patches in life, because quite honestly, we often have better things to spend our time on than picking out clothes. At it’s purest form, a uniform is a tried and true outfit that is easy and foolproof. It’s the jeans and t-shirt combo you pull out because you know you look good in it and you know you’ll be comfortable.

 

The secret to looking great when you don’t have time, or simply don’t feel great, is to plan ahead. Have one or more uniforms waiting in the wings for those times that you don’t have the time or effort to plan an ensemble. I have two uniforms. One is for casual errand running and the other is for business.

 

My casual outfit is a pair of tailored, dark wash J.Crew jeans, button down Ralph Lauren oxford, and a cute pair of flats. On really unfortunate days, a hat or sunglasses may get added to the mix. It’s streamlined, it’s pulled together, and (most importantly) it isn’t fussy. I can throw it on to run to the grocery store or go to the dog park. If I run into someone important during my errands, I don’t have to hide behind aisles of cereal at the store because I still look professional and appropriate. In fact, several great client relationships have blossomed while I’ve been waiting in a checkout line or hanging out at the dog park. You’re always making a first impression, so make sure you are making a good one!

Shop Vineyard Vines for large selection of womens button down shirts. Our White Oxford Shirt for women is classic! Wear with skirts, slacks or jeans!:

An example of my classic oxford and jeans uniform (pic from Vineyard Vines). 

My business uniform consists of a black dress, pearls, and black heels. No matter how short on time you are, there’s literally no way to mess that up. A quick up-do like a french twist solves any bad hair situations. If you choose a dress (especially a dark colored one) for your uniform, make sure you have one that you can step into (as opposed to pull over your head) to steer clear of any deodorant disasters. If I have a last minute speaking gig or have to meet a client on short notice, I know exactly what I can wear and still make that great impression. There’s no time wasted in front of my closet stressing out (more than I already am) about what to wear.

Monday dress

This classic black number from J.Crew doesn’t even need jewelry…just a great pair of shoes and you’re ready to go!

Figuring out your uniform is pretty easy. Simply go through your closet and pick out a couple outfits that always make you feel confident and powerful and that fit consistently well (as opposed to fitting only when you are in top physical condition). If it helps you to remember, take pictures of these outfits so that you can easily refer to them when time gets crunched or more important things pop up. Apps like Closet can help you keep track of your uniform and even record when you’ve worn it previously (so you don’t end up wearing the same outfit to every client meeting). I actually have several different variations of my uniforms: oxford button downs in several colors and multiple black dresses. This way I’m never without a uniform to wear. 

 

Taking the extra thirty minutes to craft a couple of great uniforms is absolutely worth it. You’ll never be caught hiding behind random stuff at the grocery store again (wait a minute…are these adult diapers?!?) and you’ll never have to sacrifice your reputation or professionalism to time and stress.

If you’re having trouble figuring out your style, or finding the right uniform for your body type, you have to check out The Ultimate #STYLE E-Course.

How do you still look your best with your pressed for time or stressed out? Do you have a favorite uniform that you always turn to? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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10 days, 1 backpack: the SECRET to packing like a pro

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I’m that super nerdy person that really loves packing for trips. The further the destination and more moody the weather the better. Packing strategically probably appeals to me because it combines two of my favorite things: travel (including the wonderful anticipation beforehand) and problem solving.

In the videos below, I let you in on my three step packing process while I get ready for a 10 day excursion half way around the world. Check out below the videos for a full step by step checklist to packing.

Step 1: Pull

Essentially, pull everything that you would pack, but don’t actually pack the items (because, let’s be real, there’s probably waaay too many).

___  Choose any clothing/accessories you feel you’ll need for your trip

___ Group all items in categories (ie: underwear, tops, bottoms, jackets/cardigans, jewelry)

Step 2: Edit

Time to get rid of everything you don’t really need!

___ Choose a color family to adhere to (blacks or browns)

___ Eliminate anything that doesn’t fit into that color family

___ Eliminate anything that doesn’t go with almost every other piece (ex. take out that shirt that only goes with one bottom)

___ Eliminate any ‘solitary use’ items. If they are only used for one purpose, (with the exception of undergarments and swimwear) they don’t belong in your bag.

___ Choose 1 or 2 (at max!!) jewelry accessories for your trip. Chosen accessory should work with every outfit. I am bringing two long necklaces (not shown in videos).

___ Choose 2 pairs of shoes (max!) to wear while on your trip. One pair you will pack, the other (the bulkiest) you will wear for travel.

___ Think creatively. I packed a skirt that could also be worn as a dress. I also packed a rash guard that can be layered under tees or just worn like a normal long sleeve shirt. The more versatile each piece is, the more outfits you end up with.

Step 3: Pack

Most people assume that packing light has to do entirely with HOW you pack rather than what you pack. This isn’t true. If you haven’t done the Edit step well, there’s no amount of packing knowledge that can fit too many clothes into a suitcase.

___ Take out your bulkiest outfit. This is what you’ll wear to travel in.

___ Shoes always go on the bottom. If you have closed toe shoes, fill the cavities with rolled socks/underwear/etc.

___ Roll tops and bottoms by category (as shown in video 3)

___ Roll socks, panties, other undergarments individually and stuff into the free space around the larger (tops, bottoms, etc) rolled clothing.

___ Put items you’ll need on the plane or immediately upon arriving (phone chargers, eye mask, earplugs, etc) in a separate bag at the very top of the backpack for easy accessibility.

___ Always leave room so that you could take things in and out easily!! Your bag shouldn’t be bursting full. Packing your bag should be more like solving an easy Sudoku puzzle than a rubix cube. Traveling is stressful, and the last thing you need while having to roll through airport security is to have to figure out how exactly you stuffed everything into your bag in the first place.

___ Enjoy your vacation!!

Ciao! Leslie

Ps. For more videos, check out my YouTube channel!

 


 style bonus fashion cheat sheets skinnyBONUS: FREE Fashion Cheat Sheets!

Get all four sent to you today: Scarves, Necklaces, Closet Cleanouts, and Packing tips


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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How Active Are Your Clothes?

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At the risk of sounding really nerdy, I just want to throw this out there: sometimes I read research articles. Okay. Actually I may or may not have (but definitely did) get a library card with the sole intent of accessing databases like Ebscohost. So there’s that.

Usually the articles I read are clothing related (shocking, I know) and many of them present information that isn’t wholly revolutionary. However, in every research article, there is always a jewel. It might be a statistic that is fresh and undiscovered. It might be a quote that makes me think about the same old topic in a new way. Whatever it is, I savor those little moments.

Tonight I was reading, “Consumers’ clothing disposal behaviour – a synthesis of research results” by Kirsi Laitala. It was essentially a compilation of other studies dealing with why and how people dispose of clothing. Like I said before, nothing too radically new…but there was one sentence that struck me:

“Many consumers also reported on having inactive clothing in their wardrobes.”

Inactive clothing? We’ve all heard of active clothing…but never have I ever heard of clothing described as inactive. The author isn’t talking about clothing that is used for non-athletic purposes. Rather, she literally means clothing that isn’t getting any action (at least not on your body). These are the articles of clothing that just hang in our closets season after season waiting for us to lose 10 pounds, grow 5 inches, or suddenly start liking the color pink. We all have these ‘space wasters’ (as I like to call them) but how wonderful to call them inactive!

Secondhand-clothes-e1357537577213

So here’s a question. How active are your clothes? Are you getting the most out of every piece? Or do you have pieces that haven’t seen the daylight for years? If you’re not sure…just start with the ones that still have tags. Those are the epitome of inactive.

A smart wardrobe, no matter how big or how small, should be filled with active clothing. (And, no, I’m still not talking yoga pants. Although, there is a time and place for those too.) As you being to pack away your winter wardrobe, I encourage you to ask yourself how much action each item has received over the past few months. If the numbers are lingering (or non-existent), it may be time to pass that garment on to a better place.

Having trouble letting go of those inactive clothes? Think of them this way. They’re like that good looking guy that isn’t ready for a relationship and isn’t anywhere near your #1 fan. He may be good looking, but why waste time on someone that isn’t going to give you want you need. Get rid of him (don’t worry, he’ll find someone else that fits him much better) and get on with your (well dressed) life.

Leslie

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