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How to Wear: White Boots

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how to wear white boots

 

White boots: arguably the most popular and terrifying trend to try this Fall/Winter/Next Spring and Summer.

 

The popular part you get; white boots are all over blogs, style mavens, and *gasp* even some brave ‘average’ people. Terrifying might need a bit more of an explanation.

 

Some trends are easy to pick up and run with. One such example of this is plaid. (In fact, I did a whole post on plaid outfits for every age- from Target!) White boots, on the other hand, are a bit more daunting. What should you wear them with? What should you NOT wear them with? How does this work with the whole ‘don’t wear white after labor day’ rule? (Hint: that’s a rule you buck in this case)

 

There are questions, I know. But I’m here to give you my top tips on wearing white boots and maybe even give you enough inspiration to go out and try your hand (foot?) at this season’s biggest footwear fetish.

 

Tip 1: Don’t put away your cropped pants just yet.

It’s not every season that you get to wear a pair of stunning white boots (they were last really in style in the ’60s!!) so you might as well show them off!

White boots and jeans How to wear white boots how to wear white boots in the fall

 

 

Tip #2: Keep the rest of your outfit simple.

If you’re worried about pulling off the white boot look, the biggest advice I can give you is to keep it simple. You know those basics every woman should have in her closet? This is where they pay off big time. If you pair the boots with neutral solids (or even classic prints like this plaid), you can’t go wrong.

 

 

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to spice it up.

If you’re feeling a little more daring, try adding a statement coat (another big trend for Fall) or channeling the ’60s with a modern mini-dress.

leopard coat with white bootsmini dress with white boots

 

//SIDE NOTE: All the outfit pictures are from Pinterest. Follow me on Pinterest and check out my Fall Outfits 2018 Board to see all the white boot pictures (plus more white boot outfits) and their sources. //

 

Keep scrolling to see my favorite white boot pics.

 

how to style white boots

 

Ready to go shopping?? I know I am.

Here are some great white bootie options for every budget:

One of the things I love most about the white boot trend is how perfectly it is going to go right into spring and summer. If you’ve been around here long, you know I don’t like to wear anything just once (not even my wedding dress!) and this trend will probably be around for a few seasons.

 

Have you bought a pair of white boots? How do you wear them? Tell me in the comments!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

 

 

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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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The art of layering clothes

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The formula to layering clothes

 

Layering clothes– it’s what makes an okay outfit an amazing outfit. It’s where personality and creativity take off.

 

But it isn’t always easy.

 

If basic outfits are simple 1+1=2 arithmetic, then the art of layering is algebra. There are formulas and ways to solve for x and make a great outfit, but you have to know them (by instinct or learning). With that said, I would argue layering is considerably more fun than algebra.

 

Here’s your general formula for layering clothes:

 

Base garment + accent garment(s) + accessories = layered outfit.

 

Your base garment is the simplest version of your outfit and basically whatever is needed to keep you decent. In the below example, the base garment is jeans and a t-shirt. Nothing fancy, just a top and bottom so you don’t get in trouble for public indecency. There are 20 pieces of clothing that I consider base (aka the basics) garments and are the ultimate foundation for any wardrobe.

 

Your accent garment or garments (for the more seasoned layerer- not a word, but stick with me) consists of any extra pieces of clothing that you are wearing aside from the base garment. This could be anything from a cardigan to a vest or even a blouse. Accent garments are a great way to incorporate trends into your outfit. Check out the top 8 trends of Fall 2018 here.

 

Your accessories are the sprinkles on the cake. They fill in ‘visual holes’ (places on your outfit where you need more visual interest) and add the last little bit of personality.

 

Here’s the formula at work:

 

How to layer clothing

 

The basic jeans and t-shirt above layers various garments to create three very different outfit ideas. Some of these outfit examples are more casual and some are more dressed up. See if you can identify each part of the formula: base garments + accents garment + accessories.

 

It’s also important to note that it is easiest when the formula goes in that order: base + accent + accessory. Most people have trouble visualizing an entire outfit all pulled together. However, most everyone can add pieces one at a time (something I talk about in this free webinar). Even if you have to take off part of your base layer (like a dress) to add an accent garment (like a blouse), it’s still mentally easier to put the outfit together in the order of the formula.

 

That brings us to my next very important point. Layering can be done OVER or UNDER (or sometimes both!)

 

We usually think of layering in terms of putting a cardigan or blazer over a shirt. We are not wrong to think that but, but we are wrong to assume that that is the only way to layer! Putting a blouse under a dress is layering. Putting pants under a mini dress (thus making it a tunic!) is layering. Putting a dress under a pair of pants is layering. It may not all look good, but don’t limit yourself! Some of the best outfits are made by thinking out of the box.

 

Look at how this dress (as well as the example above) is layered both over and under.

 

How to layer women's clothingHere we see one outfit that is layered under (the blouse is under the dress) and two that are layered over (the sweater and blazer). Just like the jeans and t-shirt example, the formula applied to this little black dress completely transforms the whole outfit.

 

How to layer women's clothing

 

There really is no rule to how many pieces you can layer, so have fun experimenting and deciding what works best for you! Everyone has a unique style (Not sure what yours is? Take the Style quiz here!) and layering is a great way to show it off!

 

What’s your favorite layered look? Let me know below!

 

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

 

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How to Dress in your 40’s

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How to dress in your 40's

 

Several years ago, a movie came out called This is 40. Do you remember it? I made the weird choice of watching it (I was in my late 20’s at the time) and found it more depressing than comedic. In fact, I don’t think I laughed at all. ‘Watched in horror’ and ‘silently cried’ were probably more appropriate ways to describe my reaction to the movie.

 

With that said, I think it hit on a good point about your 40’s: they are this middle ground in your life that hit somewhat unexpectantly early (middle aged is after 50, isn’t it?) and can almost be a tipping point. This is the only age decade that is solely NOT about you.

 

Think about it. Your kids are in middle school or high school and you are a taxi service/therapist/referee/short order cook. Promotions in your job mean that you have more responsibility and more expected from you at work. Your spouse and friends still want your love and attention (because, you know, they’re normal human beings). You are being pulled in all directions at once and, most likely, none of them are towards you.

 

No other decade has SOLEY been about others until this point in your life, and to be honest, I see people start to move in one of two directions. They either put themselves on the back burner (never to be seen again) or they take time for a little self-care and love. Fashion speaking, this is the difference between women who ‘let themselves go’ and women who ‘look just as good as in high school’.

 

Because you’re in such an in-between zone, choosing what to wear in your 40’s can be really hard. You still feel sexy, but you are the mom of a 13-year-old daughter and don’t want to look too sexy. You need the versatility of workout clothes (and the comfort of yoga pants) on the weekends, but you also miss looking like a decent human being. How do you find a happy medium?

 

While I don’t have all the answers, I have a few that I think are incredibly important.

 

Here are my top 3 tips to dressing in your 40’s

 

1. Don’t forget to show yourself some love

 

It’s much easier said than done, but TAKE TIME FOR YOU! I know a man who wakes up at 4 am just to have an hour to himself every morning. It’s his way of grounding and refreshing himself before his two teenagers and wife wake up. You may not have an extra hour in your day, but 5 minutes of meditation or journaling in the carpool line can do leaps and bounds for your emotional health.

 

Likewise, doing small things for your fashion life can also make a big difference. Maybe resolve to wear one cute outfit (aka not yoga pants) when running errands this week. Maybe take an hour to go through your closet and remove anything that is damaged or stained. Take a weekend to go shopping with girlfriends and refresh your spirit (and closet!). Or if you don’t have any sort of rhyme or reason behind your wardrobe- make your life easier (and more stylish) by building up the basics in your wardrobe (here are 20 basics every woman needs in her wardrobe).

 

This is often the time women start falling into a fashion rut. Usually caused by pushing their appearance to a low priority, a style rut can (and will!) last until you decide to do something for yourself (fashion speaking). While your appearance doesn’t need to be your top priority all the time (that would be considered vanity) it should ideally stay around some sort of happy medium. Some days are yoga pant days while some days you put on makeup and steal the show. (Psst. Already in a rut? Here’s how to get out)

 

Case in point: don’t ‘let yourself go’! Find ways to show you, you care. Decide to do one thing for yourself this week (it can be big or small!) that will help keep your appearance at that ‘happy medium’.

 

how to respect yourself with your clothing

 

2. Mastering the balance between sexy and sleazy

 

This is something I get so many questions about, I literally just did a whole blog post on the topic. Essentially, you feel (relatively) young still, but you don’t want to look like your teenage daughter. How do you find a happy medium between sexy and too sexy? How do you look like you’re not trying too hard?

 

The key is an easy formula that I call the rule of alternating zones. Read the whole post and see examples here.

 

3. Dress Respectfully

 

As I mentioned in the first tip, your appearance is your message to the world- and it’s a message you get to choose! My big question for you is: does that message say you respect yourself? Does it say you respect others?

 

Does it say you care enough about yourself to buy quality jeans that fit your body shape?

 

Does it say you respect your kids enough to show them an example of a well-dressed adult?

 

Does it say you respect yourself enough to take the time to find clothes that make you feel happy?

 

Does it say you respect your significant other to the point of looking good so they can look even better? (This goes both ways, btw. I dress well because I know that the way I look reflects upon my husband. He dresses well because he knows the way he looks reflects upon me. It’s important to note that we don’t dress well just for other people’s comments. We take care of our personal appearances out of respect for ourselves and for the other spouse- who has to be seen with us!)

 

I know that all sounds really intense, but the big lesson to be learned in your 40’s (if you haven’t learned prior) is that: Your appearance shows how much you value yourself and others. People who stop valuing and respecting themselves are the ones that ‘let go’. People who learn to take time to love themselves and dress respectfully appear to look great for a longer time (even if they gain some weight, get wrinkles, and have to start dying their hair!) It isn’t about fitting a certain size or wearing the right brands…it’s about dressing in a way that shows you understand how powerful and incredible you actually are. 

Keep scrolling to see 3 ways you can easily upgrade your appearance.

 

3 tips to dressing in your 40's

 

If you’re looking to improve your appearance, here are 3 ways to do that (depending on how much time you have available):

 

If you have 30 minutes to an hour:

Look through a Style E-book like Building a Classic Wardrobe- the Basics and see which styles of the 20 basics highlighted work best for your body shape and lifestyle. Filled with pictures, like a magazine, this is both a fun read and informative. It’s great for waiting at doctor’s offices, carpool lines, and football practices.

 

If you have a free night:

If you enjoy reading, pick up a copy (available on Kindle or paperback) of Dressing Your Personal Brand. This book talks all about the message your sending and how to make it your own. It also discusses dressing at work and at home. This easy read is entertaining but also very informative and can easily be knocked out in a night on the couch with a good glass of wine.

 

 

If you have a weekend or more:

If you’re more a video person than a book person, you’ll really like The Ultimate #STYLE Guide E-course. It has separate videos on everything from ‘Dressing for your Body Shape’ to ‘Wearing Scarves’ and ‘Finding the right glasses for your face shape’. There’s also a whole section on making your life easier (ie: organizing your closet and stylist approved shopping tips). You don’t have to do the whole course at once- each section is made up of 15-20 minute videos discussing different topics.

 

The Style E-book, Book, and E-course mentioned above are all made by yours truly because I am so over the top passionate about the subject of looking great (and sending the specific message you want to send!). I want this message to be available to everyone no matter how much (or little!) money and time they have. If you have any questions about any of the books or e-courses, I’d love to answer them. I never want anyone to buy a product that isn’t right for you, so I love it when people ask me before they purchase! Just send an email to empowerme(at)leslie-friedman.com or leave a comment below and I’ll back to you ASAP.

 

TLDR: Your appearance is sending a message about who and what you respect. Make sure to take time for yourself and show YOURSELF a little respect. 

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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How to Dress in your 30’s

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How to dress in your 30's for women

 

In my humble (30-something-year-old) opinion, I think your 30’s are the most underrated decade of your life.

 

A bold statement? Yes, but hear me out.

 

During the years between 29 and 40, you have an exciting mix of life events, available opportunities, and deeper self-awareness. You’re probably making more money than you have in the past and are starting to get to the part of your career that is more than an entry level job that you sludge through to pay the bills. Your body is still in decent shape, and you might be able to continue pulling off fashions from college. On top of all that, you are really starting to figure out who you are and you are doing lots of fun exciting things like getting married and having families.

 

Maybe I’m an optimist, (okay, no maybe’s here. I’m definitely an optimist) but I think the third decade on earth is pretty good. However, like every other decade, the 30’s bring their whole new slew of dressing woes and questions.

 

Here are my top 3 tips to dressing in your 30’s.

 

1. Reassess your priorities

 

During this decade, it is highly likely that your priorities will shift. The person you wanted to be in your 20’s may not be the same person you want to be now.

 

That’s okay.

 

This is a great time to take a step back and think about how your identity is changing (wife, mom, aunt, boss, etc.) and how you want to approach your new titles.

 

In your 20’s we talked about sending the right message. What do you want to tell the world? Guess what? Just because you are in a better position in your career or you’re married or you have a family, doesn’t mean you stop sending a message to the world. This is a great time to reevaluate the message you’re sending and, if necessary, re-construct it to fit your current aspirations and identity.

 

You may be reading this thinking…” okay, Leslie, that’s great…but what does it have to do with how I dress?”

 

The answer? It has everything to do with how you dress! Your appearance is the first big broadcast of your message to anyone you meet. Everything from how you do your hair, to your makeup, and your outfits come together to send a message in that broadcast.

 

Look in the mirror. What is your current appearance telling the world? Is it what you want to say?

 

Want to learn more about constructing the message you send to the world (aka: your personal brand)? Check out this entire e-course I created for newbies who are interested in finding and sending the right message- but aren’t really sure where or how to start.

 

How to dress in your 30's for women

Don’t forget to Pin me!

 

2. Keep upgrading your basics.

 

In my previous blog post on how to dress in your 20’s, we talked about starting to upgrade your basics from college to career. This is no easy task, and depending on your budget, could take a decent amount of time.

 

Budget isn’t the only thing that can hinder your wardrobe upgrade- not knowing your style can also be a culprit.

 

Maybe it’s because I love fashion, but I experimented a lot with different trends and looks throughout high school and college. Some looks were really good, but most were quite unfortunate (see: sage green pleated mini skirt with homemade tube top). These looks not only made for some great laughs (in hindsight, of course) but they helped me figure out my sense of style. Over the years I figured out what I like and what actually looks good on me. If your style is all over the place (or you just have no idea what it is) check out this blog post on finding your personal style and be sure to take the quiz that’s halfway down the page!

 

Because of experimenting with fashion in my teens and twenties, I was able to figure out what style was best for me (and the message I want to send the world)! Now, I can really bolster the basics in my wardrobe because I am choosing garments that I will love and actually wear a lot. This adds a layer of confidence when spending more money on clothing.

 

Knowing what works for your shape and choosing clothes that fit you make A HUGE difference. I made the drawing above by tracing the same pear-shaped woman. Look at what a difference it makes when she’s wearing basics (like pants and a blazer) that actually fit! If you’re not sure what shape you are, read this blog post and be sure to take the quiz! 

 

If you’re not sure what wardrobe basics I’m talking about, you’re not alone. Most women can’t really pinpoint the essential items they need to create a killer wardrobe. To help you make better purchasing decisions, I created a style e-book that focuses on the 20 items every woman (no matter the age!) needs and what versions of those items will work best for each body type. Check it out and get a peek inside the book here.

 

3. Don’t forget to have fun

 

You may have a big girl job, a husband (or wife), and even a child (or a chinchilla and too many plants in my case), but that doesn’t mean you have to graduate straight to the frumpy clothes train. In fact, there is no reason for anyone of any age to be on the frumpy clothes train…but that’s a different rant.

 

Remember, you are still young- so have fun with your outfits! Once you have your basic wardrobe figured out and you know your style (these are game changers- I promise!) you’ll be able to experiment with your clothes in a way that will yield more results that you love.

 

What do I mean by that?

 

Think about this scenario. You are putting together a scrapbook. In scenario A, you have a collection of scrapbooking supplies that you’ve collected over the years along with more paper/stickers/etc from your Aunt and Mom. In scenario B, you go to the craft store and choose exactly the right color papers, stickers, and accessories that you know will look great in your scrapbook. Now, which scenario will lead to an outcome you love with the least effort and most joy? You got it right, scenario B. That is essentially what you’re doing when you start building a classic wardrobe.

 

Once you have classics you love, adding the small accessories that turn an outfit from basic to fabulous is easy and actually enjoyable (for those of you who don’t like the whole process of putting together outfits).

 

Case in point? Have great basics, but don’t stop there. Be sure to still have fun with your accessories- this will keep your outfits age appropriate and keep you from looking frumpy. Because no one wants to look like they wandered out of a frat house party or an AARP meeting when they’re 30 (something).

 

 

 

TLDR: You’re finally hitting your stride in life- make sure your wardrobe is keeping up. Keep upgrading your classic wardrobe to your lifestyle but don’t be afraid to have fun! 

 

Enjoy your 30’s! Hopefully, as I age, I will prove myself wrong and every decade will be more underrated than the one before it. 🙂

 

Your fellow 30-something,

Leslie

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How to wear plaid- at every age

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Plaid is a huge trend this Fall and here are just a few reasons why I love it (and think you should too):

1. It’s classic. If you don’t believe me, just look at Burberry. They are proof that a plaid can stay fashionable for decades (when done right, of course).

2. Any age can wear plaid! Continue reading to see how.

 

how to wear plaid at any age

 

When I was prepping for this post, I considered all the different ways I could show outfits for every age. I thought about just collaging pictures of outfits together online, but that seemed so…unrelatable (and a little boring).

 

So instead, I decided to go to everyone’s favorite store, Target and put together plaid outfits. That means that all the pictures below are made from clothing exclusively from my local store (Athens, Georgia, if you’re wondering).

 

It was a bit difficult to bring in a million outfits and accessories into the dressing rooms, so I left the purses and jewelry in the cart. As someone who has worked in retail, I know that bringing bags and jewelry into a dressing room is the #1 way to steal them, and I didn’t want the attendant worrying about what I was doing. With that said, I’ll put links to my favorite bags at the end, because they had some really good ones!

 

Without further ado…

 

Plaid in your 20’s:

There were tons of 20’s and younger plaid options at Target. The brand Wild Fable had no shortage of plaid tops, bottoms, jackets, jumpsuits- you name it, they had it. I chose some blue plaid cropped pants and paired it with a sleeveless hoodie and motorcycle jacket. Sneakers would have been perfect to complete this look, but I didn’t have any, so I just wore the shoes I wore to the store.

 

how to wear plaid in your 20's

I was a little leery of the pants (I don’t exactly make the 20’s age bracket) but they were actually surprisingly comfortable because of their elastic waistband and stretchy material.

 

Main point: there are lots of fun plaids out there; have fun!

Ps. Want to know more about dressing in your 20’s? I wrote this blog post just for YOU!

 

Plaid in your 30’s:

This cropped, plaid jumpsuit number was pretty amazing. It could easily look too young (it has spaghetti straps and is made from a cheaper fabric), so I kept the look minimal and sophisticated with a long black cardigan and white booties. I would add some long necklaces to finish off the look.

 

how to wear plaid in your 30's

Main point: Match ‘younger’ looking plaid garments with more sophisticated basics (psst: here are the best basics for your body shape).

 

Plaid in your 40’s:

Take plaid to work with you this season. There were at least two different plaid blazers (which seems like a lot for one store) at Target. I chose the brighter option (the other jacket was grey plaid) and paired it with black dress pants and black loafers. I love the menswear look, and I think this combination looks particularly good on women in their 40’s. It has sort of a demure power thing going on…like you spent the night at your boyfriend CEO’s and wore (and rocked) his clothes. Except there is no boyfriend and you’re the CEO.

 

how to wear plaid in your 40's

Main point: purchase something plaid that will make you feel (and look) like a boss. You won’t regret it.

 

Plaid in your 50’s:

This is a bit more dressed up of a look, but I think it still holds true to a sort of refined aesthetic. The lightweight blouse and pleated skirt are forgiving but still ladylike and very flattering. A pearl studded belt gives it a little more edge and makes the booties really pop. It’s an outfit that simultaneously commands respect and attention.

how to wear plaid in your 50's

Side note: this skirt was too big for me, so I’m holding it up and holding the belt on at the same time. Fun times! Haha.

 

Main point: Add plaid into your wardrobe in a refined way and it will look classy rather than trendy.

 

Plaid in your 60’s:

If you’re in your 60’s (or beyond) and living the retired life, this outfit is for you. Casual and comfortable but not too trendy. A classic plaid button down is worn open over a fitted (but not tight!) pair of wide leg jeans. The outfit is finished off with tan flats and (although not shown) would look great with a long necklace.

 

how to wear plaid in your 60's

Main point: Comfy doesn’t have to be frumpy. Choose clothes that fit your body and flatter your shape.

 

Keep reading to see my favorite handbags from Target this season (and picking favorites was HARD because I loved them all!!)

plaid outfit ideas

 

Lastly, I wanted to share my favorite bags at Target. I have always been a big fan of Target purses because you can buy a really expensive looking purse for next to nothing. They obviously aren’t as durable and well made as a true designer handbag, but they are about $2000 cheaper, so that has to count for something!

Merlot Mia Ring Handle Crossbody Bag - Universal Thread™ BlackTrapunto Flap Crossbody Bag - A New Day™Circle Handle Satchel Handbag - A New Day™

Ring Handle Bag (left), Trapunto Crossbody Bag (middle), Circle Handle Bag (right)

 

Round Clutch With Buckle - A New Day™New Band Satchel Handbag - A New Day™Knotted Top Handle Satchel Handbag - A New Day™

Round Clutch (left), New Band Satchel (middle), Top Handle Satchel (right)

 

Want to see more plaid outfits for Fall? Click here to check out the top 8 trends of Fall 2018 and over 150 outfit ideas and ways to wear them!

 

xoxo,

Leslie

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Modest Dressing: Stay cool without baring all

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Many women choose to dress more modestly, whether it’s for religious reasons or simply personal preference. Motives aside, most modest dressers face the same fashion issues. That is why I’m so excited to bring to you a series of blog posts all about dressing conservatively…starting with this one!

 

Since it’s still hot in many parts of the country, I want to give you my top 5 tips to staying cool- without baring it all.

Tip #1: Choose fabrics wisely

 

Searching a garment of clothing for a fabric content tag isn’t something we necessarily do when buying clothing- but it should be if you’re trying to stay cool.

 

Generally, natural fabrics like cotton, linen, flax, bamboo (usually in the form of rayon), etc. tend to breathe more than synthetic (or man-made) fabrics. The exception to this being performance fabrics that are specially made for exercise (spandex and lycra) and wool (which is natural but very warm!).

 

So, what exactly do I mean by breathe more? It means that natural fabrics allow air to pass through the weave of the fabric, thus allowing the sweat to evaporate and cool your body. Materials like polyester, acetate, and acrylic (synthetics) don’t allow for air flow, leaving the sweat to pool on your skin under the fabric (ugh).

 

Choosing garments with the right fabric is one of the most important parts of regulating your temperature! All of your essential wardrobe basics (click here to read more about choosing the best basics!) should be chosen in the appropriate fabrics for the climate where you live.

 

Here’s a little cheat sheet on fabrics and which work best for hot weather!

Did you know? Legally in the US, garments must have a tag identifying their fabric source. The tag is required to be in the back neck or left side seam of all garments. 

 

Tip #2: Lighten up

 

Darker colors absorb light while lighter colors reflect light. This means that a black shirt is going to absorb the sun’s heat and a white shirt is going to reflect most of the sun’s heat.

 

This is why you always see the same types of colors pop up every spring/summer and fall/winter! A light pink will be cooler in the summer while a burgundy red will be warmer in the winter- if you’re exposed to the sun.

 

This seems really obvious, but you wouldn’t believe how many people chose to wear black in the summer and don’t understand why it’s making them hot!

 

Tip #3: Less isn’t always more (cooling)

 

Most people’s first reaction to hot weather is to take off as much clothing as possible. If you prefer to dress in a modest way, stripping down isn’t an option for you. AND- you’ll be happy to hear- it isn’t always the best option.

 

The sun’s rays are extremely powerful and can be very damaging to the skin. Keeping your skin covered is a great way to decrease the chance of skin cancers and other negative dermatological sun affects. Even walking from your parking spot to your work may result in sun damage- so it’s a good thing to cover up!

 

Lightweight fabrics are good options because they, not only help prevent sun damage*, but efficiently transfer sweat off your body and into the air, thus creating a cooling effect. Lightweight fabrics also dry faster, so you won’t be walking around with a soaking wet shirt all day.

 

The main point? Keep fabrics lightweight and make sure you have air flow (see tip #4)

 

*Clothing is usually not 100% effective at blocking all the sun’s harmful rays. Make sure you always wear sunscreen (even under your clothing!) when you are exposed to the sun.

Tip #4: Airflow is key

 

I’ve already said this a couple times, but it’s really important, so I’ll say it again. This is how sweat works: Your body senses that it’s hot and starts sweating. The sweat then evaporates into the air and the process of evaporation cools the body.

 

Obviously, this means that the less air exposure, the less evaporated sweat (making you hot and wet) while the more air, the more evaporated sweat (leaving you dry and cool).

 

Long story short: airflow is good AND the more airflow the better.

 

When you are putting together outfits, make sure there is plenty of air flow, and specifically, as much air as possible in between your skin and any garment. This is why loose tunics, skirts, and wide leg pants are all great options.

 

If you live in an area of the world that is hot most of the time, take potential airflow into consideration whenever you’re shopping for anything- but most importantly- those basics that make up your wardrobe (see more about the 20 essential basics here).

 

Hint: Want to tuck in a shirt or belt it? Choose a shirt with wider sleeve holes or a more open neckline. This ensures that air can still come enter through some other access point than the bottom of the shirt.

 

Tip #5: Add excitement with jewelry

 

For a lot of us, adding a scarf or creative layering clothes can be a great way to add interest to an outfit. However, in the heat of the summer, a scarf seems out of place (unless it’s a hijab) and layered clothes are too hot.

 

So, how do you keep your outfits from being too blasé? Let jewelry have its moment!

 

Long necklaces easily replace scarves and spice up outfits without trapping any heat. The also visually act the same as scarves as they tend to elongate the body making you look more slim and tall.

 

Earrings, bracelets, and rings are a great way to add in the dark colors you love- but maybe don’t want to swath yourself in this time of year.

 

Bonus: summer jewelry is an inexpensive and easy way to experiment with new colors and trends with minimal commitment.

 

LASTLY, here are just a few outfits to give you a little warm weather inspiration!

 

modest outfits for warm weather

What is your favorite outfit to wear when the weather gets hot? Share in the comments below!

 

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

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How to dress an HOURGLASS shape

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Different styles throughout the decades tend to favor various body shapes. The 60’s claimed the rectangle, the 80’s the pear, and the 40’s were great for apples- to name a few. What about the hourglass, though?

If you’re an hourglass and you’re feeling left out because the decade of styles that looked best on your were from the 1950’s…DON’T. Your time has come again.

Thanks to the Kardashians, the hourglass shape is back in and hotter than ever. This is especially good news for extreme hourglasses (ie: you’re curvier than most) who might have trouble finding outfits to fit their bodies.

So, no matter what you think about the Kardashian kids, give them your thanks, because their celebrity status is driving fashion trends (which means you don’t have to rely on ‘retro’ style clothing to make your body look as incredible as it is!)

 

Keep reading to find out:

  • What an hourglass shape actually is (pssst, if you’re not sure, check out this post and take our quiz!)
  • Celebrity hourglass 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 an Hourglass If…

You know you’re an hourglass shape because you have these two attributes:

  1. Your bust and hips are pretty much equal widths
  2. You have a defined waist that is noticeably smaller than your hips/bust

 

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 Hourglasses:

I already mentioned the Kardashian kids (and I did throw one in for good measure) but here are several other stars with hourglass shapes.

 

See the source imageThis fitted dress is a huge success at showing of Salma Hayek’s hourglass curves. 

 

Source: New York Daily News

Sofia Vergara  

 

See the source image

Ah yes, and then we have Kim. What I like about Kim is that there are literally millions of paparazzi shots of her wearing everything from sweatpants to going out clothes (like above). This is nice because it allows hourglasses to see what they might look like in different outfits, without even having to try them on. Thanks, Kim!

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 make you look like an hourglass. If you missed the post, you can read it here.

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.

Here’s the thing though. You don’t have to use any optical illusions to make you look like an hourglass because YOU ARE an hourglass. Your only job now, is to preserve your hourglassness.

 

 

What to Wear:

Remember the main idea here: preserve your hourglass shape. If you wear something voluminous up top, you need to match that visually on the bottom. For example, a loose t-shirt looks best tucked into fitted wide leg pants. Likewise, a full skirt is best evened out with some eye catching detail up top (off the shoulder shirt, statement necklace, etc.). Whatever you do though, don’t lose your waist!! Make sure it’s defined at all times. (Pssst: want some help picking out the basics you need in your closet? Click here to hear about the 20 basic items everyone needs)

Here is what to wear, when it comes to different types of clothing:

    • Tops/Blouses: Fitted shirts are going to look best on you. Make sure to choose shirts that have equal interest above and below the waist (example: the first shirt is off the shoulder AND has volume below the waist). This is really only important if you plan on wearing your shirts untucked. You can wear any neckline.

    • Blazers/Jackets: Wear anything that comes in at the waist, or accentuates the waist in some way.

    • Skirts: High waisted skirts are going to look best on you. Flared skirts or other types of skirts with volume at the bottom are also good choices because they even out the volume of your hips.

    • Pants: Wide leg, boot cut, and flare pants are your friends. Much like the skirts, the volume at the bottom of the pants evens out the width of your hips.

    • Dresses: Anything fitted (note! fitted doesn’t have to mean skin tight) is great and the simpler the better. If you’re really curvy, it may be difficult finding dresses that come in enough at the waist. If you have this problem, try belting the dress at the waist, or shop for adjustable dresses like wrap dresses.

  • Accessories: Belts are your friends. A good rule of thumb, is to choose belts that are compatible with your size. If you are a bigger build, choose wider belts. If you’re a smaller build, choose skinnier belts. This keeps the belt from overwhelming or underwhelming you. You can wear any jewelry that you want. Woohoo!
  • Purses: You also want to keep your bags in proportion to your body. If you are more a Kim hourglass, go for bigger bags. If you are a smaller hourglass (less dramatic curves) opt for a small or medium size bag.

What NOT to Wear:

  • Tops/Blouses: Anything baggy where your waist isn’t accentuated. (Like the baggy shirt below) Depending on the extremity of your curves, you may need to have a tailor on call to help make every item fit just right.
  • Blazers/Jackets: Avoid jackets and blazers, like traditional pea coats, that are straight up and down with no seams or detailing around the waist. They will make you look like boxes. (Exception: if the boxy jackets end above your waist or if you belt them)
  • Skirts: Low rise skirts that lie across the hips are generally not good.
  • Pants: Skinny pants make your hips/butt look bigger than it is. Low rise pants are also a bad idea. Rompers and jumpsuits are best to avoid as they will most likely not fit your curves without extensive alteration.
  • Dresses: You’ll want to avoid anything sack like.
  • Accessories: Avoid belts that don’t fit your body size!
  • Purses: Cross body bags that cut your body in half and take away from your figure!

Sample Hourglass 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 an hourglass with classic style.

You’ll notice that I tried not to pull anything over $200 to keep this wardrobe budget friendly!

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 dress + jacket + heels.

Tuesday: (work, then school meeting) Button down shirt + denim skirt + heels. Change from heels to sandals after work.

Wednesday: (work) Jacket + off the shoulder top + khaki pants + heels.

Thursday: (work, volunteering) Burgundy t-shirt + white dress (t-shirt is over dress) + gold belt + heels. Swap the dress for jeans and tennis shoes when you leave work.

Friday: (work, after work dinner date) Floral dress (safety pin the slit shut so it’s not so risqué) + jacket + heels. Unpin skirt and add gold belt at waist for date.

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

Sunday: (baseball game, book club) Off the shoulder top + denim skirt + sandals.

 

Want more ideas for an hourglass shaped capsule collection? This e-book shows you how to choose the top 20 items every one 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 literally have the shape that *everyone* wants. 

Long story short, don’t hide it! Make sure your outfits show off just how glorious your body is!

 

And most, importantly, you’re gorgeous. Never forget that. 

xoxo, Leslie 

 

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

 

 

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