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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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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

1

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

0

The secret formula to dressing sexy (without looking sleazy)

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How to dress sexy without looking sleazy- formula for women's fashion and style

It’s an age-old question and, quite honestly, a very fine balance: how to look sexy- without looking sleazy

 

Let’s face it. There are times we love to dress up and look pretty. Who doesn’t like looking pretty?

 

But as a stylist that works with people to find the perfect outfits, one question crops up every time when we are discussing going out/date night/sexier looks (whatever you want to call them!).

 

IS IT TOO MUCH?

 

As women, how many times have we gotten dressed for a night out (or even a coffee date if I’m being honest) and thought, “Is this too much?” You may not be necessarily dressed like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman pre-Gere (aka a prostitute) but that doesn’t mean you can’t still question the ‘too muchness’ of your outfit. The ‘is this too much?’ question is usually seen hanging out with the ‘is this age appropriate?’ question- but more on that later.

 

Although different people are comfortable dressing at different levels of showiness- I’m going to go over a general rule for keeping the balance between sexy and classy in an outfit.

 

The rule of alternating zones: Put together outfits with alternating sexy and conservative pieces.

 

*Note: For the clarity of this post, I am going to use the words sexy, showy, or revealing as synonyms. I will also use conservative, classy, and casual to mean the same things. I do not mean to use any of these words in a negative manner and will refer to the above sets of words as opposites rather than good and bad. Everyone has their different ideas of what constitutes sexy, conservative, etc. so please keep in mind that I am aiming for middle ground. Smile

 

This rule is one of those things that seems easier said than done, right? I know you have follow-up questions, so keep reading.

 

First, think of the body as three or four different zones (as shown below).

 

Zone 1: Your hair or face

Zone 2: Top (shirt)

Zone 3: Bottom (pants/skirt)

Zone 4: Shoes

 

Zones 2 and 3 would combine in the case of a dress.

 

Let’s go back to the rule: Put together outfits with alternating sexy and conservative pieces.

 

When I say alternating, I’m referring to alternating ZONES. Below are four examples of different ways you can alternate zones between sexy and conservative.

 

Example 1:

Edgy look | Turtle neck sweater dress with grey over the knee bootstarget athleisure, sweatshit dress, how to do athleisure, how do you do athleisure, plus size style, sweater dress with suede OTK bootsZone 1: Hair or face (More made-up face and hair)

Zone 2: Dress (Casual dress)

Zone 3: Shoes (Heels)

 

Don’t both of these ladies look amazing? Notice how zones 1 and 3 are sexier (makeup/fixed hair and over the knee boots) while zone 2 is more conservative (loose sweater dress).

 

If either of these ladies switched out their sweater dress for a skin-tight mini dress, the outfit would look a whole lot different. That’s not to say it would look bad, but (in my opinion) it would look less stylish and make the wearer appear like they are trying hard to look really sexy.

 

Love these Fall outfits and want some more inspo? Check out the biggest trends of Fall 2018 and 150+ ways to wear them here.

 

Image Credits: Left and Right pictures

 

The opposite works also.

Example 2:

Stay comfy and stylish as the season transitions in our plus size Indie Flair Maxi Dress. In a fall-ready color, you’ll love the ease of this floor length dress. Shop our entire collection at www.kiyonna.com. #KiyonnaPlusYouZone 1: Hair or face (Light makeup and ponytail)

Zone 2: Dress (Fitte/shorter OR fancier)

Zone 3: Shoes (Flats or sneakers)

 

This time, zones 1 and 3 are more conservative and zone 2 is sexier. We have a fancier dress and necklace that she has toned down with flat sandals. She still is pretty made up, but I’m taking these pictures off Pinterest and it’s hard to find images of women looking too casual in the makeup department. Haha.

 

Did you know: that you look better when you wear clothes that look good on your body shape? I mean, just look at how great this pear-shaped woman looks in her dress! It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d probably be surprised to discover how many things in your closet are working against your body shape. Take the quiz to figure out your body shape and see personalized advice for your shape.

 

Image Credit: Pinterest

 

 

 

The same concept works if you have a top and bottom rather than a dress.

 

Example 3:

Modest, Feminine Dressing for the Plus Size WomanZone 1: Hair or face (styled hair and statement earrings)

Zone 2: Top (jean jacket and tank)

Zone 3: Bottom (maxi skirt)

Zone 4: Shoes (flats)

 

In this picture, zones 1 and 3 are dressier with statement earrings and a maxi skirt. Zones 2 and 4 are more casual, featuring a jean jacket and flat sandals.

 

I love this example, because it shows that you can get dressed up without looking super flashy or (skin) showy. I don’t know who this woman is- this outfit may be her idea of dressing down. However, for the sake of this example, let’s pretend she’s a primary school gym teacher (speaking of, if you’re a teacher, you’ll want to check this out) who favors casual clothing over getting fussed up. If her everyday outfits are more along the lines of athleisure, a hip-hugging skirt and perfectly coifed hair give her a sexy look that isn’t out of character.

 

Image Credit: Pinterest

 

 

Example 4:

21 Pinterest recomended woman oufits

Casual-Work-Outfits-for-SummerZone 1: Hair or face (lighter makeup)

Zone 2: Top (off the shoulder/low cut shirt)

Zone 3: Bottom (jeans)

Zone 4: Shoes (heels)

 

This example is one I tend to gravitate towards when I have to attend a casual function but still want to look nice (without over-doing it, of course!)

 

It starts with more casual hair in zone 1 (although, once again, it’s Pinterest- so everyone’s hair is looking amazing…but it’s still not pulled back in a perfect french twist or anything) and then zone 2 alternates to a sexier top. For the woman on the left, sexier may mean an off the shoulder top, while for the woman on the right, sexier is a low cut v-neck. They are both wearing more conservative, casual pants (zone 3) and, lastly, they dress up zone 4 with heels.

 

Image Credits: Left and Right pictures

 

 

 

Do you see how alternating zones between classy and conservative not only keeps you from looking too frumpy or too dressed up- but it keeps your whole outfit balanced and visually making sense?

 

This is THE MAIN WAY you can dress sexy AND age appropriate. The rule of alternating zones can be applied to any body shape, body type, and age of woman. It works because it gives you just enough guidance, but also leaves room for you to determine what works best for you in terms of sexy and conservative. If you look at the last two pictures, you’ll see how two women used the rule of alternating zones to make an outfit age appropriate for 20 and 30-year-olds (left) and also 50 and 60-year-olds (right). Both are equally sexy, don’t you think? By the way- did you know that I dedicate an entire lesson to dressing age appropriate in my e-course? Check it out here.

 

Does this rule always work? Keep scrolling to hear my honest opinion.

 

how to balance sexy and classy clothing

Like this post? Share it with a friend!

 

Lastly…there is one big question: do you have to always keep the rule? What if you want two adjacent zones to both be casual or sexy? Is that okay?

 

The answer is YES! (Come on…you knew I’d say that) Fashion is meant to be fun! Try experimenting with different levels of sexy and see which one fits best for you. I personally know my comfort level of sexy and make sure to have at least one or two more showy options in my basic wardrobe that I can easily make into a sexy outfit at the last minute.

And don’t forget: the above is really only intended to be a good starting guide; don’t forget to have fun!

 

xoxo,

Leslie

5

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

0

How to wear Summer clothes in Fall

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summer to autumn outfits

It happened this week. Did you see it?

 

In an eager move to make as much money as possible from white girls, Starbucks started offering pumpkin spice lattes- before Summer can even think about being over. Do I sound bitter? I’m not bitter. [insert eye roll here]

 

As someone who appreciates marketing, I can respect Starbucks’ decision. As someone who loves Summer and hates every other season, I am less than thrilled.

 

That’s why today I’m talking all about styling your Summer clothes to work for Fall.

 

When you wear Summer clothes into Fall you…

1. Save money and get the most out of your clothing

2. Look seasonably appropriate

3. Get to hold on to every last bit of summer possible

 

Sounds like pretty much a win-win situation. Are you ready? Here are my top 3 tips (with pics, of course!) on how to transition your Summer clothes into the Autumn season.

summer to fall outfits

Tip #1: Layers

Our first layering instinct is usually to put a jacket or cardigan on OVER our shirt. That’s works great, but I want to remind you of other places you can layer…specifically, UNDER your shirts and dresses.

summer to fall outfit ideas

Here, I’ve kept everything the same, except for adding a fitted sweater under the dress. I could easily switch the tennis shoes out for boots and tights if I wanted to go for a more dressed up (and cold weather) look. Tennis shoes are going to be big again this Fall. To see the other top trends of Fall 2018, click here

 

 

A long sleeve blouse under a dress is an unexpected, yet very chic, way to dress for fall. Bonus: If it gets too hot during the day, you can always remove said shirt.

summer to fall outfit ideasThis is a simple dress that I added a button-down shirt to. I also changed out the shoes to warmer, calf-hair pumps. Adding tights or other hosiery is a good option if your legs get cold easily (or the temps drop low). 

 

The examples above show dresses, but you can easily layer sweaters and blouses under regular shirts. One of my favorite things to do is add a fitted sweater under a loose t-shirt. It has a sort of urban casual look and it keeps me warm!

 

Another great way to layer is to put a sweater on OVER a dress. You’ll see an example of this in the next tip.

 

Hint: When you have great basics in your closet- layering is super easy. Click here to find out what 20 basics every woman needs in her closet.

 

 

Tip #2: Shoes

One of the easiest ways to make an outfit look appropriate for fall is to switch up the shoes. Trade in sandals for closed toe shoes or boots and you’ll already look more Fall-ish.

summer to fall outfitsHere, I’ve switched out the summery wedges for boots and added a sweater and scarf over the dress. Fun fact: this is actually my wedding dress. I got married 7 years ago, and I’ve had so much fun experimenting with different ways to style it. 

summer to fall outfitsIn this outfit change, I traded my sandals in for boots and added a blazer. I love white jeans and I literally wear them for as long as possible into the Fall (and *ahem* Winter). 

 

The two examples above showcase riding boots. I absolutely love riding boots. They are not only comfortable, but they are so versatile- pairing with jeans or dresses equally as well. If you have one pair of boots, I recommend a neutral color (black or brown) riding boot. They are pretty much a fashion staple every Fall, so any shoe store should carry them. (My black pair are from DSW and the brown pair were from a thrift store!)

 

Tip #3: Scarves

Scarves were made for Fall and Winter. Adding a scarf to an outfit is an inexpensive and easy way to celebrate Autumn while still holding onto your summer clothes. They are also a great way to incorporate new trends without spending a lot of money! To see the new trends for Fall 2018 (plus, many more scarf outfits!) click here.

This thick, wool scarf is enough to make the outfit Fall appropriate, but I added a few more items to make the outfit more interesting. A felt hat (also very Fall), light jacket, and cowboy boots round out the ensemble and I look like I’m ready to go pumpkin picking. Another fun fact: Each Scottish clan has a unique plaid and this scarf is ‘Buchanan’ plaid, which is my maiden name and ancestry. 

summer to fall outfitsThis is a very classic *me* outfit. There’s nothing I love more than some black and grey. I’ve kept everything the same and literally just added a blanket scarf, showing you how easy it is to look great in cold weather quickly! I actually keep a scarf like this in my car at all times in case I get cold in a restaurant or the weather changes suddenly.

 

Lastly, I want to leave you with my biggest tip for layering EVER. It sounds really simple, but it’s very important.

 

Here it is: Anytime you are layering (or even putting an outfit together) add only one piece at a time. After each piece is added, asses whether you like it with the rest of the outfit. 

 

For example: Put on pants. Do you like the pants? If yes, then add a shirt. Decide if you like those two items together. If you do, add another item (jewelry, scarf, shoe, etc.) and if you don’t, replace the item you don’t like until you find one you do.

 

So many people get overwhelmed when dressing because they feel like they need the whole outfit mapped out in their head before they even get dressed. Well, that IS overwhelming! If you go garment by garment, it’s much less stressful and you’ll actually enjoy getting dressed. Like I said, it sounds simple, but I encourage you to give it a go- you won’t be let down.

 

Cheers!

Leslie 

 

Ps. I am so super excited because I’ve just completed the Fall 2018 Outfits + Trends Style E-book (picture below!!!) Click here to see the e-book and get your copy today. 

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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

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The Best Clothes for Teachers

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It’s that time of year again! Can’t you just *smell* the crayons??

 

I remember back to school as one of my favorite times of the year- not because of the school part- but because I could get new clothes for the upcoming year. While I’m sure it’s just as fun for a lot of other kids, now that I’m an adult, I see a whole different side of back to school. Specifically speaking…the teacher’s side.

 

I’m going to be honest. I didn’t really understand how tough it was to dress as a teacher until I started having teacher clients and my friends became teachers. All of a sudden I understood the delicate balance that is teacher clothing: stylish but not (anywhere near) sexy, functional but not frumpy, easy to wear but not sloppy….and the list goes on.

 

To help you make that balancing act easy, I’ve written out the three most important steps to choosing a wardrobe that will work for your career as a teacher.

 

Step 1: Choose the right basics

Putting together outfits (no matter what job you have!) is going to be difficult if you don’t have the right basics.

 

The basics are foundational pieces of your wardrobe (think: black pants and white tees) that are the building blocks for all your outfits.

 

The two key attributes about foundational basics of any wardrobe are that:

1) they work for your body shape and

2) they work for your lifestyle.

 

To see my suggestion for 20 basics every wardrobe should have (and what styles are best for your body shape!) click here.

 

It seems pretty obvious, but it’s very important that your basic pieces look great on you and cater to your lifestyle because they are the key players in every outfit you put together. Just like a house, if the foundation is off, then the rest of the building (or in our case- outfit) won’t work.

 

 

Step 2: Embrace the capsule collection

Maybe you’ve heard of capsule collections. They are essentially a small number of clothing items that can all be interchanged with each other to create as many different outfits as possible.

 

There are several benefits to a capsule collection that make it appealing to teachers:

  1. Getting dressed is easy. With a capsule collection, every top works with every other bottom. Getting dressed in the morning is as easy as pulling a top and a bottom out of your closet and putting them together to create an outfit.
  2. Capsule collections save you money. These types of wardrobes are perfect for people on budgets because you are getting the most possible outfit combinations out of the least amount of clothing. That translates to more bang for your buck.
  3. You’ll always look appropriate. Teachers are people too and they *gasp* have lives outside of work. Because of this, not everything in your wardrobe may be appropriate to wear in a school setting. When you have a capsule collection of items for work, then you already know that everything in that collection is approved for work. You won’t have to stand in front of the mirror in the morning wondering if that one shirt is just a little too low.

 

Creating a capsule collection can be daunting. That’s why I wrote a style e-book (shown below) just for teachers! The book includes: an entire capsule collection of 20 items, 12 weeks of outfit ideas from that collection, helpful dressing for your body shape hints, and a practical step by step guide to creating your own teacher wardrobe. Click here to check out the book and learn more.

Step 3: Have fun with your accessories

Capsule collections tend to be more on the neutral side (although they don’t have to!). If you’re looking to spice up your outfits, try experimenting with different accessories.

 

Not only are accessories like jewelry, scarves, and bags fun, but they are also much cheaper than buying a whole new outfit. Bonus: scarves can be a great way to hide that coffee you just spilled down the front of your shirt.

 

Here are a few accessories that I love (with a price that anyone would love!):

 

Matte Bead Layered Necklace, RED, hi-resLina Splatter Tassel Oblong Scarf, , hi-res

Matte bead necklace $18 (left), Tassel scarf $15 (middle), Palm tree brooch $19.97 on sale (right)

Twig & Arrow Embroidered Parrot ClutchOpen Work with Faceted Stone Ring Set 3ct - Universal Thread™ Gold

Parrot clutch $12.97 on sale (left), Stackable rings $9.99 (middle), Floral neckerchief $9.99 (right),

 

Wishing all the teachers out there a wonderful school year!!

 

Cheers,

Leslie

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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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How Your Weekend Clothes May Be Hurting Your Career

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It’s a Sunday afternoon and you are strolling through the grocery store focused on remembering which cereal your 8 year old wants (this week) when all of sudden you turn a corner and spot your boss. You immediately look for a place to hide. It’s not that you don’t want to talk about work (which you don’t) but rather that you don’t want to run into the person who pays you to be a professional, while wearing a ratty t-shirt and sweatpants. It’s a Sunday, and you aren’t at work, but you still don’t want to leave that image in their mind.

Sound familiar?

weekend clothing and your career

As awkward as this situation is, especially when you are recognized despite your avid attempts to hide behind the first product available (great. now your boss also thinks you are incredibly interested in the children’s game on the back of the Fruit Loops box), at least you recognize something very important- It matters what you wear outside work.

It’s not fair, but it is true: you are constantly being observed, and judged.

You don’t want your boss to see you because they (hopefully) have a professional image of you that you’d rather not have shattered. They know it’s the weekend, but that doesn’t keep them from thinking, ‘wow, Leslie sure looked rough the other day.’ Most of us want to look somewhat respectable in front of our employers, and we realize that not doing so could potentially hurt our careers. This especially true if you work in a professional services based field. (Think about it- would you want a lawyer from your firm walking around Walmart in an offensive t-shirt? Probably not.)

What we don’t often realize, though, is that sartorially slacking off could hurt our careers- even if the boss is no where in sight.

Nobody understands better than someone working in a client driven field that customers are everywhere. Whether you are a realtor, sales representative, or entrepreneur, future clients are everywhere that we are. I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve been able to tell about my consulting services while hanging out at the dog park, in line at the grocery store, or even in the gym locker room. It is, after all, the logical thing to talk about after that first oh so typical ‘so, what do you do?’ question. As an image consultant I have to be very particular about how I look most of the time (it’s very difficult to make someone believe you are an image consulting professional while you are wearing gross paint covered workout clothes while taking the dog on a walk. Trust me, I’ve tried.) And, I would argue that if you are in a field that offers professional services, that you should too. All it takes is one pulled together outfit for the conversation to move from “oh, that’s an interesting job” to “oh, how fascinating. I could really use your services with my business”. Your appearance can produce strong psychological effects like that. Embrace it.

Side Note- This also works the other way around: if you’re the boss. Employees who see their supervisor looking rough or inappropriate (think mini dress at a bar) are likely to let those observations affect their opinions of you.

If you aren’t in a professional service job, don’t think I’m going to let you off the hook scotch free. Your appearance matters too. Instead of running into potential clients, everyday you are running into potential employees and employers. No job is safe (sorry) and there’s no guarantee that you will be gainfully employed in six months or searching for something bigger and better. Every time your appearance makes others think something of you that is not in line with your personal brand- you run the risk or hurting your career. The last thing you want is to realize that the person you were chatting it up with at the dog park is actually the perfect person to help you get your dream job a few months down the road (when all they can remember was ‘she didn’t strike me as being very pulled together’).

So, am I encouraging you to wear a suit every time you go to CVS? Of course not. That’s just stupid. What I am saying, however, is to figure out how you want to be perceived (ie: your personal brand) and then follow the 90/10 rule. 90% of the time, look the way you want to be perceived. 10% of the time, life happens. I would lie if I said I’ve never been in the grocery store at 2am in pajamas buying all the Pepto-Bismol I can get my hands on (while googling if it’s safe for the animals too).

Say you want to be perceived as a professional who is organized and good at time management. You can still dress casual while portraying these characteristics. Simply make sure your clothes are ironed before going into (and thus coming out) of your closet and that your garments are clean and fit well.
Here’s a good example of someone (who wants to be seen as a professional) dressing casually:

And here’s a bad example:

Okay, that’s probably a little extreme for a bad example, but you get the point. Avoid sloppy and aim for clothes that actually fit. My secret is to have a go-to outfit ready any time I need to leave the house in a hurry. This is generally a nice pair of jeans (I like J.Crew) and a pressed oxford button down paired with cute flats. If I don’t have an ironed shirt, I have several semi-fitted lightweight sweaters that also work well.

Looking like you care, no matter where you are headed will make a difference. I promise! The more consistent you keep your personal brand (including what you’re wearing!!) the stronger your brand (and as a result, your networks, your career, your sphere of influence) will become.

Happy Dressing,

Leslie

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