Professionally Styled

If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission!

Have you ever struggled with what to wear for work, an interview or for a professional meeting? I am not sure if it is because I am from England or just because I like to play dress up but I have always loved putting together outfits that are more dressy and polished looking…

To me, when I dress up, it is letting my audience (who I am meeting with) know that I am taking them seriously and that I care enough about making a good impression to dress up! Sometimes knowing when it is the right time to dress professionally can be the difference between getting the job at an interview, closing the sale, or making the impression you want so that you can make a long term connection. I have heard a lot of people tell me that people shouldn’t judge us by what they see, but rather by what they hear or learn from us. The problem with that is that we have ABSOLUTELY no control over what others think, and whether they should or not, they are likely going to form an opinion of us whether we like it or not. But here’s the thing…we can have a lot to do with what that opinion is by dressing appropriately for our audience (or more simply, dressing in a way that is going to make the best impression on the person we will be interacting with at any time).

I know that when I meet someone I pay attention to pretty much every detail – good or bad. I notice shoes, accessories, styles, colors, cuts of clothes, how things fit, and I most definitely notice the confidence of the person I am meeting with. If I meet someone that has their own unique or even quirky style, their confidence level is going to be what I notice the most because to be different, unique or quirky a certain level of confidence is required…and it’s this that sets them apart!

Having confidence in yourself and how you are presenting yourself is vital to this whole dressing the part thing! I actually think it is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING because even if I don’t like I style for myself, I can truly appreciate someone else’s style especially when I know that it makes them feel amazing. It tells me that they are not afraid to take risks and they are comfortable in their own skin.

Professional or business style doesn’t have to be boring, in fact, it can have an even greater impact if it is more non-traditional and a little bit unique. For women we have the opportunity to create a lot of different looks – and that’s what makes our style so much more fun…

Take this tweed dress – it’s professional, but unique. Paired with some sparkly tights and boots, a fun, unique take on business style.

You can shop my look and similar by clicking the links below…

Make No Excuses – Just Goals

 

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment!”

 

Do you have goals?  Even if you think you don’t, I am sure there are some things that you want to achieve.  It could be as simple as decorating your home, raising your kids to be respectful, or even just about eating healthy.  What one thing do all these goals have in common?  They require WORK to get there!

Have you ever found yourself imaging your future, the home you’ll live in, the career you’ll have, standing at your kids’ weddings next to the bride or groom with pride all over your face?  To imagine is completely normal, but the only way you will actually get there is by doing at least some work.

In order to stand next to your kids on their wedding day requires you having a good relationship with them (WORK), to have the career you want (EFFORT), to move homes (WORK, TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD IT).  The thing that I have noticed in my 20 year career in sales is that unfortunately a lot of people want the reward without the effort.  The problem with that is that our imaginations can create AMAZING realities, but when we are in our actual reality it looks bleak in comparison.

It is only my second day in my new career, and I can tell you that it has its challenges, the grass is not always going to be greener, but the one thing that I have going for me is that no matter what I am not afraid to put in the effort.  Working hard is not the most important thing, working smart needs to be part of it as well.  I have found myself having to think a lot more about structuring my day to include tasks I want to accomplish, the things I need to do, along with things that I know will distract me if I don’t schedule time for them.

We have so many distractions in our life that if we don’t schedule time for those distractions we will become swept away, and when the option of doing a harder task versus something that is more fun, we will always welcome the fun one if we haven’t planned ahead.  For example, as I sit writing this blog I have probably had 20 emails, 3 texts, not to mention the phone call from one of my boys.  Obviously some distractions can’t be avoided (I try to never miss a call from my kids, even though most of the time it’s about drama or something I wish I didn’t have to deal with), but the big question is…do we welcome those distractions.  I will definitely admit that when I am doing mundane tasks I tend to become more easily distracted and tend to stay that way for longer.

So, now we know what we have to deal with on a daily basis..how do we  handle it effectively?  I have found that I allocate myself a certain amount of time on a task, and once that time is up I switch to another task.  If I haven’t completed the first task I can always go back to it.  This helps me with my focus,  my boredom and most importantly I allow myself a little break (even if it’s just a bathroom break) so I don’t become burned out!

 

 

I don’t always do work outdoors like I am in this post, but there are definitely times when a little fresh air can be exactly what the doctor ordered – maybe you can give it a try (although it’s been pretty cold here in Utah, so I won’t be able to do it soon!)

Today is Wednesday – what have you accomplished this week already and what do you still want to achieve?  Comment below…

Leather and Heels

 

“Instead of thinking how hard your journey is, think of how great your story will be!”

As you already know I love my shoes, and I love all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns…so when new styles, especially those that are unique come out, I have to at least try them, right?!

The good news about some of the latest styles out right now -they work for just about anyone.  Block or chunky heels are great because they are much easier to walk on than stiletto’s, kitten heels are heels that are much smaller than regular pumps, yet the small heel still allows them to look feminine.  The heels in this are some mules that I found on my trip to England, and absolutely fell in love with (mainly because I loved how unique the heels were, but also because I didn’t have a pair of mules like this…

 

My leather skirt is a Zara purchase – not that I am short of leather skirts, but I didn’t have one this color 😉 The cream blouse is perfect to add a feminine touch to the outfit, and make it work appropriate.  I have talked about wearing leather for work before, and this is another great example of how you can do that and still look classy/business like!

Looking for ideas or ways to wear leather for work…here are a few of my favorite looks:

  1. Leather pants with a velvet tuxedo jacket and button up blouse
  2. Knee high leather skirt, knee high boots and a fitted sweater.
  3. Suit jacket with leather accents, paired with satin pants, and satin blouse.
  4. Midi fitted leather skirt with ankle boots and a loose fitting blouson top.
  5. Leather leggings or tight pants with a long tunic top and animal print shoes.

These are just a few of my favorite ways of wearing leather for work…what is your favorite way?

Shop some of my Top current leather picks below…

(This post contains affiliate links meaning at no additional cost to you I may receive a small commission if you purchase through one of the links)

 

 


Crossover Outfits Made Simple

“You will never influence the world by being just like it!”

OK, so we may be into the New Year but that doesn’t mean that your party or fun styles have to be retired to your wardrobe.  In fact, what a great way to move into a New Year by keeping your style fresh, funky, versatile and most importantly YOU!

This post may contain some affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

There are lots of style that people wear for business or work that you wouldn’t want to be seen wearing if you had a dinner or get together right after work, but I’m happy to tell you that’s its not too hard to create a look that works for both!

 

 

Today’s post is one of those outfits.  It is a simple dress, but by adding some sparkly tights, and a fun faux fur jacket, it makes it a more non-traditional work style that you wouldn’t mind being seen wearing after work in a restaurant or wherever you might be going.

 

I have never been a big fan of conforming to any traditional style – I much prefer to tailor it to my personality…it is what makes me who I am!  The greatest thing about styles and what we wear is that it can announce us before we even speak.  If you’re someone with a big personality wouldn’t you want what you wear to say that about you.  You might even be someone that is kind of shy but doesn’t want to be…so why not let your clothes and outfits do the talking?

 

Still unsure about what really expresses who you are?  Then here are a few ideas that might help you…

  1. Ask yourself – do I want to be noticed or fly under the radar?
    • If the answer is yes, then you would want to wear “louder” more colorful clothes, whereas if you prefer to not be noticed, sticking with muted or traditional styles and colors are going to be where you want to live.
  2. Are you confident about your body and how you look?
    • If the answer is yes, wearing form fitting, bold styles and colors are going to make you feel great about yourself.  If you answered no, then wearing styles that accentuate your body are not going to be where you want to go (wearing a skirt that is tight around your stomach if you are conscious of that area is only going to make you feel uncomfortable and insecure).
  3. Are you worried about how others are going to look at you?
    • The most confident people know that when they wear certain things they are going to attract attention (not always good because there are always going to be people that are going to judge you), but they are OK with that.  They know how they feel about how they look and that is enough for them.  Therefore, if you are still not confident enough in yourself to wear those things you like without worrying about others, then you probably ought to stick to less outrageous outfits until you sidebar what others think!
  4. When you get dressed, who are you dressing for?
    • This is probably one of the most important questions you can ask yourself.  All too often I see people dressing for how they think their friends, their spouse or their boss might want them to. There is a huge problem in this because we are not being true to ourselves.  I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, but I do see very often people not knowing how to dress and buying things because they think it is something that someone else would like.  Confidence comes from knowing who we are, and not being afraid to show that…

The best gift you can give yourself is the gift of allowing you to be you!

You can shop items similar to my outfit by clicking the links below…


A Simple Guide to Mixing Fabrics

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us!”

 

‘Tis the season for luxurious fabrics and styles…in fact, the more sparkly, glittery, fluffy and cozy the better.  It can be really fun to mix patterns, fabrics and styles and create some amazing looks that will really help you stand out and be noticed during the Holiday season.

Deciding which fabrics work together can be a little overwhelming, so here are some simple guidelines that you can work with if you are a little unsure of what may or may not work well together:

  1. Don’t try to be too “matchy” – I have noticed that when I try to match my the fabrics of my outfit too closely it just ends up failing miserably.
  2. Choose only fabrics or prints that you are comfortable wearing – if you are not someone that likes to have themselves introduced before they even speak, you will probably want to steer clear of prints like leopard, snake or sequins.
  3. Mixing leather with satin or lace is always a great “go to” look because it adds an element of femininity and softens the whole leather look.  Of course leather can fall into that category of being one of those fabrics that you really have to be comfortable wearing, so make sure that if you are going to wear it, you are really going to “rock it!”
  4. For a really luxurious look, pairing velvet with fur is not only classy but it is also really warm and cozy.
  5. Adding a loose wool sweater over a form fitting knitted or satin midi length skirt and a pair of sock booties adds lots of different fabrics and textures and is perfect for a really cold business day!
  6. Experimenting can be really fun, but also overwhelming if you are not sure what really works for you. Before you try anything on, it is always a good idea to hold the fabrics up against each other, and then also up against your body.  That way you can see objectively by looking at it while you’re not wearing it and also in a mirror against your body and skin tone.

 

These are just a few ideas you could use yourself, and adapt to work for your own unique style.  The outfit I am wearing shows mixing leather, velvet, snakeskin, fleece, and satin which is a lot of different fabrics and patterns, but it all works.  Each one is different enough that they compliment each other.  Even if you used just two or three of these different fabrics the look would still be really classy.

 

 

There are definitely some styles and trends that are a little more versatile, whereas others are definitely more edgy.  If you are more of a risk taker, experimenting with furs, leather and satin are a great way to create some really unique looks.  I love to experiment with leather and fur, because I really believe that they can both be worn for so many different occasions and can really transform an outfit from ordinary to unique.

 

You can shop my jacket by clicking link here, and see shopping links for the boots and a similar bag.

 

What are your go-to fabrics and what is the one fabric that you haven’t been brave enough to try?

 

I would love to hear from you…

 


 

Leather, Boots and Fluff…

“Confidence is never having to tell the world you have it!”

 

Feeling feminine, classy and sophisticated as I sit at the Grand America in Salt Lake City for this photo shoot.  I enjoy mixing styles like these thigh high velvet boots, with a velvet skater skirt and fluffy fleece jacket.

 

Wearing a leather skirt is something that can work for so many occasions, because it can be worn so many different ways…

 

 

My outfit is a little edgy with thigh high velvet boots and a Black leather skater skirt, so I softened it by wearing a soft, fleecy jacket and high necked feminine blouse. Here are some other ways that you can wear leather appropriately for work, a party and so many more occasions:

  1. Wear a midi length skirt in Red or Black with a fitted satin blouse and stiletto pumps.
  2. Wear a pair of fitted leather pants with a fluffy box cut sweater and a pair of velvet or satin booties.
  3. Mix things up by wearing a maxi length leather skirt with a fur jacket and a pair of lace booties or pumps.
  4. A Black leather bodice over a white business blouse with a tweed pencil skirt and a pair of stiletto satin pumps.
  5. If you are looking for something really edgy mix and match leather colors by wearing a leather skirt in one color, a top in another and a leather jacket in another color.  Booties with studs would work really well for this.

 

Just a few ways to wear leather, you can mix and match and create YOUR OWN unique style.

 

The only way you will find out what really works is if you try out lots of different ways to wear them. Experiment and have fun…

 

Shop some great leather and velvet boots below…and for this jacket click here

 


 

 

Isn’t it Fascinating that we want to control the Weather?

 

“Anything you can’t control in life is teaching you how to let go!”

 

When I wake up on a cold, overcast, or rainy morning I have a hard time not letting myself feel a little down or even depressed.  While I consciously know that I most certainly don’t have the power to control the weather, it still sometimes leaves me feeling similar to Chicken Little where the sky is falling in!

 

It is almost an exercise in insanity to feel so down because of something so out of my control and scope of understanding, nevertheless, my body still feels this way.  I realize that not everyone feels like this about the weather, however, I am sure there are all times and things that make you feel inexplicably out of sorts. Knowing that the only solution to get through times like this is that you have to let go of control and realize that things are just happening for you, the key is to recognize when this is happening…

 

 

I still find myself sometimes worrying about things I shouldn’t, over-thinking, over-analyzing or even obsessing about things that clearly I have no way of influencing.  I am definitely starting to recognize when it happens more and more, and the more I become conscious of it, the more likely I am to be able to eliminate these habits.

 

Weather is just one example of something outside of our control, another huge cause of feeling frustrated is worrying about what other people are doing and how they are not doing things the way we want them to. As I sit here writing this post, my dog is outside and he’s barking at someone walking by or another dog out there, and I even found myself getting irritated and shouting at him.  Yes, I can shout at him and tell him to stop or bring him inside, but then he’s going to forget in a few minutes or he’s going to jump on the couch and start scratching at the door again.  Bottom line, I may be able to get him to stop for a while, but not until HE wants to!

 

I realized when I had kids that control is really just an illusion, but there are definitely times when I find myself jumping in and handling things for the boys when the best thing to do would be to let them figure it out themselves.  I am definitely not a mum that hovers enough to fall into the helicopter mom category, but I think that’s just because I work on catching myself when I have the urge to “fix” and force myself to take a step back a lot of the time.

 

Worrying about things outside your control is definitely one of the major stress causes in today’s world, so what if you could just allow yourself to let go and just enjoy the moment.

 

Today was a gloomy, rainy, cold day with some sleet and snow.  While I don’t like winter, I have to admit that I actually love how it looks with snow on the ground, blue skies and sunshines, even when it is cold. The real reason I don’t like winter is because it brings grey skies and in Utah we get an inversion in the valley – which I find ugly and dreary.  I did get through the day without too much frustration, but now I sit by a lovely warm fireplace with my feet up after eating a lovely fish and chips dinner.  I can feel all the stress that the gloom brought me just melting away…

 

If you can relate to any of these feelings or thoughts, and you are looking for a quick fix, i’ll let you into a trick that works for me…find something you love and move your focus away from the thing causing you frustration to that thing.  I love to spend time with friends, so sitting in a coffee shop with a great friend is a great remedy to the blues.  I also love to shop (I know, big surprise), so I sometimes take myself off to the mall and just wander around until I feel the thoughts just slip away – of course, if I see some great things while I’m there, I may have to buy them too!  Another great way to refocus is to sit by a lovely fire, curl up with a good book, watch a movie or spend time with your kids.

 

I am definitely a long way from being an enlightened being, but I feel that if I am constantly working on improving myself and my attitude, things will start to get easier and eventually I may even be strong enough to kick some habits!

 


How Colors can Influence our Behavior

“Women sometimes go too far, it’s true, but it’s only when you go too far that others listen!”

We all have colors that somehow attract us to them and affect our mood…but can colors really influence our behavior?

Scientific America says that “Red is a powerful color. It’s the color of Cupid and the Devil, the color of love and hate. It brings to mind hot-blooded anger and Scarlet Lettershame. It means luck in China, where bridal wear is red, mourning in parts of Africa and sex in Amsterdam’s red-light district.”

There are also some biological reactions that showcase the color in varying shades, such as:  Getting red int he face when you are angry or embarrassed.  The color Red has also been known to cause Red car drivers to react more aggressively than drivers in another colored vehicle.

I think the most renowned example of Red used in an instinctual way is the Red cape of a matador, used to taunt a bull.  The bottom line is that Red is known as the most “powerful” of all the colors, so shouldn’t it be so that it can also evoke the most intense emotions?  Red has always been my favorite color, even at a young age I was drawn to it’s power and the frequency that it emitted.  It is the color I always turn to when I want to feel more confident, more powerful and last but not least, more sexy.

I know you have all felt things when you have worn certain colors…but my question is, have you ever used those “feelings” to your advantage?  Red can be intimidating to some people, so it is probably not a color you want to wear for an interview or as a Woman if you want to man to look at you and take you seriously as an intelligent peer.  Unfortunately we as Women still face having to manage the perceptions of Men and actually even other Women.  If you are someone that loves Red as much as I do and you want to wear it with pride, then you also have to be prepared for the reactions you are going to get.  The feelings of confidence and power that you emit when you are wearing Red is something that other people are going to feel too!

 

If you are looking for a cheat sheet about which colors you should and shouldn’t wear for certain times, here are few guidelines for you (remember, these are just general and definitely shouldn’t be taken too seriously, because we would never wear anything if we did!):

RED. Physical
Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.

BLUE. Intellectual.
Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.

YELLOW. Emotional
Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.

GREEN. Balance
Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.

VIOLET. Spiritual
Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
Negative: Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority.

ORANGE.
Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.

PINK.
Positive: Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
Negative: Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness.

GREY.
Positive: Psychological neutrality.
Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.

BLACK.
Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness.

WHITE.
Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.
Negative: Sterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism.

BROWN.
Positive: Seriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support.
Negative: Lack of humor, heaviness, lack of sophistication.

Source:  Colour-effects.co.uk

My goal for this weekend, wear as much Red as possible…what colors are you going to wear?

The Key to Wearing a Leather Skirt

“The enemy is fear.  We think it’s hate, but it’s fear!”

What immediately comes to mind when you think about wearing Leather?  I think it always used to be associated with bikers, and perhaps an outfit for wearing to a club at night.  I’ve never really liked being pigeon-holed, or told what I should and shouldn’t do when it comes to fashion…so I say, gone are the days when wearing Leather is no longer versatile.  In fact, I think Leather (or faux Leather) can be worn and look professional in a business environment, look classy with a nice blouse or lace top, and it can even be used to add a little “edge” to a normally conservative outfit.

Today, the focus is on the versatility of wearing a Leather skirt.  I fell in love with this skirt while I was shopping on my recent trip to England.  I was in Manchester and exploring what was in the Zara store and I came across this Olive Green skirt.  With Zara being one of my favorite stores, it stands to reason that I would love just about everything they had in there, but this skirt definitely caught my eye.

Leather skirts can cost a little more, but now with the quality of faux Leather as it is, you really can get away with looking as good (if not better) when you’re wearing faux Leather – let me explain.  While Leather is absolutely one of the most durable and long-lasting materials you can buy, there are definitely some drawbacks and the main one that I see is the lack of “give”.  Leather is not known for it’s stretch, and that is where faux Leather comes in.  Buying a faux Leather skirt is better if you’re looking for a more fitted look, and one that will move with you.  The skirt in this post is faux Leather and I love how it fits me really well, it allows me to walk and sit freely, and finally it also costs a lot less.  Not that I am opposed to buying Leather clothing (I definitely own some skirts, and jackets), but sometimes, especially with new trends and colors, it is safer to go the faux Leather way.

The outfit I put together is one that could be worn in a professional environment, for a date, as casual wear, or pretty much any reason you could find – and that is what I love about it.  The blouse brings a certain level of femininity and the chignon in my hair accentuates that look too, while the mules with their unique heel bring a little “funk” to the whole look.

Fall and winter are the perfect time to wear Leather – It can be a very hot fabric so it’s a little harder to wear on hot summer days, so the cooler months are just right.

Here are a few other ways you could wear a Leather skirt, because let’s face it, we don’t all want to dress the same way 😉

  1. Wear a mid length skirt with a loose sweater and booties
  2. Wear a knee length skirt with some funky tights and a blazer.
  3. Wear a skater skirt with some over the knee boots, a fitted sweater and a velvet jacket.
  4. Try a pleated skirt to mix things up a little, and wear it with a blouse or fitted sweater.
  5. Wear an A-line midi skirt with some stiletto pumps and a fitted top.

 

If you are looking to add a Leather skirt to your fall or winter wardrobe, you can shop some of my top picks below…

 

 


 

A Minimalist’s Manifesto to Effortless Style

“There is nothing more dangerous than a beautiful woman that is focused.”

 

For some people, it’s easy to toss on whatever they have at hand, and they still look great. The rest of us, on the other hand, may need a bit of help when assembling a new outfit. We want to put more focus on a minimalistic style as it keeps your wardrobe from overflowing, first of all, and it also makes it a bit easier to piece together an outfit early in the morning.

 


 

Here are a handful of fashion tips on how minimalism can make you effortlessly stylish and the elements you need to include to pull it off – don’t get me wrong, I’m not selling everything I have to clean out my closet, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to make sure that what you are buying is good enough quality to last like you want it to!

 

Think quality over quantity

  • If you think buying the cheapest clothes will save you money, think again. Garments like these tend to fall apart a lot quicker than you had in mind when buying them – and in some cases, it doesn’t take more than a wash or two before they’ve lost their charm.
  • Remember that sturdy clothes and shoes will stand the test of time too, and may even look better after a couple of years so you can forget about them for a season or two, only to rediscover them later. I absolutely love it as the new seasons come along, because I am able to “go shopping in my closet” and find things that I had forgotten I had!  It’s the best kind of shopping, because I am guaranteed to find some little gems I had forgotten about 🙂
  • When you buy clothes, shoes, and bags that are high-quality, you’re kind of investing in a piece that will continue to look great as long as you take good care of them. This is an important point, though, and you’ll be crying bitter tears after stomping into the snow with those new leather boots without safeguarding them first – so make sure that you invest in the best protection possible so you don’t ruin them the first time you wear them.
  • Remember this when it comes to any high-quality piece of clothing; read the label, follow the instructions, and keep your leather stuff away from water. Check out these functional wallets from www.ibricraft.com, for example, and you’re off to a good start.

Being classy is something that I am sure every woman aspires to be, and class doesn’t have to cost a fortune, sometimes all it takes is a little effort and care…