An Edited Work Wardrobe: The Perfect Capsule Collection

“Elegance never goes out of style!”

It can be a challenge to know what to put on every weekday when you’re heading to the office for work. Keeping up with trends, while still feeling like yourself is no easy feat; which is why so many women are creating their own capsule collection and editing their work wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe will provide you with several garments, items, and accessories that can be worn together and easily incorporated with other key pieces in your closet. Therefore, finding a smart, chic, and stylish outfit for work becomes less of a chore in the morning, and you can concentrate on grabbing a coffee before your first meeting. The following are some ideas and tips for those who want a carefully curated wardrobe space when they’re getting ready for work.

 

 

Color & Patterns

A great place to start is with a neutral palette for your work wardrobe; monochrome, nudes and light shades will lend themselves to a wider variety of clothes and go together successfully. Go into store sales and see what shades suit your skin tone, so you can have a better understanding of what will not only look good paired with a black skirt or navy trousers but what will make you look as fresh as possible during your working week. If you have some staple items like skirts, trousers, a jacket, and a dress in plain, easy-to-match tones; you’ll be able to incorporate some brighter hues and lively patterned fabrics with an array of shirts, blouses, and tops.

 

Details & Accessories

You still want to reflect your character and style through your workwear, however formal the office dress code might be. Therefore, you could consider investing in some classic accessories that will last you throughout each season. Have a look online a see what’s available; you could buy pearl earrings for a feminine and decorative touch, or invest in a necklace that will add some subtle charm to your neckline and liven-up a plain dress. A large bag, that’s comfortable to carry is another vital addition to your work wardrobe; you’ll want something to hold your phone, files, tablet, and all your other work-related items, and something that will suit your style and blend with the rest of your wardrobe.

 

Shape & Silhouette

Clean lines and simple silhouettes rarely date, and they will flatter a variety of shapes and sizes. Remember that you want to feel confident and comfortable throughout each day; so save the fashion experiments for the weekend and ensure that your capsule work-wardrobe is only full of items you can grab and wear with ease. Classic shapes will also ensure that you look smart and put-together for every occasion at work and you’ll find it easier to add color and texture with your fabric choices. You’ll have enough stress to deal with during your working day, so take the pressure out of getting ready, and curate your ideal edited wardrobe; you’ll ensure that your mornings run smoothly and you look and feel great on your way to work.

Happy Wednesday, I hope your week is going well…

 

Choose your Colors Wisely

“A modern day Goddess knows that being Feminine is not weak!”

There are so many different styles, colors and textures of clothing around now that there is something for everyone. Which leads me to today’s point…with so many different options, why would we want to be like someone else when we can create our own unique style and look.  I talk all the time about the importance of being unique, and the main reason that I feel that way is because it has really helped me in my life…in my career, in my home life and in my social life.  Being unique means you are remembered…

There are some colors that appeal more to me, and a lot of it has to do with those colors that make me “feel” something. Have you ever tried something on and just thought “I’m in love with this color, or I just love how this feels when I’m wearing it?”  – if the answer is yes to either of those questions, then you could say that you have “felt” something for those clothes.  It’s not weird, it’s just that our personal experiences, our life and our environment makes each one of us different, and colors, textures and styles can appeal to us for reasons that we don’t even understand.  For example, I have always loved wearing bright and bold colors, and I believe that comes from my childhood where I was always encouraged to be different, to stand out and just be MICHELLE!  Your experiences are going to cause you to be attracted to other things – or maybe even some of the same things, but not always for the same reasons.

Chemistry plays a huge parts in so many aspects of our lives, and I believe that chemical reactions take place when we feel good about something, like when we feel good about how we look – endorphins are released into our bodies that make us feel good about ourselves and what we are wearing.  Endorphins are natural chemicals that our bodies release and they make us feel euphoric and happy.

There are other things to consider when wearing colors, “such as does that color work with my complexion or hair color” etc., but if you used the rule of thumb that if something makes you feel good, you should wear it, I guarantee it would change your outlook on the world and most importantly on yourself.

As a woman we have the ability to draw attention to us or reflect it away from us, it’s just a fact.  Sometimes attention can be drawn to us for the wrong reasons, and ultimately while that may feel good for a short time, it eventually leaves us feeling less about ourselves.  I think that the best way to be remembered, to be noticed, to make a great first impression and to feel good about ourselves is to be feminine.  Femininity is something we as women should harness because it is very powerful, and not to be ignored. Feeling feminine brings more power and confidence, and therefore success. I used to think that being too feminine made people think that I as a Woman was not as strong as a Man…I am here to tell you, that femininity is something that Men and other Women actually admire.

Have you ever noticed a Woman anywhere and just thought “wow, that Woman is really stunning?”  I have, I admire strength, confidence and power in other Women.  And I have realized over the past year, that the best way for me to be the best Woman I can be is the harness the power of femininity.  I used to think that the only way I could get what I wanted was to be “tough”, “mean”, “stronger than men” etc…but what I have come to find out – I actually get greater results in all areas of my life when I am softer, more considerate, and listen more.

Consider this – “some Women fear the fire, other Women simply become it”…I know which path I’m going to take, do you?

Don’t forget to sign up for my e-Newsletter to receive style picks and tips!  See the link on the right toolbar…

 

Things You Didn’t Know, You Didn’t Know about Confidence

“It’s not about fashion, it’s not about the label, it’s about putting something on that leaves you ready to confidently face the world.”

Following on from yesterday’s post, how do really show you’re confident – both to yourself and to others? (click here if you didn’t see yesterday’s post)

I know I have said this before, but it is so true….when you have confidence you can look amazing in just about any outfit.

I have found in the business that I do, it is perpetuating…the more confidence I feel, the more clients want to do business with me, the more success I have, and the more confident I feel…inhale confidence, exhale doubt!

But – where does that start?  You truly have to believe in yourself and it’s so much more than just picking out the right clothes.  Being a woman in business, it’s almost as though you need a chip on your shoulder and sheer determination to make yourself successful.  So, how does what you wear help you control that?  Well, in my experience when I truly make an effort to look professional and classy when I meet with a client, the more successful that meeting is.  The client perceives that you think they are important, and therefore they respond much better to you.  You then, in turn, feel more confidence with your success and so the cycle continues.

The key to finding the style that makes you feel the most confident is to steer away from wearing things that make you feel uncomfortable – even if fashion magazines are telling you to wear something it doesn’t automatically mean it will be right for you.  Experiment with styles, colors and textures, but don’t do something that is not YOU because if you don’t feel great, that will overpower any feeling of confidence.  If you’re looking for some styling tips click here for “How to put together an outfit in 3 easy steps”.

Confidence is something that needs to be nurtured, so you need to make sure that your cup is full – if you are struggling at home, at work, or in any aspect of your life, you need to find a way to re-fill your cup so that you are grounded and don’t feel frustration or doubt.  Once those feelings start to creep into your life, you will notice that you confidence in yourself will start to diminish.

I firmly believe that confidence is something that can affect every area of our lives, so it is something I work on every day.  Starting this blog was something that was way outside my comfort zone, I have learned more things than I thought possible, and I did it so I could challenge myself to grow and also to help others.  I am still a long way from being the Woman and Blogger that I know I can be, but what I can tell you is that I am 100% confident in myself and even though I face challenges (which of course we all do), I am not going to stop learning, studying, growing and challenging myself.  We need to experience both highs and lows otherwise we are flat lining – which means we’re dead!

If confidence is something that comes from choice, I choose confidence…what do you choose?

 

 

Ultimate Confidence

 

“Make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you.  Know your worth even if they don’t.”

I have recently been soul searching to find out why I started my blog.  Then I remembered, I have had some experiences in work and in my life that have led me to know that I need to learn and grow from them.  I started this blog to help empower others to use what they already have inside them to create a rich and fulfilled life.

I was raised with the belief that I could be or do whatever I wanted to. I am extremely lucky that my parents encouraged and validated me enough to believe in myself.

Confidence is something that is visible – how you stand, your facial expressions and body language

 

That doesn’t mean that I haven’t met bumps along the way, made life harder for myself, or have just basically fallen flat on my face! But what it does mean is that no matter how many times I feel crappy, have self-doubt, insecurity, or failures, I KNOW I can pick myself up and figure something out. Whether that means trying the same thing over again or trying to do something a different way, I don’t quit.

As the years have progressed, I have found that the more success I have, the more confidence comes from it. I feel very secure in my abilities and know that the only thing holding me back is ME.

After Graduating from College, still living in England, I had an interview with a Pharmaceutical company that I thought went really well. I made it to the third round of interviews – feeling really confident in myself and my abilities I met with the female recruiter only to have a conversation I was not expecting. She explained to me that I would be meeting with Doctors who expect to see a Woman who (words to the effect of) “wears a short skirt”. Being a Young Woman I was absolutely appalled that someone could expect something like this. I was definitely naïve but I have realized as my career has gone on, that unfortunately, you meet people like this all the time.

No matter how hard you try, not everyone is going to like you all the time…so love yourself – that you can control!

 

I made it my goal to find a way to express myself with style that did not dictate how short or tight my clothing was. Being remembered should not be for these reasons. I believed that my intelligence would be what people remembered, but after years of experience, I have found that unfortunately that is not the case. Why am I telling you this? Because… if you want to be remembered, the most important factor, is to be your own unique self. Fashions will fade, your confidence and belief in yourself (that very often can come from looking and feeling great) is what people will remember.

You will notice that I don’t always follow rules for fashion and I most certainly like to find things that are different.  I have been told that I like to take fashions and make them my own…Now it’s time for you to use your unique style to help you create success and confidence in your life!

We all have experiences that can knock us down, make us feel self-doubt or feel defeated, in fact, there are some times in our life where that is what we feel more than anything else.  If we have a foundation of confidence and determination then it will make those times much easier to handle.  It certainly doesn’t mean that we won’t ever face challenges because we have no control over what other people do, but what it does mean is that we will be able to handle those challenges.

Have you ever found yourself in a place in your career where you have ended up working for someone that has not treated you well, disrespected you, or devalued you?  My guess is that at some point during your career you may have felt at least one or more of these things.  I went through an experience over the past few years that directed me into starting this blog so I could share my experiences.  I don’t feel angry about it anymore, I feel grateful that I was able to see the situation as a great learning opportunity…

I am sure you have heard the expression “Fight, Flight or Freeze”…Which category do you fall into?  I have always been a FIGHT girl, my first reaction is to attack rather than be attacked, and I have to admit it has served me well in my chosen career, it has given me the determination I needed to get through tough times.  That doesn’t mean that if it’s not your natural tendency to fight for things, that you can’t still do that…we are just talking about your initial reaction.  If you were placed in a life or death situation, if your life or someone you love’s life were in danger, would that change your reaction?  If the answer is yes, then think about this – your life is in danger (at least from a happiness and peace perspective).  How do you feel now?  Are you willing to fight for yourself…develop your confidence and make your life happy and successful?

If you feel like it would help your confidence to wear something that I am wearing in this post, then feel free to click the links and shop below 🙂


 

Wearing a Bodycon Dress

“Worry about loving yourself instead of worrying about the idea of other people loving you!”

When you think of a Bodycon dress, what does it bring to mind?  It can certainly have a lot of different connotations depending on your figure, how you see yourself and how confident you are.  The thing about a Bodycon dress is that it is designed to be fitted to your body in all the right places, but it can also mean that it can cling to those places you might not want it to.

I do believe that no matter your size, a lot of wearing a dress like this comes from having the confidence to do it.  There are always ways to minimize those areas you don’t want to draw attention to, you can also choose colors that are more flattering and you can wear a kimono or longer jacket over it to make the whole outfit “flow” more.

The dress I am wearing in this post is definitely a traditional styled Bodycon dress, it clings to every curve of my body, the color is definitely going to draw attention, and I’m not wearing a jacket over it.  All of these factors pretty much guarantee that whether you like it or not, when you wear something like this you are going have people looking and very often complimenting you.  The only thing you need to make sure you have before you go out looking like this is confidence…will you be OK having a lot of attention and can you strut your stuff?

I have been in sales for 20 years now and been the top of my industry for over half of that time, so a lot of my confidence and self-esteem can come from knowing that I am good at something.  Over the past few years I have experienced a dramatic change in my career that started with how I was treated.  As a Woman in sales, it is quite often been intimidating to Men to know that I have been better than them (not that I have tried to make them feel that way).  I realized that I have no control over what people think about me, but I do have control over what I feel about myself and nobody can take that away from me.

I think sometimes confidence can be mistaken for being vain or a little too attention seeking.  To me confidence is the ability to be who you are regardless of who is around and what they may think.  How I feel about myself is not dependent on how someone thinks of me…I am good!!  I love to dress up, I love to feel good about myself and I when I know I look good, I always feel great about myself.

What makes you feel great about yourself?  Not all of who we are is dependent on how we look, we are all complex creatures but there is usually something that makes us feel like we are the top of our game…

What’s your secret confidence building weapon?  You know, the thing that no matter what, you feel amazing about yourself no matter what anyone does or whatever situation comes your way, you can handle it?

I wonder if it could be an experiment to give a Bodycon dress a try?  How would that make you feel?  Do you want to find out if you have the confidence to walk down the street and know you look good?  I am wondering if it would be worth it to find out if it could help you have more confidence in yourself…?

What do you think?  Are you up for it?


 

LBD Friday

“Being yourself is the new Black”

I’ve been having withdrawals from not wearing dresses or heels for this past week, so this post is in honor of my business/casual night out LBD.  I love how versatile this dress is, and how simple.  What’s not to love about an outfit that means getting ready only takes a maximum of 10 minutes (including hair and makeup) 🙂  Finding something this versatile is something that makes me really happy – in fact, I seek after things like this all the time.

The great thing about a shirt dress is that the shoes are really the thing that makes the outfit stand out.  I paired mine with some Steve Madden snake print wedges that I’ve had for a few years – you can find a similar pair here.  I wore this outfit for work, but if you wanted to dress up the outfit a little more you could add a pair of stiletto pumps or sandals and voila it would be an outfit you could wear for a date right after work!

Following on from the post from Wednesday, I love to take a simple dress like this from H&M, add a great pair of shoes, a funky clutch or even some bright colored earrings to make it different from how anyone else that shops the same place would make theirs.  What is the most important thing for you when you put together an outfit?  Is it simplicity?  Is it cost?  Is it color?  Is it being unique?  I have different goals for different occasions. For example, for business or going out, mine is about being unique.  For a more casual day to day look, I love simplicity.

A LBD works for so many different occasions – it can be a cross-over casual/dressy style like this one, or a more formal look, but whatever the purpose, a LBD is something that will always work.

As you head into the weekend maybe you can try some different ways of styling a Little Black Dress  (LBD) – but most importantly wear it with a smile 😉

TGIF!!

 

How to Put Together an Outfit in 3 Easy Steps…

Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day!

How much thought do you put into an outfit that you wear?  Do you plan how the finished product should be?  Do you pick pieces that you know “look OK together”?

Sometimes it can seen overwhelming and intimidating, or you may have your technique completely down…either way, maybe there is something here that could save you time and stress!

I would like to break down my process into 3 easy steps so you can see that it doesn’t have to be hard…

  1. This is the most important step – Consider what you are going to be doing, who you are going to be seeing, and where you’re going.  It’s a logical thing to do, but I think it’s also one that is very often overlooked.  I have to admit I have been guilty of not thinking about one or more of these questions and consequently put myself in an awkward position.  We hadn’t been married for very long and went on a trip to Moab for the weekend.  I had an 8month old baby so I thought we would probably just be hanging out…not so, Brandon wanted to explore Arches National Park, which involved quite a bit of walking/hiking. I hadn’t brought any sneakers with me, in fact, pretty much all the shoes I brought, had a heel of one height or another (not super high, but high enough to not be appropriate for long walks and definitely not hikes!)  Fortunately, Dalton at that time wore the same size shoes as me, so I could borrow a pair of shoes from him and all turned out OK…The moral of this story, think ahead, plan and don’t make yourself miserable.

Business Outfit – Meeting with clients, looking to be remembered and make a good impression

2. Choose a piece of clothing that is appropriate for Step #1, and build your outfit around it.  

I very often start with the shoes I want to wear, but today I am wearing an outfit that I built around my pants. Whatever it is, start with one thing and then build from there.  Add pieces that compliment the style of the foundation piece and work for your body type. Don’t choose things that are too tight fitting and or don’t work for your body type or coloring.Add the complimenting pieces that fit your style, match the style of the piece you are building from.

For this outfit, I started with the pants and built around them – they are the one piece I really wanted to wear!

3. Make sure you check the mirror before you leave.

This may sound stupid, but I can’t tell you how many times I have forgotten something or not noticed something when I haven’t checked the mirror.  Yesterday I put together my outfit the night before because I had a Meeting first thing, I was being sensitive to Brandon who was still sleeping so I only turned on my closet light briefly, so I neglected to check the mirror before I walked out the door.  Now it wasn’t a major catastrophe, but I had forgotten to add the belt that went with the business dress I was wearing.  It wasn’t super noticeable, but I KNEW!  A small problem like that would have been avoided by checking the mirror.  It is alway good to make sure your clothing is hanging right, there are no stains, the zipper functions properly, etc., and that’s what a mirror is for.

Check the back of your outfit too – you never know what you’re going to be missing…

Not brain surgery – 3 simple steps…do you use all these steps?

If you are not already using these steps, give them a try and let me know what you think.  These are the basic ones I use every day – there may be more, and when I go out to an event I am definitely more detailed in how I put myself together, but this should give you a starting point.  Let me know if you think I’ve missed something…I am always looking for new time-saving ideas!


Email me or comment and let me know if this helps – if you have questions or if I’ve missed something 🙂

 

 

How to be Fashionable

Confidence is in knowing that your fashion story is YOURS alone!

Fashion makes a statement about us…

“Be a Flamingo in a flock of pigeons!”

My Fashion Story

I always thought that being fashionable meant that you had to follow all the latest trends, and just basically blend in with what everyone else is doing…

What I have realized is that I can decide what is fashionable.  No matter the season, I don’t like every new trend that comes out (especially since as I am getting older I see more and more of the old trends that I used to see coming out again and again!)  It’s crazy that the styles I hated, the ones that I would never be caught dead wearing, and the ones that seemed to be the least flattering still seem to circle back around.  I remember looking at a picture of myself after having Dalton (my oldest), he was only 6 weeks old and we were in Disney World, I was wearing high waisted short-shorts, and a striped tank top that REALLY didn’t flatter me in any way!  So crazy to think that just because a style is IN that you should have to wear it.  As I have matured, I can tell you that I decide what is fashion for me, and I interpret it my own unique way.

I love seeing a new style and trying to figure out ways that I can adapt it to be my own.  I like to be classy/chic and everything in between.  The one thing that is always consistent is that I like to be feminine and always, always I avoid things that make me look trashy.  I don’t dress up every day, but when I have an important meeting or I know that a first impression is important, I definitely dress accordingly.  Even when I dress down I make sure that I am no sloppy.  If I am wearing sweats they are not creased and I wear with them a t shirt that is flattering.  Jeans are something I love to wear but I don’t wear them for work if they have holes or are distressed.  If I do wear jeans for work, I make sure that the blouse or top I wear is feminine and classy and more than likely the first thing that people notice.  I make my outfits memorable – but in a good way 🙂

Shoes are my staple – I don’t believe you can ever have too many, and they can really make a statement about you, so choose them wisely.  Sometimes heels can get damaged and start to look worn out, so take care of your shoes…if you take care of them, they will take care of you!

I read fashion magazines, I check out blogs, I look online at some of my favorite stores, I like to go on shopping expeditions whenever I travel somewhere to see what is available in other places, and most importantly, when I see things, I think about how they will work for my body type, coloring, age, and if they would be appropriate for me to wear for business, casual or more formal events.  Sometimes I try new things and get it wrong, and sometimes it works out, but the key is I TRY…Having the confidence to try something new and see if it works for you is half the battle, with the final piece being that if you get it wrong, don’t worry about what other people might say and think.  I have found that not everyone is going to like my style and what I wear all the time, and you know what, I am so great with that…I wear what I wear and do what I do for me only!  Because I feel that way, I have an air of confidence and it shows – and that is what people are drawn to!

What is your Fashion Story?

We all have our own fashion story, even if that story is that fashion or style is not your focus, or you don’t want to or can’t afford to go shopping all the time!  Whatever your story, I would love to hear all about it.  You can either comment or email me directly by clicking the CONTACT link on the left toolbar if you don’t want to share with everyone.  I am always looking for ways to improve my style game, and would love to help you with yours too…

I look forward to hearing your fashion story to see if I can help you be fashionable with the clothes you have and up your style game!

The Best Days

“Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not being afraid to be wrong!”

It may be cliche, but I have found when I love what I’m wearing…I tend to feel happier, more confident, and most importantly (especially when you work in sales and you’re a mum), I don’t let the little things get to me!

As I look back at the pictures from the shoot that I did with EmParker Photography, I can absolutely tell the outfits that I feel the best in…

Sometimes it’s hard to recognize something this small as contributing to how successful we are, how happy we are or even how comfortable we feel in our relationships.  I definitely know for me that in all of those areas, how I feel about me (which can be directly correlated to how I feel about how I look) can help me be more confident in business, relationships, and even with my kids…

I don’t want you to misunderstand me that I can’t feel great if I am having a bad hair day or if I am dressed only in sweats, because I do believe that you can still feel good about yourself then…but what I am saying is, if you want success in any area of your life…then dress for it and act like you deserve it!

Confidence is a characteristic that people are inexplicably drawn to, and it becomes contagious.

If you have kids, when they were younger did you worry about who their friends were?  Did you want them hanging out with the ones that were a “good influence” or came from a good family?  I think that is something we need to make sure we do for ourselves too…If you want to feel better about yourself, start hanging out with people that have that kind of confidence.  If you want success, hang out with people that have a great work ethic and are not afraid to put in the time an effort to get it.  I have seen it so much in my life that if you hang out with someone often enough, you start to become like them in some way (either good or bad).

Today’s post is dedicated to feeling good about yourself, dressing the part and using that to help you create success and happiness in your life!

Shop this outfit by clicking the links below…

 

Photo Shoot Sneak Peak

“Only I can change my life, no one can do it for me!”

I was fortunate to be be asked by a friend of mine who is a photographer to be part of her portfolio, so we had fun creating some fun pictures, and the best part, it included a makeover.  I got to sit while someone else did my hair and makeup.  It is not something I have had the pleasure of doing very many times, and I have to say…I loved being pampered.

One of the highlights was that I they used an amazing lipstick in the makeover that I had to go and purchase – I’m wearing it in the pictures, and it’s called “Please Me” by MAC – click here to snag your own 🙂

I enjoyed being in a studio, creating some fun poses, being told what to do (especially because I knew it was to help create some great pictures because I am not known for loving being told what to do!!) 😉

I love picking out outfits for my shoots…sometimes I use things I already own, sometimes I buy new things, and I always create my own look based on what I think will look great together.  The outfit in this shoot is a skirt I already owned (find a similar one here) and a great top I found at Zara when I was in Playa Del Carmen on my cruise.  The shoes I already owned as well (click here for similar), so it was a really easy, business appropriate outfit once it was finished.  I love the setting next to the wood wall – the brown really accentuates the Linen top.

On side note, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is here, so if you want to buy from the Early Access just click on the banner at the top of the page.  Over the next few days I will be highlighting some of my picks from this year’s preview…

Happy Friday!!