Dress For You

Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself!

When you are truly confident in yourself and what you bring to this world, you don’t ever feel the need to be someone you’re not, which includes dressing for YOU.

Because we are so unique as individuals, it is only a natural reaction to dress to express that uniqueness. When we do that, when we do it for ourselves without a fear of what others will think or the need to seek approval, that is one of the most empowering things we as women can do.

Who isn’t attracted to, or doesn’t want to be around a confident and self-assured person – I know I do. I am always drawn to strong women, and I know that’s because I am that way myself,. It comes down to the old saying of “birds of a feather flock together”.

So, the question is, what do you want to attract in your life? I feel empowered and even stronger when I am around other strong individuals, and the more time I spend around them, the stronger and more confident I feel.

I remember when I was in college I had a few posters on the walls of my apartment- and one of them was a Garfield poster that I found amusing because it showed Garfield with books balanced on his head and the quote said “I learn by osmosis”… I think I found it so funny because as I was taking a lot of medical classes I really wished that it was true.

It may not be true about college learning, but I can tell you that energy is contagious – OK, it may not osmosis but it kind of works in a similar way. When I choose to spend my time around those that lift me up rather than drain me, my cup is filled – which then leaves me energy to pass along and help others.

My style has always been exactly that – MINE. I don’t always wear the most ground breaking styles, or even buy all the newest things out (mainly because I don’t like them all, and I’m definitely not going to spend money on something I don’t like. I find my inspiration in lots of ways, in lots of different places and on lots of different people. I love experimenting, because that’s just me. You may like to stick to things you know, colors you love or you may even hate shopping. Whatever your way of dressing, my hope is that you do it for you. Not for a partner, not to be accepted, not to be envied by flashing lots of expensive designer stuff, and most definitely not to hide who you really are.

I thought it might be kind of fun to come up with a name for my style personality – I am

What is your style personality?

If you find any inspiration for your style from me…you can shop my look by clicking these links:

Turn Weakness into Strength

Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses!

As I think back to my childhood I realize that there were so many times that people told me negative things which caused me to feel bad or insecure with myself. In fact, one of the things that I was told when I was growing up by “mean girls” was that I had a huge chin and that it made me look like a witch. I’ll admit that there were some times where I wasn’t sure what they were saying was true or not, and it definitely made me self conscious.

It took me a few years to realize that those that told me those things were probably saying it because they felt insecure or less than confident about themselves. I had a choice at that time to either let what they told me become what I believed and repeated to myself, or to not let it get to me. I was a teenager when it happened, and it was one of the must vulnerable times in my life. My choice was to embrace my features, enjoy who I was and not only carry on but to hold my head up and be proud! I looked at my family and realized that my “strong” chin – which is what I choose to call it – came from my Grandad and he was an AMAZING man! How could I possibly feel bad about it?

As I think back to that time in my life I realize that it was a turning point – it was the time that I made a decision to not let others determine how I feel about myself. It was at that time I promised myself that I would always stand up for myself and be bold! If I could see the people that said mean things about me, I would want to thank them – because if they had not said those things, I wouldn’t have become the strong, determined, powerful and fulfilled woman that I am.

There are definitely people in this life that are going to try and make you feel bad about yourself, who you are, what you look like and very often undermine what you are capable of. I can promise you that NO ONE can make you feel anything. It is your choice to believe what people say or think about you or not.

I have found at times in my life that some people I thought were my friends chose to root against me, to sabotage my success, and quite often be two-faced and almost a wolf in sheep’s clothing. As I become older and more mature I realize that I have no control over how people act or how they think, but I do have control over how it affects me. When someone points out a weakness of mine or roots against me, I choose to not focus on that but rather on being the best me that I can be!

What I have also found is that for all the negativity out there…there is still so much positivity. I choose to focus on that.

Whatever we focus on we end up with more of – so why not think the best about yourself, your talents, your blessings…see what happens!

Remember the 5th of November

“If you don’t do wild things when you’re young, you’ll have nothing to smile about when you’re old!”

For those of you that know anything about the history of England you will know that today, the 5th of November, is when we celebrate Bonfire Night.  Guys Fawkes was the reason Bonfire Night started, and his story is pretty gruesome.  He tried and failed to blow up the Houses of Parliament, was held as a prisoner in the Tower of London until he was executed.  So, being a country strong on tradition, ever since then we have celebrated his failed gunpowder plot by putting a stuffed Guy Fawkes on top of a bonfire and burning it to the ground.  Kind of crazy when you think about the history, but as I was growing up I didn’t realize all that history (as I am sure many of the youth now don’t either) I just enjoyed a time to hang out with friends and family, with treacle toffee, parched peas, parkin (to name just a few of the foods we ate) along with some fireworks.

Since obviously we don’t celebrate the 4th of July in England, this was when we got to let off our fireworks and have a good time.  I must admit, I do much prefer fireworks in the summer than in November when the nights can be very cold and quite often rainy.

You might be wondering why I am telling you about this good old English tradition – well obviously the first reason is that today is the 5th November, but secondly it’s because as I sit over the other side of the Atlantic from my home country I realize that there are a lot of things, whether the reason behind them are great or not, that I miss about England.  I have traveled back there now twice in the past 2 years, and the more I go the more I realize that I had an amazing upbringing and I am very happy for the life my parents gave me over there.

There is a lot to be said about tradition and nostalgia.  There are a great many traditions that I brought over with me and I share with my family.  Remembering where we came from is a huge part in recognizing and being grateful for where we are today.  I have no plans to move back to England, however, I miss my friends, and I definitely miss a lot of the history that is everywhere over there.  It has made me feel like I want to take my kids (now that they are older) to see some of the sights, to walk down memory lane with me, and to see where I grew up.  My youngest two boys have never been over there, and I think they would love some of the places – who doesn’t love a castle or two?!

There have been times in my life when I have gone through hard things, one of which was moving over here to the US as a single mum…but now as I look back I can be grateful for that trying experience because it shaped me into who I am today.  So as I sit and think about my life and the things that have made me stronger, I feel nothing but gratitude and appreciation.  There are rewards from trials but only if we let ourselves surrender to the good that came from it.  I know in some things it is harder to find something good that came from it – and it may be something as simple as meeting someone that helped you through or admitting to yourself that you need help (a challenge for me)…

Wherever you’re from, whatever you have been through, looking back at your life with fondness and love is the only way that you can move through today into the rest of your life.  After all, nothing can drag you down if you’re not holding on to it!!

Have a fabulous Monday…

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

 

Style Personality

 

“People may hate you for being different and not living by society’s standards, but deep down they wish they had the courage to do the same!”

You may have noticed a common theme on my social media and blog, and that is I talk about not being afraid to be yourself, be unique and express YOUR style personality…

Here’s another thought – do you just have to have one personality?  I don’t think so.

If you’re anything like me there are times when you want to be more edgy, there are times when you want to feel more feminine, and there are times when sophistication is the way you want to go.  These are just a few of my style personalities, because I have many…the reason I tell you this is that I think it’s important to not ever limit yourself or pigeon hole yourself into one style.  Today’s picture is a more feminine style, and that was what I was aiming for when I put it together.  I felt good about how I looked and even curled my hair used heated curlers (yes I still have some of those even though I haven’t used them for a couple of years).

I have heard many people talk about how a certain style is “them” and that they always gravitate to certain styles, colors, patterns and cuts…and that’s absolutely OK, especially if you open your mind to other options as well.

I have talked a lot about what I was like growing up and how I always had a very strong idea about how I wanted to look, what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it, so for me having the ability to change how I look has been very important.  Being independent and strong willed, I never wanted to be limited or caged like a bird, for me freedom comes from knowing I can create whatever I want – even with style.

I do realize that not everyone has such a clear idea in their mind about how they might like to express their personality through their style, and certainly there are those of you that may not even think style or fashion is important.  If you are one of these people, let me pose a couple of questions to you…do you feel self conscious when you are around someone that has the appearance of being completely put together?  Do you compare yourself to others and how they look?  Do you feel insecure about yourself in any way?

If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then I will tell you that there is hope!   Self confidence comes from being comfortable with who you are, and more often than not, when you compare yourself to others it’s because you are judging yourself.  I have found that the more care I take with how I look, the more positive reactions I get from others, and more importantly the better I feel about ME.  Even if you don’t care about style or following the latest trends it doesn’t mean that you unican’t still rock your own style.

Here are some tips for finding your unique style:

  1. Don’t be afraid to try something on because it scares you because it’s different.
  2. Mix and match patterns, styles and colors – you never know what works together for you until you try it.
  3. Ask a friend – I have a few friends that text me pictures of outfits and ask my opinion.  I am always honest and you will want to find someone who will do the same for you.
  4. Dress for the occasion – there is nothing worse than being over or under dressed.  I always err on the side of dressing up more than down, and this has always worked for me.
  5. Whatever outfit you put together, if you’ve followed the steps above, wear it with your head held high and walk with confidence.
  6. Believe in YOU.  You are unique, your style will be unique – don’t be a cookie cutter.  Trying to be someone else is only going to cause more self consciousness.

I hope these tips help, but if you have questions, please email me and I will get back to you!

 

 

Shop the pieces of my outfit or similar by clicking the links below…

 

 

 

Pay Attention to the Details

“The difference between mediocrity and excellence is the attention to detail!”

After just returning from a vacation staying in a cabin in Montana, river rafting, hiking and horseback riding in Glacier National Park, mountain biking and fishing at the lake, I was seriously craving dressing up and getting ready this morning.  I don’t know why but I always seem to focus so much better when I am dressed and ready to go.  I kind of have a hard time focusing on doing anything work related when I am vacationing (I guess that’s a good thing), unless something needs to be done.

I try to set aside some time to post, write, and even take pictures, but honestly, I get so busy making the memories that I forget to capture them on camera.  Anyone else have this happen to them?  Sometimes Brandon will say “let me take a picture of you, or the whole family” and that’s the first time that it occurred to me that I might actually want to be IN some of the pictures I take 😉

As I think about dressing up and dressing the part, the biggest challenge that I see people have is the lack of attention to the details.  It’s easily done, and it’s also easily forgotten.  I may be a little crazy because I notice everything about what someone else wears, I notice ALL the details, so when I am building my outfits, the jewelry, the bag, the shoes, and even the jacket or coat carry equal weight to the outfit I am wearing.  Sometimes wearing a plain dress is perfect, but it can lack a little “oomph” if you don’t add some great accessories or shoes.  One of the easiest outfits to take when you travel is a plain, versatile, wrinkle-resistant, dress or jumpsuit, then add a funky pair of shoes, a scarf, a belt, some chunky jewelry or a bright bag.

 

 

In today’s post I wanted to show the baby blue bag that I posted about a few weeks ago, because the color, the strap and the style make it completely unique and noticeable.  I didn’t try to match the shoes but picked a neutral White pump, and wore this with some versatile, comfortable and cool chambray pants.

I may or may not be a little bit of a shopper (I will deny it if you ask me), but I do know that I am always looking for some great statement pieces that I can use with multiple outfits.  I have quite a few pairs of shoes (I know, hard to believe), I have quite a few handbags (again, hard to believe) and as for my jewelry I sometimes can’t even find or remember some of the things I have.  I don’t recommend getting yourself into this situation, however, I do think it’s fun to have plenty of things to choose from when putting together an outfit.

 

I have always been someone that doesn’t aspire to be mediocre, but wants to strive for excellence, and that goes for my style as well as everything else in my life – so I always pay attention to the details, in every area of my life!

If you’re looking to find a great statement bag like mine, some great neutral White pumps, or some fabulous chambray pants like mine….you can click the shoppable links below!

 

 

It’s all in the Smile

 

“Light up the night wild one, your smile is going to change someone’s life!”

Does it seem sometimes that life is too serious, and that there should be a time when we can just let it go, be ourselves and smile?  I have always loved to smile, but I am not one that can fake something easily, so just know this, when I smile, it’s because I really mean it.  It’s usually because I have had a funny thought, I see someone or something that I like, or just because the happy energy I feel inside is a little too much to be contained.  Whatever it is that makes you smile, here are a few things to consider that may make you want to smile more…

1. Smiling is contagious – when you see someone smile it is almost impossible to stop yourself from smiling, because our body’s mirror neurons copy what they’re doing!  If you want to see more smiles, you have to give more smile!
2.  If you’re feeling sad, forcing yourself to smile can actually improve your mood by increasing your body’s endorphins – you’ve heard the expression “fake it until you feel it”…well, in the case of a smile, it actually works!
3.  If you smile a smile that’s big enough to make your eyes squint, you boost your immune system, which in turn decreases the cortisol in your body, which can create a number of side effects you don’t want or need!
4.  It can reduce your blood pressure – you know those endorphins that improve your mood, well they also reduce your blood pressure.
5.  Smiling can actually make you look prettier – I don’t know about you but I’ll take as much help as I can in this department!
6.  It’s actually easier to smile than frown…meaning that you’re using less muscles, reducing the likelihood of having extra wrinkles.
7.  People who smile are more likely to be promoted – it demonstrates that you are happy, eager to work with and engaged, and that’s what employers love to see.

 

 

I can tell you that there have been times in my life where someone has smiled at me when I was feeling down and that smile was enough to lift me up.  Even if you don’t buy into any of this, what if you could be the person that someone else might need to see smiling?  What if you could be there for someone else that really needs you?

Without a doubt the happiest times in my life are those times when I wasn’t self-absorbed or just focused on myself, or when I took it a step further and actually focused on being there for someone else.  So, what if all you need to do is smile at someone and that is enough to change their perception about something? That’s not counting all the benefits you’ll receive…would that be worth it to you?

We have seen so many people in the media (like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain) who had the perception of being happy, or at least fulfilled in their lives.  We would see them and think that they had the perfect life or that everything was great with them.  It just shows that we don’t really know what is going on with another individual or how they are feeling.  Sometimes people can be in the depths of despair without anyone having an inkling…

Things aren’t always going to be great, our lives are never going to be perfect, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make them that way. There is always someone that can be there for you – there is someone that you can be there for…

Choose to spread a little light and receive light if that’s what you need.

Happy Wednesday!

You can shop my looks by clicking the links below:

T-Shirt – from the amazing Gina Potter – click here
Pants – from DownEast – click here
Similar bag – click here

 

Adding a Pop of Color

“Boldly be a pop of color in a Black and White world!”

I have spoken extensively with many friends and people I know and one of the topics I wanted to expand upon is how easy it is to add a little spice to an outfit by adding a pop of color.

Not everyone is adventurous when it comes to styles, fabrics or even colors, in fact, I see a lot of people that stick to neutrals or just Black and most of their wardrobe comprises of these colors.  It’s hard to change what you have always done, what you are comfortable with, or what you already own completely…so here’s what I always suggest:  Add a pop of color…

Adding color doesn’t have to be over-thought, it doesn’t need to be expensive but most importantly it should not make you feel uncomfortable!

 

 

Here are some simple ways of adding a pop of color – and to make it even more interesting, at the bottom of this post you can shop some of my top picks by clicking the shop direct links:

  1. A pair of shoes/boots…I listed this one first because that is exactly what I am wearing in this post. The outfit is simple denim with a White blouse, and a pale Grey jacket making the outfit very muted so…I added this fabulous pair of satin embroidered booties in kelly Green.  Another amazing sale purchase from Zara, but you can find some similar picks below…
  2. Jewelry – this is by far the simplest and least obtrusive.  In fact, even by just adding a bright pair if earrings you can add a little funk to an ordinary outfit, but to take it even further, add bold necklaces, or bracelets to continue with the bold theme.
  3. Bags – There are so many different styles, colors and brands of bags that it’s easy to see how this could really become hard to figure out what works the best.  It’s also difficult to change purses regularly unless you have an insert in your bag making it easy to switch.  I like to switch my bag at least once a month, anything more than that for me is just a pain because I always end up forgetting something and then needing it only to find it’s in a bag I had used LAST!  With all of that said, having a bold and bright bag is a great way to really take your outfit to another level.
  4. A scarf or hat – I am not really a big hat wearer, but I do love adding a cool scarf in leopard, Red or even Pink just to add some sass to my outfit style.
  5. Sunglasses or glasses – let’s talk about sunglasses first.  Accessorizing with sunglasses is only something that works on a nice day and not so much at night…but adding a really funky pair of cat eye shades or bright, big frames sunnies is going change your whole look.  I have an amazing pair of Alexander McQueen Red shades and I love wearing them because they are so bright and noticeable. Reading glasses or regular glasses are now being made in such funky, bright styles that you can also use these to add some color.  I have a friend that wears their reading glasses around their neck on a chain and they are such a great accessory to their outfit.

 

Simple ideas to add a pop of color, yet I know there are many, many people that just stick to what they have always done because they are afraid to try something new and bold.  I am in no way saying that if you are happy with everything about your look and your confidence that you need to change it…these suggestions are only to give you ideas that you can incorporate if you are trying to find new looks or try new things.

Finally, don’t mistake wearing a pop of color to mean that you need to become a color explosion…I always say that at least when you are starting out trying new things…LESS IS MORE!!

Happy Monday…here’s to time moving more quickly during the week 😉

 

Styling with Fur…

 

“If you’re bored, you’re probably being boring!”

 

So as you know this is not what I’m wearing right now because I’m in Hawaii but I am running out of time to post this Fur jacket that I wore for a business appointment, because it’s been prematurely spring here in Utah.  I bought the jacket back in August and seriously counted down the days until I could wear it, and then before you know it, it’s too warm again already.

Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely OK with it being warm because I have never been a fan of Winter cold, but I do LOVE the opportunity to wear different styles, and they layering…what’s not to love!

I think this jacket really transforms a traditional business style, and adds some sophistication and class (although I have heard that if you have to say you’re classy then you probably aren’t – LOL!)  I have worn it with jeans for a more casual look, and also with a dress for a more formal event.  How would you style it?

 

 

Do you have something in your closet that you know if you add it or layer with it, makes your outfit really fun, funky and classic?  I am always on the lookout for pieces like this because they are really versatile but they also make an outfit really unique.  Finding something that you don’t see many people wearing is always a goal of mine…because, just like I talked about the other day, I really like to stand out.

The accessories are Silver to match the studs on the jacket, and I added a pop of color in the Maroon Kate Spade bag, because adding a little color is a good thing!

 

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…

 


 

Who Needs Pockets? 5 Reasons That Designer Handbag Is The Right Choice

“I’m not one in a million type of girl, I’m a once in a lifetime type of Woman!”

Every woman who is interested in fashion will have noticed the lack of pockets in all their clothes. Coats have pocket outlines, but often the pockets themselves are sewn shut. Jeans often have pocket outlines, but again, the pockets are just for decoration and not for practical use. The fashion industry is extremely smart, as their lack of pocket design means that they get to sell more beautiful handbags and we all know how much we girls love our handbags.

Over the shoulder, across the body, clutch, on the back – you name it, it’s on the shelves. Handbags dominate the accessories portion of the shops, alongside coin purses and functional wallets such as the Bricraft RFID zipper wallet, which not only carries cards and cash but protects you from ID fraud. Women love their accessories and the fashion bigwigs know this and in a way, take advantage of it. No pockets tends to mean that you now have to buy a bag and a purse – oh what a shame that is! Justifying the cost of a new designer handbag may seem like a big deal, but don’t worry. We get it. We understand that there are good reasons for investing so, check out our top five reasons that you should absolutely buy that gorgeous bag!

 

  1. It’ll Last. A designer handbag often costs a lot of money and there’s always a good reason. You’re paying for quality material and quality workmanship and you won’t necessarily need to buy another bag for a fairly long time. Unless, you know, you want to.
  2. Sales. Most designer handbags go on sale through the year and let’s be honest, who hasn’t looked at a handbag sale, seen them for half the cost and invested? Yeah, us too.
  3. Impressions. First impressions are important and if you’re buying a designer handbag so that you can replace a shabby looking one, then it’s worth it. Dressing to impress counts for something, especially in the workplace, and if you have a beautifully supple leather handbag on your arm, you’re going to do just that.
  4. Style. Having style is important when you are someone who wants to keep up with current trends. No one wants to look outdated, especially if you’re heading to work with your new bag every day! Updating your appearance is important for some and a handbag can do so much for your look!
  5. Feel-Good Factor. That feeling of buying something beautiful, new and just for yourself can last you some time. There’s something wonderfully uplifting about treating yourself to something new and you can really give your self-esteem a boost.

Browsing the very many designer bags on the shelf could take some time and when you see the price tag, don’t forget all the reasons you’re buying that bag. You haven’t got any pockets, and you’ve got a wallet, a phone and your keys to carry around as well as all the other secrets women carry in their bags. Invest today and you’ll not regret it tomorrow.

If your family is anything like mine then you know your kids or husband is going to ask you to carry their phones, keys and many other things that you have no idea why they’ve brought it with them!

Kate Spade is one of my favorite designers for great handbags – you can shop the one I am carrying by clicking here