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Keep it Simple

The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think!

I think one of the biggest challenges we face when trying to figure out what our style is or how to dress is the fact that there are so many options and styles available.  There is a huge problem in society where we tend to overthink things, or even talk ourselves out of things because we are worried what others might think, or we are just not confident enough to trust our instincts.

Confidence in today’s world is word that is thrown around all the time, but what does it really mean?  Around the age of 9 we start focusing more on what other people think and tend to shape ourselves more after the reactions we get from people rather than by what actually makes us feel good.  The good news, just as we chose to mold our thought process after what others think, we can change that same thought process and make it more into what we want it to be.

The only way to do that is just to jump in and start dressing for YOU without any thought (or at least not giving in to the fear that you might not be accepted) and just go for it.  Starting small, keeping it simple is the best way to start.  Because there are so many style options out there, the best way to create your own unique style and do it for YOU is to start by finding colors that you love.  Once you have your favorite color (one that looks good against your skin tone), then you start looking for styles that flatter your body type (of course, only ones that you like and not what you think others will like).

The pictures in today’s post are a couple of years old because I wanted to demonstrate that simple can also be timeless.  A simple pair of faux leather leggings, a peplum top (flattering when you are looking to accentuate a smaller waist or give the appearance of a small waist) and a leather jacket.  Simple – classy and comfortable.  When you dress using simple pieces like these, a great way to add a little funk is by adding some fun accessories and shoes.  A pair of fun drop earrings, a chunky pearl bracelet and some bold pumps.

The key is to not let the fear, over thinking or lack of confidence dictate what you wear or how you feel.  I know that may sound easier said than done, but honestly the only way to grow your confidence is to expand your comfort zone and try new things.  Loving to dress for YOU is the start of having an amazing relationship with yourself.  If we don’t love and treat ourselves the way we deserve to be treated, other’s won’t know that’s how they should be treating us.  

Confidence is like love, the more you have the more you get…the hardest part is just latching on to that little bit that is already inside you.  I believe that everyone in this world has at least one thing they can own and be proud of.  That one thing that makes you know how amazing you are.  It could be something like being a good cook, having creativity and using that to make your house into a home, being exceptionally patient with your kids to name just a few.  There is always something, and that feeling you get when you feel satisfaction after accomplishment or showing love, that is the feeling you will want to latch onto.  Use that to help you gain confidence in any other area of your life…trust me, I have used this so many times in my life and it works.

I hope you have a blessed weekend, and if you feel like sharing something that you did to help you gain more confidence, I would love to hear!

Michelle
XOXOX


Color Confidence

“The days that you don’t live out loud are the days that others don’t see you!”

Do you have a color that just speaks to you sometimes and you know you have to wear it?  This throwback picture jumped out to me because recently I have really been “feeling” this Coral color – I think it’s because the sun is shining, and my skin is no longer that transparent almost vampire like color that can happen during the colder Winter months!

On my recent shopping trip to New York I came across this color quite a bit at Zara – which is absolutely my favorite store to visit whenever and wherever I travel.  They had some amazing Coral striped dresses, some shoes, pieces with accents of the color and so many other amazing pieces that I felt like a kid in candy store!  I have to admit I feel like that quite a bit when I am shopping…for me, I would rather shop than eat any day!!!

I have recently ordered some other great dresses, tops and a skirt from Shein.com – which is a really inexpensive website, but has high quality fabrics not like others that I have ordered from before.

Summer really is the time to wear bright and bold colors – in fact, I think it’s important to “walk to the beat of your own drum” and not worry about how others may view you, or what they might say – just feel good about yourself!

I also found some great culottes in Yellow at Zara – I have only worn them once so far this year, so I think they will be something I take on the cruise for one of those nights where it’s a little more dressy 🙂 Stay tuned for some great travel pics over the next few weeks!

 

 

Cherry Blossoms

“Classy is when a Woman has everything to flaunt but chooses not to show it.”

With today being Sunday I wanted to post about a style of dress that is a great option for a warm day because it’s not too clingy, it won’t make you feel too warm, and most importantly, when you are going anywhere that requires you to be getting in and out of cars, you won’t have to worry about creases 🙂

The color of this dress is pretty unique, but I think it works and I have to give a shout out to my photographer (Erin Wyness Photography) because she picked the perfect setting and captured the amazing blossoms and scenery and made sure it was a great backdrop for this dress.

I paired mine with some Gold accessories (necklaces, watch, Gold rimmed aviator sunglasses and even a Gold bun cuff), and then to add a little “spice” to the outfit, I picked out a pair of Camo suede pumps (you can find similar by clicking here).

One thing you may want to think about if you are wearing a form-fitting dress like this one, is that if you have a  little of stomach it will highlight it – but there are always around that kind of thing:  1.  buy a larger size dress so it doesn’t fit so tight 2.  buy an undergarment that holds you in where you need to be held in!  I believe that any woman can look classy if she works at it, and sometimes, wearing a dress like this is a great way to do it – don’t let little things deter you if you feel you can pull it off.  You can click here to find a dress similar to mine.

 

Kimono

“Use your smile to change the world.  Don’t let the world change your smile!”

Posting a throwback to a shoot from a few weeks ago, because I wanted to talk about Kimono’s and how they are the “thing” right now…at least one of MY “things”!

I have talked about not necessarily following trends, but rather seeing something that you like, making sure it works for you, and then finding a way to incorporate it into your style wardrobe.  I have owned this Kimono for a couple of years – I actually bought it for one of my trips to Hawaii because it felt like the right vibe.  I have noticed this season that a lot of stores have been carrying this style, and actually some others that I haven’t purchased yet, but I absolutely love.  I have seen them in a lot of stores, and love how they look as part of a more business styled outfit like the one I am wearing, but I also really love them as part of a casual outfit with jeans.  I like to see different ways for how people style them, so I regularly check out Pinterest, store websites and other sources to help me come up with inspiration.

I know I post quotes every day, but the one from today really struck me.  I think sometimes it is too easy to let life get us down and forget how great we have things.  That is why we need to remember to smile because I really do believe that as we do, a great thing happens, we start to FEEL better…and that then leads to us having better things happen to us (or if that doesn’t happen, a miraculous thing called positivity allows us to feel better about what is happening to us even if it isn’t always something great).

I remember when I first moved over the United States I wasn’t familiar with a lot of self-help or motivational programs, and I have to admit I was probably a little prickly! 🙂  What I have noticed (since I went ahead and married my own Life coach) is that we truly can attract things to us, whether those things are good or bad can very often be determined by what we are feeling.  Sometimes it’s very hard to feel positive especially if we are going through hard times, but this concept really does work.  I am reminded every day by Brandon and I feel very grateful that I have him in my life because he is the reason that I have achieved everything I have – because he believes in me.   Yes, it is important to believe in yourself and that is certainly where it starts, but surrounding yourself with those that lift you up is also key to any success, confidence and happiness.  Have you ever noticed that when you hang out with people you start to emulate their behaviors – you start doing things the same, sometimes feeling the same way…so why not hang out with people that do good things, work hard, and make you feel better.

Common sense, right?

Hope you have a great rest of your weekend surrounded with those that love you and make you smile 🙂


What is Sunday Best?

 

“In order for your life to be great, you must first learn to appreciate it!”

Whether you are a church-goer or not, I am sure you are all aware of what Sunday Best means.  To me, it is something that is somewhere in between the very often conservative styles that can be considered business wear, and the more formal outfit choices that are worn for events or special occasions.

I have always been someone that likes to dress up, I think it’s because I grew up in England and during my younger years when I would be dressing to go out at night to a club or wherever, the dress code was always a lot more dressy than I have seen over here in the US.  Jeans weren’t allowed and for Men they required that they wear a nice shirt, and Women wore either nice pants, skirt or a dress.  I enjoyed making myself look nice and classy, so that is something that I have carried with me.

Even if you aren’t someone that goes to church, there is never a bad time to wear Sunday Best – it doesn’t just have to be on a Sunday.  The outfit in this post is a throwback to one I have posted before because I wanted to demonstrate that this outfit was something I wore for work but it is also something that is appropriate and classy enough to be worn as Sunday best, or as an outfit to wear to go out.  I love the monochrome look, it has always been something that has drawn my attention – it is also a really easy look to recreate and the colors suit anyone!

You can shop similar items to the post by clicking the links below and to get your hands on one of these amazing clutches, click here.

After an amazing day with my family, I feel blessed to enjoy Sunday’s with them, especially when we get to see the Utah Jazz beat the LA Clippers in Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs…It makes the day even better!!

Sunday’s for our family are a day to be lazy, hang out, swim, BBQ, spend some time preparing for what the upcoming week has in store for us, and feel blessed to have each other.  I truly do feel thankful for my many blessings, only one of which is my family.  Not that they don’t bring challenges, but one thing I do realize is that the only way to truly appreciate somehting is to know how hard things can be.  How could I appreciate how great things are if I have never experienced any adversity – although challenges are hard, they are what help us KNOW what is important.

Next time you are thinking of putting together your own version of Sunday best, remember that we all have different interpretations of what we like, and that is a good thing.  Who wants to look the same as anyone else anyway?  I know that I definitely don’t.  Be unique, be amazing, be confident, be determined, be YOU!

Have a great week…

 




Timeless not Trends

 

“My life didn’t please me, so I made my life!”

I absolutely love it when I find a timeless style, one that doesn’t necessarily fit into any current trends – because I know that long after those trends have come and gone, I can pull out an outfit and it will still look great…

Some prime examples of these kind of styles are:  Pencil skirts, stiletto’s and many styles of blouses (particularly those used for business or a more polished look).

I am posting the outfit today because it’s one I wore last year – it includes black culottes, a lace blouse and grwat lace-up stilettos.  What I love about this outfit is that it is eye catching but not “trendy” and what I mean by that is it isn’t something where the style will be out of fashion shortly after you wear it for the first time.  If you are spending money on “staples” or certain pieces that you can use to add to any outfit and they are will work for a long time then you will want to find things that are classics!  A great way to gauge if something is timeless or not is to look at some magazines (or blogs) from a year or two ago and see if you can still relate to those styles…

I always have some of the latest trends – not all of them but definitely some because I like to add some fun pieces to my wardrobe, but I definitely add to my staples all the time as well to keep my professional look fresh!

Our Spring break is almost over and we have had a blast, and even though we’ve been having fun this week, we are now back to reality because the baseball season is back in full swing…

shops some styles similar to these by clicking on the links below!

Happy Friday & Easter Weekend!!




What Makes you Stand Out?

 

 

 

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit!”

I realize that not everyone is going to be bold or outgoing, but what do you have or what do you do to make yourself stand out.  I mean this from a “make people remember you in a good way” perspective…

I am sure you have all heard so many times that you can never make a first impression again, so you want to do it right…well, I am here to tell you that while it is possible to shift someones perspective of you over time, that first impression is vital!

I think I have told you about my oldest son and what he said about me…he told everyone that one huge thing that he learned from me was that “no matter what you are doing, make sure you look your best while doing it!” – notice that I never told him that he needed to look “perfect” or that he needed to impress anyone, rather that he should put the right amount of effort into making sure that he was the best HE could be.  I think sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of dressing and acting the way that others think we should.  Obviously there is some amount of etiquette that is required to be successful in business, and that also applies to what you wear, but other than following those simple rules, I truly believe that we hold so much power about how others perceive us.

Dressing the part is not the only thing to consider when thinking about what makes you stand out…it is also important to consider how you communicate with people, how genuine or authentic you are, how efficient you are, and how reliable you are.  Have you heard the expression “perception is reality” – I didn’t realize what a true statement that was until I had an experience where I thought I was expressing my style in a way that I thought was appropriate.  I was working in an office and it was at a time when the sating spaghetti strap tops were in style.  I was wearing a business pant suit with a jacket and when I came back to the office I took off the jacket because it was hot.  It wasn’t until someone told me that the General Manager thought the top looked like lingerie that I realized I was not representing our company in an appropriate way – even though I had worn a jacket while I was meeting with clients, what he saw lead him to believe that was how I was dressing all the time. It sounds really obvious, but sometimes styles can lead us in a direction that is not really where we want to go.  From then on, I have been really careful to consider how others might perceive what I was wearing, because there is nothing worse than someone thinking something about you that isn’t true.

Now, I use my style to demonstrate that I am professional and confident, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wear unique clothes, I just make sure that they are appropriate for whatever I am doing or where I am going.

Above are some great business outfit examples, feel free to shop them below if you are looking for some great ideas for yourself!

 




A Pop of Color for Spring

 

 

“Some Women fear the fire and some Women simply become it!”

On this rainy, grey day, I woke up forgetting that I don’t live in England anymore.  Whenever there are rainy days it really takes me back to my days over there, I become nostalgic, and maybe even a little lazy because I hate going out in the rain.  It’s not always something you can avoid, so today I decided to post an outfit that made me feel sunny and bright.

I love bold, bright colors – Red is my favorite, but the pink of these pants is definitely high up there on the list.  When I wear bold colors that I love, I immediately feel brighter and more able to cope with a rainy day.

I love cigarette style or tighter fitting pants, and today I am wearing them with a jeweled looser fitting top that adds a little dimension to the look.  Because I am no longer a spring chicken, I like to make sure that what I am wearing is appropriate for my age, and that it looks classy.  I feel like I can still wear pants that are more form fitting, because I don’t wear them in an inappropriate way.  One of the biggest mistakes we can make with our style is to wear things when we see other people wearing them, even if they are not the most flattering or appropriate for us.  You will never see me wearing a cropped top, bootie shorts, or even skirts that are just way too short.  Not that I don’t think I have taken care of myself enough to have earned the priviledge of showing my toned legs or stomach, but more because at some point in my life I realized that there was so much more to me than showing my body to everyone.

When we dress we are essentially speaking to people, and the language we use determines how they react to us (at least 9 times out of 10).  I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing something that draws attention – but the question has to be, which kind of attention is it drawing, and more importantly, is that what I want people to think of me.

As a strong Woman I have enormous respect for other strong Women, and I especially love seeing a Woman dress in a form fitting dress or something else that just screams “I am who I am, and I believe in myself.  I am strong enough to respect myself and love myself.”

As Women we have enormous power over how we are treated – I have noticed that when I am more feminine rather than aggressive, I tend to get more of what I want…

It’s simple, but it all starts with what we wear and how we carry ourselves…what do you want to say and who do you want people to know who you are?

 




It deserves more…

“There are far better things ahead than we leave behind!”

Black and White is such a great look that I wanted to post a few more shots of the outfit with the pencil skirt.  The shoes by themselves deserve a post, but I thought I would give you a little more info about the outfit in general.

I like to wear a pencil skirt when I feel like a need a power outfit…it somehow makes me feel stronger as a Woman, more confident and able to close deals and accomplish things that need to be done!  We all have that one thing that makes us feel amazing, and I am sure they are all a little different.  What is that one things that when you wear it you look in the mirror and think “Yes, I’m going to get it done today!”

Do you have a special blouse?  Do you wear a power suit?  Or, are you one of those people that no matter what you are wearing you can just take care of business?  This is the ultimate goal…but not always a reality for everyone.

Dressing for success is something that is vital if you want to be taken seriously – whether that is in business, as a volunteer, or in any aspect of your life.

Choosing a specific style is not necessary, however, there are certain pitfalls and things to avoid.

  • It is never a good idea to wear clothes that are too tight (not just for business but in any situation).
  • Don’t try to dress too young for your age – nothing looks worse than someone wearing something that was designed for a younger person (as much as I love some styles I realize that they are not appropriate for my age!)
  • Dress for your audience – in some situations it is better to cover a little more of yourself than others, especially if you are going to be working in an environment with a lot of men!
  • Don’t try too hard – focusing too much on what others want to see rather than what you know looks good will result in you not feeling as confident in what you are wearing and that feeling will be apparent when around others.

These are just a few simple tips for dressing for success, sometimes the easy things are the hardest things to consider when choosing yourself an outfit.

Success comes to those who dress for it!

 

 




The Full Outfit

 

“A strong Woman looks a challenge right in the eye and gives it a wink!”

Following on from yesterday’s post, this is the full outfit that I wore when I was carrying that amazing clutch!  A Pencil skirt has the ability to slim down any figure if it is not too tight and is the right length.  This Polka-dot pencil skirt is made from fabric that it stretchy and therefore clings just enough but not too much.  I paired it with a box cut blouse in White that added a little dimension and flow.  Wearing a blouse or top like this can be great if you want to avoid focus falling onto your mid-section.  These style of tops are very flattering and yet fun and stylish all at the same time.  The ankle strap pumps are a perfect monochrome compliment and add a little sass.  I kept the jewelry simple with some Mother of Pearl and a Gold and Pearl bracelet that matched the Gold watch.

I think it’s important to consider even the smallest detail when putting together an outfit, especially if you are going somewhere important or want to make a good impression.  When I have a business appointment or I am going to an event, I carefully pick out the jewelry and accessories I wear, as well as the shoes and of course the clothes.  While I don’t think it’s necessary to match every item or piece, I do think it’s important to make sure that they don’t clash.  Wearing pieces that don’t match too closely is sometimes a fun activity, and can add a little spice to an outfit.  In fact, I think it’s more important to wear constrasting pieces than try to match colors and textures too closely because it can look worse if you do that.

If you didn’t have a chance to check out the amazing products that India Hicks has to offer, you have another chance today by clicking here.

I always think that wearing a pencil skirt is a great business choice, and looks very professional, but definitely take care to not let it be too tight because it can look inappropriate if you do that.  Click below for some similar pencil skirt styles that you can add to your business wardrobe along with some two-tone shoes.