How To Find Your Style

Finding your Personal Style

Today we’re talking about how to find your style. 

Discovering your personal style seems easy enough, but start to dive into it and you’ll quickly realize it can be confusing and a little overwhelming.

Have you ever sat down and thought about what kind of clothes and looks you like?

Probably not, because as busy women… who has the time?

For many, myself included, there comes a point in life when we end up with less of a style and more a closet full of clothes we accumulated over the years. 

How to Find Your Style 

How to Find Your Style

The decades since I graduated from college are a hodgepodge of personal style trial and error.

I fully embraced late nineties style with my low rise jeans and mid drift tops, not so much a style as it was  required uniform for frat parties and college life. 

After graduating I remember so clearly trying to look like a “grown-up” or what I thought I grown up looked like. Thankfully, that was a quick phase and I spent most of my twenties and early thirties experimenting with different styles, all while having babies,  and building a business.

While I’ve always understood the fundamentals of dressing, like proportion and fit, it’s very different to navigate personally. As we age and watch our bodies change, it took me a minute to understand that what worked in my 20’s and 30’s doesn’t work on my body at 40 after three pregnancies – no matter how much I work out.

At my core, regardless of my age or size, I’ve always loved classic American Style. As a young girl, I worshiped Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrara. I was mesmerized by their shows, models, and dreamed of growing up to exude their effortless elegance.

But it wasn’t until my late 30s and now at 40 when I felt like who I am as a woman and my personal style match. Like they are finally meeting at the same point. 

Because for years, I convinced myself that that was too boring. So I bought things because:

  • I thought I should like it.
  • It was on sale.
  • I was just happy it fit.
  • Or all of the above.

Maybe that’s the beauty of aging, the confidence you get in being able to say, this is who I am

How to Find Your Style

So how do you create a style that feels authentic?

What are you supposed to do when you like everything?

And where should you start if you have no idea?

Today, we’ll talk about how you can find your personal style, based on what worked for me, and the strategies we used to help clients over the years.

How to Find Your Style in 6 Easy Steps 

How to Find Your Style

How to Find Your Style in 6 Easy Steps

When I worked with clients, the first step in our process was to figure out her style. 

I created a client questionnaire, which included a section that asked them to think about women with a style they admire. It could be anyone, but it always ended up being celebrities from Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly, Laura Hutton, or more current famous women like Jen Anniston or fictional characters such as Olivia Pope. 

It was an easy first step to get a sense of what the client liked.

To start this process, ask yourself, who do I think always looks great?

This is like a brain dump; it can be anyone with any style. THEN, take that list and narrow it down to who you want to dress like. 

For example. I love Diane Keaton and Helena Bonham Carter. I so appreciate their bold, wild, and unique style. But do I want to dress like them? No. 

Readers often tell me they get stuck here because they like everything. And I get that!

It’s a lot like when you’re in the process of decorating your home. You can enjoy all kinds of style, but what do you want to live in? 

Can you want to live in more than one? Sure!

And that’s what makes your style unique. It’s how you combine those elements in your own unique way. 

I narrowed my list down to three:

  • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Oliva Palermo 
  • Carolina Herrera

What do they have in common? They all share a classic American style with some modern elements that feel relaxed and casual.

Who’s on your list?

create a visual

Of course, we don’t have the resources (budget, stylist, make up artist, etc.) to dress like a celebrity every day. So we want to create a visual to help guide us in a practical way. 

This step is by far my best, most well received tip. We go through this process in detail in our free Wardrobe Challenge (coming back in September!).

It’s the most effective way to break down the difference between styles you like and styles you want to live in, AND it helps you build a wardrobe you love quickly and easily. 

Spend some time on Pinterest. Create a personal style board, and “pin” all the looks you like. Then, and this is important, go through them and edit down to only the ones you love.

You may have pinned all different styles.  But remember, there is a difference between having an appreciation of a style and wanting to live in it.  The pins you keep should only be the ones you want to live in.

After you gather a few dozen pictures look for cohesive elements. 

Do you prefer:

  • Pants or skirts?
  • Silver or gold?
  • Mixing prints and patterns or monochromatic?
  • Romantic or tailored pieces?
  • What colors show up over and again?

You’ll quickly discover there is a thread of commonality within the looks you keep. 

Having clarity around your preferences is the first step in understanding your style and making better choices going forward.

Once you’re board is together, use it as a guide while shopping. Before you make a purchase, ask yourself if that piece will help you create the look you are going for. 

Purge

Armed with your Pinterest board, do a quick edit purging everything in your current wardrobe that doesn’t get you to your ultimate style goal.

Quite literally, stand in your closet with your Pinterest board open and see if your current wardrobe is a reflection of it.

Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t. That’s generally the takeaway.

Follow our tips on how to organize your closet in 60 minutes.

Be ruthless. You’ll feel lighter when you get rid of items you don’t like, need, or use.

Pick a Few Signature Pieces

As you look at your favorite styles, look for what pieces keep showing up.

For me, my signature pieces ended up being dark skinny jeans, an animal print flat or bag, a crisp button-down, white tee shirts, a tan boot, and better jewelry and for work, sleek dresses and neutral-to-me pumps.

These pieces work as an anchor for your style. They are the items you can always count on to ensure your outfit “looks like you.”

Follow the Rule of Three

One of the reasons our wardrobes and style goes off the rails is because we don’t put the proper time and strategy into shopping. We need to be intentional about what we bring into our closet. 

As simple tip to follow when building your wardrobe is to only buy something you can wear three different ways.

The pieces that meet this criterion are what should be your core wardrobe pieces. These will help define your personal style and make it easier to get dressed.

Of course, you’ll buy items that you can’t wear three ways, but they should be few and far between. 

Trust your Instincts

As you move through the process of discovering your style, you’ll start to feel more confident in your choices.  It’s important to trust your instincts.

Don’t talk yourself into a purchase you’re not thrilled to make.

Stop wear something because someone told you to.

Avoid buying something just because it’s on sale.

The process of building a wardrobe takes time. Try not to feel overwhelmed by everything you might need.  Write a list of what you could use to pull some outfits together, and only purchase from that list.


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

 

What to Buy at the Nordstrom Sale: Accessories and Beauty

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020

Continuing with the Nordstrom Sale, today, I’m highlighting the top Accessories and Beauty picks. Today’s post isn’t too involved, just the best of the best. 

Their inventory in these categories is hit or miss. To keep things simple and to save you time, I’m only featuring items I either personally use, know you are looking for and are in line with our Well Dressed Life style guidance. 

And speaking of inventory, this sale does always sells out, but I don’t remember a sale where things were selling out this quickly. 

I am “influencer” level, which means I was able to shop yesterday, and a quarter of what was in my cart was sold out by the time I got around to ordering. Of course, this is the least of our worries these days, but it is annoying since they make such a big deal about the sale. 

I’m not telling you this to create some sense of urgency. Just if you’re wondering what is going on, you’re not wrong in thinking it’s odd. In years past, they did a much better job replenishing fast selling items at least through cardholder access.  

Anyway, back to business! As I publish this post, all of these items are currently in stock. I picked up a few for myself, as you’ll see below. 

Nordstrom Sale: Accessories and Beauty 

 

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020

 

 

Accessories

 

 

 

 

Accessories

Tory Burch Crossbody, $150 – This chic Tory Crossbody is the only bag in the entire sale worth mentioning. I ordered it for myself, I think it’s gorgeous. 

Cubic Zirconia, $27 – Simple, everyday studs. 

Layered Chain Necklace, $59 – We talk a lot about long necklaces, this one, in silver or gold tone is perfect for over fall tops and sweaters.

Quay Australia Sunglasses, $36 – Oversized and glamorous sunnies for under $40, also in my cart 🙂 

Huggie Earrings, $23 – These are so pretty on, just a little sparkle but easy to wear all day long. Available in silver or gold tone.

Gold Hoops, $40 – Argento Vivo is a jewelry brand that offers modern yet classic styling at affordable prices. These hoops are gorgeous and a nice way to try the brand. 

Gorjana Collar Necklace, $42 – Perfect to layer or wear on its own, this Gorjana necklace as just the right amount of bling. 

Pearl Necklace, $40 – I also purchased this pretty pearl necklace, to sit under collared shirts or with a simple tee. 

 

Beauty

 

 

 

 

I use, love and personally recommend all of the products below. 

Beauty 

Personal Microderm, $133 – I featured this personal microderm tool just last month. You can read the full review here. I paid $200 for it on Amazon, so the savings is fantastic. 

T3 Curling Iron and T3 Hair Dryer, – These have been my go-tos for years. Using them together cuts my drying and styling time in half, and the heat from the iron really locks in the curls. To prevent damaging your hair, be sure to use a heat protecting product.  

Caviar Shampoo and Conditioner, $72 – An absolute splurge, but one I grab during every sale. 

Beauty Blender Set, $35  – These little guys make a huge difference in your make up application, and need to be replaced frequently. 

Bobbi Brown Lip Duo, $29 – I love a good lipstick and gloss combo and this color is the perfect pretty neutral for fall. 

Slip Pillowcase Set, $125 – I can’t sing the praises of these silk pillowcases enough. They stay cool at night, feel so indulgent, and have a ton of beauty benefits like reducing wrinkles and preventing hair breakage. I’m picking up a new set for myself because 2020 is the worst. 

What to Buy at The Nordstrom Sale: Reader Favs, Jeans, Coats and Shoes

Be sure to check out all our Reader Favorites, plus the best jeans, coats and shoes in the sale.


Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

STILL The BEST Purse Organizer for All of Your Totes

The BEST Purse Organizer for All of Your Totes
The BEST Purse Organizer for All of Your Totes

Are you looking for a better way to corral all your things in your tote bag?

Look no further than this purse organizer, a middle of the night Amazon discovery I’ve been using for years

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is, “Do you switch out your bag with your outfit?”

And, “How do you keep the inside of your bag organized?”

It comes up quite a bit, especially last week when I asked what YOU would like to see on TWDL for August

So much so that I thought it was time to update this post!

The answer is, yes! I change my bag depending on what I am wearing and where I am going.

But takes two seconds because (1) I carry somewhat neutral bags, and (2) I have this simple purse organizer. 

The Secret to Keeping Your Tote Bag Organized

The Best Tote Bags for the Office

St. Anne Tote from Barrington Gifts, fully customizable, $180

This summer, the bag I carry the most is the St. Anne Tote tote from Barrington Gifts. This baby fits everything, as you’ll see below. It’s super lightweight and easy to keep clean. I absolutely love it. 

It goes everywhere with me, from trips to Target, to afternoons working at the pool while my kids swim.

But because it’s open inside, it needs an organizer, or everything would be a mess. 

The BEST Purse Organizer for All of Your Bags

Organizer Insert: $22

Seriously, this organizer is a game changer. It’s one of the few things I can honestly say makes your life easier. At first, I was skeptical. I tend to buy things like this, and forget about them in a month. 

Now it’s been YEARS and I still use this every single day.

It fits perfectly inside any bag including the Street Level tote (I mention this specifically since so many of you have it), the LV Neverfull, or any other tote and gives you room to spare. 

As you can see, I lug around a lot, and all of my things have a place, making it easy to grab what I need quickly. 

When purchasing, be sure to check the measurements. I ordered the medium, but sizes tend to change, so measure your bag and see what will work best. 

I use it with all of my tote bags and my diaper bag.  Having everything neatly organized let’s me swap out bags without it feeling like a chore and gets me out of the house quickly. 

Now that we are headed into the fall and slowly returning to some kind of normal (maybe??), you may be in the market for a new handbag.

If what you are considering lacks organization, you need this purse organizer .

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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

 

 

Stop Woring About Dressing Appropriately For Your Age

Stop Woring About Dressing Appropriately For Your Age

What if I told you that we’ve got this whole conversation about age-appropriate dressing wrong?

Dozens of times a day, I am asked about how to dress age-appropriate.

It’s the first sentence of every email I receive from readers looking for advice, “Hi, I’m 61, 32, 54 … can I wear …?”

So today, I want to share my rather radical approach to age-appropriate dressing to release you from the concept that your age is somehow restricting your choices. 

What if, instead of looking at our age as some kind of limitation, we view it as an opportunity.

Crazy, right? 

I started my career shopping for and dressing women when I was a 22-year-old baby. Today, I’m 40, a mother of three with 20 years of experience, both personal and professional, under my belt. 

In the past two decades, I learned so much about the challenges real women face while aging. I know, first hand, that it isn’t easy maintaining our sense of self and style in a world that wants to limit us after we turn a certain age.

Add to that our ever changing bodies, and increased personal responsibilities, it’s easy to see how many of us, myself included, can get into a rut or feel like we lost our way.

So before I get into the nitty-gritty, let me say this: the one thing I know for sure is that we’ve got this whole age-appropriate conversation wrong. 

Aging should be a celebration, so instead of thinking of all the things you “shouldn’t” wear, it’s time to embrace the world of opportunity that awaits us with each passing year. 

Our site focuses on timeless, classic, ageless style.

Classic style is inherently ageless. You may have to replace a piece I recommend here or there with something that works within your budget or with your body type, but the style tips and theories offered here are all timeless. 

I’ve never liked the idea of telling women what they should and should not wear. Instead, I hope you see this site as a guide to achieving a modern, classic style with a bit of a twist, regardless of the year you were born.

Over the years, I’ve  created a sort of hierarchy, or checklist to mentally go through for clients and readers when they start to wonder about appropriateness.

Age, as you’ll see, is the last piece to consider. 

How to Dress Age Appropriately

How to Dress Age Appropriately

A New Way to Think About Age Appropriate Dress

Body type is perhaps the most important “appropriate” factor to consider. Wear clothes that work best for the body you have right now. Take some time to learn about the most flattering shapes and silhouettes for you. It makes all the difference in the world.

Let’s use an example. Say you are 48 years old and look incredible in a pair of faux leather leggings.  You already know they work for your body type.  Now what?

Consider your lifestyle or the specific event you are dressing for.  Can you wear them to church, temple or any religious service you attend? Probably not.

But a girls weekend in Vegas or a date night out in the city? You bet.  

Now let’s make sure they look elevated. Buy the best quality you can afford, spend a little more or find a better pair at a discount. At 22 you’d probably grab a cheap pair at Forever 21, today, you’ll buy them at Nordstrom. 

Finally, consider your age. Thankfully, for most of us, our tastes evolve with time and we don’t like the same things we did in our younger years.

At 22, you’re wearing a tank top, at 48, pair them with something more sophisticated, like a cashmere sweater or tailored blazer and heels you can walk in.  By pairing them with more “grown up” pieces, you’re grounding the look to match where you are in life. 

My Best Tips to Timeless, Ageless Style

How to Dress Appropriately For Your Age - The Well Dressed Life

Quality over Quantity

Get comfortable with the idea of investing in yourself. Buy the best quality you can afford. Start to think strategically about the items in your closet so you get more wear out of fewer, higher quality pieces. 

Be Cautious with Patterns

The challenge with patterns is that there are so many in retail that look cheap and flimsy and do nothing to elevate your style. Use them with a light hand. A few dresses, in the summer are great. A fun pair of pants? Sure!

But as a layer or a top they need to make sense and bring value to the outfit. And you need to LOVE It. 

Incorporating texture, instead,  is a more sophisticated way to elevate your look.

Be judicious with pattern and bring interest to your outfits with textures and layered accessories. 

Invest in Your Accessories

Nothing elevates a look more than your bag and shoes. Investment is different for every person.  Today, at my age, I would rather have a few better quality shoes than a closet full of heels from the DSW clearance section – which use to be my jam.

Maybe Stuart Weitzman and Jimmy Choo are your kind of splurges, or perhaps it’s Nine West and Sam Edelman, in any case always look to evolve the quality of your pieces.

When it comes to bags, look for simple, clean designs. Avoid logos, studs, patchwork or anything that dangles like charms and chains.  You don’t want your bag to fight with your outfit.

And wear your better jewelry every day – what are you waiting for? 

Shop in the Right Stores

If you were my best friend, and I found out you where shopping in the juniors department, I would say this: You’re too old. I am too old. Anyone over the age of 25 is too old. 

Is that that big a deal? I don’t think so. 

Here are my go-to stores and brands for our over 35, 40, 50+ clients, many include plus, petite, and tall options in their inventory. 

“Age Appropriate” Department Stores 

Nordstrom – has always been my favorite but over the last few years I’ve found them more difficult to shop.  I like some of their private label brands like Classique and Nordstrom Collection, if you like St. John they have a decent selection that isn’t as overwhelming as shopping in their stores. 

Their shoe selection is still the best out there, as is the range of undergarments they offer.  I’m less than thrilled with their in-store accessories and their plus and petite section leaves a lot to be desired.  

Service is not what it use to be, but it’s still better than anything else out there.

For your time and money, shopping online is your best bet to get access to all of their inventory at once. 

Lord and Taylor – their customer service is abysmal, but they have a nice dress selection for work or special occasions in a range of sizes and price points.

Neiman Marcus –  actually has some reasonable prices and better quality.  I love their private label sweaters, especially the cashmere. They also have a great shoe selection and better separates.

Brands (that aren’t cut for kids):

Anne Klein
Ann Taylor
BOSS
Boden
Banana Republic
Clavin Klein
Eileen Fisher
Lafayette 148
MICHAEL Michael Kors
Talbots
Tuckernuck
Everlane
Elie Tahari
T. Tahari
J. Crew
J. Crew Factory

Enjoy Getting Dressed!

Remember when fashion magazines would do Style at Every Age issues and spreads? I read them religiously, and even when I was in my late teens and all through my twenties, I always loved what the 40-year-olds were wearing. 

Looking back, I think it was because the women, often times a celebrity, always looked so poised. Like she wasn’t figuring things out anymore. The experimental phase of life was over. 

Her pieces were well made, they fit beautifully, and the woman carried herself with a quiet confidence. 

That’s what I think we need to celebrate. The confidence, the knowing, the respect we have for ourselves, the not caring so much about what others think. 

And how lucky are we to be living in a time when we are finally celebrating women getting better with age? 

So when dressing your “age” don’t focus so much on what you can’t do, or what you’re told to avoid. Instead, celebrate where you are in life by investing in better quality, focus on fit, and include sophisticated elements that elevate your look.

Have fun and wear what makes you feel confident.  Do that, and you’ll create a timeless, always appropriate personal style no matter your age. 


Become an Insider

Join our Summer 2020 Membership and receive access to our Members Only Portal, filled with exclusive content, our Summer 2020 Shopping List, Summer Capsule, Over 50 Outfit Formulas and LIVE style coaching sessions with me! 

Membership closes July 27th. 

Become A Well Dressed Life Insider

———————————————————–

You Inspire Our Content

Our reader inspire all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Summer Denim Skirt Two Ways

Nic + Zoe Denim Skirt

Before 2020 took a turn, I spent one or two days a month walking the mall, going in and out of our favorite stores to see items in person. It was always a helpful exercise because I could get a real sense of current trends, and could also experience some of the frustrations our readers have about in-person shopping first hand.

Since I have  zero interest in strolling a mall anytime soon, yesterday I set aside a few hours to organically online shop. I started scrolling through hundreds of pages of new arrivals, and searched for random basics just to see what came up.

This skirt was one of my finds.

‘Summer Fling’ Flirt Skirt

Nic + Zoe Denim Skirt

Skirt, $108 in Petite and Regular up to an 18

Yesterday felt like it was 4,000 degrees outside. The kind of heat that makes you sweat the second you open your front door. On days like that, the last thing you want are your clothes clinging to you.

If you’re working from home, you can get away with wearing whatever you want in this heat.

But if you have to do things, and lately, more of us have to leave the house to do something, you may want some HOT weather options.

When this skirt, by Nic + Zoe, came across my screen, with its lightweight fabric and a-line cut, I knew it was an excellent option for these high-temperature days.

It’s a great alternative to shorts, or summer pants.

How should it fit? Ideally you want this to hit right above your knee. Any shorter and you’ll start to mess with the shape of the a-line, any longer and you run the risk of looking frumpy.

Because the skirt has a flattering yoke in the front, you can easily tuck in, half tuck, or leave your top out.

Today, I styled it two ways, to give you a visual of how it can translate in your real life.

Outfit One: Add a Pop of Color

How to Wear a Denim Skirt Two Ways

Skirt, $108  |  Crewneck Sweater, $35  |  Hair Tie, $16.50  |  Sandal, $107   |  Clutch, $30

The dark indigo of the skirt works well with a bold pop of color, so I paired it with this cheerful yellow sweater  (featured in yesterday’s J. Crew round up). Other color pairings that work well are green, red, or orange.

Because the colors are bold, neutral accessories will ground the look. I love this clutch I found out DSW for  $30. The perforated detailing adds a subtle bit of texture which you need to help the outfit from looking flat.

The shape of the skirt lends itself to a heel. You don’t have to wear anything crazy high, but a lift will help the skirt hang properly.

These sandals by Via Spiga are a find! I’m a huge fan of their block heels for both the comfort level and styling. Again, the suede straps adds texture.

And just for fun, I included this hair tie. Add this if you are pulling your hair back off your face and neck for an extra accessory that doesn’t weigh you down.

Outfit Two: With Better Basics

How to Wear a Denim Skirt Two Ways

Skirt, $108  |  Sandals, $90  |  Top, $40  |  Necklace, $100

The skirt immediately made me think of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Marge in The Talented Mr. Ripely, one of my favorite movies. Every outfit she wears in the film is pure perfection.

So I searched for a tie-front crisp white shirt to create a modern version of the outfits she wears casually strolling  Italy in the 1950’s.

Of course, you can wear it with your favorite simple white tee shirt, but this gives it just a little oomph.

This colorful beaded necklace will layer under your collar if you look it twice. (Take a closer look here, it’s so pretty!)

Finally, these espadrille wedges are perfect and under $100. So often, espadrilles have a seriously high heel that makes them unmanageable.


Become an Insider

Join our Summer 2020 Membership and receive access to our Members Only Portal, filled with exclusive content, our Summer 2020 Shopping List, Summer Capsule, Over 50 Outfit Formulas and LIVE style coaching sessions with me!

Membership closes July 27th.

Become A Well Dressed Life Insider

———————————————————–

Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers.

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail.

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

The $30 Wrap Dress I’m Living In This Summer

$30 Wrap Dress from Amazon

Lately, I have not been feeling great about my body. As a creature of habit, I thrive in routine. Four months of stay at home orders took its toll on me mentally and then physically. 

Fitness-wise, the accountability I get by going to group classes and the scheduled time out of my house, free of distractions and interruptions, helps me create the boundaries I need to take care of myself.

So once gyms closed and homeschooling started, I was really at a loss for what to do. I am getting back on track and am beginning to feel better. But I’m nowhere near the weight or fitness level – more specifically, I don’t feel as strong, energized, or healthy as I was pre-COVID.

It’s frustrating, of course, but I know that if you feel like crap while you’re trying to get back to yourself, you’re never going to get there.

Doing little things, like getting a manicure, or putting on some makeup in the morning is so important. It sends a single to your brain that caring for yourself is a priority.

And finding a few things to wear that make you feel pretty is like jet fuel for motivation.

So a month or so ago, my sister-in-law came over in what looked like the perfect summer dress, from Amazon. I loved it so much I ordered one, then another, and then another. 

I feel slim, feminine and so pretty in them. 

And don’t be turned off by the model photos, you can see them on me and my very normal body below. 

The $30 Wrap Dress I’m Living In This Summer

Wrap Dress, $30

We’ve been trying to take advantage of the weather and support our local restaurants with a weekly date night. It’s lovely to sit outside and decompress for a few hours, out of the house and away from the kids, especially since there is nothing else to do. 

I am wearing these dresses on repeat. To dinners, for drinks outside, even to my daughters softball games. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I’m wearing the large and it fits perfectly. There are two styles available, one has flutter sleeves and a high/low hem, the other has a short sleeve and long maxi skirt (shown in red). 

Below is the blue version. I wore it to dinner last night in the city with my sister-in-law. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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To care for them, I put them in a lingerie bag and wash on delicate. Then, I hang them to dry and use my steamer to remove any wrinkles quickly.

 


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Our Content is Inspired by Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

How to Shop Your Closet

Easy Ways to Shop Your Own Closet

On Friday, I shared my best tips to clean out your closet in an afternoon. So today, we’re going a step further and breaking down how to shop your closet.

Shop your closet! We see the headline frequently, on blog posts, scrolling Pinterest, and in magazines, but what does it mean?

Shopping your closet is an easy process that allows you to see what you have, and helps you get creative while discovering outfit combinations you never knew you had.

Right now, between the hot temperatures, and many states still under stay at home orders, the last thing many of us are thinking about is getting dressed. We may as well take advantage of a slightly slower pace and spend some time getting ourselves organized, so we know what you we like and what we need to as we move optimistically into the fall.

How to Shop Your Closet

Easy Ways to Shop Your Own Closet

Before you can shop your closet, you have to make sure it is well edited. Our guide, How to Clean Your Closet in An Afternoon, will walk you through the process. The most critical step is to get rid of what doesn’t serve you anymore. 

If the garment doesn’t fit, is damaged or dated, or is no longer your style – out it goes. You can donate, resell, or recycle, but it does not go back into your closet.

Once you’ve completed your cleanout, it’s time to shop your closet.

Create a Pinterest Board

Step #1: Create a Pinterest Board to Define Your Personal Style 

Create a Pinterest board reflective of your personal style. You’ll find the more you pin, the more your style will start to show itself. 

I worked with private style clients for over a decade. I learned that most women have a hard time defining their style. They don’t know what they like, or maybe they like everything and have difficulty narrowing down their favorite looks. 

I found this exercise personally helpful after I had my babies. I became used to being limited to maternity clothes and then comfy at home outfits, that I started to forget what I liked. 

Often, these kinds of life-changing events, from childbirth to turning 40, to finally retiring, are the catalyst for wanting to reevaluate our style. 

Having a visual of aspirational style helps you curate your wardrobe, and serves as a source of inspiration when your wardrobe choices feel a little blah.

I reference my Pinterest boards and find inspiration for color combinations, shoes, layers, and accessories. 

Spend some time searching for and “pinning” the looks you like; then, go back through your board, and only keep what you love. You’ll be surprised by what you see. 

Set Up Shop

Step #2: Set Up Shop

Separate your basics from your trendy pieces.

Basics would include jeans, black pants, a simple navy dress, layering tanks and shells, a cardigan, etc. These pieces are at the center of every look. Keep similar items together.

Your trendy (what I sometimes refer to as novelty) pieces are everything else: a skirt with embroidery, a patterned blouse, a tweed jacket, anything in a bright or bold color, also keeping similar items together.

I like to have a rolling rack on hand for this exercise to stay organized and see everything that I have.

Keep basics on the left and novelty items on the right.

Before you move on, be sure you have edited your shoes and accessories and, then, similarly divide them. Keep the jewelry you wear every day away from statement necklaces and oversized bracelets.

Build Outfits

Step #3: Build Your Outfits

Now, let’s create some outfits! Start by taking some items from your basics.

For example, a navy ankle pants and a tank (see below).

This is your base.

Next, go to your novelty pieces. Add a lightweight sweater in a current print, or a jacket with fun details. Layers provide depth to a look. They are “outfit finishers.”

Get creative and step outside your comfort zone.

With a base and a layer, move to your shoes and accessories.

Play around with what you have:

What does the outfit look like with a classic pump? Now switch it out for something with pattern or texture.

Could you wear it both ways?

Probably!

Now, add jewelry and accessories.

With an edited closet and a clear idea of what you like, you will discover several combinations and new ways to wear old pieces.

Pro tip! Be sure to take pictures of the looks you love so you don’t forget them. Keep them on your phone for easy access. 

Quick Tips While Shopping Your Closet

Break things up

We tend to wear the same combination of items repeatedly, to the point that we can’t see other options. You probably have a few favorite outfits, so start with them and break them apart.

Force yourself to find a new way to wear the individual pieces.

Make minor adjustments and alterations

I can’t tell you how many times I would clean out a client’s closet, and she would have several items that would be perfect with a few minor alterations. 

If a pair of pants are a little big, a hem fell out, or buttons need replacing, action them immediately. You don’t need to buy something new when you can simply fix what you already have. 

Stop saving things for special occasions

That black dress you think is only appropriate for a rare cocktail party might look fresh if you throw on a denim jacket.

Don’t wait to have a reason to wear your finer pieces, especially if you have better jewelry and accessories, celebrate everyday by wearing them with a simple pair of jeans and tee shirt. 

Push yourself outside your comfort zone and try everything on before dismissing it.

Purge as you go.

You’ll come across items you can get rid of, so keep a designated area to place them and donate immediately.


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Our three month, seasonal membership gives you access to our members only portal, our summer shop your closet checklist, mix and match wardrobe capsule, over 50 outfit formulas, and LIVE monthly group coaching with me.

Summer membership is form July 13th – September 14th. 

Hurray! Registration closes on July 27th.


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Our Content is Inspired By Our Readers

Our readership inspires all of our posts and is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant for over a decade. I worked with busy, down-to-earth women who wanted to look chic and feel confident but were often confused by so much of retail. 

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via our site, we receive a small commission.

If you enjoy our content and would like to help us grow, please consider following on Instagram and join our Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.