How to dress current in fashion while not going too far outside your comfort zone

Introducing Style Tip Tuesday, where every Tuesday on Instagram I post a fantastic, easy tip on dressing chicer, more elevated and feeling good in what you wear.


(Make sure you're with me on the 'gram to get the next tip.)

How to stay fresh in fashion while not going too far outside your comfort zone? (Especially when fashion seems to be run by weird people.)

Even though wearing clothes never goes out of style, fashion always changes. Take a nod from what's trendy + mix it into the new classics you buy. Give the below a try to spice up your look without feeling too “out there”.

Let’s break it down!

What’s “classic”? Anything basic that stands the test of time. Like jeans, a pencil skirt, or a blazer. Think of it like bricks that build the walls of a house or the foundation and concealer for a makeup bag. Basic, yet essential!

Now, examine the trends: based on what you appreciate - in the mirror and in clothes you wear  - that is your framework on what to try.

For ex: let’s say you love skirts and need some new ones for work, instead of a classic pencil skirt (stops at the knee) go for a more modern midi length (passes the knee and/or hits mid-calf). For jeans, wear the same style you enjoy (like the skinny) + indulge in a shredded hem (same fit you love, with a modern spin). 

If you find this tip valuable, forward this post to your friends so they can learn it too.

One last thing.

Want to see pictures of this example and how it works? Go check out the post on IG!

By the way, I am happy to help.

What is a trend a you’ve seen that you’d like to try, but not sure how?

A case for being EXTRA + learning to stand out

pants.jpg

When I was a freshman in college, I dressed pretty shitty most of time. I often stole my friend’s massive sweatpants to wear to night classes.

In one class, there was a girl that looked fantastic.

I sorta-kinda-always looked at her admiringly. Subconsciously, I wished to be like her:

Eye-catching.

Dynamic.

Hot.

Pulled-together.

One night, my friend whose pants I stole, met me for food. Mouth full of french fries, I mentioned “night class hottie” and on how she always looked so good. I was insecure.

“OMG, how does she do it”?

He shrugged.

Stealing food, he continued:

“Nicole, maybe stop wearing my enormous pants and others would look at you that way too. She makes an effort to look hot.”

It had never occurred to me that I had something to do with this situation.

My friend’s comment made me realize the only difference between my classmate’s attractiveness and mine was she that sprinkled hers like fairy dust and I was behaving like a festered unicorn.

Being really well pulled together captures attention because it’s that extra that propels something or someone above the ordinary. Sadly - like my sweatpants - ignoring the EXTRA can even have an opposite effect: forgettable, underwhelming, and even negative connotations.

EXTRA is in everything done well.

EXTRA is what makes cookies so good you wait in line for them.

EXTRA is what makes your mom’s baked ziti better than your mother-in-law’s.

EXTRA is what makes Amazon Prime better than regular Amazon.

EXTRA is what keeps Everlane selling out.

Extra is what gets Kendrick Lamar a Pulitzer.

EXTRA is about extending beyond the basic or easy, and being noteworthy.  

EXTRA is what happens when you take care to do your best work, present your best, and be your integral self.

My classmate made effort everyday to enhance and highlight her physical appearance. She didn’t toss on what was nearby or comfortable. She chose to be EXTRA and bring out her best.

Being EXTRA effort got her noticed by me and a lot of others too.

Make the EFFORT to be EXTRA and you will capture rooms, your partner’s gaze, and an interviewer’s eye. This is true about the content of your character, the quality of your work, and the chicness of your wardrobe.

Improving the way you look in the most dramatic (or subtle) ways will enhance your life in tandem with other goals.  With that one area of change, you’ve raised your standards for yourself and those around you; up-leveling your life everywhere you go.  Best of all, solving the frustrations of shopping or complexities of dressing isn’t out of reach. There’s no reason you can’t look and feel the way you want.

It is the same with Amazon, Everlane, or mom’s baked ziti.

Start being EXTRA. We can help.

P.s. Go follow me on Instagram. I teach accessible style and will probably make you laugh. 


 

5 new POV's that will get you to dress better

Your closet is a metaphor for your life.

While creative style requires a confident attitude to pull it off, looking your best requires the smallest attitude adjustments. Replacing a worn out perspective will help you make better choices.

Let’s examine a new view, shall we?

1. The Basics of Fashion are logical and technical, not utilitarian

Dressing well is achieved by applying budgets, personal features and lifestyle preferences to simple shopping tactics in the retail trends.

There are “rules” to dressing well because of social norms (the unpopularity of swim trunks in the office for instance), and aesthetics (colors, textiles, and other details working together). In totality, this creates an image that looks better to the human eye, affecting your demeanor and those around you.

I call it:

Confident Knowledge*  = perceived competence + ease of dress + looking hotter.

The equation is as follows:

*smarter people call it the Halo Effect.

Aesthetics is as much a science as an art. Personal style and creativity may not develop out of logic, but looking nicer sure can. 

2. Dress well to look competent

Your indifference doesn't usually translate ala Einstein's adorable mess. When you are not bothered to put an effort into your appearance it often implies incompetence.

As an intelligent leader, you assure your friends, families, and colleagues that you are reliable and trustworthy. Being unrefined is charming for some in Zuckerberg's world, but unless you are actually going down in history, it diminishes you. For example, when meeting for a date, a high-quality partner will put forth their best self, and they will be more interested in someone who has the same level of self-care.

Looking polished and appropriate in most situations gives others a reason to trust and respect you.

Attractive people make themselves more attractive with grooming and dress. They don't pray their abs or facial symmetry will be enough. They work what they have even more, which furthers their attraction and social prowess.

Like other skills, this can be a learned or hired out.

Wondering what to do first? Focus on your body and grooming.

  • When was the last time you flossed?
  • Do you wait longer than necessary between haircuts?
  • Do you have ragged fingernails (from time to time)?
  • Do you “sometimes” skip a shower?
  • Not brush your hair?
  • Exercised?
  • Shaved?

The point is, even if you’re little unkempt, then that what you’re known for.

Being the smelly-needs-a-haircut-should-floss-more kind of person.

Think on it.

3. The struggle isn't unique

I've dressed hundreds of people. All shapes, sizes, backgrounds, colors, educational levels, and income brackets.

Once, a client hired me to help her feel sexy again after having her breasts removed from cancer. 

You'd be amazed what comes out in someone's closet. Life can be a motherfucker for everyone. 

I have heard everyone's style story and struggles:

  • You can’t find shoes to fit your feet
  • Mom, sister or so-and-so used to drag you shopping as a kid
  • Nothing ever fits - arms too long, thighs too thick, too tall, short, etc
  • Stores are crowded and overwhelming
  • How to dress well is anxiety-inducing
  • There are too many brands - where do I go, what do I pick?
  • Hours of effort to buy two things that are just “okay
  • Pants are always too short
  • Etc, etc. 

These challenges are real and valid, but everyone has something that makes dressing or shopping difficult. 

We can't always make our hair grow back or our bodies be what they used to be, but we sure can make you feel like hot shit.

It's just clothes; we can figure this out. 

4. Get A Growth Mindset

If you give up on personal change, you’re shortchanging yourself. Those who feel they can improve do so because they try again and again.

They learn, they grow, and they evolve. They believe they can figure it out, and they do. 

If you give up, you’re shortchanging yourself. Those who feel they can improve eventually do better because they try again, they learn, they grow, and they evolve. They believe they can eventually, and so they do. 

Guess what? This includes shit like figuring out how to match colors. 

5. "How I look shouldn’t really matter"

Of course how you look matters.

This comment is about a person's insecurity that they aren’t enough.  

Saying looks shouldn’t matter is like saying your grammar shouldn’t count when submitting a thesis. It’s the idea (person) that matters, right!? Ha!

No one is going to focus on what you’re message is if it’s unpolished. The same goes with your appearance.

When is the last time you saw a hot person and thought how they looked didn’t matter? Clearly it mattered or you wouldn't have found them attractive.
When was the last time an attractive person smiling at you didn’t affect the way you felt? 

Yes, we are all flawed (we actually prefer people to have an imperfectly symmetrical face).

Attraction isn't about perfection.

Caring about looking your best is another way share all the things that do make you beautiful.

Only then we will attract a tribe that likes us for us.

When you look “good enough” people’s first impressions are that you’re “good enough”.

What a sad, sad way to start off. I bet you're amazing, not good enough.

When you show it, the right ones believe it.

My client James: see his transformation story

James is a blue eyed cutie with a soft laugh and sweet disposition. He works in tech, lives in Brooklyn, and has an awesome girlfriend. 

He hates shopping.

He dreads it like people dread the dentist.

 [James right before our first personal shopping session. After our initial closet edit session I told him to wear the best of what he had.]

[James right before our first personal shopping session. After our initial closet edit session I told him to wear the best of what he had.]

James associated shopping with painful back-to-school mall trips that his mother and sister forced him into. As an adult, his wardrobe was mostly items people gifted him and essentials desperately bought off-the-rack out. James wore what was convenient and available. He replaced things only when they were worn out. He knew his outfits weren't doing him justice nor were they making him feel good about himself.

He wanted getting dressed to be simpler.

He wished he could find shoes that didn't hurt his feet.

He wanted his girlfriend to look at him twice when he came dressed for a date.

He wanted people at work to notice him more.

He wished he would get complimented once in a while. 

He longed to never worry if something fit right, or matched, or if he was wearing the "right" thing. 

Mostly, he didn't want to worry about shopping or figuring fashion out, but knew he needed to dress better. 

This is his story. 

James' jeans were too baggy in both the waist and legs. He had thick thighs from years of rugby and wore slacks that hung off his hips to compensate for them. It made him appear larger than he was.

He had fantastic legs under all that extra fabric! 

 James Before: worn out basics, baggy jeans, and dirty canvas Vans.

James Before: worn out basics, baggy jeans, and dirty canvas Vans.

Later on I found out he had skepticism in the power of a personal shopper. 

I really didn’t think you could find shoes that fit me
— James

So for our first personal shopping session I did what any sassy-pants woman would do: I brought him to SoHo and blew his mind.

For the first time in his life he tried on multiple shoes that fit, were comfortable, and looked cool.

He wanted to wear them out of the store. 

Below are a few of the looks we created back at his place once we were done with the shopping. 

 See those shoes there? Those are the boots he basically lives in now. 

See those shoes there? Those are the boots he basically lives in now. 

James wanted to look rugged, masculine and approachable. He wanted to keep his look simple but nice enough to be client-facing. We found him cool t-shirts, well-fitting shirts, and replaced his tired hoodies with similar shapes in nicer quality. 

We focused on fit first (always) and colors that paired together without thinking. 

With you, changing the way I look took a few hours over a couple of days. This wouldn’t have been possible alone. 
— James
 Look at all the shoes we found him!

Look at all the shoes we found him!

Being a larger size doesn't matter (I spoke about this here) and we found everything he needed. He valued comfort and there was no reason he had to compromise that to look better.

I was shocked how much stuff you found that was in that fitting room. I didn’t have to do anything but try it on.
— James
What you do is an overwhelmingly positive experience
— James

A few days after our final at-home styling session he sent me the following text:

 [What can I say? I like emojis.]

[What can I say? I like emojis.]

 This man went from one pair of tattered Vans to four new versatile styles!

This man went from one pair of tattered Vans to four new versatile styles!

Not long after we worked together, he and his girlfriend moved in together.

Thank you for making him look so good.
— James' girlfriend

When I saw his new closet, it looked like this: 

My heart swelled and did the happiest dance. 

James was one of my favorite clients. He was personable, open and trusting. He is super smart and confident. It was awesome watching his personal style transform to match the quality of who he was.

Interested in having an experience like this?

Do you want to look and feel your best too?

Email me

We can get you there!

Who said you're too fat to dress well?

A first-time client once asked me what he should do about losing weight. He wanted to know if it was possible for him to dress well and still be large.

I wasn’t sure why he was asking me.  He seemed to like himself as is and wasn’t inclined to get in better shape. It seemed he wanted reassurance that looking great and being extra large weren't mutually exclusive.

My professional opinion was that yes, being slimmer would give him a wider range of options and it could save him money because smaller sizes are more widely available.

Still, it was entirely possible for him to dress sharp and look tailored.  

I assured him that changing his body was a decision he had to make for himself. In the meantime, we would dress him for the body he has and for the life he was living; not for a reality that has yet to materialize.

Ya see, to look good, you don’t need to be something you’re not.

Instead, you need to focus on looking the best for the body you have, and not obsessing about the one you want. 

THIS body.

THIS day.

That's your life.

Waiting for it to start until you've lost weight only sells you short. 

It's like saying you're not worthy of affection because you're fat. You're worthy of everything wonderful regardless of your size and that definitely includes nice shoes and hugs.

Next week, I’ll share the style transformation of the client who asked me if he should lose weight.

But today, easy question: what’s the one thing you wish people thought when they saw you?