Fashion Fundamentals: A Beginners Guide For Women Who Want To Improve Their Personal Style

Has your closet kept you feeling stuck in a style rut?
Yet, you still long to feel put-together and more confident in outfits that reflect your own unique sense of style?

Guess what?

Chic dressing is much, much simpler than it is made out to be. 

After eight years personal shopping for hundreds of people (maybe thousands, I’ve lost track) I’ve seen how easily a woman can advance her shopping, image, and fashion skills. 

With that in mind, I’m sharing my best styling tips to getting your style un-stuck so can you feel even more like the confident, gorgeous, powerhouse woman you already are. 

1. Find Your Style Vibe

The next time you admire a person’s personal image (or feel jealous she looks so good) ask yourself “why do I like her?” "What's in her vibe that I wish I felt like?"

  • Is it the streetwear sportiness of it?
  • How glam she looks?
  • Is it her overall cool-girl factor?
  • Is it how comfortable-yet-perfectly-pulled-together she looks?
  • Does her powerful presence catch your eye?

Replicate the personal style you love by being an anthropologist. Examine rather than judge to borrow vibes from another person's image.

This builds on the complexity of putting entire looks together because rather than simply appreciating one thing or detail, you're capturing the feeling of an overall aesthetic. 

Let's imagine you'd love to feel more (insert adjective) and (other feeling). You often see women who reflect that in the way they dress and you admire it.

These women catch your eye because they do it in the most authentic way. For them, it is an internal feeling they exude through their clothing choices. They dress to express that part of themselves.

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For example: in these images there are examples of sexy and feminine interpreted in different ways. 

The sexiness of Kim Kardashian's (bottom right) cleavage is one woman's take on sexy, while Meghan Markle's (middle left) jeans and sharp black stiletto heels are another. Another take is the combat boot or Margot Robbie's leopard print dress. What elements make up each version?

Apply it:  Check out the pictures. There are various examples of personal style to steal ideas from.

What kind of sexy / feminine vibe do you connect with most? How can you create more of that in your style? 

2. Know Why You Like Something, To Wear What You Want

People that have incredible style are attuned to their tastes and effortlessly build a wardrobe out of them.

They build a wardrobe out what feels right. 

By refining your understanding of why you like an item you'll have more success choosing the pieces that make you feel pulled together. 

Ever hear yourself saying:

Ohh, that is a pretty shirt.”
“Those pants are cool.”
“That shirt is weird.”
“I want that shoe.”

The next time you like or don’t like an item of clothing (your own, a colleagues, in a store, etc) take note of why.

When we are attracted to or repelled by an item, there are details that make you go yay or nay. Regardless if it is the color, the pleats, the fabric, or the way it moves, it's your job to understand why you kinda love it or hate it.  

As you start paying attention to why you like something you'll notice patterns in your style preferences. These patterns are valuable information to dressing yourself smarter. Our awareness of why we are attracted to something is a tool in creating more of that in our lives. 

Apply it: With your preference(s) noted, go to a store and scan it until you find pieces that reflect your favorite detail(s). Try them on. 

3. Wear Your Entire Wardrobe At Least Once

Let's be honest: you have so much shit you never wear yet refuse to get rid of.

Forget Marie Kondo (at least for your closet). Follow my Wear It Once process to clearing the closet clutter, without spending more money or extra time on your wardrobe.

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Wearing every piece of clothing gives you one of two things: a new vigor for it or a clear feeling that the item needs to go. 

If you are torn about whether to toss something, then wear it again. You'll have clarity by the day's end whether or not you want to keep it. 

Commit to that final choice.

Apply it: Every day wear something you've yet to wear in that day's outfit. Do this, in constant rotation, until you have worn everything at least once.

4. Arm Yourself With A Core Competency

Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.
— Pablo Picasso

Like when learning to cook, personal style develops best when creativity meets competency. One has to learn knife yielding before they can advance into culinary arts. Sometimes this can come naturally, but most often it's a culmination of effort and self expression over the years. Refine your rough edges and you'll find more freedom to play. 

  • Follow masters that share their expertise.
  • Educate yourself on the science of fashion and apply the teachings.
  • I promise, you'll feel confident you're making sophisticated choices once you develop a stronger sense of skill.
  • Eventually you'll feel more at ease to explore your creativity and expand your horizons. 

Apply it: Hire an expert. Take a class. Take action on what you know.

5. Embrace And Figure Out Your Body’s Shape

Your body is fashion's ultimate accessory and you are your canvas. When we struggle to understand how to dress our shapes, it can hinder creativity and/or highlight our insecurities, making us feel frustrated and with limited options.  

Understanding your body shape is not:

  • About making it wrong.
  • Finding fault in order to look better.
  • Working yourself to look like someone else's ideal. 

Understanding your body shape is:

  • Learning your proportions correctly
  • Understanding how your figure translates to clothing design.
  • An integral step in making smarter purchases and ending frustrating shopping experiences.

Your body is the way that it is and will continue to change as you age. Learning to work with and love what you’ve got is one of your greatest resources. Women who know what works for their body understand how to flatter it. 

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Apply it: I have a free guide to figuring out your shape, which will help you jumpstart this process!

Click for Access

 

6. Girl, Do Your Hair More

When grooming becomes an afterthought, it diminishes the self-image we seek.

Think of when a well-dressed man doesn't groom his facial hair or brush his teeth before a date or imagine a celebrity with post-workout hair on the red carpet. They are still their fabulous self, but an off-centered, false represenation of that version.

This isn't to say you need to be a coiffed model every day, but as the British royals can attest, a ponytail can either be “I just woke up mess” or “sleek and chic”. 

The only difference is the extra effort we make in creating one or the other.

Unrealistic beauty standards are not welcome here at Let's Get You, but it's your choice which direction you consistently want your look to lean.

Pro-tip: follow on Instagram for styling solutions you can apply now. 

Apply it: Figure out a few lifestyle changes that regularly supports having a polished head of hair and do it more often than not. Below is one example of the various hair tutorials available. You are sure to find another go-to that says "I pulled it together" and less "I ran out of time"  

7. Add A New Neutral

For most, neutrals mean black or white, gray or navy, and only wear colors that only look like this:

 

Instead if color intimidates you and/or you're bored with your style, consider incorporating alternative neutrals. There are are browns, burgundy, greens, creams, blushes and camels that can be worn as neutrals too.


Also, there’s agreement amongst fashion people that leopard prints are most definitely, always a neutral


Apply it: The next time you consider buying something in your regular go-to neutral, try one you normally aren't drawn too.

8. Wear Things That Feel “Too Much” 

When personal shopping for new clients (even the most stylish ones) I often hear:

"I don't know how to get away with wearing that."
"I can't pull that off."
"I love this, but people are going to think I look (insert extreme adjective)."

It's frightening to go outside our comfort zone, but I want you to know it is okay to be noticed. Instead of desperately trying to blend into the wall, remember people are going to judge anyway. You may as well feel good about yourself. 

Try anything new that you would never usually. Expand outside your typical type:

A new color lipstick! An odd looking shoe! A new man! Oh my!

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Client Example

The harem shape of these pants, along with their glitter gold embellishment, was very eye-catching. The black pairings calm down the bohemian style and make them more easy to wear everyday.

The more you go outside your style box those risky I-can't-wear-that feelings will shrink and your style will expand into a fulfilling expression of your tests.

Apply it: Wear things you're a little overwhelmed by over and over and over again. Before you know it you'll be rocking tutus in Times Square. 

9. Ménage à trois Your Look

One of my favorite styling tips is to add a 3rd piece. This piece is an additional item that incorporates a new element into your outfit.

It supports tip #3 because it helps you rotate your wardrobe in a way that keeps you wearing only what you love, while trying all the things you rarely wear.

Let me explain:

Imagine your look is full of clothes (fav shirt, fav jeans, or fav shoes, etc.) that you're confident in, but you’re on the fence about that one item (those other shoes, a headband, new bra, whatever), invite it into your outfit and try it for the night/day. 

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Client Example

Two clutches! 

A simple black one on the left, a large floral one on the right. The two are good choices, but the right is a '3rd piece' that adds depth and visual character to the outfit. It's less simple, and more interesting for her outfit. 

This is one of safest places to experiment because the rest of the outfit is a confident choice for you. 

Apply it: Wear any piece of clothing you're not sure about in an otherwise safe outfit. You’ll either learn you love it or you’ll be eager to get rid of it. Win-win.

10. Wear Bright Colors In Your Accessories

Incorporating color is often a challenge for anyone who has stuck to wearing neutrals.

(Which, by the way, is the majority of NYC.)

Experimenting with brights in your accessories is a simple way to wear more color and find what you love. You can do this with just about anything: a bright bag, shoe, or earrings. It could be a scarf or a hair clip. It works because almost all bright colors pair back to a neutral effortlessly, removing any skepticism of how to match.

Apply it now: All neutral outfits + bold bright accessories = colorful style.

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11. Take Action. Do Something.

Do better by doing until it no longer feels like trying.

I wasn't born sophisticated. I always had an appreciation for aesthetics and design, but I didn't know how to dress myself or enhance my own beauty. I learned, I tried and over time I was able to transform my appearance into what I dreamed it could be. Me, only better.

The most successful people in this world take action until they have their desired results. Or, they delegate it out to an expert so they can focus their time doing what they do best. 

It's the same with creating a new personal image.

You have try in order to have different results.

Then try again.

Eventually you're no longer learning or trying.

You're just out there, living your most stylish, sexy, comfortable, well-dressed life.

If you're interested in learning more about me and my styling, let's chat.  


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

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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!