Women Over 40 Fashion Blog

Check out our tips on how to find your unique style, have more confidence, and feel good about YOU!

5 Tips to Look Chic and Professional at your Office Holiday Party

Season’s greetings to all you lovely ladies! You might be comfortable dressing up for holiday parties with your friends and family, but what about with your coworkers and boss? Keep reading to discover my tips to look totally chic yet professional at your office holiday party.

Think back to previous holiday parties you’ve attended.  I’m sure you have seen some interesting outfits that caught your eye. Draw inspiration from them for your own style. Put together pieces that showcase your personality and style. Find the right combination between elegance and glamour in your holiday ensemble. This will help you pull of a trendy yet business casual look at your holiday party. When you wear something you feel and look good in, it automatically instills more confidence in you which your coworkers are bound to notice!

However there have definitely been times in the past where you have witnessed some people wearing the most over-the-top outfits at office parties. This is definitely something to keep in mind and steer clear of. In these situations, finding balance in your outfit choices is key. Use it to create a visual representation of your smart and successful work-place attitude, even if the theme of the part is after-business hours.  Never forget that you are constantly mingling with people from work. Since it is a work oriented event, you and the rest of your coworkers are being observed all night long.

If your office holiday party is in the evening, then you definitely need to make sure your outfit is dressier than your day wear, to rightfully capture the holiday spirit.

Real personalities have a tendency to show themselves at a social event, especially when alcohol is involved. Be aware of this when you’re drinking and don’t let yourself get out of control. A lot of essential things might be part of conversations in these settings. Use the opportunity to stay alert and make a great impression with impressive responses. Don’t drink too fast, be cautious of your environment and sip your wine or drink slowly through the night.

Overall, you still want to look professional and your outfit should be a reflection of your elegant style which incorporates your personality.

Here are 5 guidleines for any event.

Wear something different from your regular work outfit

Unless there is a specific mention of a dress code, make sure you don’t dress like it’s just another busy day at work. Even if the event is a luncheon or during business hours, make an effort to be more festive. Switch up the color choices from what you usually wear or add some seasonal sparkle. Whatever it is, make sure you do it tastefully.

Sequins have become a year long trend recently but they are especially in fashion during the holidays. It’s a great idea to wear a sweater with low key sequins. I’ve seen turtle necks with scattered sequins on the front which are just beautiful and done with taste. You can always wear a sweater with a skirt and opague tights. There’s no need for a jacket but have on simple jewelry or even a small to medium-sized hoop bling earrings, which adds a nice touch.

I’m currently wearing a lot of long vests or dusters these days since I just love them and they go with the season. They help to make you look tailored and smaller and layering is great during the season. I love taupe and gold slightly-sequined vest with a matching gold lightly sequined turleneck sweater. This is a great outfit that can make you look festive and professional at the same time, especially with a daytime event. But be sure the color is in your pallette and looks great with your skintone.

If your event is in the evening, a little black dress is always a go-to. This is so simple and wearing the right jewelry will bring out the dress. Make sure the jewelry is not too much of a statement piece so it won’t stand out unnecessarily. There’s always a tasteful way to add more bling to an outfit!

I also suggest a red dress or pants which is always nice for a holiday office party. You might think eveyone will wear red but you will be surprised how mistaken you are. Hardly anyone is keeping with tradition any more, especially the millennials. I remember when I wore red ponte slacks, a red, black and tan blouse with a black jacket and it was such a hit among my friends. Red is in my color pallette and also my favorite color, so when I wear it, I always feel extra good. It helps when you feel great in what you’re wearing, you will shine and have more pep in your step and people will be automatically be attracted to you.

Try a different hairstyle or add jewelry to your hair

Shake it up a little and try something different with your hair for the office party. If you wear your hair down most of the time, why not try wearing it up?

Nothing extravagant, just keep it elegant and simple with the possibility of keeping it together with bobby pins. This can be a roll, pin up bob or French roll. Whatever is easiest for you.

You can also try wearing a ponytail or French braid or braids along the sides of your hair.

Slip into a pair of shoes you don’t normally wear to work

Here’s where you can show some skin if you like. Wear shoes that expose your toes and heels. They elongate your legs and make them look lean.

Try not to wear the same pumps that you wear to work. Wear something different and more glamourous. Maybe the color of the shoe can be red instead of the same old black shoes that you wear. Or the texture of the shoes is different, for instance, a little sparkle can be nice, as long as it’s not too much and goes with the outfit or dress.

Keep make-up natural and lips bright

You should look diferent than your everyday look, but do not add to much make-up, it will make you look older. It should be the same shade as your complexion and this will give you a natural look, which is what you want.

Try applying a brighter lipstick than you normally wear. Red or Berry’s are great colors for the holidays. These colors look great with red, black, ivory, mocha, blush, and burgundy.

Keep cleavage to yourself

The wrong outfit includes showing clevage, a backless dress, or a too-short skirt can present the wrong first impression. This can be a distraction and you will receive unwanted stares and gossip. People will look at you differently and there is no going back from that. You are always being looked at under a corporate microscope. You never know if you are being considered for a promotion or another position and should always present the right image.

Remember any event outside of the corporate office but you are meeting with people you work with, should be looked at as an office event no matter where it is held. Never forgot it!

Overall, your goal for dressing for a company holiday party is to keep your look chic and professional while also finding ways to show your personality and have fun.

It’s all about feeling good about yourself, so make sure the outfit you choose leaves you confident and ready to mingle and have some fun.

 

Find out How to Stand Out from the Crowd and identify your personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com (bottom of page).

Monday Motivation

Motivation Monday

Be grateful for the big things, the little things, and everything in between, and happiness will follow.

                        -Anonymous

 November is the month of Gratitude. So this week’s Monday Motivation is focused on how to use gratitude to transform your life and energy.

It’s true, if you want to be happier, try counting your blessings. Be grateful for something everyday and your life will change.

Whenever I write something in my gratitude journal that I’m thankful for, I notice a difference in my life. I seem happier and calmer. I don’t always stick to doing this everyday and so I’m making it a point to start doing this again. There is so much to be grateful for, it be a little as a hot shower or heat, especially since it’s colder now.

If you are not already doing this, try it today. Write 3 things you are grateful everyday and notice what changes in your life. If you’d like to share your comments with me, I’d love to hear 3 things you are grateful for today.

4 Totally Chic and Comfortable Outfits to Wear on Thanksgiving

Not sure what to wear on Thanksgiving? It doesn’t matter if you are hosting a dinner, going on a road trip to a family get together, or a formal dinner, we’ve got you covered with stylish and comfortable ideas.

Not only can you make a statement with your outfit but also, remain comfortable enough to enjoy all that Thanksgiving pie! It’s your turn to receive some compliments!

You can also be thankful for the 3 C’s of festive and food heavy holiday wear:

  • Chic
  • Comfortable
  • Classy

You will not have to worry about eating too much without your pants or dress feeling tight and uncomfortable.

 

Sightly boot-cut jeans, sweater and flats      

A simple, basic outfit comes alive with a statement bold colored sweater. There is something about the breezy fall weather that brings sweaters to life. From crewnecks, cut out knits or wool, you can style almost any kind of sweaters in this season.

For bottoms, jeans are great for this season, with different kinds and it keeps you warm. If you prefer to wear boot-cut instead of skinny jeans, try the slightly flare. It’s in-between the skinny and the flare jeans but not too much of a bell bottom on the leg area.

A comfortable sweater or oversized top with a pop of color in your palette, will bring out the outfit as well. For instance, a russet orange, a classic fall color,  will make the outfit look more interesting. The shades of the season will be a welcome change to your usual choices and look great in those Thanksgiving pictures. 

 

 

Pullover top, velvet straight leg jeans, necklace

‘Tis the season to spice up your jeans with texture and velvet. Since velvet is a throwback trend making it’s way back this year, maybe look in the back of your closet to hopefully find an old pair. I actually found a teal pair in my closet recently that I’m looking forward to wearing. Just add a seasonal top, blouse or tee and you have an outfit! If you have an oversized blouse you can use it as a jacket and layer a tee or top underneath. 

Make sure you make the color of the velvet jeans the focal point and don’t add too much color. The texture fabric will add warmth to your body and an interesting edge to your Thanksgiving style.

Look in your jewelry box and find a necklace that looks great with the outfit. For instance, with the teal velvet jeans, I will add gold accessories and a long necklace to make me look long and lean. Make sure the velvet isn’t too bulky so it won’t make you look larger (once again, got to make sure those Thanksgiving pictures turn out well!)

Top, trousers, wrap and booties

Are you planning to go out to a restaurant for dinner? With the weather getting cooler, you should wear something warm. Use this opportunity to make your outer wear the highlight of your outfit. I have always loved wearing ponchos and wraps during this time of the year. Try a colorblock wrap as seen in the picture. It adds drama and sophistication to your look.

Add the same color red turtle neck sweater or Karina Tee shirt and you are all set. If you don’t have the Red Maple pants to match, you can wear cream trousers. Add a gold necklace, and bracelet and you are all set. Oh and don’t forget, you can purchase the infinty scarf to match which is a great finish to this look.

Don’t foget to carry along your gloves if it’s cold but a color that is not black. If you have a pair of deep burgundy or red, that would be perfect. Etsy is a great place to check out some cute and unique styles of gloves!

 

Velvet top with matching pants or skirt

For a more formal dinner,  you can still be comfortable with a strechy top that doesn’t show the outline of your body. If you’re looking to make a purchase, why not try something like this beautiful pearl embellished velvet top?  I love that it actually has pearls on it. How seasonal! The picture doesn’t do it justice. The top is so comfortable but so edgy at the same time and perfectly compliments a well fit skirt.

Another trend that goes well with fall fashion are long, well-tailored skirts that always add a festive edge. If you wear a skirt, make sure to wear black opague tights or stockings. There’s no need to wear a necklace, keep it simple and pair it with only earrings and a classy bracelet. Let the top speak for itself and don’t overshawdow it with anything else. It’s an elegant showstopper.

Thanksgiving is a great time to switch up your looks and put in a little more effort to make a fashionable statement for the holidays. First, look in your closet to find items you can match to any of the items I’ve mentioned above. You might be surprised to find an item you forgot about in the back of your closet!  Maybe you can’t see some pieces of clothing anymore because they are hidden behind the piles of clothes you have accumulated. If so, it may be time for a closet makeover! (Make sure you check out how I can help you with that)

With these ideas, I’m sure you will be able to maintain your style and remain comfortable along with feeling and looking good on Thanksgiving. If you do end up using any of my suggestions in your outfits, make sure to post a picture and tag me on your social media!

Are you following me on Instagram? I post a lot of my outfits on there to give you women over fifty, ideas for inspiration.

If you interested in purchasing any of the items mentioned, you can find them here:

Russett Cut-out Orange SweaterChicos, on sale $49.40

Velvet JeansDiane Gilman, HSN network, $49.90, comes in a variety of colors

Color Block Wrap – Chicos, other colors available, $89.00, scarf, $49.00

 

Find out How to Stand Out from the Crowd and identify your personal style and brand. Learn how they impact your professional success and sign up for my 11-page workbook @ www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com (bottom of page).

5 Stylish Clothes You Can Wear Over 60…Even If You Think You Can’t!

As a woman over 60 interested in fashion and looking good, you’ve probably asked these questions at one point: Can I wear that? Will I look good in that? Am I too old to wear that? Do I have the right body type to wear that?

You’re not alone.

Fortunately for us, designers are beginning to create the same stylish trends for mature women as they do for the younger generation. Consequently, the only slight difference is that the clothes for mature women have a more grown up look and appeal. They are less tight and more well-fitted to the body. Furthermore the quality fabric provides ample coverage. The clothes may also be more loose around the waist. They hide particular flaws on a woman’s body that may not need to be hidden on a younger body. This is something to look forward to because it gives us women over 60 a wider range of clothing options to add variety and more fashion trends to our wardrobes.

Below are 5 stylish clothes you will love when you find the right look and fit for your body type.

Leggings

Recently, Women’s Wear Daily reported that leggings’ sales have officially outpaced denim sales online in the US. Legging orders have increased by 41 percent in the last year- by comparison, denim orders rose only 3 percent in the same time frame.

Why do you think this happened? It’s because leggings are so comfortable and versitle to wear. You can wear them in the winter or in cooler weather, especially because they give you good coverage for your legs.

I have suggested to my clients to wear leggings as a supportive element for the rest of your clothes, rather than the main garment. For instance; wear tunics and long blouses that fall below the waist and pair it up with leggings. This will make you look long and lean. Add a long necklace to amp up your fashion and you are good too go.

All body types are able to wear leggings and depend on what type of tops and tunics you wear with them. The ponte knit fabic is thicker and hide dimples in the thighs and overall provide nice coverage. Your long tunic or top covers your belly and the leggings show off your fantastic legs. You can use this to your advantage and hide any unwanted tummy flaws.

In the winter, any body type can wear leggings with a pair of boots or uggs. It’s a popular fashion trend for the cooler months. In the spring and summer, switch up your footwear and wear sneakers or sandals. You will feel stylish and comfortable along with looking great.

Capris or Crop Pants

Capris are cropped pants, that usually stop above the ankle but well below the knee.

This trend is hard to wear and you have to be very careful. Depending on your height, the length can be different for everyone. Try out different lengths to find one that compliments your body and make sure it doesn’t draw attention to the wrong areas. After you find a length that works to your preference, you can wear it with tops that are in current fashion.

I’ve had to ask myself why this trend has been around for so long. Especially since they can be so unflattering for lots of women. The downfall of capris is the fault finding illusion it creates. Capris have a tendency to shorten the legs and highlight chunky calves.

They are popular and in almost all fashion trends due to the following reasons:

  • They can be sexy with revealing the ankle bone.
  • Booties are very much in trend and go great with capris.
  • Another trend they highlight are shoes with straps and lace ups.
  • Capris are associated with fun.
  • They keep you cooler in the summer.

Here are some suggestions for successfully wearing capris and looking great at the same time:

  • Choose capris with a higher waist if you have short legs. The high waist will draw the eye up and make your legs appear longer.
  • Wear capris with a tapered or stright leg to create the longest and sleekest look.

The capri or crop pant is a comfortable summer option. Just make sure to create your look to maintain a long leg and sleek silhouette.

Skinny Jeans

It’s not about age; it’s all about the fit when it comes to wearing skinny jeans.

You just need to adjust the style to your changing body shape. As you get older your body is constantly changing.

To check if you have the correct fit, look at the waist rise, the upper leg as well as the lower leg. Use this combination and you will get the perfect pair of jeans everytime. Things have changed since we started wearing jeans. The waist height or rise as it is called now, use to have one height, but now there are many. The waist rise can now start from the naval to the low rise, below the waist and almost at the hip area.

Skinny jeans do not make you look skinny but can make you look leaner depending on how you wear them. It also depends on how they are cut and fit your body type. You can find specific designers who cater to the more mature woman. For instance, Diane Gilman aka The Jean Queen makes jeans specifically for mature women. I have tried her jeans and they fit me excellently. The jeans are not tight and concentrate on hiding flaws like the tummy area.

Cold Shoulder Tops

If you haven’t noticed, cold shoulder tops have been around for a few years now. The reason is that the cold shoulder shows the best focal point of the body. And is easier to wear than the off-the shoulder top.

This trend is for everyone and is versatile for day or evening wear. They can be feminine, have attractive sleeves and the bonus is they are very comfortable and cool when the weather is hot. Wear the tops with almost anything, especially jeans, when the top is loose and flowing. All you need to do is find the right style and fit for you.

Jumpsuits

Jumpsuits are all the trend this season.

They are not for everybody but if you feel you can pull it off, then why not. The body fit makes all the difference. Try to make sure to look long and lean is the trick and you will know if you have the right body type for it.

Choosing darker shades helps. Blacks and navys are chic and versatile and they immediately slim down curves. To hide your tummy flaws, wear a less fitted jumpsuit and one that has more material in the middle instead.

You should also find a style that is somewhat tailored but not tight. Most of all stay away from clingy fabrics. Sometimes they tend to rise up at the front and back if they are too tight, creating a “wedgie” effect – so try on a few styles to find the most flattering fit for your figure.

The big thing about the Jumpsuit trend is that you most feel really good and confident about yourself. If you are unsure if you should wear it, then don’t. The unsureness will show on your face and nonverbal communication.

Recently I attended a wedding and wore a jumpsuit for the occasion. I paired it with a light sweater and stylish heels. I was thrilled with how it made me look and feel. Dare I say I rocked this look with confidence! Brenda wearing a jumpsuit

If you aren’t wearing one of these pieces of clothing and you’ve always wanted to, try something new. Go to the store and try them on and find out if it is for you. You might be surprised and love the new you!

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Download your FREE First Impressions Matter Stand Out from the Crowd Self-Assessment Workbook at www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com (bottom left of home page) This 11-page workbook will help you find your personal style and brand and show you how your wardrobe can impact your professional success.

www.facebook.com/brendaFergusonHodgeswww.FirstImpressionsMatter.com

7 Biggest Fall Fashion Trends for Women Over 60

Fall is here! And it’s brings us a variety of styles and colors for the season. The fall fashion trends have taken over the retail stores and online shopping websites and there’s plenty of options for women over 60 to enjoy!

Before you run out and grab the first pieces of clothing you find, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your shopping experience:

  1. Figure out what colors look good on you. Make sure you pick shades that highlight your skin tone and avoid shades that make your skin look dull.
  2. Be aware of  your body shape. It will help you pick out styles that look good on you and will complement your figure. (If you’re not sure how, read my style guide to help you dress for your body type)

Keeping these in mind will help you avoid spending money on styles that look good on someone else but might not be the best choice for you.

When shopping for fall, try to pick out transitional pieces that you can pair with some things you already have. Fall fashion is all about adding layers and combining pieces, so make the best of it.  Focus on adding maxi-skirts, sweaters, pants, denim or knitted pieces to your wardrobe.

Fortunately for me, fall colors just happen to be my regular season palette so I have many of the shades already in my closet. Instead, I will be adding accessories to pair with these to spruce up my wardrobe.

To help you navigate the fall fashion trends, here’s a guide I put together for you.

7 biggest trends for the fall season for women over 60

EMBROIDERY Makes a Comeback

Embroidery is everywhere for the fall and winter. You will see this trend in floral design and on everything from handbags, jackets, jeans, blouses and shoes.

The trend isn’t for everybody so choose your favorite item and make sure you coordinate it with something complimentary. Avoid looking like a walking embroidered flower by overdoing it with the designs.

Make sure whatever you wear flatters your body type and makes you feel super special.

I checked my closet and found an embroidered denim jacket that I haven’t worn in years. Embroidered denim jacket Thankfully it’s back in fashion and has embroidered pink roses on the back (pink is one the fall colors this year). When I wear the jacket, I plan to match it with a pink tank top or sweater depending on the coolness of the weather. I am thrilled I get to wear an old piece that is back in fashion.

Velvet or Velour

Velvet or velour is a big trend for the season.

There is a difference between velvet and velour, so make sure you know to tell them apart.

Velvet is a woven cut-pile with no stretch; while velour is a knit stretchy cut-pile fabric. You will see lots of both this fall and winter. Tops, skirts and shoes are all going to be available in these soft and luxurious forms.

Be aware that velour and velvet have shiny and textured elements that will highlight every bump and curve you have. So make sure the pieces you have on work for your body type and draw attention to the right angles.

Ruffles

If you love ruffles, then you’re in luck.

You’re going to continue to see them on blouses, sweaters, shoes, jackets and skirts. It’s a great style element especially if your personal style is the feminine look.

The trick to wearing ruffles in a flattering way is to wear an item where you don’t mind more volume and attention. For instance, if you don’t love your neck area, then refrain from wearing a blouse where the blouse is open and has ruffles around the open neck area. Maybe choosing a blouse with ¾ inch sleeves will be more appealing.

Power Red Color

Of course, red is big for fall although you can wear it all year-long. If this color is in your season palette, then you should have items in your closet already.

For fall, bolder power red is the color. If you wear it to work or a business meeting, make sure you wear it as a “pop” of color and not as an all over color since it may come off as too overwhelming

You can wear a pair of slacks, jacket, skirt, coat and dress and match it with brown, pink black or leopard.

If you can wear a red lipstick, this will also “pop” your outfit.

Red is the color that just makes you feel good. If red is a favorite of yours but you’ve shied away from it so far, go ahead and try it this season. There are so many styles to choose from.

There are more colors for the fall that are absolutely beautiful including Mustard, Mahogany, Pink, Chocolate Brown, Marine Blue, and Olive Green. Pick a color that looks great on your complexion and add simple pieces to your wardrobe.

Vintage

This style was really big in the 90’s and it’s made a comeback this year.

If your personal style is feminine or bohemian, you will love the vintage looks this year. The vintage style incorporates elaborate patterns and rich textiles like velvet, floral, plaids, ruffles, embroidery and lace. Retro hats are in vogue, including any cloche (close-fitting bell-shape) or beret.

Clothing with Victorian collars such as a high neckline especially with lace can be so romantic and beautiful. Vintage inspired fur coats or vests are especially fun to wear this time of year.

Plaid has returned with bright and bold colors with everything from coats, skirts, dresses, blouses and shoes.

Gray Booties

If you had something more subtle in mind, gray is a fresh neutral that would be a great investment for your wardrobe. Gray or “greige” (gray and beige) is a neutral that you can wear with blacks, and browns, making it more versatile.

If you are in the market for a pair of gray booties or planning to purchase another pair, make sure you find the right fit and are comfortable. Invest in shoes that love you back. Designers are more aware that we are looking for style and comfort and they are making it possible.

Brocade

Brocade is a pattern that has raised measures of fabric giving it texture. It is often made of gold and black thread or done in a floral pattern. As elegant and opulent as it can be, brocade is not always the most appropriate choice when it comes to wet fall and winter seasons. Make sure to treat your brocade pieces with care and consideration and store appropriately.

The trend can make a strong statement so make sure to pair it with simple basic pieces and jewelry so it can stand along and tell a story. Overall you should find some nice, unique and detailed pieces for fall. With so many great fall fashion  trends to choose from, you might have quite a hard time deciding between pieces you “need” and “want”.

 

Need help defining your style, body shape and what you want your personal brand to exhibit? Download my FREE Stand out from the Crowd Self-Assessment Workbook and find out how your wardrobe can impact your professional success.
Download it here www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com for FREE! (Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see it on the bottom left).

Motivation Monday: Feel Happier!

Meditate

I must admit that when I first heard of the concept of ‘meditating’, I use to think it was a lot of mumbo jumbo. But I gave it a chance and after continuing to try to meditate, I think this is a great habit to get into. It has helped me to be calm, focused and centered. I can always tell when I need to rewind and refresh myself with meditation. Once I do, I find myself back to feeling happy and my priorities aligned with a renewed energy.
So this week, my Monday Motivation tip is to encourage you to try out meditation. Begin you week by relieving some of your stress and focusing your energy on the right priorities, using meditation.
Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra periodically have FREE 21 day mediations focused on a specific topic. Today a new series begins and you can receive a free meditation every day for 21 days, free of charge. After the 21 days end, you can pay and continue if you like or begin practicing on your own. The title of this mediation is called “Making Every Moment Matter” and with Deepak’s soothing voice as the moderator, it is bound to help you with your issues.

“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” ― Deepak Chopra

If you’ve never tried meditation before, it does take some practice to get the hang of it, so don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s hard to not think about things and keep your mind still. Once you start thinking about something or get distracted, the trick it to channel your focus onto your breathing again and concentrate on taking in deep breaths.
You can register for the free 21 day meditation series here: https://chopracentermeditation.com/login
Try it and let me know what you think about it.

Be grateful

It’s true and proven. Practicing gratefulness will improve your life and amazing things will happen. For example:
– You sleep better
– You will be less stressed out
– You will have more energy
– Your health will improve
– You will have better relationships
– You will improve your leadership skills
Keep a gratitude journal. Write down 3-5 things everyday that you are grateful for in your life. Continue to do this and watch what happens.

Dress to Impress for the Holidays

The holidays are here!! It’s time to start thinking about all the events and holiday parties you’ll be attending and of course, what you’re going to wear to them. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan it and end up disappointed with your outfits.
Once you figure out the basics, it will be easy to find the perfect outfit. Start by defining your style, body shape and what you want your personal brand to exhibit. Download my FREE Stand out from the Crowd Self-Assessment Workbook and find out how your wardrobe can impact your professional success.
Download it here www.FirstImpressionsMatter.com for FREE! (Scroll to the bottom and you’ll see it on the bottom left).
Do you have a gratitude journal or will you start one this week? What will you do this week to feel happier? Share your thoughts with me! Maybe one of your ideas will inspire me!

Thinking Outside the Box, Clothing Subscription Shopping!

Clothing subscription boxes are the latest buzzwords in the apparel industry. Since I wasn’t very familiar with the concept, I decided to dig in a little more and now I can share what I learned with you. Keep reading to find out what all the hype is about and whether you’re missing out!

Do you hate the experience of shopping in stores? Maybe you’re tired of spending countless hours trying to put together a creative outfit? Or you like to shop but you’re not sure what styles work for your body type? If you answered yes, then fashion subscription box services could be the solution for you.

I never thought this type of subscription box service was meant for me, since I love to go into the department store and feel fabrics, coordinate colors and outfits and try on clothing to see if it works for my body type. But I’ve been hearing more about these subscription boxes, whose services are rising off the charts and becoming very popular. I got curious to learn more about this latest fashion trend.

I’m currently working on a consulting project with four other people on my team. Two of these women have subscribed to clothing box services or usually shop for their clothes online. I found this very interesting and wanted to hear more about it. I interviewed one of my teammates Karen, to get a better understanding of what she calls “convenient shopping”. You’ll hear more from Karen as to why she uses the service, later in the article.

Recent data shows that 79% of Americans shop online and the growth continues to rise with the fashion apparel industry. Currently more than 2,000 subscription box services exist in the United States. Apparel is in the top 20 of the most popular stubscription services. Visits to subscription box websites are over 21.4 million and rising daily.

SO…What EXACTLY is clothing subscription shopping?

It is an online clothing shopping service that delivers handpicked items right to your front door.

How does it work? You begin by registering for the clothing subscription box. You then fill out a questionnaire of sorts that narrows down your style, fit and price preferences. Based on the input you provide, a personal stylist will create at least 5 outfits (each company might vary) which will then be sent to you to try on at the comfort of your own home. Simple enough, right?

What happens next is the most interesting part! After you’ve tried out the subscription box outfits sent to you, you pay and get to keep the ones you like and you simply send back everything else. And the best part? If you didn’t end up liking any of the options sent to you, you are not obligated to keep any pieces! You may return all the items without being charged for any of them.  The company only bills you for the pieces you keep and except for a small fee ($20 on average), there are no other costs. You can even sign up for automatic deliveries or set a schedule on demand.

Why sign-up for the service?

This is Karen. She is a busy, working career professional with limited leisure time on her hands. She explained to me why she signed up for Stitchfix clothing subscription box services.

  • She wanted to dress differently from her usual traditional, classic look consisting of a sweater set, crop/ankle pants and a blouse. She decided to switch up her style but didn’t know what to do about it.
  • She found the subscription box service to be helpful and a lot of fun. She provided them with information regarding her body type and style and the stylist gave her a fashion board with various outfits to select from. She set her price preferences according to her budget and indicated to them what kind of clothing pieces she was specifically looking for.
  • She’s been using the services for over 6 months now and she says it has been an awesome experience for the most part. She enjoys getting fashionable trendy things to try on and according to her, the quality has been great too.

“The service saved me”

Karen continued to explain how the subscription box service saved her from not having anything to wear to a special event. She informed the company that she planned to attend an outdoor wedding and wanted to wear a dress for the occassion. Because she usually had a hard time finding a dress that looks good on her, she wasn’t hopeful. Fortunately, they sent her three dresses that she loved and she picked out one of them to wear to the wedding. The biggest benefit of the service for Karen was the convenience of having the dresses delivered straight to her home, where she got to try them on privately without others being around.

What types of clothing do you receive?

Karen said the outfits from the clothing subscription box service she used consisted of some name brand companies  including; Not Your Daughters Jeans, Market and Spruce, Laila Jayde and 41 Hawthorn. All of these were great quality pieces.

How much does it cost?

On average Karen spent approximately 150 dollars a month. Sometimes she switched up the subscription to deliver every two months instead of monthly. The sign up fee is $20.00, which ends up being a stylist fee that is credited toward your first purchase. So you don’t really pay any upfront costs, which sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Future use of the service

Karen also admitted that after 6 months she decided to discontinue the service she was using. The clothing box company she was subscribed to, started sending her outfits from their own clothing line and the fit and quality did not meet her expectations. Going from receiving fashionable high quality pieces that fit her style during the first six months to this, she was disappointed when things changed. Even though she canceled the service with Stitchfix, she is  looking into other clothing subscription box services because  she doesn’t want to let go of the convenience of getting clothes delivered for her to try out at home.

Where to find the services

Google “clothing box subscription services” and you will find a list of companies. In researching additional fashion shopping services, a couple of my suggestions include:

  • MM LaFleur– They cater to women over 40 and  women in the workspace. Their clothes are classic and of great quality.
  • Trunk Club – This subscription service is provided by Nordstrom. They are following the steps of other retailers and  are also jumping on the subscription box band wagon
  • CHC Vintage Dress – If  you can pull of a vintage style, then this box is most definitely for you.
  • Chic Style Box – This is an accessories subsciption box service to pair with your outfits.

Overall, I have talked to others who really like the service and the convienence of receiving clothing in the mail to try on at home. Most people are tired of the time involved in sitting in traffic to get to the store, finding a parking spot and walking to the department store. Time is precious and more of us are finding out another way to shop for clothes.

 

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While you’re still here, I wanted to remind you of my special fall offer. Treat yourself to this fabudiscount special on our event packages we have going on. Is your wardrobe ready for your upcoming holiday event or job interview? Check out our event package that promises to help you look and feel good, boost your confidence and make that great first impression!

FALL SPECIAL EVENT PACKAGE

We also have some exciting posts on our Facebook page that you don’t want to miss out on! Make sure you’re  following us on there to keep up with our updates

Motivational Monday

Motivational tips to uplift your monday

I decided to start a weekly #MotivationalMonday blog post. I will share some of my thoughts and tips that I use to get a jumpstart on my week. We know how hard it can be to get back to a productive routine after a relaxing weekend so I hope some of my tips will be helpful to get you back in gear!

Read something INSPIRATIONAL everyday

I started reading the book “The Wisdom of Sundays”, by Oprah Winfrey.

The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey

The Wisdom of Sundays by Oprah Winfrey

It’s based on her Super Soul Sunday talks with guests that she interviews on her show, which I look forward to watching every Sunday. If you’re on the lookout for something new to read, I highly  recommend this book. It will help to start your day.  It’s like having a breath of fresh air. Who doesn’t love to begin their Monday with some motivation from Oprah?

Take a hot bubble bath

I have been doing this as a ritual every night for as long as I can remember. Its my favorite part of my daily routine. I look forward to it as a special time with myself. It’s so relaxing and soothing to my soul. Even if you’re busy, take some time out to let yourself unwind and reflect on your day.

 GO TO NATURE

Here is a picture I took at Half Moon Bay

There have been times when I feel so  overwhelmed from stress so I put a pause on everything and I go to the ocean or somewhere among the trees, to feel like myself again.  Did you know that being around water takes the negative toxins out of your body? No wonder you feel like you can breate again. I also feel more creative and can think clearly. Trees are alive and provide us with fresh  oxygen, they have a stillness where you can just sit with them and think and enjoy the beauty of them. By the end, you will leave rejuvenated with a new perspective.

 

Make sure to look good today

It’s important to start your week out right to feel your best. One of the ways to do this is to prepare your outfit on Sunday night. Select a color you feel good in, maybe your favorite color. Whereever you are going on Monday, either to work, a client meeting or working at home, feel good with what you have on.

We also share more posts like this regularly on our Facebook page so make sure you’re following us on there so you don’t miss out!

What things do you do to start your Monday off to a good start? Share them with me. I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

How to Use Photos to Build Your Personal Brand

I recently went to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit my daughter and had the pleasure of meeting Gretchen Birdwell, who is a photographer in the area. Gretchen did a photoshoot of my daughter and me, which was such an inspiring and wonderful learning experience. I decided to share some tips so you all can learn the importance of using photos to build your personal brand.

The music playing in the background helped me relax and Gretchen made sure I was comfortable and feeling beautiful and special in front of the camera. I learned the many ways of camouflaging certain parts of the body to look my best. For instance, positioning my chin in an outer motion to create a younger appearance, as well as standing in a way that makes my body look long and lean. I also posed in my own natural ways to show the real side of me, instead of restricting my poses in the photos. Of course, lighting and background is important in any shoot, so Gretchen was prepared with the correct backgrounds that would work with our skin complexion.

It was totally a rewarding experience. The best part is that I felt so beautiful and she made me look even better. You can see the behind the scenes video of our photo shoot here.

All my personal brand photos online and in my newsletter were taken by Gretchen Photography.

You can check out more of her work and information about her here.

I decided it was time to take new photos since my style has recently evolved. I wanted to show a different, more fun and business casual chic side of my personality. My main style has been a classic and professional look and I decided to extend my brand to a different side. The clients I serve not only include professionals but also non-working, work from home and retired women.

Photos tell your story better than any written word. People want to see what you look like or what you do before they contact you. It helps them connect to you better. They can even get a glimpse of your character from photos before they talk to you. Did you know you can sense a natural or a fake smile just by the picture and whether you are trustworthy or not? If you are an artist, you should also show your painting or photos of you in the studio. All of these techniques help to build your brand. Make it easy for your audience to see you at a glance and learn what your brand is all about.

Studies also show 43% to 75% of employers check social media prior to hiring and everyone should invest in putting his/her best foot forward online.

If you are no longer in the job market, but are running a business and sell any type of service or product, it’s critical to have your website with a picture included.

You will know it’s time for new photos when your current ones don’t represent all of who you are anymore as well as your core values (which is your total brand). You should have a mixture of headshots and candid photos that represent your brand. But headshots are typically the images you will use as profile photos. If you’re one of those that tried to crop a friend out of your picture to use for your profile or you’re still hanging on to that old school photo wearing shoulder pads and teased hair, you don’t need me to tell you it’s time to refresh it up!

It all boils down to people are being exposed to 5,000 marketing messages daily. Everyone is trying to figure out who they can trust and photos help answer the question. Looking at a picture will project who you really are.

What your photos say

Profile pictures provide both “open” and “hidden” hints.

“Open” hints are the messages that you deliberately choose to communicate in the picture, in other words, the impression you project. If you take a picture with a hat, this could be your signature style and project that you are a hat person.

“Hidden” messages are the ones where people see the underlining image of what you cannot hide. For instance, if you take pictures at distance it may give a hint of security. If you are tilting your head and smiling, you project dependence. When you stand with your hands crossed below your chest area, you look like you are in a position of power. Make sure to take the photo in a pose that represents your brand to project the impression you want to present.

I recommend taking getting professionally photos that are not staged but reflect your personality and brand. If not, the desired impression will be weakened and not trustworthy. Show movement in the photo, for example, looking away from the camera or standing and shifting leg movements to show the real you. Photos that are too staged do not represent the real you. You want to show your business and fun side in the photos. People are looking for others who are authentic and they can trust. This is the real bottom-line of why photos are so important.

In conclusion, here a few simple do’s and don’ts to building your personal brand with photos:

Don’t do:

  • Photos that are badly lit, or out of focus or of poor quality
  • Don’t use stock photography

Do:

  • Tell your story with professional photos
  • Post regular content with good quality images
  • Post photos that will start a conversation with your audience
  • Invest in a good quality set of photos that build your personal brand (a professional photographer)

Join the conversation! I want to hear from you. Respond to any of the questions below.

Are your current photos due for a refresh? If you are planning a photo shoot, do you know what colors look good on you? Do you know what type of photos and poses to take that represent your brand?