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

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?

 

 

5 Stylish Clothing Items You Can Wear After 60… Even if You Think You Can’t!

leggingsAs a woman over 60 interested in looking and feeling 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?

Designers are creating the same stylish trends for mature women as they do for the younger generation. The difference is that mature women have a more grown up look and appeal. Therefore, the clothes are not as tight, but still fitted to the body. The fabric is quality, and provides more coverage.

The clothes may also be loser in the waist and hide particular flaws on a woman’s body that may not need to be hidden on a younger female.

Here 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. Leggings orders have increased by 41 percent in the last year – by comparison, denim orders rose three percent in the same time frame.

Why do you think this happened? It’s because leggings are so comfortable and versatile to wear. You can wear them in the winter or in cooler weather, and 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. This will make you look long and lean. Add a long necklace and you are good to go.

Leggings look good on all body types and depend on what style of tops and tunics you wear with them. The ponte knit fabric is thicker and hides 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 will be able to hide any tummy flaws.

In the winter, any body type can wear leggings with boots or Uggs. In the spring and summer, wear sneakers or sandals. You will feel stylish and comfortable, along with looking great.

Capris or Crop Pants

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

This trend is hard to wear, and you have to be very careful. Depending on your height, the capris’ length can be different on everyone. Once you find the length that works for you, you will be all set.

It’s unusual that this trend has been around for so long, especially since they can be so unflattering for many women. Capris shorten the legs and also highlight chunky calves.

They are popular and so on trend due to the following reasons:

  • They can be sexy with revealing the ankle bone.
  • They look great with booties, which are much on trend.
  • They also highlight another shoe trend: shoes with straps and lace ups.
  • They 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 straight leg to create the longest and sleekest look.

The capris or crop pant is a comfortable summer option. Just make sure to create your own 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 get the correct fit, look at the waist rise, the upper leg and the lower leg. Use this combination and you will get the perfect pair of jeans every time.

Things have changed since we started wearing jeans. The waist height, or rise as it is called now, used 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 women. For instance, Diane Gilman, a.k.a. The Jean Queen, makes jeans specifically for mature women. I have tried her jeans, and they are an excellent fit. 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. It is also easier to wear than the off-the-shoulder top.

This trend is for everyone and is versatile enough for both day and evening wear. Cold shoulder tops can be quite feminine. They have attractive sleeves, and the bonus is, they are very comfortable and cool when the weather is hot.

Wear these 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.

Jumpsuit

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. Making 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. Black and navy are chic and versatile, and they immediately slim down unwanted curves.

If you find you have tummy flaws, a jumpsuit that has material in the middle instead of being fitted is ideal.

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 – try on a few styles to find the most flattering fit for your figure.

The big thing about the jumpsuit trend is that you must feel really good and confident about yourself. If you are unsure about wearing it, then don’t. Your lack of confidence will show on your face and nonverbal communication.

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

 

How would you describe your style? Do you currently wear any of the clothing mentioned above? If so, how do you feel? Do you have more stylish clothes that you didn’t think you could wear, but look fantastic on you? What are they? Please join the conversation!

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

5 Simple Tips to Feel More Confident About Your Style After 60

ConfidenceDo you sometimes feel uncertain about your outfit selections and not sure how to boost your confidence? Real confidence comes with accepting your personal quirks and working with them. In this way, you can dress with confidence by knowing your look and playing to your personal strengths. Here are five “feel good” style secrets.

Style After 60 Tip: Dress for Your Body

To feel confident in your clothing, I suggest embracing your best body features and strengths. All of us have body parts that we want to conceal. Maybe you love your legs and hide your mid-section.

Even if you don’t love your arms, the majority of women at any age can wear the cold-shoulder top. It’s been popular for over a year and keeps showing up for all the seasons. The great part about it is that is shows off the most beautiful part of your body and doesn’t accentuate any flaws.

Regardless of your size, shape or favorite body feature, here are a few key rules:

Fit is the key, no matter what your dress size is.

Everyone is a critic about what you wear, so dress for you.

A tailor is your best friend, next is fit and this is the key.

Don’t be afraid to play with patterns to enhance and camouflage areas of your body.

Be Comfortable with Your Style Choice

If you don’t feel 100% confident about your clothing choice before leaving the house, then don’t wear it!

Try this quick trick: Take a full-length picture of yourself and see how you look. The camera doesn’t lie. I always do this when I’m trying on sunglasses and want to select the right style. I can always tell which one I should buy based on the picture along with how I feel in them.

You will be able to recognize the right outfit during the moment you look in the mirror and feel nothing but pride, satisfaction, happiness, empowerment and confidence in what you’re wearing. The most important thing to remember is to make sure the outfit feels comfortable in the way you present yourself to the world.

Know Your Colors

Examine your closet and experiment with different colors to find out which hues work best with your complexion. Ask a close friend what colors look good and work best for you.

It will also be beneficial for you to understand your skin surface tone, which is the color you’d use to describe yourself (light, medium, tan, dark, etc.). Your skin’s undertone is the color underneath the surface. You can have the same skin tone as someone, but a different undertone, which are cool or warm.

If you have cool undertones – pink, red or bluish undertones – colors that look great on you include mint or kelly green, teal, lavender, purple, navy, hot pink, rose pink and burgundy.

For warm toned skin – yellow, peachy or golden – colors that look good on you are peach, yellow (lemon and mustard, which has more brown tones), brown, red, lime green, orange, kelly green and mint green.

Define Your Personal Style

Combine your personality into a wardrobe to help you define what is unique about you and in turn you will always feel good about your outfit choices and style. Here are seven descriptors I use to help you identify your personal style:

Sporty

Causal, relaxed fit and likes natural fibers such as cotton, denim and corduroy. Christie Brinkley wears this style.

Traditional/Elegant

Classic and high-end luxury with preferred fabrics such as woolens, tweed, raw silk and gabardine. Dianne Feinstein and Angela Lansbury wear this style.

Feminine

Romantic look and prefers fabrics such as lightweight sheer silk, soft linen, lace, eyelet and chiffon. Princess Diana wore this style.

Casual Chic

Professional and classy casual look and prefers double cotton, designer denim and lambskin leather. Cameron Diaz wears this style.

Creative/Artistic

Free spirited look and prefers layering with different fabrics including tweed, textured cotton, polka dots with paisley floral, and geometrics. Madonna prefers this style.

Dramatic

Bold look and fabrics include linen, leather, double knits and gabardine. Diana Ross wears this look.

Alluring

Hourglass figure and shows off different parts of the body and prefers an animal print fabric. Sharon Stone and Cindy Crawford prefer this style.

Once you can define your style you will be able to personalize each outfit with accessories and save time deciding what to wear each day.

The Power of Accessoriesfun hat

Accessories complete the outfit and have the power to instantly make you comfortable in your own skin and boost your confidence. Try a few of the following accessories for the season.

A pair of comfy sandals, flats or heels – I’m always looking for style and comfort, and I think the designers finally got it right. There are so many stylish and comfortable selections out for the season including Birkenstocks, slide-in mules, or heels with ankle straps.

A sassy handbag – Try a color like coral, blue or yellow. You’ll be surprised how much the handbag adds a pop of color and updates the outfit.

Statement sunglasses – A classy pair of sunglasses can take you from drab to fab, instantly. You will also beat the heat, in style.

Hats – These protect you from the sun as well. I noticed hats with writing on the side of them this year, like “Bon Voyage,” “Off to the Beach” and “Dear Summer.” What fun conversation pieces as well!

Look Great in the Morning

We are all busy and to take an extra few minutes to look great in the morning will make you feel more confident. Try putting your outfit together in the evening so you will know what you are going to wear in the morning. This will save you at least 5-10 minutes or more of time the next morning.

Try spending more time getting ready by making sure your make-up is on properly and hair is in order in the morning. I had a client who applied her makeup in the car at stop signs. Needless to say, she never felt entirely good about the way her make-up looked. It just takes a few extra minutes in the morning to complete your look and feel good about you.

 

How would you describe your personal style? Which tips are you using or plan to use to feel more confident about your style? Do you have others that you can suggest that are working for you? What do you think is the essence of style after 60? Please join the conversation.

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Mid Year Check-Up! 5 Ways to Look and Feel about your Style in 2017

Feel GCan you believe we are already half way through the year?

It’s the perfect time to check in with yourself to make sure you are on track with how you are feeling about yourself.

Here are 5 ways to feel and look good about your style this year. It makes a great difference in how you feel. You can start with one simple change.

DO YOUR CLOTHING CHOICES MATCH YOUR LIFESTYLE?

First and foremost you must have the appropriate clothing in your closet in order to have something to wear on a daily basis.

Do you sometimes pass over new jeans, morning after morning, in favor of an old pair?  Only 20 percent of the clothes in the average person’s closet are worn on a regular basis, according to a survey from California Closets. Another survey by Voucher Cloud revealed that the average woman has $550 dollars of unworn clothing in her closet. Most commonly unworn items in her closet are shoes and coats.

Decide what type of clothing you need to have in your closet. For instance, if you are working a full-time job, then your closet should have 80 percent business clothing. The other 20 percent could be casual, sporty, casual chic, and a few items for evening wear, depending on what you need.

Decide what you need in your closet and you will never say you have nothing to wear again.

Wear colors that compliment your skin tone

Examine your closet and experiment with different colors to find out which hues work best with your complexion. Ask a close friend what colors look good on you and work best with your complexion.

It will also be beneficial for you to understand your skin surface tone, which is the color you’d describe yourself (light, medium, tan, dark, etc,). Your skin’s undertone is the color underneath the surface. You can have the same skin tone as someone, but a different undertone which is as follows:

  • Cool: (pink, red or bluish undertones)
  • Warm: (yellow, peachy, golden undertones)

If you are cool under tones, colors that look great on you include:  mint or kelly green, teal, lavender, purple, navy, hot pink, rose pink and burgundy.

For warm toned skin, colors that look good on you are:  peach, yellow (lemon and mustard, which has more brown tones), brown, red, lime green, orange, kelly green, and mint green.

Are you wearing the appropriate clothing for your Body Type?

Do you know your body shape? This is the first step in feeling good in your clothes and building your personal style. It’s important to make sure your clothes fit in proportion to your body shape.

Knowing your body portions and what you need to adjust or camouflage will make you self consious of your body and can lower your self-esteem.

Explore the 5 different body shapes and identify your body type.

Hourglass, Rectangle, Apple/Oval, Pear/Rectangle, and Inverted Triangle.

HourglassCurves, curves and more curves!
Your shoulders are relatively as wide as your hips/thighs and your waist is distinctly narrower than your shoulders and hips/thighs.

Rectangle– Shoulders are as wide as your hips/thighs. Your waist is as wide as or just narrower than your shoulders and hips/thighs.

Apple/Oval – Shoulders are narrower or as your hips/thighs: from the front view, your waist appears the same width or wider than your shoulders/hips.

Pear/Rectangle – Your hips are wider than your shoulders with a round, sloping shoulders, a well-defined waistline (and might even have killer abs), your buttocks and thighs are full and round. Pear body shapes gain weight on their thighs.

Inverted Triangle – Your shoulders are wider than your waist and hips/thighs.

Complete your outfit with accessories

Accessories complete the outfit and have the power to instantly make you comfortable in your own skin and boost your confidence. Try a few accessories for the season:

  • A pair of comfy sandals, flats or heels – I’m always looking for style and comfort, and I think the designers finally got it right. There are so many stylish and comfortable selections out for the season including Birkenstock’s, slide-in mules or heels with ankle straps.
  • A sassy handbagTry a color like coral, blue or yellow. You’ll be surprised how much the handbag adds a pop of color and updates your outfit.
  • Statement sunglassesA classy pair of sunglasses can take you from drab to fab, instantly. You will also beat the heat, in style.
  • HatsThey protect you from the sun as well. I noticed hats with writing on the side of them this year, like “Bon Voyage”, “Off to the Beach”, “Dear Summer”, make fun conversations, as well.

Never again leave the house feeling uncomfortable about your style choice

If you don’t feel 100% confident about your clothing choice before leaving the house, then don’t wear it. Try this quick trick — take a full-length picture of yourself and see how you look. The camera doesn’t lie. I always do this when I’m trying on sunglasses and want to select the right style. I can always tell which ones I should buy based on the picture and how I feel in them.

You will be able to recognize the right outfit at the moment you look in the mirror and feel nothing but pride, satisfaction, happiness, empowerment and confidence in what you’re wearing.

 

By doing all of these things you will continue to feel better about how you look and present yourself to the world. Its starts with how you feel about your style.

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

5 Easy Ways to Make Your Summer Wardrobe Sizzle

Summer is the season for being outdoors for events such as bar-b-ques, vacations, reunions, music festivals, weddings, graduations and sports.

But one of the major challenges to being fashion forward is the cost. The average family spends $1,700 dollars on clothes annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It accounts for 3.5% of a family’s expenses, on average.

In 1930, the average American woman owned 9 outfits; today the figure is 30 outfits, one for every day of the month.

However, changing seasons doesn’t mean you need to completely overhaul your wardrobe, just make a few bold statements. Adding accessories will instantly update your wardrobe.

The styles for the season are all about updated classics, easy shapes, and unexpected combinations.

Try these five easy ways to reboot your wardrobe for summer, and make your wardrobe feel more current.

Choose light floral, print fabrics

Keep cool and wear lightweight, breathable fabrics such as linen, cotton, rayon, georgette (which is similar to chiffon), silk, and jersey.florals

Brighten up your wardrobe with florals, prints and color. This can inject some of your personality into your wardrobe. At times, you may need to tone down the big and bold florals and prints. You can do this by wearing either floral on the top and solid on the bottom, or vice versa.

Make sure that the scale of the floral pattern aligns with the frame of your figure. A large floral pattern can overwhelm a petite woman. A miniature pattern can look too dainty on a woman with a larger frame.

Other factors to consider are the placement of the patterns and the contrast of the colors. The colors should compliment your skin tone.

Try something different this season with florals, prints and lots of color!

Wear a fun hat

fun hatThe thing is, hats are for just about everyone; you just have to find the right shape that flatters your face. There are so many types of hats from mild (narrow brim) to wild (wide brim). You can look for cool banded fedoras, structured Panamas, striped floppy hats…basically, every style under the sun.

At the top of the list, and as a fashionable way to protect yourself from the sun, try a wide brim or floppy hat.

The latest and newest trends for the summer are hats with words written on the brim. Wear one and then watch out for compliments and conversation!

Statement sunglasses

fun sunglassesSunglasses are now considered the best accessory to have. It can change your entire look without a lot of effort. You can have a make-up free day and still look gorgeous.

Italian designers including, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Prada, Miu Miu, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace, sell over 7.6 billion Euro of eye-wear a year (including prescription). This is big business since more and more women have several pairs of sunglasses these days.

Have you noticed Oprah wears glasses with almost every outfit? Glasses are her main accessory standard.

Slides, slippers, high heeled mules and sneakers

This season’s mood is casual and easy, and shoes that just slip on strike the perfect chord. fun sneakersSome of this season’s favorites–such as slides, backless loafers, slippers and high-heeled mules–don’t have an ankle strap, which helps lengthen the leg. These casual designs offer some sturdier heels and feature elegant, clean lines. Expect a few fun surprises – like velvet slides for summer.

Sneakers are all the rage this summer, and it is stylish to wear them with pants, skirts, and dresses. You will also find them with a bit of a wedge as well as decorated in floral and metallic colors. Comfort and style is in this summer.

Statement earrings

Statement earrings continue to be big this summer, but in new materials and styles. Boho-styles use fringe and tassels from organic materials. Designers are creating bold, structural earrings by playing with graphic metals to develop new ways of doing hoops and long drops. Statement earrings are a great, inexpensive way to change the look of an outfit.statement earrings

If you’re going to wear big earrings, pay attention to the shape of your face. Keep everything around your face simple – avoid necklaces and go for a more natural hairstyle. These earrings are a nice compliment to the off-the-shoulder top trend – especially the longer earrings that are almost shoulder length. Lean into your own sense of style: the style really has to be authentic and what your brand represents to you in order to make it work.

How do you plan to update your wardrobe this summer? Do you have another tip not mentioned in this article? Join the conversation below.

 

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Is Your Personal Brand Working for You?

 

YourBrandHave you ever thought about how people perceive you? What does your reputation stand for? How do you want to be seen? How do you know when you make a memorable impression on people?

These days, everything you do in the public impacts your brand and your professional success. If you are interested in seeking a new job, being promoted, or making a sale for your business, make sure you are being perceived the way you want.

I remember interviewing for a job. I withdrew since I did not want to spend extra time working after hours, and it wasn’t a good fit for me. Two months later, I received a call from the same Vice President who interviewed me. He said that another position was available, and he wanted to know if I was interested. He said he was impressed with me when we had met previously, and he never forgot me.

So how did I leave a memorable impression? It was based on the following three things:

  • My brand was aligned with the way I wanted people to perceive me. My skills and knowledge in the Human Resources field were valuable to the organization and department. They could see my professionalism and that I was customer-service oriented. They needed all of these factors for the position.
  • I made a connection with the interviewer. This means they saw me as a good fit with the culture. They trusted me, and we were able to build a relationship. These factors are also critical in the position.
  • When I withdrew from the position the first time, I made sure to send a nice thank you note within 24 hours and wished them well with the search. They noticed my follow-up skills and integrity.

All of these factors left a memorable first impression on the interviewers; and in turn, I received a job that was a better fit for me through the “Hidden Job Market”. This means the job was never posted, and I had no competition. This is the ideal way to land a job.

I ask you – is your personal brand leaving the memorable first impression with people you want it to? If so, what three things help your brand leave a great impression? If not, how do you start building your brand? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Jump Into Spring: 3 Ways to Boost Your Style!

spring colors

It is imperative to maintain an up-to-date look with your appearance, especially if you’re still working, job hunting, speaking in front of groups, or making pitches.

I’ve worked with hiring managers who did not select people due to how they looked. They said they looked old and outdated with their hairstyle or clothing, and sometimes called them “frumpy”. The candidate may have had the skills to do the job, but unable to show that they would “fit in” with the department by maintaining a professional look.

Let me be clear, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to freshen up your wardrobe! You can make a big difference with a small adjustment like adding an accessory or a new color, or even by choosing a current hairstyle, in order to keep your look fresh!

Check out these ideas to boost your style for Spring.

Add color to your wardrobe

You’ll be surprised at how wearing color can change your mood, boost your well-being and make you feel more confident.

Try adding one of the new season colors to your wardrobe. They include teal, dark pink (almost a hot pink), blush (off white with a hint of pink), mustard (yellow), and orange.

Florals and prints are a big trend this year, as well as wearing florals with florals, and mixing florals and prints together. I prefer to wear florals and solids together so it doesn’t feel like you can see me coming! But find what looks good on you, and what you feel good wearing. Try stepping out of the box and mix florals and solids, or prints and solids. Or jump into the trend of wearing prints and florals together. There are even floral sneakers that are all the rave.

Whatever you do, add something different to your wardrobe with a splash of color like a yellow or blue handbag. You will see how it pops a bit of color into your outfit as well as how it makes you feel better.

Create new outfits from your closet

First, pull clothes out of your closet that you no longer wear. Keep pieces that are functional and work for your specific needs.

When creating outfits, be conscious of when you will wear them–weekend wear, work, running errands, client meetings or a night on the town.

Start with basic pieces. For instance, a pair of jeans go great with a colorful top and jacket. See how many tops, blouses and jackets you can mix together to make different outfits! If you have flowing, button-up, tunic, or plain white blouses, mix and match them with diffferent pants for a variety of outfits!

Skirts or dresses for the season are great to have as basics in your closet as well. Dresses are so easy and comfortable. It’s only one piece, and all you need is a layering jacket or sweater. See how many outfits you can create in this category. Make sure to coordinate colors and try a floral, leopard or print dress. You might be amazed at how good it looks on you.

Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize

You’ll be surprised how one accessory added to an outfit can make you look up-to-date. The trend for accessories this year is bold, flashy, bright and modern. I do recommend you stay within your own style unless you want to try something different. My style is classic, traditional with a hint of bold, so I feel comfortable with adding a piece of bold jewelry to an outfit.

Shoes are popping up in flashy silver and metallic hues, and the peep-toe is making a come back.

Oversized and dramatic sunglasses are a big trend, but make sure to find the right shape for your face.

Statement jewelry is all the rave. Chokers are back in style and should be chunky and oversized. Also try adding long and oversized earrings. And large necklaces from gems to feathers are dressing up necklines.

How do you plan to boost your style this spring? Is there a new color you plan to add to your wardrobe? Join the conversation and leave your comments below.

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Favorite 6 Biggest Trends of the Oscars 2017 Red Carpet

I love watching the “Red Carpet” fashion events of award shows and this years’ 2017 Oscars red carpet was no exception.

I expected more vibrant colors, but the climate was more neutral and subdued than recent ones. Still it was a great variety of fashion. Here are some of my favorites:

Join the conversation and leave a comment to let me who were your favorites?

Viola Davis dressed to win. Red, my favorite color is a winner! Beautiful and wearing it with confidence.

Although Robin Roberts is not an actress and is an anchor on Good Morning America, I had to add her to my list. She looked so stunning in this GOLD dress. Beautiful and glowing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taraji P. Henson is so beautiful dressed like old Hollywood Glamour. Gorgeous!

Kristen had the hour glass figure with this dress. Love it!

Chrissy Teigen look beautiful as always!

Halle’s hair was so distracting that I could not look at the dress. She was NOT my best dressed of the night. Sorry Halle.

RED: Is It Your Color? 3 Tips To Say “YES” to Red!

Valentine’s Day was on February 14th and RED is a popular color worn by millions of people on that day – but it’s not just for Valentine’s Day! I receive many questions regarding the color red and thought this would be an ideal time to talk about it.


Say “YES” to Red!

If you’re feeling at all hesitant about wearing red or wondering HOW to wear it, read this article and say “YES” to wearing red with confidence!


1) Is red right for your personality?

It just so happens that red is my favorite color and I wear it often in many different ways. Either as an accent color or dress, pant, coat, top, shoes or scarf. Red is considered a power color and the eye sees the color instantly, so you must feel good and confident wearing it. If you have any hesitation about wearing the color and don’t feel good in it, then red is not for you. People will be able to tell if you don’t feel good in the color by the way you walk, talk and your non-verbal communication body language. Your inside will project your outside behavior. This is a color where your inside behavior must project a positive outside feeling.

2) Are you wearing the right shade?

There are different shades of red, so you will need to find out which shade works better with your skin complexion.

To discover the right red for you, you should decide if a warm red or cool red works best against your skin. When you look at a warm red and cool red side-by-side, you can clearly see the warm red has more yellow and the cool red has more blue.

By putting swatches up to your face you will determine which shade looks good on you. You will see and feel it instantly.

People who look best in warm reds are people who look better in warmer colors like browns, oranges, yellows, and rust or fall tones. People who look better in cool reds are those who look best in brighter jewel tones like magenta, royal blue, bright purples and black.

If you are still confused, think about metallic or silver or gold jewelry. If silver is most flattering on you, then most likely you look better in cool red. If gold looks better on you, then a warm red is the answer.

However, keep in mind there are some skin tones, especially of a darker hue, that can get away with wearing either a warm or cool red. I’m in this category and even though I wear a lot of cool red (with more blue in the shade), I can wear the warm red as well. Gold also looks great on my skin tone but silver is attractive too.

3) How much red should you wear?

Again, pay attention to how you FEEL wearing red. It’s important to consider all the points above and what your goal is for the day.

Since red is my favorite color, I wear it socially, in business, or when I need to be in a position of leadership and present new ideas. It evokes a feeling of confidence in me and others can see it. If, on the other hand, you need to sell or negotiate something you want, it may cause an uneasy feeling with the person you are dealing with.

The important thing to consider is how you feel when you wear it. Once this battle is conquered, you can figure out the right shade you should wear and the appropriate times to wear it.

Is RED a color that you wear often? Do you know if you are a warm or cool red? Have you been wearing the right shade of red?  Join the conversation below and leave your comments!

To your beauty,


For a complete Color Analysis, including a FREE color palette of your customized colors, contact Brenda at brenda@firstimpressionsmatter.com or call (707) 648-7991 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.