Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Basics: Part 1

When putting together a wardrobe, you don't have to have a lot of money, but you DO need to have a few basic items to help add to looking great. I want to do a series of posts that I will post here and there describing things to have in your wardrobe. So this is a first post in a series called "The Basics." Makes sense, right?
I want to start the basics discussion with the need for people (women AND men) to have cardigans! I personally love cardigans, and I hope that you all can learn to love them just as much as I do. If you have a simple outfit on, you can easily spice it up with a cute cardigan.
Now this girl may seem a little TOO trendy for you, and that's fine, but the point is just to show how she paired two different patterns. And that it is OK. I will be discussing this concept in a later post-but I just want you to notice it for now. Cardigans go with practically everything. I honestly probably wear one almost every single day of the week. You can dress them up (like the man below) or you can dress them down (like the girl above). And they just really seem to be the perfect accessorizing article of clothing.
One suggestion for ladies is to buy embellished cardigans. Many have flowers, jewels, sequins, etc on them and they add that little extra umph to your look. Old Navy is a great place to find these kinds of cardigans. I'm sure they are available in a lot of other stores, but that is where I find all of mine for a great price. The embellishments add a little feminine touch and putting a cardigan on over your outfit is effortless, so it isn't hard to try and think of something fashionable to wear. And if you are ever so bold (which you should be!) try a cardigan in a bold color- like the guy shown below.
Guys, don't be afraid to wear cardigans. They aren't just for Mr. Rogers and nerds. Notice this great looking guys sporting a bright red cardigan and looking great! They are awesome for keeping you warm during the fall and winter and adding color to your wardrobe. And like I said- you can wear a cardigan like the guy above to dress it up, or even with jeans and it will still look great. Don't be afraid to try it!
So in case you didn't catch it, buy some cardigans!! They are great basics to a fashionable wardrobe and everyone needs to wear and appreciate them more often. Until next time!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's better to be overdressed than underdressed

This is the best picture I could find to illustrate the feeling of being underdressed... It's not the best example, but I'm sure all of you know what it feels like.

Let me just warn you now that this is often a pet peeve of mine. Knowing when and where to wear what is an extremely important skill that everyone needs to know. A lot of people seem to think that it doesn't matter what you are wearing at a certain event because we all shouldn't care about what other people think of us, or we just want to be comfortable or some other reason that we come up with for an excuse. In reality, knowing how to dress appropriately at certain events and places just shows what a refined and respectable person you are. By dressing appropriately you are showing your respect for the host and are also avoiding the embarrassment of being the only person not dressed for the occasion. Not only that- but if you are dressed nicely and appropriately, your confidence will be boosted, and you guessed it, you will feel better merely by looking better.
A good rule of thumb to go by is that when in doubt, dress up rather than dress down. If you go to an event in jeans while everyone else is wearing dresses, you will feel rather self conscious and like you don't take it seriously. If you show up to something in a dress while everyone else is wearing jeans however, you are still looking great and won't feel as embarrassed. Guys- this rule is for you too! I often see so many couples in public where the girl is dressed in her best while the guy is wearing jeans and a t-shirt. This simply isn't ok. Guys can put on a collared shirt with slacks just as easily as they can put on jeans, so why not look better? And at least like you deserve to be with such an attractive woman? :)
If anything, getting dressed up should be something to look forward to as opposed to something that everyone dreads. We get to wear jeans and casual wear almost everywhere. It's not that often that girls or guys get to fancy themselves up and go all out, so we should enjoy it when we have the opportunity! A good example is going out to the theater for a broadway show or nice concert. Look at this as an opportunity to dress up and look your best while enjoying some culture. Not only will you feel better about yourself, but you are showing your respect for the people putting on the show.
I'd like to end with a few events and places that should ALWAYS be dressed up for.
Wedding receptions
Formal dances (I hope that's obvious)
Broadway shows or events like unto them
Formal concerts (such as the symphony)
Award ceremonies (such as graduations)
Business meetings
Interviews (no matter where you are interviewing for)
Nice restaurants
And any other place throwing a formal party or event, such as a charity ball

I suppose I should also give a rough definition of what dressing up means. It means in short - NO jeans (or anything denim really), NO tennis shoes, NO tee shirts, and NO flip flops. There are other rules than this, but if you follow this, you can't go TOO wrong. I will probably write another blog about dressing up, so don't worry! If you look at dressing up as a way of getting to look your best, you will then be able to look forward to such events as opposed to dreading them. Until next time!

Also- if you have any ideas that you want to see on this blog- then just let me know! Comments are always helpful as well!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The #1 Rule- Wear clothes that fit!

I'm not sure how much any of you keep up with popular culture/news, but a while back there was a huge controversy over Jessica Simpson gaining a ton of weight, and this picture was the one that was circulating throughout the press.
Now this isn't some rant about how the press shouldn't care whether or not Jessica Simpson gained weight (which they shouldn't by the way), but it's more just an example I'd like to use to show how much wearing clothes that fit matters. A few weeks after this picture started circulating, I happened to be watching Oprah when Jessica was the guest of the day. She talked about this photo and her perceptions of beauty in general. It seems like Jessica has gained a lot of weight from the looks at this picture- but according to her she was only a size 6 in this picture. A size 6! So what I would like to suggest is that perhaps she isn't wearing an outfit that is the most flattering/fits her in the best way.
Fashion is all about fit. Some people are so amazed at how models can somehow pull any look off, even if it isn't the most fashionable or tasteful outfit. I would gather to say it's because the clothes fit them in the way they are intended to be worn. By simply finding clothes that fit you perfectly, you will be well on your way to looking and feeling better!
Now this isn't about having the perfect body type. Instead of wishing that you could change yourself to fit into certain clothes, let's change our mindset, shall we? Let's just find clothes that make our already incredible bodies look as good as they can and should!
Here are a few tips that I would suggest for finding clothes that fit you or getting rid of clothes that don't fit you. Now I'm not perfect- in fact I struggle with some of these tips as well, which is why I'm writing the blog! Because I know that I'm not the only one that struggles with these things.

1. If you find yourself adjusting something on your outfit at all hours of the day, that's a huge clue that you probably shouldn't be wearing it. Wearing something that fits does NOT mean you should be extremely uncomfortable. If you are tugging at your shirt to make it longer, or pulling up the chest line, maybe you should consider that the shirt you are wearing is too small. Just a thought. If you wearing clothes that don't require adjusting all day, then you are already feeling better, aren't you?

2. Accept the size that you are. I often find myself thinking in my head that I am a certain size. So when I go to a store- I only look at that size and that size alone. If I find an awesome pair or pants, and then go to try them on, sometimes I will find that they are a little too small for me. So I either don't buy them, or squeeze into them and buy them anyway. haha. I hope I'm not alone in this! The point is that I shouldn't be afraid to go the next size up- or in some cases down- if that's what will look best on me.

3. If you see something in a store that you think looks SO cute on that model/mannequin, don't be afraid to try it on of course. And yes- you NEED to try on clothes. It has taken me a long time to finally come to this realization, because trust me, I hate trying on clothes as much as the next person. But trying it on is necessary because we all have different body shapes, and perhaps the way it looks on a mannequin will be different from how it will look on you. If you try it on and it hangs differently that you would like, or doesn't look quite as good, but still acceptable, I'm thinking you shouldn't buy it. The reason is that if you don't love how it looks on you in the store, you never will. So remember that- and don't sell yourself short! Hold out for the clothes that you look and feel your absolute best in because as cliche as it sounds, you are worth it!

4. And finally- don't wear clothes that are too big either! Wearing clothes that are too big for you can be just as bad as wearing clothes that are too small for you. They can make you look bigger than you really are, and who wants that, right? Wear clothes that come close to your body, but not uncomfortably skin tight. You are beautiful and should show yourself off.

Those are a few tips that I feel are appropriate for wearing clothes that fit. If you have any questions about your specific body type- let me know and I can either answer them, or guide you in a direction to where you can find answers. The best way to know is if you look in the mirror and feel good about yourself. See you next Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

If you look good, you feel good!

Well I have officially started my new fashion blog! I have decided to call the blog "If you look good, you feel good" for a number of reasons. The main reason is that I feel it is a great summary catchphrase for what I want people to get out of this blog. This isn't your typical fashion blog. I don't want to constrain myself to talking about what is currently in style and how you should never wear white after labor day. I will throw a few things like that in as well, but the main thing I want to talk about is just the whole concept of feeling good about yourself! Call it self esteem, if you will. So many of us, especially women, have such poor body images and often have only negative things to say about our worth, appearance, etc. And I want to try and put some positives vibes out there in the best way I know possible because trust me, I know what it's like to feel like I'm not worth much.
I know everyone says that it's what's on the inside that counts, and it is! But in my humble opinion, the outside often reflects how we are feeling on the inside. Often we can't help but feel depressed and sad about things that we can't control, but we CAN help what we look like on the outside. And I have found that when I look good, I have more confidence and in turn feel better about myself, even if my circumstances remain the same.
Looking good can slowly lead to more self confidence, which is such a huge support to living the life that we all want to live for ourselves. So this blog will contain tips that I have found helpful in making myself look my best, and therefore feeling my best. A lot of people have told me that they struggle to even know how to put together an outfit and know what looks good, so this blog will offer helpful tips to you if you find yourself in that category as well. I'm excited about all of the different topics I have prepared and can't wait to get started!! Here's to looking and feeling better!

Also- I will be updating this blog every Wednesday- so keep an eye out! And if you like what you see, don't be afraid to follow the blog!