All Posts by bethwp

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Wardrobe Basics by Body Type

Wardrobe Basics

These pieces are the building blocks to your wardrobe and without them it is really hard to #justgetdressed. Everyone's basics will be different though and unique to you - based on you style, taste, lifestyle and body-type.  In the seasonal Style System Planner Program I make recommendations to members based on their individual needs, but here are some guidelines for the main categories - top and bottoms.  Access the shopping catalog for all the items here

1. CHAMBRAY SHIRT


TIPS:

Pear: Look for flowy material that can be worn tucked, half-tucked or untucked, that hits at your hip-bone zone (within 1-3 inches of hip bone). Go with the classic button-down style or one with a ruffle collar. Bell sleeves and scoop necks also look great on a pear body type.

Rectangle: Anything goes, but if you have a large chest and don't like a button-up, consider a popover style and flowy fabric that drapes over your curves. Look for one that can be tucked, un-tucked, half-tucked or tied at the waist. 

Inverted Triangle:  Flowy material that fits your shoulders but isn't too big in your waist. You may need to have a tailor take your shirt in at the waist and add darts to give it shape. Avoid ruffles or details that add visual weight to your shoulders and opt instead for an angled neckline (which is automatically created with a button-down or split neck  shirt.

Hour Glass: Stay clear of button-downs that pull at the chest, but don't go oversized either. Look for something that is tailored that skims over your curves  with an open neck. Split neck tops or popover button-downs in a soft material that has some shape are great. If it is too boxy looking, accentuate your waist with a loose half-tuck. 

Round: Wear shirts that flow under your bust, or peplum styles that expand at the waist. Wear open necks - i.e. scoops  and V-necks -  as they can lengthen your body.   Tops should fall lower than your hipbone. AVOID: Avoid high necklines and boxy, baggy or formless tops are not ideal as they make you look larger.  

Adding an open cardigan or jacket over the chambray shirt creates a vertical line down your front...a great trick for many body types. 

Click here to access the Essentials Catalog.

2. BLACK PANTS

TIPS:

Pear: Look for pants with a curvy cut or lots of stretch to accommodate  your smaller waist and curvier hips and thighs.  Straight leg , flares or wide leg are best, with straight leg ankle pants being the most versatile  - and they work with more types of shoes from flats to heels to booties. 

Rectangle: Anything goes....The key to creating a proportional look is to make sure your pants complement the silhouette of your blouse or T-shirt. If you’re going voluminous on top, balance it out with something fitted on bottom, and vice versa. High and mid-rises are generally best.

Inverted Triangle:  Wide-leg pants will balance out your wider shoulders and straight leg ankle pants are an easy go-to and so versatile and shoe-friendly!

Hour Glass:   Skinny and straight leg and bootcut pants with a high waist will elongate your legs and highlight your curves.  Look for a curvy fit with stretch to flatter your smaller waist and reduce "gap in the back".

Round: Straight-leg ankle pants are your friend! fitted bootcut/flares are great too. 

Click here to access the Essentials Catalog.

As you can tell from above, I'm a big believer in the power of the universally flattering straight leg ankle pant for all body types...It's a matter of finding the right pair for your particular needs and body. Here are some suggestions: 

3. TOPS & BLOUSES

TIPS:

Use these tips as a general guide for your white and black tops as well as all others! And see below for some suggestion for tops to hide a belly/midsection.

Pear: You want to draw attention up and create visual fullness on top to balance your fuller bottom half.  Look for tops with patterns and interesting details, higher necklines work on you, especially if you have a smaller chest. Avoid deep v-neck which will make your upper body look smaller. If your shoulders are narrow, consider boat necks, puff sleeves and shoulder details. Peplum style tops will accentuate your waist and glide over your hips.  

Rectangle:  Create the illusion of curves and a waist with scoop necks, puff sleeves, v-necks (not too low if your chest is small), sweetheart necklines, ruffled collars, split neck tops and the use of a half-tuck to create a waistline. 

Inverted Triangle:  Minimize the size of your upper body with v-necks, scoop necks, and use peplum style tops to define the waist and create more balance on your lower body. 

Hour Glass:   Wrap tops, v-necks and peplum tops will accentuate your balanced figure as will half tucking less structured tops. Avoid oversized, shapeless tops that hide your curves and make you look bigger. 

Round: Look for tops that accentuate your shoulders, neckline, or bust. Wrap tops, faux wrap tops, tunics with a rounded hem, straight tunics that can be half-tucked or that have a high-low design, v-necks, scoop necks are both better than high neck or crew.  

Click here to access the Essentials Catalog.

Regardless of your shape, extra weight in the mid-section is a common struggle so here is a collection of items that can camouflage extra belly weight: 

Stitch Fix: The Pros and Cons

Shopping and subscription box services are popping up everywhere, and Stitch Fix is the one most people are familiar with...probably because they do a really good job...for the most part.

Let's start with what I LIKE about Stitch Fix.

 It can be a great way to freshen up your wardrobe, try new things you may not otherwise try, break out of a rut and discover new brands that aren't on your radar.

Now for what I see as the downsides. Buying a bunch of what I call "one-offs" it can be a great way to build a wardrobe of nothing to wear. 🤦🏼‍♀️🤔

This "slow drip" way of shopping makes it so you're constantly buying a few pieces here and there. Problem is... they don't necessarily make sense or help you get dressed each day. I think it's more effective to shop LESS often and get more things at one time and have everything make sense.

Having a list and a plan, ladies...that's the key...so you can check things off and be DONE - and always have what you need - so you can #justgetdressed.

My biggest issue these box services is they can make it easy to settle for "fine".

I see a lot of closets with $68 tops that in theory are fabulous - unique, cool tops that are a great find...BUT maybe it doesn't fit, or the color is off...but you keep it because it gets you to the discount level or it helps justify the $20 fee, or it's just easier to settle.

A closet full of FINE is not the goal. And most importantly, a closet full of "fun" tops doesn't help you get dressed if you don't have the right pants to wear with them;)

So I think Stitch Fix (or any of the other similar services) is a great way to have fun with clothes (and these days especially- if it's fun, I'm all in;) and try new styles and REFRESH an already fabulous and functional wardrobe.

But I don't see it as a good way to BUILD a fabulous and functional wardrobe.

So what is?

Having a list and a plan...and ditching the willy-nilly shopping.

And that's what I give you. We'll be starting up for winter on December 1st with a focus on having a CozyChic Winter/Holiday Season. Be notified when my next Style System launches by clicking here:

Now dear friends...go #justgetdressed. 😘

3 Dumb Things I’ve Done to Be “Stylish”

Ladies… you know I’m all about using style (and #justgetdressed) to enhance your life – so I want to share 3 things I did in the past (and still have to keep in check) that completely wasted my time (and money).

My hope is to help us be aware of this cycle and these habits so we can still have fun with style and fashion, but keep our wits about us at the same time.😜

So here’s what I used to do..can you relate?

1) Back when my kids were younger, I used to kill time waiting to pick them up from practices, etc. by walking the aisles of TJ Maxx, Target, etc., picking up $19.99 tops and other “stuff” that caught my eye.

I thought I was getting “great deals” and adding fun items to my wardrobe.

In reality, I was just spending money (that adds up quickly) on things I didn’t need and didn’t love.

2) I’d commit to purging my closet, but always ended up keeping things “just in case” or because the item was “totally fine”.

I told myself I spent good money on that item, and the thought of purging it made me feel guilty and wasteful.

3) I’d keeping accumulating and storing items until my closet was bursting at the seams – and I’d still put on the same few items day in and out.

It was routine – a habit really – that I wasn’t truly aware of until I started helping other women with their wardrobes. I was accumulating more and more, without a strategy or plan – or a real love for what was coming into my closet.

Is this a cycle you can relate to? Do you have any habits surrounding style or shopping that you want to break?

Share in the comments!

More Ways Dressing and Making Dinner are Similar

Today I'm continuing to run with the analogy of how getting dressed (love it) and making dinner (hate it) are similar. If you missed the first post about this, check it out here. 

As part of my committment to improve my Time Management skills (learn more about that struggle and solution here) I'm also trying to work on my meal prep and dinner-making skills (or lack-there-of).   It occured to me that I can use the same concepts that I use with getting dressed (a skill I have nailed down) to making dinner. 

Just to review, the first similarity that I discussed last week was that without a list and a plan, we're in big trouble. Make sure you read that one - it's important.

Today, let's talk about 4 more ways these two seemingly disparate activities are actually quite similar, and how to avoid the pitfalls involved in both.

Similarity #2: Desperation or Rushing Rarely Results in Success

I can’t tell you how many women I talk to who have closets filled with great clothes that they rarely actually wear.  Instead, they're rushing around, caring for everyone and everything else and defaulting to the same old same old clothes.

What’s interesting is that some of these same women are excellent cooks and meal planners.  Each week, they sit down, make a list and decide what will be for dinner every night of the week. They scan pinterest and cookbooks for recipes and even write down the menus for the week.  I am in awe of you women and hope to be like you when I grow up. 

mealplanboard

And then there’s me. When 5pm rolls around I’m left scrambling for ideas and at a loss throw together the same old same old - ususually something like pasta, jar sauce, and a salad.

There’s other stuff I COULD make, but in the moment, at 5pm especially, I can’t be creative.  

This is also why you have cute clothes you don’t wear.  You have the clothes, and you COULD put a great outfit  together, but you’re running late, nothing special is going on, or you're feeling uninspired, so you put on the proverbial pasta and sauce.

Here's an altenative: Quickly plan an outfit  the night before, including  accessories and the shoes. This isn’t an original or revolutionary idea, but besides saving you time in the morning, you can give it some thought and use some creativity because you aren’t up against a time crunch.  

You do that, and I'll do meal planning;) 

Similarity #3: Buying a little at a time is a bad idea

The weeks that I’m good about meal planning, making a list, and putting in an instacart order or going out for a “big shop” we eat pretty well (better).  The weeks I don’t plan, or the weeks that the big shop doesn’t happen, I’m sending someone to the store for this or that....and we end spending more money on last minute take-out, or having dull, boring meals.

The same thing happens with clothes shopping. 

Think of the time you spend down the rabbit hole of on-line shopping - or at the mall, TJMaxx or even Target.  It's easy to get lost in the moment and realize an hour or two later that you're coming out of the haze of clicking, shopping and browsing.

Remember the Recreational Shopping we discussed last week? Yea, that. It rarely results in a cohesive, workable wardrobe. 

Or a balanced, delicious dinner. 

Second, adding a few items to your wardrobe "here and there" usually results in more spending.  Just like with grocery shopping, $20 here, $40 there may not seem significant, but we all know it adds up.

On the other hand, when you’re doing a big grocery order,  you have an idea of how much you’re spending, and you can control it in when you look at the overflowing cart (or see the amount add up on instacart). Those things you don’t really need or that can wait, are put back to keep the final bill in check.

The same happens with clothing shopping. When you do a big wardrobe shop, you can see exactly what you’re spending, and prioritize if you're going too hog wild. 

Also, when you’re doing a bigger wardrobe shop, you’re less likely to buy what I call "one hit wonders" that can only be worn one way.

You can see how pieces  all work together

I can wear this with that, I can put that top with that skirt. I wear this dressed up or casually. You know the drill... The items aren’t separate and removed from each other and they're versatile (my favorite adjective for clothing).

coordinatedclothes

If you’re stuck in a pattern of Recreational Shopping or buying random things here and there, I encourage you to go on a 30 to 60 day shopping freeze, and then do a strategic, list-and-plan shop in the Fall. I promise, you can get by until then, and your Fall wardrobe will thank you. And of course I'm here to help. 

Similarity #4: Without the right ingredients, you're sunk

Imagine if your wardrobe consisted of just jeans and t-shirts. No patterns, no accessories, no interesting details or completer pieces. It'd be pretty hard to #justgetdressed and love the way you look, wouldn't it?

The same holds true in your kitchen. If you don't have the ingredients to make delicious, interesting meals,  you end up with pasta and sauce from a jar for dinner.

I realized that what I need is a Pantry Staples List as a starting point, so that my kitchen is equipped to make as many interesting - and easy - meals as possible. Of course there would be items on the list that I wouldn't buy - because I just don't like it - and that's ok. But maybe there's something on it as simple as cans of black beans, that if I have on hand all the time, I could to add to a lot of things.  #duh

But it's so true... you need certain ingredients in your wardrobe too. If you only buy the basics that you wear day in and out, you’ll never have anything different to mix up your outfits, and you’ll be bored with your wardrobe and feel fumpy and uninspired to #justgetdressed.  

On the flip side, if you only buy the bright and shiny objects - whether it be unique spices at the grocery store or statement tops at the mall - and you don't have the basics to cook or wear with them - that's no bueno either. 

My Fall Style Transformation Program will focus on this balance and getting it right, and will include a new 50+ piece Wardrobe Basics List, similar to the Pantry Basics List I need to go find. (Have a good one? Send it to me, please?!)

But the key to these kinds of lists is to tailor them for YOU and your taste, your aesthetic and your lifestyle.

If you hate curry powder, don't buy it, even if it's on the pantry list. If a crisp white button down doesn't work fo you,  don't buy it just because it appears on an Essentials List. 

Makes sense, doesn't it? 

Similarity #5 - Both cooking and dressing skills can be learned, and require practice

How often do I hear women say, "Beth, I  was born without a sense of style. I have no idea what to wear and I'm just not good at it."

And how often do I personally say, "I'm just not a cooker. I have no idea what to make for dinner, and I'm lousy at it."

Great cooks aren’t born that way.  Granted, many had family members who were, and that helps. But I'd say that usually they have an interest in cooking and a desire to get really good at it. Then they learn, they practice, they watch YouTube videos and  acquire new skills. They try new things, learn from their mistakes and have fun cooking.

It's the same with style.   There's a common myth that women are born with an innate sense of style and the ability to dress themselves.

This is simply not true. And the real problem is that it makes some women give up on style or think “why bother” because they weren't born with the special "style gene".

Nope. Not true.

If you want better style, you can have it. It’s a skill you can learn and develop.

If you want to.  

I guarantee you, every single woman you look at and think, "oh she's just so stylish", has worked at it. She makes an effort, tries new things, and has honed her skills so it appears effortless.  And she has the knowlege, the tools (and the wardrobe) to make it pretty easy.   

Of course there are also different degrees of "good cook" and "stylish".  My idea of stylish may be complete frump salad to a young NYC fashionista. Just like my idea of a delicious meal would be eh, at best to a gourmet chef.  

And that's ok! 

beyoudoyou

A Challenge for you!

Now that you know all the ways getting dressed and making dinner are similar, here's a challenge for you (and I'm going to do the same in the dinner-making department): 

Try picking out out your outfits the night before for 5 days in a row. All of it too...including shoes and accessories.

Notice if you feel any different. 

Do you wear more of what you own?

Do you look more "put together"? More polished?

Do you feel better? Have a more productive, happier day?

Are your mornings easier? Less stressful?

I guarantee you  can learn what it takes to #justgetdressed and love the way you look. 

And my purpose is to help you get there and to use your personal style to help you live your best life. 

Share with us how it goes over in my free B.Styled #justgetdressed Facebook Group. And I'll share how my dinner-making went as well;) 

Now, go #justgetdressed.

Cheers! 

What Making Dinner and Getting Dressed Have in Common

I love a good analogy and today I’m sharing how making dinner (one of my least favorite activities) is similar to one of my most favorite activities - getting dressed. 

Believe it or not, there are many ways these two seamingly mundane daily activities are alike, and I'm going to hash them out for you over the course of the next few blog posts. 

And to be clear, by “making dinner” I mean things like meal planning, grocery shopping and actually cooking dinner. 

And by "getting dressed", I mean all things clothing and style related, like  your wardrobe, shopping, and putting clothes on your body. 

Are you still with me? Stick around...it’ll make sense, I promise.

Here we go...

Similarity #1: Without a list and a plan, you’re in big trouble. 

I’m famous for going to the store out of desperation because “they” (my sons)  tell me “there’s nothing to eat in the house”.  I go, buy random things and then am somehow shocked when I come home with bags of groceries and not a clue what’s for dinner.  

But this is how many of us  shop for clothes too.  Click on that cute blogger recommendation, buy that tee on sale in 3 colors, oh and that jacket is just so cute.  Wait, why can’t I get dressed?

It's Called Recreational Shopping....

There's a popular term for this kind of willy nilly clicking and buying: Recreational Shopping...and it's the opposite of list-and-plan shopping (or strategic shopping) .

Think about it--- no one goes recreational shopping at the grocery store and buys chicken breasts or ground beef or salmon filets -- items that can actually be easily transformed into innumerable meals. 

When we recreationally grocery shop we buy things like artichoke dip and cookie butter. 😳

In the same way,  no one goes recreationally shopping for clothing and buys the perfect black pants that may be expensive but make your butt look great and work with pretty much every top you own.  Instead we buy one-hit-wonder pieces that catch our eye, or our 100th pair of shoes (you know who you are;)

Strategic Shopping is Goal Oriented....and involves a list and a plan. 

On the other hand, when you make a list of what you need, the basics tend to take priority. 

The basics - in both food and clothing - are those foundational items that make it easy to cook dinner, and effortless to get dressed.  

You add the fun stuff after the basics are covered.  When you do that, making meals - and making outfits - is so much easier.

I’m working on my new program for Fall: Get Back to Basics and Transform your Style because I feel so strongly about this.  

What I’ve learned from working with hundreds of women over the years is that there's really no one-size-fits all list of Basics or Essentials.  Your collection of Basics need to be personalized for YOU. But the categories within the Basics remains pretty consistent.  

For example, a white shirt could be considered an Essential Basic. But maybe you have a big chest and hate button down shirts. Or maybe your coloring is such that you never wear stark white. 

Buying a crisp white button down because it appears on 99% of all Essentials lists just doesn't make sense for you. Maybe instead, you get a flowy, woven blouse in ivory or cream that serves the same purpose, but works for YOU - your coloring, your esthetic and your beautiful bod. 

Capiche?

Below is a collection of timeless Fall Basics ….all from Nordstrom (many on sale) and the foundation for innumerable chic, modern, looks to get you thinking about what may be on YOUR list.   

This list is like the chicken breasts, pasta and romaine lettuce of your wardrobe...  There’s no artichoke dip or cookie butter here.

But a wardrobe of all basics would boring and dull, and not let you express your personality...which is such an important part of #justgetdressed.  

You'll learn in the Transform Your Style Program how to add accents and personality pieces to make fabulous looks that YOU love and that fit YOUR personal style. 

Just like we all enjoy different meals, we also have different style aesthetics (and bodies)  and I’m going to help you find, and develop your signature style  so you can #justgetdressed and love the way you look.

Next week, we'll talk about 4 more ways getting dressed and making dinner are similar...including how desperation and last minute rushing, rarely ends well - in either activity.  Stay tuned! 

In the meantime, the sales are coming fast and furiously (including the famous Nordstrom Anniversary Sale).

My recommendation is to focus on filling in your basics if you need to....or better yet, take a hard pass from shopping during August. Use this time to wear the summer clothing you already own, enjoy some downtime, and save your money for what your wardrobe really needs.  And I'll be here to help you.

Until then, go #justgetdressed....and maybe make dinner too??😜

Timeless Fall Basic Essentials

Thanks for reading and drop me a note if you have any questions. I love hearing from my ladies! 

And if you haven't already, remember to join my free, private Facebook Group...one of the most postitive places on the internet. Post your questions, make connections with other like-minded women, and use the #justgetdressed mantra to live your best day! 

8 Simple Steps to a Better Day: My Morning Routine

The concept of a Morning Routine has been around for years. I remember desperately trying to hammer a morning routine into my sons as they were growing up. Sadly,  the only one that truly stuck was brushing their teeth, but hopefully as they get older and mature, they’ll catch on to some of the others.  Make your bed? Put away your #$% stuff ??  One can dream....

But today I’m talking to mature, respectable, grown-up women (i.e. you;) so I’m thinking you can relate and are more interested in the topic than my sons were/are.  🙃

I’m a firm believer in the power of routine and positive habits, and during the Covid-19 lockdown I’ve made even more of an effort to create and stick to a morning routine.  I thought I’d  share mine with you today because I realized how truly helpful it is for me. 

The way I found out how important my routine is to me was by skipping it. 

 For a couple days last week, I went off the rails of my previously solid morning routine, and man did  it take a toll on my mood and productivity.  There is a clear and direct correlation between doing my morning routine and having a better day. No doubt about it.

Don’t worry….I’m not  going to tell you that you have to get up at 5am.  In fact, I’m not going to tell you have to do anything in order to have an effective Morning Routine. The key is to develop one that works with your life, your sleep patterns and your personality. This is what works for me..take it for what it’s worth and design your own. 

My 8 Step Morning Routine to a Better Day

Let me start by crediting Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning for inspiring me to develop a morning routine in the first place. And thank you friend and B.Styler Carol Perlman for her recommendation of the book. It changed her life, and it's changed mine as well. That said, I don’t do the exact steps Hal lays out, but the point is, I developed my own Miracle Morning Routine that works for me.  Here it goes:

1. Get up One Hour Earlier than Usual

😉And by "get up" I mean actually wake up and get out of bed and vertical;) 

Notice I didn't say get up at 5am. But, if you normally get up at 7, try getting up at 6. And if you’re like my son and normally get up at 11am, get up at 10am instead;)  The reason for this is simple. You want time by yourself before the other humans in your world get up and start to annoy or interrupt you. Seriously though, even if you live alone,  this uninterrupted time will become sacred and beloved - trust me. 

And even if you love your sleep, I’m willing to bet you a cup of coffee that you’ll start loving this time even more than that extra hour of sleep (most of the time at least).  It may take some time, and you may have to go to bed a little earlier, but it’s so worth it. 

Here’s an aside for the night owls out there who are saying, no way jose' to early mornings. I guess you could do these things late at night if that works better for you. The point is to have dedicated, uninterrupted, private time whenever you can get it and make a daily routine. That said, I still think the way you start your day determines your day, so keep that in mind. #tryityou'lllikeit 😉

2. Drink 16 Ounces of Water, Right Away (before coffee!)

I fill my 16 ounce bottle before bed and put it on my bedside table. When I wake up, I have a game with myself where I can’t drink any coffee until I’ve downed the whole bottle. I take my vitamins and meds while I make my coffee and chug chug chug the water. It’s so important to rehydrate after a night’s sleep. I drink 3-4 more bottles during the day. 

3. Head to My Morning Routine Hideaway

Next, coffee in hand, I head to the little loveseat in my office/living room. For me it was helpful to dedicate a particular room for this next part. It’s a spot in the house that I’ve associated with my morning routine and it’s quiet, cozy and free from distractions. I recommend designating a particular place in your  house - it doesn’t have to be a private room...just a spot for you to be alone and comfortable and (hopefully) undisturbed. Be creative and make it pretty! 

I start with my daily devotional, reading the designated page from this book. There's a page for each day of the year. It takes about a minute or two to read each day and I find it so powerful. I’m a Catholic, and if you are Christian and interested in having a daily devotional routine I highly recommend this book (it was a gift from a dear friend - thank you SB!) The key is to do what works for you, so take it or leave it or adapt it to fit your own beliefs and interests. 

4.  5 Minute Meditation/Prayer

Next I meditate and/or pray for about 5 minutes. For beginner meditators, I love the 10 Percent Happier app by Dan Harris of ABC News (who was a very relunctant meditator like me). I also recently started to use the free Insight Timer App as it has prayer-based, guided meditations as well as every other meditation type you can imagine. I’m still a novice ...I can’t say I’m a huge fan yet, but I’m determined to use it to become more mindful, less anxious and more focused...all benefits of meditation.

5. Write Something! 

Next I take 5 minutes to write in a free-style journal. I’ve tried many types of journals but for me a book of blank, unlined pages works best and I literally just scribble thoughts, stories from the prior day and things I’m grateful for. It’s very much  “stream of consciousness” writing...no prompts or structure. This works for me but if you want more direction, the 6 Minute Diary looks really good. I actually plan to leave my journals behind for my kids to read someday, so that is always in the back of my mind as I’m writing. Maybe I should have a separate book for my deep, dark secrets. I’ll have to consider that;) 

6. Read Something!

So at this point I’m about 15-20 minutes into my morning - tops. Next,  I spend time reading. Usually about 10 minutes but sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on the day. During this time I read a non-fiction book on personal development or something related to business and entrepreneurship. Some of my favorites that I’ve read (or re-read) recently include: 

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

The Happiness Equation

The One Thing

Atomic Habits

Next up is Stories that Stick

Have you noticed that so far I haven’t mentioned things like “check email”, “read texts” “scroll through social media”? That’s because my goal here is to AVOID doing any of those things during this Morning Routine. I know that the minute I “check my phone”, the wheels can easily go off the proverbial bus and I head straight into the time-wasting vortex.  Am I perfect about this? No. But I am aware of the temptation and make a conscious decision to avoid it.

7. Move!

Next, I exercise for at least 30 minutes. Ever since  the world came crashing down in March I started doing on-line workouts almost every day. I miss my gym friends SO much but I have to say the time and money I save has been significant. I never thought I was motivated enough to work out at home, alone - but given no other option,  it’s just part of my routine. In particular I’ve gotten hooked on at-home yoga and am slowly getting better at it. I have a long way to go, but the beauty of doing it at home is that I can’t compare OR embarrass myself with others. In addition to yoga (which I aim to do everyday), I try to mix in some HIIT workouts, and I also love barre classes and go on walks/jogs a few times per week. YouTube is filled classes; it’s a matter of finding the ones that you like. It’s such a personal thing. Here are a few that I've been doing: 

Yoga with Adriene

Action Jacqueline (Yoga, Barre, HIIT)

30 Minute Strength Training Bootcamp (HIIT, weights - note the modifications!)

Speaking of exercise --- Here’s another little routine I started during quarantine...I read about habit stacking in the Atomic Habits book...and challenged myself to do 5 pushups every time I go to the bathroom. STRANGE, I know. But since I’m home all day, it’s an easy way to work them in and get stronger arms in the process. You could do standing countertop push-ups to start, and work up to real ones. You could also habit stack with something else (instead of the bathroom which may seem weird to you).  Maybe everytime you fill your water bottle or enter your kitchen, or open the fridge, etc. you do 5 pushups. Or maybe alternate squats with push-ups for variety. Just think of creative ways to sneak those powerhouse moves into your day. Can’t do push-ups yet? Here’s a great guide for how to start and work your way up. 

8. Last but not least...You guessed it -  #justgetdressed

I’d love to be able to tell you that I’m dressed to the shoes by 9am everyday, but that would be a big fat lie, especially these days. This new never-leave-the-house routine has definitely impacted my fashion choices;) 

That said, I so passionately believe in the power of clothes (and especially accessories) that I do consciously #justgetdressed (almost) every single day. And I find the earlier I get around to it, the better my day is.  

I’m not making this stuff up ladies...it matters, it's impactful and it does NOT have to be hard. 

Actually I think it  can and should be  one of the most enjoyable things you do each day. That, my dear friends, is the missoin of B.Styled: 

 To help women like you leverage the power of personal style to create a better life.

So there you have it,  my morning routine. Do I miss days occasionally? Yes. Weekends can be especially hard. But my goal is progress not perfection. And I find the more I do it consistently, the more it just happens on autopilot.  And that’s the goal of routines and habits, right? 

I’m guessing many of you already have morning routines firmly in place. I love talking about this stuff, so I’ll be starting a thread over in the private #justgetdressed facebook group where we can talk about it. See you over there! 

Until then, drink your water, move your body and #justgetdressed. 

How to Wear Wide-Leg Pants

Wide-leg, lightweight pants are a great-looking and comfortable option in the summer. They are also a cool alternative to shorts and a more stylish option than traditional "capris".  (See more Casual, Cool Alternatives to Shorts here.)

And best of all, they'll take you into the fall as well, and can be worn casually, dressed up and to the office. 

BUT, they are one of the trickiest bottoms to pull off because the success of the look is entirely dependent on balancing proportions and wearing the right top, not to mention the shoes and accessories.  

So let's  break down how to wear wide-leg pants, with several outfits that can take you pretty much anywhere this summer and well into the fall too. 

How to Wear Wide Leg Pants

 Shirt, $49 |  Blazer | Chambray Shirt, $78 |  Budget Option,  $39.50 | Tan Sandals, $48 

Loafers, $48  | Straw Crossbody Bag, $29  | Straw Earrings (lightweight!), $10 

Coin Pre-layered Necklace, $52  | Cognac Bag, $199 | Wrap Bracelet  | Stretch Bracelet


We're all used to full length wide-leg pants, but the crop style is another story. And I hear some of you saying, "no way, Beth - it's not happening." If you're dead set against the style, you can substitute slim ankle pants like these and still create the looks below.  But remember, a style that seems crazy to you at first will start to look normal the more it's around, and this one seems to have staying power. I included some more pictures of them on various shaped and sizes at the bottom of post. 

First, let’s talk about what you should look for in the pants. The pair I'm wearing above is from Peach but no longer available.( I show lots of similar options at the bottom of the post.)  

I was able to find some great-looking navy crepe trousers from Nordstrom. They're on sale for $59 in sizes XXS – XXL in navy and white, and black for $30 here

Looking for plus size? This option from Lane Bryant in a similar crepe are great looking.

Another alternative is this pair from Lands End, also in crepe, pull-on with less fabric. Available in regular, plus and petite sizing. If you're afraid that the others will be too much fabric or add bulk to your frame, these are a great alternative. 

Like many wide-leg pants, the pair in the examples below is high-waisted. In general, the high-waist gives the illusion of longer legs and is most flattering when worn with a shorter or tucked /half-tucked top.

👉If you're short-waisted you'll want to look at pants with more of a mid-rise. Or wear your top untucked and slightly longer (to add length to to your torso).  Click here for Dressing Tips for Short Waist Figures. 

With regard to pant length, you have options. Because it's summer, I'm featuring a crop pant. If you want full length instead, the wide-leg pants need to be hemmed perfectly for your height, meaning that when you’re in a shoe, they need to be just about a half inch off the ground.  

Here's a pair of wide-leg, full length trousers from Banana Republic that come in petite, regular and several colors (including navy).  Long, wide-leg pants like these can make your legs look longer and they look best with a heel, even a low one.  If you get yours hemmed, make sure you do it to suit the heel height you'll be wearing. They'll look best with a heel that is either pointy or shows your toes.  

In the summer especially,  I love the look of wide-leg crop pants.  Generally, the area around the top of your ankle to the bottom of your calf is the ideal length. Once you start cutting through the middle of your calf, you enter capri territory, and you know I'm not a fan of capris. 

👉Remember...you don't want to put a horizontal line across the widest part of your calf - and this what the traditional capris of yester-year do. 

Depending on your frame, the width of the pant may be overwhelming. If that's the case, you can have these easily altered. If  they fit in the waist and hips/rear but are too voluminous in the legs, you can have them hemmed to your most flattering length and ask to have a little bit of fullness taken out. It’s an easy fix and well worth it. 

👉Tip for Petites: Instead of opting for a true wide leg with a leg opening between 22-26.5″, go for a pant with a leg opening of 17-20″

The outfits below are ideal for the office, a date, or a small get-together. As always, you can shop this post full of practical recommendations OR go to your closet and plug in similar pieces....keeping in mind proportions! 

Clean and Simple: Navy & White

Wide Leg Pants, $60  |  Shirt, $49 |  Sandals, $120  |  Bag, $34  |  Earrings, $42  | Sunglasses, $15

Short Necklace, $42  |  Long Pendant,  $84


This is one of my favorite looks because it’s elegant yet casual and cool at the same time.  It's the perfect use for a quality white tee that looks especially great knotted on the side or half tucked.  The outfts I'm wearing above were insprired by this look. 

👉TIP:  I use a clear rubber band like these to easily tie a knot without stretching out the top.

This slub scoop neck tee has a great structure which is important.  Because the pants are so full, you need a top that will help create balance.  If you wear a full, flowy top with wide leg pants, you will just look wide everywhere like a square....not a good look unless your name is Bob (i.e. Sponge Bob... Get it?? 😉 

The key to the top is that it be shorter or tucked/half-tucked or fitted and somewhat structured. It DOES NOT have to be skin tight (although a bodysuit would look amazing with these pants) but it also shouldn't be voluminous.

👉Remember, loose and flowy on the bottom means fitted on top.  And loose and flowy on top (a tunic top for example) means fitted on the bottom (i.e. slim fitting pants, skinny jeans, etc). 

The statement earrings add a splash of color and I like that they are a contrasting shade of blue, adding interest rather than "matching".  A long, simple pendant necklace works with the earrings without being too much and provides a visual vertical line down the middle that is always flattering.

You could also wear nude shoes, wedges, flats (especially if you're tall) or block heels. Stay away from kitten heels or very dainty sandals, as the wide leg of the pants would overwhelm them. Again, proprotion is key! 

Fresh Floral

Wide Leg Pants, $60  |  Blouse, $49 |  Sandals, $59  |  Bag, $29  |  Earrings, $42  | 

Double Necklace, $64 |  Cuff Bracelet, $52


Next, this patterned sleeveless top (from Banana Republic) is another pretty option and works well with the wide leg pants because it gathers at the waist, creating a beautiful shape. It's a pretty top for summer but could also be worn under a jacket this fall, or in the AC this summer.  If you don't like sleeveless, I saw this navy floral blouse....the Banana Republic tops  come in regular and petite up to  XXL, and are on sale.  

I just ordered the Cole Haan sandals shown. They are so comfortable and the heel is moderate in height so still flattering but easy to walk in.   And don't forget your jewlery ...it makes the outfit... the finishing touch.  See how I show mixed metals above? Have fun and play around with accessories.

Monochromatic Chic

Wide Leg Pants, $60 |  Peplum Top, $40  | Blush Sandals, $48  |  Chain Link Necklace, $42

Cognac Bag, $199 (sale)  |  Leather Wrap Bracelet, $64


Last but not least...a gorgeous navy monochromatic look - always a winner for looking taller and slimmer. I added accents of blush and tan, and accessories with texture to keep it from looking flat. The blouse has some texture and adds interest with the buttons and sleeve details...the key to monochromatic dressing. And the peplum waist provides shape and structure too. 

That's it! I hope you found this informative and maybe you're willing to give wide-leg pants a try. They are yet another option if you don't like wearing shorts or leg-baring skirts....And, they still let you stay cool and stylish....and are so much better-looking than dated capris! (Here's another post with more ideas for alternatives to shorts).

Below are some more shopping options for them - and the sales going on these days are crazy!  Let us know in the comments if this is a style you'll try and go #justgetdressed. 😉

I'm Here for You....My Readers! 

My clients and followers inspire all of my content, and this post is not sponsored or paid for by brands or retailers. 

Recommendations are based on my experience as a personal stylist and wardrobe consultant.  My goal is to wade through the ocean of retail confusion for you,  and currate ideas to help you simplify fashion and look and feel your best so you can  #justgetdressed.  

I work with real women with real bodies and smart budgets who want to look chic and feel confident, but can be confused and overwelmed by what retailers and the fashion industry put out there.  

Some links are affiliate links, which means if you purchase via my site, I receive a small commission, but the prices you pay are no different at all.  I am aslo a brand ambassador for Peach, Stella & Dot and Beautycounter, so I'm available to provide personalized attention and help with those brands  - drop me a note any time with questions. .  

If you enjoy my content and would like to help me grow, please consider following b.styled Instagram and join my Private Facebook Group to access more advice and exclusive in-depth conversations with other like-minded women.

Thank you! 

My Top 10 Go-To Beauty Products

Today we're talking all things beauty products!

When it comes to beauty products are you in a committed relationship, or do you tend to play the field?

I generally fall into the "jump around and play the field camp" (in the beauty product department that is;)  

I'm not loyal to just one brand, and I'm always on the lookout for new products. I also love learning from people like Angie from HotandFlashy about anti-aging skincare, but I try to balance that by trying to simplify things and get decent results with the fewest products. 

So while I am constantly changing things ups and experimenting there are a handful of products  I find myself repurchasing over and over. 

Today I'm sharing those top 10 go-to's...and many (5 out of the 10) are from Beautycounter, a favorite clean beauty brand that I represent.

 Currently they are having a 15% off Friends and Family sale too! 

My Top 5 Beautycounter Go-To's

I always (naively) assumed that  "someone" was insuring that the stuff in the products our family puts on their skin and in their mouths were tested for safety. However, the amount of chemicals in some of the products  we use daily is shocking. Since learning more, I have made an effort to move my family over to  more safe products, especially the things I use on my skin daily.

Like many premium, high-quality brands, Beautycounter is not "discount-happy", meaning the price is the price, and the value is there, and you won't see a lot of crazy promotions. They do occasionally have sales - like right now - so it's a great time to stock up or try the brand.  

Here are my favorites picks that I use religiously: 

This peel is a game changer.  You put it on before you head to bed and it helps bring your dull skin back to life and shows almost immediate results (unusual, I know, but true).  You will feel this peel when you put it on; I use it at least 3 to 4 times a week.  I wait 5 minutes after applying before adding my ​nighttime  moisturizer.

 If I HAD to pick one item to get - this product would be it, hands down.  I'm using the sale to get more.

BeautycounterPeel

I've been all over the map with cleansers but have settled on this on as my favorite. The creamy foam gets your skin squeaky clean without , removes every trace of eye and face make-up and leaves your skin soft and smooth, not dry and tight.  And since I hit my 50's, I have really sensitive eyes, and this one does not bother them one bit. 

Countermatch Cleanser

I use this day cream, Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizer every morning after the cleanser and after my  serums (numbers 6 &7 below) - and before my sunscreen (which I also love and get on amazon through subscribe & save). 

I use this night cream, Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream every night before bed. I even use it under my eyes in lieu of a separate eye product. It's deeply hydrating,  supports elasticity, and visibly firms while minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles. 

KEY INGREDIENTS

  • Retinatural Complex: We took two of the most powerhouse plant-derived ingredients available and created a scientific breakthrough. Bakuchiol has been shown to provide skin-care results that are comparable to retinol—without harmful side effects such as skin irritation and increased sun sensitivity—and Swiss Alpine rose boosts the skin’s antioxidant defense.
  • Tetrapeptide: Helps increase skin elasticity, minimize the appearance of lines, boost visible firmness, and smooth skin surface.
  • Fermented Sugars (Biosaccharide Gum-1): This blend of fermented sugars helps soothe skin while helping slow the visible effects of aging by optimizing hydration for renewed skin.
BC day cream

4. EYE MAKE-UP

My eye-makeup collection is pretty minimal.  I a I use these three Beautycounter products:

  1. This is the only eyeshadow palette I own because the colors are so pretty, neutral and easy to use for a novice.  There are 4 options for palettes, so choose the one that suits you. And check out the Beautycounter tutorials here
  2. If I use an eye pencil (which I don't always do) I use this one in brown.
  3. I love this brow gel and use it to color, fill and shape my brows. (It's out of stock right now unfortunately,  but you can be notified when it's back. It's worth the wait!) 
beautycounter eyeshadow

5. Lippies! 

I absolutely LOVE Beautycounter lipsticks.  The fact that something going so close to my mouth is safe is obviously important, and I also love the way they glide on, how they taste and smell, and the colors!   If I could only have one type of make-up, I'd pick lipstick.  I feel naked and washed out without it (and can use it as blush in a pinch;)

I use the lip gloss (love dahlia)) The Sheer Lipstick is what I have in my pocket and in my car at all times (usually in Rose), but I'm a lipstick fanatic so I have several shades.

For a more intense color, I just got this one  -  I love the design on the tube - and the color is a vibrant pink, great for summer (I have B.Fearless, neutral pink). I also love the lip gloss (I use dahlia).

BC_newlip
BC_gloss
BC_roselip

More Products I Buy on Repeat

I use this serum each morning after cleanser - all over my face, and then down my neck, chest and back of hands.  I've been using it since March and notice an improvement in my skin. I use it daily and liberally, so this brand has been a big money saver too. I found out about it from Angie and it's formulated with the same exact ingredients as SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic but with 20% pure L-Ascorbic acid making it more effective...at a small fraction of the price.

Vitamin C Serum

Next to the Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel,  this serum is my other favorite heavy-hitter, result-producing product. There are so many serums and potions that Angie recommends layering on, but I like to use  this one for me is a single product with powerful ingredients and I've seen great results.  The EVER  line of beauty products is from our friends at Stella & Dot and recently they combined under the same umbrella, so it's another collection I can personally help you with. So far this is my favorite product I've tried - and it's a best-seller with proven results.  I've been using for 45 days and plan to re-order! You can save 10% by getting on auto-delivery too.   

I use it in the morning after the Vitamin C and before my moisturizer. I use it in the pm on the nights I don't use the peel, before I moisturize with the Beautycounter Supreme Cream

Youthful Serum

I've been using this foundation or the CC cream for years and keep going back to it. I use the oil-free bye-bye foundation when I want more coverage, and the illuminating CC cream on most other days.  You can buy it at Ulta, Sephora, etc...or QVC also has the CC cream  with a great brush and free shipping. 

9. Honest Beauty Extreme Length Mascara + Primer 

I forget who turned me on to this 2 in 1, clean mascara (from the company founded by Jessica Alba), but whoever you are - thank you! It's affordable, clean and it WORKS. I get it on amazon with subsubscribe and save so I don't forget to replace it. 

honest mascara

I DO know who turned me on to this secret weapon (thank you Carol Kolster)! This pencil in Stella is my "I got 9 hours of sleep" tool. She taught me to put it in the inner corner of my eye and on my brow bone. I even run it along my lower water line. The brightening effect is magical! 

There you have it - my top 10 beauty products I use on repeat.

Now, do tell! What products to you repurchase over and over? We'd love to hear what's working for you! Share below, or over in the private B.Styled Facebook Group!

Thanks for reading and remember to #justgetdressed;)

5

The Blazer: Finding your perfect fit.

I’ve talked in the past about the Power of the Fitted Blazer and how magical they are for adding structure and polish to any outfit. In fact, I ​wrote this post back in  2014 and not much of the message, if any, has changed.  Last year at this time, I also crowned the fitted jacket the MOST POWERFUL of the 10 Wardrobe Essentials. You can check that out here.

 And there's no doubt that of all the 3rd pieces I talk about, a fitted jacket or blazer is my top pick. And they are NOT just for you working girls. They finish off a casual outfit beautifully as well. 

The problem is, they can be very tricky too.

Very few women — no matter their shape or size — can find an off-the-rack blazer that fits just right. If it’s a very structured blazer, chances are you’ll have to take it to the tailor.

Best to start out with one that fits as well as possible to reduce those alteration fees. Here’s what to look for:


1. Shoulders first

Shoulder alterations are complex and expensive. Find a style that fits your shoulders and you’re already ahead of the game.

The shoulder seam of the blazer should hit right where your own shoulder ends. If it falls closer to your neck, it’s too small. If it goes past the spot where your shoulder starts to slope downward, it’s too big.  I see too-big jackets all the time...from blazers to jean jackets. Do yourself a favor and if the shoulders don’t fit...put it back on the rack! 

When trying it on, give yourself a hug while wearing the blazer. If it pulls a little, that’s fine. If it pulls a lot, it’s probably too small. Pass on it. 

2. Sleeves next

Sleeve alterations are pretty simple, though they can be expensive if the blazer is lined or has details like trim or buttons.

What to look for? First, consider the style. Blazers with three-quarter sleeves offer some handy leeway (and is a cool, on-trend look), whereas the ideal fit for full-length sleeves is very specific. A full-length blazer sleeve should always hit just above the top joint of your thumb when standing with arms at your sides. Your wrist itself should be covered. 

3. Then chest

Every woman has a unique set of challenges. Women with larger breasts may experience pulling. A small chested woman may have bunching and rippling.  A blazer that fits properly in the bust will cover about half of each breast and skim the covered area without bunching or wrinkling. In a perfect world, the blazer should fit well both buttoned and unbuttoned (but in my opinion, the look it has unbuttoned is the most important, giving it the most versatility).  

A blazer that fits properly in the shoulders, bust and torso but cannot be buttoned all the way without some pulling is not a deal-breaker — unless you’re a lawyer or professional suit-wearer and need exquisite fit both buttoned and unbuttoned. But that’s just my opinion. Mary would disagree;) 

4. Don’t forget torso

Generally speaking, the blazer should follow the natural curves of your body without pulling or sagging. You don’t want lots of extra fabric around your midsection. The idea is to provide shape and structure to your figure.   

Length

Longer lengths are in style this year, especially with the popular “boyfriend blazer”.    Shorter cuts work well too, especially with dresses and skirts. A shorter jacket also looks great over a longer top, creating that chic and flattering layered look.  The length of your jacket will depend on your figure and your preferences, but a good rule of thumb is to have the jacket hit in the hipbone zone (same goes with the top if you’re wearing a shorter jacket over a longer top, have the top hit around the hipbone zone. Remember the golden rule - don’t put a horizontal line across your widest point.  Instead put it just above or below.  

Buttons

“Stance” describes the highest point where the blazer buttons. Blazers with higher stances tend to have more buttons — at least two or three. Lower stances are frequently one-button designs.

To be honest, a high stance can look a little dated and matronly. It’s a style that was all the rage decades ago but now looks out of style.  Lower stances with fewer buttons appear more sophisticated and modern.

Bust size, however, can complicate the matter. Busty women may find that low-stance, single-button blazers open awkwardly at the chest. Meanwhile, other busty women find high-stance blazers a problem to button without uncomfortable pulling.  This is why an open blazer in a soft, stretchy, knit fabric may be best. If you have a blazer you're unsure about, snap a selfie and  post it in our private group to get advice.

Length and shape

Beware: Length and shape are the other factors that can make decades-old blazers appear dated or frumpy.  I refer to my hunter green shoulder-padded, double-breasted blazer from my job at AT&T in 1988-90's.  This is NOT what they're talking about when they refer to a slouchier, longer blazer. 

The current trend of “boyfriend”-blazers is very popular.  But today’s long-and-boxy looks are  different from the long, boxy numbers from the ’80s. A modern boyfriend or long-line blazer will typically have a hint of waist shaping and a natural shoulder line. These look best with a fitted bottom like slim pants or straight leg or skinny jeans.  The blazers we wore back in the 80’s should go, if they haven't already. They aren't coming back. 

When in doubt, a tailored, fitted blazer that hits around the hip-bone zone will give you the most bang for your buck.

My personal favorite and go-to blazer is a less structured, more comfortable but still well-fitting and tailored ponte knit blazer. It has stretch, is as comfortable as a sweater, but still has the chic, polished look of a blazer. The beauty of this year-round jacket is that it works as well in the boardroom as it does with jeans and a t-shirt. Versatility, my friends!

Can blazer fit be complicated? Definitely. Worth the effort? YUP.   My advice is to focus on buying a style that suits your hardest-to-fit area, enlist a tailor to help with the rest, and you’ll look chic, sleek and polished.  

Now, go #justgetdressed.

Fyi, here are my blazers I showed you today "in action". Currently available styles are linked. My white blazer is only still available in size large here.

Peach Ponte Blazer (and trailblazer white button-down)

Knit Blazer, several colors

Black Moto Jacket, Helmut Lang

Peach Faux Suede Moto

Boyfriend Knit Blazer

Plaid Boyfriend Blazer

2

Weight and Wardobe

What do you think the #1 roadblock is that keeps most women from having a wardrobe they love?

Is it Money?  Time?  Desire?

No, no and no.  

When I ask women  the  #1  why they  don't have the a wardrobe they love, most answer something along the lines of their weight or body image. 

It's the (mistaken) belief that you can’t have the wardrobe you want until you have the body you want.  

Disclaimer…..This post is not about weight loss or how to dress different body types.  I’m not a weight loss expert, and the body-type dressing lesson is part of the Style System Planner program. 

Instead, this is about building a wardrobe you love regardless of the number on the scale or the size of your pants.  

It’s about valuing yourself enough to care for yourself. Today.  As is. 

That’s what I mean when I say #justgetdressed.  

It means dressing the body you have right now, in clothes that make you feel great right now, without waiting until you’re happy with the number on the scale.  

It means buying great jeans, even if they’re a size bigger than you’d like them to be. 

And, by the way,  it also means some days leaving the house in sweats and no makeup because you know you don’t need to #justgetdressed in order to feel good about yourself. 

But Instead, you #justgetdressed (most days;) because you enjoy it, it makes feel more confident, and it’s become a habit.  

One of the main "why's"  behind B.Styled is my desire to give women the freedom and joy that comes when they #justgetdressed today,  not putting it off until they’re the “right” shape or size. 

I’ve never met a woman, either through my business, or in my life, who doesn’t have body image “issues”. Never.

The closest I’ve come is Mary, my 95-year-old mother.  I’ve never heard her beat herself up about her body, or even really put it down. The only exception is that my dad used to lovingly tease her about having “thick ankles”. This makes him sound like a jerk, but trust me he wasn’t. He adored Mary and I think it was just an inside joke they had because in his eyes she was perfect.  

She also had (and still has) an irrational obsession with her ears...She thinks they stick out. Whatever. I don’t see it...but she does, and always will.

Now, I know, both Mary and I are blessed with genetics or metabolisms that keeps us pretty thin. And some would say I have no credibility on this topic because I don’t have weight struggles.  Believe me, both Mary and I count our blessings for this. We also work at it and take steps to maintain our weight and stay on track. Some days are harder than others too. 

But the fact is, unlike Mary, I do have body image issues. I grew up with a body that looked more like a boy's (with the lovely nickname of "Bones")  and I was so envious of the more developed girls.  Then in college, I gained weight and was heavy for the first time in my life. I felt awful in my own skin for many years.  I spent some time digging out old pictures - which brought up some VERY fun memories --but I also vividly remember how yucky and self-conscious I felt.

Here's just one doozy I found.

Can we ignore the dress for a moment (it was a loaner) and focus on the awful tan, ridiculous make-up, not to mention the hair?

And does this prove that girls have been sticking out their tongues to the camera since the beginning of time?

I'm sure I was having a great time though based on the friends whose faces I cropped out. You're welcome, girls. 😉

I did end up losing the weight in my early 20’s and swore I’d never go back.  Since then (aside from pregnancies) I’ve stayed within a few pounds of the same weight.  I learned that it's easier to take the steps to maintain an ideal weight than it is to lose weight, so I try really hard to stay within a pound or two of my ideal.  That's gotten harder thanks to menopause, but I still get on the scale a few times each week and cut back or change things up if it starts to creep. But I know for many, many women it's not this "easy" and again, I'm not here to give weight loss or health advice. 

What I am here to say is , we're all sisters here, and though our struggles are different, I say let’s just support each other, and not judge or discount one another's experiences.  

Ok, now, back to the connection between weight, wardrobe and style...

Through my business I speak to women all the time about this topic and few themes come up over and over.

The first thing I hear frequently is “I don’t want to invest in clothes at this weight”.

The question then becomes, how long is too long to put off investing in yourself?  A year? 5 years? When the kids grow up? When the kids get married? You get my point. 

Focusing on what “could be” next month or next season, keeps you from enjoying clothes and prevents you from appreciating and enhancing how you look and feel right now. 

Another point about not “investing” in clothes you love until you’re a size you love, is that most of us here aren’t shopping at Barney’s, buying thousand dollar pieces meant to last for "a lifetime". 

Even if you had your dream body, the clothes you’d buy today at Loft, Banana Republic or even Nordstrom, are going to need to be updated at some point. 

Face it, these clothes aren’t going to truly last forever, so no need to wait until you’re a size you’ll be happy with forever

The second thing about weight and wardrobe I hear all the time is, “I have SO many clothes – I just need to lose x pounds to get back into them”.  

And I get this...it’s painful to think about getting rid of perfectly good clothing that may fit someday. 

So, what should you do?  Should you buy clothes now, or just wait until you can wear the things you already own?? 

That’s a tough question, but let’s review what a WARDROBE really is.  

Your wardrobe is NOT all the clothes you own.

Your wardrobe is all the clothes you can wear - right now. 

So, what about all those clothes you love but can’t wear right now?

First of all, staring at those clothes every morning is not an effective #justgetdressed strategy, and will not help you feel good about yourself.  And, I dare say it will also NOT motivate you.

Instead,  try this:  box up everything you still love, is still in style, but that you can’t comfortably wear today. What’s left in your closet is your wardrobe.  

Will this wardrobe enable you to #justgetdressed every day and make you feel confident? 

If the answer is no, then you really don’t have “SO many clothes”.   

Right?

Go buy things that you can wear right now, and that make you feel good right now, and will make it easy to get dressed - right now. 

PSA: My Seasonal Style System will help you do just that, with a step-by-step list and plan, and NO willy-nilly shopping. Click HERE to learn more about the Style System Planner and get it for just $47.

When and if you get back into those beautiful things you boxed up, great. But in the meantime, they won’t be taunting you or taking up valuable real estate in your closet.  

Here’s another consideration. You know that when we feel good and  like the way we look, we are more likely to treat ourselves better as well, right?

Have you ever noticed that when you #justgetdressed, and put a tiny bit of extra effort in...maybe real shoes instead of slippers? Maybe pants with a button instead of elastic? How about a little make-up too? There’s no doubt we feel more confident and carry ourselves differently than when we’re schlumping around feeling like a hot mess.   

Which version of you is more likely to eat healthful, nourishing food? Which one of you is more likely to dig into “comfort food” and a gallon of mint chocolate chip? 

Photo: Steemit

Now, this is NOT to say that the answer to weight struggles is a better wardrobe (wouldn’t that make me rich?)   But I do know that looking and feeling frumpy is never the answer either.

Today is the day to start valuing and appreciating and dressing the body you have.  

Today is the day to give yourself a break and show yourself some self-love (personally not a fan of that trendy term, but it is true;)

And, today is the day to make your closet a boutique customized to YOU and your life, your body and your style. 

I’m here to help!

Ok ladies...Philosophical Beth is done.  

For more, see the LIVE video below where we discuss the topic. 

Now go  #justgetdressed.