Category Archives for "Fit Tips"

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! 

Best White Jeans for Grown-ups

It's Memorial Day weekend... so if you're a follower of the "no white jeans before Memorial Day" rule - it's time to break them out. But, if you're like me, you never put them away. During quarantine,  I haven't worn my white jeans even once. Then again,  I've barely worn denim jeans much either. Now that we are slowly getting out a bit more, so will the white jeans.  They are my favorite summer "going out" pants...and it's so worth it when you find the right-for-you pair. 

I know they are hard to get right though!  I also know it's impossible to diagnosis everyone's jean predicament in a blog post. But I've done A LOT of white jeans research (so you don't have to) and here's a rundown of my top 8 picks in various cuts and budgets. 

But wait...before we begin, let's all make sure we have the right undies on, shall we? Nude color (not white) with no VPL's (google it;) is the only way to go. Find the pair/style that you like.  FYI I personally wear these:  incognito hipster and simply soft thongs... and the boyshorts in the summer with dresses. 

Don't forget to check the rear view! 

Now, for my Top 8 White Jean Picks....The key to on-line shopping for jeans is to pay close attention to the rise and inseam (use your measuring tape)and read the reviews like a pro. Ideally, find a reviewer with a similar shape as you.  And use the B.Styled #justgetdressed Facebook Group to ask questions and get advice. 

Ok, here we go! 

1. NYDJ Curves 360:  Comes in regular, petite, plus and petite plus. Straight leg, ankle.  Ideal for curvy hourglass and pear shapes.   10" front rise; 15" back rise, 27” inseam

2. NYDJ Marilyn Straight Leg, high rise. Great alternative to skinny jeans and you can cuff them to get an ankle length, or wear them long with heels. Good choice for larger legs and calves.   10" front rise; 15" back rise, 32” inseam

3. Wit and Wisdom Ab Solution, regular and petite. Tummy slimming inner panel and high rise -- a fan favorite!   10 1/4" front rise; 27” inseam, 25” petite inseam

4. Paige Skyline Skinny: crop, raw hem, mid-rise. I've had Skyline skinnies for years and they are great for straighter figures who don't like high rise. This crop pair is great for petites. On sale! 9 1/4" front rise; 25” inseam

5. AG Prima Ankle Cigarette Jean:  Another mid-rise favorite of many. Very high quality, just enough stretch and they hold their shape. 9 1/4" front rise, 28” inseam

6. AG Farrah Skinny Ankle, High-Rise, Crop: Top pick for high rise skinny.  Very high quality, stretchy, light weight denim, not see-thru.  Sewn/faux front pocket gives a nice smooth appearance.  Slim fit but not too tight in the knees.  These are high-rise, but not super high. 9.75" rise, 27" inseam.

7. Good Legs by Good American High Rise Crop Skinny:  Reg and Plus. Curve hugging, highly rated.  Great for curvy hourglasses and pears.   10" front rise 27” inseam

8. Scoop Raw Hem Kick Crop Flares: I love this brand, and you’ll never guess the retailer. I ordered these after reading about them and haven’t received them yet so the jury is out,  but I thought they looked so fun - and you can’t beat the price for a trendier pair of jeans. 

Do you have a pair of white jeans you love? Help your friends out and post about them in the B.Styled #justgetdressed Facebook group.  We’d love to hear and you’ll be helping out other white jean shoppers! 

Happy weekend, friends! 

Casual, Cool Alternatives to Shorts

As soon as spring and summer roll around (and she's dragging her feet here, unfortunately) I get asked for alternatives to shorts.  I'm not a huge shorts-wearer either thanks to varicose veins that I've had since my early 20's. But since hitting 50 I've come to peace with them and do wear shorts when it's hot out and my legs have the glow of a nice fake tan;) 

But I realize many of you don't like wearing shorts, and the good news is there are lots of alternatives that look great and will keep us looking and feeling cool.  My top picks are dresses and loose fitting pants. There are lots of options and styles that fall into those categories, so here are some tips. 

#1 DRESSES

The easiest alternative, and my personal favorite is the one-and-done dress.  There are basically 3 lengths of dresses, and I like to have at least one in each length for spring/summer:

KNEE LENGTH:

  The most universally flattering length, and or petites sometimes it's helpful to go an inch or two above the knee too.  My go-to dress on hot days that also double as a swim suit cover-up is a swingy tank dresss.  This versatile tank dress can be worn as is or without the hem tied. It can also be worn with the scoop neck in the front as shown in the 2nd picture.  Tying a chambray shirt around my normally undefined waist helps to give the illusion of a waist with a casual vibe. 

This dress (with pockets!) can also be worn with the scoop neckline in front as show in the  (blurry!) middle picture below. 


These looks show how a casual  tank dress can be dressed up or down. The black sandals on the right are ok,   but I think a neutral sandal would still be better as it would blend in with my legs.  This exact dress is old, but Old Navy comes out with them every year and they are very affordable.  I got this black and white stripe one this year and also really love this color.

MIDI-LENGTH:

The midi length dress is a great alternative to shorter lengths (read: varicose veins and pasty white legs). Many people (especially petites) have been told they "can't" wear midi-lengths. Here are some tips for how to wear them if you are so inclined: 

1. Select a length that is slightly above or below mid-calf:  FIRST - remember the cardinal  rule of dressing: never put a HORIZONTAL line across the widest part of your body - (unless you want it to appear wider).  

You don’t want the midi dress to end exactly at mid-calf, which is the thickest part of your leg. Look for a midi dress that is slightly above or below.

2. Consider Fabric:

For your midi dress look for a fabric that is light and doesn’t add much weight to your figure.  Look for light and floaty fabric, and if you are petite, or want to avoid making your legs look shorter consider a dress with an asymmetrical hem or generous slit. 

3. Opt for a solid color or same pattern from head to toe:

This is not a dress you want to color block. Look for a midi dress in a solid color or one that has the same pattern from top to bottom. If you do want a dress with a little bit of pattern look for a dress with a small pattern. By small pattern, I mean a small floral pattern, tiny polka dots or something along those lines.

4. Cinch in the waist :

You don’t want to wear a midi dress without giving your waist definition. If not, it's easy to look like rectangle of fabric. This is especially true for my hour glass and pear shapes.   Even if the midi dress you buy doesn’t come with a belt, you can still add one, unless you’re going for that easy, breezy summer look. The red floral target dress below has the appearance of a band around the middle, creating the illusion of shape while still being comfortable and "breezy".  For a casual, cool look, consider the chambray shirt trick I did above. 

5. SHOES:

Ahhh...the shoe question.  In a perfect world we'd wear nude colored strappy heels like these, and they really do look the best, and elongate the leg. But the reality is, especially these days, comfort is key.  Especially if you're petite, you will want to steer clear from clunky chunky shoes with midi-dresses. While I love the look of white sneakers with a midi, they can make short legs look even shorter.  Opt instead for SIMPLE and sleek skin-tone sandals for the best look. See below for some ideas. Here are two midi dresses from my closet...a floral from Target and a gray t-shirt dress from Amazon (that is technically a maxi, but I tied the hem to shorten it..It could be belted too!  And see how much better the nude shoes look vs. black??

My favorite layer to add to dresses is my black or white (also in navy) ponte blazer or my beloved jean jacket.

MAXI DRESS:

Last but definitely not least in the dress category is probably my favorite -- the maxi dress. It eliminates all leg issues (and shaving too;) and is usually more comfortable and cool than pants on warm days. Traditionally, petites have ben told to steer clear from the maxi and only wear dresses that hit at or above the knee. But I disagree, and here are some tips to help: 

1. Pick the Right Length: 

Contrary to popular belief, floor-length dresses will work better for petite women compared to ankle length ones, NOT the other way around.

Why? Well, once the hem of your dresses touches your ankles, whether or not you’re wearing heels, you will appear shorter because the hem is like a horizontal line cutting across. (Remember the cardinal rule about horizontal lines).

2. Go for Solid or Monochromatic:

Maxis in solid colors, especially darker ones, will definitely make a short person appear taller for the simple reason that it is slimming and elongating and it offers less distraction to the eyes.

If you prefer patterns and find them more fun and flattering, look for  prints that are proportionate to your size.  If you’re thin and short, pick maxi dresses that have small prints. Wearing a long dress with large prints will overwhelm your tiny frame.

If you’re medium built and short, you can go for medium sized prints. If you’re plus size and also a petite, just go with medium prints instead of large ones (large prints are most ideal if you’re tall and plus size). Pay attention to the seaming and lines in the pattern and remember that vertical lines lengthen and horizontal lines can cut off or shorten. 

3. AGAIN...Wear the Right Shoes:

With the maxi dress already covering most of your body, it’s best to keep the feet open and and as bare as possible. 

The best companion of a maxi dress is a pair of heeled strappy sandals, with wedges being the most practical and comfortable. If you want to wear flat sandals, go with thong sandals that show a lot of skin, ideally in nude or gold metallic.  See below for shoe ideas.  Here are some maxi dress ideas. 

#2 LOOSE FITTING PANTS

I don't know about you, but once summer and warm weather hits (please? soon? someday?) I pretty much stop wearing skinny jeans and leggings and opt for loose fitting and flowy pants. 

When it comes to looser fitting pans, remember another cardinal rule - BALANCE!  When your bottom is loose or flowing, your top is best more fitted. By fitted I don't necessarily mean tight or cropped, but consider doing a loose half tuck , or tying the shirt hem.  I use these little dittys when I can't tie a true knot. 

My go-to in this category are:

1. Girlfriend Jeans (love these from Target!) color: summer fling, TTS, I have size 4. 

(Red sweater)

2. Wide Leg Flowy Pants (my favorite are these from Old Navy) TTS, I have small, white. Also like the cream, olive and stripe!

Striped Button Down and Fun Necklace.

3. Shocking (not) - My beloved modern bohos in the light buttery fabric that makes me so happy and comfy. I especially love the gray.  And how about this cute $16 graphic tee? (used the clear rubber band trick).

4. Cropped Wide Leg Pants: Many are nervous to try these, and all I can say is that they are worth trying and snapping a pic and see what you think.  As with the midi dress, pay attention to where they hit on your calves,and go for a nude sandal for the most flattering look.  Mine below are from Peach, an old collection, but I also found these from Amazon and they are their way to me. Highly rated by Cassie from Sugarplum! 

Now for SHOES! Here is a collection of wearable, stylish and comfortable shoes that will work with most of these options.  I include flats, heels and sneakers with a focus on COMFORT brands and styles in basic neutrals for maximum versatility. Scroll under each collage to see the individual shoes and click to shop (hit the > arrow to scroll through).

Which non-shorts alternative is your go-to favorite? Or do you love wearing shorts? 

Head over the private, free facebook group B.Styled #justgetdressed VIP's and feel free to post questions, picture and get advice. I love hearing from you!

Stay tuned for the launch of my monthly membership program where you will get virtual styling help, outfit ideas and formulas, plus other content surrounding beauty, wellness and style to help us live our best lives. More to come, so stay tuned! 

xo, Beth

2

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 coming at a later date - I promise.

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.

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.  

All this to say, 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 Systems 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 Conona version of my Style System membership and get it for just $39.

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. 

Fight the Frump: Shoulders!

Ladies! This week I'm sharing an important but easily overlooked fit and style tip. We are focusing on the often-overlooked shoulder zone! Exciting?  No? Critical? Very.

With very few exceptions, the shoulder seam of the garment should sit on the outside edge of your shoulder.

If it extends down your arm, you'll start to look both slouchy and schlumpy.  No bueno, right??

What's important is to notice where the shoulder seam hits on your body. That's how you determine if the top fits you.  It may feel like it fits, but there is more to this than feelings;)

If you have a larger frame (and/or bust) and relatively narrow shoulders, you'll have to go up in size on the top to fit your largest part, and then tailor the garment to fit your shoulders. 

Yes it's a pain, but it's so very worth it when you get it right.

Now, what if you have proportionally large or broad shoulders? Here are some tips to balance things out:

  • Don't choose very fitted blazers and jackets that only add to the definition of your shoulders.
  • Avoid cinching the waist of your dresses and skirts--it'll draw attention to the inverted triangle shape you're trying to avoid.
  • Skip spaghetti straps and go for wider straps in you tanks, dresses, etc.
  • Wearing scoop neck and V-neck tops that show some skin will break up the expanse of your chest area.
  • Wide-leg pants are hot now, and can work to balance out your broadness up top.
  • Same goes with full skirts, which also help give the appearance of a more even proportion.
  • Look for jackets and blazers that are a little longer and hit at the magic hip-bone zone instead of the waist.

The BEST advice related to shoulders though it what mom always told us.  Stand up straight, shoulders back and carry yourself with confidence. 

Now, go #justgetdressed.