Category Archives for "Tips & Tricks"

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. 


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:


  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.


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. 


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.


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. 


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

Mother’s Day Gift Picks

Mother's Day is in 10 days people, and this is NOT the year to drop the ball.    

There's no question it's going to be a different Mother’s Day this year. So many families will be  unable to be together, and I especially feel for those with parents in retirement and nursing homes and assisted living situations who can have no contact at all. We are so fortunate to have Mary living safely and happily under our roof.

I scoured the internet to come up with ideas that you can have delivered to the special woman in your life.  I got Mary this neck and shoulder heating pad and this wrap in her favorite color.   And If I were shopping for myself, this souped up coffee maker would be on my personal wish list. And I know cleaning equipment used to be considered a no-no, but given the state of my house right now, I would really love this ....It cleans and disinfects with just water, and the pad is machine washable. Who have I become???

For a more meaningful gift idea, I have a dear friend who is going through a very tough time right now, and I created a bracelet stack for her that includes a reversible,  engrave-able leather wrap bracelet.  I've been representing Stella & Dot for years now, but today was the first time I really looked at their KEEP COLLECTION, and I was blown away by all the options for gifting any special woman or girl in your life with a personalized message and gorgeous piece of jewelry.  Keep this in mind for graduations, confirmations, showers and more. 

Finally, if the special woman in your life is like me, and the way to her heart is through amazing food she doesn't have to make, consider handmade treats from my dear friend Karen Collins' business, Bisousweet Confections. You can order here for delivery directly to mom, and you'll instantly win Favorite Child Award.  Karen has generously extended a 10% discount to my readers with code #justgetdressed. (Note that the hearts for heroes are excluded from the discount). 


Fun fact::  Many of you saw this  self-portrait drawing done by Eddie Collins - my family's personal hero, and kidney donor to my husband, Bill.  Well, Karen and Eddie are husband and wife! Talk about a talented and amazing duo.

Here are some other Mother's Day ideas (scroll down and then use the right arrow). 

How do you plan to celebrate Mother's Day this year?  To all you special women out there, you are in my thoughts, and I appreciate you stopping by this little spot on the internet today. Take good care of yourself! 

How to #justgetdressed in Quarantine

Hello my friends,

Today I'm coming to you today with some concrete advice on how to use clothing and #justgetdressed to help with motivation. I don't know about you, but my motivation levels started out pretty high when this began, bu there are days now where I really struggle in the motivation and productivity department.  

Study after study shows that we feel better when we can cross some things off the to-do list. And there's no doubt that routine and structure make us more motivated and productive. We've been telling our kids/teens this for years and now it's time to walk the talk ourselves.

What I choose to wear very much helps me distinguish between relaxation and work. That doesn't mean I wear anything uncomfortable (especially these days) but it does mean I choose to #justgetdressed in a casual outfit that feels a couple notches above PJs, so that I take myself, and my work seriously. Sometimes I even put on shoes (usually these)  and spend about five minutes creating a simple makeup look. And I've been asked about my favorite bralette (since real bras are so 2019) - this one is the best I've found

For me, this  #justgetdressed routine tricks my brain into thinking I'm going somewhere, even if it's to the next room. And the difference in the day I have in terms of mood and productivity, is undeniable. 


Here is a collection of my favorite go-to WFH pieces, that can all be mixed and matched, and dressed up or down, into innumerable comfortable, casual-chic, quarantine-appropriate (???) looks.  These are all basics that you will reach for over and over again IRL too.  I show a week's worth of outfit formulas, but  all the pieces mix and match, so the possible combos are many.

(Note,  below are  product suggestion, just scroll below the picture and just click the little right arrow > to scroll through them all....Also, if you click on a Peach or Stella & Dot links, thank you for selecting me as your stylist/ambassador. I appreciate your support!)

Head into your closet and experiment with these outfit formulas using whatever you have on hand. Snap a selfie and post it on Instagram or in the Private #justgetdressed VIP group, using the hashtag #justgetdressed  so I can see what you're up to! 


My favorite Quarantine Pants, hands down. You really have to experience them to believe them. If you want to try at no risk, just message me and I'll get you free shipping (returns are always free).  You'll find yourself grabbing them all the time now, and then again when we get busted loose. They are so great-looking, versatile and COMFORTABLE. 


Remember, we've committed to putting on the ol' jeans with a button and zipper AT LEAST once a week, ideally more.  If nothing else to make sure they still fit. "Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom." #truth.  

Replace the t-shirt with any top, and remember the power of color, especially if you're feeling blah. A favorite color top won't cure all, but it may just make you feel a little better. 

Swap the blazer for comfortable cardigan, and of course, socks are the new shoes. These are my favorites, and I swapped them out for all my mismatched socks when I did my Closet Cleanse.

I also encourage you to put on a 5-minute face most days. This no-brainer set is quick and easy and will help you feel like yourself again. 


A matching loungewear set is immediately more chic and cool looking... I know it sounds crazy, but it's true, and something I've learned from some of my fav fashion bloggers.  This set from Target (here and here) just arrived and is like wrapping yourself in a cloud of cozy softness. It's PJ's and loungewear that will translate to everyday life too.  I've been looking everywhere for ivory/neutral cozy slippers and found these on Amazon that I LOVE.


Hopefully you have a comfy maxi or midi dress for an easy one-and-done look that will come in handy once the sun actually comes out and the temps warm up. If you're already there with the weather, why not throw on a dress instead of stretch pants for a change? It may motivate you to shave your legs and even put on some self tanner?!  My favorite for the body is this mousse and best to use with this $7 mitt.  And be sure to exfoliate and moisturize the night before.  I also have these amazing drops to use on my face....I love them because you just mix them with your regular moisturizer or sunscreen for a natural sun-kissed look. They can be used on your body too.  So popular they sold out, but will back in July.

A fun, comfortable alternative to a dress is a wide-leg jumpsuit like this under $30 one that you will also love wearing all summer and fall. 


A striped tee is one of my favorite essentials and perfect for a casual Quarantine Wardrobe. The classic JCrew version is my favorite and it's at a great price plus an additional 30% off with code 5DAYS. Think of it as a neutral, and add color, pattern (i.e. leopard or floral) to jazz it up!


Another "Real Pants" option that will make you feel like you're cheating since they are as comfortable as yoga pants but also perfect for the office and real life when it resumes.  Add a top in a favorite color, a necklace and flats you are DRESSED.  This top is $25 and comes in the most gorgeous, vibrant colors.


Here's the matching set trick again featuring leggings and a matching top.  You'll be creating the Column of Color look I talk about a lot, and you'll be comfortable and chic...Add an accessory or two if you're so inclined...They are an instant mood lifter!

At the end of the day, it's NOT about the clothes, but since we do need to put clothes on our bodies every day (right??) we might as well like what we're wearing and enjoy the positive ripple effect it has on our mood, productivity and relationships. 

Stay well my friends! 

An important time to #justgetdressed

Well, what can I say? We certainly didn't think we'd be sitting here a month ago, did we?

Topics like spring shopping, fun outfit formulas, and cute sandals seem like a bad joke right now, don't they?

But is NOT the time to wallow, throw in the towel and fall into bad habits.

Does it mean it's time to sit at home and shop online for a bunch of new stuff that will make us feel better? NO. It's not.

I'm suggesting it's time to pivot in our Spring Style System and use this time to motivate each other to #justgetdressed - even though we're isolated at home.

It's a time to take steps that will make us feel better, give us control over some areas of our out-of-control lives, and connect with one another.

So, what does this mean for the Style System membership?

First of all, love or hate Facebook - our private Group is going to be GOLD at this time. If you are a Facebook holdout, (I bow to you -- you have saved yourself years of wasted time;) I would encourage you to give this group a try. No pressure to do so, but I think you may enjoy it, especially at this time of social distancing. It's where all the group interaction and coaching go on since it's hard to do that via email.  And it's fun. And the women are amazing.  And it's free (included in your membership).  And it's private - no one outside the group sees anything. 

If you don't have a Facebook account (you are my hero) and need help creating one, just let me know. You can hit reply to this email.

Another feature of the Facebook group that will be of value is that members are identifying their body types and challenges and sharing the cuts and styles that work best for them. This will be a great way to learn and visualize outfits on real women with various shapes.

As far as the formulas go, I'm pivoting there and will be creating outfits that make sense for this unusual (understatement) spring we are ALL experiencing.

I will also be focusing on using what I already own, and I encourage you to do the same. I had purchased a bunch of things to use in the formulas, but have decided to return some of them and am only keeping items I know I will wear now, this summer, and into the fall. I will share my keepers with you over in the Facebook group.

If shopping makes you feel good, I say go for it, but be intentional and smart.  And maybe consider shopping at a local boutique. Many of them, like Wish Boutique,  are offering online options and shipping. Wish has a new Facebook Group, Wish Tribe,  where they are doing live videos of their awesome, affordable products. But remember, a list and a plan, right? Use the Style System list for direction.

As always though, I am here to serve you and your needs. So please post any requests in the private Corona Spring group. I am open to your ideas and my goal is to provide the content that will help you most.

I've included a lot of  information about body types. Remember, these are general guidelines and not hard and fast rules. Use them to help guide you, and when in doubt, sound off in the private Facebook group. Every shape and size are represented and this group is so happy to share and help one another.

Outfit formulas will start next week, but that doesn't mean you can't start making your own now. Feel free to get creative, use what you have, and share with the group so we can inspire each other.  And there will be no judging for living in cozy clothes these days. But let's make an effort to still look and feel great. Little things like lipstick and a necklace can do a world of good to our psyches.

We have many people in the group who have brought friends in and I am so appreciative of your support. Please feel free to share this sign up link with friends. It's not too late to join and benefit from this special program. 

I hope to see you in the Corona Spring Group so we can support and inspire one another during this unprecedented time....and of course, #justgetdressed.

xo, Beth

Our Finest Hour

If only reality looked like this. 👆🤪

To say this has been a surreal time, is a gross understatement.  I find myself waking up each morning  thinking -  is this really happening? 

The two college sons are home indefinitely, spring break trips cancelled, and my high school junior son is out of school for at least three weeks. I know most of you are in a similar or worse boat. There are so many stories, and none of them very happy. 

It's amazing to think how much has changed in just the past days, and I'm trying not to get too anxious worrying about what the next days and weeks may hold. 

As some of you know, my husband Bill had a kidney transplant (10 years ago on April 12th). Fortunately, he is very healthy (thanks to his amazing donor Eddie) but we do worry, as he has a suppressed immune system.  Mary is 95 and fairly healthy, and we are obviously concerned for her too. But we feel so very fortunate that she is able to be at home with us. 

We're practicing Social Distancing as much as possible, washing our hands like maniacs, and trying to enjoy simple things like walks outside with the nutty dogs  (they've never had it so good).

The boys are pretty much living in the basement to keep some distance from Bill and Mary. Maybe I'll call it  Alpha Corona Roy....I don't go down there much, but I'm sure glad we have it - as are they.  Seriously, they are really lucky to have each other...I feel really sorry for only children or those with sibs not living at home.  

All 5 of us are "working from home" (boys with on-line classes).  It will be a test of everyone's patience ---and we'll see how it day at a time. 

After a rough start with some really unhappy young adults, we're getting into a groove.  I'm working on developing some new muscles -- namely patience, flexibility, and battle-picking. It's definitely a work out. 💪🏼🤪  

As scary, inconvenient, and difficult this time is gong to be for all of us, I also think it can be our finest hour. 

This is an excerpt from an article on Grown and Flown. It's a powerful message for all of us, but especially for the teenagers and young adults -  who may not be as physically effected by the virus, but can have a huge impact - positive or negative - on how it unfolds:

"Imagine if we could make our response to this crisis our finest hour. 

Imagine if a year or two from now we looked back on this and told the stories of how we came together as a team in our community, in our state, in our nation and across the world....

Your contribution to the finest hour may seem small, invisible, inconsequential—but every small act of ‘not doing’ what you were going to do, and ‘doing’ an act of kindness or support will add up exponentially. These acts can and will save lives....

It can only be our finest hour if we work together. You are all on the team. And we need all of you to shine in whatever way you can.

Gretchen Schmelzer

Grown &   Flown

On a lighter  note...I think that we all have a decision to make right now about how we're going to handle the day-to-day in the next weeks. 

For those of us who are not on the front lines, who will be at confined at home, it may be easy to justify over-eating, over-drinking, not exercising, watching too much news and Netflix, and choosing NOT to #justgetdressed.  

I'm being flexible and trying to enjoy the down-time (??), but also trying to  wake up by 6:30 (ish) and keep to my morning routine. I'm trying  to exercise daily and  spending time outside every day too.  And I'm biting my tongue.  A lot.

But hey,  I'm even cooking dinner. Every night.  Imagine that??

And you know what else? I'm working to #justgetdressed each day ---and occasionally I'm even wearing pants with a button;) 

I propose we all commit to using the #justgetdressed metaphor and mantra to help get through this time.

It's NOT about vanity, or spending time on frivolous matters. It's about taking care of ourselves and controlling what we can in fact control. 

Head over to my free, private Facebook group: B.Styled justgetdressed VIP's, where we'll support and help one another, and provide a diversion, and even some entertainment while we're cooped up. 

And if you want to take things a step further,  work on getting your closet cleansed, purged and organized, and get direction on putting together outfits to feel good in today AND when life gets back to normal, I invite you to join my Spring membership. 

We are  learning how to dress our unique body shapes, how to use accessories to improve any basic outfit, and what shoes to wear that are good-looking and comfortable. 

If interested, click here to learn more.

Thank you for your friendship and support of my business—I am truly grateful.

Be well.

xo, Beth

Learn to Love Your Style, NOW.

Ha! Can you relate?

If you’re like most women I talk to who struggle with what to wear, and how to wear it, you may feel like getting dressed is an annoying (yet necessary) nuisance.   

A lot of us are shoppers who buy and buy, trying to chase that illusive "perfect wardrobe."  But we end with more and more stuff and still no idea what to wear. 

I talk to women every day who say getting dressed can be confusing, irritating, and even demoralizing. It's tempting to just opt out and say we don't care. The fact is, like it or not, how we dress does matter, and it effects how we are perceived by others. But more importantly, it impacts how we feel about ourselves.

But it can be hard to get to place where clothes are our friends. Maybe it's difficult to find pants (not to mention shoes) that fit, are comfortable - and in-style?  Or perhaps you're confused trying to figure out how to combine what you own into outfits that work ... so you default to the same old, same old.

And social media makes it even harder with all the confusing choices, rules, images -  and clothing made more for your daughter/ niece and her body - than yours. 

And speaking of bodies...What's with all these changes going on? Things that used to fit and feel good no longer do, and your own body has become a stranger. The extra weight hangs on no matter what you do, and it's easy to fall into the trap of "I'll wear clothes I love when I lose x pounds."  

I would argue that we often wait to #justgetdressed.

We wait for the weather to get better.

We wait until we can fit into size ____.

We wait for an "occasion".

We wait for a special meeting, interview or opportunity.

We wait for the kids (or grandkids) to grow up.

We wait until we meet Mr. Right.

We wait until we're having a good hair day.  

You get the point. 

But waiting is robbing us of the power clothing can give us.

It's a fact...When we like what we're wearing, we feel better. I would argue we're happier. We're nicer. We're more patient. We're more productive. And we're more likely to treat our bodies better too. 

Which is exactly why I created the Seasonal Style System™ — my signature on-line group coaching program that hands you my personal styling blue print, so you can #justgetdressed, feel confident and comfortable, and love the way you look.  Today.  

That's the goal -- not to be vain or fashion-obsessed, but to leverage clothing and style to improve your life.

After working with hundreds of real women with real bodies and getting to know the struggles, questions and issues they experience, I developed  an easy to follow resource that cover it all.  

From specific shopping lists, to done-for-you outfit formulas, to direction for dressing your body shape (today), to accessorizing, and shoe choice  - it's all there! And I'm there too...coaching you along the way, addressing your individual questions and needs.  

Members tell me all the time that the $49 price tag is a steal given all the resources, attention and impact the program delivers. And the new platform I'm using allows you to access everything in one place, quickly and easily - forever.

Add up all the purchases hanging in your closet that you regret, and $49 is pretty easy to justify.   

Click here to learn more about the Spring Style System™ -- and to encourage you to give it a try, I'm offering a $10 off coupon code: TRYIT10.

It’s time to stop feeling frustrated, calling your body mean names, and turning down opportunities because you have "nothing to wear."  Let's stop waiting, let's simplify style and make getting dressed in looks you love - easy. 

Try it, you'll like it!

I hope to see you inside the program, and help you #justgetdressed this Spring! 


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.   


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.  


“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


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’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”.   


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. 

What to Shop for (and what to skip) in January

A lot of us are all shopped out after the holidays and looking forward to the upcoming B.Styled Shopping Detox that starts February 1.  And maybe your spending freeze has already started.  👏🏼 But some of us (raises hand) are looking forward to taking advantage of the great sales going on right now. 

Now one thing we don't want to do is what my friends and I used to do in college just before Lent. Stay with me here; there is a connection. We'd decide on all the things we were going to give up (usually involving  junk food). Then for the days leading up to Lent, we'd gorge ourselves on all. the. things.  It was gross.  Can you relate?

So let's NOT look at the days/weeks leading up to February 1 as an excuse to hit add-to-cart for every shining object that grabs our attention this month.  Instead I'm here to help you focus your shopping efforts.  FOCUS is my Word of the Year, and God knows I need more of it in my life, so let's do this together: 

Three Things to Shop For in January: 

1.  Boots 

January is a great time to grab Winter boots if you need a new pair. There are sales going on and the selection is still pretty good.  Come February the selection will be pretty bleak (but you won't be shopping then anyway;) If you need a pair of boots, now is a great time to start hunting. And remember, the more basic, versatile and wearable the shoe, the more you want to invest in quality brands and styles that stand the test of time.  Here is a collection of some great boots on sale:

2.  Sweaters

The fashion world deemed this winter the Year of the Sweater (I thought every winter was the Year of the Sweater, but what do I know). Anyway, there were/are LOTS of great sweater options out there and many good sales. This is a great time to invest in a sweater that was too much of a splurge at full price earlier in the season.  A great source for fab and unique sweaters is  Anthropologie. They are a splurge but right now many are on sale including the gorgeous fair isle number shown below...going fast though!   The white and chartruese sweaters are 2 that I have and love and both are on sale now too!  And they are available in more colors as well. 

3. Ponte Pants and/or Joggers:

This time of year I spend much more time in ponte pants, leggings, and joggers and less time in jeans. Call it hibernation-mode, hygee, or just extra lbs., but it's a reality --and you can still #justgetdressed when you don't have a button on your pants. 😜

For leggings, I do still wear my old Hue leggings, especially when lounging at home, but when I'm taking my look up a notch, I go for my Peach moto leggings in thick (yet still stretchy) ponte. They are definitely more like pants than your basic leggings and make for a more sophisticated, polished look. I like them best with tall boots (black or tan, brown, etc) but they also look great with booties or even cool sneakers. 

Joggers have actually surpassed leggings as my favorite winter pant for lounging or casual-wear.  I do love my Peach bohos the most, but in the dead of winter in New England, they aren't quite warm enough. I've been reaching for the peach velvet joggers all season, wearing them to parties with booties as well as casually with sneakers.  I also live in my fleece joggers from Target...They are on my body at some point almost every day.  

A third option for non-denim pants are ponte pants.  I have three recommendations in this category.  

Click pictures to shop:

Peach Ponte Straight Leg

Peach Ponte Ankle Pants

Kut from the Kloth Ponte Skinny Fit Pant

Target Joggers

Peach Velvet Joggers

Peach Velvet Joggers

Peach Moto Leggings

Peach Moto Leggings

Three Things I'm Passing On in January:

1. Warm Weather Items:

Unless you're lucky enough to be going on vacation this winter and NEED warm-weather items, don't give into the temptation to buy things you can't wear right now. "Resort Wear" tends to be priced higher, so if you don't need it now, take a pass.  

EXCEPTION: You know one of my B.Styled mantras is #buythedress. So if you come across the perfect warm-weather dress that you love, that fits and flatters your figure today, and you can get a good deal on it - you have my blessing. For example, I wore this Isla dress in royal blue all summer long (over and over again). So when it went on sale, I grabbed it in white.

2.  Animal Print

Don't get made at me. I love my leopard print as much as the next girl, however animal prints (especially in clothing) are beginning to feel just a bit overdone (IMHO). So while I'm not telling you to stop wearing what you have (far from it!) I don't think it's necessary to get more this season. My guess is that leopard print will continue to be hot for many years to come (I think it has passed into the classic-neutral zone),  but zebra/tiger/snake will start to cool off. 

But again, I repeat...I am NOT saying to stop using/wearing the items you have and love.  It was awesome when you bought it and it's still awesome today. What I am saying is you probably don't need to add any more. Capiche?

3. Denim

You may not like this one either; sorry.   I'm not going to take a hard line on this, but I will say that I predict denim styles and cuts (that can be worn with a variety of  shoes) will start appearing as we approach spring - so I say, let's wait.  Plus, like I said above, right now I'm reaching for my joggers and ponte pants (and cookies) more than my denim. That said, if you need a pair of perfect-for-you jeans in a versatile, classic cut like skinny, straight or even boyfriend - and you can get a good deal -- who am I to stand in your way??  Below are some sale denim ideas.  If you don't have a go-to pair of perfect-for-you jeans (ideally in a sleek, simple, classic dark wash, keep an eye out for sales at Loft and try these (modern or curvy cut, petite, regular....size down!)

Loft Slim Pocket Skinny Jeans 

What are you shopping for this month? Or have you instituted your shopping freeze already? Let me know below, or head over to my private VIP Facebook Group and share over there. We can help you find just the right thing. 

And don't forget to sign up for the  FREE February Shopping Detox.  We'll hold each other accountable, get motivation and support - AND best of all, #justgetdressed in looks we love, while wearing what we already own. 

I hope you found this helpful and that you can use some of these shopping tips to save you time and money. As always, I'm here if you need any personalized help!

Thanks for reading. Now go #justgetdressed.