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The Power of The Fitted Jacket

I always include a fitted blazer or jacket whenever I talk about closet staples and must-haves.

But, I can hear some of you ladies out there saying, “Nope, don’t need it.”   Maybe you don’t work in a profession with a business dress code.  Maybe you work from home.  Maybe you’re home with kids.  Or, maybe you’re retired and don’t see the need.

Let’s rethink it though, ok?   Blazers are no longer stuffy and stiff and only for business meetings.  Trust me here… a jacket is a must-have layer that IMMEDIATELY makes any outfit look more sharp and polished.  If you want to  bring your look up a notch, a blazer is a great place to start.  And, as the pictures below show, a fitted jacket can elevate denim to a new level and look fun and flirty – definitely not stuffy or staid.

The key is (surprise) the right jacket for your figure and your lifestyle.  If you still have “work jackets” from the 90’s hanging in your closet (think shoulder pads and masculine, boxy cuts in colors like “hunter green”),  that’s NOT what I’m talking about.  Those need to be put in  a bag and donated, because someone who doesn’t read my blog may just love them.  😉

Seriously though, the perfect blazer is going to be fitted and tailored.  You can’t go wrong with a neutral color like black – or navy, tan, grey or denim.  The more neutral, the more—you got it–versatile, it will be.

I also love a statement blazer in a favorite and fabulous color, or something with texture or cool zippers.  But before you invest in something like that,  make sure you have the perfect, fitted, neutral blazer in your arsenal.

And, remember to WEAR it…even if you’re just running around doing errands.  You’ll look amazing.   I mean seriously, check out Gwyneth below, tooling around town in a blazer, white button down and jeans…drinking an odd-looking green juice thing.  So cool. And you could totally pull off that look, even in the ‘burbs.  And even without the green juice thing. Just button one or two more buttons…

Need some more inspiration on how to wear a jacket and look positively chic and fabulous.?  C.heck out these pictures of jackets styled in various ways.  Nothing stuffy or serious about these fabulous looks, huh? Which is your favorite? (You can click on the picture to see a bigger version).

Now, go grab a fitted jacket and #justgetdressed.  

Cheers!  ~Beth

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Outfit, Five Days

Do you think you could wear the same “outfit” every day, Monday through Friday?

I’ve done it – jeans and a white top – 5 days straight, and no one even noticed.  And it was easy.  The hard part was keeping the white top clean and getting the pictures taken.

Jeans and a white (or other plain, neutral top) is the perfect foundation for just about any look.  If your work or lifestyle negates wearing jeans, you could replace black slacks, ankle pants or a pencil skirt and have the same result.

The secret is the third piece that makes an outfit special.  It can be a jacket, a cardigan, a vest, a scarf, a statement necklace, a wrap, a poncho…. The third piece is the game changer.  .

Day 1: Sporty Vest and Accessories

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Day 2:  Classic Trench and Leopard Flats

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Day 3: Long Cardigan

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Day 4:  Grey V-neck Sweater and Tan Boots

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Day 5:  Faux Leather Jacket

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Do you think you could do it?  Maybe this should be our next 5 day challenge!  Join my free private Facebook group where I run occasional challenges like this one.

Thanks for reading now, go #justgetdressed.  😉

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Your Clothing Budget: When to Spend, When to Save

Usually when we struggle with our wardrobe, it’s not because of a lack of clothing. In fact, many of us have way too much stuff cluttering our closets, and the sheer volume of random clothing makes it difficult to focus and #justgetdressed.

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We’re constantly bombarded with images, special sales and can’t-pass-up deals that make it easy to acquire more and more stuff.

Heck, I go to Target to buy light bulbs and end up with a cart filled with everything from bananas to new pajamas.
Instead, what we need to do is shop with a plan,  a purpose…and a well-defined list (hint: this is just one of the features included in the  B.Styled Challenge).

We also need to allocate our clothing budget in a way that makes sense. To help, I created this graphic showing where to spend your money, and where to save.  And see below for the live video I made on the topic:

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WHEN TO SPEND:

    • Jeans: Cheap denim is tempting I know, but it also loses its shape and fades much more quickly than premium brands. I think everyone should own at least one pair of high quality, perfectly fitting jeans. When you find a brand you love, keep a look out for sales. I’ve even bought my favorite Paige jeans on eBay!
    • Underwear (especially bras): Don’t skimp on the foundation. Invest in perfectly fitting bras and get undies that show no VPL’s (visible panty lines). While only a few people will see them, their effects are obvious. 😉  Click HERE to learn how you can get fitted for the perfect bra virtually, without even leaving home. I’ve tried it and am totally sold!
    • Jackets/Blazers: Don’t underestimate the power of a fitted blazer. It can complete a work outfit and gives shape to your casual looks, providing a polished finishing touch.
    • Shoes: Fabulous shoes can transform and upgrade a $20 dress.  On the flip side, cheap shoes can instantly downgrade an otherwise fabulous outfit. Shoes (and handbags) are an area where quality over quality rules (my apologies to you shoe collectors out there;)
    • Coat: Your coat is something you may wear every single day and it makes a statement as you enter and exit. Invest in a coat you love that has classic staying power so you can resurrect it year after year.



WHEN TO SAVE:

    • Statement Jewelry: If you know me, you know I love a funky necklace. Take your wardrobe foundations and transform them completely with the  jewelry you add. The options for fabulous, inexpensive jewelry are endless. The key is to find pieces that are inexpensive without looking “cheap”.
    • Occasion Items: Special Occasion = Infrequent Use. Don’t spend a fortune on glitzy bags, earrings or metallic heels when there are plenty of inexpensive options out there. Instead invest in a fabulous dress that’ll be ready for you when the invitation arrives.

 

    • Tee, Tanks & Knits: Premium knits made from fine, soft fibers often get holes and stains (think armpit) quicker than their bargain alternatives. It’s a good idea to have a couple of quality cashmere sweaters, but for tees and layering pieces, make sure they fit and flatter — but go for the bargains.

 

    • Scarves: When you see a scarf that speaks to you and it’s a good deal, grab it. Like statement jewelry, scarves are a fantastic and affordable way to add color and pattern to your wardrobe essentials….and display your individual personality.

In a nutshell:

  SPEND: Frequent Use • Durable • Classic  • Essentials • Signature Items

   SAVE: Delicate • Low Use • Trendy •  Accent Pieces

B.Styled Fall 207 Style System

The B.Styled Fall 2016 Essentials Challenge will help you focus on the essentials and show you how to create amazing looks with less clothing. Enrollment is now open….there’s a special bonus for early registrants! Click HERE for details.

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Now, go #justgetdressed 😉

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Jeans & Shoes Pairing Guide

 “What shoes do I wear with that?”  is probably one of my most asked questions. As we enter jeans-wearing season, I wanted to help answer this question as it relates to different styles of jeans. So below is a handy dandy visual to help guide you.

And speaking of jeans and shoes and your fall wardrobe….The B.Styled Fall Essentials Challenge is launching in just a few short weeks (Sept. 7th).

Here’s how it works:   Before the challenge begins, you’ll receive a list of classic and trending essentials to purchase, with links to where you can find them at both high-end and discount stores. The idea is to first “shop your closet” before buying new.  After you have your pieces, the challenge begins. I will send you a daily email throughout the challenge suggesting wardrobe combinations using the pieces on your shopping list. Or you can  get all the outfit combinations at one time and skip the emails.  You’ll also be able to swap shopping tips and gather advice in a private Facebook group during the challenge. By the end of the challenge, you’ll have 21 outfit ideas and lots of inspiration and ideas so getting dressed will be easier everyday.

Click HERE to make sure you are in the know when the challenge launches.  There will be a bonus for signing up early and jewelry give-aways throughout so I hope you’ll join us!

Any questions?  Drop me a note below.  Now go #justgetdressed and have a great weekend!

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Jeans & Shoes [contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

25 Basic Wardrobe Essentials for the College Girl

Teens get a bad rap for wearing nothing but leggings and sweatshirts — and given the college lifestyle and schedule, who can blame them for falling into a comfort-seeking rut.  But you don’t have to let lounge wear (code for pj’s) become your everyday go-to.

Instead, mix things up with other items that are just as easy to throw on, and that are comfortable, cozy and still good looking.

Keeping your wardrobe simple, classic and uncluttered will make life in the dorm easier too.

Here are my top 25 mix & match staples you need to make it easy to #justgetdressed at college.

Click HERE for shopping suggestions.

Now, go #justgetdressed.

Cheers, Beth

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Pattern Mixing for Beginners

 

 

Pattern mixing?  Do a search on Pinterest and you will see it everywhere, and somehow these bloggers and fashionistas make it look so fabulous and effortless.    I’m drawn to mixed patterns when I see them, but when it comes time to pulling it off in my closet, I confess, I’m a bit of a novice.

Lately I’ve attempted to incorporate more pattern mixing into my look, but my closet is a sea of solids so it can be a challenge.  Not to mention the fact that  I was brought up by a (gorgeous and stylish) mom who never, ever, in her wildest dreams, would pair stripes with plaid.  But, I’m all for adventure and trying new things, so let’s start with baby steps and some easy rules of thumb.

1.  Keep it in the family. As in color family. Different patterns within the same color family is an easy start for us mixing rookies. It’s not quite so in your face, but still a statement and look how fabulous her pairing of navy and white stripes and dots looks:

image: Cape Code Collegiate

image: Cape Code Collegiate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Faux Solids.  Sometimes small prints act as if they’re the solid.  It’s a slight identity crisis because they’re very much a print, but they can totally stand in as a neutral solid.   A tight geometric print or pin stripe, a small consistent polka dot, a leopard print, even camo.  Let them act as your solid.

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3.  Opposites attract.  This is pattern mixing 101. Pair together a floral and a stripe, a plaid and a polka dot, floral and geometric, animal print and polka dot, a big print with a tiny print…  Your options are really only limited by your imagination.  The key is to remember to keep a your  colors consistent, and remember proportions.  Pair a tight stripe with a larger floral, a wide stripe with a tighter floral.  Make sense?

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I hope this helps demystify the pattern matching challenge and inspires you to try something new.  Experiment, have fun, and…#justgetdressed.

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“Cancel Cancel”

Years ago, my husband Bill went to a corporate sales/ motivational /psychology session.  I remember he came home rolling his eyes a bit about the entire experience  (he’s not exactly the most open to pop psychology;)  But he did relay something to me that he learned  and it totally stuck with me and we use it on each other all the time now.

When you catch yourself engaging in “self bashing”, either in your head or out loud, instead say – out loud – “cancel cancel”. To this day, if I put myself down or say something like ‘I’m such a disaster” (i.e. when I can’t find my keys or think I’ve lost my phone despite the fact that I’m talking on it) he says “cancel cancel.”

So how does this little story relate to you, to personal style and to what I do in my business?  Hang in there with me, because it totally does.  Every day I speak to women – be they clients or friends, and I constantly hear  things like:

I hate my thighs.  I hate my arms.  I hate my butt.  I hate my tummy rolls. My boobs are too big (huh? really?)  I hate my wrinkles.

You get the idea.  And chances are you do the same thing; we all do.  But I want our little world of women to try our best to replace those negative self thoughts with positive ones.  And at the very least, when the negative thoughts creep in, instead say “cancel cancel”.   Try it, and use it on your friends and family as well.  It’s a great lesson to teach our kids too.

We are half way through my B.Styled 10 Day #justgetdressed Challenge.  Saturday 6/18 is Day 6 and the challenge is:

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Find something about your body that you love and embrace it and highlight it.  It could be your shoulders, your strong legs, you beautiful eyes or gorgeous hair.  Heck, it could be a great pedicure or manicure that you show off with sandals or a statement ring.  Find something positive and run with it!

And the next time the words….I hate my ______ come out of your mouth, immediately replace them with “cancel cancel.”

And click here to join the challenge and the amazing party we are having on the private Facebook group.  If you’re curious what the other challenges have been so far, scroll through them below  maybe try them yourself!

Now, go have a great weekend and #justgetdressed.

Cheers!  Beth

B.Styled

Olive, Blush and Gold

Sometimes breaking out of a style rut can be as easy as pairing different colors using your basic foundations.

I love my olive cargo pants and usually default to wearing  them with black or white.   Today I decided to go really crazy (ha) and instead wear them with a blush t-shirt and some gold accents.  I added my favorite denim jacket for a comfortable, casual, layered look. Nothing complicated or terribly exciting, but an easy #justgetdressed outfit none-the-less;)

B.Styled

Olive Cargo Pants (similar) (similar)

Blush Tank (mine) (similar in short sleeve) (similar tank)

Denim Jacket (mine)

Necklaces (short) (long)

Earrings (hoops)

Wedge Sandals (similar) (similar)

Cheers!  Beth

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One $20 Dress Five Ways

The “one and done” dress is a wardrobe staple this time of year.   I found this simple black tank swing dress at Target and created 5 easy, #justgetdressed looks using what was hanging in my closet.

The flirty, flattering A-line style is as comfortable as an item of clothing could be.  And as you can see from the slideshow, this little number can go from sporty-casual to dressy-chic, to casual Friday office-appropriate.   Heck, you could even throw it on over your bathing suit and head to the beach.

How’s that for easy, affordable and versatile??

Click here to shop all the looks (including an option for a maxi dress and a t-shirt dress with sleeves).  Now go #justgetdressed. 😉 Beth

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5 Fashion Mistakes That Can Make You Look Older

The term “age appropriate” has become a standard line when talking about how to dress, how to wear our hair, and even the polish we pick for our toes. In fact, I bet if I asked you to list the dressing “don’ts” of women over say 40-ish, you’d have a pretty easy time:

  • Too much cleavage
  • Jeans with too low a rise, exposing even more cleavage (ouch)
  • Wearing legging as pants (and not to work out)…..with a top that doesn’t cover the crotchal region
  • Wearing stilettos with jeans and a plunging neckline…too much vavoom is never a good thing and looks like you’re trying too hard.
  • Donning a crop top, any kind of crop top
  • Showing VPL’s (visible panty lines)
  • Wearing a ponytail, every day, all day (guilty here)

At B.Styled,  the problem I see more often is the opposite one.   I find the fashion mistake women tend to make is dressing too old rather than too young and  It is so gratifying to help women find a personal style that is just right for them.

The reasons many women spiral into the rut of dressing beyond their years vary. The short list includes:

  • weight changes
  • foot issues
  • what they define as “comfortable”
  • a lack of time and/or interest in keeping up with what is current
  • letting themselves fall to the bottom of their priority list.

Many women tell me they are at a loss as to where to shop and what to shop for.  Even though women account for 85{4459afbc2bae7cce36afa98505acda452d7cfe9eff579bae0d40077b3c526282} of consumer purchases, approximately 40{4459afbc2bae7cce36afa98505acda452d7cfe9eff579bae0d40077b3c526282} of them hate to shop, citing feelings of overwhelm and lack of self-confidence. Dressing room depression is real and a very common issue. My goal is to help my client find that sweet spot – a look that is comfortable and easy, while helping her look and feel her absolute best, no matter her age.

Here is my list of the top 5 fashion mistakes that can make us look older and how to easily fix them:

1. Wearing black, black, and more black: Raise your hand if you have a closet full of black clothing and accessories and have the irresistible urge to always “buy it in black”. There’s no doubt that black has always been the wonder drug when it comes to looking slim and sophisticated. But let’s face it ladies, as we age, our skin tone tends to go paler, so we need to brighten ourselves up a bit. Go ahead and wear black, but not so close to the face. Add scarves, jewelry, colorful tops and jackets to accent your black foundation and provide a needed palette pick-me-up. Not only will this allow you to show your personality, it will take years off your looks and improve the image you are projecting.

2. Over draping: Weight gain and weight “redistribution” is probably the #1 issue I hear from clients as a reason for getting into dressing ruts. They want to cover up and hide the added pounds, but adding more volume with clothing is not the way to go. If you are draping to hide a fuller-on-the top or fuller-in-the-middle proportion you are only creating a more obvious imbalance, making you appear even larger on the top and smaller on the bottom. Instead, opt for something that follows your curves, not hides them. This is where a great fitting, tailored, (not stuffy) jacket is your secret weapon. Don’t believe me? Let me help you find one and you’ll see for yourself;)

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A fitted jacket is a game changer. It adds structure to this flowy blouse, and the espresso color is softer than stark black. (Say “hi” to Tessie the photo bomber;)

 

3. Shoes that weigh more than you do: I am the (former) owner of clunky dansko clogs. Yes, they are comfortable. Yes, they are great for nurses and new moms and working in the garden. No, they don’t look good. If you insist on wearing them, please stick to long wide leg jeans or long boot cut yoga pants. Anything else is just wrong. Find a cute flat or pair of comfortable,  low heeled booties instead.  I will get hate mail for this one I know, but I’m standing firm. Sorry, Dansko.

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I speak the truth.

4. Outdated eye glasses: Glasses are an accessory – and an area to have fun and show your personality. They are also a focal point, so you want to make sure that you pick a pair that doesn’t age you. You want to avoid boring and outdated frames and frames that droop downward.

Go to a reputable optometrist with professionals who can help you find the best pair for you.. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing eyewear:

  • Try to add warmth and softness to your face. Translucent colors are often better than hard metals.
  • Add color: one of the easiest ways to add a bit of hipness to your style.
  • After 40 you want things to go up not down, so choose frames that are horizontal and have a slight tilt at the outer edges. You will want the eye to be drawn upward!
  • Get glasses that suit your face shape.
    Great glasses are the most functional and important accessory you will own.

    Great glasses are the most functional and important accessory you will own.

5. The sisters need a new bra: Eight out of ten women are wearing the wrong size bra. Seriously, would you walk around in the wrong size shoes? This is an an easy fix to make you look ten pounds lighter and ten years younger. A well-fitted bra will also help you have better posture, a perkier looking chest – and you will just look better in all your clothes. Clients who have had their first professional bra fitting swear by it as a real game changer. Need a referral? Contact me.

 

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So, there you have it….Conquer these 5 issues and take 10 years off your look;)

Seriously, growing older is a blessing and I know I wouldn’t want to go back in time (well maybe to college…but just for a weekend or two). You deserve to look and feel your absolute best at every stage of life, so make yourself a priority, and rock your best personal style. I’m here to help!

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