dressing intentionally

make it happen quoteA common theme that emerges when I do an Initial Consult with clients is feeling like they are wearing the same clothing over and over again. It’s hard and overwhelming to figure out different outfits or what looks good, nothing fits anymore, things feel old and outdated, there’s not enough time to branch out, or all of the above. Does any of this sound familiar?

What often accompanies this pattern is personal dissatisfaction and a growing lack of confidence, which can result in pretty much giving up trying anymore. No surprise that none of this lends itself to feeling good about yourself!

Dressing intentionally breaks the cycle of negativity. It’s the primary element of what I help my clients do in our work together, because dressing intentionally gives you the tools to embrace – and express – your true and best outer-self. Which in turn helps you to feel your best on the inside too.

Dressing intentionally breaks the cycle of negativity.

That’s why I love my work, by the way. I know firsthand how painful it is to want to just disappear into the woodwork, and I also know what it feels like to shift from having given up to experiencing the joy that dressing intentionally can bring. Helping others to make that shift is so gratifying!

Dressing intentionally means taking some time (more when you first begin, but less as you get used to it), to think about what you are wearing – the whole package from head to toe. It does not mean having to pay attention to fashion trends all the time and conform to them, even if you don’t like them. (If you do like them, go for it!)

It does mean defining your own personal style and finding cuts and colors that suit your body and skin tones. It does mean creating balanced lines with proper fit, the right cuts, and the right shoe. It does mean adding polish to an outfit with accessories such as a scarf, jewelry, or belt. It does mean “dressing up” for yourself, just to feel good.

When you do this, a transformation can occur:

Being excited about what you see in the mirror.
Feeling confident in how you see yourself and how the world sees you – and that confidence spreads into other parts of your life as well.
No longer feeling bogged down by clothes that make you feel crappy and by the time you spend in frustration of figuring out what to wear.
Having more time for the things that are important in your life.
Being empowered to be who you want to be – when your outside authentically reflects your inside, the results are amazing!

This is what my Year of Style service package is all about – being in a partnership with me to learn the tools and strategies for dressing intentionally and practicing it with guidance and support throughout.

Here’s what I say about it – SUPER FUN! Here’s what one of my Year of Style clients has to say about her experience:

“I have been retired for some years. The need to dress “up” was no longer there and my “oh-so-casual” style became more and more oh-so-casual. My closet was full of things that I had had for years, some of which I had never worn, some that I used to enjoy but no longer did and wondered why.

The items that I did wear were quite worn. I had the idea that I needed a uniform to wear and that would solve my problems. Clothing shopping was a nightmare that I couldn’t face because I no longer knew even where to start.

The Year of Style called to me as a way to have some guidance and hands-on direction and instruction.

Some goals that I set for myself with Nancy as we began my Year of Style

When I go to my closet, I want to feel like I am standing up and in control and happy about getting dressed.

I want to become my own expert on myself and my fashion sense and style.

I would like to feel in control of my wardrobe planning: to understand its needs, to feel confident about going about procuring them, to enjoy shopping enough to do it.

How it’s going so far

Clearing the closet was remarkably freeing. I can open the door and look in there now and feel good. As we tried on and discarded items, Nancy was able to tell me how and why something no longer worked for me, and I could then see it too.

Going shopping with Nancy was an amazing experience. I tried on and enjoyed items that I never would have thought would work for me, and now I have many things that are fun for me to wear.

I am challenging myself to dress “up” at times, even around the house. I am enjoying it. I am wearing occasional jewelry for fun.

Something that I didn’t expect to have happen that I have noticed is that I no longer seem to see myself as fat. Somehow, though my body has not changed in these few weeks, I am not as critical of it. Strange.”

That last statement is not strange to me. One of the things I address with my clients is working towards positive body image and helping them to see the beautiful person I see. Finding your personal style and combining it with cuts and colors that suit you can dramatically change how someone looks. It replaces discomfort with confidence. It creates balanced lines that help you feel your best. It is the difference between feeling defeated and being intentional. Again, transformative.

Ready to make it happen? Contact me today for YOUR Year of Style and the confidence and empowerment it will bring.

Advertisements

how to: packing light

my 9-day trip with only a carry-on roller bag and tote

This summer my family took a trip to Northern Michigan to visit family and to enjoy the gorgeous lakes and beaches, charming towns, and all around fun. I hate checking bags – not only because the airlines charge now (grrr) and there is the possibility of them getting misplaced, but also because large bags only bog you down when you are traveling. They make it harder to get from place to place, and honestly, you really don’t need that many clothes.

I always regret when I bring too many clothes, because they actually get in the way of enjoying the trip. Spending time figuring out what to wear takes away from time spent enjoying your vacation! And packing light forces you to put some thought into what you are taking so that you are sure to actually have clothing that works together to make outfits for the variety of activities you’ll be doing.

Here’s what I packed, along with how I made decisions for what to bring.

all clothes

The whole shebang (minus a raincoat in the outer pocket of my roller bag)

Last year I wrote the post summer travel capsule on putting together outfits for two weeks of travel. I followed the guidelines of that post when packing for this trip, but packed a couple more tops since I knew I’d be exercising and getting sweaty.

This trip was mostly casual outdoor activities – the only dressier thing we did was dine out at a nicer restaurant one night and at other casual restaurants. Otherwise, we were on the beach, going for hikes and walks, and exploring in town.

the basics: tops, bottoms, and shoes

(hover over bottom right corner of each photo to see captions or click to enlarge and see full captions)

mix and match: the key to packing light

Make sure all the tops go with all the bottoms to have plenty of outfit choices. You can wear things more than once (who will notice?) and still feel like you have variety.

pack for what you’ll be doing

Bring only what you will need – no “just in case” items that end up going unused. I had another blouse and a second dress that were originally in the mix, and I cut them because I knew I really didn’t need them.

swimsuits

much of our time was spent at the beach – #bikini rebellion!

exercise_athletic wear

walking, hiking, tennis, and knocking around

accessories

A few accessories are all you need to add polish to your outfits.

packing the suitcase

Maximize all the little crevices – I put socks inside shoes and roll up items I don’t care about getting wrinkled like pajamas, underwear, and exercise tanks to stuff in between other items. Do take care with the nicer items like dresses and blouses.

 

packed suitcase and travel outfit

packed with my travel outfit ready to go | the scarf is good for the plane if it’s cold – I put it on my legs!

the tote

I brought a large tote and a small handbag so I didn’t have to haul the large tote everywhere once at my destination. On a touring trip, I would bring a cross-body bag instead of the small handbag for safety and more storage.

The tote – dubbed the “75 lb bag” because it holds so much – fits under a plane seat, but lives up to its name. I can put my handbag, laptop and power pack, a book, my little liquids/gels toiletries bag, umbrella, water bottle and snacks, and more in the tote bag. I prop it on the roller bag as I move through the airport because it can get heavy if I have the computer with me.

So there you have it. We enjoyed our getaway, and I was happy with what was in my suitcase. I hope you have opportunity to have a little vacation time this last month of summer as well!

share your packing tips

What are your tricks for packing efficiently and effectively? Share in the comments below – I love to learn new ideas!