YOUR AUTHENTIC IMAGE CAN CHANGE!
In my last post, I talked about discovering your authentic image. That is vital – but as is everything in our lives, we are a work in progress and we can change our image depending upon where we are in our lives at any given moment.
Which is why on Halloween, if you have the daring to go big, I say try out a new image. Even if you don’t go for dressing up in a costume, why not try dressing up as a Bohemian Barb, or a Conservative Cathy. Challenge yourself to go through an entire day dressing as someone you are not. See how people react to you. Note if you speak differently, react in a way unlike your usual self.
It is a fun and easy experiment which will get you out of your box!
BUT REALLY NOW
As it is Fall, it is the perfect time to talk about a few basic must haves for our wardrobe. You can’t pass a grocery store check out line without seeing the thick pages of the fashion magazines chock full of ads and editorial. Oh it can truly be overwhelming – what is hot, what is not. What was in last fall is out this fall, what’s a woman to do?
We can’t throw out everything in our closet each season. I can see women virtually everywhere screaming HELP! And here I am – to help with a few basic tips.
Back to October – we can’t wear orange and black together ALL year, (unless you are a San Francisco Giants Fan – I am!). BUT it just so happens that orange is the “it” color of 2012 (ok, so maybe I have declared it to be so, but really it is and has been seen everywhere, from shoes to handbags to you name it !) And you can NEVER and I mean absolutely NEVER go wrong with a black pair of jeans, pencil skirt or trousers. (no matter if fashion editors proclaim, black is out, don’t you believe it).
In fact, if you are looking through your closet and you don’t own a black bottom (as it were). I suggest you make that the piece you go and purchase on your next shopping trip.
I personally vote for black jeans because they can be dressed up or down, with boots, heels, converse tennies or flats. Make sure they have a little stretch in them so you are super comfy. Oh and speaking of shoes, unless you are suffering from a severe foot injury, try not to wear your running shoes, tennis shoes or cross-fit shoes, when you are going anywhere other than the gym (or maybe Disneyland!) There are so many comfortable AND stylish shoes. Not to be a brand promoter, but there are even some fab NIKE shoes in the brightest neon shades that will certainly make your outfit spunkier than the old white ones if you absolutely positively MUST wear tennis shoes.
BACK to BLACK
I know I needn’t remind you women entrepreneurs out there that it is time to LET GO of the Mom Jeans. You know what I’m talking about. High waisted, no shape, elastic waist jeans from the “olden” days. I promise you that if you get a new pair of jeans with an even slightly lower waistband, you will take 10 years off, (and really, who doesn’t want that, it’s like a pain free face lift, only it’s a body lift!). So you know you are going to invest in a pair of black jeans.
You don’t need to take out a second mortgage to do so. Jeans range in price from $20 to over $200. Check out Old Navy, GAP, Target or Marshalls for bargains. Granted it takes more time to search and find exactly what you want at discount stores, so keep that in mind.
Let’s say you go to an office, or feel that jeans are just not going to work for you. In that case, you need a pair of elegant and timeless black trousers. Stay away from pleats – not flattering. Select a pair that have a straight-ish leg. Avoid the too flared look, again, not flattering.
You can find trousers in a variety of styles and prices everywhere. HINT – Express, found in most malls, carries a great fitting selection of trousers. Find a fabric that flows, not cotton, and doesn’t doesn’t wrinkle easily. It really is worth investing in a good pair as these can last for years and you WILL get your money’s worth.
THE RETURN OF THE PENCIL SKIRT
Now you have your jeans, (just play along with me as we build your wardrobe). Let’s get you into a pencil skirt. Most body types can actually wear this. If you are a little more pear shaped though, you will want to try for a slight a-line skirt, NOT too voluminous. Trending now are skirts that end right at the knee and also right below. If you are a petite person, opt for the shorter length.
Long skirts are also still hanging around, and they are so comfy. l wear my long black skirt on airplane rides, with a casual tee, jean jacket and TOM’s (shoes for those of you who don’t know). Perfection. Elastic waist (it’s ok on a long skirt) and a stretch jersey fabric allows me to tuck my legs under me and still look like a lady. BONUS – it keeps me warm on those frigid flights.
Otherwise known as the Little Black Dress! A versatile item to have in your closet that can be dressed up or down and can be found at all price points. I do run into the occasional woman who says they just don’t like to wear black. I get that. At certain points in our life, we just feel like it is too harsh of a color. Then go for navy or charcoal and you will get a similar effect.
A little black dress can take you from day to evening with the addition of a few accessories and a change of shoes. Of course there are little black dresses that say WOW, for evening and those more appropriate for a work setting, with sleeves and a high neck. I always recommend that you have two LBD’s. One appropriate for a conservative gathering and one for the night on the town. You can always get a black dress with a high neck and low back which serves a dual purpose. With a cardigan or jacket for day – slip it off and whoa baby, head out for the evening.
A basic black dress, top, skirt, or pants, can always be brightened up with a scarf, contrast colored sweater or accessories. For those on a strict budget, an inexpensive black dress is easy to find and often no one would know if you were wearing an item from a discount store or a high end retailer. One of the beautiful benefits of black clothing.
I could go on and on….but you will have to wait until my next post….where I will give you what I think are the top ten fashion must haves….
Have an authentically fashionable day……s
P.S. Leave us a comment below. As professional women or women entrepreneurs what challenges have you had in creating your authentic image? We would love to hear from you and as always feel free to share this post with the women in your life.
Kim conducts seminars on Awakening the Authentic You, Frugal Fashion, and Casual Friday does not mean Sweats! She also works one on one to help women uncover their authentic style.