Wearing Your Heart On Your Tee

Image Source @TimRegas

There is no denying that today’s street style includes graphic tees. Whether it is politics, causes, preferences or simply a sense of self expression and individuality, we women are putting it out there!

Perhaps it is time for you to jump on the bandwagon and rock a bit of nostalgia yourself. No doubt in your bottom drawer are a few tees that you just can’t part with. Perhaps your college T, your Led Zeppelin T or your Boston Marathon T?

You just have to be sure to pull the look together with a great fitting pair of jeans and maybe a leather (pleather) topper (no Mr. Rogers cardigan with a Micky Mouse tee please!)

Make it look a bit edgy, laid back and cool at the same time! If it is big and baggy, roll the sleeves, knot the bottom and rock a colorful cross-body bag and a pair of studded flats to complete the look.

If your bottom drawer is void of vintage tees or quirky slogans, then shop for just one – one will do the trick to create that laid back summer style. Perhaps it is your favorite band, charity or cause or perhaps you just want to be a bit rebellious. Well I say – rock on to that!

Here are a few ideas to get your juices flowing…

The Beatles
Tressed To Impress
Namastay In Bed
The Most Important Decision
Dream Often
Race For The Cure
Beet It
Relax
Karl Lagerfeld
Meow
I Need More Space
The Waves Are Calling

Sign up for my workshop at the SheDidIt Conference on May 17th!

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Sassy Sneakers Are Back In Style

Let’s stop sneaking around the sneaker issue. Sneaks are cool again girlfriend! Gone are the days when we were fearful of sporting a pair of sneakers when not actually working out! Gone are the days when our only choices were big white leather heavy **it kickers or high-top ROTC looking sneakers.

Face it – summer is coming and casual time should be on the front burner. Think ankle pants, capris, shorts and casual skirts and you can sport a sporty shoe. Heck, drop a dress and pop a mesh slip-on on! We busy women have places to go, things to see, mountains to climb, pooches to walk. Or we just have plain old trips around town, lounging at Starbucks and weekend barbecues. The reasons to sport a sport shoe are endless, at least until Labor Day!

Shop wisely, make sure they are not heavy or stiff, they breath and of course, they look cool!

Here are a few choices of sneakers I came across this week as I perused for vacation fashions.

Josef Seibel
A sweeping toe bumper and smart perforations emphasize the sporty chic of a relaxed leather sneaker.

Ellen Degeneres
Smooth leather trims a sporty, breathable mesh-knit sneaker set on a clean white sole.

Gucci
Gucci’s classic Ace sneaker gets an infusion of vintage glamour with ornate floral embroidery, a metallic heel and a pastel sole.

Nike Air Force
Air-Sole heel provide ventilation and cushioning while the deep-tread injected sole offers light-as-air comfort and flexibility.

For those of you not fond of laces, here are a few slip-on options!

Michael Kors
A casual-chic sneaker in an of-the-moment, slip-on style

Earth Tangelo
Floral and geometric cutouts lend vintage sophistication to an on-trend slip-on sneaker

Sperry Seaside
A perforated leather upper extends the effortless everyday appeal of a well-cushioned slip-on sneaker

Caslon Eden
Tiny perforations add breathability and distinctive texture to an out-of-the-ordinary sneaker

Need more help dressing your toes? It’s time to outsource your style. Start with a complimentary consult!

Are you a DYI-er? Grab my savvy style guide at 50% off – use code BA50 at checkout!
http://doreendove.com/author/

Need up close and personal help?

Sign up for my workshop at SHE DID IT/Boston on May 17th

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Do We Really Care About Designer Labels?

Let’s start with the not so big news this week – Victoria Beckham’s line was released at Target to mixed reviews such as “Willy Wonka-ish” and “brights that look like you should be working in the construction zone.” Target’s past collaborations with Lily, Missoni and Zac Posen caused uproars that made the nightly news and sold out in hours. This collection is rumored to still be hanging full size runs in the stores, except for the pieces that immediately made their way to Ebay. (There’s always an opportunist that’s looking to make a buck, or five.)

So, the question is, is it Target, is it Victoria or is it the consumer? My guess is, it is the consumer, their taste level, their budget and their belief that the label just isn’t that important! When it comes to ‘mature’ shoppers, their tastes have changed, evolved and in some cases just plain backed out the door in favor of budget and comfort.

But let’s rake it in a bit and not focus on the few that are living in moo-moos and acorn slippers.

My clients include C-suite executives, women emerging from the Mommy decade, women launching their own businesses and women retiring and recreating themselves. But honestly in the last 7 years I have had less than 5 women use an actual designer name on my introductory questionnaire when answering the query, “Where do you like to shop?”

Answers do include stores such as Ann Taylor, J.Crew, Banana Republic, Black White Market and the like, but those are stores, not designers.

Then there are those who name department stores like Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Dillard’s. All department stores that carry true designer labels but no one specifies a designer name! And rarely do I hear about free standing designer stores like Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Vince or Victoria Beckham!

How many of you have ever perused through the designer names on the department store drop downs without being on the search for one particular name? How many names do you actually recognize or can you spell? Any clue what the styles of those designers are or are you assuming ‘designer’ equates to out-of-my-price-range?

Let’s re-think that just a bit! There are definite sky high, albeit ridiculous price points – found one here – a Valentino green leather mini-skirt for $2690 bucks – seriously?

There is a bit of a sliding scale when it comes to designer clothing meaning that you can slide the scale down, out of the Ozone layer and peruse where you won’t need oxygen. As much as you might recognize names like Alexander McQueen and Akris, you could also make yourself aware of labels like Ellen Tracy, Tahari, Vince Camuto and the like. Warning – that does put you smack in the middle of the debate, is that a designer or a brand? But quite frankly, you might not give a flying squirrel if it looks good, is stylish, sassy and sophisticated and makes you feel like a million bucks.

Bottom line here is peruse away. Search with abandon because no doubt the more you know, the more you will increase your choices, vary your wardrobe and bump up your style. Start noticing names because they can serve you well. I often find that certain names (designers/brands) will fit you only in certain categories. For example, your work wardrobe may come together with all Vince pants, all Lagerfeld jackets and all Calvin Klein blouses – a combo of designers and brands.

Shopping across the lines will help to solve the riddle once you see the fit, fabric and style of many different options, usually ending up simplifying the search going forward. And remember while perusing online, you can always filter out the Valentino green leather mini-skirt by using the ‘price range’ option!

Need more help solving the riddle? It’s time to outsource your style. Start with a complimentary consult!

Are you a DYI-er? Grab my savvy style guide at 50% off – use code BA50 at checkout!
http://doreendove.com/author/

Need up close and personal help?

Sign up for Doreen’s workshop at SHE DID IT/Boston on May 17th —- guaranteed to give you and your closet a lift.

 

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Swimwear Shopping Survival Guide

That dreaded season that many women fear is upon our heels and every other part of our body for that matter. The double edge sword swings with the excitement of vacation and the horror of swimsuit shopping.

Swimsuit shopping is painful and the best way around it is to shop online! That way you’re avoiding the fat mirrors, the skinny mirrors, the bright lights, the cold dressing rooms and the discovery process where you’re discovering things you seem to have never known about your body. “Where did that come from?”

Once again, my usual advice is to shop by body type. We’ve had this conversation many times and as you may already know, I simply break it down by fuller on the top, fuller on the bottom, fuller in the middle, curvy and not curvy. And as always, I recommend accentuating the assets and disguising the liabilities

Before we embark on this journey let’s settle in, fire up your computer, pour a glass of Merlot and get set to dive into the deep end with confidence.

Over the last few decades of styling women, I have to say that shopping online has gotten easier, mainly because the retailers have started listening to the voices of their customers and have started to cater to the different body types that women have. It is now politically correct to embrace, promote and feel rockstar confident in any body type you may sport.

With this revelation comes the ability to now search and find anything based on body type, size, personal preference, color, price-point, you name it, you can drill down for it.

Let’s begin with Nordstrom. If you are frequent reader you may realize that I use Nordstrom’s website quite a bit and that is simply because it is easy to navigate, is visually appealing and has very good search tools. I love to shop efficiently! Let’s start under ‘women’ then drop to ‘swimwear’.

You will now have nine categories that you can filter through including swimwear item, swimwear style, body type, neckline, size, color, price, brand and even cover-up-style. Note further that under ‘swimwear style’ you now have seventeen choices that you could check off.  If you are full busted you may be looking for cup sized swimwear or underwire swimwear. If you are fuller on the bottom you may check off swim dress or skirted for your choices. If you are an avid swimmer you may check off razorback to keep your suit where it needs to stay. If you want to intentionally protect your décolletage you might want to choose the high-neck category.

Then of course under body type, every designer, company or personal stylist has their own terms for body types. I have never been big on the fruit names but noticed that Nordstrom uses pear-shaped in their descriptions in addition to athletic, hourglass, large bust, small bust and tummy concealing.

No doubt you can already see that these descriptions could save you a lot of time in the dressing room, but reminder, we are not even going in the dressing room and the reason for that is that the swimsuits are rarely merchandised by these descriptions on the sales floor – can you imagine how many signs there would be?

And what typically would happen is that you would start grabbing and you may be buck naked before you realized that the suits you hauled in there weren’t necessarily the best cut or design for you. We all tend to look at the color and the price point before we take it into the dressing room but as you can see there are many more fine-tuning options available that would save us the frustration of the good, the bad, the ugly and the ill-fitting.

Another robust online swimwear option is Lands’ End. They offer regular, plus, petite, tall and tall plus in swimwear and also filter by bra style, size and collection. They also offer a category called swim solutions (also known as disguising the liabilities). That list includes flatten tummy, full body slimming, minimize bust, conceal size, create curves and all over camouflaging.

So rather than getting in the car, cozy up on the couch and shop online. Be sure to order each swimsuit in two different sizes so that you won’t be disappointed with your UPS delivery person, it’s not their fault if you order the wrong size.

Still need more advice? I am offering a special 50% discount on my printed book, Confidence Is Always In Style. Head on over to www.DoreenDove.com/author and check out using the special discount code BA50 to receive your copy of this sassy style guide.

Sign up for Doreen’s workshop at SHE DID IT/Boston on May 17th —- guaranteed to give you and your closet a lift.

 

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Dressing For A Destination Wedding

Let’s be honest, for some of us, an hour away could be a destination wedding. But let’s think outside of a bigger box, perhaps even global! Even though we are not millennials, stating the obvious here, you might fall victim to the wishes of your millennial offspring.

Long gone are the days of tying the knot in your local little white chapel. And since you were probably just the best mom in the neighborhood, you may find yourself as a guest at several wedding events! It pays to be nice, depending on how you are looking at this!

You may even be more excited about the location than the event itself (and it’s okay to share that with – well – only you). And granted you may be envisioning tourist time, sightseeing time and adventure time, but lest you forget, you need to plan ‘ceremony’ time and the bride may not embrace you showing up in your bungee jumping garb.

You may also find that as creative as the destination is, so might be the invitation – filled with clues and little facts about what the hell the dress code is for a beach wedding in Belize. Are we really on the beach or just looking at the beach? Losing sleep thinking about how to keep your heels from creating divots in the sand? You need to do your homework as you may not even need shoes or you might be miles from the sand!

Here are a few dress code clues, Columbo. If it is black tie, it will say so, if it is a beach wedding, it will say so. However, it will be up to you to ‘find out more’ and a bit of sleuthing may be in order.

Prepare yourself, according to site The Knot, here are a few favorite destinations by month.

Jan/Feb – Argentina, Costa Rica, New Zealand
March – Australia, Belize, The Florida Keys
April – Bahamas, Ecuador, French Polynesia
May – Czech Republic, Fiji, Hawaii
June – Greece, Ireland, Maldives

Sound daunting? It could be, so let’s head to Pinterest and the practice of ‘tagging’. Pretty sure you have heard the term tagging, as in someone tagging you in a photo on Facebook. That is what Pinterest is all about. The search field is all about tags. Try to follow along here. Take the first example of fab places you might be invited to.

Head over to www.pinterest.com.

Use these keys words in the search field. wedding.dress.guest.what to wear.Argentina   What will come up are photos of others who have worn a dress at a wedding in Argentina (or loosely defined as that). Now this isn’t where you are going to find the dress, it is where you are going to find the FLAVOR. Meaning you will at least have a clue as to the fact that your boring beige uniform will not fly in the spicy colorful world of Argentina. You are going to have to ‘spice’ it up a bit all the while considering your age, your body type, your budget and your level of comfort with ‘theme’ dressing,

That last one is a biggy.  For example – you are invited to India – you are going to have to dress within the culture – your little solid red lace Talbots dress is going to stand out like a sore thumb amongst all beautiful silk flowing dresses.

Destination hot and humid? Pay attention to the fabrics – linen, chiffon, organza and cotton are good bets for warding off dark sweat stains as they look luxurious, but are light and breathable.

Off to a festive spicy spot like Fiji? Incorporate the colors of the land so you coordinate, not clash with the surroundings.

Check out the photos from the destinations themselves on Pinterest or directly on the venue website.

If you remain completely clueless, ask the maid of honor as she is riding shotgun and has been entrusted to make sure everything about making the dream wedding for her bestie is spot on, including how the guests look!

Still clueless? Join us next week at our Spring Styling Workshop where we will cover getting dressed for all your Spring events!
We have just a few spots left – register here today – http://doreendove.com/step-spring-registration/

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Dress It Up This Spring!

Whether you are dressing for the office, the cocktail hour, the Sunday brunch, the Mediterranean cruise, the graduation or the backyard barbecue – dropping a dress is the easiest and most fashionable solution! It’s once and done…as simple as that!

I can’t tell you how often I hear working women say, “My favorite office uniform is a dress, as it requires very little planning.” So true, and a perfectly minimalist way of dressing. The recipe is as basic as underwear, hosiery or not, a dress, a pair of shoes and some accessories – drop the mic – you are dressed!

The pros are many, let’s list a few.

  1. It’s only one hanger in your jammed closet.
  2. It’s only one item to get dry cleaned (as opposed to a pant/blouse/jacket combo).
  3. You can swap up the look by swapping jackets, sweaters, jewelry or scarves. The red dress you wore last week is unrecognizable when you wear it next week.
  4. You can choose styles that flatter and accentuate your body or that disguise and diminish your body.
  5. You can choose to be a solid girl and accessorize with patterns or you can be a pattern girl and accessorize with solids.
  6. You can choose your preferred sleeve length. Sleeveless and then top with a cardigan or a blazer, short sleeve and simply adorn with some arm candy, or long sleeve and keep it as simple as that.

Now if we have pros, we must have cons.

  1. The biggest con that I hear about is that women hate heels, any heels. They want to hide their ugly mugglies (aka their comfy shoes) under a nice pair of pants. Guess what girlfriend – the shoes are fixable. You don’t have to spend your life in pants because you have bunions, fallen arches or heel aversions (pun intended). There are comfortable shoes out there for any issue you can conjure up. Don’t believe me? Check out this Zappos link and look how long the list of choices/refinements are along the left column! Also ladies, not all dresses require a heel! There are plenty of stylish sassy flats and block heel shoes out there to carry the look. Just try to keep the toes a bit pointy to keep the look current and sophisticated.
  2. Women feel that dresses are remembered. (And how is that a bad thing?) Again, the answer to that is to ‘style’ them differently every time you wear them. The jumpstart for that plan is to purchase other items to go with the dress the same time that you buy the dress! What a concept. Shop for a jacket and a sweater as a layering option while you have the dress on so you can be sure they complement each other. Pick up two different color palette scarves and necklaces for the future look-changes while you have the dress in your hands. Then as soon as you introduce the dress to the old friends in your closet, peruse through and see if you see any other styling opportunities.
  3. Lastly the hosiery thing is an issue. Get over it! Got great gams, go without hosiery. Got not so great gams, don the stockings! Stockings have come a long way baby. They are soft, silky, come in a gazillion colors, styles and price points and they finish the look in an elegant and classy way. Just don’t wear them with open toe shoes – ever!


Now let’s get your dress on! Need more dress ideas? Join me on April 1st at Lord & Taylor Burlington, MA. Lord & Taylor has always been about the dress and nationwide Lord & Taylor is dedicated to assembling the best collection of dresses in all categories: day to night, formal, cocktail party, office, wedding guests and more. I am the featured stylist for this event at Lord & Taylor Burlington with festivities including fashion presentations and in-store specials. During this interactive style session I will show you how to style the same dress for different occasions. See the latest trends in accessories, shoes and handbags. That’s not all! Visit the Lancome pop up shop for a cosmetic makeover!

Tweet me to let me know you are joining us @DoreenDove.
Let’s dress up and force the Spring colors into New England!

Can’t make it? Join me on April 5th for the Executive Image Styling Workshop
Register here – http://doreendove.com/executive-image-registration/

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Look Fabulous At Any Age

Does that phrase sound familiar?  I hope so. That means you’re paying attention to what BA50 has been telling you about their fabulous upcoming event called She Did It / Boston – Step Into Your Next Stage With Confidence

I am excited to share that I will be a speaker at this event talking about your image and your style and how to look fabulous at any age.

Let me give you a little background about myself. As an image consultant and personal stylist, I empower women to use style as a tool to take strategic control of their image. I believe all women are beautiful and I want them to see the beauty that others see. I teach women how to dress with purpose by accentuating their assets and disguising their liabilities. In this session I will both entertain, as well as educate you, on how to choose clothing that fits your shape, your budget and your lifestyle.

Some of the takeaways of the session are:

  1. How to define your authentic style
  2. How to dress and shop with purpose
  3. How to rock your confidence after 50


Let’s talk about takeaway #1 – Your Authentic Style. That’s often used as a catch phrase in blogs and magazines write-ups and most women when they read it think, what the heck does authentic style mean to me?  The reason for confusion around this phrase is that women have been unsure where to shop – forever.  A decade ago when we only had physical stores to shop in, we were limited to the stores that were within are ‘DCZ’ – also known as driving comfort zone. As a result, we started to create a style based on the inventory those stores were offering us. Oftentimes that meant women were dressing either too young and sexy or too old and frumpy. Overheard at the register were comments like, this is the best I could find. We would look at magazines and pine over other options but they certainly were not within the DCZ.

Then came the online shopping era. Research indicates the women who now also shop online, are only shopping online at the same stores that they are familiar with, which are probably the same stores that are still within their DCZ. As a result, they are still shopping for the repeat styles and the only thing new is that they are saving on gas!

This brings us to takeaway #2 – How to Dress and Shop with Purpose.

Finding your authentic style means shopping in a different way. We will go over insider tips and tricks on how to shop online with purpose, meaning that you will order the right items, in the right size, at the right price, that will actually fit your body and flatter your style.

And that brings us to takeaway #3 – Rocking Your Confidence. There are so many more options out there that you are not aware of and this will be an awakening of your creative juices and your shopping habits and ultimately – a new you! If there is one thing we BA50’s want, it’s OPTIONS!

All three of these takeaways are connected – your style, your shopping and your confidence. We are going to save you money, we are going to buy less, we are going to love what we buy and more importantly, we are going love to wear what we buy!

And did I mention one lucky attendee will win a 2-hour Styling Session with me so we can either dive into your closet to edit and revise or we can shop and lunch together!

I go into depth on these takeaways in my book, but being up close and personal in the room with you allows for give-and-take. Meaning that I want to hear your personal questions and your personal challenges so that I can offer up my personal expertise.

I am hoping to see you in the room but if you can’t make it to She Did It / Boston,  I’m hoping to send out a copy of my book to you.

We have a global audience here at BA50 and if you are not able to make it to Boston, I am offering a special 50% discount on my printed book, Confidence Is Always In Style, for BA50 readers starting today. Head on over to www.DoreenDove.com/author and check out using the special discount code BA50 to receive your copy of this sassy style guide.

And for those of you lucky enough to be attending the event, I recommend you read the book in advance and come well-equipped with your questions.

I will see you in the audience on May 17th because it’s all about you and it’s time for you to dress with confidence each and every day!

 

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Decoding The Casual Friday Dresscode

Casual Friday – Two words that are often a source of angst for employers and total confusion for employees.

What started as a way for creating a more relaxed office environment has morphed into uncharted waters with no one guiding the ship. Some companies have instituted an addendum to their current dress code and some companies have simply termed it as, “It is at the discretion of managers to determine if an employee’s attire is inappropriate,” which basically passes the buck!

Just how did the mayhem begin?
Here’s the scoop – direct from Wikipedia.

Casual Friday (also known as dress-down Friday or casual day) is a Western trend, which has spread to other parts of the world, in which some business offices relax their dress code on Fridays. Some businesses that usually require employees to wear suits, dress shirts, neckties, and dress shoes allow more casual attire on Fridays. Casual Friday had its origin from Hawaii’s custom of Aloha Friday which slowly spread east to California, continuing around the globe until the 1990s, when it became known as Casual Friday.

Seriously, this now explains how Tommy Bahama made it into the corner office!

Without Casual Friday being written into the dress code, this nonchalant manner has created a follow-the-leader type of mentality among many; thinking what is good for one is good for all. Unfortunately, that seldom equates to ‘dressing upward’ with the result being far from what the original message was intended to be.

What then is appropriate for Casual Friday? The answer of course varies depending on your employment. The general rule of thumb is to first consider what your Monday through Thursday dress code is and dress only one level down from that on Friday. Don’t make the quantum leap from formal attire to Kenny Chesney garb.

Corporate dress codes are established to set a standard for professionalism and are usually broken down into three categories.

Formal Dress
– Formal dress is required of employees who are in a leadership role or are regularly visiting clients, or prospective clients, representing the company in the community and/or attending networking events. For these people, a step down on Friday would be to Smart Casual, which is a more relaxed version of their formal attire, possibly stepping away from suits and dressing in sophisticated separates.

Business Casual – Business casual allows employees to work comfortably in the workplace while still projecting a professional image. For these individuals, a step down on Friday may include denim and changing from jackets to sweaters.

Casual –  Casual environments such as creative spaces, start-ups, service industries and the like, will hopefully not dress down any further on Casual Friday!

The key to remember is that when you are at the office, you represent yourself as well as the company you work for. First and foremost, remember that you are dressing for the role that you currently have, if you are not the plumber, then don’t dress like the plumber (no disrespect to plumbers fyi).

As a result of speaking to corporate groups across the country, I have read over thirty dress codes in the last eighteen months. They vary in length, specificity, flavor, rules and of course they also differ by geographic locations. They cover everything from head to toe including types of clothing, accessories, shoes, hairstyles and even body ink and piercings!

But they all have key messages in common, here are the top three.

  1. You must always represent both yourself AND your company in a polished and professional manner.
  2. Your image should project confidence and competence.
  3. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

In working with clients to up-level their casual inventory, I often hear excuses why they do not take the time and effort to build a casual wardrobe. Here are the top three.

  1. I prefer to only think about my dress code 4 days a week
  2. I don’t have the budget to build a subset wardrobe
  3. I don’t want to dress better than the rest of the office

What?? Did you just say that? One of my favorite mantra’s that I share with my clients is. “Don’t be afraid to be the best dressed women in the room – any room!” It is far better to be noticed for being put together than being noticed for a sloppy appearance.

Your image is your friend and your future. You never know when you might meet your next employer, your next client or your next business partner. You could be standing on the sideline at the soccer field, in line at Whole Foods, sitting next to them on the train or simply in your office when the CEO makes an unannounced site visit. First impressions matter and there is no play book that lets you know when that is going to happen.

If you must ask yourself whether something is appropriate to wear to work it’s most likely inappropriate for the workplace. Common sense is the best guide, but if you want to tackle this once and done you should attend the Casual Friday Workshop on March 21st. Details below. www.DoreenDove.com/casual-friday-registration

If you want me to host a Casual Friday Workshop at your business or office, contact me to discuss the options. Doreen@DoreenDove.com

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Are You Making A Statement With Your Accessories?

A few seasons ago a new fashion term popped up – Statement Necklaces.

We all bought in, the bigger the better, the heavier the cooler, the shiniest wins. Not so much.

Think about it, if not for the term statement necklace, what would we be calling them? Garish, overdone necklaces, over-sized necklaces? I guess the term ‘statement’ does the trick – it gives you the vision without the judgement. Let’s get to the judging.

Adding accessories to your outfit is usually the last step in getting dressed, kind of like adding frosting to the cake.

The only problem with that theory is that sometimes it looks like just that – an afterthought as opposed to what we see on Katy Perry, who appears to have dressed around her necklace thereby creating the perfect outfit!

Have you ever dressed in reverse? What??? I have a fond memory of my children coming home from a day with Gram and Papa a dozen years ago exclaiming it was the best day ever – they had dessert before dinner!

Let’s accessorize before we get dressed!

Don’t worry, I am not pining for a vision of you in your birthday suit sporting dangle earrings, a belly button hoop, a waist chain, a 10-pound necklace and of course an ankle bracelet to pull it all together. But did you get a visual just then? Over accessorized a bit? You catch my drift.

You need to build the outfit around your key pieces but also include the accessories in the pre-planning stages. That’s before you even buy them!

Make sure you factor in the following considerations.

Use the word ‘avoid’ when shopping, so you don’t end up with a ‘wear’ drawer and a ‘don’t wear’ drawer as your accessories need to be comfortable!

Avoid ‘rough ‘necklaces! Be sure to do more than lay it on the counter to pay for it – actually try it on! Consider that it may not always lay on fabric, it may lay on your skin so make sure it doesn’t feel like a Brillo pad!

Avoid earrings that are too heavy (they will turn into spacers), necklaces that are too short (think choking) or too long (think boob riders), shoes that are uncomfortable (even for five seconds), bracelets so heavy they would lengthen your arm, belts so long there are inches of overhang flapping in the breeze or scarves so large they can cover Lady Liberty.

Avoid matchy-matchy. Long gone are the days when the shoes match the bag, match the gloves, match the necklace, match the lipstick. Mix it up a bit – choose complimentary or contrasting colors to pull together an interesting and creative total look.

Avoid the afterthought look! How? Touch it once…


Try playing dress up or stylist and pull out your accessories and review and revise. Are they items you would buy right now? Are they one-shot-wonders? Something you purchased for one outfit, but never wore for some reason? Are some too young looking, too cheap looking, the wrong metal color for your skin tone?

Take a white sheet, lay it on a flat surface and then fetch ALL your jewelry and you guessed it (frequent readers) put it together by category, arrange and shoot (a photo that is). In addition to creating a documented inventory of your jewelry for insurance purposes, you will now know what you have, what you like, what you don’t like (those go in the donation pile) and what might be missing! Yes, if shopping is a motivator for you then you definitely want to engage in this weekend exercise.

Once you have it all out, you may want to consider a trip to the Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, or the like, because it would be a shame if you just stuck everything back into that shoe box where it gets tangled and you only wear what floats to the top.

These are a few of my favorite ‘containers’ by category (of course). Shop by size (know your numbers by category), by price, and consider where these containers are going to live in your bedroom. Living on your bureau? Make sure they are pretty and coordinate with whatever else is already living there. Living in your closet on a shelf? Measure the width of the shelf before buying the boxes. Consider how they open, do you want a hinge so the top stays open while you ponder, or do you want to have a removable cover?

It should be a workable container for you, but if you are graduating from the shoe box, you should be easy to please!

Here are a few of my favorite containers.

Supersize Stackers – These modular units feature a grooved base so multiples stack securely. Add on easily as your collection grows – we know that’s going to happen!

Need more help sorting through the crown jewels? Check this past post – Does Your Jewelry Need A Makeover?

Need some style attitude of your own? Grab Confidence Is Always In Style on Amazon and learn how to rock your own style, jewelry or no jewelry!

Need some one-on-one girlfriend time?
Join us – www.DoreenDove.com/workshops/

Register Early – Limited to 12 Attendees Per Workshop!

Casual Friday Styling Workshop
Smart Casual Dressing Workshop
Executive Image Styling Workshop
Step Into Spring Private Styling Workshop

 

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Start Your Spring Shopping With Purpose

As a former buyer in the fashion industry, I had several million dollars a year to spend in the market. Every single dollar of my open to buy had to be calculated by category so that when you, the customer, came in any of our stores we had an ample supply of jackets, skirts, pants, dresses, blouses, sweaters, shoes and accessories. What you might not notice in this list is the ratio of tops to bottoms – right – pretty sure that didn’t come top of mind for you.

Here’s the scoop. Women’s ratio of both purchasing habits, as well as subsequent wardrobe numbers, is 3 to 1, tops to bottoms.

Think about how you layer your top half – tank, blouse, jacket – long sleeve blouse, sweater vest, leather jacket –  T-shirt, flannel shirt, cotton blazer – are you catching my drift?

Bottom line here, women buy more ‘tops’ than anything else in their wardrobe.

Top categories are defined as:

Sleeveless shells – solid and patterned

Long sleeve blouses – solid and patterned

Sweaters – solid and patterned

Jackets/blazers – solid and patterned

Well now that I defined the obvious and you are nodding your heads in agreement – let’s do some Spring shopping!

Picking up one new top in each category will give your crossover style the boost that it needs right about now.

Crossover style defined as: Get me out of these tired boring duds that I have been wearing for 6 months and open the heaven gates to the rainbow of colors!

Sleeveless Shells – The building blocks to every well-dressed wardrobe. Have at least two solid neutrals and one solid pop of color. Have at least 2 patterns, preferably patterns that include the color of your neutral bottoms so you can create outfits easily.

Long Sleeve Blouses – The next building block, easy to wear and can be worn without a sweater or a jacket (usually worn to either hide the arms or provide warmth). Again, you should own at least two solid neutrals and one solid pop of color. Have at least 2 patterns, preferably patterns that include the color of your neutral bottoms so you can create outfits easily. Sound familiar?

Sweaters – If you are a frequent reader – you know my rule – No Mr. Rogers cardigans allowed. Your sweater should be sassy and sophisticated and fit better than a tablecloth – yes, no draping allowed either! Again / again – you should own at least two solid neutrals and one solid pop of color. Have at least 2 patterns, preferably patterns that include the color of your neutral bottoms so you can create outfits easily. Seeing the trend yet?

Jackets & Blazers – The final layer, appropriate for any occasion, work-wear or casual-wear! Build a variety but shop wisely. Consider whether you would look best in single breasted or double breasted, then shop away. Add solids, patterns, cottons, spring leathers, both casual and dressy! A jacket is a power piece, sets you apart from the crowd. And the best reason for another jacket purchase – you just have to keep that ratio 3 to 1!

Shop away ladies! Need help – let’s chat!  www.DoreenDove.com/freeconsult

Need an excuse for a girls outing while rocking your new ‘tops’?
Join us – www.DoreenDove.com/workshops/

Register Early – Limited to 12 Attendees Per Workshop!

Casual Friday Styling Workshop
Smart Casual Dressing Workshop
Executive Image Styling Workshop
Step Into Spring Private Styling Workshop

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