How to Build an Eco-Friendly Wardrobe

6 Tips for Sustainable Style

Chalkboard: "We are one with nature"

Our precious Mama Earth provides sustenance to us in ways that are often taken for granted. Our waters, land, and clean air are not guaranteed, and a smaller environmental footprint can have a positive impact. No news there. You know it, and you’re likely mindful of recycling plastic containers and paper bags. Have you considered the ways your wardrobe can be more sustainable?

Sustainable clothing efforts go beyond taking outcast clothes to your nearby parking-lot clothing collection bin. In fact, most of these are owned by for-profit textile recycling companies. Often, the processes used to recycle the materials are not at all environmentally friendly.

What can you do to minimize the environmental impact of your style choices?

Here are a few tips to consider:

Repair
Think twice before tossing “broken” clothes from your closet. Missing buttons; unraveled hem stitching, and loosened seams can all be fixed. If you don’t feel skilled or teachable in the needle/thread department, make a fun barter with a friend who sews. Simple mends can put a solid garment back into your closet rotation for some fab outfits.

Rewear
If you wore the shirt for a minute, it likely doesn’t need to be laundered. You’d be surprised how much water can be conserved, and detergents or dry cleaning chemicals kept out of groundwater. Think about the great blouse you put on for the 1-hour Zoom call. That one can go back on a hanger in your closet.

(Bonus tip: hang that once-worn item inside-out so you know it’s been on your body for a period of time.  At the end of the season, you can do a visual scan to assure all those once-or-more worn items get a good cleaning before seasonal storage when stains can set in.)

Repurpose
This can take multiple forms. Yes, a sock can become a dog toy. Also, a sweater can become a throw pillow cover or any number of things. Consider donating career clothes that are in good-condition, or planning a clothing swap with friends to exchange items you’re not wearing. (One woman’s “trash,” is another’s treasure.)

Revolve
Put forgotten clothes into rotation. Most women are wearing 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time. Are there items you’ve forgotten about? Perhaps that cherry-colored tank top shoved to the back of your closet shelf has new potential when layered with the floral shirt you just bought. Explore new options that exist with old stand-bys.

Revive
You’re bored of that classic white shirt? Give it a fresh color to spice up its life. Use low-impact dyes that are Oeko-Tex® certified to minimize environmental effect. If you can benefit from an ecru color, put a good ole’ fashioned tea bag (or 3) in a bucket of water as a dye “color.” I do this myself from time to time, as pure white is not a flattering option for my personal coloring. I might find a great cotton top that’s white, then I make it “mine” with a black-tea fashion potion.

Re-think
Consider your buying choices. Some fabrics are more sustainable than others. While synthetic fibers do break down over time (it can take 20-200 years in a landfill), natural fibers are overall more environmentally friendly. Still, take care not to assume that just because a fiber is natural that it’s your best choice. Manufacturing processes used to create fabrics from natural fibers can come with their own hazards. Shop styles and quality in garments that lead to longevity in your wardrobe. A slightly higher price tag now can translate to an investment that pays you back and does a world of good over time.

Small actions add up to big impact when multiplied by humans.
Put one new idea into practice this month, and share this list to inspire a friend!

For alternatives to those parking-lot collection boxes, check out this article from the archives: How to Keep Clothes Out of Landfills.


Questions? Comments? Let me know what’s on your mind. I read them all!

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato, AICI, CIP

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with private clients, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices (normally), and… well, currently on Zoom!
To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook! 

Posted in Uncategorized, Wardrobe Maintenance, Wardrobe Planning & Auditing, Women's style & fashion | Leave a comment

How to Feel Attractive When Everything You Do Is From Home

Feeling Attractive: Necessity; Not Luxury

Dressing for YOU in 2021

You used to get dressed to go places,… to see people.  Now, not so much.  So you get up in the morning and throw on the sweatpants you wore last night.  Maybe you put on a nice top for an afternoon Zoom call, but you know you’re cheating.

No one at work can see that you’re cheating.  Only you know it.  And you do, indeed, know it.  You know that if the camera flipped, or you shot up out of your seat to respond to one of your kids’ who just cried out, “Mo-ommmmm!”  that your grungy sweat pants will be visible and give you away.

Because you know it, subconsciously, there’s a part of you that’s holding back, even if ever so subtly.  You know you’d be embarrassed by the visual your newest client would get, so you hold yourself a little differently.  You might be a bit less expressive; a bit more inhibited; or maybe a lot of both.

Here are tips for getting out of Zoom-inspired “mullet dressing,” or any other less-than-attractive pandemic style habits you may have fallen into in 2020.  Pick your best level to start, and give yourself permission to feel beautiful again.

Baby Steps

Start small.  If you’ve been spending days on end in your fuzzy bathrobe or pandemic-haunted joggers, make a change.  Little things that move you out of lockdown-autopilot allow your psyche to begin to feel a sense of normalcy.  Choose one a day to gradually ease into new routines, or challenge yourself to all at once.  It’s your look.

  • Consider color coordinating your socks to your hoodie.  (We’re starting small, here, but making an effort.)
  • Wear a pair of special earrings — those that always earned you compliments or have sentimental value.  Let them give you a subtle pick-me-up when you tuck your hair behind your ear and are reminded of their presence.
  • Wear a pretty/sexy bra beneath what ever clothes you’re wearing.

Big-Girl Walk

You’ve been getting dressed in real clothes, but they’re the same 3 outfits all week because, well, you can.  But as they say, “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Stave off boredom and give yourself the variety you knew pre-pandemic.

  • Give your hair a good styling — just as you would if you were going out to meet a friend for lunch. Shampoo, blow out, and styling products — the full shebang.
  • Add a neck scarf to your everyday Zoom-call shirt or sweater.  It’ll add color variety and a more intentional look.
    • Avoid overly-bright colors or too-busy prints if you’re on business calls.  (You don’t want the colors or patterns to detract from your verbal message.)
  • Put on a real outfit for your next Zoom call. (That means no yoga pants with your pretty blouse.)

Giant-Stride Pace

Work-Zoom cardigan

  • Spend some time in your closet in the evening to plan the next day’s outfit with intention.  (What do you want to feel, express, or project?) The quiet time alone is a gift to yourself.
  • Add a 3rd piece, like a cardigan sweater, to make your outfit a complete, pulled together ensemble. (This is a tidy, twinset-sort-of-cardigan, not the big, bulky “boyfriend” style.)
  • Put on a full face of makeup for your day, lipstick and all!

Whatever your starting place, choose action steps that support you in feeling physically attractive.  Science shows that a buttoned up appearance boosts our concentration, focus, self esteem, and confidence.  Besides, you deserve to feel beautiful!

Questions? Comments? Let me know what’s on your mind. I read them all!

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with private clients, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices, and… well, currently on Zoom!
To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36

Posted in Accessories, Business Professional Image, Dressing for Success, Hair & Makeup, Personal Image, Uncategorized, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion, Workplace Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dressing for Holidays at Home

dressing for holidays at hone - main

#CFH STYLE

Forget #WFH Style. It’s time to CELEBRATE from Home.

Do you have your holiday outfit planned and ready?

I get it. You’re not going anywhere.

But what you wear impacts how you feel. It can be worth dressing up to draw from the benefit of mindset.  Allow your clothes to put you in the spirit of the season!  While many things are different this year, and some traditional practices are off the table completely, one act that can keep the festive spirit alive is dressing for the occasion.

What’s your holiday style — High glam?  Soft & cozy?  Romantic charm?

dressing for holidays at home: bling

Bling earrings: J. Crew

Whatever your leaning, bring some of that flavor into your at-home holiday outfits.  It doesn’t need to be a complicated look.  Even a simple sparkly accessory can remind you that it’s not a business-as-usual day at home.

My own at-home holiday style

Personally, I tend toward a plush boho look. The soft and sheeny texture of a velvet wrap or jacket along with an easy-moving skirt and glittery bangles makes me feel fun and festive.

An underpinning of an easy-care, washable tank is great when I’m the guest at someone’s home.  I can take the jacket off to help with kitchen cleanup without worry of damage to the delicate velvet.

This year, that velvet will be the lush sheen in a Zoom window, and the easy-flowing skirt will provide comfort lounging on my own sofa.

Velvet is not part of my regular WFH style.  Instead, it conjures memories of holidays as a little girl in my red velvet Christmas dress (“No thanks” to the pilgrim collar, though) – so it reminds me of the specialness of the season.

Added bling for the camera

The grown-up girl in me is wearing block-heeled, olive-green velvet shoes purchased earlier this season.  They’ll serve me for years to come, and for now, make my holiday outfit even more home-appropriate.  (Out of my home, I’d wear boots with this outfit.). A little holiday splurge on something you know you’ll get mileage from both now, as well as when out and about once again, can go a long way in helping you feel dressed for the occasion this holiday.

‘Got a high-glam party on the books?  My at-home outfit didn’t satisfy for a virtual “Sparkle Party” I attended with fellow image consultants, so the alternate was a sequin scarf worn with the same velvet jacket.  Extra bling. Same comfort.

dressing for holidays at home: velour joggers

Cupcakes & Cashmere joggers: Nordstrom

Expecting a more “loungey” kind of holiday?  Velour is back and perfect for cozy at-home festivities.

 

dressing for holidays at home: traditional color

CeCe blouse: Bloomingdales

Perhaps romance and ruffles are your thing.  Incorporate some traditional holiday color to put you in the festive mood.

 

 

 

 

What will you be wearing to make your season merry?  Share your own pic on my FB page: https://www.facebook.com/refinedimages.  You may inspire someone else’s holiday style!

 

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with private clients, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices, and… online, of course!
To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36ic_twit_36

Posted in Accessories, Personal Image, Women, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work From Home Style and Feeling Attractive

“Mirror, Mirror on the wall….”

blue frame mirror

Aren’t you deserving after all?

After all that 2020 has delivered, you are deserving of feeling gorgeous…. of looking your best self….  of liking what you see looking back at you from that mirror.  Despite the challenges that have made up the last eight months, you still get to do that.

It can take energy to move through an ever-changing realm of every-day existence.  We’ve all been asked to step up to a higher level of adaptability and resilience this year.  It stands to reason that there’ve been times, for many, that wardrobe didn’t make it to the list, much less take a place at the top of it.

WFH style - sweater blazer

A sweater-blazer keeps a work look tidy without being overly-formal. Thijs one from Anthropologie.

Yet, over time, an overlooked appearance takes a toll.

Hoodies and pj’s were the first and most-manageable clothing choices eight months ago.  An ongoing everyday wardrobe of loungewear (including joggers and hoodies) has its price, though.  A glance in the mirror at a sweatsuit-clad woman day after day takes a gradual chipping away at her sense of attractiveness.

It’s about more than looking professional or “appropriate” for what you do in your life.  It’s about how you feel in the clothes you wear.  For professionals working from home, uber- casual attire has potential to undermine one’s success mindset.

In particular, working professionals can find their mental capacities impacted by what’s called “enclothed cognition.”  In essence, there’s science linking the clothes we wear and brain activity (and thus, productivity).  Now, with Zoom work meetings, your daily attire choices are literally in your face like never before, assuming you weren’t sitting in front of a mirror 5 hours out of your work day before the pandemic.

WFH Style - pant

Jogger tradeoff: Fashion look in a comfort pant. (Skyline II pant from Athleta)

A factor that affects us all, whether working while home or not, is the psychological impact of our personal attractiveness.

WFH Style - flowy dress

Flowy-dress comfort: Don’t overlook your favorite dresses for at-home style. (Natalya dress from Peruvian Connection)

Surely you’ve heard the adage, “when you look better; you feel better.”  Turns out, there’s a study proving that as truth.  A study by Karen Pine, a Professor of the psychology of fashion, found that women are ten times more likely (62%) to don a favorite dress when happy than when depressed (6%).  More than half of women who were asked what they wear when depressed replied, “jeans.”

When feeling blue, it just might be to your benefit to choose clothes that you associate with “happy.”  Pine defines “happy” clothes as those that make women feel good:  they’re well-cut, figure enhancing, and made from bright and beautiful fabrics.

WFH Style - Everlane pant

A tailored look for work with the ease of sweatpants. (Dream pant and jacket from Everlane)

If you believe that makes a good-enough case for upping your attire game, consider stowing those hoodies and joggers away for your next basement clean-out event.

Choose a look for your day that makes you feel your most beautiful self when you look in the mirror.  You deserve it.

To learn about the clothes that flatter you and your body, check out the Figure Friendly Style Formula.

What are you wearing?  Still comfy in sweats?
Feeling the urge to get more dressed?  Share your own dressing choices.  I read all comments and would love to hear from you!

 

 

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36ic_twit_36

Posted in Business Professional Image, Dressing for Success, Personal Image, Professional Image, Uncategorized, Wardrobe Planning & Auditing, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion, Workplace Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Purge Your Closet

Is Your Closet a Scare Zone?

How to purge closet - scary

 

 

 

 

 

 

If opening your closet doors is a risky proposition, it may be time to face your demons.

Haunted by clothes you haven’t worn since 1997?  Guilted by pants that no longer fit?  Taunted by outfits belonging to a lifestyle you no longer live, or that still hang, brand new with their tags still attached?

A closet brimming with unworn clothing can leave you feeling wasteful and remorseful about unused purchases.  Your mind can become agitated when looking at a cluttered space day after day.  And it’s hard to acquire new items that make you feel attractive and joyful when you’re staring at a closet with “too many clothes.”

The adage of a “closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear” is a very real scenario when one’s wardrobe is filled with unsuitable and inappropriate options.

Time to Purge.

Ask yourself these questions to begin ridding your wardrobe of inhospitable garment goblins:

  1. Does it fit properly?  When clothing hangs, baggy and slack on a post-weight loss body, it’s likely time to retire it.  Yes, clothes can be altered, but if something’s beyond a full size too large, it won’t fit in a flattering way without costly re-design work. Is it too small, awaiting your weight-loss results in order to be placed into wearing rotation?  If it’s been waiting 5 years for that someday, give yourself a break and dismiss those items.  (If you’re actually on a weight-loss plan, package up the too-tight pieces in a box, mark it with the garment size, and transfer it from your closet space into other storage until you reach that size. You don’t need more than one or two items in your everyday closet to inspire and assess your progress.)
  2. Is the style outdated?  If you don’t see anything resembling the style when youHow to purge your closet - dump it look at current fashion articles or clothing advertisements, it may be time to put it to rest.  (Examples:  football player-sized shoulder pads in dresses or tops; narrow-ankle pants that are full in the seat/thigh; color-matched suits — unless you work in a traditional field like finance or law.)
  3. Do you earn compliments? Some garments have never suited you.  They were on sale, or given as a gift that you then kept because someone paid good money for the item.  The thing is, if you’ve never gotten positive feedback or felt good wearing the item, it holds no positive value beyond protection from the elements.
  4. Does the color flatter. If the garment’s color has you looking like death-warmed-over, chances are you’ll not feel confident or attractive when wearing it.  Find out which colors allow you to look your most healthy, vibrant self, and wear those.  Pitch the pieces that don’t uplift your appearance.
  5. Worn around the edges? If an item is missing buttons, they can be replaced.  Some conditions can be repaired, but if the hem is tattered, or the fabric thread-bare, there’s little hope for those pieces to reflect positively upon your personal image.  Dump those.

You deserve to look and feel your best in the clothes you wear.  You deserve to open your closet door and be greeted by only the clothes that do that for you.  Ghastly clothes be gone!

Want to learn more about the clothes that flatter you and your body?  Check out the Figure Friendly Style Formula.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36

Posted in Fit & Proporion, Personal Image, Professional Image, Wardrobe Planning & Auditing, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion, Workplace Style | Leave a comment

How to Wear Fall Colors

It’s a Warm Autumn!

Pumpkins, cornstalks, hayrides, and mulled cider (with donuts, please).  It’s the season for how to wear fall colors - leavescrisp days and the richness of autumnal color — in nature and in clothing.

When I was young, my mother would take me back-to-school shopping for new clothes that were inevitably heavy in the rust, brown, gold, burgundy, and olive color categories.  Not because they were my favorite colors, but because that’s what was on store racks in the fall.

In those days, clothing colors often reflected the hues of nature during their related season, or sometimes, hues that represented holidays or other events that took place during a particular shopping season.  For example: bright, cheery colors of the flowers in spring time; light, cooling colors for comfort during heat of the summer.

As time marched forward “fashion colors” became a thing, flooding the market with choices dictated by the trickle-down effect of high-end designers’ seasonal collections.  Instead of nature’s fall colors of the earth in autumn, soft mauve with charcoal grey might show up — or any number of other non-seasonal color combinations would be featured in a particular fall season if that’s what was on top designer runways.  And though there’d be exceptions, that’s the practice that prevailed for decades: fashion-season color trends.

Then came Pantone’s Color of the Year declarations.  Pantone, once a printing company that endeavored to create a universal system for color referencing and matching, evolved into a color trend forecaster.  In the year 2000, Pantone announced its first Color of the Year:  Cerulean.  Ever since, Pantone has ruled the direction of color in fashion, home décor, how to wear fall colors: Pantone 2020and other consumer goods.

This season, Pantone’s color direction includes a healthy number of classically-rich fall colors. But even more importantly, manufacturers and retailers took the cue in a big way this year. I’ve observed a collection of traditional autumn colors in a variety I haven’t seen available in ages. This will be music to your ears if you have a warm base to your innate coloring!

Warm-color-wearing tips:

  • If your undertones are warm and deep, opt for the darker, deeper versions of the warm tones, mixing them with lighter shades if you your skin/hair/eye combination is high contrast.
  • If warm and soft is your game, choose the hues that are more muted in quality.  This will be pretty easy as more autumn hues are muted, than they are clear.
  • If the warmth of your personal coloring comes in a lighter-value variety, wear the light-to-medium values of the hues to match your own contrast level.
  • If your warm coloring is clear, you’ll want to be extra careful in your selections.  Many of the autumn-inspired tones are soft in their intensity and may wash out the clarity of your skin and eyes.  Don’t click the “buy” button until you find the colors that have your best intensity at stake.

Wearing the colors that lift your appearance and earn compliments is your secret style weapon. You’ll gain more compliments than you’d ever imagine when you wield this tool.  If you found yourself scratching your head in wonder while reading the tips above, let’s connect so you can learn your own best color palette.  You deserve to know the colors that brighten your features, make your eyes sparkle, and take years off your appearance!  Learn more about my Virtual Color Solution here.

Meanwhile, here’s a visual tour of few current fall-color options (read below them to find a color test):

How to wear fall colors: Anthropologies tank

Anthropologie.com

How to wear fall colors - Nordstrom dress

Nordstrom.com

How to wear fall colors - J. Crew v-neck

JCrew.com

How to wear fall colors - Target top

Target.com

How to wear fall colors - jacket

bananarepublic.gap.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to wear fall colors: Banana Republic turtle neck

bananarepublic.gap.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your color IQ?
Just for kicks, visit this post for a fun color test to check how you “see” color.  (No grades involved!)

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Posted in Personal Color, Personal Image, Uncategorized, Women, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion | Leave a comment

Work from Home Style

Camera-Friendly Hacks for
Your Next Video Call

And dressing for the coworker you see in the mirror each day.

Depending where you live, you could be on week #2, or week #3 of a new way of working. If you’re interacting with clients or co-workers in virtual meetings with video, that probably includes taking care with makeup and camera-visible “professional attire,” even if bunny slippers are hiding under your desk, out of camera-lens view. (Your secret’s safe with me.) But what happens when you’re not required to be on camera?

On a typical day off, we may reach for our coziest yoga pants in celebration of the occasion for a makeup-free, no-fuss-hair Beauty Holiday. (I’m right there with ya, by the way.) The same choices on an extended timeline at home and doing business with others can have greater implications, however.

A study once noted that school children’s academic performance increased on picture day. Similarly, enclothed cognition is a term that describes the influence clothing has on a wearer’s psychological processes. (If research-based reading is your style, you’ll find details here.  What we wear has the potential to impact how we perform.

Whether your concern is how others perceive you, or how you feel about yourself, here are tips for loving your look while physical distancing:

  • Makeup. It’s a valuable tool to brighten your face. Even if you’re not working via video calls, there’s one person who is seeing you every day — your mirror image. For her sake, put yourself together. Looking at yourself each day with a “finished” face can improve your self confidence. And if you are on video calls, know research has shown that professional women who wear office-appropriate makeup out-earn those who don’t. Extra time on your hands? It’s a great opportunity to experiment with new application techniques. If you’ve been using the same tired practices for years, try new products and applicationsto reboot your look. (Dermstore.com delivers to your door.)
  • Hair care. With our professional stylists and colorists temporarily out of reach, it’s the time to invest in creative self remedies. Initially, that may consist of some root touch-ups. I personally find powders to be easier to control than spray products. You’ll find my personal favorite here. The duo colored palette in this product make blending possible for a better color match.
  • Neckline accessories. Necklaces and scarves add an element of “completeness” to a look, emphasizing that you are one to dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Because they carry more weight in a torso-only visual, take care that they are a finishing element that doesn’t steal the show. (Too-loud or attention-grabbing accessories will take the focus off your spoken message.)
  • Color. Surround your face with clothing that enlivens your features and creates harmony with your skin, hair, and eyes. You’ll look more alert and attentive. Another boost for your mirror image (or your boss on the Zoom call).
  • Lower body. If you’re video conferencing, and think what you’re wearing waist-down doesn’t count, imagine jumping up to avoid a hot coffee spill, or leaping to break up one of your kids’ volume-rising quarrels. Oops – your colleagues have just gotten a direct view of your leopard-print pajama pants.

There’s no doubt that standards are relaxed in the current business climate. Meanwhile, if your video-call colleagues are looking polished, you probably don’t want to be the one who isn’t. Besides, your self view stands to gain.

Comments? Questions?  I read them all.  Let me know what’s on your mind.

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36ic_twit_36

Posted in Accessories, Business Professional Image, Dressing for Success, Hair & Makeup, Personal Image, Professional Image, Uncategorized, Women, Workplace Style | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Self Care in Uncertain Times

My wish for us is peace

As a population, we have our minds on many things at this time of unprecedented change. As we face a global challenge with local impacts and accompanying uncertainties, we naturally experience stress on a variety of levels. Stress to our psyches and nervous systems requires loving care.

Now, more than ever, take expanded measures of self care:

Heightened hygiene practices, nutrition, and proper rest keep our physical bodies healthy and immunity strong. Relaxation and meditative or prayer practices support our nervous systems.

The list below offers ideas for recalibrating the mind, body, and spirit. Choose what you are most drawn to. Often, new circumstances call for new practices, so play with the ideas and see what brings peace and comfort. (One of my go-to’s is humor, so I’m including a favorite chuckle for you!)

Please be kind to yourself and those around you as we all adapt to an evolving environment. As a human community, we’re all in this together.

Tools for comfort and peace

  • Prayer. In the form of the faith you practice, prayer brings healing, comfort, and hope.
  • Meditation. Like prayer, meditation brings tranquility, plus physiological balance to the body. If you’re new to it, here’s a guided meditation for peace in uncertain times.
  • Fresh Air. A walk in nature brings you closer to the interconnectedness of all living beings. If you live alone, a walk in a neighborhood, amidst kids playing basketball in a driveway, lends a sense of community when feeling isolated.
  • Music. Listen to (or play) music or sing. Sound vibration can be very healing on many levels. Choose tunes that uplift you and help you FEEL good.
  • Emotional Freedom Technique. This modality helps to release conditions, energetically, whether physical pain, or fear and anxiety. Sometimes referred to as “tapping,” the process is explained in this video by it’s founder.
  • Physical activity. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemical. Take a brisk walk or follow an exercise video. (Many health facilities that are temporarily closed are shifting to provide virtual classes for you to follow at home.)
  • Laugh. Like exercise, laughter releases endorphins. Talk to a friend who loves to laugh with you or watch a comedy. Enter: Netflix and YouTube!

    Here’s a favorite of mine (it’s PG rated): Click here

 

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36ic_twit_36

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What to Wear to Get What You Want

4 Instances When What You Wear Matters


What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.
~ Miuccia Prada

What to Wear to Get What You Want - casualIn our increasingly casual world, the power of dress is often overlooked.  As human beings, we form impressions based upon what we see — it’s in our nature.  That means that others are regularly making judgments about who you are, based on what you’re wearing.  Upon first meeting, it’s all a person has to go on until a conversation ensues.

The goals for your own first impression are personal and unique.  What you’re aiming for in your life likely looks very different from what I’m hoping to achieve.  A new career,… a new love,… a new home…. all have a very specific set of parameters and relationship dynamics that support their achievement, and the way you show up visually can make a difference.  Here are 4 circumstances where your clothing can impact your outcome:

At Work

If your employer were scanning the team for the member who stands out as competent to lead the project of your company’s most important client, would their eyes rest upon you with a “Yes, she’s the one”?

Examine your regular work-day outfits.  Are they well coordinated and currently styled?  Great.  (I’m assuming a “yes,” there.)  Next level:  Assure they are tailored to fit your body in such a way they appear that they were made just for you.  Impeccable fit demonstrates you’re one to cross all your t’s and dot all your i’s.  If you do so in appearance, it suggests to others you’d do the same in your work practices, too.

Tip:  Ask a friend whose style you admire who their tailor is and make a bee-line to that tailor with your new purchases.  They very well could become your new BFF, saving many outfits from the not-good-enough stack.

At Play

You’re invited to your bestie’s “girls’ day weekend” to a fun city-touring and spa trip.  Do you know what to pack?

Many women focus on appropriate professional clothing for their careers, and have a collection of jeans and hoodies for their kids’ weekend soccer games.  Ask them to assemble a smart-casual outfit and it’s like suggesting they jump through a hoop of fire.

Take stock of your closet.  If there’s a gap in the zone of  what-to-wear-for-casual-fun, while still looking pulled together, it’s time to shop for some smart-casual ensembles.  Choose colors that flatter your features, and shapes that suit your body.  Make it your shopping goal to procure 3-4, 3-piece outfits in hues and patterns that mix and match with one another.  The result will have potential for 10 or more variations — more than enough to fill your weekend bag with tour-worthy options, and have combinations leftover for the next trip.

Tip:  Your “third piece” in the outfit can be a cardigan you’d wear with a silk blouse and skinny jeans; a cape or shawl/wrap; or a statement-making necklace or scarf.  These all can make an outfit complete.

In Finance

You’re shopping for a new car and find yourself overlooked when the sales agent greets another buyer that entered the showroom after you did.  When ignored in this way, it’s often the result of a snap judgment a salesperson makes about your seriousness or ability to buy.  No matter how inaccurate, it can feel downright invalidating.

Get the service you deserve with a look of confidence and worthiness.  (Yes, but of course you’re in a position to walk away from a less-than ideal purchase arrangement.)  Choose clothing colors that exude self assurance, and styles that suggest prosperity.   As with your look in the workplace, good fit goes a long way in communicating success.

Tip:  Wearing a structured jacket lends an air of authority, and projects competence in decision making.  Navy blue has long-been seen as a color of wisdom, intelligence, and expertise.

In Romance

You’ve decided you’re ready for Mr./Ms. Right to enter your life.  Not leaving any stone unturned, you’re setting up an online dating profile and putting yourself out into the world What to Wear to Get What You Want - datingwith organized activities where you’ll meet others, potentially your ideal mate.

Take the quality of the relationship you desire into account when planning what to wear to an event or in a photo.  If a long-lasting partnership is in your vision, avoid racy or suggestive clothing, and instead, aim for a look that is genuine and approachable.  Want quick feedback?  Check this site to find out what others “get” from your photo:  PhotoFeeler.

Tip:  Opt against attire that shows cleavage or otherwise suggests swift advances to intimacy if slow and steady is your game.  Wear colors that bring your own features to life.  They will support you in looking your most vibrant, youthful, and energized self.  If you’re not well versed in your personally-flattering colors, a coral or apricot with depth (not pastel) projects femininity and emotional availability. 

Every setting has its demands.  Choose your look with intention and you’ll communicate your stance clearly at the onset.  With a net worth of $2.4 billion, Miuccia Prada, must know something about fashion as “instant language.”

What have been your experiences?  Have a comment? Question? Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below. I read them all. (You just might be the inspiration for my next blog post.)

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36

 

Posted in Dressing for Success, Personal Color, Personal Image, Professional Image, Uncategorized, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can I Wear White After Labor Day?

The Rule:  Stow Your Whites Until Next Summer

Wear white after Labor Day? White shirtDoes it still stand?

Some rules make very good sense; at least at the time they’re created.  And then… well, things change. Remember the rule of courtesy that said not to phone a friend after 10pm?  Now we dial anyway, trusting our friend has silenced their mobile device if they don’t want to be disturbed. (If you’re too young to remember landline phones in the home, disregard that example.)

Back to white clothing…. Once upon a time, the city folks who were wealthy enough to whisk away to “summer in the country,” packed their white linen dresses, trousers, and Panama hats right along with their swim costumes.  Think: Great Gatsby style.  The white attire, not only more comfortable in the hot summer sun, was also an indicator of privilege.  Throughout history, white was the color of luxury in clothing.  (Imagine a middle-class laborer indulging the frivolity of this hard-to-keep-clean color.)   So it made sense that when summer was over, and the socialites returned to the city, the whites were packed away for the fall/winter season — too impractical on public transportation and early 20th-century unpaved streets.

Though today many of us live in moderately-clean environments year round, the rule continues to intimidate the best intentions at fall wardrobe planning.  So here it is, your permission to WEAR WHITE IN THE FALL.  That’s it.  Years of conditioning, dismissed.

Tips to Wear White this Fall:Wear-White-After-Labor-Day? suede-jacket

  • Choose heavier fabrics and materials.  Opt for white denim pants in place of breezy linen.  White leather booties create a fall vibe where white, mesh sandals do not.
  • Accessorize with fall colors and materials.  In the summer, you might pair your white jeans with a white straw bag and shell jewelry.  In the fall, choose tobacco, chocolate-colored, or black bag and shoes; jewelry of heavier-weight materials like metals or pearls.Wear white after Labor Day? white booties
  • Create a cool-weather theme.  If white is the backdrop of your outfit (pant and top), add a decidedly fall piece, like a textured, dark-colored jacket or skirt.
  • Use the small-dose strategy.  During the summer, you might favor a white-dominant outfit.  If you’re testing the waters of white in cool weather, try the unexpected white peeking out in the form of a collar beneath a fall sweater, or a shoe below Wear white after Labor Day? White shoes/collar.flannel trousers.  The latter is an especially effective strategy if white is not a flattering color to your facial features.  A pair of shoes makes an impact without compromising your best and brightest smile! More about your personal best colors here.

Have you worn white in the fall?  Will this be your first autumn-white adventure?  Share your own stories and tips.  I read all comments and would love to hear from you!

 

Want to learn more? Work with me.

Patty Buccellato is an image coach and founder of Refined Images. She brings extensive knowledge and expertise to her work with men and women individually, as well as with corporate employee groups.

Patty established Refined Images in 1994, and while her studio is based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices — and, yes, even in shopping malls! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s “How to Shop Like a Stylist,” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36ic_twit_36

Posted in Personal Color, Personal Image, Uncategorized, Wardrobe Planning & Auditing, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wardrobe Simplifier

5 Essential Pieces for Every Woman's Closet

The Wardrobe Simplifier eBook Get my FREE eBook plus tips by email to look your non-stop best! Build the foundation to your perfect wardrobe with these can't-lose staples including:

  • The one, must-have item that triples as belt, dress, and swim cover (plus, more!)
  • The all-purpose top that suits every body shape with style and grace
  • The universally-flattering skirt that comfortably flows over curvy bodies, yet magically lends balanced fullness to straight figures

"YES, Patty! Please give me a copy of your eBook, The Wardrobe Simplifier, and be sure to keep me up to date with free image tips and news by email!"

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