How to Know if Your Necklace is Right

Does this Necklace Look “Off” to You?

My once-client and now dear friend, Diane, reached out to me recently with a style question.

“Does this look okay?” 

She was getting ready for an evening out with her husband and some friends, but was questioning her new necklace.  She liked it, but for some reason, it didn’t seem to be working.

The answer  to her question was “yes.” It looked O-k.  BUT, it could look better.  (We’d all rather look better than “okay,” right?)

As you can see, it’s a really great necklace…. a lotta chain action goin’ on with this number, and it’s got the potential to be a “wow” piece in Diane’s jewelry collection.  Yet, it could be better.

The important tweak
When it comes to necklaces, length can be the difference-making element that gives your own outfits a look of completion — or even impact, when that’s desired.  The distinction between a necklace that’s “good enough,” and one that creates a winning look, boils down to how it relates to you, its wearer.

Proportion is key to a balanced, harmonious look, and when you get this right, you show up in the world making a statement that has “savvy style” written all over it.  It can be a very subtle and almost imperceptible adjustment to make, yet the result is truly powerful.

In Diane’s case, the length of the necklace itself was great.  The vertical space of the featured chains related to the length of her face beautifully.  That wasn’t clear, though, since a significant gap  of hollow space existed between the base of her turtle neck top and the top edge of the necklace’s focal area.  The result is that we see a lot of black before we get to the chains, throwing off the balance between Diane’s face and the necklace.

After we chatted, Diane made a simple adjustment to the necklace’s position, and voila!
It was an easy fix, and allowed her to make a style statement with finesse (and erase any doubt around her solid accessory purchase).

Do this at home.
Get these kinds of questions answered for your own outfits:
Join my Style Clinic for Comfort and Joy on December 4.

I’ll review your outfit photos and provide the impact-making tweaks so you can show up with style, ease, and confidence — just in time for your holiday gatherings.  Get more info and register here.

Diane’s Before and After
It’s useful to note that Diane could wear her necklace at the original position to fabulous effect if she were wearing a button-front blouse with the top button or two open. Depending on the neckline, modifications in length will make the necklace more (or less) flattering.

Here’s the side-by-side, truth-is-in-the-pudding comparison:

 

 

 

 

 

Join me in the Style Clinic for your own winning-look tweaks!

 

 

 

 

 

Who is Patty?

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 Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices (normally), and… well, now on Zoom! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s eBook “The Wardrobe Simplifier” visit Refined Images or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36

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

Use These Quality Hacks to Uplevel Your Look

‘Know that feeling…. when you walk into a room wearing the dress that always earns you compliments?  The suit you’ve signed multiple deals in and won several positions wearing? You feel invincible, right?  Like everything will go well on this day.  (Or even if it doesn’t go “well,” at least it won’t rattle you.)

And then there’s the opposite experience.  “‘Cause Cheap is How I Feel,” goes the song by the Cowboy Junkies.  Cheap. Not a place of power or confidence, but a place of compromise and mediocrity.  Sometimes clothes just look chintzy.  And when they do, they don’t put you in that rattle-free state of being.

Clothing choices are a form of self expression, and how a garment presents and feels on your body has the power to change your disposition, all the way down to your toes.  When an item feels “cheap,” as many do in this age of disposable fashion, your confidence around how you visually show up takes a hit.

What can you do to maintain a presence of quality and style?

You have more control than you might realize.  With a bit of insight and a willingness to follow a hunch or two, you can uplevel the style quotient at most any clothing price point.  It’s all in the details.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Buttons. If it’s an inexpensive, painted-plastic button made to simulate

    Painted “metal” buttons replaced with shell buttons for a polished finish. Pants tailored to fit.

    a natural material, chances are it’s going to fail at replicating a quality look.  Plastic buttons are one thing on a man’s dress shirt, they are quite something else on a suit jacket intended to make a strong, positive statement.

    Easy fix: swap the buttons out for a version made of natural materials like shell, nut shells, metals, or ceramics.

  • Belts.  Often, a dress, sweater, or other item is sold with a “self belt” attached to it.  A self belt is simply one that is made of the same fabric as the garment.  This works

    A purchased belt, matched to skirt color.

    just fine when the belt is a fabric, tie-on sash version.  When it’s a buckled belt, it may not be your best choice.  Manufacturers of moderate-priced clothing will often craft this kind of belt with inexpensive vinyl backing (that cracks with use), and low-quality hardware to save on production costs.

    Smart fix:  Purchase a coordinating belt of quality construction that adds finish to the garment, while linking to your other outfit colors.

  • Hems & seams. If a hem is buckling or puckering, it’s going to deliver a less-than-stellar message about your attention to detail.  This one can be tricky.  If the garment is sloppily made, the fabric grade may be compromised as well, making the item difficult to save from a quality standpoint.

    (Almost) easy fix:  If the fabric is deemed to be of good quality, then it may be worth having a tailor re-do the hem so that it shows more neatly.  Not so much with seams:  they’re often finished in such a way that your tailor may not have enough fabric to work with.
  • Fit.  Speaking of a tailor, find yourself a good one. They can be your best style partner, assuring that the clothes you wear look like they were made just for you.  Nothing makes a smart style statement like “custom made,” even if you do fake it a bit.
  • Color.  Color value makes a difference in how clothes of lesser quality appear.  When selecting from inexpensive items, darker colors are generally more forgiving with the quality flaws inherent in lower-grade products.

How have you modified clothes to improve their appeal? 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 Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices (normally), and… well, now on Zoom! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s eBook “The Wardrobe Simplifier” visit Refined Images or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36

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How to tell if your outfit works

 

Your Mirror is Deceiving You.

Why your bedroom mirror won’t tell if your outfit works.

What’s the first thing you do in a store’s fitting room when you’re trying on clothes?  You look in the mirror, of course.  That’s how you determine whether you like the way an item fits, if the fabric bunches up in unattractive ways, or if the color lacks harmony with your own.

With more of us shopping online than ever before, our bedroom mirrors are often taking the place of those in a retail fitting room.  And like those in the stores, they’ll do the same job of telling if  an item of clothing is a solid contender for our wardrobe budget. (Learn to shop online with savvy.)

What they won’t do as well, is tell if you’ve made the best match-up when coordinating separate outfit pieces.  For one thing, it’s natural to look at just one area at a time when standing in front of a mirror.

The problem:
It’s common for a woman to place her focus on the zones she’s most self-conscious about when looking in a mirror; the areas that are the hardest to fit; or the part of the outfit with the most-dominant design feature.

What gets missed is pinpointing whether the proportions of your top and bottom pieces are flattering to your body (more about this in Part II, to come); if the colors of each piece are balanced with the others; and if the full ensemble gives the “vibe” you want to give off.

The solution:
Get a one-dimensional vantage point.

When I assess a client’s proportions for her, I ask to see a full-body photo, even when we work in person.  While I’ve got vast experience in evaluating body types, the physicality of a body can interfere with a truly clear view.  The one-dimensional nature of a photo, whether printed or digital, overcomes the distractions of personal characteristics.  It allows a clear, “birds-eye” view of the whole person.

If you apply the broad-view perspective when sizing up your outfits, you’re able to see how they relate to your body in the way other people would see you. (Imagine them noticing you at a distance, as you enter a room.  They get a view of the whole picture, rather than its parts, one at a time.)

So grab your phone or camera and take your best shot.  You may actually use your mirror to get a selfie reflection, but you won’t be relying on that mirror’s limited frame of reference for your outfit evaluation.

The Mirror’s Redeeming Qualities
While a full-length mirror won’t deliver  the best big-picture perspective in reviewing an outfit, I do recommend every woman keep one in her dressing area.  To go without is like picking out your pedi color in the dark (heaven forbid!).

Here’s what that full-length mirror still does for you:

  • Assures you haven’t neglected to remove a tag from your new purchase before wearing it in public.
  • Reminds you to secure that zipper and button in the back. (It’s happened before, right?  You do up the button, so it feels like everything’s in place, then a kind female coworker lets you know something else is amiss.)
  • Confirms that no hems have fallen since you last wore the item.
  • Helps select the right shoes for your outfit.

How do you assess your outfits? 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 Rochester Hills, Michigan, you’ll find her serving clients throughout North America in their homes, offices (normally), and… well, now on Zoom! To get your FREE copy of Patty’s eBook “The Wardrobe Simplifier” visit Refined Images or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me!   ic_fbk_36

Posted in Over-50 Style, Personal Image, Women, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What to Wear to Work in Fall 2021

Re-mixes for Your Unworn Work Wardrobe

Don’t toss those sleepy suit pieces just yet!

What to Wear to Work in Fall 2021 - jacket sleeves made casual

Sleeve roll (Banana Republic washable wool blazer)

There’s no debating it’s a more casual world when it comes to work style since March of 2020.  Even in more-traditional organizations, “business formal” style parameters have been nudged to the business casual zone, if not full-on casual.  Comfort, in a generally stressful era, becomes a priority wherever and whenever it can be found.

A change of seasons is an opportunity to reassess our wardrobes and identify where that comfort lies, among other things: What fits/what doesn’t?  What’s in fashion/what’s outdated?  What needs repair, and what can be donated?  All good questions during a typical closet review.  Now, a new question:  Will I return to my previous style of dress for this to be useful?   For many professional women who wore suits to work, the answer remains elusive.

If you’re on a team that’s back to working in a traditional location, or you’re planning for a return in due time, there’s a place for those skirts and jackets,… whether or not you’ll wear an actual suit.

Try these suit-piece remixes:

Suit Jacket
Use your suit’s jacket as the completing element of a casual outfit:

What to Wear to Work in Fall 2021 - jeans with blazer

A casual sweater makes a jacket less formal. (J. Crew Bristol blazer.)

  • Pair your suit jacket with a polo sweater or menswear-inspired cotton shirt in place of a traditional dressy, blouse.  Wear a coordinating pant, vs. the matching suit pant, for a relaxed, “unmatched suit” look.
  • Wear the jacket with jeans to create a full-on casual look (dark-wash  jeans say “business” more loudly than worn-in or pre-washed/faded jeans).
    • If the jeans are lean (e.g. a “skinny” jean), create a bit of fullness with an untucked blouse to maintain balance.  It’ll also minimize the body-con effect of a
      What to Wear to Work in Fall 2021

      A dressed-up hoodie keeps a suit casual (Banana Republic plaid double-breasted blazer)

      jean that hugs closely.

    • With a full jean,  like a trouser or boyfriend jean, keep tops & jackets leaner on top to avoid fabric overwhelm.
  • Layer a hoodie beneath your jacket for an uber casual vibe. (A sweater-knit version v. a common fleece hoodie keeps this professionally savvy.)
  • Make the jacket casual in its own right by rolling sleeves to the elbow (extra points if the sleeve lining is in an interesting print or a contrasting color).

Suit Skirt
Give the skirt from your suits a new lease on life with more relaxed companions:

What to Wear to Work in Fall 2021 - skirt w/boots

Subbing boots for pumps. (Eloquii sweater pencil skirt)

  • Boots (high or low) in place of pumps give your skirt an “unsuited” personality.
  • Swapping your dressy blouse for a relaxed sweater brings the
    What to Wear to Work in Fall 2021 - vest replaces jackets

    A vest replaces a formal jacket. (Eileen Fisher vest, Neiman Marcus.)

    whole look down to a more easy feel.

  • Think about bringing a vest into your closet to keep skirts company in a low-key way.
  • If your environment is casual enough, a jean jacket with a traditional skirt is a fun way to mix opposites.  (Use caution: if denim wasn’t sanctioned at your organization before, this is best worn only after seen on a member of the leadership team to show its acceptance.)

Helpful tip: To ensure your suits are wearable as a joined unit at a later time, consider getting them dry cleaned together, whether you’ve worn both pieces, or not.  Giving them the same cleaning treatment means the fabric color of both pieces continue to look matched.

By the way, don’t rule out wearing these outfits even when you’re not going to the office. Dressing up has the ability to raise your spirits and confidence in a way a pair of joggers and hoodie could only wish to. (The compliments sure don’t hurt.)  Give it a go on your next errand run!

Is comfort in style something you’d like more of?  Check out my self-study Figure Friendly Style Formula.  You’ll never again question if a style is right for your body.

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 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 eBook “The Wardrobe Simplifier” visit Refined Images or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36ic_twit_36

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

How to Wear a Dress with Pants

Dresses with Pants — Really?

Maybe you’ve seen photos of models or celebrities wearing dresses over jeans and you thought, “Oh! I’m so going to do that.” Or, maybe not.  Perhaps, instead, you’ve thought to yourself that it’s a silly concept that doesn’t have a role in a real woman’s wardrobe.  I get it.  Many of the runway versions really wouldn’t have a place in your closet, especially if you’re finding your dressing preferences are uber casual these days.

Still, the pants-with-your-dress trend carries a few practical qualities with it. If you’ve ever worn a long sweater with leggings and boots, it’s just a small stretch to reach dress-with-pants territory.  Here are a few scenarios where you might like to experiment with the look in your own wardrobe:

  • Dress as shirt. If you miss wearing your dresses that have been out of rotation the last year or so, use them as shirt replacements.  Sure, the dress/pant trend
    how to wear a dress with pants: long shirtdress

    Anthropologie Dress

    can be styled for cutting-edge impact, but there are simple ways to integrate the fashion into your everyday lifestyle. A shirtdress is the easiest way to do this.  Unbutton the bottom to show a jean or legging worn beneath.  If you have a naturally-defined waistline, belt the dress for emphasis.  If your shape is more rectangular, wear it loose and straight.

  • Dress as sun protection. Long day at the beach?  The coverage of a dress protects your sun-drenched skin from further exposure.  It might be a coverup dress that originated as part of a swimsuit ensemble as purchased, or it might be one that you adapt from your
    How to wear a dress with pants: Petit Pois

    Petit Pois by Viviana G

    closet.  For this purpose, think fabrics that are light, breezy, and loose in style (and machine washable if you’re at the beach or pool!).

  • Dress as jacket. Cooler weather, but you don’t want to don a jacket?  The long-sleeve dress worn  over your jeans or slim pants keeps you warm. Whether it’s a sweater version, or a button-up that you
    how to wear a dress with pants: sweater dress

    Peruvian Connection

    wear open, duster-style, you’ll get the benefit of an added layer in a very on-trend style. Like the shirt scenario, wear this belted, or not, depending on your own body’s silhouette.

  • No-effort version. If figuring out “which-dress-with-which-pants?” feels intimidating, take the
    how to wear a dress with pants: jumpsuit

    New York & Company jumpsuit

    How to wear a dress with pants: jumpsuit

    Nordstrom jumpsuit by Kay Unger

    shortcut route: Lots of jumpsuits and rompers are designed with the look of a dress or skirt layered over a pant.  With these, you get a pre-made ensemble with no style-muscle required.  Choose the silhouette in relation to your silhouette.  The variation with fullness below the waist is great for figures that are full in that same zone. A straighter version is well suited to a body that is more rectangular in shape.

    By the way, to keep your look current, go low-key with the accessories.  It’ll allow your dress to stand as the focal point.

Want to learn the best way to wear this trend with your own body’s shape? Check out my on-demand style course, the Figure Friendly Style Formula.

Or for my one-on-one coaching, work with me.

What are your thoughts about wearing dresses over pants?  Have an idea or question? Leave me a comment.  I read and respond to them all.

 

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 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 eBook “The Wardrobe Simplifier” visit Refined Images or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36 

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

How to Find Clothes that Fit

Why Does Nothing Fit Me Right?

“What the heck is wrong with my body?  I can try on 15 things when
I’m shopping, and maybe two will fit me.”

Clothes-that-fit-jacket

Could these words have come out of your mouth?

I’ve heard so many women lament about this.  And they all think it’s them.  Something is wrong with them.  

I get it.  You see other women looking great in their clothes and they’re shopping the same places you are, so it must be your body that’s wrong.

First thing to know:  you’re not alone.

Second thing to know:  it’s not your body.  You have permission to let go right now of any of those not-good-enough stories.  They don’t belong in your psyche.

It can be so frustrating.  You see things you love when you shop, but they seem not to love you back.  You order what seems like a truckload of clothes online, only to pack all of it right back in the box to return for credit.  (At least you saved money, you tell yourself.) Yet, You wanted. New. Clothes.

Usually when the ill-fit jester comes to call, there are one of 3 things going on at the root:

  1. The clothes are poorly made.  It looks really attractive on the model at the website: She’s smiling,… happy and confident (usually on a beach location somewhere), her skirt is flowing in the breeze, and everyone around is looking at her with admiration.  (Good marketers know how to romance a product!) You only need one ounce of that scene to be true when you put the dress on but, instead, it’s a disaster. Was it really that great on the model?  Perhaps her happy and drop-dead -gorgeous looks distracted from a few inherent design flaws in the dress
    Clothes-that-fit-dress

    Realistic expectations: If a garment is baring skin on the model, it will bare skin on you as well. Be sure you’re ok with where that’s happening.

    Look closely when you’re attracted to a clothing item.  If anything looks the least bit “off” when it’s on display, you can bet that’s going to be a problem when you put it on your body in real life.

  2. The clothes are fine; they simply need alterations. Many women I hear from are frustrated when clothing doesn’t fit them correctly, out-of-the-box.  They don’t realize that most clothes continue to be designed for the classic “hourglass” shape of 1950’s female film stars like Sophia Loren and Liz Taylor. (This matches only 8% of the female population.)  That means, very simply, that the clothes aren’t designed for most women’s bodies. So even if you land in the size range that a manufacturer has designed for, odds are there will still be a particular element of your body that doesn’t fit the mold exactly.  And that, My Lovely, is what tailors are for!
    Clothes-that-fit-sleeve

    Too-long sleeves can be shortened with alterations. (Universal Standard jacket.)

    When a man shops for a new suit at a men’s clothing shop, he expects that once he makes his selection, the salesperson will call the tailor in to make adjustments.  It’s assumed that a made-to-measure appearance is desired, and the tailor will make alterations to achieve that look. Even though it isn’t custom-made to fit, that suit will be made to appear as if it were.

    Women, on the other hand, have grown to expect that they’ll wear clothes right off the rack.  (How often have you had a tailor called in to the fitting room to look at your new outfit selection?) The truth is, proper fit can make all the difference in the world when it comes to presenting a positive impression in the clothes you’ve chosen, and that fit won’t come straight off the rack. Here’s where a good tailor can be one of your best style allies.  Maybe your arms are a bit short proportionately, and sleeves need to be made shorter.  Or maybe your hips are proportionately larger than your waist and you need that trouser taken in at the waistband.

    Note: Keep in mind that many elements of a clothing item can be made smaller or shorter, but making a store-bought item larger is rarely an option.

  3. The clothes are the wrong shape for your body. Not all clothing styles are made for all bodies.  Your own body type will have certain clothing silhouettes
    Clothes-that-fit-body-types

    Body shapes respond differently to varying clothing silhouettes.

    that relate to it, fit it well, and flatter it.  Trying to contort your body into an unnatural shape of garment can be an exercise in futility in some cases, and at minimum, an uncomfortable fitting room experience.

    Determine your own natural body silhouette and choose garments that mirror its shape for maximum comfort and personal attractiveness.  Choose clothes that  your body is at home in, and you’ll have less pulling, tucking, and feeling confined.  If you’re unsure about your own body type, my Figure Friendly Style Formula program includes, among other treats, the guidelines to specifically identify your type and eliminate guessing.

Getting a good fit is simple to achieve when you know what to expect and what to shop for.  Assessing clothing for its relevance and worthiness to you is at the core of all your best shopping selections.  Make informed choices about a garment, secure the called-for fit adjustments, and stand proud in your new outfit! 

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 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 eBook “The Wardrobe Simplifier” visit www.RefinedImages.net or contact Patty.

Go here to claim your FREE eBook!

Connect with me! ic_fbk_36ic_twit_36

Posted in Body-Type Dressing, Business Professional Image, Dressing for Success, Fit & Proporion, Investment clothing, Personal Image, Professional Image, Shopping, Women, Women's Image | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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!)
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  • The universally-flattering skirt that comfortably flows over curvy bodies, yet magically lends balanced fullness to straight figures

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