How to Purge Your Closet

Is Your Closet a Scare Zone?

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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 Is the style outdated?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

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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

How to Keep Clothes Out of Landfills

Earth Day: recycle clothingWhere Do Your Clothes Go When You Stop Loving Them?

You’re likely going to add 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles to a landfill this year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (81 lbs. if global thrift retailer, Savers, is more accurate).  You may not mean to.  You might not know who would want that old stuff.  You likely can’t have it hauled away in your curbside recycling bin, so the quickest thing to do is to toss it in the trash.

Why so much old clothing?

In an age of “fast fashion” and reduced availability of long-lasting, quality clothing, the average American is creating larger mountains of textile waste.  Thanks to the Great Recession,  many apparel companies that produced merchandise in the “better” or “bridge” categories ceased to exist.  These labels that weren’t quite “designer,” offered long-lasting, quality design and construction at relatively moderate prices.  Meanwhile, more and more apparel production was sent overseas in the name of cost reduction.  Many U.S. clothing manufacturers could not compete at a time when consumers were demanding lower prices.  The answer was cheap, short-cycle clothing that now saturates the marketplace.  We now dispose of more clothing at a faster rate than ever before.

Some hope for the environment

Your discards don’t have to contribute to the EPA’s reported 5% landfill makeup of textiles (clothing and other household materials, like bedding).  Right now, only 15% of unwanted clothing is recycled.  But with awareness, comes change.   Below are options for recycling or upcycling your old stuff, and some organizations are making it easy, with free shipping, clothing rebates, and convenient drop-off locations.

To the Rescue:

Earth Day: Recycle Blue Jeans

Cotton’s “Blue Jeans Go Green”

Cotton’s program keeps textile waste out of landfills by recycling denim into insulation (made from 80% post-consumer recycled denim.)
BlueJeansGoGreen

The Bra RecyclersEarth Day: Recycle Bras

The Bra Recyclers tell us the average woman owns six bras, but only wears 2.  They’re providing gently-used bras for women & girls escaping domestic violence, human trafficking, or surviving breast cancer without the necessary insurance.  If you don’t find a drop-off location near you, you can mail them directly.
The Bra Recyclers

Soles4Souls

Earth Day: Recycle ShoesThis organization, based in Nashville, TN, believes that everyone around the world deserves a good pair of shoes.  They’ve distributed over 35 millions pairs of shoes since 2006.  Donated new or gently-worn shoes provide footwear to people in need and help individuals start and sustain small businesses to lift themselves out of poverty.   There are drop off locations, retail partners (like Zappos and DSW), or you can mail your donations.
Soles4Souls

 

Nike

Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program collects old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling and transforms them into Nike Grind, a material used in creating athletic and playground surfaces as well as select Nike products. Visit the site for drop-off locations.
Nike Reuse-a-Shoe
Earth Day: Recycle Sneakers

 

Schoola

Fill a box with quality clothing, print a mailing label from the website and provide to your mail carrier. This online resale shop donates 40% of proceeds after shipping costs tEarth Day: Recycle clothing Malala Fundo Malala Fund to support girls’ education projects in vulnerable communities around the world.
Schoola for Malala Fund

A word about recycling collections

Collection boxes in neighborhoods and retail stores offering rebates in exchange for clothing donations are attractive options at first glance.  Unfortunately, the sorting process is costly, and the need for second-hand clothing in North America is small in relation to what is disposed of.  (More about that in this Newsweek article and this one in ScienceLine.)  As as result, many donations land in dumps, despite the intentions of the donor.  The best bet for sustainable disposal of your old clothing is to find a program that actually uses the clothing like those listed above.  Mindful actions make a difference!

Read here for advice in editing your closet of that no-longer-useful-to-you clothing.

What do you think of our recycling options?  Do you have favorite resources of your own?  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!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Change Your Look Without Breaking the Bank

Shifting Lives; Shifting Styles

A member of the Refined Images community recently shared a goal to change her look.  Inspired toward a specific new style, she expressed a legitimate concern for financial output: “Any tips on changing your look completely without going bankrupt?”  You betcha!

Whether you’re aiming for a new style identity, you’re in size transition, or you’ve made a career change, if you’re overhauling your wardrobe, there are ways to do it without breaking the bank (and losing your sanity along with it).

5 Tips for Budget-Friendly Style Transition

1) Start small.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nor will your new wardrobe.  That’s a fact it will be helpful to make friends with straight away.  Are you wanting to infuse more femininity into your style choices?  More creativity?  More fun and whimsy?  The most direct way to inject your look with a new mood is with accessories.  May it be your jewelry selection, shoe choices, or scarf collection, your accessory repertoire is a tool for quick and inexpensive change.  (Consider how a bold statement necklace can express “artsy” the way a delicate chain will not.)

2) Ease in with OPS.  That’s Other People’s Stuff,… stuff that they don’t own any longer and have made available to YOU.  A resale shop or thrift store can provide some amazing finds.  When you’re eager to exhibit your new style, and haven’t yet found the perfect pieces in your price point, this can be a solution with an added benefit:  As you experiment with new preferences, you can make mistakes, corrections, and ditch ideas that didn’t work without the guilt of having spent loads of cash.

3) Visit the salon.  While not wardrobe feature, a visit to an expert stylist/colorist can provide an instant and often quite impactful change in the statement you make with your appearance.  Shifting from edgy to conservative, or youthful to sophisticated, can be accomplished in one afternoon.

4)  Color wisely. As you’re introducing new fashions into your closet, make a strategic choice in the base colors you build your new collection around.  You won’t have a one-dimensional color wardrobe unless you choose to, but picking foundational, “staple” garments (the larger, higher-priced items like trousers, jackets, skirts) in similar hues will mean that coordinating outfits becomes a snap.  Add in fresh color and variety with prints in your less-expensive items like blouses, sweaters and other tops.  Once you’ve got a good start, and you’re ready to spend a bit more, you might decide to add more foundational pieces in expanded patterns & textures for variety.  More about this strategy here.

5) Finance with Intention.  Think about alternative ways to expand your clothing budget.

  • An Amazon gift list (today’s version of a gift registry) can be used for any occasion. Your loved ones can purchase clothing according to your suggestions for birthday and other holiday gifts.
  • When you shop online, enter your store’s shopping site from a cash-back portal like Ebates.  You’ll be surprised how the savings add up.  (Transparent disclosure: I receive some pennies if you begin using the service via my posted affiliate link.)
  • Earmark bonus earnings from credit card rewards for your new style acquisitions.
  • Fund new items by selling your own no-longer-suits-me pieces on eBay or at a local resale shop.
  • Then, there’s good ole’ fashion dedicated savings accounts. Mark a separate account for your wardrobe makeover and you’ll be excited to make deposits.

Establishing a new wardrobe can be a fun and liberating experience.  What has been your experience?  Have you found additional or unique ways of funding your own transition?  Share in the comments! (I read them all.)

Want to explore 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!

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

Winter Style Update

Give Your Style a Mid-Winter Refresh

Right around this time, many of us living in the cold-winter climes start sensing the lurking doldrums. Where I live, in Southeast Michigan, it’s been a relatively mild winter (The Polar Vortex of 2019, excepted). Still, we’re getting antsy for spring right about now. It’s hard to be certain if it’s the seemingly endless gray skies to blame, or the lack of celebrations with winter holidays well behind, and summer vacations still months up the road. Either way, if you’re feeling the need for a pick-me-up to relieve your own cabin fever, consider a style reboot to bring in some fresh energy.  Some strategies to get you started:

  • Color Infusion. What better to break up the monotony of winter’s gray/white/tan monotony than a burst of fresh color?  This year, the “hot” color announced by color forecasting company, Pantone, is Living Coral (stay tuned for more about the color of the year in an upcoming post).  If coral doesn’t float your boat, pick the hue that flatters you and brings you joy. It might be a passionate red, sunny yellow, or flamboyant fuchsia.   (Visit this post to help you choose.)  And, hey, if the color you crave doesn’t flatter your facial features, carry it in your hand. A great bag is a quick path to a new look, fitting room not required.
  • Sale surfing.  End-of-season sales are the fast track to updating your style. Not only do you benefit from the re-set of something new to wear immediately, but an added perk is the satisfaction of saving money in the process.  Caveat:  It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying for the sake of “the bargain.”  Make certain that you absolutely love the item before adding it to your wardrobe.
  • Lip Magic.   If your post-holiday budget says “no new clothes,” but your heart says different, remember how you felt the last time you indulged yourself with a new lip color.   Lipstick has a long history of budget-savvy update potential. Though Leonard Lauder of cosmetic giant Estee Lauder is known for coining  “Lipstick Index” as an economic indicator term, women have been using lipstick as the more-affordable treat since WWII. (A new nail color achieves the same result, by the way.)

    Alfani jacket at Macy’s

  • Future Focus.   A forward-looking update may be your personal version of winter escape. Take advantage of the resort wear retail season that steps in before stores have their full spring collections. You don’t

    Ramy Brook dress at Neiman Marcus

    have to take a cruise to get in on the resort wear action (or into the mindset.) Get the vibe of sunnier days with a new beach coverup or wear-to-work jacket in a spring-time hue.  Mind over matter!

 

Want help with your refresh? 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, Shopping, Uncategorized, Women, Women's Image, Women's style & fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clearing Closet Clutter

Feeling Stuck?  It Might be Your Closet’s Fault

Clearing Closet Clutter

A more flattering and purposeful wardrobe can be yours, and the path to it begins with clearing the clutter from your closet.

Think about it, your bedroom closet is a space you visit each morning. It’s one of the first visuals you get on a daily basis, whether it’s one you love, or one that you loathe. Facing a jammed, cluttered mess is a disheartening way to set the tone for your day ahead.

Are there piles of unmended or waiting-to-be ironed clothing items, reminding you of unfinished to-do lists? Clothing that’s too snug, telling you that you’re not “good enough”?  Shoes or bags long past their prime? It’s tough to give yourself permission to buy new pieces when you’re facing mountains of old stuff with no room to spare.

If you want to improve your life immediately, clean out a closet.
Often it’s what we hold onto that holds us back.
~ Cheryl Richardson

Ask yourself if any of these apply to you:

  • Clinging to the past.  You think if you hold on to that size 8 skirt, you  may eventually lose the weight to fit into it again.  Think instead about how looking at the skirt (or any other does-not-fit item) makes you feel.  Unattractive that you’re no longer that size?  Guilty for not beginning the fitness plan you’ve been talking about?  If the feelings are not self affirming, release yourself of the negativity, and the skirt.
  • Avoiding the task.  You’re just not getting around to the pile of missing buttons and torn hems.  You mean to, but life just keeps getting in the way.  Truly, spending the day getting through that stack is not a priority when compared to spending that time with your loved ones.  Consider breaking the task down into small sessions.  Set aside a 20-minute window on a weekend morning to knock a few items off the list.  (Some clothing care tips to help your process, here.)  The satisfaction of making progress can ease the perceived overwhelm of what you’ve imagined lies ahead.   While you’re at it, move the rest of the pile to another area of your home where you’re not looking at it first thing every day.
  • Feeling ungrateful.  If you were gifted with a chartreuse-colored sweater five years ago, and you’re a teal-green kind of gal, give yourself the gift of permission to wear only what makes you feel beautiful/happy/energized/joyful/(insert your own word here).  You can appreciate a gift without keeping it.  Release the sweater to make space for something you’ll love (and say “thank you” as you do!).  A local women’s shelter or other organization that supports women in transition is a great place to give your unworn or gently-worn items a new home.
  • Procrastinating.  Are you delaying organizing your closet until you’re confident you’ll have the bandwidth do it “perfectly”?  Procrastination is often a sign of self doubt or feelings of inadequacy.  The very best remedy is to dive in and Clearing Closet Clutterexperience the exhilaration of productivity and the resulting positive effects of a well-organized closet.  You’ll be excited to enter it in the morning and admire your work well done!  All that tidiness and order frees up mental energy for good things to come.

A wardrobe that truly supports you includes only items you love and feel attractive in.  Aspire to a morning ritual of getting dressed surrounded by beauty, and move through your day feeling confident and energized.

 

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 individuals, 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 Image, Wardrobe Planning & Auditing, Women, Women's Image | 1 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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