One Chic Mama
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
One Chic Mama
Sunday, May 29, 2011
While some of us have a very clear idea of what our ideal wardrobe and our ideal image looks like, often times we leave these to chance. Most of us grow up without learning how to build a wardrobe, how to cultivate our image and without any insight into what it takes to love what we see in the mirror. What happens is that we buy the clothes that we like, and that become familiar to us. Perhaps they are the best cut and color for us, but more times than not they could use a little "tweaking' to make them just right.
Putting together a wardrobe that brings out our best selves and pulls us into a higher version of ourselves, on the other hand, is a different matter altogether. This is what I call creating a Signature Style, and is what helps us to create an unforgettable image and stand out from the crowd. This wardrobe contains what I like to call the 3 C's:
Consistency = Credibility = Confidence
Let's talk about these for a minute and how they come into play to effect your image, both inner and outer.
1/ Consistency - By consistency I mean that you have a look that is consistent with your message, your position, your personal brand. Think Bill Gates, Oprah, Michelle Obama. They have a look that underscores who they are and what they stand for, and that is authentic to them. If they didn't, it would leave you questioning their mixed signals and would breed confusion. But this word is two-fold: it also means that your image is consistent from one day to the next. If you show up one day dressed to the nines, then the next looking like you just rolled out of bed, you would lack consistency, and would lose some of your credibility. If you're a stay-at-home mom, this is not a big deal. If you're a professional or an entrepreneur, this is critical.
2/ Credibility - Credibility is given when you have shown that you are consistent with your personal brand, are authentic and have an image that matches your message. I often see entrepreneurs and high-level business women give up their credibility for the sake of comfort, or because they don't take the time to give attention to details. Don't let things like panty lines, a bad haircut or dated clothing ruin your appearance. This will undermine not only your credibility but your confidence, as well as the confidence of those around you. Keep your appearance up, keep your wardrobe looking good and ensure it's a true reflection of you to score the most points in credibility.
3/ Confidence - Confidence comes in knowing you're pulled together. When your look is consistent with who you are, your clothing is up to date and in great shape (no falling hemlines, etc), your bumps and bulges are managed with shapewear and your hair and makeup flatter your look, you just can't help but feel confident! And when you're confident from the minute you set foot out the door (or at least out of your closet) you're unstoppable! You know you look great, but more importantly, you feel great and it shows! And when you're confident, others will have confidence in you and your abilities. You become a client magnet and others want to know who you are. When you turn heads because of your confidence, you project the image of the successful woman you truly are!
Taking time to ensure that your wardrobe is supporting you in the 3 C's will go a long way in helping you to feel great about yourself!
Monday, May 23, 2011
You've heard that clothes make the man, but of course they make the woman too. Unfortunately for us it can be so much more of a challenge to put together outfits that fit and flatter our shape, are appropriate for a particular setting and have every detail in place. Our options are wide open and much more broad then for men (they have it so easy!). As women, we love having options, but that also means there is more room for things to go awry - accessory overload, underwear mishaps, wardrobe malfunctions and more!
Take a particular meeting I attended for instance. I was sitting at a board meeting, listening attentively, when all of a sudden I look at the woman seated across from me and notice that her watch doesn't match her ring. or her bracelet. or her necklace. or her earrings. or her....it got the best of me and I can't remember for the life of me what was said the rest of the meeting.
The bad news is that falling prey to a wardrobe distraction can lead to family, friends or clients staring at your visual distraction and not hearing a word you say - they'll be too busy wondering what's wrong with your outfit, or guessing how you ended up in such a state. The good news is that preventing wardrobe distraction disasters from happening is easier than you think. Here are my top 5 wardrobe distractions and how to prevent them from happening:
1/ Accessory Overload - Ladies, let me just tell you right now - your jewelry must relate in some way, shape or form. Piling on accessories just for the sake of filling up blank space is not going to do you any favors. In fact, it can work against you, leaving all you meet to wonder what your theme is. You want to group your jewelry with a theme in mind. That theme could be gold, snakeskin, red, chain, leather, etc. but choosing accessories that relate to this theme will create a congruent look. When you adorn yourself, do it with intention, rather than just randomly, and you'll be sure to create a perfect balance.
2/ Underwear Mishaps - One of my least favorite things to see is when bad underwear happens to good people. This can be more challenging in warmer weather, but worth paying attention to. Really, we don't want to know that you chose to wear a pink thong under your white pants, a sexy bra (or no bra) under your sundress or that your boy shorts are leopard print. All we need to see is underwear that disappears into your outfit and leaves a smooth, sleek line. If you opt to go without, do so in a way that's not obvious. So choose your undies wisely. Opt for skin-toned lingerie under light colored fabrics, go for shapewear when wearing something clingy or form fitting, and never, ever let your thong show when you bend over.
3/ Too Much T & A - Yes, believe it or not, both men and women are distracted by a blouse that's too low-cut, an odd-shaped neckline that looks like it should reveal more than it does, or a booty that takes center stage. If you're well-endowed in either area, dress accordingly - that means wear clothing cut generously enough to cover you without looking matronly. Low cut tops or blouses will have people talking to your chest rather than your face, and leave them not hearing a word you say. Also, when your clothes are tight and busting at the seams, guess where all eyes will be! Here is a great example of the dialogue that goes through our heads when we see this distraction in action, especially on TV!
4/ Rearview Meltdown - You've put together a great outfit that you're pleased with and are ready to head out the door. But wait! Did you check out your rear view? This can be just as important as the view front and center. I recently witnessed this and it wasn't pretty. A lovely woman in a great outfit, yet as soon as she turned around it was all blown by things that could have been avoided - her sweater and top left a gaping hole between where they met, she had bra bulges and VPL, her shorts were too tight in the rear and her shoes were scuffed on the backs of the heels. Her credibility just went right down the drain as it showed me her attention to detail was greatly lacking. Check that rear view, ladies! It's more important than you may think!
5/ The Matching Game - Like accessories, your clothing should relate. People want to see harmony, not discord, so when the harmony is not obvious we spend our time trying to make the connection. Wearing clothing that doesn't go together because of color, style or fit can leave people wondering how that outfit came about rather than remembering your name or what you do.
When getting dressed you want to aim to wear clothing that fits and flatters you, leaving you to shine for all to see. Don't let the little distractions cost you attention from friends and family, business from potential clients, or leave you walking away from speaking with an audience that wasn't really listening. When your outfit works for you and is crafted to show off your assets and disguise your flaw, it makes you memorable for all the right reasons.
Editor's Note: Photo courtesy of Margaret Andrews at Nanny Goats in Panties.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Last night I went to a most amazing birthday party for a friend thrown by her husband to help ring in her 40th. When I asked if I could bring anything, he politely declined, but did mention that if I wanted to bring those spicy nuts that I made for Christmas a few years back, he would appreciate that. Wow, he has a good memory!
A few years ago I discovered a recipe for what's officially called "Sweet and Salty Toasted Pecans" in a book, Food for Friends, by Sally Vargas. I quickly took to making this recipe, and renaming them "Spicy Pecans", every chance I got. It became second nature, and as I got comfortable with the measurements, I took a few liberties to put my own spin on them. And people remembered.
Last night while we were sharing my Spicy Pecans, I mentioned how easy they were to make. One friend commented that she had tried the recipe that I shared with her years ago but they never tasted as good as mine. While I really don't do anything that's all that special to make them unique, the differences add up to a big result that is very memorable, yet not easy to exactly duplicate. Kind of like creating your Signature Style!
Creating a great outfit is a lot like following a recipe. Once you get the basics down, such as core elements that are the foundation of the look, then you need to take a few liberties to make it your own. If your body is shaped differently from the model's in the magazine, then you want to opt for something that is going to enhance your curves. If your coloring is completely opposite and your stature is not the same, then take these into account to create the most flattering look for you. Your best look will not only flatter your personal considerations, but will bring out the best in your personality and become your Signature Style! As your style becomes second nature to you, it also becomes more you! It's something you could do with your eyes closed and your result is always consistent.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
We all know what it's like to be pressed for time. On those days when you're trying to get out the door in a flash, you need makeup that works with you (even if time won't). When you want a bit of natural-looking polish, yet don't have time for a full makeup application, it can be tempting just to skip the makeup altogether. But don't! Just taking a few minutes to do the bare-bones essentials is all it takes to keep you from looking like you just rolled out of bed while boosting your confidence. Bonus: you can do these on the go if you must!
Try these quick steps for a five-minute (or less) face:
1. Stick Foundation or Tinted Moisturizer - This is easy to apply and blend (even if you have one one free hand).
3. Cream Blush - Again, easy to blend. Try Orgasm from NARS for a fabulous shade!
4. Tinted Lip Balm- This does double-duty; it moisturizes and gives you some color.
5. Mascara - If you have time. It's like icing on the cake and will give you the finishing touch.
So next time you wake up and want to get out the door pronto, try this quick routine. Or, better yet, keep a bag of your favorite cosmetics stashed in your purse or car and do your face in the car (not while driving, mind you). You'll feel elegant and polished without sacrificing your style!
Monday, May 16, 2011
Do you know you're beautiful? No? Well let me tell you right now that you are! Can I help you see it too?
Too often I hear my clients, friends and women in general talk negatively about themselves, saying things such as "My hips are too big", "I need to lose about 20 pounds" or "My clothes are horrible." Not very uplifting, is it? Yet that's the kind of self-talk that many of us have running through our minds as we compare ourselves to the unrealistic expectations that have been created for us by the fashion and beauty world. And when we compare ourselves to the celebrities, models and imagery that we are bombarded with, it's only natural that we think of them as the 'ideal' of beauty. Do we need to run out and have liposuction, a breast enhancement and Botox? No, what we need is a re-frame!
Now let's talk about the ideal of beauty. You were born beautiful and you grew up beautiful. Whether you felt it or not is another story. But when we can step away from our self-talk and our unrealistic expectations that do nothing but set us up for failure, we can begin to see our beauty unfold in an amazing way! Follow these steps and you'll begin to see yourself in a whole new light:
1/ Quit comparing yourself to celebrities and even your friends! I know, celebrity style is everywhere and every magazine thinks we want to look just like them. Well guess what! We don't, and we couldn't even if we tried. Holding ourself against such unrealistic expectations (heck, even the celebs don't look like the pictures in the mags. Photoshop works wonders on a few extra pounds) can erode our self-esteem and undermine our confidence. And it's just plain silly, so stop it right now!
2/ Take a good long look in the mirror and take note of what you see. If any negative thought comes into your mind, replace it with a positive one of gratitude. If you start to think, "I wish my hair were long and luxurious just like Jennifer Aniston's", give yourself a re-frame: "I am grateful for my fabulous short hair that enhances my face and makes styling quick and easy." Does Jennifer Aniston have gorgeous hair? You bet, but yours is pretty darn fabulous too! And if you're not happy with your current style perhaps it's time to try something new.
3/ Notice what's great about you and play it up! Do you have the most beautiful blue eyes? Then wear a blue shirt that makes them pop! How about a great complexion or gorgeous long legs? Try a beautiful new shade of lipstick or wearing a short skirt. Take note of what's good about you and put your attention on that. When you play up the positive and focus on what you love about yourself, the rest just fades into the background.
4/ Dress for the body you have right now. Wear clothing that fits your body, shows your shape and helps you to create balance. Are you a size 16? Great, then get yourself an outfit that flatters you to the hilt and strut your stuff! Are you a size 6? Then I'll give you the same advice. Hint: No matter what size you are, don't hide behind big, baggy clothes. They'll just make you look bigger and will give you a frumpy look that's not flattering on anyone.
5/ Wear clothing that makes you feel incredible! I mean it. When you get dressed and put on an outfit you LOVE that really expresses who you are, it's magical! You just feel more like you - but the best part is how it can boost your confidence! When you look in the mirror and see a chic, pulled-together woman you can help but say "YES!" to yourself. And when you say yes to yourself, the world says yes to you!
Looking great and feeling beautiful are about so much more than just the clothes you wear. I want to see you not only look fabulous on the outside, but on the inside too. Because when you feel fabulous and look fabulous it impacts everyone around you! You radiate confidence and the world is a different place. So, are you ready to see how beautiful you really are?
Thursday, May 12, 2011
It can be easy to save big – even if your favorite store isn’t on clearance yet! Style consultant Chrissy Volk shares her favorite tips (used with her clients!) to shop Diane von Furstenberg sans credit card debt. You can now enjoy your favorite pieces, before they are out of season!
First things first...
SAVE A BUNDLE IN THE TIME IT TAKES YOU TO TURN ON YOUR SMART PHONE:
GET APP-Y: The CouponClipper and Deals apps shows you deals that are going on around you - load it up post-mall arrival! Clipper Magazine
NO CLIPPING REQUIRED: Did know that you can bring your smart phone and your cashier can scan the barcode for the promotion/coupon right from your phone. Try the Coupon Sherpa app which lists over 120 retailers -- you just click, scan and save! Download your favorite store's app as well - many times they offer scanable coupons direct from their platform!
CLIP... ERRR CLICK AND COMPARE!: Download any number of price comparison apps – Chrissy likes Shop Savvy Barcode Scanner and TheFind, which scans the item’s SKU number and price compares with other retailers, so you can find the best deal.
BE SOCIAL: “Like” your favorite stores on Facebook – the same goes for Twitter followers as well. GAP and Macy's among others, may offer special sales for those that are loyal fans.
PRINT AND GO: Like the feel of a 30% off coupon between your fingers? There are websites that allow you print coupons and use them for in-store savings. For example, couponcabin.com will allow you print current coupons for Target, Payless, the Limited, etc. FlamingoWorld.com is similar and features relevant coupons that are being offered at specific retailers.
UN-TECHY TIPS THAT WORK:
DON'T SAY NO TO OFFERING HOME ADDRESS: Next time you’re in the store - don’t say no to offering your email and home address. Many retailers still send out coupons in the mail. Some stores even send 20% off coupons on a weekly basis, i.e. Lord and Taylor.
GETTING A COUPON TODAY? TABLE THAT BIG PURCHASE FOR A WEEK: A common practice for retailers is handing out coupons valid for a future date. After a purchase is made, the sales person will hand out coupons that can be used towards a future purchase. These are great to keep handy if you plan on shopping at the same store in the near future, as the discounts are normally pretty significant. Why not ask if they are offering a coupon with a certain purchase price – might make sense to make a smaller purchase today and return to buy that dress or suit a week from now!
PREPARE TO SAVE: Always have coupons handy and readily available. Chrissy recommends a fun pouch, envelope or a printed mesh/organza bag to stay organized and keep your coupons readily available or...
COUPON ORGANIZING 2.0: Download the MyCoupons app for a free way to organize your deals - you also get alerts when you're creeping up on expiration date!
Sunday, May 08, 2011
As women of the new millennium, so many things have changed since our mothers were raising us. In many ways we have things a whole lot easier. We have dishwashers, convenience foods, online shopping and access to style tips and trends at the click of a mouse. Many of us also have husbands who are willing to do their fair share around the house (much more so than half a century ago, at least), as well as support us in our quest to lead a balanced, fulfilled life. But at the same time, we have more demands on our time; racing our kids to ballet, soccer, and t-ball, while still having a healthy dinner on the table, keeping the house clean, running our own businesses… This leaves little time for exercise, staying in touch with friends, finding meaningful gifts for those we care about, and being able to find a sense of balance in our lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “crazy” whirlwind of life’s demands and the “doing” that we often forget the “being” aspect that keeps us centered, grounded and in touch with ourselves those around us. If we remember that crazy vs. calm is a choice we make, and that we have some control over how we perceive our lives, we can choose to live at a pace that is comfortable, not chaotic, for us. This will reflect positively on our families, our friends and on our lives. And this can go a long way to setting a good example for our children. We don’t want them going through their days feeling stressed, chaotic and disorganized, do we?
Mothers are role models, like it or not, and the more positive signals we can send to our children, the better. The more we take care of ourselves, the more our families will feel taken care of as well. And when we look good and feel good, life is just better all the way around!
Monday, May 02, 2011
It's May already, can you believe it? Mother's Day is coming up this next weekend and I have a special treat just for you! Now I've been hearing from a lot of moms lately (of all ages) that you're ready to polish your look but budget is a concern, or you just don't feel that you have the time to spend on yourself. I want to let you know that I hear you and created something special just for you! With summer right around the corner I wanted to put something together that will help you look and feel your best, just in time to beat the heat!
Wouldn’t you just love to know:
- How to look FABULOUS for work and leisure this summer?
- What SWIMSUIT is the best for your body type?
- What COLORS will instantly make you look fabulous, and which ones make you look washed out? (this may surprise you!)
- How to look SLIMMER while still keeping your cool?
- What you should NEVER wear in summer?
- How to UPDATE your style without breaking the bank?
- How to dress for TRAVEL while looking chic and packing less?
- A personal Color Analysis with a personal color palette featuring your 40 best colors
- A mini Image Analysis, including your body type and face shape
- A Wardrobe Update that will help to understand what to wear this summer for your body type, age, lifestyle
- A Personal Scale Assessment, helping you to understand what your scale is and how how to wear it
- A Style File to keep track of all your information and to give you inspiration
Sign up here: http://tinyurl.com/6cvlp4n
Now all this is comes to a more than $847 value, but because it matters to me that women look and feel great (it's part of my life purpose to empower women to love themselves and get how beautiful they truly are) I am offering this special to you today for just $397 (a fraction of what my packages cost!). But here's the catch: I only have 20 spots available, and when they're gone, so is this deal. So don't delay!
**Bonus: The first 5 women who book their session will receive a 30 minute style coaching call with me to use when you need it most (a big event, a wardrobe malfunction...)
This makes a great Mother's Day package, so forward this email to your loved ones and tell them this is what you want. Plus, I can create a gift certificate to send to someone special. Just say the word!
I look forward to working with you!
PS - Please feel free to share this with your friends, clients, family members and anyone else you think would benefit from it. Boosting your image is a gift that creates confidence and can last a lifetime!