Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Because... getting dressed should be fun!

Category: Events/Contests

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Happy day, fabulous readers!

It’s that time again… Valentine’s Day is around the proverbial corner. Back in December, I had the privilege of pulling some style picks for Augusta Magazine to be featured in their February issue. That was a real trick in the weeks running up to Christmas, when all stores are focused on the holiday chaos, and finding items you can count on being available in two months qualifies as a minor miracle. I wanted to keep the picks local, and so loved some of the Valentine’s idea picks that didn’t make it past the magazine editors that I want to share them with you! Thank you, again, to all the stores who loaned me their beautiful pieces; these photos don’t do them justice. (These were down and dirty shots before returns to their stores.) Please feel free to send the URL to your S.O. if he or she needs a little nudge, there’s one week left!

Clutches

Not every Valentine gift has to be romantic! Finding something for our BFF’s may be even more important than one for the guy in your life. I love the personalization on these Katie Loxton multipurpose clutches! They are great for organizing your tote, or holding documents when traveling, and would make a lovely (and very reasonably priced!) Valentine for our sisters (by blood, law, or love) who stick with us through thick and thin. If you are planning ahead for a June wedding, there is even one for your bridesmaids! I couldn’t resist, and bought “Fabulous Friend” for my bestest for Christmas. You can find these (and so many other goodies) at Swank in Augusta and Evans.

Champagne Flutes

Thinking about popping the question? Flutes make a lovely Valentine’s Day gift… and foreshadow a wedding toast! These gorgeous rimmed pieces by Vetro have a familiar old elegance paired with a simple modern shape. Not part of a couple? Buy one for you and for your best friend so that you can share a drink together, no matter how far away he or she may be. Don’t save the best only for special occasions. Every day is special! You can buy them in either silver or gold, or maybe you prefer one of each. These lovelies come from Charleston Street at Surrey Center.

Statement Bracelet

Who doesn’t want a little bling for Valentine’s Day? This would add sparkle and drama to last year’s floral frock, or glam up your jeans and a silk tank on a warm spring evening. Choose that spring evening carefully though, you might distract someone on the course! The easy-on stretch makes it a wonderful choice for those who struggle with clasps, or for those with hard-to-fit wrists.  You can pick up this bold sparkler at Capsule at Walton’s Corner. If you haven’t heard of Capsule yet, they just opened on February 1st, so hop on it and check out one of our newest Augusta boutiques!

Bow Ties

Yes, I did include something for the man in your life, or the woman with an independent sartorial sense. These silk stunners combine just the right combination of soft spring color and jaunty flair. They transcend age boundaries and feel fresh with jeans and an oxford, or dressed up in your Sunday best for Easter services. Tied-it-myself says you are a man (however young) of accomplishment! These (and many others) are available at Low Country Clothiers on Fury’s Ferry Road.

Senn Designs Necklace

This design by local artist Susan Senn-Davis simply stole my heart. “Bee mine?” or maybe “You are my Queen Bee”? Mixed metal pieces are a great way to give intentionality to other disparate baubles you may want to combine. The rugged texture of the pendant and soft sheen of the beads are flattering to those of us with some experience, and the grey of the hematite is a beautiful way to highlight the sparkle of “wisdom highlights”! This little lovely (and others by the same artist) can be found at Soho (of Augusta, not NY!).

And just in case you are in need of a little self-Valentine-ing…

Suede Ankle Strap Sandals

Rose Gold Superga Sneakers

Rose gold is still having a moment, and why not? It’s flattering to a variety of skin tones, and a metallic sneaker oozes casual glam. Sneakers and a dress? Yes, please! Perfect for spring break at the beach. Or for kicking around and running errands in town? Of, course. And let’s not forget for that bachelorette weekend away with your besties? Ideal! Maybe you are more of a ruffles or heels woman? Not either/or, but Yes, AND! These beauties don’t make you choose, and they bridge the winter/spring divide with style. Ruffled suede heels with a delicate ankle strap are feminine and elegant. The heel says I can go anywhere I want. The suede nods to cooler weather, but the sandal gives it longer wear in our warmer climes. I can see this woman in a dinner dress, or faded jeans with an ivory silk blouse and thin gold necklace… If these are must-haves for you, take your happy feet to Shoes at Surrey and tell them Liz sent you!

What would you like to receive for Valentine’s Day? Let’s start a conversation in the comments below! I love to hear from you!

Stay Stylish!

Wear Red Day

Wear Red Day

I know… Wear Red Day for Women’s Heart Health Awareness may not be high on your list of priorities for today, but it is on mine. My father died of a massive and unexpected heart attack in 1999, when we were living overseas, and thus began one of the hardest years of my life. Then in May of 2014, my mother (who lives with us) had a heart attack, too. I’m just glad she was living with us by then, because if she’d been living alone, I doubt she’d be with us today. I may not have my parents’ high blood pressure, but having two parents with coronary disease has made an impact on me.

The American Heart Association sponsors Wear Red Day the first Friday of February to raise awareness of women’s heart health issues.  We associate heart attacks with men, but heart disease is the number one killer of women in America. The dramatic chest clutching popular on TV and in movies is not the sign you want, and often by that point, it’s too late. Women frequently exhibit very different symptoms of heart attack then do men, and unfortunately are easily brushed aside.

I have challenged the women in my networking group to join in on Wear Red Day, and will be donating to the AHA for each woman in red. (Love that song, too!)

If you want to donate, you can find out more about how, right here. Please consider making a donation… if not in your name, in honor of someone you love!

 

 

Style Resolutions

Style Resolutions

I’m not much of a resolution maker… I love the fresh start of a new year as much as anyone, but sticking to resolutions is not my strong suit. I prefer to take each day or hour new as it comes and start fresh where I am rather than wait for someone else’s marker. Since the end of the year is a good time for reflection, on the holiday break, I took a look back at my style in 2017 (Thank you, Camera Roll.) and made choices about some tweaks I’d like to make to my style in 2018. Together, these three resolutions are geared to help me spend less and embrace my style.

Mix It Up

This year, I want to be more creative in how I combine pieces in my wardrobe. I tend to shy away from patterns, and pattern mixing. (That would be the Classic in me!) I want to add some patterned pieces to my wardrobe, and mix them together instead of relying on my standard solids. Another part of this mix-it-up resolution is to be more intentional, and really work on keeping my seasonal capsules tight, and not letting extra pieces creep in. I am more creative with boundaries than a closet rod full of clothing, so to encourage my creative genie, I need to keep my art box in order. (Looks like I may need to re-evaluate my winter capsule, and adjust it to support this resolution.)

Play More

I hope to combine the Mix-it-Up with more playful dressing. I find it easy (I think we all do) to default to my uniform, and I want to make at least one day a week a Play Day where I make sure to step out of my comfort zone with color, or pattern, or maybe silhouette. I know that lots of these Play Days will break the “rules” of proportion, color, line and design, and/or composition, and keep me from looking my best, but I’m okay with that, because messing about is how we learn, as long as we are doing it consciously! The most important rule is to stay true to my personality.

Dress Weekly

When I had a go-to (work in an office) career, I wore dresses/skirts far more than I do now. I used to wear one every other day, so I had quite a few day dresses and a couple of versatile skirts. Since leaving my “real job” for Image Coaching (Which is a real job, btw!) I have gotten into a jean and trouser rut. It’s time to get out! My goal is to make sure I wear a dress or skirt at least once a week (and not just to church on Sunday…). Since I prefer dresses to skirts (one and done) and find the fit easier as well, it looks like new additions to my wardrobe need to stay dress focused.  That should be a real challenge! (I am easily distracted by sparkly shiny baubles…)

Do you have any style resolutions for 2018? If you do, please share them in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy and Blessed New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy and Blessed New Year!

I wish you a Happy Christmas and a New Year full of joyful blessings! When I took my first tentative steps into the blogosphere, I was prepared for it to be hard work, and am thankful for the opportunity. I will never figure it all out, and that’s okay with me. As long as I keep improving, and learning from the process, that’s progress!

A blogging break between Christmas and New Year’s is in the cards, and I look forward to seeing you again in 2018!

Blessings and joy to you and yours!

Liz

Clothing as Language

Clothing as Language

I was privileged to be asked to participate in a Professional Empowerment Seminar for women this week! The sponsor was a financial advisor particularly interested in helping women secure their financial independence. While finance and fashion may seem an odd combination, empowerment is at the root of how both of us work. I thought I would share just three of the questions I was asked here, as well as (what I remember of) my answers.

What is the most common question that people ask you when they find out what you do?

I get very different reactions from men and women. Women are often more interested in finding out what I do, and how, but usually the first thing men will ask is a confident “How’d I do?” accompanied by a head to toe gesture with the hands. My reply is usually “That depends… What did you mean to say?” Which gets me a quizzical look until I explain that dress is communication, and that you speak volumes with what you put on each day to go out the door, whether you gave it any thought or not.

What is the difference between Fashion and Style?

Those two terms are often used interchangeably, especially in the media. When I use them, fashion is the clothing found in the stores, or in our closets. Fashion is the “stuff” or even the trends or the looks that define an age. Think big shoulders in the 1980’s were the fashion, or Athleisure is a current fashion favorite. Style, in contrast to Fashion, is the outward expression of your personality. Fashion is the tool you use to express your Style. Yves Saint Laurent said it best when he said “Fashion fades, but Style is eternal.”

What does Fashion (or Style) have to do with empowerment?

This question could be answered with a doctoral thesis! In a nutshell, what we wear affects not only how others perceive us, but also how we feel about ourselves, and even how we perform. Psychologists call this “enclothed cognition.” If you ever had a “lucky” shirt, or shoes you were taking advantage of enclothed cognition. Have you ever noticed how when you feel like you look good you walk with a spring in your step? You carry yourself differently, with more confidence. I call that empowerment. For many women this is hit and miss, and many days they don’t feel great walking out the door. Some people have a talent for style, but dressing to one’s best advantage is an art and science every woman can learn. You don’t need anyone’s permission to dress yourself to feel great. Give yourself permission; that’s empowerment!

Anything you would like to ask? Please do in the comments below!

Drumroll, please!

Drumroll, please!

The contest to win a free Personal Style Consultation or Wardrobe Audit has been open for just on two weeks. My readers, and FB followers have shared interesting responses to the contest, ranging from “Why would I want to let someone see the mess that is my closet?” (My answer: “For help with it?”) to ‘ME, ME, please!” I am a person who loves to learn and grow, so when people reply that they are not interested, it makes me wonder if they are afraid of change. I get it. Change can be scary, and uncomfortable, but spending a lifetime avoiding change is a sure way to miss out on so much fun! And a PSC or WA only changes your life if you take on board what you learn, and implement it.

As promised, the winner was drawn (by random number generator) today, Friday, September 1. (I marked the first three numbers in case the winner chooses to decline her prize.) The winner of a Personal Style Consultation or a Wardrobe Audit is…

BG! (Yes, these are initials, she may prefer to maintain her privacy…)

Congratulations!  I am excited to learn more about you, and help you bring your personality to life in your wardrobe! If you entered and did not win, I would love to help you do the same; please feel free to email me or contact me through Facebook!

Buzz on Biz Podcast

Buzz on Biz Podcast

Long, long ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, and I was a young college student, I did a stint at our dorm area radio station as a weekend morning DJ with a four hour show. No one wanted the Sunday morning 8-12 slot. Everyone was asleep, and being there at 8 on a Sunday morning cut into Saturday night’s party time. I took it. How hard could it be? I found out.  Some of those mornings were painful, but I enjoyed being there in the quiet of the studio, doing my own thing, and sharing music I loved with the three listeners out there. That was all a hazy golden memory until…

Fast forward to last Thursday. I was invited to appear on the Buzz on Biz radio show with John Patrick, which airs on WRDW, AM 1630. The scheduler seemed surprised that I preferred to go to the station for the show rather than call in my interview by phone, but I couldn’t resist the chance to see a radio studio again, and besides, the sound quality would be better. What a pleasure the interview was!  John Patrick is a fabulous host; he puts you right at ease, and makes what could be intimidating feel like a cocktail party chat. We talked mostly about the Personal Services side of my business, and had a few laughs along the way. To hear the podcast, please click HERE.

The time flew right by, and there was so much more we could have talked about! If you have questions that he did not ask, please feel free to ask them in the comments below! What would you like to know?

 

AUGUST GIVEAWAY!

AUGUST GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the launch of Closet Play Image (AND my acceptance as a Skilled Member of the Association of Image Consultants International — Woo Hoo!), I am giving away a Personal Style Consultation OR Wardrobe Audit ($300+ values) to one local winner to be selected at the end of August. The winner will be drawn on September 1, 2017. (Yes, Aiken is local. So is Grovetown. And Burke County! Even out Clark’s Hill Lake way…)

To help you decide which of my services would be best for you, here’s a taste of what the winning options include…

Personal Style Consultation

This comprehensive (3-4 hour) style consultation includes:

  • Personality, Lifestyle, and Values Analysis
  • What’s Working Now Breakdown
  • Physical Presence Awareness and Education
  • Somatype and Fabric Choice
  • Line and Design
  • Facial Evaluation: face shape, defining features, and other related aspects and includes recommendations for jewelry, necklines, hairstyles, makeup based on your unique qualities
  • Body Evaluation (No Measurements!): body shape, proportions, variations, clothing shapes to flatter your unique assets, what to avoid and how to camouflage, scale and how to use it to your advantage
  • Business and Social Dress Codes
  • Style File: your own customized 50+ page style portfolio with an overview diagram showing what to look for when shopping, and other reference materials for review
  • Mix and Match: a short session in your own closet, evaluating some favorite pieces and how to make them work even better for you

Wardrobe Audit

This 3-4 hour wardrobe review includes:

  • Personality, Lifestyle, and Values Analysis and
  • 3 hours closet work including:
  • What’s Working Now Breakdown
  • Piece by Piece Assessment (Fit, Potential, Modification)
  • Wardrobe Capsule Creation
  • Wardrobe Gap Evaluation
  • Shopping List for Future Purchases
  • Mix and Match: a session in your own closet, evaluating some favorite pieces and how to make them work even better for you
  • Closet Organization
  • Wardrobe Therapy File: your own customized 13 page style portfolio with capsule wardrobe worksheets and other reference materials for review
  • Removal/Donation of Unloved and Unwanted Items

How to Win

To enter, please comment below, and feel free to share with your friends! The more the merrier!

Learning New Things: Beauty Forum

Learning New Things: Beauty Forum

I am all about learning new things! You don’t even need to sell me on how what you want to teach me will help me today, or even this week. I just like to learn. You never know when something you learn today, that seems totally unrelated to your life, may be just the knowledge you need tomorrow… (Buy me a cup of coffee and I’ll tell you my tax preparation school story!) Or you may simply have been gifted information to share with others.

I had a learning adventure this morning! I was fortunate to be invited to a Personal & Beauty Care Forum sponsored by  the Greater Augusta Black Chamber of Commerce. There were representatives from many personal & beauty care businesses and schools in attendance, including students from the some of the local cosmetology and barbering schools. To the best of my knowledge, I was the only Image and Wardrobe Coach there, unless another one slipped in after we made the introductions! I went in with eyes and ears wide open, to learn as much as I could about the issues and problems salon owners and other beauty related businesses have, and what problems might be specific to black business owners, and how those problems affect their clientele.

What a variety of perspectives, and a wealth of experience was there this morning! I met some wonderful professionals, with whom I hope to connect again soon. I learned about cosmetology schools and barbering schools, on both sides of the river, and met a lovely young woman in the middle of big life changes who seems a little unsure if she is making the right decision.

One of the reasons I love what I do as an Image & Wardrobe Coach is that I get to learn everyday. Maybe I am learning about new trends or colors, or learning about a new client and his life and goals, to help that client get the most out his wardrobe dollar. Tomorrow could be meeting with a salon owner to find out what kind of image she wants her salon and stylists to project, and presenting a workshop to help her make that dream a reality.

What kinds of things do you want to learn? Please share with me in the comments below!