Monthly Archives: May 2017

Maximize Your Wardrobe and Your Dollar

You might think that because I’m a Personal Stylist, I have a ton of clothes. The truth is that I have one garment rack for hanging and one dresser. That’s it.

Being clear on my style, knowing how to put things together and shopping smart keeps my wardrobe super lean. (Although using really thin hangers and stacking clothes in my dresser like a game of Tetris sure doesn’t hurt.)

If you’re looking to create a clean, solid, functional yet fabulous wardrobe and want to make the most of every item of clothing you own, here are three things that should help maximize your wardrobe. And your dollar.


1. Purchase items that can be worn throughout multiple seasons.

Gone are the days of having distinct summer and winter wardrobes. These days, most pieces can be worn in creative ways through many seasons. Knowing how to layer and mix different fabric weights and textures keeps a look fresh and unique. The key is to making sure that the overall outfit is weather appropriate.

Need some ideas? When the thermometer starts to drop, summer crop tops can be worn over long sleeve shirts; light summer skirts, shorts or dresses can be worn with tights or with socks and booties and a heavier coat or a thicker sweater.

2. Only purchase an item if it goes with at least three things in your wardrobe.

If you buy a piece of clothing that can only be worn with one other piece in your closet, it’s not providing you with the opportunity to mix and match and be used a variety of different ways.

If you have limited closet space as well as limited funds, purchasing items that go with more than one piece in your wardrobe, means that you’ll be able to create more outfits from less pieces. This keeps your closet from becoming over full and your bank account from dwindling.

3. Purchase multi-purpose items.

Multi-purpose, multi-use or multi-wear items are pieces that can be worn more than one way. While your first thought might be of convertible bridesmaid dresses, multi-purpose clothing can actually take on many forms.

Take the TMR Collection Portland Dress, designed by Tara Rivas. At first glance you see a very well made, super chic, crazy sexy dress. On closer inspection you realize that the dress is completely reversible in another colour, making it two dresses for the price of one. Brilliant!

Blanket scarves are another example of items that can be worn more than one way. They can be wrapped around your neck in typical scarf fashion, worn as a wrap, and if the fabric is thin enough, can be worn sarong style. The only limit is your imagination.

And finally, one of the best ways to maximize your wardrobe and your dollar is to take excellent care of your clothing. Following the cleaning instructions on the tags should extend the wear of your clothes, helping them last longer and look better too. And who doesn’t want better looking clothing?

Tips To Dressing Your Way To Weight Loss Success

It’s that time of year again. Resolutions are made and goals are written down. Give it a few months, though, and most will go out the proverbial window. But what if I told you that there was one simple step you could take every single day that would tip the scale in your favour towards reaching your desired weight? No special diets, no popping pills. Would you be in? Thought so.

All you have to do, every single day, is — wait for it — get dressed.

For the body you have, that is, not the one you had. Let me explain.

As a Stylist, I work with a number of women who either want to lose weight, are in the process of losing weight, or have already lost the weight. The one thing that has become abundantly clear is that those who dressed for their changing body felt better about themselves and found that it helped them stay motivated to continue on their weight loss journey.

Women often tell me that they don’t want to buy another piece of clothing until they drop their desired weight. They’re not going to waste another penny on clothes they’ll probably never wear again, which makes complete financial sense. Except for the fact that it’s not always the best or most practical idea.

We all know that once you start losing weight your clothing becomes looser, baggier and even ill-fitting. You start to get lost in your clothes and suddenly don’t feel or look your absolute best. Frumpy might be a better word. You might even lose your motivation. We all know how hard it is to lose weight; even a few pounds. It takes discipline and drive, and it’s hard to do when you’re not feeling fabulous in your outfits.

So, you cave, and buy more clothes — most likely smaller versions of the ones you already own. Same style, different size. Except there’s a problem. Something’s not quite right and you’re not sure what it is.

It’s this: Your body shape may have changed with the weight loss, and you’re still shopping and dressing for the body you had. Not the one you have.

Everyone loses weight differently. Some lose most in the chest (why are the boobs always the first to go?!?), some lose most in the mid section, some in the rear or hips and some in the thighs. Some might lose their weight evenly all over.

The key to looking great throughout your weight loss, and the key to staying motivated, is to shop and dress for the body you have at that moment, so that you look amazing throughout the whole process. The better you look every single day, the more you’ll want to keep going to achieve your goal.

How do you do this? Keep checking in with yourself and your mirror as you lose the weight and as your clothes get looser and looser. How do they look on you? How do you feel? Where are you losing most of the weight? Where do the adjustments need to be made. Sometimes slight alterations can be made to your existing clothes to accommodate the weight loss. Sometimes new pieces altogether are needed.

If you find yourself with a need to shop during your weight loss or once you’ve reached your desired weight, take a good long look in the mirror and really look at what you see. At that particular moment.

It’s quite common for women who have lost a significant amount of weight to only see themselves as they were before the weight loss. I’ve had clients shocked with some of the clothing suggestions I made, thinking that there was no way they could pull off a certain look. Until they tried it. Then they were amazed at how good they looked and at how many compliments they received. The mind is a tricky thing.

So if you find yourself on the New Year weight loss bandwagon and you really want to keep your resolution, stick to your goal, and stay motivated, do yourself a favour. Be kind to yourself, see yourself in all your beauty throughout the process and, most importantly; shop. A lot. Your body will thank you.

Some Bad Style Habits That Make You Look Older

A few weeks ago I attended an event not wearing anything very special and didn’t put a lot of thought into my outfit. So I was quite shocked when someone asked my friend who that beautiful woman was… Besides giving me a great ego boost, it had me wondering, “Why me?” Why was I (so pleasantly) singled out?

Then I realized that most of the other women looked kind of old and frumpy. Here are some of the reasons why:

Ill-fitting clothing

I have as many body issues as the next girl, and sure there are days when all I want to do is hide myself in an over-sized sweater, but the problem with doing that is you’ll always wind up looking frumpy. You don’t have to love every single part of your body and you can diminish the parts you don’t like, but do this by highlighting your assets instead of by hiding yourself.

Love your legs but hate your tummy area? No problem, simply reach for a cute blazer and pair it with a shorter skirt (and yes, that means it can be to your knees). If you are trying to mask your less-favourite parts, look for higher quality fabrics with more structure.

Inappropriate colours

Black is slimming, right? Well that’s only half the truth, because if the outfit doesn’t fit, then I don’t care what colour it is, it won’t look good. Also, if you don’t look great in black (as in, it washes you out) then you’ll look sick instead of sophisticated. Sure, you can still wear black, but then make sure you have a bit of a bright colour near your face.

Wrong-sized bra

Okay, I’ll admit that I’ve never been overly comfortable going to bra fittings, but they are necessary and should be repeated every time you gain or lose some weight. Whatever your size, know that it is not attractive when you can see all the lumps and bumps under your clothing, or when your chest is in the wrong place.

Sensible footwear

When she was in her late 90s, my grandmother finally switched to a more sensible shoe. Until then, however, she always wore a classic pump. That should be a lesson to everyone. Flats or heels, it doesn’t really matter. As long as the shoe looks good on your foot, it will work. Also, pay attention to your proportions. Kitten heels may be best left to a petite woman, while a straight, chunkier heel looks fantastic on a taller woman.

Blah accessories

I’m officially saying that it’s okay to wear statement pieces. It doesn’t have to be large, over-the-top jewelry, but it’s important to give your outfit some visual interest. Even if it’s just a swipe of red lipstick (which, by the way, was what I was wearing with a black sweater over a striped top).

Ignoring trends

You don’t have to jump on every trend band wagon, nor should you, but pay attention to current lines, textures and overall styles. You can then take your classic pieces and give them a twist so that your look becomes contemporary chic instead of downright dated.

A huge part of staying young-looking is dressing yourself to highlight all of your best assets. Whether you choose classic pieces or trendy ones, just make sure that you are having fun and not taking yourself too seriously. Above all, never ever wear something just because you feel that you “have to.”

What do you have in your wardrobe that just makes you feel amazing?