Under Where?! What to wear under your clothes.

Once a month I take my clients shopping.  This month it is shape wear and hosiery and today is the day.  I am a big fan of online shopping, but this one is an exception. 

Until you know exactly what you need and want, undergarments are best purchased in person. 

I am going to have my clients start with a proper bra fitting.  According to the Huffington Post, 80% of women are wearing ill fitting bras. There are many places you can go to get a bra fitting, there are small boutiques that specialize in intimate apparel, larger chains such as SOMA and Victoria Secret and most major department stores have certified bra stylists who can help you make sure you are in the right size. 

If you want to do it online I recommend Third Love, for they have a great questionnaire that helps you self measure and also determine the right style based on the shape of your girls.

Bras don’t last forever.  They stretch out which is one reason they come with a clasp that has multiple rungs.  Start with your bra on the widest position and tighten over time.  Consider replacing them every six months so they always fit as intended.

Next up is panties.  I can’t tell you how often I have a conversation with my clients about their underpants:)  Panty lines can ruin your image in a nanosecond.  And really ladies you have to look at yourselves.  I am amazed at how many women don’t have a full length mirror and hand mirror to check their backside. You may not want to bother with how you look from the neck down or backside but others are looking and noticing.  It’s an easy mistake to make.  Not too long ago I put on white lined pants with pink undies.  If I hadn’t looked in the mirror I may have spent my entire day showcasing those pretty pink underwear, for the pants were much more translucent than I realized.  I changed several times and it wasn’t until I put on knee length Spanx that I found the right solution for those pants.

The right underwear really matters when it comes to pants.  I recommend thongs for most occasions. Many brands also make seamless panties if you don’t like the feel of a thong. No matter what you decide, you have to try things on and look in the mirror, both the front of you and behind.

What about shape wear? What we wear under our clothes can make all the difference especially if we are not happy with some bulges here and there. You probably think of Spanx in this regard, but the truth is humans have been using garments to reshape their bodies since the beginning of time; think rudimentary corsets and girdles.  Those of use that complain about Spanx and pantyhose have no idea what women endured for centuries before us.

So what shape wear should you wear and how should you wear it?

Here are a couple of things to consider:

Be Realistic

Shape wear can help you smooth things up and even tighten, it can help you look great in clothes that are your size and it can certainly help your self esteem.  But trying to use shape wear to help you go down a size is not realistic. Stick to your size in both the clothes you wear and the undergarments. Remember size doesn’t matter.  They are inconsistent at best.  No one needs to know that number, try to use it as a guide and not something to beat yourself up about.

Understand your Goals

There is a comfort vs. results continuum that you need to consider.  Where are you on the spectrum from let it all hang out to yikes I can barely breath?  Many pieces will come with a performance level from light control, to medium or firm.  Obviously the firmer the control the better the results and double up for a special event.  This seems unbearable to me but the thicker the fabric the more the control so it works from an aesthetics standpoint.  If the garment doesn’t have a performance level just check out the fabric, the more the nylon the more shape control.

What effect are you after?

  • Most women like a smooth line through the torso, think, high waisted for this result.  If you have trouble with slippage there are options that go over the shoulders or hook onto your bra.
  • Another idea to consider is pantyhose or tights built into the shape.  This can help with the uncomfortable confining feeling of shape wear overlapping the the tights or hose.
  • Some women like shape wear that helps minimize a larger chest.  Keep in mind it actually flatters you and changes the shape of your girls.  I prefer the bodysuit that is cut around the bust for this reason.
  • Big booties are on trend so if you want a fuller one, you may want to consider the Bootie Lifter or Bootie Bra as Spanx refers to it.

Don’t Forget Hose and Tights

This is an important topic; I get asked this question all the time, “aren’t pantyhose DATED”.  The answer is NO.  If you are trendy there indeed was a trend for while that allowed women to avoid stockings.  But now even that trend is passed.  All it took was Kate Middleton to start wearing this classic look and now they are back.  Honestly, I think they are a polished look and make every woman’s legs look better.  But as with everything else, whether you should you shouldn’t wear hose comes back to your personal brand, age and the occasion for which you are dressing.

 

Here are a few things to consider:

If you don’t feel comfortable with bare legs, or you feel your legs are too pale to go bare, but you don’t like the look of pantyhose you might want to wear a sheer nude.  They have some called barely there that are indeed hard to notice.  Always be sure the nude you choose it the best match for your skin color.  Nude on everyone is different and indeed they come in many shades.

If you’re super casual – sporty natural, and the thought of pantyhose makes you want to gag, go without or consider tights.

If your style is edgy. You might want to wear textured tights, paired with high heels, or stiletto boots.

If you more on the feminine romantic side, colorful tights or patterned hoses might be perfect for you.

The question of open toed shoes with pantyhose stays the same in my mind.  Don’t do it.  It may negatively impact your image and leave you looking dated or tacky.  The trend is to wear colored tights with open toed shoes.  If you are trendy or edgy and you do this with intention than go for it.

Hose and tights can make or break an outfit.  I don’t just think of them as undergarments but necessary accessories.

 

 

 

First Lady Fashion

On Presidents’ Day let’s take a look at First Ladies and their sense of style.  If anyone needs a personal brand and an individual style, it’s the First Lady.  Unfortunately, the commentary is often on what they are wearing instead of who they are or what cause they stand behind.  Most are very inspiring, intelligent women with a drive and ambition all their own which is reflected in the clothing they wear.   

 

When I work with my clients, one of our first tasks is to nail five or fewer adjectives that describe who they are.  Now, I have never had the pleasure of working with a FLOTUS, but if I had, this is what I would say: 

 

 

 

 

Michelle Obama

 

Her style says she is elegant, modern, confident, feminine and adventurous.  

 

She wears beautiful, classic dresses, that were also sleek, modern and feminine.  Lots of fit and flare styles.  She changed her hairstyle, I want to guess, ten times during her eight year reign… AND she single-handedly changed the taboo about women of a certain age going sleeveless.  I love her and her style!

 

Jackie Kennedy Onasis

 

Jackie O and Michelle Obama have similar styles but Jackie set a timeless precedent.  She was classic, elegant, and refined.  Once a photographer for the Washington Times-Herald before marrying Congressman John F. Kennedy and an editor later in life, as a First Lady, she was known for her emphasis on arts and culture.  She was admired for elegance and became an icon; she was also generous and family oriented.  Do you relate to this style?

 

Barbara Bush

 

Wow, she was a beauty.  I used to only think of her as the older stately matriarch of a powerful political family.  But now, as I analyze her style, it was both feminine, romantic.  I understand her personality was strong, powerful, and at times, funny.  Although, in her older years, if I were her image consultant, I would have suggested some changes to her wardrobe (about making choices that did not age her so much!)

 

Laura Bush

 

My take: warm, charming, approachable.  Known as a loyal wife and mother and an advocate for literacy and health.  Her style was classic and conservative. 

 

Betty Ford

 

She was a gymnast in her youth and clearly falls into the sporty, natural style classification.  She was outspoken, active, and an advocate for the women’s movement.  She was an independent thinker and fought for equal rights, abortion, gun control and drug legislation.  Her style garnered the respect she deserved. 

 

Hillary Clinton

 

Hilary has definitely undergone a style evolution: we grew up with her and saw her as elegant and strong… but sometimes a bit frumpy.  Her style has re-popularized the pant suit, and during her run for president, she mostly chose monochromatic pantsuits that elongated her figured and made her look polished instead of outdated.  Whether you love her or hate her she has been a woman with a brand and a force to be reckoned with most of her life.  I personally admire her strength and tenacity.

 

What about you?  If we could easily Google your name and see a catalog of images, what would they say about who you are as a person?  If you are interested in creating a personal style check out my free quiz on my homepage: https://www.cyndyporter.com/.  In fewer than 5 minutes you can get a sense of your style, and what avatar I associate with that style, and some ideas on how to dress to express who you are.  Have fun with it!  How you dress is your most powerful communication tool.  It is all about self expression and showing up with confidence.

Red Alert

 

Bill Blass once said: “WHEN IN DOUBT WEAR RED.”

 

And on Valentine’s Day we indeed see it everywhere.  But is it right for you?

 

YES.  Of course it is but not all red is for everyone…

 

When I do a color analysis for my clients I make sure they all get their best neutrals, both light colors and dark colors.  They know which metals are right for their skin tone. They know their “wow” colors and they know what RED is the right red for them.

 

 

Every woman can wear red but the spectrum is significant.

 

 

 

We have to start with your skin tone.  Are you warm or are you cool?

 

If you have warm skin are warm red is best for you.  If you are cool cool complected then it’s a cool red.  If you mix this up, I’m afraid to say it can suck the life out of you.  Yikes!  So how do you know? Take a look at the color wheel:

 

 

Do the colors on top look best on you or the colors on the bottom?

 

If you aren’t sure start by determining if you are warm or cool.  See the four models below.  Can you see how cool colors would look best on these two women and warm colors on the next two?

 

 

Cool

 
If you are cool you have pink or blue undertones. In general the colors in the lower half of the color wheel are best for you.  

 

Red is shown on the warm half of the color wheel.  By mixing red with pink, purple or blue you end up with a cooler shade of red. 

 

Once you know your right red, it is also a helpful tip when thinking about your rouge and lipstick colors.

 

 

 

Warm

 

If you are warm you have yellow undertones. In general the colors in the upper half of the color wheel are best for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have fun with it!  Play around and experiment and let us know if red, fuchsia or burgundy is the right red for you. 

 

This Valentine’s Day

“Wow, your lucky to have your birthday on Valentine’s Day!”  I’ve been told that all of my life.  I have to admit, I have hated it more than I have enjoyed it.  I was an awkward kid with low self-esteem and not the boys’ favorite.  It was my friends who got the roses and carnations delivered to the classroom, not me.  One year I remember all the buzz that a special guy bought me flowers.  I was so excited by the notion that a boy liked me enough to send me flowers!  I spent the entire day wondering who it could possibly be… 

It turned out that it was my Dad.  

In hindsight, that was really special!  But, as a 15-year-old, it was yet another Valentine’s Day let down.

When I did have a boyfriend, Valentine’s Day was fun, and honestly, most people are in a good mood on February 14th.  It’s a day of celebration, anticipation and romance!

But when I didn’t have romance in my life, I was often left feeling lonely.  My friends were preoccupied and rightfully so.  I’m sad to say, it was not a special day for me most years so I just got used to keeping expectations low – which I have carried with me throughout most of my life.  

 

Not anymore!  Today, I am excited to celebrate me.  My husband and son always do something special.

 

What about you?  Do you love cupid’s holiday?

Have you always had a day of romance or have you too been set up for disappointment on this day?

Do you buy your partner a gift?  What do you want to receive?

I know I am an image consultant, not a sex therapist but here’s my idea: 

If you are in a relationship consider buying lingerie.  But make sure it’s something you love; an extravagant luxury that makes you feel beautiful and sexy.  

 

Why?…

According to a recent study a whopping 70% of men said all they want for Valentine’s Day is sex!  

And what do the studies say about women?

 

We want to be desired

We want them to spend time with us

We want to be wined and dined

We want them to get off their phones

We want partners to be vulnerable, nice and attentive

 

I’ve found the best way to get what I want… is to give him what he wants. I think exquisite lingerie will do the trick!  

 

If you aren’t in a relationship right now.  Don’t fret.  Celebrate self-love!  What do you want for Valentine’s Day?  Buy it for yourself!  Have a great meal.  Go shopping.  Get a massage.  Take a bath and read a book.  Maybe instead of sexy lingerie, it’s time to invest in comfortable luxurious pajamas!  Below are some ideas.

I wish that I took this advice all of those lonely birthdays.  Be strong and independent and practice self-love. Whether you are in a relationship or not I hope you make it a great day!

 

Here are some tips on how to buy the right lingerie for you.  What is lingerie anyway???  Simply put, it is women’s underwear and clothing that is worn to bed.  But it has become synonymous with play wear not sleepwear.  There are lots of options.  Do you want pajamas that are cozy and comfortable or do you indeed want to play?  Do you want to be seductive?  Do you want to feel sexy?  The best bet is to follow your style rules.  Wear your best colors and dress for your body type.

 

Here are some options:

Slips

 

Slips come in all lengths and fabrics.  Some are sheer and some are satin.  This is a great option if you are on the modest side for you can choose a midi length or even full length.  It is also a great choose if you have an oval body type.  In this case you should go with a shorter length and show off your great legs.

The Babydoll

 This style is sweet, sexy and also forgiving if you are an oval or have a tummy to conceal.  They are typically short flowy one piece nighties with an empire waist. They can be found sheer or in statin as well as other fabrics.

 

The Teddie

The Teddie or Bodysuit leaves little to the imagination.  This is for the bold and confident among you.  For a truly sexy look you can add stocking and garter belt.  Any body type can wear these the main ingredient here is to wear it with confidence.

 

 

If you are a bit shy of this bold statement, maybe consider wearing it as a surprise under your clothing or put a robe or Kimono over top.

Corsets & Bustiers

The corset or bustier is even tighter and more revealing than the Teddie. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe you want to look great and just be comfy and cozy.  Try one of these styles:

A matching set

Boxer pajamas

Mix and match separates

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A cami set                                                                                                                           

A jumpsuit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here are a few places to buy Lingerie and Pajama’s that aren’t Victoria Secret:

  1. Bare Necessities (www.barenecessities.com) I especially love the range of sizes this site has to offer.
  2. Gap Body (www.gap.com) Not the place for the sexiest lingerie but for decent quality comfy pajamas it has a great selection.
  3. Nordstrom (www.nordstrom.com) My overall favorite.  I love the quality and variety Nordstrom has to offer.  And you can’t beat them for customer service including their return policy.
  4. La Perla (www.laperla.com)  The absolute most exquisite best quality lingerie you can find!
  5. Journelle (www.journelle.com)  This site has something for everyone.  Give them a try.

What’s in Style in 2018?

Welcome to 2018!

Did you make a  New Year’s Resolution to be more stylish?  To pay attention to your appearance? To make more time for you?  Do you have a resolution to clear out the clutter and be more intentional of the clothes in your closet?

No matter what your resolution or if you don’t have one at all, it’s helpful  to know what’s going on in the fashion scene. Not necessarily so you can be trendy, but so you know what’s available.  If you know your personal style and your style rules, you will know if any of the trends are right for you.

Let’s take a look at the top 18 list for 2018!

 

 

 

 

  1. Activism is still in! – (I’m happy to report!) Protest and March slogans moved from the signs onto your clothes in 2017 and they are still hot.  If you have something to say, wear it proudly this season.  If you are a bohemian style, sporty natural or trendy this is a great look for you! Check out some ideas here: https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/slogan-wear/
  2. Big Earrings – If your style is bold dramatic this one may be for you.  When wearing big earrings you may want to minimize your other accessories so as not to overdo it and be sure to keep your scale in mind.  If you are of a larger stature  this will be easy to carry off.  If you are more slight you can still do it if you want to make a statement.  What do you think, are big earringsright for you? https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/big-earrings/
  3. Flowing FloralsYup, still in!  I feel like everywhere you look you see floral prints, it’s on shoes, bags, dresses, jackets, pants, tops even jeans.  Florals  are still expected to be big in 2018 but my guess is this trend will be over soon.  Unless you love, love, love this this feminine look, I would carry it lightly.  Someday soon, flowers will begin to look dated (grandma’s sofa anyone?) If you are a feminine romantic style you will want to wear them forever, but the rest of us may already have enough of this trend in our wardrobe.  Here are some popular Pinterest pins if want an update on this trend: https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/floral/
  4. Fringe Benefits – Just like florals this trend has been around for a while.  I like it and I think it’s fun!  I especially like it in accessories: scarves, shoes, jewelry and bags.  But if you are a bohemian style you may want to incorporate even more fringe in your life..  Take a look at some ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/fringe/
  5. French Berets – This trend hit the runways in 2017 and is still hot.  It is a flattering look and crosses many style brands (it is classic, elegant/sophisticated, modern/trendy, creative/whimsical, exotic – it comes down to how you style it!)  What do you think, is it for you? https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/french-beret/
  6. Sparkle and Sequins for Daytime??? YES! – If you like a little sparkle go for it.  It is now okay to wear shine and sequins in the daytime.  This is especially good for the feminine styles but, creatives, even elegant sophisticates can use a little sparkle in your lives.  Try it on a bag, shoes, even a top, skirt or jacket.  It also appears to be the Hollywood red carpet trend this year (celebrity ladies at the SAG awards really dazzled). Take a look: https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/sparkle-and-sequins/ (add some SAG images).
  7. Purple Rain (R.I.P. Prince! An icon) – Pantone is calling it Ultra Violet and the fashion world is calling it lavender.  In any regard it’s the color of the year!  It is a cool color and best on women with blue and pink undertones.  Many women are pairing it with its opposite on the color wheel: yellow and gold hues.  Take a look: https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/lavender/
  8. Modern Art – Who was your favorite? Picasso, Monet?  Modern art drawn on your clothes in all the rage.  Take a look especially if you are a creative: https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/modern-art-trend/
  9. Denim – Jackets, pants, dresses it’s everywhere.  Dressed up and dressed down for 2018. To avoid looking too casual, try dark denim. For the elegant/sophisticate, tailored, crisp denim is the way to go for everyday elegance: https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/denim/
  10. Mad for Plaid – Checkered patterns and Scottish tartans are in (but leave your bagpipes at home). Its being showcased in a variety of ways on the runways, from jackets and capes, to skirts and floor length dresses – anyway you cut it, no matter your personal brand, this is a trendy pattern that will still be a classic style when the trend expires. https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/mad-for-plaid/
  11. Plastic (really?) – It’s not what you think! Plastic in patent leather and lucite form is how you can adapt this high fashion trend to avoid looking like you belong in a landfill. Vogue magazine called this a trend that doesn’t take itself too seriously, so it’s great for the creative/whimsical style if you’re going to try this trend in anything other than a shoe. https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/plastic/
  12. Pretty in Pink – It’s not just purple everywhere, pink is also hot (hot pinks to be more precise!)  If warm colors are more in your color wheelhouse, opt for pinks that have more of a red or orange tone. Neon pink, which has more purple in it is a great color for the cool complected among us! https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/pretty-in-pink/
  13. Wide Legged Pants – I’m sure this comes as no surprise, they are everywhere!  Perfect for anyone trying NOT to emphasize the hips.  If that’s the case then count them into your wardrobe for good!  The cropped version of these pants are tricky because they are not as elongating as the kind that go to your feet. https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/wide-leg-pants/
  14. Red Alert – The last color to appear on this list: bright, vibrant reds. Make a head-to-toe statement if you are bold and if this color is in your palette. If not, then use it in a pop of color. Any way you color it, everyone should have a shade of red in their palette! https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/red-alert/
  15. Americana – Whether you think America is great again, or you miss the greatness that was, fashion is celebrating America. Show your spirit with some fun stars and stripes, take a look: https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/americana/
  16. Cowgirl – (different from the above mentioned trend) baroque style embellishments, studs, and fringe were all over the Paris runways this year. There are many ways to exhibit this trend in a tasteful way (think cowgirl inspired instead of dressing like a literal cowgirl). Mix wild west influences with street fashion for a trendy/modern look. Try a bolo tie or bandana with a crisp, white button-down, along with slacks and heels, for something more upscale. Perplexed? Take a look! https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/cowgirl/
  17. Tropicana – Appear beach-ready any season; pastel colors paired with golden browns are in (à la Miami Vice). The perfect trend to try if your personal brand is exotic! https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/tropicana/
  18. Transparencies – The art of suggestion that reached popularity last year (and in the 90’s) continues! Cut-outs with sheer fabric overlays is a good route to go for something more age appropriate (instead of a sheer shirt that doesn’t leave much to the imagination!) Sheer sleeves is also a fun way to make it work! https://www.pinterest.com/cyndyporter/transparencies/

Some have been around for a while and some are brand new.  Some I love and, to be frank, some I hate!  But what doesn’t speak to me may speak to you.  Just narrow down what works best for your personal brand.  Be sure you feel your best in any trend you try so that you wear it with confidence!

Say Yes to the Pool Party | Rock Your Swimsuit this Summer!

cyndy porter swimsuit shopping tips 2

Even if you have a “perfect” body (nobody does!),  swim suit shopping is probably one of your least favorite things to do.  Even when I have felt my best physically, shopping for a swim suit has been like drudgery. Swimsuits are the least favorite, most difficult clothing items that women shop for. However, just like all the other items in your wardrobe, if you know what you are looking for, you can make the process easier and much more enjoyable.

Where do you begin to know what you should look for in a swimsuit?

Your personal brand of course.

What do you want to communicate at the beach, a pool party, or while lounging away in the sun?  Are you sporty, sexy, romantic, elegant, classic, creative, exotic, or bohemian? Your personal brand can be complimented by is a suit that tells your unique story. Start by asking yourself what you want to communicate, then look for swim wear that matches that statement.

Each of these tells a unique story and should tell you something about the woman who wears it. Are any of these styles… you?

   

Next up… what are your style rules; do you know your shape, proportions, scale, and what colors are best for you?  If so, the same guidelines apply to a swimsuit as the rest of your wardrobe.

When shopping for a swimsuit, do you find yourself saying any of these?

My Chest is too Big!

If you would like to minimize your chest and still have the support you need there’s help for you.

Swimwear comes in all shapes, colors, and sizes and it comes with built in support.  Check out Townshop:  they have lots of great options for busty women and you can choose your swim suit based on your bra size.

Triangle cups with larger straps are a great choice, by design they will provide you with more support.

Try a swim dress if you want to add volume on your lower half to create that coveted hour glass shape.

Wear darker colors and solids to diminish bringing attention to your chest and wear a bright bottom to balance things out.


I’m Small on Top!

Go for a top with bright colors, embellishments, ruffles or padding to add visual weight and bring attention to your top.

 

 


My butt is big!

If you are blessed with a curvy booty, you’ll need a suit with enough fabric in that area so you’re not constantly tugging at your bottoms or getting a wedgy.

Designs with solid bottoms and printed tops will help balance you and give you more of an hourglass shape.

 


I look like a boy!

For those with a compact sporty body, you may want to create the appearance of curves with all pieces in your wardrobe and that also goes for your swimsuit.  This is easily done with a top with padding and gathering, and by picking brighter prints and colors. Don’t go for straight-across bandeaus, boy-cut briefs or shapeless full-pieces, unless you wish to enhance your athletic figure. 

 

 


OMG, I have love handles!

If you are a bit hippy, not to worry. A high-waisted bottom works wonders or of course, a one piece will take care of that issue immediately.

 

 


I’m high waisted!

The trick is to elongate your waist and lift the bustline. Low-rise bottoms make your torso appear longer and halter straps or bright colorful tops will draw attention upward.

 

 



I have back fat!

Try a suit with thicker straps to reduce the bulge.

 

 

 



My legs are too short!

Go for suits with that are high cut.

 

 

 



I have thunder thighs!

Opt for bottoms with a little bit more coverage. Bottoms with a skirt can help to conceal part of your upper leg and solid colors will draw the attention elsewhere.

 

 

 


I have a fat stomach!

Hiding a tummy is actually much easier than you would think. Peplums, for example, aren’t just great to wear to the office — they are also perfect for a day at the beach. A full-piece with ruching can also help to conceal your stomach. Choosing any one-piece with a plunging neckline with help to keep the focus upwards, rather than on your midsection.

 


cyndy porter swimsuit shopping tipsReally, don’t you want to enjoy the sun, the sand, and the water?  Don’t you want to go boating, hang out with your kids and your friends? Stop with the body shame and show up with confidence.  You are truly beautiful just the way you are; if you think about your style rules, what colors, shapes, and patterns are best for you and apply them to your swimsuit you will show up looking terrific.  Use the tips above, shop and dress with intention and enjoy your time in the sun!

Want more style tips, fashion tricks, and information about upcoming workshops and speaking engagements? Be sure to subscribe to Cyndy’s e-mail list and join the conversation!

5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Winter Wardrobe

Traditionally, we use our “spring cleaning” time to spruce up the interior and exterior of our home. But what do you do about your wardrobe? Do you typically “spring clean” your closet? I’m here to say, if you don’t, you should. My recommendation is to go through your wardrobe twice a year; once as the weather begins to get warmer and when you know that much of what is hanging in your closet won’t get worn for the next four to six months, and once again as the cooler months approach to swap out your warm weather clothes. I know it takes time, but this process will help you get more familiar with your wardrobe. If you want to have a closet full of clothes that you love and look amazing on you, then you need to know exactly what clothes you have and what works well for you. You can accomplish this by actually touching every piece of clothing in your closet twice a year. If you really want to be thorough, consider also going through your jewelry, scarves, belts, and shoes.

For each article of clothing you have, consider these five criteria:

  1. Is the item appropriate for the current season? Am I going to wear it in the next four to six months? If you’re not going to put it on your body, it’s just clutter in your closet.
  2. Has your body changed? If you’re like me and you’ve put on some winter weight, make sure your clothes still fit you perfectly. There is nothing that can kill your image faster than ill-fitting clothes. If you have items that are too tight around the chest, there’s a button that looks like it might pop any minute, or it pulls from behind, don’t wear it. If you’re actively working on losing some weight, put those pieces away in an accessible place and try them on again after you’ve lost those extra 5, 10, 15 pounds, or whatever is necessary, for those items to fit you perfectly again. Don’t forget to look at your backside. People see you from behind at least as much as they see you from the front. Make sure you’re happy with that vantage point as well.
  3. Is every item in tip-top shape or are they scuffed, frayed, stained, or worn out in appearance? I seem to need to buy new white pants every summer for this very reason. If things no longer look like new, get them out of your closet, replace them with new things, and donate the old items to someone else. Your personal brand is not about looking worn out and tired!
  4. Speaking of personal brand, what’s yours? Do you know what image you’re trying to project? Do you know your personal style rules? Do your clothes mirror the image you are working so hard to create? Take a look at each item and ask yourself, “Is this really something that communicates who I am?” If it’s not right for you, it could be perfect for someone else.
  5. Do you have things that are no longer in style? You don’t have to be trendy unless, of course, that is part of your intentional image. But, you definitely don’t want to wear clothes that are out of style. If things have passed their heyday, remove them from your wardrobe.

Your wardrobe tells the world a lot about yourself. I believe you should bond with your things. Know what you own, what looks good on you, and how to wear things in a lot of different ways so that the cost per wear is of great value.

If you have to fight through clutter and if 80% of the clothes in your closet never get worn, you probably don’t love going into your closet, and you probably struggle to look amazing every day. You deserve to feel beautiful every single day and on every occasion. That’s the ultimate goal.

Want more style tips, fashion tricks, and information about upcoming workshops and speaking engagements? Be sure to subscribe to Cyndy’s e-mail list and join the conversation!

 

 

Roberta’s Bold, Edgy and Colorful Trends for Spring and Summer 2017

Roberta (Our “Trendsetter”) Shares Her Spring/Summer 2017 Style: Bold, Edgy and Colorful.

Cyndy Porter Spring Summer 2017 fashion trend

Ready or not, it’s time to think about spring cleaning – including your closet!

It’s March 1, 2017, and it’s expected to be 70 degrees here in the Washington, DC, area.  We are still 19 days from the official first day of spring and honestly, it feels like winter never arrived. I usually look forward to spring, but with little snow and no snow days at all this year, March 1 feels a bit odd.

If you followed my earlier advice, your spring and summer clothes are out of sight in your closet.  Now we get to set some time aside and plan to go through last year’s items.  Do they still fit?  Do you still love them?  Do they match your brand image and your style rules?  If so, freshen them up and welcome them back to your closet.

Here’s the best part of spring cleaning your closet: shopping for new clothes!

Spring is all about newness, and that includes refreshing your wardrobe. If this sounds fun, read on to learn what’s in style for spring and summer of 2017.  Should you shop the trends?  My answer is always the same:

  • If you have holes in your spring/summer wardrobe – the answer is YES.
  • If your style words are trendy, modern, hip, current and/or relevant – YES.
  • If you learn that what is on trend absolutely matches your personal brand and style rules, especially if it includes some normally hard to find items, colors, etc. – the answer is YES.

 

 


Here’s what to expect with 2017 spring and summer fashions:

  • Color is Everything. – Color can make or break how you look. Knowing what colors look great on you is the key to looking your best.  Of course, there are art and science elements that need to come together to show you at your best. My Success thru Style Introductory Workshop can teach those, but if you only did one thing, it should be wearing the right colors for you.  If you look good in blue, you’re in luck because all shades of blue are on trend. Especially powder blue which compliments bubble gum pink which is everywhere this season.  These colors are best on cooler skin tones, but the blues, in particular, can be found in warm tones as well.  Yellowis hot and makes for a fun pop of color to brighten up your outfit.  Khaki is being shown in monochromatic outfits and is replacing the skinny jean.  YAY! finally, those skin-tight pants that only flatter 6’ tall models are on the way out.  The Pantone color of year is a warm, bright “lettuce” green. You will see this color everywhere from clothes to interiors to electronics.  It is a hard to wear color, but will no doubt bring greens of all tones into play.
  • Activism is in! – Protest and March slogans are moving from the signs onto your clothes. If you have something to say, wear it proudly this season.  If you are a bohemian style, sporty natural or trendy this is a great look for you! 
  • Go Big! – Big, bold stripes, statement earrings, XXL bags, strong shoulders, really high platform shoes and long necklaces are all hot this season. Warning: remember to match your personal scale if you want to bring attention to you and not your things.  If you are small scale you may want to stay clear of this trend.
  • Pants! – I love the pants that are out now. The pantsuit is still on trend and very flattering.  Skinny pants are being replaced with the ankle pant.  These are great because they can be worn with all heel heights; you can match your skin or pants to elongate or add a pop of color to add visual weight and de-emphasize your hips.  Wide legged pants are in and great to balance a larger mid-section.  And of course, my all-time favorite flare pant in available everywhere YAY for this evolution to pants that flatter.
  • Down with Shoes – If you love super-high heels, you can still find them but the trend is bringing them down. Super-high platforms are in, but in general, stilettos above three inches are no longer trending.  The cone heel is still hot, as is the block heel.  Casual, fun, comfortable shoes are the trend, even “ugly shoes” – decorated plastic crocs like shoes were all over the runway.  Go figure.
  • Sweet Stuff – For the romantic, feminine ladies, you will have lots to choose from. The Victorian era is still trending with floral patterns that remind me of my grandmother’s curtains, ruffles, and things that lace.
  • Drama Queen – If you fall into the edgy, bold, dramatic category then you will be happy to know neon, bad girl punk, and bra tops are some of the styles you can grab on to.

In general, we are moving from the 1970’s to the 1980’s this spring and summer.  But be careful before you bring those dated clothes back into circulation.  New trends are never exactly like the trends of the past (how would the designers make any money that way? 🙂 ) If you are excited to wear the trends, study them, bring them in intentionally, make sure they tell your unique story.

Cyndy Porter Spring Summer 2017 fashion trendBottom line: you are beautiful, and if you know yourself, you can choose to wear a trend or two or stick to timeless classic pieces.

Want more style tips, fashion tricks and information about upcoming workshops and speaking engagements? Be sure to subscribe to Cyndy’s e-mail list and join the conversation!

 

 

My 30-Day What’s Your Personal Brand Challenge

Cyndy Porter's 30-Day Personal Branding ChallengeDo you have a personal brand?

If you said yes, you are right.  You do.  Everyone has one.  The question is whether your personal brand is intentional?  

As you may know, my passion is helping women create a personal brand and Show Up, or visually communicate that brand.

I have clients that ask whether a work brand is different than a personal brand.  Under most circumstances, I don’t think it has to be.  If you have a dress code or other reason to show up in a certain way at work, you can do that while still being true to your personal brand.  That’s why I have been doing a video series, my Personal 30-Day Challenge. I am taking short videos every day to demonstrate how I show up as my personal brand for every occasion of my life.

My goal is to share how I show up (even when feeling under the weather!) and inspire others to do the same.  My 30-Day Personal Brand Challenge is on my YouTube channel, or even better in my Success thru Style Facebook group.  In this closed group for women (which you are invited to join if you aren’t already a member), I’ve also shared the videos.  You are invited to post pictures of yourself and ask questions about your brand.  Many women are participating and receiving invaluable feedback.  I’m up to Day 13 of the series, with more to come!

Cyndy Porter's 30-Day Personal Branding ChallengeTake a moment and think about how you want others to perceive you and what you are doing to make that happen. 

Think about the people you know, your friends and colleagues you can rely on all the time.  You know they will return your phone call promptly.  They will help you if you are in need.  They send you cards on special occasions, check in on you when you are down and not well and they always have a kind word.

How about your brilliant friends, those you can count on them for words of wisdom?  Are they well educated and informed?  Do they always do the right thing? Are they benevolent and give back during the holidays and donate time, money and used goods to a good cause?  Are they spiritual and go to church every Sunday, or crafty and give out homemade cookies and gifts?  Are they authentic and tell it like it is?  Are they athletic or health oriented and always encouraging others to live a peaceful, healthy life?

I can go on and paint a picture of the people in your life who make a positive impact and how they do it.  What about you?

I can also paint a picture of those people who let you down.  Can you think of a friend who is always late?  Maybe you know someone who is critical and judgmental or who gossips about others.  They talk about themselves and always need to be right, or they don’t do what they say they will.  You count on them to show up for parties or events that are important to you but they always have an excuse as to why they can’t come and usually at the last minute.  Or maybe they don’t show up at all.

All of these things make up who a person is.  They are the behaviors that make up a personal brand.  They are commonly not intentional.  Most people don’t say this is who I am or how I want to be perceived by the world and then go about communicating that.

It’s even simpler than that.  When you meet someone new they decide what kind of person they think you are in less than 7 seconds.  Once you know how you want to be perceived you can visually communicate it through your hair, makeup and the clothes you wear.  That’s what my video series is all about.  I hope you join my Success thru Style Facebook group, follow along and start to share your personal brand.  I’d be happy to give you feedback for your own, 30-Day What’s Your Personal Brand Challenge!

Want more style tips, fashion tricks and information about upcoming workshops and speaking engagements? Be sure to subscribe to Cyndy’s e-mail list and join the conversation!