Inspiration, Style

7 Game-Changing Style Resolutions

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You’ve reflected and set your goals for 2018. Now it’s time you create a wardrobe that inspires you and reflects your intentions for this new year. Proclaim 2018 as your year to to become a better you.  I’ve equipped you with 7 game-changing style resolutions to help you refresh, refine and rebuild your wardrobe. This is much more than a closet clean-out.

1.Take proper care of your clothes. I understand you get busy and the last thing on your mind is tending to another item off  your “to do list” after a long day of work. You’re lucky if you have enough energy to muster up a bowl of cereal for dinner. We’ve all been there! But if you’re also putting a lot of that hard earned money into your closet purchases, you should think of them as investments. It pays off in more ways than one to put a little more time in taking care of your clothes. Here are some practical and simple habits you can start:

  • Put away clothes instead of tossing them on the floor after work.
  • When it’s time to wash clothes separate them in piles by color before putting them in the washing machine.
  • Hand-wash delicate items rather than throwing them into the wash.
  • Neatly fold your clothes after you’ve pulled them from the dryer (the longer you leave them thrown in a basket the more work you’ll give yourself trying to get all the wrinkles  out).
  • Speaking of wrinkles…Always iron your clothes. Make sure to check for the fabric info on your tags to know which setting to put your iron on. For more delicate clothes I recommend using a hand steamer. You can find them at any Target and WalMart.
  • Avoid overstuffed drawers, they won’t be so kind on your threads. Be honest with yourself and ruthless if necessary, and get rid of things you no longer wear.

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2.Do a full closet clean-out.  #newyearbetteryou Let 2018 be your year to get organized and be styled! Don’t hang onto the past, move on and get rid of things you haven’t worn in the past year. Trust me, you’ll probably never wear them again. If it’s too big, too small or doesn’t jive with your sense of style, make room for the new and say au revoir! Be honest and ruthless. The same goes for damaged pieces. If you haven’t gotten them repaired by now (ie. holes, stains etc) you didn’t miss them enough in the first place. Invite a friend over or hire a personal stylist to help you edit your wardrobe. Have a glass of bubbling or turn it into a fashion show. It makes the process less painful, more effective and a lot more fun!

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3.Be the discerning shopper. The saying is true, less is more! Inventory your closet before making any purchases. What are the holes in your closet? Buy only what you need and the best quality you can afford. “Being stylish and on trend shouldn’t break the bank, and cheap clothing is too expensive. Buy quality and shop less.” Impulse purchases and always buying fast fashion adds up. Instead save your weekly spending allowance for those higher end shoes you’ve been coveting. Invest in everyday essentials to get the most wear out of your clothes.

 

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4.Double Down on key pieces. Accessories make your outfit and can elevate you’re whole look. You don’t have to do a closet overhaul right away. A carefully and well thought out collection of “extras” goes a long way.  Incorporating a few new statement pieces and everyday essentials is game changing. Accessories are fairly easy to buy and afford especially from thrift stores, vintage shops (for unique and hard to find items) and higher end shops. You can get a lot for your money.

 

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5.Pop it with color. Introducing color (or prints) into your repertoire is agreeably one of the easiest ways to freshen up your seasonal wardrobe. Be bold. Be daring. Adventure out and explore a new color palette. Claim your neutrals for the season (stick to a tight color palette 1-2 colors). And when you have proclaim them with colorful power pumps or blazer. 

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6.Get proper fitted undergarments. Having worked in a lingerie shop I’ve learned a thing or to on the importance of upgrading your intimates. When we think of freshening up our wardrobes, our undergarments are too often forgotten. While lingerie is not “officially” a closet item it has everything to do with your ensemble.  An ill-fit underneath your clothes can most certainly affect the fit of your clothes on the outside. So, out with the old and ill-fit, and in with the new and fitted! An easy place to start is by getting properly measured. Victoria Secrets offers complimentary bra fittings. You may also want to try any other reputable retailers to get measured. You want a flawless and seamless fit. You’ll be amazed at how fabulous you’ll feel feel in the right underwear and bra. Oh and while you’re out, treat yourself to a fancy set of bra and panties;)

7.Try a trend you love. Lastly, I encourage you to be open to exploring your possibilities by trying new styles and trends. Be wise and spend thoughtfully. This year choose 1-2 trends to try each season. Make sure they compliment what you already own and fall in line with your personal style. Maybe that statement necklace you’ve had on your Pinterest board the past few months will punctuate your spring wardrobe. Have fun with fashion and give it a go!

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Inspiration, Style

Dress For Success: The Power of First Impresions

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Creating a professional image is key to your success. Whether you’re just starting out as an entrepreneur or a burgeoning freelancer, first impressions are crucial to gaining new clients and keeping your reputation. How you present yourself plays a very important part in making a great first impression during an initial meeting with a client or during an introduction at a networking function.
As shallow as it may seem, your physical appearance does matter. It says a lot about who are you and what you have to offer others. How you are perceived by others can make or break a deal. Giving off a strong first impression is the first step to gaining the trust of others and getting hired by the clients you hope to reach.

Think of first impressions as business etiquette. You’re setting the tone for a future business relationship and setting your expectations. You want people to see the best in you from the get-go. The three components of creating a first impression is the way you dress, the way you act and the way you speak.

According to Business Insider it takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. After that 7 seconds a mental image is formed in a person’s mind based on that first encounter. 55% of that message is transmitted by the speaker’s appearance and body language.

Following these general guidelines will set you on the path to success and getting that client to hire you!

1.) Dress the Part 
Clothing is ranked as one of the top things people notice first when they make an initial judgment of a person. Your image should reflect your company’s personality, industry and expectations. You want people to respect you and take you seriously. An article by Forbes stated people with nicer appearances are generally thought to be more productive and have more energy. If you’re not taking care of yourself you’re perceived as undisciplined.

Fashion is a form of self-expression and should also be fun! Dress in something you feel confident, competent and comfortable in. Don’t feel you need to wear a full suit or jacket if you don’t normally wear a blazer. There are of course exceptions to the rule. When you feel comfortable and presentable you seem in control of the situation. In turn others will have more confidence in you. You’ve invested in your business and how it’s run, it’s also good business sense to invest in yourself. A powerful professional wardrobe enhances your status and can lead you towards success.

Style Tip: When in doubt, err on the conservative side and dress up for the occasion. It’s better to overdress than under dress.

2.) You Are What You Wear
When you look good, you feel good. That positive affect translates into your work and interactions with others. When you’re not focused on how you look you’re focused on your performance and others. A first impression survey conducted by Censuswide in 2016 showed a link between how people dressed and how they felt. 52.2% stated being smartly dressed made them feel confident, 35.4% said they felt positive and 31.3% said they felt professional. By dressing the part you perceive you are capable of a task and you enhance your ability to actually achieve goals. When you exude confidence you walk tall, make eye contact and shake hands firmly. People want to know you’re engaged and confident.

3.) Top Off Your Look with a Smile
Talk with a smile. In most cases, you will find when you smile at a person they often smile back. Smiling is warm and inviting. It makes others feel comfortable around you and helps take off the edge. It’s important to show your client or the other person you’re happy to be there and looking forward to the opportunity ahead. Harvard Business School social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, found in her studies that when people meet the first time they judge by “how warm and trusting a person is” which tells them “what a person’s intentions are towards them.”

Be natural and authentic. A smile can also be the most memorable feature a person takes away after meeting for the first time. You want the first impression people get of your brand to be a positive one.

Managing your image helps create a great first impression, and helps you achieve your career goals and ambitions. What does your current image say about you and your business? Does your image project trustworthiness and competence or resonate with the clients you hope to reach?

Cocreativ is hosting a Dress for Success workshop at the South Tampa office space. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on this event! Contact Andrea Romero the speaker for more details.

Travel

3 Practical Packing Tips for the Smart & Stylish Traveler

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Travel with purpose.

As the holidays are approaching many of you are making plans to travel. Snowbirds will be flocking down to warmer weather. And for those of you in the deeper south you’ll be looking for holiday snowfall. Whether you’re getting away for just a weekend or week long stay, packing takes time and planning. With the Christmas rush and long list of to-do’s, things are likely to be forgotten. I want to share some simple packing tips I’ve learned from my travels, especially when it comes to packing light and keeping organized. These practical solutions will help you pack only the essentials and save you the stress, and possibly having to check in a bag.

PACKING TIP #1: How to coordinate your outfits.

Stick to a narrow color palette and build your outfits around that. You’ll be surprised with how much you can do with less. On my recent 10 day trip I planned 5 outfits (and  travel day outfit) focusing around the colors red and black. Trying to figure out what to wear takes thought and can be stressful. So many things go into planning an outfit: top, bottoms, shoes, jewelry and jackets! Narrowing down my color palette helped limit the number of clothes and shoes I had to pack, saving me luggage space for other essential items like my curling iron and hair straightener. I had actually forgotten a pair of pants and a top (not pictured below), and was still able to create additional outfits on my trip because everything I packed was versatile and easy to mix and match.

*Style Tip: Colder seasons are one of the hardest times to pack for. Everything is bulky and takes up space. Save room in your luggage by just wearing or carrying your coat to the airport. For comfort and warmth I wore a workout outfit that went well with my heavy jacket.

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PACKING TIP #2: How to pack delicate items (hats, shoes, accessories)

Shoes :

I find shoes to be pretty durable. But for my delicate or more expensive shoes I prefer to keep them in shoe bags for protection. I typically pack them in the netted pocket inside my luggage. This keeps my shoes organized in one place and makes pulling them out for outfits much easier.

*Style Tip – For weekend getaways I like to use my shoe bags to store my undergarments in or for my dirty laundry. 

Accessories:

  • Jewelry – Velvet jewelry pouches aren’t just pretty, they’re soft and gentler on your jewelry (this may be my personal preference). I’m embarrassed to admit I used to pack my jewelry in plastic ziplock bags. Eek! There are pockets and places inside your luggage you can place your accessories in but for those expensive pieces I suggest keeping them with you in your carry-on.

*Style Tip- Pack ONLY what you need – a couple of necklaces and earrings that easily go with each outfit.

  • Hats – You learn to get a little creative with packing hats. There are a couple of ways you can do it. The first way is the simplest, pack them in your carry-on tote. Or the second way…On my last trip to the islands I brought a sunhat. I laid my hat upside-down on the flat side of my luggage and packed socks inside so it didn’t cave in. You can also pack scarves or a couple of tops inside them too. If you plan to bring more than one delicate hat I recommend packing them inside one another by size. Then place everything else around the crown of your hat in your luggage.

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PACKING TIP #3: How to keep your essentials organized 

Give everything a home. Clear plastic pouches keep like items together and make them easy to find. I can’t tell you the number of times I left behind a phone charger or couldn’t find an item I needed because it was hiding somewhere under a pile of folded clothes. That’s the worst when you need something in a flash. For smaller accessories like nail polish, toiletries, makeup or sunglasses use smaller pouches. For things you need a quick access to like your phone charger, iPad, passport or credit cards use a larger pouch. I love the transparency of clear pouches. You can see what you need and they look chic.

*Style Tip- For higher quality and TSA approved pouch sets shop these favorites! 

Wit & Delight Travel Pouch

Clarity Clutch

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In need of trusty carry-on bag? I’ve been very pleased with my classic Samantha Brown travel bag. I used to watch TLC’s “Passport to Travel” with host Samantha Brown. She has traveled around the world and knows a thing or two about travel essentials and luggage. You can imagine my excitement when I learned of her stylish travel collection. I got my bag as a Christmas gift about 4 years ago. It has stood the test of time and travel. This travel bag is versatile and also makes a great weekender bag. I use it all the time. When traveling durability and weight is important. This has both, and its exterior is water and stain resistant.

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These tips just go to show you don’t have to compromise style for being practical. You can purchase Samantha Brown’s travel 3-piece set online at HSN or for a discounted price at the HSN outlet store in Brandon, Florida.

Do you have other travel related questions or tips you’d like to share? Comment below.  I’ll be happy to cover them on the blog.