Rose probably doesn't believe it, but she taught me a great deal during our "Your Style: Enhanced Session." And she certainly kept me laughing. As we started our journey, she got in my car and told me with a laugh that Charlotte's gray zebra carseat cushion was more stylish than her entire wardrobe. The truth is, Rose has always had incredible personality and style. If you listen to her original music here, it's easy to see that. She just needed some assistance bringing out her true style and putting it into smart, fun and quirky outfits.
Lesson #5: Make a Plan
I hate to admit it but shopping for clothes is a lot like shopping for groceries. Ideally, you always need a list with your "ingredients." There are of course the staples you need: a great pair of jeans, work pants/skirts, smart blazers, basic tanks and tops for layering and a great dress. Then, there are the extras you can add to "spice" up your look: fun shirts with pops of color, lots of colorful accessories and shoes. Before shopping with Rose, we talked and made a list of ideal finds or ingredients - great jeans, a black or khaki blazer, a dress or dresses to wear to weddings, some colorful, fun tops and great accessories.
If you're like me at the grocery store; however, you always end up with something different extra in your cart (or several extras). Sometimes you find something so new and exciting you can't live without it. Rose and I found the navy polka dot blazer while looking for a black blazer. It was not what we had planned for but it was perfect for her personality and such a great deal we couldn't pass it up! Make sure those "extras" are worth it, though. Is your last-minute splurge near the register a must-have / phenomenal find or is it an irrational impulse buy you won't ever wear? My impulse buys at Macy's, the Bloomingdale's Outlet, etc. have cost me far more than an extra pack of gum or candy at the grocery store :)
Lesson #4: Accessorize
The accessories truly do "spice" up your look. They add the "flavor" and personality to your look. You can take a basic shirt and great pair of jeans and give it your own personal look with a traditional, eclectic, edgy or feminine accessories. Now more than ever, you can find reasonable accessories at so many great stores - Charming Charlie, Bauble Bar, Forever 21, J. Crew, Banana Republic and the list goes on and on.
Lesson #3: The Shoes Have It
It's not just about accessorizing with jewelry; great shoes complete an outfit too. Rose is on her feet a lot at work and is always on the go in her personal life, so she wanted some great flats. Flats don't have to be boring, though. We found striped, bright coral, and laser-cut flats at Payless. Of course, going back to your grocery list, you always need basic ingredients. In this case, it's a basic black flat you can wear with almost anything.
Lesson #2: Editing Your Closet: Rose's "Frump Dump"
Rose calls this pile her "Frump Dump" and gave her old clothes to charity. I'll be honest; I have a hard time getting rid of old clothes (just ask my husband!). However, I have become a lot better. I think many of us need to follow Rose's lead and get rid of clothes so easily and freely. As soon as she got back to North Carolina, she made her "frump dump." (It makes me smile every time I write that!) She had no hesitations about getting rid of clothes that were no longer flattering and/or just didn't fit her style so she could make room for her new clothes that do fit her style.
Lesson #1: Live & Embrace Your Style
Everyone has style (even if they don't know it or believe it). It's just a question of finding and defining your style. That can take some self exploration, which is incredibly rewarding. Rose first told me her style was "frumpy and nerdy." I think you can tell by Rose's great sense of humor, she is anything but frumpy and nerdy. She is confident, fearless, fun, quirky and smart. Our mission was to reflect that in her clothing. We knew we needed certain ingredients to show that - fun and quirky blouses (enhanced stripes, above), statement necklaces, and a great pair of sunglasses. I know, and I think Rose will tell you, style goes far beyond how you look. When you define your style, love it and live it, you feel great because it's you and no one else. And that's why Rose's mom made me cry tears of joy after our amazing journey. She said it wasn't about all of the stuff. It was ultimately about confidence. I love that. Cheers, Rose and Maria! You've inspired me!