The Jumpsuit ~

Jumpsuits are, without a doubt, a statement style. The head-to-toe, all-in-one garment creates a striking look that moves beyond a simple dress or pants and top combo, and into more fashionable territories. So why then, do so many women still avoid this trend-worthy style? Well, it is not always the easiest piece of clothing to pull off.  Choose the wrong fit or add the wrong accessories and your jumpsuit can go from a fashion hero to a fashion zero. Like dresses, jumpsuits come in many styles, so part of pulling off this look is all about finding the right jumpsuit for you. When shopping for a jumpsuit consider your needs. Are you after a casual jumpsuit to wear during the day or something more formal for an evening look? Do you need long sleeves to combat cold weather or will a strapless style help you beat the heat? Once you know your requirements, you can start focusing on the details. In general, styles that are fitted at the waist and then looser on the legs tend to be the most flattering. If you are tall, wide-leg jumpsuits that finish just above the ground will be highly complementary. If you are vertically challenged, you may want to opt for a slim, cropped style instead to avoid looking swamped in the fabric.

When attending formal occasions, women often fall into the mindset of thinking that a dress is their only option.  While a dress may be the “safe” choice for dressing appropriately, it will rarely have the same impact as a jumpsuit. Jumpsuits can be just as beautiful and polished as a dress while offering an out-of-the-box wow factor that will earn you some serious style points. Choose a sleek and well-tailored style that flatters your figure, add some simple yet chic accessories, and you are ready to go.

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If you are looking to add some serious style to your weekend wardrobe, you cannot overlook a casual jumpsuit. Relaxed, super comfortable and oh-so-chic, the casual jumpsuit is the perfect item to get you out of your jeans and t-shirt rut. Choose from cotton and denim varieties in a range of silhouettes to find the one that suits your style. In particular, loose fit jumpsuits that feature an elasticated or drawstring waist tend to be universally flattering and perfect for jumpsuit virgins. If you plan to wear flats with your jumpsuit, remember to make sure you pick a cropped style boot or lace-up sandal that finishes at or slightly above the ankles. This will help create balance and keep the look lengthened and slim.

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While wearing a jumpsuit may make coordinating an outfit a much simpler task than most other garments, it still requires a bit of thought. Yes, you can just wear one item of clothing, but you still need to think about how you will accessorize it. Choose the wrong accessories, and the whole look can become sloppy and unstylish. To keep things chic, plan out your outfit, paying particular attention to your shoes, jewelery and a belt. After all, this statement style demands accessories that help it shine, so choose ones that match well. The goal is to find accessories with the dual ability to highlight your jumpsuit while breaking up its monotony at the same time.

A belt is a vital accessory to pulling off a jumpsuit, particularly if you are still unsure about the style. By adding a belt to your jumpsuit, you will help define your waist in a highly flattering way. Even if the style is already fitted at the waist, a belt will help you appear slimmer and turn a column silhouette into an hourglass. For those who are still new to jumpsuits, we recommend trying a belt in a contrasting color to that of your jumpsuit. Doing so will add a new dimension to the outfit and break up the straight line of your jumpsuit, which can otherwise seem overwhelming. Try matching the color of your belt with your shoes for a well put-together outfit.

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Jumpsuits, while being a statement style, can sometimes look a little plain without bold accessories. Block color varieties, in particular, tend to lose their wow-factor without the added outfit dimension that accessories, such as jewelry, give. Jewelry creates a secondary focus point on your outfit, making your style go beyond that of just the jumpsuit. It creates an interesting detail that will draw the eyes of those around you. Choose pieces that will stand out, such as a chunky necklace or large pendant earrings.

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While jumpsuits can be flattering, they also have a knack for pulling the eye downwards as you look at them, making you appear shorter than what you are. Wide leg and low-waisted jumpsuits, in particular, are notorious for turning average height women into mini versions of themselves. One of the best ways to combat this problem is by adding a pair of high heels to your look. The additional height that you will receive from the heels will help lengthen your legs and make you appear taller. Just make sure that you choose slim heels instead of chunky ones to keep the look slick and long.

Accessories are not the only styling tool to help you nail the jumpsuit. Layering can also be used to help you feel comfortable while looking great. The easiest way to layer a jumpsuit is with a jacket on top. Try a blazer for formal settings or a leather jacket for casual outings. You can even tie a jacket around your waist during the day in place of a belt, to add shape definition. The other option is to layer a shirt or top underneath your jumpsuit.

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Inspiration from Pinterest.

What Gretchen Wore

Channeling spring time!  This week’s weather is offering spring like temperatures, so I decided to wear this floral print dress.  Shopping for summery clothes in winter offers amazing sales.  This dress was originally $24.99, but I only paid $12 at Steinmart.  With this dress, I can add a jacket and boots for winter or sandals in summer.

How to Always Look Stylish

It is disappointing to me when I hear young professionals say “I can’t be bothered to dress up nicely for work. It’s just too much effort”.   Every time I hear this, I think, what about your first impression?  What about your professional appearance?  Don’t you want to seem classy, elegant and confident?  Don’t you want to increase your chances of getting a raise or promoted? You don’t want to appear lazy, do you?  Unfortunately, a lot of young professionals nowadays seem to think that dressing casual is alright in almost every setting.  When in fact, that is not the case……especially in an office setting.  Appearance is more important than you think.  Whether we like it or not, we are judged on our appearance.  Here are some simple tips to help you dress the part:

~ Switch from a solid blouse to a patterned one.  It can transform the entire look and elevates your outfit to the next level.

~ Wear a pop of color.  If you are wearing a black and grey outfit, you can add a red scarf to brighten up the look.  Who does like a  pop of color? It is not only fashionable, but it can make for a great conversation starter.

~ Make the effort to wear a heel.  I know, but hear me out on this one. A high heel for the office does not necessarily imply that you are obligated to wear a pump. I suggest you wear is a kitten heel or heeled ankle boot.  It just gives you a more polished look.

~ Add a sash or belt to cinch your waist.  Sometimes, we women can feel insecure about our bodies. I totally get that. However, when you are feeling self conscious, you end up buying clothing that is very baggy and that do not flatter your figure the right way. For all of those loose dresses and long baggy blouses, I want you to add a sash or a belt.  Remember, the waist is the smallest part of a woman’s body!! By adding a belt to your baggy clothes, you are accentuating your small waist and doing yourself a huge favor.   Not to mention, adding a belt to a look provides versatility in your wardrobe and teaches you a new way of styling your clothing.

~ Replace your cardigan with a blazer. Although I do love a cardigan, cardigans in general do not tend to have their place at the office.  They are normally overly slouchy and too relaxed for the corporate environment.  Not to mention, certain cardigans can look outdated and unflattering.  Stick to what works best: blazers.  If you are into trendy pieces, then you could wear a long, fitted blazer.  Just make sure your blazer is tailored properly at the waist, that the shoulders are not too large and that the sleeves are not too long.

~ Refresh your wardrobe. This is SO important!! Too often I see people wearing old, stretched out, faded clothing at the office. It is extremely unprofessional and does not show your coworkers that you take care of your appearance.  I get that it is easy to let ourselves go when we get comfortable, but that does not mean it gives you leverage for wearing anything sloppy at the office.  You never know who your boss could be or who you can end up wanting to work for.  Be sure to always be dressed appropriately, as first impressions mean everything.

~ Get your clothing tailored.  I say this all the time!! Wearing baggy clothing to work that does not fit you properly is not professional.  If you lose weight and your pants are too loose, get them tailored.  It is important to wear clothing that flatters your body seamlessly.  Trust me, the extra tailoring cost is worth your while, as you will feel more comfortable wearing clothing that fits you right, than clothing that does not.

~ Wear one neutral item as your base.  This is the simplest way to always look fashionable at the office.   You should start with a neutral base that will act as your blank canvas for the rest of your outfit.  For example, you can choose a neutral pair of navy blue trousers as your base.  From there, you can build upon the look by adding a patterned blouse, a neutral blazer and a matching pair of heels.  Finish off the look with a simple necklace, watch and bracelet.  Lastly, do not forget to grab your structured bag before you rush out the door.  Evidently, each outfit will be different.

What Gretchen Wore

It is a little chilly in South Carolina yesterday, so I had to layer.  I wore this thick forest green cardigan (Belk $20 on sale) over a black dress.  I added a chunky necklace and my over the knee black boots to complete the look.

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Tips for the Girl on the Go ~

Some mornings just do not go quite as planned. Maybe you accidentally set your alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. Or, you are feeling a bit rough after a crazy night out. Or maybe you are just feeling LAZY. It is a moot point, though, because you still have to drag yourself to the office and somehow look professional. Check out my quick tips and ideas on how to pull yourself together fast and still be stylish.
~ Dresses are the easiest thing in your closet, so when you are running late for work, this is the time to pull one out. Pair a sleeveless dress with a cardigan and a statement necklace, and you will instantly look like you spent a lot more time thinking about your outfit. Pull everything together with black opaque tights and matching booties.
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~ Keep your jewelry organized.  Raise your hand if this scene sounds familiar: you have your outfit all picked out and ready to go, you head to your jewelry box to retrieve your favorite necklace, and you are bummed to discover it is entangled in a massive knot with about six other necklaces. Make sure this scene never replays by keeping your jewelry organized —chains should never be stored with other chains. Keep them separate from one another, and be sure to keep your most prized pieces in a uniform place so you always know where to find the ones you wear the most often.
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~ Keep your outerwear separate.  One of the greatest things you can do for your life and your wardrobe is to keep your outerwear—light jackets, hats, scarves, even rain boots—separate from the rest of your closet. That way, you do not have to fool with them when you are getting dressed, and you can allow them to be an afterthought as you are heading out the door.
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~ The final “trick” is have a go to outfit always ready.  This is probably your staple outfit. You know, those items in your closet that you can throw together in five seconds that LOOK like you actually put in some effort?  My favorite is a pair of black pants or dark denim jeans, a graphic tshirt and a fitted jacket or blazer.  You can dress this up by adding heels, or dress it down with flats.
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Inspiration from Pinterest.

Seeing Stars ~

Shooting through the sky, they bring good luck. In a tarot card reading they mean hope, spirituality, renewal, inspiration and serenity.  Apparently on Tinder, a blue one is a “super like”.  Stars mean so many things.  There have never been more of them to look at, so why not wear them!

Inspiration from Pinterest

STOP Wearing Pajamas in Public — Now

This is my number one pet peeve!!  If you are a grown person who has not recently been diagnosed with a mental disorder, and you have gone out in public in your pajamas, you need to know you look like an idiot.  Unfortunately, wearing pj’s in public is not a new thing, nor is the misguided notion that pajamas can be somehow fashionable.  It is just wrong.  I get it. You were in a hurry; your pajamas are comfy; you are just dashing to the grocery store for coffee filters; you plan to spend the day in your bathrobe anyway.  TOO BAD. I am also at that grocery store, and just before leaving the house I spent an entire half-minute pulling on this pair of blue jeans and a hoodie, so that you would not have to see me in the striped flannel bottoms and the holey v-neck I wore to bed last night.  OK, rant over!!