Strapless Dresses ~

There are many styles of dresses, but to show off your summer tan, there is nothing sexier than a strapless dress. There are so many styles for all occasions…from a day at the beach to a party at night.   They are cool, comfortable and stylish…..perfect for strolling around, going out on a date, attending a summer wedding or meeting the girls for a drink.  Remember, accessories can make or break an outfit.   So make sure you wear the correct shoes and jewerly.  Here are a few of my favorite looks:

Inspiration from Pinterest.

LOFT ~ New Plus Size Line

LOFT is one of my favorite stores.  We have a LOFT Outlet here, and I am in there all the time.  They are known for their feminine prints, classic silhouettes and versatile styles.  They have everything from work wear to basic wardrobe staples. So when I heard they were coming out with a plus size line, I was excited.   The new sizes will be from 16 – 26. Not only is the 75-piece collection full of the fun prints, colors and silhouettes that consumers love from LOFT, but it ranges from $20 to $110, making it incredibly budget friendly.  Here are a handful of the new items:

Inspiration from Pinterest.

Transparent Touches

Transparency and sheer fabrics are nothing new for the warmer months, but this season I am seeing it done in a more subtle, wearable way with strategically placed patches here and there.  If you are unsure about how to work with this trend, I think sheer sleeves are the perfect way to try it out. This feature keeps you covered.  Check out some other looks below:

Inspiration from Pinterest.

Do Not Wear Clothes That Make You Unhappy

I know it sounds simple….just wear clothes that make you happy.  However, we tend to hang on to items for many reasons, even after we know we should discard them.  Understanding why it is hard to let go of clothes you no longer wear is the first step. Once we need understand what is making us want to keep clothes we do not even wear, then it will be easier to move past these mental blocks and purge our closets.

The item is new / barely worn and you feel guilty about wasting money on it ~ Sometimes you buy something you think you will love and wear, but it just does not work for you. Maybe it shrank or lost its shape in the wash. Or it does not match with anything else in your closet. Maybe you bought something trendy, but never feel comfortable in it. Whatever the reason…let it go!

It is something you are “supposed” to have in your wardrobe ~ Sometimes we allow ourselves to be restricted to someone else’s rules. Maybe you have heard there are certain classic wardrobe staples everyone should own, like a little black dress. But when you try on your classic black dress, you realize it actually does not fit quite right. Do not keep something that does not look and feel great just because it is a classic staple you should have. If you do not love the way it looks and feels, you will not wear it anyways. YOUR wardrobe should reflect YOUR style!

You tried a new trend, but it does not work for your body or lifestyle ~ Maybe you bought something trendy to update your wardrobe, but the item is not working for your body or lifestyle, so you never or rarely wear it. Or the trend quickly passed and it is already out of style.  Try to figure out what your signature style is, meaning the types of clothes you look and feel best in.

Your weight has changed and you have clothes in multiple sizes ~ I think you should only keep clothes in your closet that fit you right now. Having clothes in sizes that do not currently fit, adds to the visual clutter in your closet and makes deciding what to wear more difficult. Plus, if your weight change is not something you are happy about, seeing clothes that no longer fit can cause negative feelings.  Pack up items that do not fit and get them out of the closet.

You are keeping an item for a certain type of event or occasion ~ Sometimes you have an item you rarely wear but are keeping “just in case” a certain occasion arises. Instead of keeping something you rarely have occasion to wear, try to think of alternatives you own that you could wear for that occasion, but also wear other times. Versatile pieces are essential to a minimal wardrobe.

You do not have anything to match or wear with an item ~ Sometimes you buy something you like, but for some reason, it does not work with the rest of your wardrobe. You try to convince yourself that the item will work…as soon as you find the right pants / sweater /scarf /accessories / whatever.  Stick with pieces that easily work with the rest of your wardrobe.

Something was a gift and you feel guilty getting rid of it ~ Remind yourself that whoever gave you the gift gave it to you to make you happy. They would not want it to be making you feel bad or guilty now. The gift was given, you appreciated it and thanked the giver. What you do with the item now is up to you. If it no longer makes you look and feel great, it is time to let it go.

It is something that holds sentimental value and is hard to let go ~ Be intentional and selective with what you keep for sentimental reasons. Maybe set a limit for how many sentimental items you will keep. Only keep the things that are really important to you.

It is something you would wear in your past or future lifestyle ~ The clothes in your closet should reflect your lifestyle NOW. If your lifestyle is different from what it was 5 or 10 years ago, let go of the clothes from your past lifestyle. The same goes for the future. Do not fill your closet with things in anticipation of a future lifestyle you want to live. Unless there are concrete plans for what you will need and when you will need it, make your wardrobe a reflection of your current lifestyle, not one that may or may not occur at some time in the future.

If you are having a hard time letting go of clothes you no longer wear or love, I hope this list helps you make some progress purging your wardrobe. Often once you have identified the reason why you are struggling get rid of something, letting it go becomes easier.

 

Stop Wearing Workout Clothes!!

I remember the days when people would rush to get changed out of their sweaty clothes after a trip to the gym, for fear of being spotted in their skin-tight leggings. However, now an increasing number of women are not only feeling more comfortable in their workout gear, they are choosing to wear it when they are not even exercising.  Research reveals that nearly half of women consider their gym clothes part of their everyday wardrobe, while two thirds are happy to wear them to lunch with friends or running errands.  UGH.  So basically women are wearing workout clothes for the exact OPPOSITE reason they were intended….to work out.  Workout clothes are for being active and fit, not for being lazy.  If you are running an errand on your way to the gym or picking up something at the grocery store on your way home, I understand.  If you are just wearing workout clothes because they are just comfortable…..this rant is for you.  Just get dressed!!

Mistakes That Make You Look Messy

You can only make a first impression once, so avoid making a mistake with your look.  When you absolutely need to look your best, you have to pay attention to the little things.  It is always the little things….not dramatic changes….that really make all the difference. No matter your body type, profession, personal taste, or preference, it is possible to look and feel good without having to change your entire style, much less who you are at your core. So to avoid certain types of faux pas, check out my tips below

Pet hair / lint ~ People notice details, and a single piece of lint can stand out, especially if it does not match your clothing.  Invest in a lint roller.

See through fabric ~ To be clear: thin, gauzy skirts can be a great addition to your wardrobe. Do yourself a favor, though, and make sure that they do not go totally transparent when you end up backlit.  Some materials look totally opaque in the dim light of morning. By the time you are headed out for lunch, though, the light shines right through them, treating all of your coworkers to a glimpse of what is underneath.

Wearing clothes with minor rips / tears ~ These types of issues sneak up on you. You will wear the same jeans every day, and you will not notice as they start to fray. Or you will ignore the missing button on your favorite shirt simply because you have worn it so many times.  Unfortunately nothing last forever, so either get it fix or toss it.

Not ironing ~ Ironing clothes takes a lot of time, I get it.  However wrinkled clothes can throw off your entire image.  Take the time, iron!!

Rolling Sleeves Incorrectly ~ When the seasons change, you might find yourself rolling up your sleeves to stay cool. It is actually quite a fashionable look, provided that you take the time to do a double roll.

Too many accessories ~ Accessories are essential to your look. A single necklace can make a great statement piece, for instance, or a scarf can pull your entire outfit together. The ideal accessory will be eye catching and appropriate for the occasion.  Going overboard is actually worse than no accessories.

Wearing hair ties as a bracelet ~ You are not a teenager, so do not do this.  It is tacky.

Pants that are too long ~ There are many things in life that would classify as being a drag, but your pants should not be one of them. Hem lines that flirt with the floor are fine, but you have gone too far when they make contact.

Wearing athletic shoes in non-athletic situations ~ I know they are comfortable, but unless you are headed to or from the gym, they look out of place.

Wearing clothes that do not fit ~ Nothing can kill your style quite as quickly as an oversized shirt or pants that are too tight. Even if the clothes feel comfortable, if they do not fit, do not wear them.  However, falling in love with a piece of clothing that does not exactly fit is a common tragedy. You can likely fix it by taking the garment to a tailor.

Wearing white clothing that is not white anymore ~ Alas, even the whitest whites will eventually start to turn a pale yellow color. The good news is that you can usually restore your whites with a simple bleach bath.

Missing a belt loop ~ Pay attention to the little things. You can have a perfectly put together outfit, only to sabotage yourself by missing a belt loop or leaving a visible zipper.

Clothes that are pilling ~ It happens to the best of ‘em. A few times into wearing, you notice that certain spots on your garment are a little rougher than others. The next thing you know, a bunch of tiny little balls join the party and take up space on those rough patches, which are most likely in the armpit or thigh areas. These clothing-crashers are called pills and are formed when fabric rubs together.  To prevent damage, turn your garment inside out before washing. Doing so prevents the fabric from rubbing against other clothes in the wash, stopping the pills before they wreak havoc.

Visible bra straps ~ This is actually one of my pet peeves.  The bra is an UNDER garment, and it should not be seen.  Period.

Wearing over-sized clothes to hide your figure ~ Tuck in those oversized tops or add a belt.  Make sure that your figure’s visible. If you wearing baggy clothes, you will actually look larger than you are.

Leggings as pants ~ Leggings can be a key ingredient in a super cute outfit, but do not mistake them for fully formed bottoms in themselves. Throw on a short skirt or wear a dress if your shirt is belly-grazing; the key is to keep your backside from hitting people in the face. I get it, they are super comfy…..but the look is sloppy.

 

 

 

 

What Gretchen Wore

I know it is has been a minute since I posted a What Gretchen Wore.  I bought this summery wrap dress a weeks ago, and I decided to break it out today.  Summer is here.  I love the floral print and wrap style of this dress.  I found it at Ross for only $19.  Score!!

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