Does Your Closet Bring You Joy?

Do you open your closet door and feel joy, excitement, clarity, and peace?  Okay, you can stop laughing now....

Here's the truth:  your closet should bring you JOY.  You deserve to feel happy, excited, prepared for any occasion, and organized when you look in your closet.

I believe that our closets are a reflection of our lives.  At the most extreme, your closet reveals how you perceive and value yourself -- the idea being that you don't take the time to create an organized, functional closet because you feel you don't deserve it.  At the very least, your cluttered closet slows you down getting dressed in the morning, or causes you to waste money buying clothes you already have, but couldn't find!  

Is this your closet?
Do you hold onto old clothes like old memories?
Do you hold onto your Size 6 clothes hoping they will fit you again some day?
Do you buy clothes that look good on the mannikin but not so good on you?
Do you have clothes with the tags still on?

The Pathway to Joy

If you want to open your closet and feel excited to get dressed in the morning, then you need to do a few simple things:
  1. Hire a style consultant to find out what colors and styles look best on you.  The only way to weed out the bad clothes is to know what works for you!  The money and time will be well spent and it will last a lifetime.
  2. Clean out your closet. Take everything out of your closet, and only put back the clothes that fit you, look great on you, coordinate with other clothes, and are ready to be worn (no holes, tears, broken zippers).
  3. Organize your clothes by function and color. Hang the tops together, pants, skirts, jackets, etc.  And group everything into similar colors.  That way, if you have a pair of brown pants and you're looking for a gold or off-white top to match, you know where to look!  Makes getting dressed quick and effortless!
Promise yourself that you will start the new year with an organized, beautiful closet that brings you joy and happiness!

Do you have a story about a closet transformation that you would like to share?  Questions about closet organization?  Send in your comments and questions!


How To Buy Clothes on a Tight Budget

If you have even LESS money this season to spend on new clothes, here are some tips to stretching your dollars and still enjoying a fresh, new wardrobe:
  1. Add some trendy pieces to your wardrobe, like a faux fur vest or a long cardigan sweater, that cost less than $40.  Stores like Gap, Marshalls, and if you must, Kohl's, are showing all these trendy items that will add a little chic to your outfits.
  2. Find your local clothing resale stores (consignment) and stretch your budget.  It is amazing how many pieces you will find with the tags still on the clothes in consignment stores.  You're buying someone else's mistakes!  For at least 40% less!
  3. Buy a scarf or two, in your colors, to add a POP to your wardrobe.  A scarf, tied in a new way, can make a plain white blouse look completely new!
  4. Buy a new purse or a fedora hat to make a new statement.
  5. Layer pieces that you already own in a new way -- make sure the pieces are made of light fabric so you don't look too bulky. 
Enjoy this beautiful Fall season!  Write me and tell me what you're doing to stretch your budget.


Fall 2010 Fashion Trends for Women

The fashion industry comes out every year around this time with their runway looks for the Fall Season, and the fashion magazines are two inches thick with "What to Wear Now" advice for women.  They want to get you excited to go out and buy NEW clothes
and accessories, and you can do exactly that -- even on a tight budget!

Not all the new Fall looks and colors (cobalt blue, shimmery gold, and camel) are going to look great on you, so you need to be selective when you adopt the new trends. 

And if money is a little tight for you right now, here are some looks that won't cost you:

Fall fashion colors range from camel to bright purple to metalic.  For those who are familiar with the True Color palettes, camel looks best on GOLDS, purples look great on everyone (depending upon the tone). Bright red and cobalt blue are best on a SILVER.  Military olive green is a great COPPER color.  Metallic gold will make a COPPER pop!  So all you Autumns out there are going to LOVE the Fall trends.


Wide animal print, Wide Leather with Metal Clasp, Skinny patten leather or studded leather.

All belts are fashionable this season, and they can define the narrowest part of your body.

Chic Sunglasses

Check out Marshalls or Ross for chic styles at $5.  No one will know the difference!

Be aware of your face shape, and match the shape and size of the sunglasses to your face.

Military Look

The military look is on the runways this season.  Double-breasted jackets, olive green pants, olive green chambray blouses, etc.

If you are on a tight budget, check out your local surplus store for military clothes and accessories.

Faux fur vests
They're everywhere!  Check out Express, Old Navy, Piperlime, and even your local thrift store (I picked up a short faux fur vest at my local Goodwill in perfect condition!).

These animal-friendly vests can be layered over t-shirts to dresses and keep you snuggly warm!

Pea Coats

They're baaaaaack!  Pea coats are everywhere -- check out Old Navy, Gap, and thrift stores for cute shorty peacoats
reminiscent of the good ole days and channel your inner school girl, preppy look.


Men's Fashion Tips -- What Colors Should Men Wear?

You know it when you see it – a sexy man walking down the street with confidence and swagger. His clothes are impeccable and he is well groomed. How does he do it? Did he spend a fortune on his clothes and hair stylist? Not necessarily.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to dress well. You just have to know what colors and styles look best on you, buy quality pieces that will last, and know how to combine pieces to look put together and sexy at any age. There are plenty of affordable, style-centric stores and there is always eBay!

Why Color Is Important

The most important element of dressing to impress is to get YOUR colors right. Wearing the right colors can make the difference between:
  • Looking healthy vs. looking sick
  • Looking old vs. looking young
  • Making a lasting impression vs. being forgettable
If you wear the wrong colors, you will drain the natural color from your face, make dark circles and blemishes appear darker, and your clothes could attract more attention than you do. I tell clients “…If your clothes show up before you do then you’re wearing the wrong colors!” People should focus on you, not your clothes.

Men’s Fashion Tips

Tip #1: Find out what your color palette is. Your colors are based on your hair color, skin color, eye color, and even your personality. I have created a color system of four different palettes called Gold, Platinum, Copper, and Silver metals. If you send me your photo (send to truecolorsbylinda@gmail.com) I will help you choose your color palette. You can purchase your own color card on my website http://www.TrueColorsByLinda.com.

You are Gold, if your skin tone is ivory, peachy pink, or golden beige. Your hair is golden blond, strawberry red, or golden brown. Your eyes are blue, green, teal or aqua, with a “sunburst” around your pupils. Think golden tones, bright, clear coloring.

You are Platinum, if your skin tone is fair and pale with visible pink coloring. If you are African American, your skin will have a grayish tone. Your hair is ash blond or ash brown – ash is a mix of gray and brown. Unlike Golds, your hair will have gray, not gold undertones. And your eyes are the color of the ocean, blue-gray, green-gray, hazel, or gray.

You are Copper, if your skin tone is a warm creamy peach to golden to copper. Your hair has red, golden brown, or dark tones. Your eyes are usually golden brown, olive green, or even steel blue.

You are Silver, if your skin tone is either pale gray-beige, olive-toned, dark black, or sallow (yellow-toned). Silvers may have extremely white or light skin and dark hair – a study in contrasts. Your hair is brown, dark brown or black, and you may gray prematurely. Your eyes are black-brown, red-brown, green, or blue.

Tip #2: Use clothing to make a statement about yourself, increase your self confidence and increase your bottom line. We all know that business attire has become more relaxed, but that doesn’t mean you should wear baggie shorts and flip flops to work! Instead, wear a nice button down shirt with a coordinated t-shirt underneath to give you a pop of color and style.
Tip #3: Buy clothes in your color palette and you will be able to coordinate more outfits and define a powerful image. It makes shopping easier and faster when you know exactly what colors to buy.


Is There an Age Limit on Wearing Short Dresses?

I was in San Francisco this weekend with my husband.  We checked into our Union Square hotel and headed straight to Nordstrom's.  While my husband sat in a comfortable chair, I tried on a beautiful Robert Rodriguez belted, twist silk dress -- short.  It hit me about mid-thigh -- officially short.  I borrowed a pair of Cole Haan black patent-leather pumps and walked out to get my husband's reaction.  He was speechless -- he clearly liked how I looked.  The short dress flowed effortlessly over my curves and the pumps stretched my leg muscles upward as I glided across the room like a model.  I looked HOT!  And I felt HOT.  I wanted the dress.  And then I thought, "...am I too old to wear a dress this short?"  And I talked myself out of buying it.  I've been thinking about the dress ever since. 

Did I make the right decision? 

I'd like to know what you think.

Can a woman over 50 wear a short dress that hits mid thigh, even if she has the legs to pull it off?

What would you have done?

This isn't me -- this is a young model wearing the same dress....


Clean Out Closet Clutter -- Organize Your Life!

I devoted my newsletter recently to the concept of cleaning out your closet.  How many of you actually did it?  If you haven't done it yet, ask yourself --

Why Not?

Because it is hard to let go!

I know it is difficult to get rid of clothes that you purchased and had a good reason for the purchase at the time.  It's the money you spent, the time, the memory of wearing the clothing, the attachment, etc., etc.

I had a girlfriend come over to my house and help me remove the clothes I never wear.  I'm going to sell the clothes at a local resale shop.  Do I miss the clothes?

Not one bit!!


Because I wasn't wearing the clothes anyway!!! 

So, start today, make a plan, set a date and time, grab a girlfriend or boyfriend who will tell you the truth, and

Just Do It!!!


How Do You Know When You Need a Style Consultant?

You know you need a style consultant if:

  • You are stuck in a rut – you keep buying the same colors (black, right?) and the same styles you have been wearing since 1995.
  • You walk into a store and feel confused and overwhelmed with all the choices
  • You buy clothes that look good on a manikin -- a ceramic, non-human form that looks nothing like you!
  • You look into your closet and say, “I have nothing to wear!”
  • You hate shopping
  • You have a special event coming up and you want to look perfectly put together
Almost every time I meet with a new client, I hear the same thing, “…I wear black because it’s easy and it goes with everything,” or “…I don’t like shopping and I don’t think I am particularly good at it, so I only go once a year. And yet it is important in my work to look really put together.”

Do any of these problems ring true for you?

If so, a style consultant can pull you out of your rut, teach you about the colors and styles that bring out your best assets, and even take you shopping to show you how to do it effortlessly and with confidence. The key is SELF KNOWLEDGE. And sometimes it takes a professional consultant to look at you in a new, more artistic and objective point of view.

How do you find a style consultant?

Most of my clients come to me by word of mouth. Ask your friends, co-workers, hair stylist, or your favorite boutique clothing store employees.

If you're still unsure about a consultant’s credentials, you can ask for the names of some past clients to get a feel for how others rate the experience.

Most importantly, be open to change, but make sure you choose someone you're comfortable with and can trust. Change is hard and personal change is even tougher. You do it when you're ready.

And get ready to be your most beautiful (or handsome) self!


What Colors Should I Wear?

Do you know what colors look best on you?  Do you defer to black because it's easy and you think it makes you look thinner?  When you look in your closet, do you see every color in the rainbow?

If you're confused about what colors to wear, you're not alone.  It's not something that we learn about in school, or from our parents.  It's a discovery that, once you understand, your shopping life will change forever, and you will always know how to look your best. 

Let's start by talking about what makes you YOU.  We each have, what I call, a Personal Blueprint.

Your Personal Blueprint is everything that makes you unique!
- Your Personality
- Your Body Shape
- Your Coloring
- The Way You Walk
- The Way You Speak

Generally speaking, most of us instinctively know a few colors that are flattering on us, but we don't have a clear idea of ALL the colors that are flattering, or how to mix and match colors attractively. And most of us certainly don't have a clear idea of the styles that will flatter our body structure. When you know your Personal Blueprint, you will know your COLORS and STYLES.

Read through each of these personal blueprints, and select the blueprint that most closely resembles you - these blueprints won't fit you perfectly because each of us is uniquely unique, but it will be very close!

Gold Personal Blueprint
Your Face Shape:- Your face is Round or Heart-Shaped and you have a full foreheadYour Coloring:
- Your Eyes are blue, green, aqua, or light golden brown
- Your Skin Tone is creamy ivory, peachy with or without freckles, or golden beige (you have delicate skin!)
- Your Hair Color is golden blonde, strawberry redhead, auburn, or golden brown
Your Favorite Colors
 - You prefer to wear aqua, periwinkle blue, purples and pinks!
Your Personality:
- You light up the room when you walk in
- You're a fun, animated person
- You are an idea person

Platinum Personal Blueprint

Your Face Shape:- Your face is shaped like an Oval, You look good in longer hair
Your Coloring:- Your Eyes are soft gray blue, gray green, pale gray, hazel, bright clear blue, or soft brown
- Your Skin Tone is pale, rosy beige or rosy brown, very pink, or sort of gray brown
- Your Hair Color is platinum blonde, ash blonde, taupy brown, or blue-gray
Your favorite colors:
- You prefer soft blues, rose, lavender, gray-blue Your Personality:-You’re detail-oriented
- You like to connect the dots!
- You’re romantic at heart

Copper Personal Blueprint
Your Face Shape:
- Your face has angular lines, like a triangle or rectangle, and you may have a pointed chin, and angular nose
Your Coloring:
- Your Eye color is golden brown, amber, green, hazel, or pale green
- Your Skin Tone is ivory, peachy, freckles, golden beige or brown
- Your Hair color is red, coppery red-brown, golden brown, golden blonde, or charcoal black
Your favorite colors:
- You prefer orange, mahogany, dark chocolate brown, gold

Your Personality:- You are energetic and you get things done
- You are dependable and sure
- You are a dynamic leader
Silver Personal Blueprint

Your Face Shape:
- Your face shape is elongated oval, your eyes and cheek bones form parallel lines, you may have a widow’s peak hairline
Your Coloring:
- Your Eye color is dark brown, black-brown, hazel, gray blue, or green
- Your Skin Tone is either pale white, beige or rosy beige, olive, or black
- Hair color: blue-black, light to medium brown, salt and pepper, silver-gray, white
Your favorite colors:
- You prefer black, pure white, and bright turquoise
Your Personality:
- You see how to improve what's been done
- You are precise, you think in terms of black and white
- At a party, you generally wait for people to approach you

The best way to know what colors look best on you is to hold them up to your face. Try draping different colors on your body and see which colors look best on you. It’s best to have a friend do it with you so you can get a second opinion.

Try colors from each of the four blueprints, and if you look radiant in these colors, you'll look radiant in ALL the colors of that blueprint:

  • From the Gold Blueprint, try the following colors: periwinkle blue, peach, daffodil yellow
  • From the Platinum Blueprint, try the following colors: dusty rose, raspberry, gray
  • From the Copper Blueprint, try the following colors: mustard yellow, olive green, mahogany brown or bronze
  • From the Silver Blueprint, try the following colors: pure white, black, magenta, royal purple

This is to get you thinking in terms of becoming a better you -- it’s about gaining awareness of what works best for you. The more self-knowledge you have about yourself, the easier it will be to shop for clothes and accessories that make you look great. When you gain that awareness it will change your life!

- giving you greater self-confidence- saving you money from buying clothing mistakes
- all the clothes in your closet will coordinate!

You’ll never say "I don't have a thing to wear tonight!"

Next week I'll show you colors, styles, and accessories for each Personal Blueprint!


Are You Wearing All the Wrong Clothes?

How would you like to walk into a room and get noticed? Would you like your opinions to be heard, or your boss to notice and reward all the good work you’re doing? When you follow simple guidelines and dress to bring out your true radiance, you will discover a power within that you didn’t even know existed, and your life will change for the better. We all know how good it feels to receive a compliment about something you’re wearing. Has it been a while since someone gave you a compliment?  Let’s examine all the things that could be preventing those compliments from streaming in:

How many times have you heard the fashion industry say that you need a little black dress? Do you wear black almost every day? Think black makes you look thinner? Well, it’s all a bunch of fashion industry myths. Black doesn’t make you look thinner – it’s the style and cut of a garment that will make you look thinner. And, for most of us, there’s a better color choice than black. In fact, most people don’t look their best in black! I will show you YOUR BLACK. Let's hear your stories about wearing black!

Do you ever feel like you have a closet full of clothes but nothing to wear? Here’s the reason – no matter how many pieces of clothing you have hanging in your closet, if the colors don’t mix and match, if they are inappropriate for your lifestyle, if they’re torn or stained, or if they’re too small or too big -- then you have nothing to wear! How many times a week do you say "I have nothing to wear" ?

How many mistakes are hanging in your closet -- with the tags still on? You knew it was a mistake when you bought it, but you bought it anyway for a variety of reasons – you were in a hurry and had to have something new to wear to an event, or you went shopping alone and the sales person talked you into it. Whatever the reason, you wasted your money because you did not have the knowledge of what colors and styles look best on you. So there it hangs… When you shop with color and style guidelines, you can walk away from anything that falls outside those guidelines. With color and style guidelines you will shop more efficiently, save money by avoiding buying mistakes that hang in your closet, and you’ll enjoy shopping more!

Ever walk into a clothing store and feel completely overwhelmed with all the choices -- not sure what looks good on you? How many times have you turned around and walked out of a store without trying ANYTHING on? How would you like to walk into a clothing store, make a beeline for the right clothes, and get out without buying any mistakes or wasting time trying on clothes that just aren’t going to look good! Get in and get out.

Most of us feel we’re at the mercy of the fashion industry. We buy styles and colors that are the latest fad, or because it’s in our price range, or it’s the IN fashion this year, even if it doesn’t look particularly good on us. Instead of buying something that looks good on a manikin wouldn’t it make more sense to know what colors, styles, and accessories bring out your best features, your uniqueness? When you do, everyone will see YOU –not necessarily your clothes. As we get older, our bodies are changing, styles are changing, and I’ll bet many of you are still hanging onto your old clothes that expired years ago! Remember, your closet is NOT a museum!

Have you ever been in a public place and seen a woman that turns heads because she looks perfectly put together? Do you wish you could have that put-together look? When you look at a well-dressed woman, you see her radiance. She lights up. She stands out. That’s because every single thing she put on that morning, every color, every fabric, and accessory brought her RADIANCE out. How can YOU bring out your radiance and beauty? You will understand how to bring out your best features when you understand the secrets of your own PERSONAL BLUEPRINT.

Your personal blueprint consists of the way you look TODAY -- your face shape, your skin tone, eye color and hair color, your body structure. It also includes the way you move, the way you speak -- and even your personality. It’s the essence of you! These are the components found in every person, and they all work together to make you unique and wonderful! When you dress in a way that supports your personal blueprint, the real you will show up! Next week I’m going to show you some Personal Blueprints. Each of the blueprints represents a unique set of characteristics and is linked to a set of colors and styles that are right for the blueprint. When you know your Personal Blueprint, you will know what COLORS and STYLES look great on you!
See next blog for these Personal Blueprints, and see which one is YOU!


Let's Talk About Transformation

Have you ever had a transformational experience?  What did it feel like?  Did it change you forever? 

I have been a practicing image consultant for a little over a year now, and I have to tell you I have witnessed women having MAJOR transformational experiences, and it has changed me forever.  Let me tell you about some of them...

All the women have three things in common:
  1. They had been thinking about creating change for themselves, some women actually thought about getting their colors done or finding someone to help them shop for clothes. But they didn't know how to go about finding a style consultant.  So they drew me into their lives in a "law of attraction" way (ie. randomly sitting next to me at a conference and striking up a conversation) In any case they knew they wanted to change their personal appearance which they hoped would change them in a deeper, more significant way. 
  2. They were wide open to hearing my color and style advise, even though it meant that many of the clothes in their closet would have to go.  They were open to the change.
  3. They were 40+ years old, and had never really been sure how to get that put-together look.  Shopping was an overwhelming experience for them, and some of the women avoided it as much as possible, shopping only once or twice a year.
The look on a woman's face when she is finally dressed in the colors and styles that make her feel completely beautiful and radiant in her skin is like "coming home."  She stares into the mirror and finally sees the real, powerful truth of who she is.  And she never looks back....

It's pretty powerful.  I think about how the transformation in a woman's life moves outward to affect her loved ones, friends and acquaintances in a meaningful way.  It's like throwing a pebble into the water and watching the ripples of energy radiating out. 

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the myth of the atomic age -- as in being able to remake ourselves."
-- Mahatma Gandhi


Seeing Your Body As a Work of Art

I have been pondering the problem of how to get women to stop being so self-critical about their bodies and start loving their bodies the way they are, and learn how to show off their best assets.  Then, I remembered what I tell women during a personal consultation:

Picture Your Body as a Work of Art

How many of us look at our bodies and all we see are the flaws? 
  • My hips are too wide
  • I am bulging at the waist (you probably use the unflattering term "muffin top")
  • My neck has folds
  • My arms are too fat
  • My legs are short
I could go on and on, but you get the point.  We can all think of far too many things that are WRONG with our body, and almost nothing that's RIGHT!

Instead of being critical, think of your body as a sculpture that an artist drapes with fabric. The artist creates a pleasing silhouette by nipping the fabric here and there to call attention to a small torso and flows the fabric away from voluptuous hips.  The color of the fabric creates glowing skintone and makes her eyes appear vibrant and alive. 

You Can Drape Your Own Body Just Like An Artist

Start here -- stand in front of a full length mirror and look at yourself.  Name FIVE things that you LOVE about your body.  1-2-3-4-5.  There!  You did it!  If, for example, you chose as one of your beloved body parts, your shoulders, then you should wear tops that expose your shoulders, like a halter top, strapless, or boatneck neckline.  Everyone's eyes will be on your lovely shoulders!


Why I Started True Colors by Linda

Here's my story: By the time I reached fifty, I had built a successful training career in the computer industry. However, after leaving the industry I soon felt lost and invisible.  Feeling confused about what new direction to take, I knew I wanted to reinvent myself and my career, but I had no idea what to do.  Then I discovered my colors and styles and the physical transformation changed how I felt about myself.  It made me feel powerful, beautiful, and put-together.  I was visible again (especially to my husband)!  As a result, I embarked on a new career that leverages my creativity, business savvy, desire to help people, and my love of teaching. I enjoy helping women over 50 reawaken their self-confidence through fashion and style power!  I am the woman I help transform into a confident, powerful individual who makes an impact with her life.

Upon reflection, I remember as a young woman I was attractive and sexy enough, and adept at getting attention. This Wonder Woman-like power enabled me to confidently walk into a room and own it. Somewhere between the ages of 45 and 50 I started feeling my super powers fading – I was becoming invisible – and it was shocking. I was no longer commanding attention when I walked into a room – there were younger, more attractive women to draw peoples’ eyes away from me. My solution was to keep my sense of humor, resign myself to invisibility, and chalk it up to growing older.

Some years later, I attended an art marketing class where one woman, quietly minding her own business in class drew everyone's eye. Some combination of her outfit, her jewelry, her hairstyle, her aura made her "pop" so she was the focal point of the entire room. I was intrigued. She wasn't much younger than me so it wasn't an age thing. When I complimented her on her outfit, she told me about a program she had just attended where she learned about her colors and style, and she said it changed her life. She encouraged me to attend the same program. I did.

Learning to wear my best colors changed my life

I learned that I was wearing the wrong colors and styles for my “energy” which consists of my coloring, body type, and my personality. Instead of enhancing my energy and personality, I was watering it down with clothes that did not highlight my best assets. After learning this, did I immediately change the way I was dressing? Heck no! I fought it for almost a year; after all, I was comfortable in the outfits that filled my closet, but slowly I started buying new clothes that reflected my true colors. Then something amazing began to happen. Friends, family and complete strangers started complimenting me. The most surprising compliment came from a gentleman in Trader Joes grocery store. He approached me and said, "I'm not trying to pick you up, but I had to come over and tell you how fantastic you look."

There IS something to dressing in the right colors and style. It gave me the courage to make major changes in my wardrobe and hair style, and that’s when life became really interesting!

I felt so much better about myself – I wasn’t invisible anymore. That’s when the light bulb came on for me. If I’m experiencing this dramatic transformation, maybe I can help other women do the same. And that’s how True Colors by Linda was born.

I noticed that once my wardrobe got organized with all the right colors and styles, the following things happened:
  • Getting dressed is stress-free and a joy
  • Everything is mix and match so I have more outfits
  • Shopping is easier and faster because I know exactly what to buy
  • I save time and money because I don't buy mistakes

The Goal of True Colors by Linda

True Colors by Linda is based upon the fact that you can walk into a room and OWN it when you dress in the right colors and style and reflect who you are inside and out. Anyone can “own a room” at ANY age. Why? Because when you dress in a way that enhances your body and your personality, people will notice you and they’ll want to get to know you. They won’t even know why, they are just drawn to you. You are unique and have many gifts to offer and you, too, can easily learn how to “own the room”.

Many of us walk around invisible because we’re dressing in a way that confuses people. I used to be invisible, but didn’t realize it could be any other way. How about you? Think of your energy like a radio signal – when you dress in a way that is in harmony with your energy, your radio signal is clear and strong. When you dress in the wrong colors and style, the radio signal becomes weak and full of static. If you’re like me, you can tell when people aren’t really noticing you. Their gaze travels quickly past you and settles on someone else.

On the other hand, have you ever experienced this? You put on an outfit that makes you smile, and you feel especially confident. Throughout the day you get compliments. Maybe you’re not exactly sure what it is about the outfit that works, but you know that whenever you wear it, you have a great day! Wouldn’t life be grand if every outfit you wore made you feel great and the positive energy you radiate was reflected back at you by everyone around you?

How you can save money and own beautiful clothes

My favorite discovery in the last few years has been consignment clothing stores and thrift stores. I never shopped for used clothing before. I used to donate my gently worn clothes to charities, but it never occurred to me to shop there. Well, that has changed. I discovered a world of hidden gems. Imagine how many women buy clothes they never wear. One woman's mistake is another woman's treasure. It's environmentally friendly, too. All those compliments I’m getting these days? Recycled clothing!

How do you find your local consignment and thrift stores? Ask friends or google consignment and thrift stores in your area. Here's a bonus: consignment and thrift stores are not based on fashion designers’ seasonal whims of colors and styles. You can find YOUR colors and styles almost any time of the year.

You, too, can look like a million bucks!

I understand you

I understand the woman who is older and can’t afford to retire, yet she doesn’t want to work for a company anymore (and they may not want her either). She doesn’t know what she’s passionate about because she’s stuffed those dreams so far down that she can't remember. She needs help re-discovering her passion and beauty.  I understand her pain, her self-doubt, and I have a solution.

I help women of all ages and sizes discover their passion and express who they are with their appearance. Here’s an exercise I have my clients do. I tell them “Close your eyes and imagine yourself as a work of art — visualize the lines of your body, the shadows, textures and colors that define your form. See the beauty of your body as an artist would, without any judgment. Now picture your body draped with beautiful fabric accentuating your curves.” After this exercise I teach my clients how to choose clothes that complement their coloring, body shape, and personality to create a beautiful artistic image. It’s amazing how transformational this is!


My Favorite Central Coast Shops!

The Central Coast is a jewel located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. San Luis Obispo is a charming town filled with a diversity of dining experiences and the world-famous pink-adorned Madonna Inn. The Central Coast wine region is growing increasingly impressive, with some of the finest vineyards in the world, nurtured by a mild Mediterranean climate. It's a great place to raise a family, go to college, be an artist, live a healthy lifestyle, or just be!

Gorgeous as the Central Coast is, it has its drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is the small number of stores, and in particular, clothing stores. Because my business is all about helping women find clothes that work for them, I have scoured the region in search of the best clothing boutiques. Here's my list of favs:

Finders Keepers, 1124 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

You wouldn't guess that this delightfully chic boutique is actually a consignment store. All the designer clothes are meticulously arranged by color (which makes my job so much easier!) and the owner, Debra Fogg, and her staff are attentive to your every need. Whenever I need a special occasion outfit, or just need a shopping "fix" I head to Finders Keepers, and I almost ALWAYS find a unique treasure for a very reasonable price. Debra is very particular about the consignment clothing she accepts, so you can be sure the clothes are flawless and no older than three years. I highly recommend a visit to this store.

Ann's Contemporary Clothing, 895 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo
A small boutique with sophisticated, yet relaxed fashions for women. Geared to women, not teenagers or even 20-somethings, many of my clients like the head-to-toe, coordinated inventory of clothing and coordinated accessories. Excellent service, a wonderful place to shop for that put-together look.

Romp Fine Italian Shoes, 714 Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo
My latest discovery, even though the store has been around for many years.  As you walk into Karen English's chic store the rich smell of leather transforms you to another place -- Italy perhaps?  Don't be afraid of the prices like I used to be!  I discovered the prices are completely reasonable, the crafmanship is top-notch, and the comfort that envelopes your feet is well worth the few extra dollars.  I'm all about CPW (Cost Per Wear) -- the calculation that divides the price of the shoes by the number of times you will wear them.  Romp's shoes will cost you pennies because you will want to wear them every day! Check it out and just try on a pair of Everybody shoes -- you will fall in love.

Goodwill, 15 S. Higuera, San Luis Obispo
This is the best thrift store for finding clothing treasures on the Central Coast. I found a full length mohair wool coat, Made in Paris, for $7. Clothes are organized by color, and they have two dressing rooms so you can try it on to make sure it fits. The only negative is limited parking.

Hospice Partner's Hope Chest, 445 Higuera, San Luis Obispo
This is one of my new thrift store discoveries, offering a huge space filled with gently-used clothing, jewelry, shoes, furniture and household goods. It's fun just to look around, and they take great care displaying the items. It also features a small boutique filled with designer, higher-end clothing and shoes. I have found some great treasures here and I feel good about supporting our local hospice organization. They also take donations.

ActII Boutique, 1045 E Grand Ave, Arroyo Grande
This is another delightfully chic consignment boutique located on busy Grande Avenue, near the theatre. The owner, Carol Dee, stocks her store with a cornucopia of treasures, everything from stylish tops, jackets, skirts, pants, shoes, evening dresses, fun dresses, jewelry, and even infant clothing. Everything is neatly organized, and Carol’s sense of style is evident in the way she stages put-together outfits throughout the store. You’ll have fun and save loads of money!

Marshalls, 1128 W Branch Street, Arroyo Grande
There is a lot to sort through, but if you know exactly what you're looking for, you can find some fashionable, inexpensive clothing and shoes here. Go often, as the inventory is renewed frequently. Not for beginners!

Change of A Dress, 950 Los Osos Vally Rd. A2, Los Osos
A new discovery of mine in the town of Los Osos, this consignment store has a wonderful selection of nearly new clothing at rock bottom prices. It is a chic, comfortable environment, and the owners are very helpful. If I lived closer I would be in the store every week!

Curio, 570 Higuera, San Luis Obispo
Located in the Creamery, this small shop is packed with cute, fun clothing at really low prices. You can find cute tops, dresses, pants, scarves, and shoes.

Retrofit, 956 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo
I wandered into this new boutique after seeing great looking outfits in the window thinking this would be very high priced, only to find that this is actually a vintage clothing store with the best of the Eighties thru now fashions, some brand new, many designer labels and all at low prices! You'll find gentley worn dresses, sweaters, vests, skirts plus a great selection of shoes, belts, bags, jewelry and accessories. Great service.

Upscale Resale, 590 S. Main Street, Templeton
My latest discovery, this consignment store has a treasure trove of high-quality women's clothing, shoes, and jewelry.  The coffee is hot, the owners very friendly, and they've created a relaxing, fun environment in which to shop.

Please send in comments about your own favorite clothing stores so we can all share in the joy!