Today, we’re tackling a few listener questions we’ve received over the last few months.  

Did you know that one of the biggest benefits of The Capsule Wardrobe Guide is that you have access to our Capsule Community on Facebook? You can ask your style questions and get personalized advice from me, and the other group members all season long. Plus, if you need more individual help, Capsule Subscribers get 50% off of Virtual Styling Sessions with me. Get your Fall 2021 Capsule Guide here, and get all the style support you need! 

Adding More Color to Your Wardrobe

Sandy T asked:

Since listening to your show I’ve realized what I don’t love about my wardrobe. It’s mostly black and gray, and it doesn’t make me smile. I’m the one you talk about who always picks the safe, practical thing, but in the end, I don’t have any clothes I really love. 

I’ve tried to put more patterns and colors into my wardrobe to add a little pizazz, but nothing ever goes together. I thought maybe a fun-colored handbag would be a better idea. What colors would you recommend that go with everything? Thanks

This is a question I used to get a lot when I was working with clients. Everyone wanted a non-neutral wardrobe that functioned exactly as a neutral wardrobe, which isn’t always a realistic goal. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a  colorful mix-and-match wardrobe that makes you smile. 

Without seeing your closet, my best guess is you’re buying colors that are all over the place, and not working within a defined color palette. When that happens, you have a little from this color family, a little from that color family, and they don’t work together.

Let me give you an example. I’ve talked before about how my coloring is a light spring, or what The Color Guru would call a Sunlit Spring. My palette of best colors is light and bright and warm.  In summer, I tend to gravitate to the light and brights. In the fall, I move to the other side of my palette that has light and warm neutrals, like camel, terracotta, and clay.

All summer long my watch band was a bright, rainbow leopard pattern. It was bold, but since it had all the colors I wear in it, it went with all my outfits.  Fast forward a few months, and I painted my nails with the Olive & June Pumpkin Spice Ombre polish set.  Every color in that set is also in my color palette, but my mani looked terrible with my watch. The light and bright colors I love in the summer didn’t match the vibe of the warm and light colors I gravitate to in fall. 

This happens when women aren’t building their wardrobes within a defined color palette. Clients I worked with had wardrobes made up of heathered blue sweaters and saturated plum skirts and bright fuchsia tops and black and white patterned shells, and ivory pants–colors that were fine on their own, but tough to pair with each oher. It’s impossible to find one color for a handbag, that isn’t a neutral, that would really work with all of those pieces. 

My advice to you would be to build your wardrobe within a well-defined color palette and then pick any color that goes with that palette. Buy your clothes with the intention that everything goes together in the first place, and then it’s easier to bring more color in, whether it’s a handbag or a new top. 

Your color palette can be anything you want it to be. It doesn’t have to be the colors that look best on you unless that’s a priority for you. It can just be the colors you like best. If wearing colors that are best on you is your goal, we recommend working with the Color Guru. Within days, you’ll be able to build a cohesive wardrobe that makes it easy to break out of a black and gray rut.   

Visit The Color Guru and use code everydaystyle to take 10% off of any package.

Choosing the Best Eyewear

Michelle P asked:

I have a style question that I’m hoping you might be able to help with. My vision deteriorated in my 20s and I now wear contact lenses every day. I would like to have the option of wearing glasses, but I feel very self-conscious wearing them. None of the frames I try on or buy look right or feel like me. Do you have any advice about how to choose glasses? What should I look out for if I want frames that suit me (e.g. what are the ‘rules’ when thinking about frame shape, size, colour etc.)?

Great question Michelle!  There are a few things to consider when choosing the best eyewear.  Specifically, your face shape, your coloring, and your style.  

Let’s start with face shape. I’m not going to cover the best frame shapes for each face shape, because literally, every website that sells eyewear has a “shop by face shape” guide. What I have found though, is that lots of women are confused about what their face shape is, which leaves you feeling more lost, so I want to share this easy tip with you. Pull your hair back from your face with a headband or ponytail. Look in your bathroom mirror, and trace–right on your mirror–around your face with lipstick.  Step back and look at the shape you just drew. What does it most closely resemble? That’s your face shape. If you really can’t tell between two, look at the styles for each shape on an eyewear website, and see if there are any frame shapes that overlap. 

Next is our coloring. This is another place that knowing which colors look best on you really comes in handy.  When the heavy black frames became trendy a few years ago, I really wanted a pair, but every time I tried them on, I hated the way they looked. I can admit now how drab I feel wearing black close to my face, so why did I think black ON my face would feel any better?  A woman at the eyewear store helped me pick a pair that were still a little chunkier than I had been wearing, but they were a light brown. They weren’t the exact vision I had in my head, but admittedly, they looked a lot better, and I felt better in them. When the Color Guru was on the show, she talked about choosing glasses and made the comment that if your color is really delicate, bright-colored glasses can overwhelm your face, even if the color is in your palette of bests. This is a really good point, and it can make the difference between you wearing the glasses, and the glasses-wearing you! So on this one, I’d start with the colors that look best on you, and then sort of match the intensity of color in the frames to the intensity of your coloring. 

Finally, consider your personal style. The first two pieces of advice are about finding what is objectively, traditionally the most flattering on you.  If that’s your goal, start with those things. However, if your goal is to simply have things you love, start with your personal style. Could I have had those thick black nerd glasses? I sure could have. Lots of fair-haired, fair-skinned blonds were wearing them and no one ran screaming in horror.  This is the part where you decide if you want your glasses to be a fashion statement or not, and where that falls in your priorities.  I sent out an email a couple of months ago now, talking about my love for  Zenni optical, and sharing some of the glasses I’ve gotten from them. I love how inexpensive they are, because for the first time, I can use my glasses as an accessory, and have a little more fun with them. When you’re spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on one pair you intend to wear for years, there’s a lot of pressure to get it perfectly right, but I now have 5 or 6 pairs from zenni–some are more successful than others, but it’s been super fun to try.  If your style is bold and fun, choose bold and fun frames–if your style is more subtle, choose a pair that isn’t a stand-out. 

Breaking Up With Your Skinny Jeans

Jen M reached out to us via Facebook and wrote:

Hi Jen. If you have time in your podcast schedule, I’m going to need help and assistance letting go of my skinnies. Like, thirty minutes of “You can do THIS.”

Well, from one Jen M to another, I hate to tell you this, but I can’t give you thirty minutes of “you can do this” to let go of your skinnies. On this show, we’ve covered trends, we’ve covered changing up your style, we’ve covered letting your eyes get used to new styles, we’ve covered honoring your personal style, and we’ve covered body shapes….unfortunately, the last part is either do it or don’t do it.

This reminds me of an early lesson with Linda I shared–I think in part one or two of the bra episodes, about the Linda who heard me speak at the same event year after year, and every year, she asked “Where do I go for good bras?”.  It was like 3 years in a row. She kept asking, but she didn’t go for a bra fitting.  There was no more knowledge I could give her. At some point, she either had to get a bra fitting, or not.

Her challenge was not a style or wardrobe challenge. Her challenge was a mental hangup about investing in herself, or facing a size she didn’t want to be, or making the time to go to the store—I don’t know, but there was no more advice I could give her.  A lot of times women hem and haw about trying new things, or buying something they love that is a little more than they wanted to spend, and they play it off like they’re struggling with their wardrobe or their style, but it isn’t about that at all. And with love, I think that’s where you are.  Can we do a 30-minute one-on-one coaching call? Sure we can, but your 30 minutes would be better spent in a fitting room putting non-skinny jeans on your body and asking, do I like this? Or asking yourself, what is my hangup about a different silhouette of jeans?  Or watching Netflix because you’ve decided you just like skinnies and all other jeans can take a hike. You don’t have to wear things you don’t like if you’re happy with your current situation, and once you’re ready to move on, you will.  Don’t make trying new things bigger than it really is. 

Finding the Best Handbag for Your Body Shape

Sofie asked:

This year I want to invest in a grown-up handbag. Do you have advice for choosing the right bag based on my body shape?  I’m an hourglass.

I understand the feeling of wanting to get it 100% right when you’re making a big investment–it’s the same thing I talked about earlier in the advice about glasses. When you’re plunking down a good chunk of money on a forever item, you want it to be perfect. And I also know that there is a lot of advice out there on this topic..about where your bag should hit between shoulder and hip to maximize or minimize your hips, and a shape that is sort of opposite your shape, like an angular bag for an hourglass, and a slouchy or shaped bag for a rectangle, but I gotta be honest with you, I think that’s taking the need for perfection too far. 

Have you EVER noticed how someone’s handbag compliments their shape or not?  Whether it was hitting at the right spot on their hip?  I know I haven’t and I basically people-watch for a living. And what about bags with multiple straps? Sometimes I use the shoulder bag strap on my current bag, and sometimes, I wear it cross-body. Am I committing a style sin with one of them? I don’t want to live in a style world where I can’t use the strap that is most functional for my day because I’m afraid it won’t flatter my hips. 

This grown-up bag, as you called it, is an investment for you.  FOR YOU. Make it one you love. Lots of women I know have a bag in their mind that they’d love to own. If you can afford it, buy that one.  I guarantee you you’ll get more joy out of a bag you absolutely love than one that is flattering to your hips.

Wearing Dated Items in an Updated Way

Rachel asked:

Hi Jen, I have a terrible feeling my wardrobe looks dated, and after listening to your show, I know how to update my closet, but the problem is, I don’t want to. I like a lot of the things I wear, but I would like to look more in style than I do. Do you have any advice on ways to do that?

I have a feeling you know what my first piece of advice is going to be, and that is, if you love something, wear it!  No one, including style experts on the internet–especially style experts on the internet–should make you feel like you need to part with clothes that you still love, and wear. If you look in the mirror and think, “Dang girl, you’re killing it”, why would you change something?  The only person who needs to love your style is yourself.  So keep on wearing the things you love.

With that said though, I think there IS a way to wear things that are less than current in a way that looks more current.  I’ve talked about the concept of a trend salad vs a trend garnish before, and if this is the first time you’re listening to the show, I’ll quickly say that a trend salad is wearing lots of super trendy, of the moment pieces all at once, which can be tough to do, and a little costumey.  On the other hand, a trend garnish is choosing one trending piece and mixing it with more classic, established looks. This is a great way for those who are a little trend shy, or who don’t want to look like they’re trying too hard, to stay current.

My thought is, what if you tried a dated garnish, instead of a dated salad?  So rather than pairing skinny jeans with flat riding boots and a t-shirt with a cami sticking out and an oversized scarf, you would pair skinny jeans with a more current top and shoes, or riding boots with a midi skirt instead of skinnies…you get the idea. Each piece won’t look as dated when paired with more current things. The overall styling of an outfit contributes to how current things look, too, and this would be a good way to wear the things you love in an updated fashion.

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