Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Guest Blog: Just Try It On

This week's guest blog comes from fellow author/blogger Jessa Sexton who attended the October "Dress Your Best" workshop.  Jessa was just one of several women who attended the event and loved it.  In this blog, Jessa talks about what she learned and how she applied what she learned to her everyday wardrobe.  I'm excited to be offering another "Dress Your Best" workshop this March.  Registration is already open and space is limited.  Click here for details.  We'd love to have you!

Just Try It On

I was recently blessed by the experience of attending one of Lori Bumgarner’s style workshops at O’More College of Design: a worthy investment. After having each of my two boys (a now three-year-old and a one-year-old), I found myself at a stage in life where things just didn’t fit. I have always had curves, and those curves have always given me trouble clothing shopping, but I rarely walked away from a dressing room fighting back the tears.

Lately I’ve been working on renovating my fashion sense. I’ve guest blogged on here about it before, but it’s a constant journey for me, and Lori’s tips even further encouraged me to be bolder in my fashion statements. I’d like to share two main things I’ve learned from Lori and my own trial and error. Both center around this style mantra: don’t be afraid.

1)   Don’t be afraid of color and pattern.

Lori showed us pictures of people wearing stripes and polka dots. Some in the room were shocked. Others mumbled they couldn’t pull that off. I was busy on Pinterest marking her inspiration photos because I was excited by this challenge. I knew I had to try it.

I worked simply on it at first. Since I own a black dress with grey polka dots, I wore black striped tights. No color, just contrasting patterns.

But then I got bolder and wore a black and purple striped sweater with the same dress. Mostly, I was just having fun, but I got compliments along the way.

While at the Celebration of Nations held annually at O’More College of Design, I felt myself drawn to a bright and completely unlike my style dress from India. Worry set in immediately after the purchase. What will I wear with this? Am I going to look funny? But what if this isn’t “me” enough?  The dress is full of bright colors, and my tendency was to pair it with a black sweater. But…just for a kick…I noticed I had a blue cardigan the same color as a small accent on the dress. I tried it on. It worked. Again—compliments.

Which brings me to my next point:
2)   Don’t be afraid to try something on.
This statement goes two ways. First of all, just like I mentioned—sometimes your closet is your best ally. I have a lot of dresses and a lot of cardigans. These days, I make myself try on several different sweaters with the dress I am wearing that day before I let myself “settle for black.” Sometimes I find that a shape or detail or color in the cardigan that I thought would oppose the dress actually works in perfect co-ordination. So play around with what you already have.

Secondly, when you are shopping—don’t turn up your nose just because it “isn’t your style.” Try something new. I’ve been going out with girlfriends in search of their holiday party dresses, and I’ve surprised a couple by handing them things they never would have tried on by themselves. But the tricks I’ve learned to hide what I want to hide and focus on what I want focus on has helped me notice shapes in dresses that will flatter other body types as well.

I don’t know what I’d call my fashion style today—I mean, whatever works  doesn’t sound so good. But, if we could all think a little more outside the fashion box we’ve placed ourselves in, I think we’ll be surprised that more whatevers work than we ever thought possible.

I’d love you to visit my blog:  

Thank you Jessa for sharing your insights and your own blog.  If you also want to attend the spring "Dress Your Best" workshop, click here for details.

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