On a recent trip to Rockport, Massachusetts - a gorgeous seaside town - I spent a lot of time milling around and enjoying the gorgeous view and relaxing ambiance. Since it was a beautiful day the main street (or neck, as they call it) was packed with people on vacation. At one point, I had a very distinct realization - everyone looked the same. While all the teenagers were dressed in short shorts, everyone else's style was kind of an LLBean meets REI look. It made me feel sad. When did women start settling for a largely colorless, shapeless look?
I know. I know. Comfort is key, and I'm with you on that, especially on vacation. Gone are the days when I'll settle for something that is binding, scratchy or just plain uncomfortable. But, there is a happy medium between uninspired and trendy fashionista.
Summer is all about color and even thouh it is winding down you can be inspired to carry your colors into the autumn and winter. Flowers of every imaginable color are still everywhere. The ocean is brilliantly blue or green, and the sky is a rainbow of colors from sun up to sundown. There is very little gray or black except what we have added. Nature knows that color is food for the eyes and the soul. So, why not embrace that when you choose your casualwear. Sure, you don't want to look like a walking fruit bowl but if you choose your best foundation color (for instance, black, beige, white, navy, brown) and pair it with beautiful colors (or even one color if this all feels so foreign), I suspect you'll be surprised by how delightful it feels!
Here's a great example of a look that is pretty and comfortable:
Yes, she's wearing white pants or capris and yes, everyone can look good in them (it's just a matter of finding the right ones that fit you well and (this is critical) pairing the right top and shoes with them. As one of my clients recently said, "You've made me a white convert!" Oh, and if your response is…well, it will get dirty. Yes, you're right. It might. But I promise they can be washed! And, if that's too big a jump right now, this top would also look great with jeans or navy shorts or capris. You don't have to dismiss the entire outfit, just tweak it so it's you.
Or, how about a maxi dress. One of my clients recently told me that she didn't think she was a maxi dress kind of gal until she tried the right one on. Then she was sold! Could this be you? It's so easy to dismiss something we've never tried before. This one is pretty, easy to wear, lovely colors and bra-friendly!
Whether you are going to work, out with friends or on vacation, how you dress is all about you. It's the perfect opportunity to reflect the inner part of you that makes you special. I saw so many women on "the neck" in Rockport wearing gray, beige, black or white t-shirts and neutral colored shorts with Teva sandals or the equivalent. There is no way that all of these women are personality-less. It's just not possible. Where was the playfulness, sparkle or warmth?
I know that in many cases what has happened is that they have given up (that's why there's a chapter in my coaching program "Who Taught You Who To Dress?" that talks about unconscious dressing). Does this sound familiar? Do you feel like you no longer know how to dress your body? As women get older and their body shifts or they gain weight there's this sense of, "Yikes, now what do I do?" So, they resort to what is easy and safe and call it a day.
I also know that the discomfort intensifies (even if you squish it down) and the sadness escalates. I've seen it happen a thousand times. The good news is that this doesn't have to be the case.
Take it one step at a time, and see what happens. Maybe pick up a fun beach tote that will add that spark you're missing (click here for more information). Or, as we head into the Fall, you can add a pretty scarf to keep you warm on those chilly mornings (click here for more information).
Just keep at it. The next time you pack to go on vacation, smile and add something fun. Don't let yourself fade into the crowd or let your style go on vacation when you do. You can look great sightseeing, relaxing at the pool or heading out to a leisurely dinner! Most of all, have fun with it. This is vacation after all!_______________________
This article was written by Ginger Burr. To get more great advice from Women's Toolbox Media Diva Ginger Burr, visit her website at: http://www.totalimageconsultants.com
Ginger Burr, Founder and President of Total Image Consultants, and expert personal image extraordinaire, can be found by direct dialing, (617) 625-5225, or emailing her at email@example.com