It's Not You, It's Them!

Here at The Working Beauty- I never go by sizes. Why because a woman's dress, pants, or skirt size can be deceiving. Each size varies depending on brand, designer, season and various variables that shouldn't matter but do.

Ever wondered why you go into your favorite retail store a season after having worn a size 6 for a whole year and now you try on the same size, in a similar style pant and it doesn't fit. You are literally standing there like WTH? Now you are thinking you have gained much more weight than you realized and you are staring repeatedly at yourself in the mirror thinking how could you miss this, And now you on IG searching for personal trainers and/ or googling the most popular diet plans. Don't worry we have all been there. But it took me research to discover "it's not you, it's them." "Them" being the evil people of retail.

Every year women sizes fluctuate sometimes by something as minutes as 1/8 of a millimeter and then you don't really notice but sometimes it can be a whole inch. And every year some sizes just shift completely. Why is that? you ask as you are now reading this flabbergasted and outraged. Why does a size 6 become a size 8, or a size 12 is now a size 8. Well as I stated it can be a variety of variables (i.e. Types of materials, design, new management). But did you know, it is also a psychological game. Every year, every brand looks at how women view themselves and size their clothing according to their target audience. Meaning that if women in their target audience feel bigger then sizes are labeled smaller to make that woman feel better about her purchase , but the contrary happens too that if their target audience are young teens or college aged women i.e. h&m or F21 then the sizes are made extra tiny. Which is why a Banana Republic 12 fits nothing like an H and M 12 which fits nothing like an Ann Taylor 12 which fits nothing like an Anthropologie 12 which fits nothing like an Alice and Olivia 12, I think you get my point. Which is why it makes absolutely no sense when I see a woman look into the tag of something I have purchased for her and automatically say "Oh no Im not going to be able to fit this". Like, Giirrrrlllll how do you know?!?! But rather than be upset, I just make a mental note that "its not you, it's them" and that reaction is just how much the psychology of retail has royally f$#%ed  with our minds! 

So what's my solution to this mind f*%$ you ask. Well it is simple (outside of saying "No" to retail"),  I only shop according to measurements. Because as much as women's weight fluctuate, sizes of some of our favorite brands are twice as bad and some time more depending on the season. However, the one constant is math. Which is why my tape measurer is regularly referred to my side chick, she is not bae, but she is loyal and not going anywhere. By taking measurements of my clients I ensure a proper fit. I have had only 2 outfits sent back because they didn't fit from clients that I have never met or have not seen in years because we used measurements. (Well, except for the time a client straight lied about her measurements but that is another story for another day.) Numbers don't lie- and measurements are numbers. So when I have a client, I immediately ask them for measurements. What is interesting is that so many women don't know their measurements and don't know how to take them. So I thought I would offer some assistance:

  • Bust: Measure all the way around your bust and back on the line of your nipples.
  • Waist: Measure at its narrowest point width-wise, usually just above the navel.
  • Hips: Measure around the widest part of the hipbones.
  • Inseam: Measure from inside your thigh, right where your crotch ends to the bottom of your feet. 

These are the most popular measurements and generally all that I need to provide a perfect fit for any client. But outside of my services (which of course we always welcome new clients), its a good way to track your own size so that next time your favorite store switches up on you, you won't break down and cry when your favorite trousers in a size 6 don't fit. You will know your measurements and be able to calm yourself by thinking or even saying out loud "It's not me, it's them". 

Rihanna

Happy Birthday Rihanna!

I should have been done this. I wanted to release something on her bday to pay homage, but I didn't partly because of my own laziness but I can no longer avoid it. Scratch that is is her birthday! It simply must be said Rihanna is a fashion icon for sure. In my humble and expert opinion no one does style better than Rihanna Fenty. For this reason she is my lesbian crush and style bae. Now to break down exactly why Rihanna is a style maven and the no. 1 style icon of out time.

1. Rihanna stays true to herself. It is clear that Rihanna wears what Rihanna wants to wear based on how she feels. How do I know this- because it is too effortless for someone to have just told her what to wear. When your style is genuinely you- you embody it and conquer it in a way that is only possible if you truly believe in what you are wearing.

 

Which brings me to another point if Style Maven, Rihanna Fenty has a stylist. Why do some of you take offense to the suggestion that you should too? I'm not necessarily saying that your style is problematic- although it very well could be. I am only saying that know your strengths. Of course Rihanna has her own style, but it doesn't hurt to have someone's who's whole career and being is dedicated to fashion. It allows Rihanna to be Rihanna- the international pop star that she is while still maintaining her image and turning heads with her fashion selections.

 

So if you are lawyer ,doctor, educator, or entrepreneur invest in a stylist so you can concentrate on being the best at your craft and let someone like me do the style work. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

 

This is one of my favorite looks of Rihanna's. It is here that she became my undeniable style icon.  (Rihanna 2011 X Factor Performance)  

This is one of my favorite looks of Rihanna's. It is here that she became my undeniable style icon.  (Rihanna 2011 X Factor Performance)  

Being Sexy outside of "Sundress Season"

Kevin Hart in recent article in November's issue of Bazaar dropped some knowledge. He asked " when sundress weather ends how does a woman look sexy in the fall or winter". And a light bulb went off. Mostly all of the women I know and my friends being the main culprates tell me all the time that they hate dressing in the fall/winter and  prefer dressing in the summer because they look so cute. And so often I want to roll my eyes and say "baby, we all do". Why because during "sundress season" as Kevin Hart calls it we all look good. Why because as he politely said "[sundresses] leave so much to the imagination... When she walks it looks like she has curves no matter what ". What he meant to say it leaves so little to the imagination because we all know that under a sundress there are little if any panties and whether you have a Phaedra donkey booty or little Miley Cyrus joint, those curves that Kevin Hart references are visible because ladies-  it's a little juicy in all of us. The only thing a man is imagining is is what it's like up under the dress and that is what make sundress season aka the summer sexy season for us all. Sorry if some of you just got offended, I'm just being real.

 

But to be sexy in the fall/winter- I used to hate being called that for so long-  takes time, skill, talent and even self awareness.

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In part because unlike the summer maxi - every fall/winter trend does not look good on every body. So you have to know what works for you. Then there is whole concept of layering that is simple in theory and difficult in practice ( read my blog on that here) . But to even ,master layering you have to have the clothes to actually do so. Meaning some time and some effort must be put into finding the right layering pieces. The reason you hate winter fashion is because one you don't have the right pieces and don't have the time, or the skill to acquire them. If you don't have the time then no big deal, online shopping is your friends or services like mine or even trunk club will work for you. But if you don't have the skill well then that is all the more frustrating., but it can still be worked around. You can do like me and research magazines and bloggers and watch runways shows and figure things out by trial and error ( whispers Pinterest is your friend) or again you can hire me or someon like me as an expert- someone who knows fashion and can help you with your style.

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Once you learn what works for you it is easy to repeat, but for those who seek immediate answers here are few quick tips to be sexy even in the fall/winter:

1. Wear all black with something leather. Leather is sexy- think Angelina Jolie,Laura Croft: tomb raider, Scarlett johansson in Avengers, or Halle Berry as Catwoman. I arrest my case. 

2.Invest in someting velvet. Velvet is inherently sexy especially in darker colors like navy or burgundy.

3. Wear a pair of boots that make you feel utterly sexy. Whether ankle boots, knee highs, or thigh high boot- every woman needs a pair of boots that make you want to walk around your house completely naked with only them on. This way when you do go to put them on with an outfit that confidence will exude.

4. And don't forget a faux fur, or a real one if you  prefer but there are some really nice fakes out there for those who don't care to drop those kind of coins on a real one. Either way they keep you warm and keep you sexy.

 

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Of course if you are having problems finding or tapping into your sexy amidst this cold weather, you can always reach out to a professional such as myself by sending me an email at theworkingbeauty@gmail.com.   Either don't let the cold be the reason to not get your sexy on. 

2017 Thrift Challenge!! The Rules!

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I am super excited for 2017 in part because I am embarking upon this thrift for a year challenge where I am only wearing head to toe secondhand for 365 days. But even more exciting is that so many other people want to participate. Thanks to the many people that have signed up and for those of you who are still uncertain seed the guidelines of entry below. I'll be releasing this January's themes on Wed. Let the fun begin!  

Guidelines for Entry:

1. Submission. To qualify for the prizes you must submit 5 pictures for each 7 day interval. You can choose to submit all the pictures at once or to submit them individually per day. While only 5 pictures per week are required,submitting a picture daily only increases your chances at winning , but 5 is sufficient to enter. 

2. Retailed items. Your outfit/look may consist of up to 2 past retailed items. Meaning that any 2 items bought prior to 2017 can be mixed in with thrifted items. Therefore, if you bought a trench from a retail store on Dec 30, 2016 you can wear it as a part of the challenge but if you bought it on January 2017, it can not be worn as a part of the challenge

3. Themes. The themes are optional. While I will be releasing weekly themes each month not dressing according to the theme WILL NOT disqualify you. The themes are intended to be general and are open to broad interpretation. They are meant to help you through the challenge, but should not restrict your creativity. Have fun with them!

4. Newletter. There will be a regular newsletter sent to all participants that will highlight trends, give thrift tips, and share coupon and special places to shop secondhand.

5. Prizes. Each interval will be opportunity to win prizes. 7 day interval participants will have to compete each other monthly. Meaning that each week the participants of the 7 day challenge will be voted on and the top participant will go to the next week and then the participant that is standing after a month will win the prize. The longer challenges will compete amongst themselves. You can enter then challenge as much as you want to over the course of 2017.

6. How to win. Winners will be determined by IG and Facebook likes. Whichever contestant gets the most likes when. Should there be an overwhelming amount of participants, The Working Beauty will choose the top 5 based on creativity, consistency, and least retailed, style, and adherence to rules. Bonus points will be given for themed submission- but No points will be deducted for not participating with the theme.

7. Thrifted items defined: Any secondhand item whether from a thrift store, consignment boutique, or online vendor constitutes as thrift. Also any retail item that was given to you as a gift even if retailed will constitute as thrifted for the purposes of this challenge.

8. No limit to the number of intervals you sign up for. You can sign up for as many rounds as you want to, but once you have won you must allow for one interval to go by without you winning before being eligible to win again.  

8. Should you have any questions email workingbeautythriftchallenge@gmail.com

 

 

Wearing a 3 piece Suit

Who said wearing a 3 piece suit had to be a jacket, vest, and blazer combo? This  week when I walked into the courtroom- I stopped people dead in their tracks with my rendition of a 3 piece suit. Instead of matching a vest with a blazer as does your typical 3 pic suit for men. I chose to match my skirt with my pants. This was not my first time styling this way, but it was my first time doing the look for myself and wearing it publicly.  And baby! Let's just say the public loved it.

What I love about this look is that besides that it is a refreshing take on the three piece suit, is how practical it is for the winter months. Layering is not just cute, it's necessary to survive the cold. I  for one hardly shave my legs during the winter- sorry fellas or even ladies that may be offended. I just can't bring myself to shave or even really put on lotion with its butt cold outside , but wearing a matching suit skirt over top a matching pant is a great way to play up my femininity and cover myself. I found thrifted the Banana Republic suit from goodwill about 1 yr ago. I didn't even realize that a matching skirt was an option but when I found the skirt two weeks ago In Salvation Army, I knew exactly what to do with it.

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So tips on achieving you three piece suit. The skirt and pants do not have to match perfectly. The very idea of the suit is to have coordinating pieces so they would need to be similar to get the effect of the suit, otherwise you synthase funky ensemble but not a 3 pcs. However when styling this model for a shoot, these pants were not same brand as the skirt just similar in pattern which is what you. The pants can be straight leg or wide leg fit depending on your preference. As you can see the model in the straight leg give a more casual vibe and I thing the trouser pants in my suit may be more professional. But you have to do what works for you. Make sure regardless that your suit Janet does not overpower the skirt. Meaning that if you are shirt the jacket should probably not hit below the hips because otherwise the ensemble will over power you and you will diminish the whole concept of the classy, gracefulness, feminine play on a 3 pic suit. So what do you think? Is this something you will try?

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For more style inspiration, follow @thrworkingbeauty on Instagram and Periscope and subscribe to the website below.

Say yes to winter white

Yes you can do it. Yes you should do it. And here is how to do it. So there is a such thing as summer white and winter white and guess what?!?! SURPRISE! White can be worn in the winter!!! Or any date after September or all year around for that matter.

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Now to be clear there are certain materials designed for winter whites. I would not suggest you wear just any white because some white is exclusively reserved to keep cool in the blazing summer heat and thus would obviously leave you vulnerable to winter's harshness. However, many stores sell white leather and leather is not really practical in the summer so that means you can bust it out in the winter months (additional proof that white can be worn after the summer months).

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A winter white must have is a white knit sweater .Find a white or off white knit sweater and I promise your fashion style will sky rocket into one of the best. Of course, I suggest thrifting this for no more than 5 or 6 dollars. It is just really no other reason to pay more unless it is a splurge item which I admittedly did last winter and bought an overpriced knit at Zara. But I have a special affinity for Zara as you may already know and it is cute!

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I think people shy way from white pants and skirts in the winter because they just don't know how to wear them without looking and feeling like summer time. But no need to fear winter white  can be your friend. I introduce to you the white pleated trouser. If you love her, she will love you back. Do you remember a different world- if not please quickly Google and maybe even watch an episode or two or three or all on Netflix (all seasons available). Anyways,  one of the main characters and my personal style icon is Whitley Gilbert and in season 5 or maybe 6 her and Dwayne have no money and Whitley who has always been privileged to afford the latest and greatest style trends repeatedly wears a pair of white trousers pants and let me just say she slays every. damn. time. Moral of the story pick up a pair off winter white pleated trousers - I have a pair and I know I wear them at least a couple times a month. And every time I wear them I wear them confidently knowing that I am following in the steps of my style iclon.

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  I don't know where the no white after labor day rule came from. Maybe it is cultural or regional, but  where ever its origin if you have embraced it still in 2016 then you need to abolish. Fashion is too liberating to be restrictive of any color in any seasons. Do you plan to wear white this winter? If so submit your winter white looks to theworkingbeauty@gmail.com for a chance to be featured. 

 

 

A simple guide to layering:

Layering is such a key component in fall and winter fashion. It's a simple concept, but more difficult in practice that must be mastered if you are going to master style. Here is my quick guide to layering for those who are just starting out.

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1. Start with a simple foundation- I suggest an all black or denim base for beginners. ( I did a boyfriend Jean here)

2. Pick one color or pattern as your main layering piece. Pick it- but don't put it on just yet.  ( I chose this vest as my main, layering piece)

3. Then pick a simple shirt or sweater that you would wear with either of your foundation pieces. Put that piece on top or underneath your foundation.  (Simple shirt with a simple pattern)

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4. Now put on your main layering piece(s). ( Put in the vest over the shirt and the varsity jacket over the vest)

Hint: the contrast of the length of the varsity jacket and length of the duster is what brought this look to life. Try adding pieces that vary length today attention to your depth of layering)

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5. Add an accessory. No layered look is complete without a layered accessory either a scarf or purse with a long strap or layered neclacke(s). Just add something. (Here I kept is simple and only chose rings and shade but in real life I would likely do a cross body bag to add a final dimension).

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And just like that you have a layered and stylish look- that will be sure to get you compliments next time you are out and among friends. Easy enough, huh?

Advance style tip: If you already have mastered this simple form of layering, start experimenting and layering textures like velvet, leather, and faux fur.

For daily tips and to see more layering ideas follow @theworkingbeauty on IG .

#FemmeFataleDC- A Ladies Only Networking and Fashion Event

Since I have transitioned from a more conservative and traditional career as a lawyer into more of a creative (although I don't consider myself a creative) space as a stylist, I sometimes crave the  energy of other creatives for inspiration and motivation in my journey. Unfortunately, I have found that attending certain "fashion/style" events can be a little hit, and a lot of miss. However, a few Fridays ago I had the opportunity to go to Femme Fatale DC. I had seen it posted by various women in the DMV over the last few weeks and had put it on my calendar. It was advertised as an all women Networking and Fashion Party- and I had no idea what to expect. Especially since I have attended a number of fashion events in DC that I found to be severely underwhelming. Sorry not sorry if you are one of those who has thrown one of these poorly attended, lack luster event but I am more sorry to those of us who had to painfully endure it. But back to the subject of this post: Femme Fatale DC - an all women networking and fashion event.  Some of you may already be turned off reading that is a women's only party but I am and have always been a woman's woman.  So just like I crave to be around the energy of creatives I crave to be around positive energy of women, and sometimes the lack of testertorone is in the room can provide for a more pleasant experience because women don't necessarily feel that they are competing for the attention of that one fine baller in the room. Just an observation.  Upon walking in I was immediately impressed, never have I ever in DC and maybe even ever in life have I walked into a room and seen so many individually stylish women even during NYFW!

Since I have transitioned from a more conservative and traditional career as a lawyer into more of a creative (although I don't consider myself a creative) space as a stylist, I sometimes crave the  energy of other creatives for inspiration and motivation in my journey. Unfortunately, I have found that attending certain "fashion/style" events can be a little hit, and a lot of miss. However, a few Fridays ago I had the opportunity to go to Femme Fatale DC. I had seen it posted by various women in the DMV over the last few weeks and had put it on my calendar. It was advertised as an all women Networking and Fashion Party- and I had no idea what to expect. Especially since I have attended a number of fashion events in DC that I found to be severely underwhelming. Sorry not sorry if you are one of those who has thrown one of these poorly attended, lack luster event but I am more sorry to those of us who had to painfully endure it. But back to the subject of this post: Femme Fatale DC - an all women networking and fashion event.

Some of you may already be turned off reading that is a women's only party but I am and have always been a woman's woman.

So just like I crave to be around the energy of creatives I crave to be around positive energy of women, and sometimes the lack of testertorone is in the room can provide for a more pleasant experience because women don't necessarily feel that they are competing for the attention of that one fine baller in the room. Just an observation.

Upon walking in I was immediately impressed, never have I ever in DC and maybe even ever in life have I walked into a room and seen so many individually stylish women even during NYFW!

It was such an inspiring   experience and I met some amazing women. I knew I would attend the next one, but now I'm not only just attending the next one, I am actually participating and I can't wait. I don't think I am doing this phenomenal event justice and i wish I had written this blog post before I was invited as a participant because no it may just look promotional  . But I am a firm believe in giving props where props are due and femme fatale is just one of those events that are deserving of props! Don't belie me, well  you will just have yo come and see for yourselves and the tickets are only $10!   https://www.eventbrite.com/e/winter-wonderland-ffdc-party-tickets-29302523637

It was such an inspiring experience and I met some amazing women. I knew I would attend the next one, but now I'm not only just attending the next one, I am actually participating and I can't wait. I don't think I am doing this phenomenal event justice and i wish I had written this blog post before I was invited as a participant because no it may just look promotional. But I am a firm believe in giving props where props are due and femme fatale is just one of those events that are deserving of props! Don't belie me, well  you will just have yo come and see for yourselves and the tickets are only $10!  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/winter-wonderland-ffdc-party-tickets-29302523637

From whimsical, to punk, to minimalist , to vintage chic there were so many fly women comfortable in their own style chatting and dancing and overall really just having a good time. I was blown away and so very happy I attended and that was all in just the first 5 mins. Whatever this was I knew, I was just excited to be there. I had experienced some grave disappointments that week and started not to go to this event. I just could not take another disappointing event without being close to quitting . But I was certainly happy to have rolled myself out of bed  and I haven't even told you about   the actual fashion show!

From whimsical, to punk, to minimalist , to vintage chic there were so many fly women comfortable in their own style chatting and dancing and overall really just having a good time. I was blown away and so very happy I attended and that was all in just the first 5 mins. Whatever this was I knew, I was just excited to be there. I had experienced some grave disappointments that week and started not to go to this event. I just could not take another disappointing event without being close to quitting . But I was certainly happy to have rolled myself out of bed  and I haven't even told you about the actual fashion show!