How hot is it? It’s so hot I could cuddle up with a Popsicle. "Come to Mama, you tall, cold, flavored drink of water!!" That’s the bad news.
|Illustration by Claudi Kessels|
The good news is that the cool breezes of fall will soon be wafting my way bringing with them everything I love about the season – the crisp air on my cheeks, the comforting warmth of a wool sweater and the heavenly smell of sausage and apples simmering on the stove.
And then there are the glorious colors of autumn, more good news, which suit my coloring to perfection.
Pantone Colors for Fall 2016 (Left to Right: Riverside, Airy Blue, Sharkskin, Aurora Red, Warm Taupe, Bodacious, Potter's Clay, Spicy Mustard, Lush Meadow, Dusty Cedar)
And, even more good news, if you haven’t already started, you have fall shopping to look forward to. Of course, that’s assuming that you like to shop, which I don’t. Yes, ladies, as shocking as this may sound coming from a professional Image Consultant, who shops with and for her clients, I have to come clean and share a dirty little secret – shopping for clients is fun; shopping for myself is NOT.
Until I got married, Mme Mère made most of my clothes, even my wedding ensemble. I was definitely spoiled, so when I started shopping for myself, I found it a frustrating experience – nothing fit properly, the fabrics were of dubious quality and the workmanship was not up to my mother’s standards. (And if you think it was bad then, it's much worse now; but more about that later.)
So, it was time to pull out a Mme Mère invaluable dictum. “If there’s something you have to do that you don’t like doing, get really good at doing it.” Here’s the theory behind the dictum. The better you get at doing something you don’t like doing, the more efficiently and quickly you can get it done. Some day you might actually like doing it, but, even if you don’t, you can still take satisfaction from a job well done.
And that’s just what I did. I got really good at it, which enabled me to teach my clients how to get really good at it, as well.
Here are my three favorite shopping tips:
|From February 2011 Issue of Matchbook Magazine|
1) Never go shopping without a list. Santa never leaves home on Christmas Eve without his. Before you leave the house, check your list of Wardrobe Basics (If you don’t have one of your own, click here for my 10 Basics in Neutrals.). From that list, make a second list of what you need and break it down into Basics, Accessories and Just for Fun. That’s the list you take with you.
2) Never go shopping without lipstick. Sound silly? Not really. Store lighting is notoriously unreliable in determining color, especially in dressing rooms; therefore, your perfect shade of lipstick is a good clue as to whether the lighting has yellow or blue undertones. If your lipstick color looks “off,” check the color of the garment in natural light, if possible.
3) Never go shopping with friends. Do I even need to elaborate on this one? For the Pro, shopping is not a social, recreational activity. Friends slow you down and even the most well-intentioned can have a negative influence on your choices. Just because she’s your best friend doesn’t mean she has any more taste in clothes than she has in men.
O.K., so I got really good at doing something I didn’t like doing and made a business out of it. Did I eventually come to love shopping? Well, there are moments when everything just comes together so beautifully that I do love it.
Unfortunately, over the last decade or so, shopping for clothes has become increasingly frustrating, even for the Pros. Size inconsistencies have gotten way out of hand from brand to brand and even within brands. Vanity sizes meant to appeal to our egos have only confused us. Imprecise Alpha sizing (S, M, L, XL) is replacing numeric sizing. Ordering on the internet can be very hit or miss.
Watch as this young lady explores size inconsistencies while attempting to find the perfect pair of jeans.
So, I guess when it comes to clothes shopping, Mme Mère’s dictum is still a solid piece of advice. “If there’s something you have to do that you don’t like doing, get really good at it.” You may never like the process, but if you get really good at it, you’ll love the results.