The weather is blazing hot and you still have to go to work. What are you going to wear? Sure, a maxi dress will keep you cool but it's not professional. Shorts are a no-go. Same as thong sandals and flip-flops. If your professional life requires a more corporate dress code, knowing how to dress for the high temps can be a conundrum. Summer dressing was created with vacations in mind and contradicts the formality of corporate dress. How do you get it right?
It's all about wearing structured clothing in breathable fabrics. Here's some fabrics to look for to keep you cool:
Soft and light, you will want to update all your go-to cotton clothing in this fabric for hot temps. Look for silk blends for a slight-sheen and more dressed-up vibe.
AKA Summer Denim, chambray is soft and light and not at dense as denim. It looks dressy enough for denim-free work environments...seriously!
White linen is the official look of summer, but it's usually celebrated in more festive environments. Not to worry, linen blazers WILL become your summer version of wool in the winter. Look for linen blended with cotton to decrease wrinkling.
Cotton with holes! Eyelet dresses under a linen blazer will be your favorite summer look.
TIP: Stay away (far away!) from synthetic fabrics in hot weather. The key to keeping and feeling cool is for your clothing to absorb perspiration and not wick. Have you ever lounged in your polyester and spandex yoga pants after a workout? EXACTLY.
And because you may want to keep with the casual vibe of summer dressing, here are some work appropriate shoes that aren't pumps:
Need help keeping your cool? Let's connect for a Personal Shopping Experience to update your summer wardrobe just before the weather changes! I'll select some transitional pieces that you can wear into October. Click here to complete your Style Assessment.
For the last several years, many fashion blogs and magazines have sprouted the wonders of creating a Capsule Wardrobe. A wardrobe the is purposefully full of basic items that are seasonless and coordinate with one another with little effort. In theory, I love the idea. Who wouldn't want a closet full of wearable items?
In practice it's a whole other thing. A quick search on Pinterest will yield results that suggest purchasing a set number of tops, bottoms, and accessories, and shoes. No forethought goes into color, prints, and most definitely not Style Personality. Lifestyle is also not considered.
During a Style Coordination appointment with a client, I show my clients how to create outfits based on the items they current have within their wardrobe. No set number of skirts, dresses, tops, shoes, and accessories are required.
1. Edit your Closet
Any time you are considering changing up your wardrobe, you need to begin the process with a full Edit. While doing your Wardrobe Edit, you will identify the pieces you love, hate, and feel indifference. I highly advise the removal of items that you do not love. Try it on for fit and organize it call by type and color.
2. Identify your Hue
Now that you can fully see the contents of your wardrobe, identify the dominant color in your wardrobe. If your wardrobe consist of mostly black, white, or grey, select the next actual color in your wardrobe. As a note, black, white, and grey are shades, tones, and tints. They are used to change a pure color and not considered an actual color. See this color wheel for reference.
3. Coordinate your Looks
Do you notice themes in your wardrobe? Similar prints and silhouettes? More pants than skirts? Lots of jeans and chunky heels? Take a note of what you constantly wear that makes you feel and look your absolute best. Coordinate a signature look using your wardrobe themes, and replicate this with like-items in your wardrobe.
For example, a cobalt blue pencil skirt makes me feel sophisticated, chic, and sexy. It's dominated within my Signature Color and in my best silhouette. My wardrobe in full of skirts and I used this one item to create similar outfits that match this look. Does that make sense?
In essence, a Capsule Wardrobe is a closetful of items that work for you. It's a closet full of wearable items that are a reflection of who you are that you enjoy wearing.
Do you know about the Wardrobe Parcel Style Coaching Series? If you would like to go deep into discovering your personal style, then this may be a program for you. In 4 weeks, you'll learn step-by-step processes of closet organization, Signature Color identity, and best silhouettes for your body shape. Click here to check it out.
DOWNLOAD THE CAPSULE WARDROBE GUIDE
Your Key Hue
What emotion emanates from an all black outfit? What about wearing green and red? What color completely repulses you? Why?
As you begin to edit your wardrobe for spring, take notice of the colors that you seem you wear the most. Are these colors communicating the right message about you? Many women hold the belief that an outfit of all black is chic and slimming. These are truths only if your personality holds the space for the blankness this is absent in this non-hue. An all black outfit on a Comfort Style Personality with a calm temperament and subtle body movement is a communication disaster.
Every Time I get dressed, I like to feel polished, bold, and sophisticated. My signature color embodies and reflects these temperaments. Can you guess my signature color?
My signature color is deep Navy Blue. This cool and bold hue looks well in any fabrication and pairs well with most colors. I have a preference to wear my navy with black in the fall/winter months and with white and bold orange in the spring/summer months. Because navy is the central color of my wardrobe, I center all other hues around it in my wardrobe planning.
What's your signature color?
As the days get longer and the sun shines brighter, it's now the perfect time to plan your Spring Wardrobe. Here's how to do it:
1. Take Inventory of your Fall/Winter Wardrobe.
If you've read or watched Marie Kondo's book or Netflix series then you know how to rid yourself of clothing items that do not Spark Joy. If an item brings up a negative feeling (makes you feel fat, old, dated); and shows visible signs of wear, get rid of it. Outside of weather challenges, if you didn't wear it at all this season, get rid of it.
2. Determine what items can be worn into Spring.
White cotton blouses, black poplin pants, navy hues, and black and white prints on mid-weight fabrics should be included in your Spring Wardrobe. Any other year-around items that are not dependent of weather can be kept out, too.
3. Determine what items to store way.
Velvet, corduroy, thick sweaters, cashmere in deep hues, herringbones, and christmas plaids should be set aside for storage. Knee high boots should also be stored if you Spring Wardrobe doesn't style well to that look.
4. Take inventory of your Spring/Summer Wardrobe.
Eyelet fabrics, wispy dresses, linen pants and bright pastels should be reserved for their wardrobe debut in May. Bring out anything in navy nauticals, jacquard florals, stripes, and tissue weight cashmere. Keep out your twill trench if you have it. If you are not on a weight loss plan and an item doesn't fit, get rid of it. It will take up space in your closet and cause a negative emotion because you can not wear it.
5. Create 5 favorite outfits.
Now is the time to have fun! Once you have your wardrobe organized by item and color, it's time to shop your closet. With an idea of your upcoming activities and the weather, create 5 distinct outfits. Coordinate a dress with a blazer and heels; jeans and blouse with booties and a trench; skirt with a knit sweater, blazer and sandals; and anything that works for your lifestyle.
6. Create a shopping list (if needed) .
If you are have difficulty shopping your closet or wishing you had a particular item to complete an outfit, take note of it. If you see something in a magazine or on the internet that works for your Style Personality and current wardrobe, add it to the list. Once you've determined your shopping budget , go get it!
When my clients learn their Style Personality, they immediately identify the items in their closet that do not align and understand why their favorite outfit is their favorite. it's all about a CONSISTENT FEELING. An emotion that determines your shopping choices. It's not situational and dependent on an occasion.
Sure, most women want to feel sexy on a date and polished at work and experience comfort on the weekend. Those are occasional emotions and not outflowing from who you are at your core. Your authentic Style Personality is a reflection of your overall approach to life.
Here are some examples:
A Sexy Woman is bold. She's assertive in all areas of her life. She was raised as an only child or the eldest.
A Feminine Woman is an introvert. She is reflective and thoughtful in her communications.
A Classic Woman is poised and direct. Her leadership style is diplomatic and dependable.
A Comfort Woman has an "easy-going" demeanor. She enjoys a night in.
When a woman is not dressing in alignment with her authentic Style Personality, it shows up as discomfort in her clothes and discontentment in her wardrobe. A Sexy Woman dressed as a Comfort Woman will feel stifled in her life.
With all this said, MANY women have secondary Style Personalities.
Discover your Primary and Secondary Style Personality with my Style Quiz.
The Sexy Woman is all about feeling sensual and looking bold in her clothing. She is a fashion-forward woman that appreciates the art of getting dressed. The Sexy Woman considers animal prints her neutral and loves patterns and colors in all varieties. She has a flair for expressing drama in her style through fringe, metallic, furs, and skins. The Sexy Woman more than likely has many other Style Personalities represented in her wardrobe due to her trendy nature.
How to know you are a Sexy Woman
- You wear a lot of stilettos and open-toed shoes.
-You consider yourself a fashion connoisseur and enjoy shopping.
- You have a signature fragrance and a statement lipstick.
- You experiment with your hair styles and nail hues.
- You can be considered a maximalist.
- Your go-to brands are: DVF, Alice & Olivia, Cushnie, Aquazzura
Do you express a bit of drama in your wardrobe? Perhaps you are a Sexy Woman!
The Comfort Woman is all about feeling relaxed and looking
casual. Athletic details such as hoodies and joggers in plush fabrics are this Style Personality's go-to items. The Comfort Woman was the first Style Personality to embrace athleisure and will live in leggings long after the trend has past. Shades of blue tend to compose the majority of color in her wardrobe followed by hues with a hazy fade. She is drawn to stripes and prints that feature a beachy element. The Comfort Woman can be confused with the the Classic, as they both prefer simplicity in their clothes.
How to know you are a Comfort Woman
- You prefer pants and jeans over dresses and skirts.
-Boots and wedges are your version of heels.
- You own a favorite sweater, jacket, or scarf that you wear several times a week.
- Your skincare routine is extensive while your makeup is minimal.
-Your wardrobe is composed of knit fabrics with a bit of stretch.
- Your go-to brands are: Vince, Rag & Bone, James Perse, Everlane
Are flip-flops a legitimate shoe choice for you? Do you wear jeans with just about everything? Is summer your favorite season for getting dressed? You just maybe a Comfort Woman!
The Feminine Woman is all about feeling romantic and looking graceful with a touch of whimsy. This Style Personality adores bows, ribbons, and ruffle details in her accessories and clothes. She is drawn to colors that are bright and soft; never one to wear an all black outfit. Floral motifs tend to be a favorite followed by polka dots and ditsy prints. The Feminine Style Personality isn't as popular as the other 3 expressions, but is easily self-identified.
How to know you are a Feminine Woman
- You have an appreciation for 1950's Vintage clothing.
-Audrey Hepburn is your style icon.
- You have more ballet flats than sneakers.
- Finding a great fitting ankle pant is the equivalent of winning the lottery for you.
- You are drawn to glitter and sequins.
- Your go-to brands are: Milly, Kate Spade, Ted Baker, and Joie.
Do you like whimsy and unexpected details in your wardrobe? Do you like to feel graceful? Perhaps you are a Feminine Woman! Comment below on what defines your Feminine Style.
I strongly believe that the strength of great personal style begins with knowing your Style Personality. I spend a significant amount of time identifying and educating my clients on how to create consistency in their shopping habits and personal brand identity. Everything from texture, silhouette, and color are nonverbal visual cues into your style identity.
Each week in February, I'll dedicate a post to each Style Personality's defining characteristics and aesthetics. Most women can see elements of them self in each Style and think in terms of occasion. A Style Personality is defined by the dominant emotion attached to how you want to feel and be perceived every time you get dressed. It determines your purchases, your brands, and the general curation of your wardrobe.
Let's start this series with the most popular style expression: Classic.
Who are You?
One of my favorite TV shows of all time is Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. His remarkable kindness and profound wisdom were instrumental in my development of confidence and critical thinking. Before the end of each episode, he would tell me (and others!) "You've made this day a special day, by just your being you."
" You know, you don't have to look like everybody else to be acceptable to feel acceptable." - Fred Rogers
Mister Rogers gave me my first lesson in authenticity. An acceptance of my uniqueness, quirks, and gifts. That wisdom became my power and that power is continually demonstrated in how I dress and show up in life.
Here's how to Dress with Power:
1. Break rules
If you like it, wear it! That means mixing polka dots and stripes with florals. Wearing pink and red together. Mixing gold and silver accessories in your outfit. Whatever "fashion rule" you believe, it's time to break it if it contradicts with your personal style.
2. Let go of Judgements
Stop waiting to try a new style because of your weight! TRY IT! As women, we often create barriers to our happiness. Enjoy the excitement of feeling sexy and confident regardless of your size. NOW!
3. Self Acceptance
I challenge you to stand in front of a full-length mirror wearing only a bra and panty. Admire your beauty and uniqueness. Identify what you love about your physicality. This could be your height, your hair, your décolletage. Whatever you identify, celebrate it and thank it for being a part of you. Give thanks to your body for all the times you've been healed from any illness. Thank your heart for continuously giving you life and your brain for new ideas. Thank your body for freedom of movement regardless if you need assistance. Learn to live in gratitude and not criticism.
4. Identify your Personal Style Personality
How to you like to feel when you get dressed? How do you want to be perceived in all areas of your life? Create a list identifying the qualities that first come to mind. Next, select 5 items in your closet that align with your list. This could be a pair of shoes, a necklace or earrings, a purse...doesn't necessarily have to be clothing. Once you've identified those 5 items, wear them like crazy and purchase similar items that provoke the same quality.
Style is a personal journey. Here's to enjoying the ride!
All images are from Pinterest.
Jana Coke is the founder and principal wardrobe consultant of Jana Coke Style. This is the place to be to get your style tips and wardrobe advice!