How to Cut Holiday Party Costs Without Cutting Out the Fun

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Today’s guest blog was written by Natalie Jones of Homeowner Bliss, a homeowner looking to share her and her husband’s experience with those looking to find their first home!

‘Tis the season for ugly Christmas sweaters and holiday party fun! If you plan on hosting your own holiday party this year, you’ll want some creative ways to impress your guests and make it a memorable time without blowing all of your holiday funds. But in order to be at the top of the holiday host list, you’ll need these super fun, budget-friendly party tips.      

Have Some Fun Food and Drinks for Guests

The holidays are all about gathering together with friends and family, but they also tend to be about the food! You can have so much fun coming up with festive foods that all of your party guests are sure to enjoy. Load up your table with tasty bite-size options like bacon crack bites, sausage balls, or even some classic pigs in a blanket. If you don’t want to do all the food prep on your own, consider setting up stations where guests can put together their own tasty creations. This is an easy option for holiday beverages like hot chocolate where you can offer peppermints, candies, marshmallows and whipped cream as toppings. After you’ve made the food and drink list, do your wallet a favor and scout out some online cost-cutting options for snacks to help keep these tasty holiday treats budget-friendly.

 Put Together a Festive Holiday Playlist

Once you have your party food plan all squared away, you can focus on making your event fun. No holiday party is complete without the perfect playlist, but you don’t have to pay high prices for a DJ. Instead, spend some time before your event planning some music that fits your festivities. You can use Spotify to put together a list of modern twists on your favorite holiday pop songs or pick out a holiday station on Pandora to keep the music jamming all night long. Want to add some festive fun to your party on the cheap? Try using a karaoke app to get your guests to sing along to current hits or their favorite holiday songs. You can pick from a list of preloaded tunes or scan songs on your devices to give you a variety of options to choose from.

Don’t Forget to Pick Up Party Favors

When you’ve planned the ultimate holiday party, the last thing you want is for your guests to leave empty-handed. Having some fun, festive party favors to hand out is a warm gesture during the season of giving, and it helps your guests hold onto those memories as well. Fortunately, it’s easy (and budget-friendly) to put together some DIY party favors to score some fun points with your friends and family. For example, you could bake some take-home treats or make personalized ornaments for each person. If you don’t have the time for DIY, consider picking up some bulk party favors from your favorite party supply retailer. From snowflake fans to pre-made goody bags, you are sure to find a budget-friendly option your guests will love.

Don’t Forget to Have a Plan for Your Pets

Holiday parties and foods are always fun for you and your guests, but they may not be as much fun for any pets in your home. Aside from worrying about your cat or dog escaping with guests coming in and out of the front door, you also have to worry about holiday foods that are toxic to your furry family members. Your party guests may not know to keep seemingly innocent treats, like candy and bones, out of reach of your animals, but that could end in tragedy for your pets. So make the night stress-free for everyone and have a plan to keep your animals out of the way. You can keep them in a designated space away from guests, but the best bet is to arrange for them to stay with a pet boarder or sitter while you host your holiday party.

The holidays are a time for giving, so give your guests a gift they will always remember! From comfort food to creative parting gifts, you can make sure your party is a hit, and kick off the holidays in style without breaking your entire budget. Happy hosting, and happy holidays!          

 Photo Credit: Pexels

Ready For a Big Change?

Did you catch my Facebook and Instagram Live on Halloween?

If not, you can still check out the recording on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/storytellerstylist.

I also wanted to break it down for you, in writing, the announcements I made so that you have the information at your fingertips. Bottom line is Storyteller Stylist is expanding offerings and services now and in 2020.

Yes, I’m so excited to bring you even more styling help, advice, and to help you get to your authentic style that you dream of! Not only that, but teaching you how to keep it up so that you can apply what you learn for a lifetime of dressing for you and telling your style story. I’m here to serve you and will be doing so in an even bigger way!

1.       New Storyteller Stylist Facebook Group- On November 22, 2019, I’m opening up a private Facebook group. You will be able to join starting on this date. You will need to request access to join the group (or you will receive an invitation to join the group) but this is so that we can keep the group to only those interested in learning more about personal styling, fashion help, etc. It will allow you to post without others outside of the Facebook group seeing what you posted because the group will be private.

It will also allow you to have a community of women who are there for the same reasons and to support each other along the way.  I will go live within the group at set times for questions and answers and I will also be in the group providing feedback, asking questions on your needs, and providing styling advice and posts.

If you follow my page on Facebook or Instagram, you will want to join the private Facebook group! I will still keep my business page open and post on it as well but the content will be more in depth in the Facebook group. This is something you will want to be part of! And don’t worry, it’s free to join the Facebook Group.

2.        New Announcement on Facebook Live November 8th- I’m announcing a collaboration on November 8th so stay tuned for the time of this Facebook and Instagram Live!

3.       Limited Time Holiday Styling Package- I also announced that beginning November 6, 2019 I will be opening up a limited time holiday styling package! If you need help with styling for the holidays or just need help deciding on what outfits to wear, I’ve got you covered. This package will only be available from November 6, 2019- December 18 (for 6 weeks only)! On November 6th at 9:00 am Eastern Time, you will be able to see the styling package under www.storytellerstylist.com/availablepackages.

Planning has taken off for 2020 as well and I’m excited to share that I am working on launching a personal styling course! Details will be forthcoming next year but I’m really excited to bring this to you!

I am also going to be serving on some podcasts and another project that I am very excited about. It’s going to be a big year! I will be sure to give you all of the details as those approach.

Are you ready? Let me know what else you want to see for the remainder of this year and next year as well. Oh, and be sure to share this with any woman who you think might benefit from it.

Have a beautiful weekend,

XO

Carrie

Fall Fashion Tips- 5 Ways to Maximize Your Wardrobe

Can I share a little secret with you?

Fall is such a fantastic time to get in tune with your wardrobe. Not only because you are overhauling your closet (you picked up your closet detox guide, right)? But because of the colors, prints, and the versatility of the season.

And trust me when I say this. It isn’t all about wearing the color orange, my friend.



Today I’m giving you 5 ways to maximize your fall wardrobe that is easy and fun:

  1. It’s all about the bootie- NO! Not THAT bootie, geesh! Ha, just kidding. The ankle boot is by far my most favorite boot because you can style it so many ways. Pair it with a fun dress, jeans, or skirt. You really cannot go wrong. A close second is the calf lace-up boot. Looks great with a maxi or midi dress. When it turns really cold, you can add some tights.

  2. Play up the beautiful color palette-But know what colors look best on you. There are so many colors beautiful fall colors so try to add them to your outfits and break free of the constant need to wear black and/or grey all the time. Yes, I’m talking to you! Depending on your undertone (warm or cool) try to wear colors in the warm family closest to your face if you have a warm undertone and cool colors closest to your face if you have a cool undertone. Don’t know your undertone? Send me an email.

  3. Throw on a scarf- Fall is the perfect time to use scarfs as an additional element to your outfit. I also love mixing prints so don’t obsess about this with printed scarfs. Check out my blog from October 10th on how to mix prints.

  4. Layering- Because it can be cold in the morning and warmer during the day, be sure to layer so that you can adjust as needed. For example, throw on a jean jacket or blazer that can be removed later and still have a stylish outfit underneath.

  5. Remember to change up your nail polish if you wear it-Jewel tone and earth tone nail polish looks much nicer in the fall than the bright colors of summer. Remembering to change up your nail polish can elevate your look to the next level. Just think, you don’t want fuchsia pink nails against a burgundy sweater. Blah. However, a soft pink looks beautiful with burgundy! I’m more of a neutral girl when it comes to nail polish. I guess Katie Middleton and I have something in common!

I also wanted to share some of my favorite items for fall just in case any of these are on your shopping list:

So how are you styling your fall wardrobe? I would love to see so tag me @storytellerstylist on social media. PS- I’m also going to be announcing some new things coming next week so stay tuned. I cannot wait to share it with you!

Have a beautiful weekend.

XO,

Carrie


Mixing Prints 101: Five Rules That Are Easy to Follow!

Does print mixing leave you feeling defeated?

Fall is a great time to practice mixing prints because there are A LOT of prints that emerge around this time. And it can really look amazing if you know how to do it well.

In this week’s blog, I’m giving you 5 easy rules to follow when mixing prints:

  1. Stick with the same base color- For example, if you have a black shirt with white star print, pair it with black shoes with a colorful floral print. So your shirt and shoe base color is black for both.

  2. Mix the same print, just different ways (varying scales)- For example, if wearing a herringbone print pant, mix in a herringbone jacket that is of a different scale (pants smaller herringbone, jacket larger herringbone).

  3. Stripes go with every other print- Think of stripes as the neutral part of your outfit. Just be sure to look at the color wheel and determine the colors you are mixing with are complementary or harmonious. For example, mix a white and navy striped shirt with a white and navy floral skirt.

  4. If mixing a bold print, pair with a smaller scale mild print- For example, a black polka dot shirt where the polka dots are small and white, with a black skirt with bold color animals on it. And there you have a perfectly paired outfit.

  5. At the end of the day, it’s more important to focus on matching the colors, not the prints- You can honestly wear most prints together. The key is to make sure the colors in the prints match and work well together. This is the biggest takeaway. I suggest purchasing a color wheel on Amazon and use it when looking at your prints to ensure they are complementary or harmonious.

See, mixing prints isn’t so bad. Now is the time to jump in and try it! It’s a great time to start. Let me see your print mixing beautiful outfits by tagging me on Facebook and/or Instagram @storytellerstylist.

P.S.- Did you see the most recent issue of Luxe Magazine? I am very proud to be on the cover of the magazine and excited to share my story with you. Check it out!


Have a wonderful weekend my dear!

XO,

Carrie

Need New Undergarments? I Break Down My Favorites and Why VS Didn't Make the List.

When was the last time you purchased new undergarments? Last week? last month? Several years ago?

When performing my Fall/Winter & Spring/Summer closet detox, I include a review of my undergarments in this mix. Last year I disposed of SEVERAL that either did not fit, were worn out, or just did not match my lifestyle.

And by undergarments, I am talking about underwear, bras, lingerie, corsets, socks, and pantyhose/tights.

With the emergence of small businesses, there is a increase in more personal selections and offerings. And I have to say, I love it!

I wanted to break down my favorite places to shop for undergarments if you are in the market or just want to freshen up your selections:

  1. Soma: If you are looking for stay-in-place bikinis, this is the place to find them. Sometimes under dresses, you just want a bikini that stays in place because you might feel too “exposed” wearing a thong. And that makes sense! I love their vanishing edge technology and stay in place silicone. You will not have a line that shows, nor will they ride up all day.

  2. PrimaDonna: If you are looking for a full-coverage bra for larger bust sizes, then the Deauville full cup bra is rated way up there in support, comfort, and style.

  3. Leia: For plus size bras, Leia countour plus bra is a must! It’s not just functional like some other plus size bras, but it’s also beautiful.

  4. Wacoal: Looking for a strapless bra that doesn’t slide down halfway through the night? Try their Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra. I have these in several different colors I love them so much! They offer great support as well.

  5. Hanky Panky: For some great lace thongs, I love the ones by this brand. They are smooth and comfortable and can be worn well with pants and jeans. They also come in a variety of colors and prints.

  6. Oh La La Cheri: Getting married? I love their Scarlet Eyelash lace Teddy! It’s perfect for a special occasion.

  7. Lively: If you are someone who likes to wear a bra at night, their lace straight up bralette does the trick. It’s comfortable enough for sleeping yet also offers some support.

  8. DKNY: If you are looking for some seriously awesome pantyhose and tights, they have your back… I mean, legs! A variety of colors and styles, comfortable, and very stylish. They also stay in place so no adjusting required.

  9. Bombas: For no-show socks, hands down I love theirs the most. No slipping off of the back of your heel and comfortable in sneakers and even ankle boots.

  10. Madewell: For socks that work great with high boots, try their ribbed everyday socks.

You are probably wondering why I didn’t choose anything from Victoria’s Secret. Yes, they have been around for a while, but to be honest, they lost me with their whole “juicy” (and other butt wording) sweatpants line. I also found that I wore an entire size bigger in their bras than I did in other brands, leaving me to wonder if they made them smaller to make women feel like their chest was larger. I didn’t like that. Of course, I can’t be 100% sure on that. It has just been my experience. And with the number of awesome brands out there, they just don’t fit into my style these days.

So is it time for an undergarment makeover?

Have a great weekend.

XO,

Carrie

Are Clothing Rentals the Wave of the Future?

I recently read an article during New York Fashion Week on the emergence of clothing rentals. I’m not talking about the services that have “stylists” hand pick clothes for you and then you decide if you want to purchase them or not. That’s a different topic for a different day. I’m talking about clothes you select and rent.

The concept of renting clothes has been around for several years, but is just recently taking shape and gaining more interest in the realm of everyday style. Many stores are now offering clothing rentals for a monthly fee for a set number of clothes or unlimited number of options for a different fee.

How does clothing rental work?

You sign up for a membership first, either monthly or unlimited, for a set fee. The typical transaction is that you choose a certain number of items from either a store you love to shop or a company that works with several designers and/or stores. You browse through all of the inventory they have for rental, put them in your virtual cart, and then check-out. The items are shipped to you. You then keep them for as long as you wish or until the set time designated in your membership. At that time you then return the items and choose your next grouping of clothes to be shipped. This can also be done at businesses that have these rental companies so you can essentially walk in, select what you wish to wear for the day to rent, and then return it when fished. This is typical in bigger cities though.

It’s that simple.

For women who love experimenting with various designers and styles, this is a dream come true! For example, you can rent $1,200 worth of clothes from top designers for only $88/month. Some even give you the option to purchase if you decide.

I personally enjoy clothing rental services as it has helped me spend less money on a substantial wardrobe. I also love to be able to try new things I might not try if I had to purchase them. And getting to wear a designer dress that costs $900 plus for such a small fee is amazing in itself. For working women, this will allow you to have a rotating work wardrobe without spending a ton of money on clothes.

So what’s the catch?

Department stores are feeling the competition of this newer market and declining sales. So recently, Nordstrom teamed up with Rent the Runway (a clothing rental company who works with several stores and designers) where renters can scan and return their items within the Nordstrom store. The idea for Nordstrom is to get people into the store.

Many of the everyday mall stores are launching clothing rentals as well as they see this as an opportunity to move and adapt to the changes. With the option to purchase rentals for a lot of these stores, it not only brings business back to them but creates excitement about what they have to offer.

What’s the take home message?

Before you start to dive into the clothing rental word, be sure to do these things first to assess if this is something that would be beneficial for you:

  1. Do you like to be adventurous with your wardrobe selections? Meaning, have you always wanted to try new clothing styles or high end designers without the cost of purchasing the items?

  2. Do you like the idea of having a membership and paying a flat fee each month to wear clothes that you wear and then return?

  3. Are you willing to take the responsibility to select the styles and ship them back when required by your membership?

  4. If you decided this is something you really want to do, be sure to read all of the fine print in your agreement before you sign up. Some people have been surprised by some companies charging substantial fees if a piece was lost by the mail service, stolen, or significantly damaged. Before you decide to do it, make sure you are aware of what you are signing up for.

  5. Be sure your subscription allows you to cancel at anytime so you are not tied to a certain number of months or years of commitment.

  6. Research several different rental service companies and choose one, two, or three that best match your authentic style, your lifestyle, and your style personality.

  7. This really should go without saying but never, ever rent undergarments. No serious, don’t ever.

My experiences have been directly with Rent the Runway and most recently Nuuly. I plan to experiment with more but since Nuuly is mostly vintage lines, such as Anthropologie, Free People, LoveShackFancy, Gal Meets Glam, Paige Denim, and others, it has become my dream clothing rental company to date. My experience has been really awesome and I’m looking forward to more. As a stylist, I like to experiment but I am also cognizant of my style personality. And that is important when selecting a rental company.

I want to note that I still enjoy having a closet full of clothes. The rental of clothing just allows me to enjoy some styles that are out of my purchasing price range, to be more experimental with styles within my style personality, to wear that fancy designer dress to a wedding, and to have some items that I am ok with only wearing a couple of times and returning.

So to answer the question- are clothing rentals the wave of the future? I believe we are going to continue to see this trend upwards for years to come with more and more retailers coming on board as well as more and more women looking to dress for everyday wear.

Have a beautiful weekend!

XO,

Carrie

Best Jewelry Styles to Flatter Your Face Shape

Last week on Instagram and Facebook, I talked about how your face shape can have an impact on the jewelry you wear. I know, I know, it’s a LOT to take in and understand.

But I’m here to walk you through it and make it easy! So no sweat, you got this!

There are 7 different face shapes: oval, heart, square, oblong, triangle, diamond, and round. There can also be variations of these 7 shapes. For example, I have an oval face but it’s also long so I more precisely have a long oval face shape.

It’s not always easy to figure out your face shape so I’m going to give you some pointers for each. Once you know your face shape, you can then determine the best jewelry to accentuate your best features.

Ready to get started? Here we go.

-First, determine if your face is round or angular. Meaning, does it appear to have sharp points or does it appear to be a circular area without sharp points?

-Then, divide your face into 3 sections: eyes/cheeks, forehead, and chin/jawline.

-Determine the widest part of your face.

-Then, determine if your face length is small, average, or long.

From there, use the information below to decide your face shape:

  1. Oval: A longer version of the round face shape, the length of your face is more than the width of your face. Your forehead is the widest part of your face.

    BEST JEWELRY: This face shape can wear almost any jewelry type, however, there is one style that should be avoided-overly long, straight earrings. Earrings that are long and straight only make the face appear longer. Long earrings with curves to them look much better and will add width to the area of the face that needs it. Necklaces can be anything but the most flattering are one with rounded accents.

  2. Inverted triangle (heart): Pointed chin and forehead is the widest part of your face.

    BEST JEWELRY: Short and curved necklaces will diminish the sharp point of the chin. Thick necklaces will create a fullness at the neck and balance out the wider forehead. Angular shaped earrings will add some width to the jawline.

  3. Square: The sides of the face are in straight lines with minimal curving of the jawline, meaning the jawline is also angular. The face appears proportional, meaning the vertical to horizontal is nearly equal.

    BEST JEWELRY: U shaped necklaces work great for the square face shape as it softens the sharp angles of the face and brings it more into balance.

  4. Rectangle (Oblong): The forehead, cheeks, and jawline are nearly all the same width. The chin can be slightly curved.

    BEST JEWELRY: Because of the length of this face shape, you want to stick with short necklaces and big, bold, wide earrings. The shorter necklace will decrease the length of the face as well as adding width to the sides of the face with bold earrings.

  5. Triangle: Opposite the inverted triangle (or heart) shape, the jawline is the widest part of the face with a narrow forehead.

    BEST JEWELRY: Narrow statement earrings will draw attention outwards, adding width to your cheekbones and balancing out your proportions.

  6. Diamond: Higher cheekbones and pointer chins. Similar to the heart shaped face but the forehead is narrower.

    BEST JEWELRY: This face shape can really wear any style of jewelry! I love to play up the neckline with this face shape with necklaces because they are so flattering. It is, in fact, a “diamond” shape after all. Don’t be afraid to be creative.

  7. Round: Vertical to horizontal is equal without any angularity. Soft features with a rounded chin.

    BEST JEWELRY: Earrings that are long and straight down add length to the face and can make a round face appear more in balance. Necklaces that create a V shape also look nice on a round face. Avoid wide earrings as they will make the face appear even wider.

One thing to keep in mind is if you have an angular face shape, your body shape will also be angular. And if you have a rounded face shape, your body shape will follow.

I hope this was helpful! Now go assess your jewelry and play around with the best options for your face shape. Let me know how you do.

Have a beautiful weekend.

XO,

Carrie

Best Fall Fabrics of 2019 and How to Style Them.

It’s been hot in the Midwest this week. So hot, it feels like a mid-August heatwave.

But the reality is, Fall is slated to officially begin on Monday September 23rd. Eventually, the heat will turn to cool, crisp days/nights. Knowing how to dress for the change in season can feel a little daunting when we have forgotten about our styles that we haven’t worn for several months. Not only that, needing to do a closet detox for the Fall/Winter in preparation for setting our closets for the change in season (my free closet detox guide is coming September 20th)!

When it comes to Fall styles, there really are some fabrics that are meant for this season. A few weeks back I shared with you the Pantone Fall/Winter color release for 2019-2020 and now incorporating those into the Fall fabrics and how to style them is where it all comes together.

Are you ready? Here we go:

  1. Tweed. For those who know me well, this is by far my most favorite Fall fabric. I just love how it looks, especially in blazers, skirts, and dresses. The fabric is fun, warm, and typically has a color variation that looks beautiful but not too over the top. Meaning, you can wear it with jeans and look well put together and stylish. This is a very hot fabric this year and you will see a lot of it in clothing stores and online. Tweed shoes can also look great styled with a pair of jeans.

  2. Corduroy. Oh, yes. It is making a comeback this Fall in a variety of ways. The most obvious is in pants but also in dresses, vests, skirts, and even button-downs. Find corduroy in a style that is best for your body shape. If you are not sure of your body shape, then a pair of straight leg corduroy jean will be best flattering. They have them in a variety of beautiful Fall colors. Pair with a button down, a sweater, or long-sleeve blouse.

  3. Quilted. This fabric tends to be more on the casual side of style so think vest or jacket. I find quilted fabric to be my comfort go-to as well. It pairs well with jeans and rain boots.

  4. Cashmere. I love, love, love cashmere sweaters. They are incredibly soft and wear well on all body shapes. I am a fond believer in that every woman should own at least one cashmere sweater. I also find this to be a nice material in scarfs, gloves, and sweater dresses. Pair it with jeans, a skinny pant, or a pleated skirt and ankle boots.

  5. Fleece. I put this fabric in line with quilted because they both are typically used with more casual clothing. Fleece is soft and comfortable and is typically found in jackets, vests, scarfs, and gloves. You can find fleece sweaters as well. This is great for a pumpkin patch day at that farm. Pair with jeans, pointe pants, ankle boots or your favorite sneakers.

  6. Recycled material. If you haven’t ventured into the area of recycled material, you are missing out. Not only are you giving back by helping the environment but the styles are super cute for Fall. Pick a thicker material like polyester or cotton.

These are some of my favorites in the above fabrics for Fall this year:

What is your favorite Fall fabric? Let me know by tagging @storytellerstylist on Facebook or Instagram. I also love to see your photos of your styled outfits so please share them on social media @storytellerstylist.

Have a beautiful weekend.

XO,

Carrie

How to Achieve Your Authentic Style on a Budget

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I was shopping in Target recently when a woman walked up to me and said, “I love those shoes! Do you mind me asking where you got them?” Little did she know that I am a Personal Stylist but in that situation, I wasn’t just going to offer it up out of nowhere. If it worked itself into the conversation then sure, but I never want to come off as pushy or salesy to people. Besides, there is a time and place for it.

My response, “I purchased these from Anthropologie.” She then seemed a little sad and said, “Oh, that’s why, they look so expensive.” I explained to her that I purchased them off season during a sale and they were deeply discounted. I purchased them for 1/2 of the original price. “I didn’t even know Anthropologie had sales! I just assumed it was too expensive for me to shop there so I stopped looking. I’ll have to check out the sales then. Thank you!,” she replied.

We then started talking about different stores and I offered my knowledge on outlets and best time to purchase for deep discounts. She did end up finding out I am a stylist and started asking me if the shirt she had in her cart would look nice on her.

As moms, we tend to feel guilty about spending money on ourselves. We tend to put our family first. And that is understandable. Believe me, I’m a mom and I totally get it.

But we all want to look stylish, put together, and authentic, right? And you can! Even on a strict styling budget. You just need to keep the following in mind when bargain shopping (hint: I do these things too!).

  1. Check to see if your favorite store has an outlet. There are several stores that have outlet style stores with lower price points but still great styles. The nice thing is that they are affordable yet still great quality and have very similar styles to the higher end stores. Some examples are J. Crew Factory, Nordstrom Rack, Neiman Marcus Last Call, and many, many other stores. Just do a search for outlet tied to your favorite store and you will be surprised to find there are countless outlet stores!

  2. Stop buying clothes you are never going to wear. This is not going to be easy to hear but this is a huge money suck. Yes, wearing only 20% of your wardrobe means you are wasting tons of money buying clothes you are never going to wear. How do you stop this cycle? You first need to organize your closet via my closet overhaul system. I’m providing a free guide that will be available September 20th. This is something that is critical to saving you money in the long run (and saving you time when getting dressed as well. Win, win!).

  3. Stop paying full-price. There are various times of the year when stores have sales (even outlets) so the key is to follow them and waiting until the discounts are available before purchasing. There is also a Google Chrome extension, Shoptagr that allows you to pin an item you see online, select a color and size, and then notify you when the item is on sale. It’s a free service to use.

  4. Sign up for email distribution list of your favorite stores. When you do so, they usually provide you with a discount code and will also notify you of when they are having sales. If you like an item, you can add it to your virtual shopping cart and then leave it there. If it goes on sale, they will email you that a “product in your cart is now on sale.” I cannot tell you how many times I have used this tactic.

  5. Sign up for a rewards program. Most stores have rewards programs now that offer discounts. Some offer cash back discounts as well and most are free to join. Take advantage of the free offers and rewards as they can really payoff.

  6. Shop off season for the best deals. Remember the shoes I told you about in the beginning of this blog? I purchased them off season and paid 1/2 the price. Although I couldn’t wear them but a few times when I first purchased them, they have been in my wardrobe for 5 years now and the style is timeless so I will get to wear them for many more years to come. And for the deep discount, totally worth the seasonal wait.

Finding your authentic style doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. It can be achieved on a budget. And honestly, we should all be looking to find the best deals, regardless of our wallet size. Don’t let this hold you back. Follow these key steps and you will be amazed by the transformation.

And for the record, she ended up purchasing a different shirt that she absolutely loved and is going to look wonderful on her. It was also on sale for an even better price. I loved to see that she left there with a huge smile on her face.

Have a beautiful weekend.

XO,

Carrie

Why Your Style Matters

I’m sitting here in my workout clothes as I write this. My kids woke up at 5 am and didn’t go back to sleep. I’m exhausted, running on little sleep, but I forced myself to get a workout in anyway because I knew it would make me feel better.

When we are exhausted with a long to-do list, looking stylish might not be at the top of our priority list. But it can significantly impact how we think about and approach our day, just as how exercising did for me this morning. Even though at first, I wasn’t interested in doing it.

Your style really does matter, and it matters for several reasons:

1.     It represents how you express yourself to others. OK, so I hear you saying, “Why does that matter. I don’t care if people think I look nice today or not.” But if we are being honest with ourselves, it’s not exactly true. I’m not saying to be arrogant about it. No, not at all. I’m also not saying that women have to worry about always looking nice for other people. There are days that I don’t wear any makeup.

But what I am saying is that you wouldn’t walk into a board meeting in sweatpants and a t-shirt when you are doing a presentation in front of your company. How you express yourself through style not only has an impact on others, but it has a direct impact in how you feel about yourself and can change your entire day. So please, don’t misunderstand this concept.

2.     It can give you a confidence boost. Yes, this is one of the biggest reasons I tell the women I work with to get dressed, even when you are stuck at home all day and don’t feel like it. After having a baby and feeling exhausted, just the act of putting on your favorite pants or top can give you a big confidence boost and brighten your mood.

3.     Your style makes you feel like you. Clothes are external, yes, but if you are dressing for your authentic style, you are demonstrating a powerful non-verbal message. Your style is unique to you and knowing how to express it has positive outcomes.

4.     Know your style personality. Your lifestyle can change over the years so knowing your style personality is key to knowing how to dress, without the frustration. As I stated last week, Your Personality + Your Authentic Style = Your Style Personality.   

Being the best version of ourselves and using our style is one big way to do this. Put this into practice and make an effort, even when you don’t feel like it. See and feel the changes take place within you.

Because your style matters.

Post blog update: I do practice what I preach. I did get out of my workout clothes and into my street clothes. And yes, I felt so much better!

Have a beautiful holiday weekend.

XO,

Carrie

How Your Personality Plays a Role in Your Style

Most of you are not aware that I have a B.A. in Psychology and spend almost 7 years of my medical career working in Psychiatric Research. During that time, I learned a lot about how personalities have an impact on how you perceive the world, your relationship with others, your response to things and people around you, and your personal decisions.

But, were you also aware it has a major impact on your style? Everyone has what I call a “Style Personality” and I include this information in the style book of all of my clients.

Why? Because it is critical to first understand your style personality in order to nail down your authentic style. And in doing so, makes getting dressed and knowing what to wear and what to purchase a whole lot easier!

Your Personality + Your Authentic Style = Your Style Personality

Take my client Katherine, for example. She was struggling to find her authentic style and purchased clothes that really did look great on here but she lacked the confidence to wear them. She had an idea about what she envisioned her style to be, but just could not land on it and didn’t know why. After an initial consultation via video, a review of her completed questionnaires, and the preparation of her style book, I concluded her style personality was “Polished Edgy.”

Her response, “You totally nailed it. This is me!”

Her inspiration board and selection of pieces I picked for her were all surrounding her style personality. Not only did she find her authentic style, but her true style personality. Her style transformation was stunning! The confidence she demonstrated in her AFTER photos made me smile ear to ear. You could also tell she was comfortable in her style and of course, suited her perfectly.

I believe your style is an expression of who you are. And when you know your style personality, you are able to demonstrate your authentic style in ways that show confidence, elegance, timeless, fashion that never expires because you are true to who you are. And it is reflected through your style.

Do you ever look at a women and think, “Wow, she seems confident and content.” I can bet she knows her personality, authentic style and style personality very well!

I have determined there are a variety of style personalities and although you can have qualities of more than one, there is one that is most true to you. One that will speak directly to you. And when you hear it and understand it, you can start to build your wardrobe around it. I’m also positive you already have clothes hanging in your closet now that reflect this personality, you just need need help bringing it to life.

If you are interested in learning more about obtaining your own style book and understanding your style personality, you can book a free 30-minute call with me.

P.S. Next week I will be starting a series on why your style matters, why it isn’t arrogant nor greedy to want to look nice, and how your style can be achieved on a budget. PLUS, I have some really cool things coming down the pike soon that I don’t want you to miss!

Have a beautiful weekend.

XO,

Carrie

Time to Talk Fall/Winter 2019-2020 Colors- My Review!

I’m going to start with saying, WOW. Just WOW!! After reviewing the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) Pantone Fall/Winter 2019-2020 color release and the London Fashion Week (LFW), I am very excited about the upcoming seasons.

Note to you so pay attention. If you are not wearing color, now is the time to get on board because you are going to LOVE these! I am practically drooling over here. OK, so yes, I get excited about color and I hope you will too.

Let’s start with NYFW Pantone color release. Not only do they have several earthy tones, they also have a variety of sharp, strong, beautiful colors perfect for the colder upcoming seasons. Such colors as Fruit Dove, Dark Cheddar, Galaxy Blue, and Eden.

STUNNING.

And they didn’t stop there. Oh no. The classics are not boring classic colors. So if you are someone who is just starting to add color into your wardrobe, starting with the classics is easy to incorporate, with colors such as Vanilla Custard, Evening Blue, and Guacamole you will be asking yourself why you didn’t start adding color in sooner.

Next up is LFW Pantone color release and those equally did not disappoint. Colors such as Crabapple, Antique Moss, and Hazel are some of my favorites.

Be sure to pay attention when shopping in the malls and online as you will notice all of these colors are in full force now. Notice how they are being styled in the store fronts, on the models, etc. and get a sense of what colors look best on you. That is something I specialize in as well.

If you are not following me on Facebook and Instagram, you can find me @storytellerstylist. I will be doing a video review on Facebook and Instagram of how to wear and style these colors for the upcoming seasons so you will not want to miss it.

Have a beautiful week!

XO,

Carrie

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Styling with Jewelry-8 Ways to look Polished and Put Together

Are you a necklace, earring, bracelet,or rings kind of person? We all have our favorites, our go-to’s. But are you struggling with how to wear it with your outfits or even know what looks stylish? Are you concerned with looking like a clown, over-done, or too mismatched? Are you constantly buying new pieces because you can’t figure out how to wear what you already have?

If you struggle with how to style your jewelry, this post is for you! I’ll teach you 5 quick and easy ways to look polished and put together when styling with jewelry.

  1. If you are wearing patterns/prints, stick with simple colors and simple jewelry- If you wear big, gaudy jewelry with busy clothes, it’s going to look crazy real fast. It’s too much going on and will come off as tacky.

  2. Wear skin undertone flattering jewelry- for cool undertones, stick with silver and colors that flatter your skin, such as blues, purples, greens. The neutral colors look great with cool undertones as well. For warm undertones, stick with gold, yellow, orange, and reds. Of course, neutrals are OK too.

  3. Mix outfit colors with jewelry colors that complement each other- by complement, I mean colors that are opposite the color wheel of your outfit colors. This provides a nice balance.

  4. Wear statement earrings or a statement necklace for a date, but not both-If you are going to dinner with your significant other or out on a date for the first time, by all means dress up your outfit! But, don’t overdo it with too much jewelry. My go-to is usually statement earrings but not with a statement necklace at the same time. If you want to wear both earrings and necklace, wear a statement earring with a simple chain necklace. If you want to wear a statement necklace, wear a stud earring or a simple earring with it.

  5. Go glam for an event-if you are attending an event, such as a wedding, this is the time to wear glamours jewelry so go for it! Just make sure to keep it in check with your outfit regarding style and complementing. Look to the red carpet and Pinterest for some examples.

  6. Casual looks, keep your jewelry simple. A love a simple chain necklace with stud earrings when I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Consider your outfit style and apply jewelry appropriately.

  7. Keep work jewelry under control- be careful not to overdo it at work with jewelry.

  8. Consider your face shape when selecting earrings-certain earring shapes look better on your face shape than others. For example, if you have a long oval face shape, straight, long drop earrings are only going to make your face appear longer. Choose round or earrings that have some with to them to bring your shape outward instead of downward. Consider understanding your face shape so that you can look your best in earrings!

Watches and rings can be worn at all times and usually bracelets as well. My only suggestion is not to overdo it with the rings. Stacking as many rings on your fingers as you can is overkill and doesn’t have a nice style flow at all. You also might want to forgo the dangle bracelets at work because they can get in the way of typing. But this is a personal preference.

I hope this helps you the next time you think about how you are going to wear jewelry for your next event, work day, or a casual day out with your family. Jewelry can be really fun. Don’t stress about it too much too.

Have a fantastic weekend!

XO,

Carrie

PS- if you want to dig deeper into understanding your personal style and would love your very own personal style book, we can chat about your needs. Book a free 30-minute styling call!

www.storytellerstylist.com/availablepackages

Mindful Shopping-10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy!

We have all been there. Some of us, more times than not.

Taking a trip to the mall to purchase some new summer clothes (or while shopping online), without a plan in place, just blissfully shopping until your heart is content. Spending hours searching through rack after rack after rack at several stores, getting excited about everything you purchased. And when you get home, you try on everything again and excitedly and carefully hang up all of your new purchases, randomly in your closet.

And then several weeks later, it hits you.

Out of all of your purchases, only a couple of them have you actually worn. You go back to your purchases and try to find something to wear them with, only to find nothing and feel even more frustrated. And because you haven’t organized your closet, your items might not be within mind or plain view. So they get lost in the mix. You hang them back in your closet thinking you will go back to the mall and find something to wear with that new skirt because you, “don’t have anything to wear with it.”

However, the shirt you purchased to wear with it doesn’t look just right so you give up yet again.

Months later, you now have several pieces hanging in your closet that still have the tags on them and while you still have every intention of wearing them, they slowing become part of your 80%. You know, that percentage of your wardrobe that sits in your closet and never gets worn? Yea, that group.

In order to get a handle on shopping and ensure you only purchase pieces you are actually going to wear time and time again (I refer to it as your timeless pieces), you need to get on board with practicing what I call- Mindful Shopping.

There are 10 questions you need to ask yourself before you make that purchase. This process will ensure you are not randomly selecting pieces that will never match anything in your wardrobe and pieces that you will actually wear over and over and with multiple outfits. OK, here we go:

  1. Do I already own something similar to this piece? If so, you probably don’t need it.

  2. Can I wear it with multiple pieces in my wardrobe? If you can picture it with your favorite pair of jeans, that cute maxi skirt, and those killer dress pants and you do not own something similar than go for it.

  3. Would I actually wear it? Meaning, do I see myself wearing this piece many times and love wearing it.

  4. Does it flatter my body shape? If it doesn’t fit well in the right places, best to leave it at the store.

  5. Is it made well? Meaning, is the fabric of good quality.

  6. Can I actually afford it? Is it something that is going to break the bank.

  7. Does the color flatter my skin undertone? This only applies to tops or dresses but important to ensure the color is flattering and doesn’t make you look washed out.

  8. Will I regret purchasing it? Meaning, will I feel guilty only to return it or let it sit in my closet.

  9. Is it worth the price? Different from #6 because if you cannot afford it, leave it. But is it worth the price you are being charged.

  10. How will I feel if I wait and think about it? Will I still want it?

I also suggest you write down ideas on items you feel you are missing from your wardrobe and take it with you to the stores (or online shopping) so that you are not tempted to deviate from your list. If you do find something that is not on your list that you love, think through these 10 questions to determine if this is a mindful purchase or a random purchase that isn’t necessary.

By following these questions and ideas, you will be well on your way to shopping mindfully and ultimately, putting more money back in your bank account.

And who doesn’t like to have more money?

Have a great weekend!

XO,

Carrie

If You Wear Heels (or Wish You Could), You Are Going to Want to Read This!

It’s a love/hate relationship with high heels. Am I right?! But sometimes we really want to wear them as the event or the environment calls for it. I’ll admit, it’s not often that I need to wear them. However, if you work in an office setting where business clothes are required, are attending a glamorous event, or you just need extra pizzazz, heels are your go to!

OK, so no one wants their feet aching by the end of the night. Seriously! How many times do you see women losing their shoes on the dance floor at a wedding because they cannot stand to be in their heels any longer? So how do you wear heels comfortably?

Let me introduce you to two fantastic options:

  1. Inserts for heels

  2. Kitten heels

If you wear high heels and you have not tried the Vivian Lou inserts for high heels, you are missing out big-time. Not only do these inserts stop high heel pain, Vivian Lou weight-shifting insoles ever-so-slightly rotate the heel bone up and back allowing for a more equal distribution of weight between the forefoot and heel. They also stop the feet from slipping forward in shoes. I’m serious, they are like magic!

I’m not endorsing this product based on me making money off of it. I am not an affiliate. I’m just a Personal Stylist who has found a fantastic product that I wanted to share with you all so that you can also wear high heels without pain and discomfort.

If you want to check it out, their website is: https://www.vivianlou.com.

Another option is to wear kitten heels. These are also a favorite of mine. Not only are they very stylish, but if you are looking to still wear heels but with a much lower heel height, then the kitten heel is for you! I’m providing some of my favorite kitten heels for you as well:

Yes! Now you can wear heels without issues and you are free to dance the night away. Be sure to share with me on social media on Facebook and Instagram @storytellerstylist pictures of you enjoying heels again.

Until next week. Have a wonderful weekend.

XO

Carrie

How to Look Slimmer in Your Clothes Using Prints and Patterns.

Have you ever wondered why you sometimes feel larger in some clothes as opposed to others? Well, it isn’t just about the fit, the style, and your body shape. Although, that is a major factor. It also has a lot to do with the type of print or pattern, size of print or pattern, and color contrast you are wearing.

In general, large prints and patterns and horizontal stripes will increase volume while small prints and patterns and vertical stripes decrease volume. This can mean the difference of looking several pounds heavier than you are or several pounds lighter than you are.

So how do you determine the best ways you should wear prints when you don’t just want stick with one style of print? I’ll demonstrate for you!

If you have a triangle body shape (your hips measure wider than your bust), then you want to focus your larger pattern on the top, not the bottom. However, if you wish to wear a pattern on the bottom you certainly can. Just keep it small, for example small polka dots. You can balance your body with a brighter, larger print top, horizontal striped shirt, and solid color pants. This will draw attention up instead of on the lower half that is larger and will creating a slimming effect.

On the flip side of that, if you are an inverted triangle then you would reverse the plan for the triangle shape. Meaning, you would want to wear smaller print on top or solid color on top and larger print on bottom.

If you are on the petite and shorter side, large prints can overwhelm your proportions and body shape. It is best to stick with smaller patterns and prints. Try vertical stripes to elongate the body and incorporate accessories that have prints and patterns. Dresses are nice but keeping the pattern or print small is best.

I also want to mention contrast here. Your patterns and prints are going to be high, medium, or low contrast. The higher the contrast, the more likely the print is going to make you appear larger. But this is OK if you are placing these types of prints in the correct places for your body. Wearing prints on an area you wish to minimize should be small print, low contrast as much as possible.

Try it, take a picture, and see what you think.

I hope this helps you with styling prints and patterns!

Have a beautiful weekend,

Carrie

P.S. Do you wish you knew your body shape? Need more help with your personal style? Book a free 30-minute call with me to see how we can get you moving towards finding your authentic style and telling your style story.

Why a Mid-Year Selfie Challenge Can Change How You Feel About Your Wardrobe

It’s hard to believe that mid-July is a few days away! Before you know it, kids will be back in school and parents will be enjoying life again. OK, so I’m totally joking about that last comment.

We spend so much time focusing on the beginning of the year that we often neglect the second half of the year, thinking that we will just start fresh in the “New Year.” But what if we shifted our mentality and started embracing the remainder of 2019? Imagine how much more we could accomplish and how much better we would feel?

I want to help you with one aspect of this shift in mindset: how you feel about your wardrobe. I want you to take a 7-day selfie challenge where you focus each day performing the following tasks:

  1. Organize your closet already! No, seriously. How many times have I said this is critical to making your life easier.

  2. Style an outfit together that you have never worn together, ever.

  3. Try and mix stripes with other prints. This is easy if you keep the color family the same.

  4. Wear a typical outfit, take a selfie and then wear that outfit you have never worn together and take another selfie.

  5. Mix and match colors that you haven’t experimented with before.

Take a selfie for the next 7 days and tag @storytellerstylist on Instagram and/or Facebook. Experiment with how you look and feel in different outfits. Try adding belts, be creative. This is your chance to focus on how you change your wardrobe and stop living in the style rut you have been in for years. Reconnect with yourself and report back to me how you did.

Focus the second half of the year by not quitting on yourself until January hits, but use this time to get where you want to be. Have fun with it, enjoy the learning that comes with it, and stay motivated! You can totally do it. I’m always here to help and I’m your biggest cheerleader.

Will you take the challenge?

Carrie




Packing for Vacation-My 5 Step Proven System to Get You on Your Way!

It’s vacation season and that means beach trips, the mountains, international exploration, or maybe even Disney might be on your travel plans.

To some, that dreaded time comes when you have to pack. “But what in the world am I going to pack? I hate packing. I never pack the right clothes!” Sound familiar?

Well don’t fret. This is a time to enjoy and sit back and take it all in. It’s your time to step away from your day-to-day life, away from work, and just enjoy time doing what you want. If you are like me, I absolutely love going on vacation with my family. We take multiple vacations each year because I love to spend time not thinking about other things and just focusing on having a good time with them. Of course, they are kids so we have our ups and downs but it’s so worth it and I love every minute of it.

Over the years I have developed a process for packing that has really made it easy for me. I even apply the process for packing for my kids as well. I wanted to share it with you in hopes that it will provide you the same ease and fun it has for me.

My 5-Step Proven System to Packing for Vacation to Get You on Your Way!

  1. Consider How Many Days You Will Be Away- The first thing I do is consider the number of days I will be away from home and add 3 to it. For example, if I will be away 7 days, I pack 10 outfits. This is because I might change my mind about an outfit and decide not to wear it so I have a backup.

  2. Coordinate What You Pack-For the outfits I pack, I make sure I can mix and match with everything in my bag. This means that if you change your mind about a certain outfit, it’s ok because you can wear it with a different piece. I tend to pack a lot of dresses if I’m going to the beach or a warm place so I make sure my shoes I pack match all of my dresses as well. I also apply this principle with my jewelry and actually take only a few pieces that go with everything.

  3. Undergarments Should be Neutral- Stick with neutral color undergarments (beige, black, grey, or even blush is ok). I know this might seem boring but trust me on this, you want to ensure you can wear them with all of your outfits and not have to worry about them showing underneath. And you will not have to think about it too much. Also consider a convertible bra that converts to strapless, halter, and regular so you can pack less.

  4. Check the Weather and Consider the Location- Be sure you are well aware of the weather forecast and your planned activities. For example, if you are going to do some walking you want to be sure you have comfortable shoes. If going to the beach, you want to ensure you have swimsuits, a cover up, sun hat, etc.

  5. Lay it All Out First and Organize-Before I actually pack my outfits in my suitcase, I lay it all out first to evaluate and see if there is anything I want to change. Also to make sure my outfits do mix and match easily. I put my jewelry in a travel jewelry bag (zip-lock bags also work), I place my shoes in the zipped compartment of my suitcase in a shoe bag, and my undergarments and swimwear underneath my outfits. I fold them up nice and neatly and add my makeup and toiletries bag on the side. And you are finished!

This system has been critical to me, especially when I have had to pack last minute for myself and my family. I actually enjoy packing now and have eliminated the stress and drama.

I hope your travels take you exactly where you want to go! Enjoy every minute.

Carrie

How to Dress Stripes!

Happy Friday! Did you know today is National Stripes Day? Yes, it’s a thing. Well, for J.Crew and fellow lovers of J.Crew clothing line anyway.

So in celebration, I thought I would provide some great ways to style stripes, with other patterns and prints. Because news flash, stripes go with everything! Now, you want to ensure the colors are complementary of course, but I’ll demonstrate what I mean.

  1. Mix stripes with floral prints. This is one of my favorite ways to dress up stripes. Wear a dress with stripes and put on a floral sandal or espadrille.

  2. Wear horizontal stripes on top and vertical stripes on bottom. I especially like this with a shirt and skirt. So cute!

  3. Wear a striped shirt, jeans, and pair with polka dot shoes or vis versa (polka dot shirt and striped shoes).

  4. If you are heavier on the bottom, try wearing vertical stripes on the bottom.

  5. Mix stripes with a different print that are the same color (or, two different colors).

  6. Let your stripes be the dominate print and the other print an accent.

  7. Think of stripes as neutral, don’t think of it as a another print and that will help you with your selection.

And because this is J.Crew’s National Holiday, I thought it would only be fitting to provide some of my favorite examples from their website:

Try this and see what you think about mixing stripes with various other prints and patterns. Not only will it expand your wardrobe, you will be uber stylish and another step closer to your authentic style!

Have a great weekend,

Carrie

Styling Your Wardrobe Staples

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Everyone has a staple piece (or two or three) in their wardrobe. You know, that go to piece when you can’t find anything else to wear, you don’t feel like searching, or you are pressed for time and haven’t figured out how to style in a hurry.

Or, it’s that piece that’s super comfortable that you want to wear it all the time.

I have a few staple wardrobe pieces: a cashmere pink sweater, straight leg jeans, and my sparkly sneakers.

It’s ok to have these comfort pieces but make sure when you wear them that you are mixing them with a least one different piece of clothing than the last time you wore it.

Why is that important? It brings new outfits into your wardrobe a styling rut.

If you are constantly styling them the same way each time, you are not teaching yourself to think outside the box nor are you getting any closer to finding your authentic style.

So next time you reach for that staple wardrobe piece, also reach for something completely different from your closet than you are routinely used to and see how you feel.

Have a beautiful weekend,

Carrie