Posts tagged ‘fashion’

Intuitive Dressing: How to Discover Your Style Using Intuition as Your Guide: Bridgette Raes, Style Expert

I have a SPECIAL treat for you today, my friends.
One of my most favorite people, Bridgette Raes, author, style expert diva and all around incredible woman with a drool-worthy Bikram yoga practice, has pontificated on the connection between Intuitive Eating and “Intuitive Dressing.”  Yes, there is a connection! You’ve learned about my struggle with accepting my body and finding the right clothing that expresses who I am (done with Bridgette’s help, of course). The way you dress is so incredibly important TO the way you feel about yourself. Put on your favorite shirt in that perfect shade of green and you feel amazing  or wear too-tight jeans and feel the opposite.  You DESERVE to feel amazing!
Read below for Bridgette’s wise words!
(You can follow bridgette at: www.bridgetteraes.com, twitter @bridgetteraes,  her facebook group. Her website is under construction, but I’ve gotten a sneak-peak of the new site and let me tell you, it’s awesome and will be an INCREDIBLE resource for you. And don’t be surprised if you see Bridgette and I teaming up down the road!)
While helping my friend Amanda clean and organize her wardrobe, she was raving about something called Intuitive Eating. Now I must tell you, when Amanda (owner of the awesome blog cakeandcarrots.com) talks about nutrition and eating, I listen. If you aren’t familiar with Intuitive Eating, it’s an approach that teaches you how to create a healthy relationship with your food, body and mind. As Amanda told me, through Intuitive Eating, she has learned how to trust herself with food and is heaps happier as a result
After our session together, the word intuitive stuck in my mind. I love that word, intuitive — using what feels to be true even without conscious reasoning. Intuition is the emotion of the gut, that feeling you get when something is right, and you just know it. Few work with their intuition or know that they even have it.

Of course, I immediately related this thought to getting dressed realizing that, just like my friend Amanda could learn how to intuitively eat, we can all learn how to intuitively dress. “What an amazing idea!” I thought, “Intuitive dressing!”

Since intuition is rarely used by most, especially around clothing, I’m going to share some thoughts that can help you become an intuitive dresser in no time:

#1- Stop thinking so much
The biggest problem most people have is that they think too much, especially women. Personally speaking, I can over-think something until the fun is almost completely drained and all I have left is what looks like a deflated balloon of an awesome idea. That said, the first thing I want you all to do is to devote one day a week, for the next month, where you let go and wear what you want. I don’t really care what your intuitive self wants to wear, listen to it and have some fun. Wear rain boots with an evening gown, glitter in your hair with a cape and sexy underwear, a flannel shirt with a tutu, it doesn’t matter, just do it. I don’t care if you sit in your house on a Sunday and practice this intuitive dressing exercise while emptying your Tivo queue. Just give one day a week for the next month to loosen up and listen to something other than your brain.

Can’t hear anything? Well, intuition is one of those “use it, or lose it” types of senses, and the longer you’ve been ignoring your intuition, the less “loud and proud” you’ll hear it. Don’t worry, it’s not gone forever, it just needs you to pay attention to it.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re reading this and you think this exercise is silly, then you’re someone who really needs to do it.

In time, you’ll balance out and you may find that tapping into the more intuitive side of yourself will actually help you get dressed and create a little more trust in yourself. So many women are desperately trying to find their style, yet look outside of themselves to find it. Let me be clear, your style is NOT found in a magazine. Which leads me perfectly to my next suggestion…

#2- STOP reading fashion magazines!
I’m not suggesting that you give them up forever. To some, Vogue is the bible, I get it. However, if you are one of those slaves to magazines, or to television shows telling you what’s hot, all while finding yourself concerned about being “acceptably trendy”, then YOU need to put yourself on a magazine diet for the next month!

Fashion magazines are fine. I’m not insinuating that they’re written by the devil, or anything. Nevertheless, you need the proper perspective on how a magazine can serve you, so that you’re not serving it. We draw inspiration from a magazine, shop a bit and may even learn a thing or two. Having said that, finding your style by having a magazine tell you what to wear is going to keep you running in circles forever. Fashion changes rapidly and the best way to keep up is to know your style first and then use a magazine as a tool to help you choose what will and won’t work for you and your style.

It’s true, I do use magazines while trying to unearth a client’s style, and I do recommend magazine exercises to my clients. Yet, when I suggest this exercise to women who hire me, the rule is that they look at an image in a magazine for no longer than 5-10 seconds and if their gut (a.k.a. intuition) tells them to rip it out, they do. This exercise of discovery helps my clients find and trust their intuitions while exploring their own personal style.

#3 Feel
Why are we so afraid of our feelings? Heck, I didn’t know what a feeling was until after I spent a year on a therapist’s couch. Often, if a feeling does come bubbling to the surface, many of us push it back down, never to be heard from again.

The only way to know yourself is to feel your way through it. Knowing yourself is not a cerebral experience. There is nothing that your brain can tell you about yourself, I promise you. Finding yourself and your style is found through the way of feeling.

So what does that mean in a practical sense? Well, it means that when you get dressed, you take a moment to ask yourself how you feel in what you’re wearing. Look, if you feel like an unfeminine schlepp when you get dressed then it’s important to pay attention to that, and do something about. It doesn’t matter if someone else thinks your uninspired, unfeminine, schlepp-y outfit is fabulous, or that a magazine says it’s the best thing to wear. All that matters is what YOU feel. When you go shopping, go for emotion, ask yourself how you feel when you put something on and take note of things like your body language and the way you carry yourself.

This is not to say that you abandon all practicality and reason from your clothing choices. It means finding emotion within the realm of what’s acceptable in your life. So, please don’t go to work wearing a G-string, a denim jacket and a fireman’s hat claiming me as the reason for your outfit.

Intuitive Dressing is as easy as you let it be. The success of it has more to do with what you don’t do than what you do, do. It’s not something that money can buy, the right earrings will solve or the perfect skinny jean will rectify. Intuition is like the best accessory that’s just sitting back there in the closet waiting for you to discover it.

Style Expert, Bridgette Raes is the author of the book ‘Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want’, has cleaned out oodles of closets and helped tons of women revamp their styles. She travels incessantly, has doled out her opinion to The Boston Globe, iVillage, Real Simple Magazine, Good Morning America, CNN and more. She rarely reads fashion magazines and thinks her sense of humor is her greatest accessory.

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April 13, 2010 at 4:10 pm 1 comment

Should Gabby Sibide be on the Cover of Vogue

Vogue worthy?

According to recent news,  Vogue has been challenged to feature the obese Gabby Sibide, star of Precious and Academy Award nominee, on its cover.

The writer of this “pop-ed” piece thinks that the answer should be a definite NO (I actually know the author and like her very much, so this is not a personal attack!)

I disagree…and I think the answer should be a “Why the FUCK not?”  Excuse my language.

The author has a point that yes, Sibide is larger than plus model size, however, aren’t 99% of the models that grace Vogue normally way underweight? SO, just as Sibide might not be representative of American girls in their 20s (average weight 140), neither are the models that are 5’11” and weight 110 pounds.

Vogue can decide or not to decide to use Sibide, either way, I’m not gonna fight (I don’t read the magazine anyway). However, this again magnifies issues that groups like Health at Every Size and the Association for Size Diversity and Health are fighting for on a daily basis: to create a world free from “weight-based assumptions and weight-discriminations.”

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t care about Gabby Sibide’s weight. We wouldn’t care about news like this. Unfortunately we’re far from that, until people realize that fat-ism is just as serious as racism.

Until then, Gabby has my vote to be in Oprah Magazine..it’s a much better magazine anyway, in my opinion. She can leave Vogue to the uber-skinny.

March 25, 2010 at 7:32 pm Leave a comment

Fashion Forward

What does the way you dress say about you? What message are you sending out to the world with the way you present yourself?

That’s a question that I discussed in my Total Immersion Intuitive Eating coaching class with the fabulous JoLaine Jones. When I was asked that question, “How do you think the world sees you?” I found it difficult to answer. I hadn’t really given it much thought!

I thought about how my style has changed over the past 10 years…from relaxed, hippie-vibed clothing in the beginning of college (OK, I still break it out for Phish shows), to the tight-formfitting leopard pants I pranced around in when I lost 25 pounds (man, I miss those), to being a label-whore in NYC right after college, to mastering business casual attire for work, and always my trusty “uniform” on the weekends of Lululemon pants and yoga gear.  I have had so many fashion changes I feel like Lady Gaga! (Luckily I never gave in to the Jersey Shore look…I don’t think I’d look so good with a Snooki pouf!)

The past year or so, I’ve really come into my own. I wear clothing that makes me feel GOOD, whether it be sweatpants, stretch pants, or jeans. I dress for comfort first, style next. What do I say to the world? I feel GOOD about myself, my body, and I’m confident.

So really think about it: How does what you wear (your makeup, accessories, clothing, etc) tell the world about you? And if it’s not the message you are satisfied with, how can you make changes? Perhaps blow dry your hair once a week, or try a little colored lip gloss next time you go out. Or my personal fave: Rock some high heels just to the store. Nothing makes you feel better!

The most important lesson I’ve learned as a fashion chameleon is to wear what you feel GOOD in, what speaks to you. Who cares what other people think! I’ve seen people walk around with a cat perched on their head (NO JOKE!), and you know what, it’s AWESOME.

For me, I’m a little more low key…it’s casual one day and luxe the next, but I always try to make myself feel gorgeous.

From the inside out, of course!

February 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm 4 comments


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