Sedruola Maruska is an author, speaker and personal development coach on a mission to help women re-discover their brilliance by setting relevant and intentional goals and changing their lives and their worlds. On January 2, 2018 she began active treatments to battle breast cancer. During that time she solidified her mission to help women re-discover their brilliant selves to shine the way they were always meant to shine. Sedruola’s a first generation Haitian-American who prides herself on having an amazing extended family and being a citizen of the world born in Queens, New York.
Fashion mistakes are common, we all make them. Thing is, they’re not mistakes because we’re not “age appropriate” or “wearing the latest fad.” The reason they’re mistakes is because they are particular to each of us.
I’m huge on wearing what makes you feel and look good. You don’t have to justify your unique style to anyone. However, there are still some fashion mistakes we make when we think it’s just our “style”
Dress Your Body Shape
The biggest fashion mistakes I see are when we don’t dress our body shape. When we dress for someone else’s body and not the one we live in. Not only is it obvious, it can give the wrong message.
There are several different body shapes that we as women can have. According to Shop Your Shape there are 8 major types (click to view). We put so much emphasis on weight that we fail to see that dressing our shape is what’s most important.
Knowing accepting and embracing your body shape is the first step in not making the fashion mistakes so many women commonly make.
This fashion mistake always baffles me. Why wear clothes that are too small? Although I can come up with a few reasons, they all seem like excuses. Wearing something that doesn’t fit appropriately can keep you in a state of constant “dieting” which isn’t good for the soul or psyche. If it’s too small don’t wear it or buy it.
Thing is, wearing clothes that are too small may cause unnecessary discomfort. Not to mention, they can also be damaging to your circulation (depending on how small they are) and cause skin chaffing. Whatever your reason to wearing clothes that are too small, reconsider. Instead, try putting something on that’s just right to see how much better it feels.
Your Clothes are Too Big
When my husband and I got married, he had tons of shirts and sweaters in his closet that were sized “large”. My husband is 6’3 so it was understandable that most of his years he, and others, assumed he was a large. Then we went shopping and I asked him to try on a medium. I’ve never bought my husband a large from that day forward.
Wearing clothes that are too big makes it difficult to feel good. Yes, you may think you’re comfortable, but chances are that’s the story you’ve told yourself. Even our most comfy clothes (you know your lounging pants) make us feel better if they’re the right size.
I’m a woman. I know all about the various changes our bodies go through each month. I know there are times when we just feel “fat” and our clothes reinforce that feeling. What I’ve found is that if I wear clothes that fit and aren’t too big around those times, I feel better. You just may find you do too.
I’ve heard the phrase “less is more” so often it seems cliche. Thing is, nowhere is that phrase more relevant that when it comes to fashion mistakes. I’m not talking about wearing less clothes (although some situations may call for that) I’m talking about over-accessorizing.
Accessories are the finishing touch on an outfit well put together, but what if it’s too much. You’ve added the statement necklace, but then put on the statement earrings (so those two things begin to fight for attention). After that, on go the twelve rings and bracelets. I think you see where I’m going.
The finishing touch, should be the thing on your outfit that gives an extra pop, not overpower your outfit. Paring down on accessories means letting your natural beauty, fashion taste and confidence show. Yes, less, in this case, is truly more.
Outdated / Old Clothes
Last but not least, work on rotating clothes out of circulation on a regular basis. I’m all for comfy, familiar clothes, but they’re usually the ones that stay home all the time.
Creating a wardrobe that works means having timeless pieces mixed in with trendy pieces for going out. Keeping older pieces at home means looking fresh as much as possible. My system for rotating my clothes is to take something out every time I buy something. That way I have no clutter, breathing room and my clothes stay fairly up-to-date. That’s not to say I don’t have 10 – 15 year old pieces, but those were either bought to last, or never go outside.
Fashion mistakes are universal. We all make them. The trick is to learn and grow beyond them. Wearing clothing that fits may be all that’s needed to make a complete difference.
I’ve laid out these five fashion mistakes here for you, did they trigger some thoughts of your own? Are there fashion mistakes you see often that you think can easily be altered? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’d love to get extra tips!
As women we encounter fashion tips at every turn. There are fashion tips for your height, weight, skin tone, age, etc. The list of things to do and not do when it comes to fashion can get very complicated.
That’s why today, I’m only looking at you as a woman. That’s right, I’m not going to say you can or can’t do this because ____________. I’m going to give you solid fashion tips that you can use no matter what size, shape, age or skin tone you have.
When I say “fashion tip” I’ll bet you thought of clothing first. That’s normal since that’s what we all think of as fashion. . . but that’s only first on the list because fashion is more than your clothes. Ready?
Clothing is the base of your outfit. Let’s make sure you have a few key pieces that will help you look put together no matter what.
The pencil skirt is a staple. When you have a pencil skirt in your wardrobe you’re ready for anything. Pencil skirts tend to come in the basic neutral colors (black, grey, brown, navy) because as a staple you want to be able to pair them with most any top. If you’ve never considered a pencil skirt for your wardrobe, please, think again. You’re in for a lovely surprise.
Little Black Dress (LBD)
If you don’t have a little black dress in your closet, here’s my fashion tip for you, go find one now (after you’re done reading this of course 🙂 ). The little black dress is as timeless as time itself (did that make sense?). When in doubt about what to wear, a little black dress will save you time and heartache. Just pair it with the right shoes and accessories (which we talk about below) and go confidently on your way!
Crisp White Button Down Shirt
Not the kind your man wears (well, maybe), but the kind that’s tailored to fit your curves. A nicely tailored white shirt will work nicely with your pencil skirt when it’s time to be your powerful self. When you find a style that you love, make sure to get three. White is tricky and gets dingy after a few washes. Keeping a few on hand means you’re always looking your best.
Dark Wash Jeans
Oh boy! We just got to the part where I know we all have a bit of a headache. We love jeans, but finding the right fit shouldn’t be so hard right? Here are a few jean fashion tips to keep in mind: 1) Look for jeans that are made for YOUR body not the body you want, or think you have; 2) If you need to, go to the men’s section and try some of those on. You may be pleasantly surprised; 3) For a classic jean, you don’t want too much lycra, but at least 2% helps the jeans to fit better and retain their shape; 4) Take two sizes into the dressing room. One you think is the right size, one you think is one size (or half size) too small. Try them both on and see how much better the one you thought was too small fits. Jeans will stretch. Buying the size smaller will save you heartache.
Yes! It’s a fashion piece that never goes out of style and it’s for both men and women. Get a quality crisp white t-shirt (or four) and use it to your hearts content. There are different weights and shapes to a white t-shirt so get one that flatters the body you have, then pair it with those amazing jeans you just bought. Oh, and by the way, you can also wear it with that pencil skirt for a slightly dressed “down” look. There’s no end to what you can do with a plain white T so have fun with it!
Tailored Black Pant
Just like the pencil skirt if you have a pair of black slacks made to fit your body, you’re always ready. Things to consider when picking your pants: 1) make sure the distance from the crotch to the waist fits properly. No sagging in that area. It’s very hard to tailor a pant that doesn’t fit in that way; 2) Don’t worry about length. Find yourself a great tailor who’ll be able to alter the length as needed; 3) Pick a pant that works with YOUR body so it’s flattering and not puckering. The tailored black pant can also be any other staple color, depending on your preference.
Fashion Tips for Footwear
Let’s talk shoes. I know, we LOVE fun shoes and that’s great! Especially when it comes to making that black pencil skirt with white button down shirt outfit sing. But, there are staples when it comes to footwear so let’s consider what they are.
The most worn and worn out shoe in most women’s closets is the black pump. Whether you like a kitten heal or a stiletto, having a pair that’s comfortable is the goal. Again, if you find one you absolutely love, there’s nothing wrong with getting two pair. It’s a staple, you’ll be wearing it a lot so splurge a little to save yourself heartache in the end.
Brown or black it’s up to you, but having a good pair of riding boots in your closet can’t be beat. They’re easy travel and casual choices that help pull together a great look.
Again, just like the riding boots, these staples are key. I buy a good pair of ankle boots almost every year because they are my “go-to” footwear from Fall to Spring. Whether I’m wearing a skirt, dress or pants, they work and are the easiest to throw on.
Fashion Tips for Outerwear
Remember how I told you your clothing are only the base of fashion? Well, the toppers are the finishing touches. Footwear is where you begin to pull together the statement you want to make. But your outerwear is special.
A beautiful, stylish trench is priceless. Fashion tip here is this: love it so that even if you’re wearing pajamas underneath, people will still think you’re dressed to impress! This is an investment so make sure you love what you get because it flatters your body and it’s made well.
Again, buying a winter coat that doesn’t need to be replaced each season and that’s made well is a must. I purchased a winter coat about five years ago because the style was super cute and it was made well. My coat has definitely held up in that time. My lining (which is a great way to know if you’re buying quality) is in tact and I know my coat can easily go for another 5 years. The key is not to buy something that’s a “fad” but that has classic lines. No one will ever know when you bought it if it’s timeless.
Find your style and get a few blazers. They are instant polish to any look. Wearing jeans and a white t-shirt? Throw on a black blazer and your ankle boots, done! The great thing about blazers is you can get a couple in neutrals, then go crazy with color is you’d like (we’ll talk about color below). There are no rules except the ones you decide work for you.
Fashion Tips for Accessories
This is where your outfit pops! Accessories are like the icing on the cake. They show your personality and they’re fun! Accessories help you tell your story. Some days may be understated, while others are bold bright and cheerful. You get to decide. The list I’m sharing is to help you get the staples. . . the rest is all you!
Get some! Get a pair that works with the shape of your face (just like your clothes work with the shape of your body). Sunglasses are not only fashionable, but they help protect your eyesight. I’ve been wearing sunglasses since I turned 30. If I feel even a hint of a squint, I throw on my sunnies! It’s probably why my eyesight started getting tired at 48 vs. 40. Get one pair or get may pairs!
They do not have to be diamonds to be a staple. Studs of all types are perfect for any outfit. If you don’t feel like putting on larger earrings, throw on studs (diamond, pearl, gold, silver) in any size. Lifesaver.
Having a string of pearls (real or engineered) is also a great staple for your wardrobe. Timeless beauty is what you get with a string of pearls. The length is up to you!
There is no time when a scarf was not a fun, easy fashion statement! Whether you’re wearing it on your head, neck or waist, a scarf can pull an outfit together and change it’s whole appearance! A casual look becomes “casual chic with a scarf. Have fun here. . . remember, there are no rules!
Fashion Tips for Dressing
You now have the basics so this is where I share fashion tips on how to wear what you have. The most important thing to remember is, you need to be comfortable with yourself and your clothes. You ultimately decide what works best. The information above is to help you find the basic pieces. You now get to put them together.
Get Good Fit
Dress the body you have not the one you wish you had. No amount of wearing the wrong thing, that doesn’t flatter, is going to give you a body you weren’t born with. Love, treat and dress YOUR body. That’s truly what will make you feel your best.
Pair staples with bold prints, but pair bold prints with simple prints. Too busy doesn’t work for everyone. Be aware of how the whole outfit looks.
Flatter Your Figure
This goes along with getting a good fit. Accentuate the positive, minimize the less flattering so your figure shines. I often get the compliment “your clothes look so good on you” but that’s because I don’t wear anything I feel makes my less “happy” features stand out. People will think everything looks great on you when you’re working to flatter the figure you have.
Less is More (Jewelry)
If you’re wearing a statement necklace, pair it with your smaller studs. Let the necklace make a statement all by itself! If you’re wearing outstanding earrings, let them stand alone, they don’t need any help or competition. There are times when more is more, but if you have a statement piece, let it speak.
Curb Your Skin Show
Low necklines pair gracefully and beautifully with longer skirts to give longer lines. You don’t have to show all to be or even feel sexy. Shorter skirt billowing blouse. I think you get the idea.
Take care of your skin, hair & nails. Yes, it does matter. Whatever your preference, looking groomed is always better than looking ragged. Hangnails, dirty hair, etc. You may be wearing your best, but if you’re small details aren’t speaking the same language, your whole look may fall flat.
Last but certainly not least is to get some animal print in your closet. Timeless and easily paired with anything, you’ll find whatever you have in animal print will be your staple.
That’s it! That’s my ultimate list of fashion tips. I’d love to hear from you? Do you already have the basics? Do you have a different list? Please share in the comments below, we’d love to hear more tips. It’s how we round out our learning!
My sisters, niece and I went to see “Girl’s Trip” and we laughed our asses off!
We expected a fun ride, but this was certainly more than we bargained for. Not only did we have a blast being together and enjoying the very adult themes, we learned a lot about women, friendships and life.
If you haven’t had the chance to see “Girl’s Trip”, please grab some girlfriends and make an evening of it! If you think it’s not for you, think again. I was in a theater filled with diverse people and we all took the journey together.
There’s nothing like being in a theater crowd that’s into everything happening on the screen.
Now, for the record, I want you to know, I didn’t go see this movie with all people of color. This audience was majority white. I’ve been to movies where if you dare laugh too loudly with a majority white crowd someone is ready to call an usher on you. This did not happen here.
As a matter of fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see that at the same times I laughed my ass off, other white asses were falling off too! I’m a woman married to a white man who squirms in his seat if I’m “too loud” during movies so this was truly refreshing.
But the women on the screen truly deserve the credit for keeping everyone engaged. Thing is, this wasn’t just a funny movie, it had heart. The heart made the difference and that’s what I want to explore.
There were powerful lessons throughout the movie. They didn’t just go out for laughs, they went out to celebrate their friendship and In that that celebration, we learned a lot.
We are strong – We get so many things thrown at us as women and yet we find a way to bounce up, back or sideways to confront and deal. Bad things happen, but we’re well equip to handle them and more.
We are beautiful – These four friends couldn’t be any more different in looks, shape & size but they represented us all. We are different. We look different, we wear different clothes, we wear different sizes, we like different things and that’s okay. We are all beautiful and we need to remember that.
We are smart – We can give good advice even when it’s hard to do. We can also take good advice even when it’s hard to swallow. We’re capable of making good decision and bad ones with our eyes open. Never underestimate the power you have and the thoughts that go through your brain. You may be depriving others of your sparkle.
Powerful lessons about Friendship
We need our friends – There is no world where women don’t need their sisters because there is no world in which we can do it all alone. We get married, have kids and move away, but we’ll always need our girls. They know us in a way that our loves and our babies can’t. We need that kind of support for a lifetime.
Loyalty is Key – We may not see our friends for years, but true friendships never truly die. Loyal and loving friends know that there’s a time to get together and a time to stay quiet. Both are fine.
The right friends make a difference – I’ve heard, more than I’d like, that the 5 people you spend the most time with determine who you are. Having those ride-or-die kind of friends who will support your efforts in all that you do is priceless. If no one else is there or believes, they’ll be there and that matters.
Powerful Lesson on Life
Be true to yourself – Don’t worry about what the world has to say. The world will always take from you. What you need is to do is deliver your authentic self to the world and see what that brings back. You set the expectations and you may change. That’s okay. Let the world come on a ride with you because what matters most is being true to yourself and what feels right to you.
Love is hard – Loving and allowing others to love you back is making yourself vulnerable. Vulnerability is scary. Thing is, not loving is a poor option. So whether you’re loving yourself, your friends or a significant other you’re opening yourself up to hard stuff. Don’t fear, allow yourself to love and be loved.
We all deal with fear – No matter how we think another person has “made it” they have fears. We’re all dealing with our own special demons and what we need are friends to be compassionate. We need to remember we’re not alone and our fear is not our own.
For all the laughing that brought tears of sheer delight, so did the heart of this movie bring tears. We experienced every part of this girls trip. This year I’ve been working to connect with my girls from high school, college and beyond more than I have in the past.
Life takes it’s toll and sometimes we forget the sisterhood. We forget that we need our girls no matter what. I don’t want to forget that anymore. It takes work, but so does anything else that matters. I have my girls that I can call up at any time and know we’ll pick up right where we left off. It’s not a good idea to take that for granted. It’s one of life’s many amazing blessings.
Thank you Malcolm Lee for another beautiful movie with heart. Thank you Latifah, Jada, Tiffany & Regina for your awesome chemistry and depiction. Thank you to my sisters Debbie & Rose and my niece Katya for an amazing evening. And last, but not least, thank you to my girls across the world whom I love, truly cherish and need no matter what. You are loved, supported and appreciated.
Do you need to reach out to your girls? Who do you know is your ride-or-die? What solidified that for you? Talk to me. . . I’d love to hear your stories below. We’ve got those girls, let’s give them props!