Tip of the Month

"Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of the everyday life."

This tip comes from New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham.
Bill Cunningham
Bill Cunningham

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Dear Friend,

Recently it has come to my attention that Lady Gaga and I actually have something in common. We both still feel insecure about high school. I recently read an interview in which she talked of feeling insecure when she gets on stage and she credits that to feeling out of place in high school.


What Does a Teenager Know about Authenticity? 


We all have a period of time when we feel maybe we weren't at our best or living true to The Real You. For me, that time was in high school. Not surprising, I know - who knows anything in high school about who you are, who you want to be, who you will actually become? No one, but that doesn't always make it feel better.


Breaking My Own Rules... Whoops! 


My 30-year high school class reunion is in a few weeks and in the last two weeks I've broken nearly every rule in my book about shopping for a special event. I've scoured stores from TJ Maxx to Nordstrom looking for the perfect look. After all, when we are going to a special event, especially one that finds us going back in time, we want to make sure we show up as our authentic selves. Especially if we didn't know our authentic selves in the time we are going back to.


When the Pressure's On 


As many of you know, I always say that if you have the right clothes on hand, you don't need to shop for a special event look, you just pull it out of the closet, make sure it still fits and you are ready to move forward. But what to do if everything you pull out feels not quite right? You go shopping.


Don't Go It Alone 


I broke my first rule by not asking for help. From anyone. Not a sales person, not a friend. I just started shopping with a mission. And everything I put on felt wrong, like I was trying too hard, or like I was trying to be someone else. It's amazing what happens when you start dressing for other people (like people you haven't seen in 30 years). I'll tell you what happens: nothing good.


Finally, The Real You Triumphs 


After a couple of weeks, common sense (and my rules) took over and I got some help from a great sales person at Nordstrom who happens to be a friend of mine, and she gave me honest (and at times humorous!) feedback and steered me in the right direction. What a relief. I found a great dress and now I feel ready to tackle my high school reunion. And you know what? As soon as I found the look I was looking for, I no longer felt like I was "tackling" anything. I felt like I was actually living my personal look, my very own Real You.


Next time you are showing up for something feeling insecure or not quite yourself, remind yourself that everyone has felt that way at some point in time. Even Lady Gaga.

Patricia Gorham

Patricia Gorham
Inside/Out Style
Check Out My Video Tips!
YouTube Videos
Video Tips

I'm excited to share with you a set of Video Tips! My first videos talk about:  

  • Packing for a Weekend Trip
  • Wear a Black Dress All Year
  • Using Fashion Magazines 

You can check all three out on my YouTube channel >    


Check my blog for more in the future, and please feel free to  


(Many thanks to my assistant Sonia who did the taping and editing!) 

Heart-Warming Story Meets Fascinating Cultural Commentary
Bill Cunningham New York
Bill Cunningham

Go see this movie: Bill Cunningham New York. Whether or not you are a fan of fashion, this movie has something for everyone. The story of an iconic New York Times photographer who captures style on the street, it's a celebration of living life to the fullest and walking to the beat of your own drummer. Find out more and watch a trailer at the official film website >  

Slip It On
Commando Half Slip from Nordstrom
Half Slip

Recently a friend turned me on to the idea of wearing a slip with ALL of my dresses (like in the old days!). It makes everything so much more wearable. I recommend trying the Commando Half Slip from Nordstrom >