Tip of the Month

"Once you know which silhouettes flatter you, filter trends ruthlessly."

This tip comes from clothing designer Shoshanna Gruss.
Shoshanna Gruss
Shoshanna Gruss

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Dear Friend,

Last weekend I attended the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference. About a year and a half ago I started formulating ideas for a book about finding The Real You. I've spent a lot of time writing beginnings of chapters and considering what I want the book to look like - but not much time actually learning how a book gets published.

 

Trying Something New 

 

What I learned last weekend had as much to do with how to write a book proposal as it did with reminding me of my clients' mindset when they make the powerful choice to start looking for The Real You and updating their style. I felt like I was embarking on a completely foreign journey, all by myself.

 

I headed to the conference on Thursday to register and get my packet. What I noticed right away is that my stomach hurt. I was completely out of my comfort zone and I didn't even feel like I could fake it. In fact, it was an exhausting three days of learning something new every moment.

 

A Fresh View of My Clients' Feelings 

 

As I was waiting to meet with my assigned agent, it dawned on me that they call it a writer's conference because the people who attend are actually writers. Not personal style consultants. I realized that this must be how many of my clients feel when dissecting their closet, trying on new pieces, and opening their minds to a new look. In other words, I was out of my element, and it made me nervous.

 

We All Have Our Own Comfort Zones 

 

I spend a lot of time in people's closets, reading fashion magazines, looking at style websites, putting outfits together, and shopping. This is all part of a process in which I feel very comfortable. Throw me into a room full of clothes and I'm home. Throw me into a room full of writers and I'm as lost as they would be in my closet.

 

Go For It! 

 

So here's what I learned. First, it's healthy to get outside your comfort zone. In that spirit, I encourage you to step out of your old look and try on something different. Getting beyond what feels comfortable actually pushes us in new directions.

 

But Don't Go It Alone 

 

Second, make friends with people who can help you. I met a lot of people at the conference who had extremely useful advice. Get help with your look when you need it. Don't be afraid to not know the answer. Look around, have a critical eye in your closet, and while you're shopping, say "yes" when the salesperson asks if you'd like help.

 

Putting myself into a new situation last weekend was a great experience for many reasons. I suggest you put yourself into a new situation the next time you are out shopping by trying on just one item that pushes your comfort level. Who knows... maybe stepping into that new look could begin to change your life.

 

Patricia Gorham

Patricia Gorham
Inside/Out Style
See and Be Seen
Asics Reflector Jacket
Asics Reflector Jacket

As I gear up for my daughter's school year and anticipate the end of daylight savings (is it too soon?) I am also literally gearing up for chillier outdoor workouts. If you run, bike or rollerblade outdoors in the dark or the rain, try out this reflective jacket to make sure you're seen in low-visibility situations. It even has a blinking light attached at the shoulder. Find it online >  

Could It Be - The Perfect Pacific Northwest Raincoat? 
Lululemon Right As Rain Jacket
Lululemon Right As Rain Jacket

I'm excited about the new Lululemon "Right As Rain" jacket that one of my clients brought to my attention. We agree, it has everything: a great fitted cut, longer length, a hood that cinches, water repellent shell, generous pockets, and even a hidden inner compartment for an iPod. Get one now and you won't have to rush to prepare when the rainy season kicks in. Check it out at the Lululemon website >