Tip of the Month

"To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman."

This tip comes  Elizabeth Arden, one of the women credited with putting makeup "on the map."

Elizabeth Arden
Elizabeth Arden

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My business is all about helping people look their best and be themselves. I believe that when you look good, you feel good.

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Dear Friends,

I've been having a lot of fun with new clients in the last few months. I love the moment when they "get it" - when we've pinpointed The Real You. Everyone - and I really mean everyone - can look their best and find The Real You by being true to themselves and their look. That means you too!

But how do you find The Real You? I have invested years in exploring this question, with myself as well as with dozens of clients. I thought I'd take this month's letter to focus on one of the most important elements of The Real You:

Only Buy What You Love

At face value, this appears to be a straightforward, simple concept - and once you've really learned it, it is easy to apply. However, getting there can be tough. Think about it - in order to follow this guideline, we have to unlearn years of behavior.

We buy things because we think we should. We buy things because they're the current fashion. We buy things because they're on sale, or it's a "good deal." I can't be clear enough, especially on this last point: it doesn't matter if it's cheap or expensive - if you don't love it, it's a waste of money.

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you've grasped the concept of "only buy what you love" you'll find lots of ways to practice it - not just with clothing or accessories but throughout your life.

For example, I was at Target the other day, and wandering through the home decor aisle I glimpsed (what I thought was) a great Buddha. It was so peaceful looking and even held a candle. I really like Buddhas. I'm not Buddhist but I enjoy the serenity of their faces and I have several in my house and a large one in my office.

When I picked up this Buddha, it was actually plastic and upon closer inspection, cheap looking. My "only buy what you love" instinct kicked in. Maybe it was a good deal, maybe it was easy because it was right there, maybe it's something I enjoy in other forms, but with this particular item - I knew I didn't love it. So I walked away and was glad that I did.

Open Your Mind to Change

In order to really take "only buy what you love" to heart, first you must embrace the idea of change. It's a major mental shift to start tapping into the core of yourself to decide whether you really love something or not, instead of buying on auto-pilot. Perhaps it's even more of a shift to give yourself permission to not settle for less than what you love.

So when you start looking around for fall clothes, keep this simple idea in mind: "Do I love this?" If not, move along. The perfect thing could be right around the corner.
Patricia Gorham

Patricia Gorham
Inside/Out Style
A Year in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything from Jane Austen to the A-list
A Year in High Heels
A Year in High Heels
This book is a fun and interesting history of yes, almost everything. It's in calendar form, and each day has an interesting tidbit. Did you know the doughnut was created on June 22, 1947? Or that the original Mary Jane (for whom the shoe was named) was the sister of Buster Brown (another shoe reference) in a comic book series? If you like fashion mixed with trivia, this book is for you.
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Check out this website designed to be interactive with all people interested in fashion. Create an account and you can mix and match different items from your favorite stores to come up with new looks. You can share your opinion about a look or trend with the Polyvore community, or send in a picture and ask for feedback or advice. It's a fun site that has a lot of possibilities for all of us to participate in the fashion process.
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Mix and match at Polyvore.com