7 Ways to Plan Ahead for Stylish Special Occasions

It’s so much easier to look and feel our stylish best when we plan ahead for special occasions. We’ve all been there: it’s the final 48 hours prior to an event or special occasion, and we still have nothing to wear; so we tear feverishly through malls and department stores (including some in which we wouldn't even normally shop) trying to find the perfect outfit in the least amount of time.

I have a small section of cocktail dresses in my closet that are primed and ready to be worn for my next special occasion. They’re dressier options that I have snatched up over the years, out of season or on sale because I knew that each would be something I could wear to a cocktail or semi-formal event, in any season of the year, and that I could style a couple of different ways—the latter being a must-have characteristic for anything that I purchase for my wardrobe. It helps me to avoid buyer’s remorse later. And generally as an event presents itself, I worry less about what to wear--and I know I’ll arrive looking and feeling like my best self in a dress that I’ve owned for awhile, experimented with and even had altered for the perfect fit.

More often than not the last minute rush fails to leave us feeling as put together as we would like—even if we’re fortunate enough to find something that remotely resembles our vision—and we end up spending more than we might have liked. So why not avoid it altogether?

Layers of Beauty Self-Discovery Tour: O is for Older

When I was in my teens and early twenties, I had a very specific idea about what made a woman beautiful. This ideal was tied very heavily to exterior appearances: her genetics, how well she wore her makeup, or how often she was styled in the latest clothing trends. And those were the expressions of beauty I tried to emulate, from borrowing clothing that I felt made me look more like the women I compared myself to; to spending money that was not in my full-time-college-student-part-time-retail-working budget, on products from the MAC counter. I gave little thought to what role character played in the equation or why being beautiful on the inside was essential.

Now that I’m in my mid-thirties, I have a vastly different ideal of beauty that’s a result of maturity, life experience and “the struggle”—nothing will reset your values and priorities faster than going through trials and having those life-defining moments. Don’t misunderstand: I still think it’s a ton of fun to play in makeup and I make it a point to wear beautiful, quality clothing—but now, I also think that laugh lines add interest around a woman’s mouth, that grey hair hints at wisdom and an abundance of lessons learned, that there’s a softening of the body that makes her curves feel more womanly, and that truly owning herself—whoever, or whatever she is—are paramount to a woman’s true beauty.

5 Style Lessons I Learned From My Mom That You Can Use Too

You may not have learned about the basics of building a quality wardrobe at a young age, but that doesn't mean you can't quickly catch up now. Identifying key elements that will not only round out your wardrobe, but that will last you for years, is easier than you think!

In the spirit of Mothers' Day, I thought I would share some of the style lessons I learned from my mom. They're timeless nuggets that you can use to upgrade your style too.

When I was younger, I watched my mom get dressed with care and attention to detail. She was deliberate about what she purchased, what she wore, how she wore it, and how she cared for it. Here are a few of the things I learned from both watching and listening to her:

Pearls are timeless and can go with absolutely everything. 

Mom will wear pearl earrings and/or a pearl necklace with a variety of styles and pieces, including her pajamas, which she prefers in satin or silk. The lady is serious about her fancy! Which leads me to my next point...

How to Pack with Style for Your Next Vacation

With the right preparation travel can be infinitely less stressful, leaving you more relaxed and ready to focus on the joys of your trip. One of the ways you can reduce stressing about what to wear while traveling, is to pack stylishly ahead of time so that all you have to do is pull things out, and toss them on! Here are a few suggestions for packing with style for your next trip.

Scope out the travel landscape

You definitely want to start by doing some research about your trip. What will the weather be like during your visit? Will you be doing a ton of sightseeing and walking to varying destinations? Will you be attending any special events like high tea, or a fancy dinner that will require a special dress code? Another great way to prepare is to check out what the locals are wearing. How are the women local to your destination expressing their style? Being aware of local customs for dress will make you look prepared, knowledgeable and well traveled. 

10 Fab Options to Transition Your Shoe Wardrobe to Spring

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how to transition your shoe wardrobe from winter to spring, and it was one of my most popular posts ever. I think that was the moment I realized that even some people who have inherent style instincts may still have occasional questions; and that there are also a lot of people that want a lot more help in the "how to" of it all. So in case you're wondering about how to find fab shoes to transition your wardrobe into spring this year, I've put together 10 great options.