How to Dress Up, Beyond the Dress

If you hate to shop then you most likely run out of steam after finding the clothes - accessories seem way too overwhelming to consider. Then when the day of the event arrives and you get dressed you wish you had found the time and energy to go the extra mile!

I'll make it easy for you! Let's talk about coats and shrugs and handbags, oh my!

Keeping Warm

Yes, women are wearing sleeveless all year round even in the frigid northeast winters, but if you, like me, cannot bear the thought of shivering all evening or grabbing an old, worn out cardigan from your dresser or even having some poor man take pity on you and throw his jacket over your shoulders, then planning ahead a bit will help.

Whether you are wearing a dress or pants with a sleeveless top, here are some ideas:

A gorgeous jacket can dress up a basic little black dress. If it is nicely fitted it will look good over a dress, with black pants or a pair of dark wash (or black) jeans. All you need is pretty earrings and a bracelet, if you are so inclined, and you are good to go.

Or, maybe you just want to cover your upper arms a bit but don't need a lot of added warmth. Then, a wrap will do the trick and it's hands-free - no fussing with wraps that come unwrapped!

If you don't need to be so dressy but don't want to feel like you are wearing your work or ultra casual clothes to the event, try a pretty understated velvet jacket.

Add a Fun, Pretty Handbag

Does this sound familiar... you get dressed and look great AND THEN, as you are leaving the house you reach for your everyday handbag. Bam! The outfit loses something immediately. We've all done it!

You do not have to choose a handbag that is a teeny, tiny clutch or is loaded with sparkles. Just find a more refined or smaller bag to complete your outfit... something in which you can put your wallet (or driver's license, cash and a credit card), lipstick, keys, cell phone and whatever else you need (eyeglasses? medication?). It doesn't have to be the size of Milwaukee to fit the bill.

In fact, sometimes even if your outfit is very basic - nice jeans and a pretty sweater, let's say, if you add a fun handbag, everything (including your attitude) brightens.

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Along with the handbag, your coat is something that is easy to overlook... until the 11th hour. The last thing you want to do is throw on the parka you wear to walk the dog when you are feeling festive and elegant.

A beautiful coat is an investment in your wardrobe - something you will have for years and you will smile every time you go out and put it on-delighted at how smart you were to get something so beautiful and practical!

Do you avidly watch shows like "What Not to Wear" and think "if only I could have a wardrobe makeover," but you can't see how the transformation would translate for you? Then I can help. Over the past 23 years as a fashion stylist in the Boston area, I have found that many women are ignoring, hiding or are just plain unaware of their innate beauty. Believe it or not, you do not have to be rich and famous or young and thin to have the look you dream of. Yes, with a little guidance you can learn how to dress with joy and ease.

Click here for my Free "Beauty Tool Kit"

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