Online Shopping Made Easy: Tips for Saving Time and Money While Getting What You Want


In my last blog, (click here to read that if you haven’t already), I made an argument in favor of online shopping. The way I look at it, who wants to traipse around from store to store looking at what’s on the rack in hopes that something, somewhere will be exactly what you’re looking for?

No, you didn’t try it? Are you thinking that browsing the internet for clothing just adds another layer of complexity to shopping?

Or maybe you did try it – and you were frustrated. Do you feel like you wasted too much time browsing sites that don’t have what you want – or that you can’t afford?

No matter what you decided or experienced last week, you can make online shopping easy and – dare I say fun? – even if you hate to shop.

In fact, most of the women I work with start out thinking they hate to shop.

When they learn how I shop for them, they have a change of heart. They enjoy discovering so many options and getting the clothes they want within their budget.

I’m sharing my tips with you, so you can become an online shopper extraordinaire.

Be Strategic
    1. Start your online shopping on a Wednesday for the best deals and the largest selections. Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are the most popular days for retailers to roll out sales and discount codes.
    2. Make a shopping list and then use aggregate shopping sites to search for the specific items in the sizes and colors you need. You may even find that multiple sites are selling the same item at different prices. Sites like:

  1. Pay close attention to the stats of the model online and the measurements of the items. A top that falls to the perfect length on a 5’10” model may be way too long on a 5’ 2” petite woman. Similarly, a mini skirt on that model might fit a petite woman just above the knees. And if you don’t love the new cropped pant style, remember the pants may hit you just below the ankle.
  2. If you really like an item but not enough to pay the full price, try leaving it in your online shopping cart. You can return to it in the future when it may be on sale. Just be sure you can live without it, for it may also sell out.
  3. The trick to making online shopping work is to treat your own closet the same way you would an in-store dressing room. Order things in more than one size if you are uncertain which will fit, and try them on at home. If you don’t love them, SEND THEM BACK!

Added bonus: You get to see the items you’re trying in combination with other items already in your closet. See how many outfits you can make with a single item!

Be Frugal


Depending on your level of frugality, you may want to start at the stores where you might find a great deal. Here are some great sites.

  1. I start with Thred-up, my favorite. It is the largest online consignment shop in the world. They have amazing search functionality. The best value is in the designer section where you can find high quality designer clothes often at 90% off with the tags still on the item. They have a full range of sizes from 00 – plus sizes, as well as tall and petite.
  2. Next I go to the major brand department store outlets: Neiman Marcus’s Last Call, Nordstrom’s Hautelook, and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Saks Off 5th.
  3. If I can’t find what I’m looking for, I then move on to the more well-known brands that have inventory at higher prices. But offer quality clothes with good customer service policies. I do pay attention to their annual sales however. Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, W by Worth, Carlisle, White House Black Market and Ann Taylor are regular shops I check out depending on my client’s specific needs.
  4. I also recommend Rent the Runway, where you can either rent an item for a special occasion or try out their unlimited service where you can rent 2-4 items at all times. If you decide to purchase from the unlimited program you can usually do so at a 40% discount.
  5. Finally Poshmark is worth investigating. It’s where social media meets shopping and individuals or stores can set up an online shop to sell new or used clothing.
Use Apps


Let these apps do some of the “leg work” for you. They’ll do the online searches according to your preferences. Then you just decide yes or no. They save you time and money.

  1. My all-time favorite is Shop It To Me. It’s available online and in the Apple and Google Play stores. Tell the app your size and favorite brands and you will get a daily notification of all items on sale meeting your criteria from a multitude of shops.
  2. Gilt on the Go is a member-based site that works in a similar manner.
  3. Rue La La is similar to Gilt but runs sales for just 48 hours.
Be Ethical

This final note is something personally important to me, and I am beginning to educate all my clients on it.

  • If you care about who made your clothes and how they were paid and treated …
  • If you care about the chemicals in the dyes and how they affect the workers and the environment …
  • If you care about using natural fibers that will hold up and also decompose when you are done with them …

Then investigate where the item was made and what it is made of.

My Ethical Ensembles™ Encyclopedia provides the manufacturing ethics behind the clothing in well-known brands and stores, and gives you guidance on where to shop based on your personal brand.

I’d Love To Hear From You

Online Shopping Made Easy
Online shopping is a change of habit, I know. And changes can be uncomfortable, even intimidating.

But think of it this way.

Online shopping is a great way to search the world for clothing that fits your unique personal brand. You have so many more choices than what you can find strolling through local stores.

So try some of my tips and see which ones make that change a little easier for you. Is there one (or more) that sways your decision? I’d love to hear what it is!

Please comment below so we can all learn from your experience.

Black Friday Sales: Make Your Plan To Shop And Save

See below for Cyber Monday tips also

Need some tips on how to make Black Friday/Cyber Monday work for you?! I know, it’s sheer madness.  I know, most of you don’t even love to shop when there are NO crowds … but… what about the deals?! Those you truly do love, right? I have some helpful tips below on how to capitalize on those sales, even without leaving the comfort of your own home! 

According to the National Retail Federation, roughly 174 million people visited retail stores or shopped online on Thanksgiving weekend in 2017, an increase of 151 million from the year before. The average shopper spent nearly $335 during the four-day period, with about 75% of the total specifically earmarked for gifts.  But that’s not what I’m going to talk about.

Let’s make it about you!  How can you use this time of discount shopping to enhance your personal wardrobe? If you know me, you know I love deals, too. Yes, I pay retail for some items that I absolutely love, but more often than not, I shop end of season sales and consignment shops. Why pay retail if you can get the same item at a lower price!

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, most retailers offer exceptional shopping deals that are difficult or impossible to find any other day of the year. That’s absolutely true. Thanks to extended hours and Thanksgiving evening blitzes at many retailers, it’s easier than ever to score great Black Friday deals without encountering crippling crowds or stress. In many cases, it’s no longer necessary to even leave the house.  

If you prefer to shop in person check here for your favorite store’s hours.

Here are some free Black Friday shopping Apps you may want to consider as well…

  • Shopular: A location-enabled app that automatically serves you with relevant deals when you approach your favorite stores. Since it’s pretty much effortless to use, it’s a great product to bring to the mall when you plan to hit multiple retail locations. Plus, it has a built-in rebate feature that returns up to 25% off select purchases.
  • Flipp: Aggregates flyers and coupons from hundreds of retailers. It lets you upload personalized shopping lists too – perfect for Black Friday. Upload your retail loyalty cards to earn points or rebates on Black Friday buys.
  • The Coupons App:  Another flyer-and-coupon aggregator.
  • TheBlackFriday App: TheBlackFriday’s app is the most narrowly tailored to Black Friday deals. If you’re looking for an app exclusively for the occasion, this is your pick. It does include deals that fall outside the traditional Black Friday window too.
  • PriceGrabber is a price comparison app that allows you to instantly compare prices at top retailers.

So, what about Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday 2017 had online sales of $6.6 billion, smashing the previous year’s record. It was the biggest digital shopping day ever!

I am a fan of online shopping and indeed believe this is the future! Although you can shop online for Black Friday there are some deals on Cyber Monday that are even better.

Here’s some Success thru Style tips:

  • Amazon Fashion: Black Friday: 50% off select Denim, including styles from J.Crew, DL1961 and True Religion; up to 50% off select Calvin Klein Underwear, and more!
  • The Lucky Brand – Black Friday up to 50% off entire store; Cyber Monday Deal: up to 60% off entire site.
  • Guess – Black Friday: Up to 50% off the entire store.
  • Toms – Black Friday & Cyber Monday: 30% off in-store and online from November 21-27
  • 7 For All Mankind – From Nov. 22-27, save 40%
  • Lord & Taylor – Extra 40% off clearance the week of Nov. 20-25 and 25% off site-wide and free shipping on Cyber Monday
  • Nordstrom – From Nov. 20-26, save 60% off select sale items in stores and online
  • Nordstrom Rack and Hautelook – will announce new deals every day Nov 19 – 26.
  • Saks Off Fifth – From Nov. 20-26 50% off all coats, men’s & women’s cashmere, designer jeans, boots, hats gloves, and scarves
  • Cole Haan – From Nov. 18-24, 50% off select boots, bags, and outerwear plus 30% off everything else.
  • Bloomingdales, Saks, Neiman Marcus and other high end stores are not saying WHAT will be onside but they are HAVING a sale so you will have to check online when the day arrives.

The bottom-line is the Thanksgiving weekend has deals that are not a scam.  They are real deals on real things that you need in your wardrobe. Yes, it’s also a great time to do your holiday shopping.  But don’t forget the numero uno in your life (or should be) – YOU.

Review your wardrobe.  What do you truly need or want that will make you feel powerful, confident and beautiful this holiday season and beyond? Now go forth and get those items — on sale! You’re worth it!

p.s. Stay tuned for the Success thru Style Black Friday special! 

Download the Fall and Winter Style Guide 2018/2019

What’s in Style for Fall and Winter 2018/2019? Download Our Helpful Guide

Fall is officially upon us! Mother nature clearly got the message last week! … and Boom! We woke one morning and instantly needed closed toed shoes, jackets, sweaters, even coats and gloves.

With the change of seasons we change what we wear and with that there is always a change in the fashion trends. I am not a fan of trends; I am fan of personal style.

Trends are not designed with you in mind. They are not about helping you look amazing. Trends are about fashion, creativity and the designers. We want it to be about us, right!

Fashion should communicate who we are. How we show up at our best everyday. Our personal style!

So why learn the trends then? Because, knowledge is power!

  • If you know what is on trend, you will be aware of what’s going on in the world.
  • If you know what is on trend you know what is considered hip and current.
  • If you choose to bring a few new things into your wardrobe, a few things that you love, that work for your brand and that look great on you, these few things will communicate that you are modern, current and relevant.
  • If you know what is on trend you can easily make decisions on what is dated, these are things you want to move out of your wardrobe. There’s a difference between not being a slave to trends and being dated. We don’t want to look dated 🙂
  • If you know what is on trend you know what’s available in the stores. Are your best colors on trend? Will it be easy to find the pant legs that are most flattering for you? What about your favorite fabrics and prints? Is there a style you seek: are you feminine? Edgy? Sporty? If there are styles, prints, themes that are in style and that tell your brand story, then it might be a time for you to shop!

So what’s in style for the fall and winter 2018/2019 season?
Here are some of my favorites and things you might want to consider:

Cold Shoulders are still on the runway. Check out these styles pictured on the right.

Lingerie inspired tops. I like these as layering pieces to bring a bit of femininity into your look.

Pant Suits. Some of you love pants suits. They will be more available for you now than ever before! (see photo top right)

Jump Suits are such a flattering look on most body types.

Velvet is a beautiful fabric that can now be used casually, as well as formally. Check out these styles pictured on the right.

Mismatched earrings. If you are creative or dramatic this is a fun look.

 

Remember, unless you are a self-professed fashionista there is no need to run to the mall at the change of the season. If you want a refresh then, of course add a few things, yet be mindful about what you are wearing and what you need. Keep the trends in mind so you know what you will find when you get to the stores. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or post what is on your mind in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SuccessthruStyle/, and we will do what we can to help you.

Pantone sets the standards and here’s what they have to say about the fall and winter of 2018/19. The fall and winter colors won’t change much, power blue, pastel pink, mustard and burgundy are readily available. In fact, violet was the color of year. 

Here’s a reminder of the spring 2018 styles and colors. You will notice much of this is still in play this fall.

For a more detailed breakdown of the Fall Winter trends for the 2018/2019 season you can download our report hereThis guide will help you see what’s still showing up on the runway, what’s new and what’s for you.

 

If you haven’t learned about your personal brand and personal style yet, take our quiz at www.cyndyporter.com. Determining your personal brand takes time and introspection, this quiz will give you a quick idea of where you might fall.

Many of our clients find they are a combination of avatars. That might be your case too. Take a look at the various styles, see what you like and see what appeals to you! Enjoy!

Under Where?! What to wear under your clothes.

Once a month I take my clients shopping.  This month it is shape wear and hosiery and today is the day.  I am a big fan of online shopping, but this one is an exception. 

Until you know exactly what you need and want, undergarments are best purchased in person. 

I am going to have my clients start with a proper bra fitting.  According to the Huffington Post, 80% of women are wearing ill fitting bras. There are many places you can go to get a bra fitting, there are small boutiques that specialize in intimate apparel, larger chains such as SOMA and Victoria Secret and most major department stores have certified bra stylists who can help you make sure you are in the right size. 

If you want to do it online I recommend Third Love, for they have a great questionnaire that helps you self measure and also determine the right style based on the shape of your girls.

Bras don’t last forever.  They stretch out which is one reason they come with a clasp that has multiple rungs.  Start with your bra on the widest position and tighten over time.  Consider replacing them every six months so they always fit as intended.

Next up is panties.  I can’t tell you how often I have a conversation with my clients about their underpants:)  Panty lines can ruin your image in a nanosecond.  And really ladies you have to look at yourselves.  I am amazed at how many women don’t have a full length mirror and hand mirror to check their backside. You may not want to bother with how you look from the neck down or backside but others are looking and noticing.  It’s an easy mistake to make.  Not too long ago I put on white lined pants with pink undies.  If I hadn’t looked in the mirror I may have spent my entire day showcasing those pretty pink underwear, for the pants were much more translucent than I realized.  I changed several times and it wasn’t until I put on knee length Spanx that I found the right solution for those pants.

The right underwear really matters when it comes to pants.  I recommend thongs for most occasions. Many brands also make seamless panties if you don’t like the feel of a thong. No matter what you decide, you have to try things on and look in the mirror, both the front of you and behind.

What about shape wear? What we wear under our clothes can make all the difference especially if we are not happy with some bulges here and there. You probably think of Spanx in this regard, but the truth is humans have been using garments to reshape their bodies since the beginning of time; think rudimentary corsets and girdles.  Those of use that complain about Spanx and pantyhose have no idea what women endured for centuries before us.

So what shape wear should you wear and how should you wear it?

Here are a couple of things to consider:

Be Realistic

Shape wear can help you smooth things up and even tighten, it can help you look great in clothes that are your size and it can certainly help your self esteem.  But trying to use shape wear to help you go down a size is not realistic. Stick to your size in both the clothes you wear and the undergarments. Remember size doesn’t matter.  They are inconsistent at best.  No one needs to know that number, try to use it as a guide and not something to beat yourself up about.

Understand your Goals

There is a comfort vs. results continuum that you need to consider.  Where are you on the spectrum from let it all hang out to yikes I can barely breath?  Many pieces will come with a performance level from light control, to medium or firm.  Obviously the firmer the control the better the results and double up for a special event.  This seems unbearable to me but the thicker the fabric the more the control so it works from an aesthetics standpoint.  If the garment doesn’t have a performance level just check out the fabric, the more the nylon the more shape control.

What effect are you after?

  • Most women like a smooth line through the torso, think, high waisted for this result.  If you have trouble with slippage there are options that go over the shoulders or hook onto your bra.
  • Another idea to consider is pantyhose or tights built into the shape.  This can help with the uncomfortable confining feeling of shape wear overlapping the the tights or hose.
  • Some women like shape wear that helps minimize a larger chest.  Keep in mind it actually flatters you and changes the shape of your girls.  I prefer the bodysuit that is cut around the bust for this reason.
  • Big booties are on trend so if you want a fuller one, you may want to consider the Bootie Lifter or Bootie Bra as Spanx refers to it.

Don’t Forget Hose and Tights

This is an important topic; I get asked this question all the time, “aren’t pantyhose DATED”.  The answer is NO.  If you are trendy there indeed was a trend for while that allowed women to avoid stockings.  But now even that trend is passed.  All it took was Kate Middleton to start wearing this classic look and now they are back.  Honestly, I think they are a polished look and make every woman’s legs look better.  But as with everything else, whether you should you shouldn’t wear hose comes back to your personal brand, age and the occasion for which you are dressing.

 

Here are a few things to consider:

If you don’t feel comfortable with bare legs, or you feel your legs are too pale to go bare, but you don’t like the look of pantyhose you might want to wear a sheer nude.  They have some called barely there that are indeed hard to notice.  Always be sure the nude you choose it the best match for your skin color.  Nude on everyone is different and indeed they come in many shades.

If you’re super casual – sporty natural, and the thought of pantyhose makes you want to gag, go without or consider tights.

If your style is edgy. You might want to wear textured tights, paired with high heels, or stiletto boots.

If you more on the feminine romantic side, colorful tights or patterned hoses might be perfect for you.

The question of open toed shoes with pantyhose stays the same in my mind.  Don’t do it.  It may negatively impact your image and leave you looking dated or tacky.  The trend is to wear colored tights with open toed shoes.  If you are trendy or edgy and you do this with intention than go for it.

Hose and tights can make or break an outfit.  I don’t just think of them as undergarments but necessary accessories.

 

 

 

Red Alert

 

Bill Blass once said: “WHEN IN DOUBT WEAR RED.”

 

And on Valentine’s Day we indeed see it everywhere.  But is it right for you?

 

YES.  Of course it is but not all red is for everyone…

 

When I do a color analysis for my clients I make sure they all get their best neutrals, both light colors and dark colors.  They know which metals are right for their skin tone. They know their “wow” colors and they know what RED is the right red for them.

 

 

Every woman can wear red but the spectrum is significant.

 

 

 

We have to start with your skin tone.  Are you warm or are you cool?

 

If you have warm skin are warm red is best for you.  If you are cool cool complected then it’s a cool red.  If you mix this up, I’m afraid to say it can suck the life out of you.  Yikes!  So how do you know? Take a look at the color wheel:

 

 

Do the colors on top look best on you or the colors on the bottom?

 

If you aren’t sure start by determining if you are warm or cool.  See the four models below.  Can you see how cool colors would look best on these two women and warm colors on the next two?

 

 

Cool

 
If you are cool you have pink or blue undertones. In general the colors in the lower half of the color wheel are best for you.  

 

Red is shown on the warm half of the color wheel.  By mixing red with pink, purple or blue you end up with a cooler shade of red. 

 

Once you know your right red, it is also a helpful tip when thinking about your rouge and lipstick colors.

 

 

 

Warm

 

If you are warm you have yellow undertones. In general the colors in the upper half of the color wheel are best for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have fun with it!  Play around and experiment and let us know if red, fuchsia or burgundy is the right red for you. 

 

FLASH SALE! You’re invited: W by Worth (my FAVORITE clothing line!)

W by Worth is my favorite clothing line! I love it so much that I sold it directly for a year – just to my friends and clients.  

I’m having a TRUNK SALE next weekend, and YOU are cordially invited to my home studio to shop this season’s styles with your own personal shopper (me!).

Get FREE advice and guidance on colors, styles, fit and more!

Friday 10/28 – Sunday 10/30

By appointment only – click here to book yours TODAY:

Questions? Call me at 703-919-5244.

Here’s a sneak peek of the fall/winter W by Worth clothing line:

Learn Your Face Shape and Why it Matters

What's your face shape?

Is your face shape an oval, oblong, diamond, circle, square or heart?  Learn what your shape is and why it matters.

It’s all Greek, at least when it comes to the “classic” definition of beauty.

To look your best, you want to be symmetrical, proportionate and balanced.  Its that simple.  These are the ancient Greek elements used to create beautiful art, architecture, interior design and we see it time and time again in nature and in the human form.  These basic elements are the key to aesthetic beauty.  If you learn about your body you can learn to use these principles to look beautiful.  

What’s your face shape?

Look in the mirror, grab some lipstick and trace your face:  

  •  You have an oval shaped face if it’s length is equal to one and a half times its width.
  •  You have a circle shaped face if it’s round and its width is basically as long as its length.
  •  You have an oblong shaped face if it is significantly longer than it is wide.
  •  You have a square face if it is about as wide as it is long and your jawline is more angular than that of a round face.
  •  You have a heart shaped face if it is narrow at your jawline and wide at your cheekbones and forehead.
  •  You have a diamond shaped face if it is widest at the cheekbones, with a narrow forehead and jawline of approximately equal widths.

So, why does face shape matter?  

It helps you know what hairstyle, eyewear, necklines and accessories are most balanced, proportionate, symmetrical (read: beautiful), for you.

There is a general rule in art called repeating patterns or relatedness.  It is known that when we see a pattern or a color our subconscious mind is looking for that shape, pattern or color in other places.  Thus, things look the most harmonious if we repeat the shape of your face.  Check out the following table for advice based on your face shape: 

Faces

Chart

WANT MORE STYLE TIPS, FASHION TRICKS AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!

10 Techniques to Dress 10 Pounds Thinner

10 techniques to dress 10 pounds thinnerWe would all like to be thinner, I know I do and I work at it all the time. But, there are wardrobe and fashion techniques to look thinner, too.

Let’s be happy with who we are in the present and honor the body we have right now: I bet you can think of curvy women who look stunning, who show up with self-confidence every day and achieve great things because of it.

Whether it is ten pounds or more I believe we can look stunning at any size.  If you struggle with your weight, you are not alone.  Did you know the average dress size is a size 14 and 63% of all women are plus sized?

As an image consultant, my goal is to help your outside match your inside. It starts with defining a style that reflects your personality, lifestyle, values and tastes. You can learn to dress elegantly, polished, professional, happy, creatively, and yes, thinner.

Try these ten easy techniques to dress 10 pounds thinner:

  1. Monochromatic Dressing – There is no better way to look leaner and taller than wearing a solid color from head to toe. It is sophisticated, trendy and it can be very interesting if you vary the textures worn.
  2. Column Dressing – Similar to monochromatic dressing, column dressing is very elongating. The only difference is the addition of a jacket that compliments the solid color of the underlying pieces.
  3. Increase Your Height – Taller equals thinner. Wearing heels, 3/4 length sleeves and/or skirts above your knees will make your legs look longer.
  4. Matching Shoes – To elongate your legs and look leaner, match your shoes to your legs (nude hose, bare-legged) or to your pants.
  5. Shapes – Learn to dress your shape. To look thinner, emphasize your “smaller” parts by wearing empire waisted dresses or shirts or cinched in waists with belts, or peplum tops.
  6. Proper Sizing – Forget about what size you are, and don’t expect clothes to fit you off the rack. Find clothes that fit your widest parts and have the rest altered so they fit you perfectly.
  7. Solid, Complementary Hues – Solid colors are better than patterns if you want to look thinner, especially if you are petite.
  8. Flat Panel Pants with Flare – Look for flat panel pants, i.e. no pockets, gathering or pleats. With a flare pant, the hips align with the flare, helping you to look proportionate and smaller than you would with tapered pants.
  9. Foundation Garments – Get a proper bra fitting. It is magic when you get “the girls” in the right position. The same goes for shape wear that now comes in a large variety of shapes, colors and sizes.
  10. Accessorize Upward – Bring attention to your face. Raise the eye upward. Wear scarves, necklaces, earrings. V-shaped necklines are very slenderizing. Update your makeup so you have a current style that showcases your features without overdoing it. Short current hairstyles are more slenderizing than longer hairstyles.

If weight loss is one of your goals, be sure to honor the body you have while you are on the path. You can and should be comfortable in your own skin and dress in a way that makes you feel as powerful on the outside as you are on the inside.

WANT MORE PERSONAL STYLE TRICKS, FASHION TIPS, AND INFORMATION ON UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AND SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS? BE SURE TO SUBSCRIBE TO CYNDY’S E-MAIL LIST AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION!