Michelle Barber Chip

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Winter Styling

Winter styling gives us the opportunity to create many different outfit options...including those which can dramatically change the entire look by using accessories.  In my mind I love nothing better than wearing a great hat, some funky boots or a scarf with an otherwise simple outfit.  The options are quite frankly limitless, and give us the chance to really experiment with our style without having to change the entire outfit.  For example, if you wear a beanie or hat but you are going to a business appointment or interview, all you need to do is remove that and voila you can have a more appropriate look for that occasion.

I always encourage people to try new things, and winter gives us that opportunity at a minimal risk.  Have fun with trying new styles and combinations - I know I will!


Perfection is not a Reality!

How much happier would we be if we weren't trying to live up to an unattainable standard?  The world today has high expectations on us, just as we have them on ourselves...

Learning how to let go of what we can't control and just be the best we can be...that's where true happiness lies!


Make a Choice…

                              "The smile is every Woman's sexiest curve."

I  have always been someone that likes to be in control of myself, my destiny and my surroundings...unfortunately when you have a husband and kids, work a full time job and have life going on all around you, you soon realize that control is an absolute illusion!

We all know that no matter what there are times that we are going to have things thrown our way that challenge us, make us angry, impatient and just downright cause us problems.  One thing that I recently learned is that no matter what happens, life is not happening to me it's happening for me!

No longer will I be a slave to my circumstances, we all have a choice, and the choice I made was to feel great regardless of how I felt, and what was thrown my way.

There are going to be days that you may not feel confident, and those are the days that you need to make sure you dress the most confidently!   You may have heard the expressions "fake it till you feel it" - dressing in something that makes you feel good about yourself, helps you confidence, changes your physiology in a positive way, and helps everything else seem a lot more manageable!

Dress like you are already famous...and see what happens.

 


What does Confidence look like on YOU?

Confidence is a tricky subject, which is why I like to talk about it quite often.  It can be swayed by many, many things, but not it if it has a healthy foundation...

One of the hardest things about confidence is that it is a feeling, a way of being, so how do we know if someone is or is not confident?  Actually, if you were to examine it, you would know a healthy self-confidence can be seen by how someone carries themselves, how they dress, how they allow others to treat them and how they treat others.  It is possible to be confident and not think or consider others at all, and that's a whole different topic but typically, a self-assured and confident person genuinely cares about others and realizes that they have this innate ability to share what they know and the gifts they have been given.  Everyone is born into different circumstances, they have different childhoods and life experiences, and therefore the results are going to be really different.  With that being said, I truly believe that anyone that really wants something badly enough is able to achieve that in their lives.  But, it starts with believing you can do it and having the confidence to try...

One of the biggest reasons for not having a healthy self esteem is because you don't live up to the standards you think you should.  We have expectations that are programmed into us by what we see on TV, in magazines, and the environment in which we live.  If you spend too much time watching TV and seeing celebrities and models on there you may create an unconscious expectation on yourself, which will only make you disappointed.

I have noticed that when I am not feeling great about myself it is easy to compare myself and my accomplishments to others.  Logically I know that my confidence is controlled by me, but sometimes it's easier said than done.  We do decide how we feel and that very often we can make ourselves feel better by looking good.  This can be as simple as making a decision to LIKE how you look, don't look at others and envy or want what they have (I am sure we've all done that at times), but if you just love yourself for your amazing gifts and talents then the confidence will follow...

The first step to being able to feel great about yourself and your life is to recognize areas that you could perhaps improve upon.  Do you find yourself thinking negative thoughts when you think you are not as good, pretty, rich, or thin as another person? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then the first step is to realize that you are doing that and it is a destructive behavior...instead look for something you have, something you can do or someone you have in your life that you can truly be grateful for!

Finally...try putting together a great outfit, rock it, own it and walk like you mean business -  your confidence will become contagious and others feel that!

 


Femininity is Key…

"Femininity is the ultimate form of sophistication."

As I was growing up I was always a Tom Boy! Instead of a baby-doll I had a Go Cart, I like to climb trees and play with Lego.

Now that I am grown up I still love cars, and because I have 4 boys, I pretty much go to their sports and still help them with Lego projects. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love to look and feel feminine. Putting together an outfit that is soft, and flirty is always fun. I recently found this dress and fell in love with the color and the lace accents on the sleeves.

As Women in business we have so much more power than we know. I have found that sometimes people are intimidated by me and my energy. One way to ease that intimidation is by acting softer, and dressing in clothes that are not so edgy but are more feminine. When I dress in a more feminine way, it is a great way for me to feel and adopt a softer persona.

We need to harness our inner strength and dress in a way that will help us achieve our goals and make us look and feel more successful.


Fall Color Combinations

Just as the seasons change, so do the colors of clothes available in stores.  Yes, you will always be able to find your trusted colors such as black, brown, grey and navy, but there are a whole new set of hues to keep things fresh.  A lot of the colors that appear in the fall appear to match the colors of leaves changing, and they tend to have a more warm nature.

It is a great time to add some different colors into your style repertoire, and here are some color combos that I am looking to use this fall:

1. Mustard and Black - see the picture above.  Yes, your traditional black is still a "go to" but by adding a mustard cardigan you switch things up a little.
2.  Olive and burgundy - just like black, olive has been around all year, but by adding a more cooler red tone in burgundy, you add a fall twist to your style.
3.  Rust and camel - a great almost traditional look - reminiscent of tweed, this color combo is great for business or as a fun casual look by incorporating different fabrics such as a wool sweater, velvet, and satin or silk.  

What are your favorite color combinations for Fall?  

If you want to read more...head to https://www.stylequeenie.com


Where does Confidence come from?

As little children we are bold enough to not let the fact that we fall while we are learning to walk stop us from feeling good about ourselves, or if we get words wrong as we learn to speak it doesn't phase us because we know we will figure it out...so why then, as we get older and try new things do we lack the confidence to master new things or sometimes even try them?

I believe that our lack of confidence can come from life experiences, and from our environment.  So as Adults, if we have encountered things that maybe have knocked us down, how do we pick ourselves up and truly believe that we can accomplish whatever we set our minds to?

Confidence is always going to be a work in progress.  It's not something where you feel like you have "finally made it", however, there are times when we can truly feel on top of our game and truly untouchable.  These are the moments we strive for and here are some things I do to help me feel like that more often than not:

1. Dress the way I want to be addressed.  I always wear clothes that make me feel great about myself, and that stand out, so I can walk with my head held high.  Choosing outfits that make me feel good, mean that when I walk into a room, I don't have to worry what anyone else thinks about me, because I KNOW what I think about myself.

2. Surround myself with people that lift me up.  It is really hard to feel good about yourself while you have people (no matter who they are) bringing you down.  We may not always realize what is happening, but I have definitely had people in my life that for some reason just don't make me feel good, or feel like they need to criticize so they can feel better about themselves (that's all on them, and I realized I don't have to own it!)

3. Love myself. This starts by telling myself how great I am and what I am capable of.  I have found that how we feel about ourselves directly affects how people to respond to us.  Have you ever been in a room and acted a certain way and wondered why other people may act that same way?  Your mood and your feelings about yourself are definitely contagious!

4. Do things that I love.  I know this is not possible all the time, but I always make sure that I am taking care of myself.  Sometimes that can be something as simple as reading a great book while I'm in the bath...I know, I'm a simple soul 🙂

These are just a few of the things that work for me...I hope they work for you too!


Casual Style – Weekend Ready…

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak!

Working in corporate America and being in a corporate environment, I feel like I have to have my "game face" on at all times.  I feel pressure to perform, and a lot of that pressure I put on myself.  As the weekend is quickly approaching I am looking forward to some much needed down time and relaxation.

I dress up every day for work - it is very important to make sure that I am presenting myself in the best possible way when I meet with clients and I don't take my appearance lightly.  So, when the opportunity arises (specifically at the weekend) I love the chance to dress down a little. I love to be able to explore my wardrobe and wear things that are not as suited for business wear but still look great.

The outfit I chose in this post is a really simple one that can very likely be duplicated with what you already have in your closet.  I am wearing a pair of my absolute favorite pants that remind me of the movie Grease - they are disco pants and the best thing...they are so stretchy that they fit to every contour of your body.  The shirt is just a loose simple denim look skirt, and I added a pair of booties in Grey.

How you dress at the weekend is not going to be graded or scrutinized like your work attire, however, I have always felt that it's important to look the best you can no matter where you are going or what you are doing. Dress with this goal in mind - wear something that suits your style, allows you to feel confident knowing that you look good, and finally something that is appropriate for whatever you will be doing.  I definitely wouldn't be wearing this outfit for yard work, whereas it is fabulous to wear for a fresh pressed juice with friends!