Don't be afraid to be pretty.

You may have seen my Tweet about starting to style for the young adults at YouthCare who have recently graduated from the Barista Training Program. I'm crazy excited about this opportunity to help homeless and formerly homeless teens look their best as they enter into their careers. 

As I discussed the logistics with the staff, I was reminded that there may be individuals who feel self conscious about their bodies because they are survivors of abuse. Understood. In fact, 1 out of 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys in the US are sexually abused and youth on the street report an even higher rate. I realize this is dark for a style blog, but I'm going somewhere, I swear. 

The way we choose to adorn ourselves in adulthood can have so much to do with issues from our past. This can be true for survivors of abuse who may feel more comfortable avoiding clothes that sexualize them. But that's an extreme case and certainly does not apply to all survivors. I had a client who at age 12 was told by her parent that she had no fashion sense. As an adult, she struggled with the confidence to try items she really wanted to for fear that she was making a mistake. 

Get where I'm going with this?

Regardless of your past, your body is yours and I'd encourage you to adorn it as such. Fashion is a way to express who you are, what you value and to give you the tools to be pretty. Don't be afraid of it. Don't be afraid to take risks with your style. "I could never wear that," should not exist in your vocabulary. "I would never wear that." Well, that's a different story.

Be who you aspire to be. There's no point in waiting for the right job, income, weight, etc. Seize the day, as they say.

Here's how:

Step 1. Identify the three words you'd like people to use to describe your style.

Step 2. Use those words as a filter each day when you select your outfit.

Step 3. Baby steps. REALLY wish you could rock a sheik red shift? Start with a sheik red top and your go-to black pants, then move to that top and a black skirt, then to the top, the skirt and heeled boots. Then- you are ready for the red shift.

Or, buy the dress and wear it with a jacket a few times before you are ready to accessorize it for an evening out. Yes. You are ready for the shift.

Own it.

Need some help? That's what I'm here for.

P.S. I recognize, Dear Reader, that this post is a little heavy. Fear not, you'll see something a little lighter later today. Two posts in one day. Believe it!



 Halter neck dress. Zara. Was: $59.90. Now: $39.99.

 Franco Sarto Dover boot. Nordstrom. $99.90.

 Ankle zip charlie trousers. Anthropologie. $98.

 Mossimo Plus size zip front scuba jacket. Target. $39.99.

 Lace front tee. The Limited. $44.95.

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