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Style Starts Now!

March 23, 2015

To Compassion

Photo From:  The Burton Mail
On Friday, I did something stupid.  I did something most people know not to do.  I looked right at the eclipse.

In fact, I looked right at the eclipse more than once.

I looked up, wondering if the clouds were ever going to part, and there it was!  The eclipse!

It was so exciting!  It was thrilling!!

But, it was also dumb.  I could have burned out my retinas.  I didn't; but, I could have.

From IBTimes

I ran up to my son's classroom to let the kids know and, like the good kids they are, they dutifully pulled out their dark glasses and looked.  They couldn't see a thing.

But, I could -- and so, I looked again.  It was so cool!!

Then, I developed a massive headache.  So, like any self-respecting modern woman, I googled it.

Guess what?  Google told me to go straight to the eye doctor.  Whoops.

Coincidentally (perhaps?), I had to pick up my new contacts, and I sheepishly confessed to the receptionist what I had done.  I was also quite worried.

Could I really have been that stupid?

She looked at me aghast, then made an appointment for me immediately.  She pulled the optician aside, told her what had happened, and the optician, full of foreboding, took me in for an eye exam.

Turns out I am really lucky -- no serious damage.  Phew.

Photo by Cristina Stoian
Of course, I got a big lecture from the eye doctor and a stern warning.  Awesome.  But still - phew!

And then, I thought, "Don't I know better?"

I'm a Mom, for **sake, and my first rule is:  stay safe.  My second rule is:  Follow directions. 

Duh.  Of course I do!

But, apparently, I also make mistakes --  

Really foolish ones!

Are my eyes important to me?  Of course they are!!  I rely on them for everything!  My livelihood, my favorite activities -- everything.

I'm telling you this story not just because it's funny and a little sad and a lot ridiculous.

I'm telling you this story because --
  • yes -- I did create a super cool process to help you create your personal style
  • yes -- I am smart and funny and a really good Mom
  • but no -- I am *not* going to sit in judgement of you
  • and yes -- I make really foolish mistakes
So you can come to me with your vulnerability and your big questions.  I welcome them.  I have created a safe place for you to explore who you are.  I will do my best to shepherd you into who you want to be. 

According to Mystic Mama, a total eclipse marks the closing out of one phase.  The lesson of this particular eclipse is you are who you are precisely because of the choices you have made.

It also marks the opening up to a new phase.  You can choose who you are becoming.

I want to help you with that choice.

The lesson of this eclipse for me (clearly! or is that blurrily?) is compassion.

Compassion for myself (making mistakes) and compassion for others (helping you through the process of becoming).

Compassion is one of my style words and is the hallmark of the work I do.

What was Friday's lesson for you?

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    March 16, 2015

    Living Your Dream

    It has been an exciting season here at DailyOutfit!  Two big trips, two live workshops, writing the blog and working with a variety of fabulous clients.  I truly am living my dream -- and it is my mission to help YOU live yours!

    Save the date for my first Virtual Style Starts Now! Workshop:   April 23rd.

    Stay tuned for my free video series AND information on how to register.

    I am so thrilled to be able to invite you to experience this workshop via the awesomeness of technology!

    I've had some amazing sessions lately with my private clients, who were happy and willing to share their style journey experiences in order to inspire you!  Thank you, ladies!

    "It's a treat for myself, it's fun to do and it's a long-term investment in bringing out and defining a sense of my own style." - Christina

    "DailyOutfit is great because Allison is smart!  (After all, she went to Cornell like me!)  A lot of fashion advice is insipid and about trends.  I tell friends that I like working with Allison because her advice is grounded in her knowledge of shape, color and design and then tailored for individual clients." - Kathy

    Since I started the year off with the 'flu, I took a moment to celebrate taking good care of yourself.  After all, as Mom used to say, tomorrow is another day!

    This inspired the January Look because having a great pair of pj's or a yummy bathrobe can seriously elevate the time we spend recovering in bed.

    Then, I took a moment to reflect on #JeSuisCharlie, my own experience of Sept 11th and how truth-telling is a job for us all in Feeling Free.

    Treating our bodies well is part and parcel with how we view our bodies.  For many of us, the body is a problematic thing.  I traced my own recent journey to a bikini body in Loving Yourself for Valentine's Day.

    Valentine's Day also inspired the February Look, lining up lingerie looks according to how you feel about lingerie itself.

    I then asked trainer Michele Gilman to give us her tips and tricks on how to approach Valentine's Day since our bodies inevitably aren't "perfect" in Valentine's Day is Coming!  I don't think either of us intended the pun (ahem).

    As I traveled a great deal this Winter, I talked about how pleasant it was to be reminded how awesome my process is in Proof of Concept.  Yes, I am tooting my own horn.  Don't mind if I do!

    This inspired a post on Effortless Style and exactly how it's achieved.

    In Honoring Where You're From, I talked about how style can bring out the unique pieces of yourself and allow them to flower.

    Finally, I shared my experience with a high-fashion shoot in Glamour It and how it changed my perspective not only on fashion, but also on how I view myself.

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    March 12, 2015

    Let's Celebrate!

    By Philippe Halsman
    With Spring springing and the approaching solar eclipse next week, you can be sure there are lots of new beginnings in the works.  Let's celebrate!

    The Workshop is sold out, but please join us afterwards for drinks!

    Where:  Bar Brut, Crowne Plaza Promenade
    When:  This Saturday, March 14th
    Time:  6-8p


    March 9, 2015

    Glamour It

    Photos by Cristina Stoian

    When I said yes, I thought I was doing Cristina a favor.  If she was going in a new direction with her photography, I was going to support her!  I certainly didn't think I needed this for myself.

    What surprised me was how much the session did for me, for my confidence, and for the way I see myself.   Not only were the images she created beautiful, they allowed me to see a whole other side of myself that I thought I knew, but had never really claimed.

    Cristina told me it was an experience.  She designed it as an opportunity for any woman to get in touch with her glamorous side.  But, really, I didn't think that was an issue for me.  I'm a stylist!

    I was wrong.

    The experience was transformational.

    First of all, who knew modeling is so difficult?

    It takes concentration, physical stamina and total focus. It's like yoga, except you also want to look good!

    Luckily, Cristina coached me through the whole thing.  I relaxed with her and got into the swing of it.  She's amazing:  kind and encouraging.

    It was unlike any other photo shoot I've experienced.

    Of course, models and actresses do this all the time -- and they don't get that kind of support.  It's their job.  It was fascinating to experience the poses and facial expressions they wield for myself.

    More importantly, I have a whole other level of respect for it.  We all struggle with expectations of perfection and beauty.  Much of this struggle comes from amazing images like these.

    What most of us don't understand is the preparation and work that goes into creating high fashion images.  Once I experienced it for myself, I immediately understood on a visceral level how these images are created.

    And yet, for the first time, these images allowed me to see my body as beautiful.  And seeing is believing.

    For example, take a look at this photo to the left.  I look slender and curvy at the same time.  My waist and bust look perfect.  The funny thing is, I know this is the pose.  But, I also know it is actually me.

    Not that I'm going to walk around like this; no one could.  But, if this is actually me, what happens to all that struggle with all those expectations?

    I can just put those to rest.  Done and sorted!  What a gift.

    "Working the camera" is not just a phrase; it's a skill set.

    Some of my sisters have teased me (lovingly or not so lovingly, depending on their mood) that I "always" look good in photos. It's not actually true.

    But, I did learn early on how to simply look at the camera and smile. It brings your ratio of good shots to bad shots WAY up.

    Take the image to the right. I don't always look this good, but it is totally me. It's my smile, the photo looks natural -- and it is!

    This shot will become my new head shot.

    You'll see it soon on my website banner and in my marketing. It expresses who I am and who I want to be:  for my clients, my friends and myself.  Fun, compassionate AND stylish.

    But, it's not the shot that inspired me the most from this shoot OR the one that taught me the most about myself OR about high fashion.

    Because taking a high-fashion shot is totally different. It's actually not about the smile at all.

    Why do so many famous women look younger than the rest of us?  It's not just the Botox and air-brushing.

    In these shots, I'm not making any wrinkles!

    Look closely -- the forehead, the mouth, the eyes -- and you'll see my face is totally relaxed.

    I look about 20.  But really?  I'm 43 and I've had two children!

    My daughter said, "Mommy, are these photos of you when you were much younger?"

    I laughed and responded, "No, sweetie, this is how I can look right now.  I just have to be very relaxed."

    After I went through the shoot, I felt I had learned so much about myself and fashion, I didn't even feel the need to see the photos!  The experience itself had had an amazing result.

    But, I'm not gonna lie -- the reveal was incredible.  I couldn't believe the images Cristina had created.

    Here is, as Oprah says, my best self -- beautiful, strong, fabulous, sexy, stylish and confident.

    This is who I am -- in my imagination.

    But there I am -- in a photograph.

    I am so happy I said yes to this shoot.  Turns out?  It was a favor to myself.

    Sometimes, it takes courage to step into your own power.

    Thanks to Cristina, all I need to do is look at this image to know I already have.

    Meet Cristina this weekend at our upcoming Workshop in The Hague.  If you haven't booked your ticket yet, there are still a few spots, so book now.  We would love to see you there!

    March 3, 2015

    Honoring Where You're From

    Returning from my trip to Maryland to visit my Dad and family with my kids for his 90th birthday, I am reminded how lucky I am to get to do what I do.

    I designed my business precisely so I could make the time and space to make trips like this one.  I love my work and I love my life -- each inform the other.

    Spending time with my kids, sharing those experiences with my friends and family, celebrating my Dad and his amazing life -- all of these roll up into who I am.

    Style is honoring the unique pieces of yourself and allowing them to flower.

    Jean-Paul Gaultier has this great quote about about personal style, "being who you are and being proud of where you are from."

    For him, that means the Breton Stripe is a theme in almost every collection.  For me, that means a mix of comfort, practicality, prep and a respect for occasion being part of every outfit I wear -- that's the Washingtonian aesthetic.

    My business is built around the concept that you can bring to bear all these pieces of yourself in your personal style.   It's like a collection of visual clues for whomever you're going to meet or whomever is already part of your life.  It attracts those whose goals and values match yours and reminds them of who you are.

    I am so honored to get to do this work -- to help you create "aha" moments and collaborate with you to craft a style that honors both where you're from AND where you're going.

    WOULD YOU LOVE TO HONOR WHERE YOU'RE FROM WITH YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?  Book your ticket for Style Starts Now! in The Hague on 3/14.

    February 26, 2015

    You're Invited

    Would you love to feel your style is easy 
    yet powerfully effective?

    Attend the 
    Style Starts Now! Workshop

    March 14th, 1-5p
     Workshop is limited to 10 participants.

    Early Bird Pricing:  155E

    Style Starts Now! Workshop
    Spend an intimate afternoon
    celebrating what makes you amazing
    and learning the principles of personal style
    at the lovely American Women's Club of The Hague

    define, beauty, style, dailyoutfit, everyday beauty
    Start your afternoon with the
    Principles of Personal Style 
    with Allison, Founder of DailyOutfit

    What Flatters
    Allison explains how stylists
    determine what colors, cuts, textures and
    patterns to choose

    What Matters
    Work in pairs to discuss your style words
    Return to the group for guided coaching
    from Allison on how to convey your message

    The Dream
    Use your dream as your catalyst
    to create your personal style

    Take a Break

    Drink in your nutrients
    with a delicious smoothie

    Connect with your fellow
    style celebrants

    translate, beauty, style, dailyoutfit, everyday beauty

    Switch gears from analysis to action 
    to translate your true beauty
    into your personal style

    Enjoy a Style Circuit Training
    with 4 fun activities:
    - Selfie Station with Cristina Stoain
    - Guided Foot Massage
    with Vivienne McAllister-Geertz
    - Accessories Index
    - On-the-Spot Coaching
    with Allison


    Selfie Station
    Learn how to take a selfie like a pro
    to document and analyze your outfits 
    with professional photographer
    Cristina Stoain of Crisspix

     Accessories Index
    Amp your accessorizing know-how
    with Allison's fun and surprising
    Accessory Index

    On-the-Spot Coaching
    Receive specific answers
    to any of your style questions
    from Allison

    Self-Care Program with
    Karin Bosscher of 
    Isa Bella Linea

    Practice self-care in a new, nurturing way by exploring how to incorporate wellness into
    your everyday life

    Inhabit Your Personal Style

    Relax for a final session to explore how
    to inhabit your personal style with ease.

    Learn how you can reduce stress around
    self-care "chores" and turn your to-do list
    into "I can't wait to do it" list

    Celebrate all the things you ARE doing right 
    to support your personal style!

    Wrap-Up with a final Q&A with Allison

    What clients are saying about the 
     Style Starts Now!  Workshop:
    The best part of the Workshop was... 

    "I learned new things about myself and felt pampered, too!"

    "All of the positive feedback -- I was prepared for a 'What Not to Wear' experience, but it wasn't like that at all."

    "All the positive energy!"

    Do something just for you.

    Register for the

    Style Starts Now! Workshop 

    1-5p on March 14th
    at the 
    American Women's Club of The Hague
    Workshop is limited to 10 participants.

    Meeting workbook, smoothie, and healthy snacks
    are included! 

    Early Bird Pricing:  155E 

    VIP PACKAGE - 625E
    Book your Workshop ticket AND upgrade to the VIP Package here.

    Join Allison for the Style Starts Now! Workshop and launch your style journey! 

    Define Your Beauty
    How can your style reflect your true beauty?

    - Personal Style Assessment
    - Private Personal Style Passport
    - Learn your colors, cuts, textures and patterns
    - Define Your True Beauty Session with Allison
    - Personal Style Pinterest Board

    Stage Two:  Define Your Personal Style

    How can you show the world 
    what makes you amazing?
    - Signature Look Assessment
    - Discover Your Style Words
    - Explore Your Color Message
    - Personal Style Virtual Session
    with Allison
    - Signature Style Ping-Pong

    Save 80E with this Package!

    Shannon says:
    "I've been spending more time getting to know myself and addressing my private side. It was really amazing to see Allison pick up on that through the process and find colors and styles that express my quieter and more mysterious self.  I was surprised and impressed to see how that came through without me mentioning it -- and I am now very excited to share this part of me with the world!"

    Give yourself permission to receive:
    • Confidence to match your strength, style and beauty.
    • Clarity to change shopping from frustrating to fabulous.

    February 23, 2015

    Effortless Style

    There's the word in the style world that's thrown around like salt:  effortless.

    Effortless style.  Effortless chic.  Effortlessly beautiful.

    What does it all mean, anyway?

    • achieved with admirable ease.
      "her effortless sense of style"
    I actually don't believe in effortless style.  But, I believe your style can become effortless. 

    My formula for personal style is as follows:
    what flatters + what matters + your dream = personal style.

    What Flatters.  It starts with knowing what flatters you:  the colors, cuts, textures and patterns that look best on you.  These elements come from your facial features, your hair and your skin.  The right color can make you look awake; the wrong pattern will overwhelm you and speak for you.

    What Matters.  The next piece is knowing what's important to you.  What do you want people to see when they first meet you?  Is it how much money you have?  Is it where you're from?  Or is it something more subtle, like your integrity or your drive?  All of these nuances can be expressed through the way you dress.  Style is a language.  Choose your words!

    Claim Your Dream.  Knowing where you want to go is as important as knowing who you are right now.  In fact, it may be an easier question to answer.  One of the ways actors get into character is to dress the part.  You can do the same.  I'm not encouraging you to be dishonest, but rather reach for what you want.

    Translate to Communicate.  You can take these three elements and translate them into visual terms.
    • What flatters = the color palette, patterns, textures and cuts that look best on you are all visual elements.  
    • What matters = the colors + cuts, patterns, textures that convey your style words.  For example, red equals energy and soft fabrics convey love and warmth. 
    • Your dream = who does the woman you want to be look like?  To find the answer to this question, we ping-pong back and forth to find an inspiration for your look. 

    Making It Effortless.  Once you have defined your personal style, streamlining the wardrobe is easy.  You let go of whatever doesn't match your vision and start to build your wardrobe with pieces that do.

    However, letting go can be very, very hard!  It is a huge help to have support here.  You need someone encouraging you to reach for your vision and not lose faith in the goal.

    A Wardrobe That Works FOR You.  Your wardrobe needs to function with your life, so if you're a Mom home with small children, your fabrics should be tough and easily washable.  The same is true for a road warrior, but the cuts and types of clothing would be completely different.  When you're both, this requires  dual-track wardrobe that feeds the needs of both functions.  All of this is easily do-able -- even within a budget.

    When you have everything you need, when it fits and feels wonderful on and makes sense for your life, THEN your style has become effortless.  Once you've achieved it, you're never going to want to go back!

    WOULD YOU LOVE TO ACHIEVE EFFORTLESS STYLE?  Book your ticket for Style Starts Now! in The Hague on 3/14.