Friday, October 8, 2010

Fashion: love it or hate it, I have the book for you! {and GIVEAWAY!}

I have a new favorite book. I keep telling people about it and I'm carrying it around with me practically everywhere I go now so I thought it was time to write a proper review.

I've e-mailed back and forth with Shari, the author, a few times and she is absolutely delightful. She is NOT, by the way, compensating me for this in any way. I'm just a big fan and happy to promote her in any way I can!! :)

Here's my story.

I am by no means trendy, a fashionista or a style maven. I do, however, like to look as good as I feel or, frankly, look good even when I don't feel good! Plus I was tired of wasting time and money on more "stuff" (clothes, make-up, accessories, shoes) that didn't work for me.

So I ordered this book called "Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad" by Shari Braendel.

She has truly inspired me!! There's a chapter dedicated to each of the following topics:

* your body type (I'm a 'b')
* your true colors (I'm a "clear")
* accessorizing (including the "16 Point Accessory Rule")
* undergarments
* swimwear
* jeans
* hair and make-up
* jeans
* shopping
* modesty

There is a TON of useful information.

You'll learn how to dress your body type, what colors look great on you (plus your best neutrals), what size purse to carry, what style you tend toward and SO much more!

The format is easy to read, the tone is down-to-earth and all of the advice is very practical. You'll find yourself taking lots of notes! I'm going to create a cheat-sheet to laminate and keep in my purse to refer to when I'm shopping.

I could write pages but I'll just stick to the major ways the book helped me immediately.

Shari has tips for choosing a hair style and the right eye glasses, based on the shape of your face (mine is heart-shaped). Shari asks, "When was the last time you got a compliment on your hair?" My answer of, "I can't remember!" prompted me to make an appointment with a new hair dresser and try a chin-length bob to flatter my face. I didn't get highlights, either, based on Shari's recommendation to keep my hair as close to my natural color as possible, to bring out my eyes.

I took these pictures from my camera phone before and after my appointment.

Before (very "blah" and definitely not doing me any favors):

and after (wow!):

It's easier to style, it feels great and I think it even flatters my neck and shoulders.

And, yes, I have gotten compliments!!

Speaking of compliments, this book got me thinking about the times in my life when I felt great, at least partly because I knew I looked great. A family wedding when I was 17 came to mind. I wore a purple sheath dress and black high heels. People commented that I should be a model but what I also remember is that I felt like a million bucks.

It turns out that bright purple is one of my "pop colors" (you'll find yours, too) so it's no wonder.

I saw a similar dress on the rack recently and tried it on, just for fun. It looked sensational. I went home without it but after mentioning it to my husband, he insisted that I go back and buy it. Barely a week later, I was invited at the last minute to a swanky fundraiser at a resort hotel and was thrilled to have the perfect dress to wear. Sure enough, I knew that I fit right in and I felt fantastic. It was so nice to not be in a panic over not having anything to wear.

It got even better. I had the opportunity to buy a few new pieces of clothing with my mom this past week and was amazed at how much easier it was to shop when I knew what styles and colors would flatter me. I passed up entire racks because I knew the items wouldn't work for me and everything I took into the dressing room DID work--I just had to make sure to get the right size and colors. AND, I found such an amazing pair of jeans that I got them in two colors!

Saving the time, hassle and money in that one shopping trip more than made up for the cost of the book.

Lastly, I had to mention this.

One of my favorite parts of this book is how Shari addresses the meaning of Matthew 6:31-33 that says, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (NIV)

There is a lot of truth to unpack from this passage but here's the insight that struck me: how much time do we waste, "worrying" about what we wear?? Nothing fits, nothing works for our life, nothing makes us feel good and our pieces don't go with each other, let alone say anything about our we worry about what we'll put on that day, we worry about what to wear for a special occasion, we worry about the money we're wasting, we worry about what people think of us, we worry about the impression we're giving people about who we are...worry, worry, worry.

We owe it to ourselves to take the worry out of looking good every day. We need a wardrobe that is as effortless as possible, we need to learn how to accessorize so that it becomes automatic and we need the ability to shop efficiently so that we're not wasting time or money anymore. We need to learn how to look our best so that it's a not a worry, but a pleasure.

Shari's book does that.

Want to learn more? Here's her web site, which highlights everything she does (she's a part of Proverbs 31 Ministries). If you can attend one of her events, I'd highly recommend it. Don't miss the FREE on-line color analysis, too!!

Shari's web site

And don't miss her blog! TONS of great information!! I recommend that you subscribe to her "Faith Meets Fashion" E-newsletter. Shari's blog

~~~ GIVEAWAY!!! Just leave a comment about what kind of fashion help YOU need most and you'll be entered into a drawing for a FREE COPY OF "Good Girls Don't Have to Dress Bad." Just make sure to leave your e-mail address if you don't have a blog, so I can let you know if you win!

Winner will be chosen by the random number generator at midnight on Friday, October 22nd~~~

You can also snag a copy


Jaime Geer said...

Thanks for the tips Tab! Right now, I need help choosing easy clothes. Since I do yoga several days a week, I tend to just want to stay in my yoga clothes, because they are easy and comfortable. So, I need more tips ideas about clothes that would work for me that I can just grab and go, but still look cute :)

Jodi Reed said...

Definitely hair and make-up. I typically wear my hair in a ponytail because I don't really know what to do with it. And I never wear make-up...mostly because I just don't ever think about it.

Shari Braendel said...

Girlllllllllllll, you look amazing!!!!!!! Wow...your hair is fabulous!!!! And YOU are beautiful!
Thank you so much for featuring my book....I LOVED what you had to say! Hey, why don't we feature YOU next Monday? You want to? Your pics are terrific and I loved what you had to readers would love your before and after pics. Let me know! love, Shari

Robin Statzer said...

Well, you might not know it, but I have come to DETEST shopping! I really want to have a personal shopper so that I don't have to go through the horror of shopping for myself. Nothing seems to fit right anymore, AND quite frankly all the clothes that are cute seem to be for teeny-boppers with no butts or boobs! I happen to have those thank you very much! Would love to have a tool to help me feel better about the entire shopping experience!

Rebecca said...

I'm such a jeans and t-shirts kinda girl. I have no clue how to really dress up. I look at myself at my brothers wedding and I want to smack myself. DOH!

Fashion was never a big topic at my house, comfort and affordability were key.

Katie said...

Found your site through Shari's blog. After reading about the makeovers, I realized I definitely need help with accessorizing! Lately I've been adding little besides my wedding ring to an outfit...and feeling very "blah." (

Dina-Marie said...

I found you through the MOnday makeover on Shari's blog and YOU LOOK AMAZING!
I need help as you said at Shari's, getting rid of clothes that just don't work and I don't wear because I don't feel good in them. Then, filling in with those that do!

Mariah said...

Hey, I'm visiting from Shari Braendel's website! You look like a fresh, beautiful mama, ready to give your kids all your energy!!! Keep up the good work!! blessings!

Kelly said...

For me, I need to find some other cute casual looks besides jeans...I do have my 'work' office wardrobe, but seem to default only to jeans on the weekends and would like to come up with something else cute and casual!
I also want to get better at working with accessories!

Hi, I'm Mrs. Missy said...

Great review and I am so glad you loved this book. I have heard about it and just finished reading all about you on Shari's blog so I thought I'd drop over and leave a comment. I haven't read the book yet, but I think I'd like to.

NicoleM said...

Wow! Thanks for the inspiration. I think I need to work on putting some outfits together that flatter my shape- rather than hanging out in my yoga clothing all the time. This book sounds like a must have!

Emily B ( said...

Great changes seen in your before and after! My issue these days is that clothes I try on at stores never seem to fit correctly. I gravitate towards black (because those items usually fit and flatter!) but I'd like more color in my wardrobe. It's hard to find fit and fashion for my age (29) in sizes that will fit. I've got the basics, I just need some tweaking...

Rebekah Wunsch said...

Loved all the tips and would love to read the book!!!

Deb said...

What a great post. I really like your before and after pictures. The right haircut made such a difference. Thanks for sharing.

Deb V

Melissa G. Pickens said...

What do I need help with? --everything that has to do w/clothes! Probably some fresh make-up tips, too. But I need to know what works best for me in style, colors, and comfort! :)Plus, I'm 35, but often told I look like a sibling to my two teenagers...I want to dress to look FASHIONABLY my age, but not "old lady" as the saying goes. (and be comfortable!)

Anonymous said...

Popped over from Shari's blog. Loved your Monday Makeover and have enjoyed reading the things on your site. Keep up the good work.
Lorri Wright

NicoleM said...

Just realized that I didn't leave my email address in my comment.