Before You Put That On by Lloyd Boston - Read Online
Before You Put That On
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Summary

Style guru Lloyd Boston is familiar to millions of viewers across the country as a fashion editor for NBC's Today show and a regular on E! Entertainment's Style Network. He's familiar to readers who made his style guides for men -- and the women who dress them -- bestselling books. Now with Before You Put That On, Boston delivers 365 expert fashion tips to help women create a wardrobe and a personal style they can be proud of every day of the year -- using much of what may already be in their closets!

Lloyd Boston defines finding your style as "taking your world and giving it shape." That's what he's done for his individual and corporate clientele for years, and now with this beautifully designed book -- including his own original art -- he's offering his insider secrets to you. Boston's user-friendly references are filled with inspirational ideas for looking and feeling your most stylish.

Friendly, frank, and with a wealth of professional tips at his disposal, Boston guides readers through an entire year's worth of fashion choices, beginning with a new style resolution at the top of the year, through the fresh fashion possibilities of spring and barely dressed days of summer, and back through the glittering holidays.

Before You Put That On offers:

• Hints for choosing garments to flatter every body type
• Simple solutions for going from day to night in minutes
• Tailoring tricks that bring new life to items you already own
• Advice on adding accessories that turn a look from frumpy to fabulous
• Organizational tips for creating a user-friendly closet
Published: Atria Books on
ISBN: 9781451628722
List price: $17.99
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Before You Put That On - Lloyd Boston

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BEFORE YOU PUT THAT ON

Other style books by Lloyd Boston

Men of Color: Fashion, History, Fundamentals (Artisan)

Make Over Your Man: The Woman’s Guide to Dressing Any Man in Her Life (Broadway)

ATRIA BOOKS

1230 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10020

www.SimonandSchuster.com

Copyright © 2005 by Lloyd Boston

Photographs by Keith Major

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For information address Atria Books, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

ISBN-13: 978-0-7432-8169-0

ISBN-10:         0-7432-8169-1

eISBN-13: 978-1-4516-2872-2

First Atria Books hardcover edition September 2005

10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1

ATRIA BOOKS is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Manufactured in the United States of America

For information about special discounts for bulk purchases, please contact Simon & Schuster Special Sales: 1-800-456-6798 or business@simonandschuster.com.

All illustrations in this book were created by Lloyd Boston with Windsor & Newton Designers Gouache and Berol Prismacolor thick lead art pencils.

For my mother, Lynell, and Uncle Jake and Aunt Jean, thanks for keeping me safe

CONTENTS

Preface

January 1

Claim This Year as Your Most Stylish Ever

January 2

Inspired Workout Clothes

January 3

Prints and Patterns Solved

January 4

The Experts Speak: Adam Glassman

January 5

Wooden Hangers, Please

January 6

Girl Group Style

January 7

Top Eleven Shoes

January 8

The Experts Speak: Michael Kors

January 9

Learn a New Fashion Term: Ruching

January 10

The Experts Speak: Mally Roncal

January 11

Your Pen Is Mightier Than You Think

January 12

Identify Your Life Palette

January 13

Create a Style File

January 14

Fall/Winter Clearance Sale Alert

January 15

Seamless Bras Rule

January 16

Wear a Hat for Style

January 17

Protect Your Shoes

January 18

Women’s History Flashback

January 19

Get Model Confidence

January 20

Happy Birthday, Aquarius Girl

January 21

Travel with a Scented Candle

January 22

At Ease

January 23

Add Asian Prints to Your Look

January 24

The Experts Speak: Kenneth Cole

January 25

Pop Style Quiz

January 26

The Experts Speak: Marc Bouwer

January 27

Ten-Minute Meeting Style

January 28

Mall Shopping 101

January 29

The Experts Speak: Suze Yalof Schwartz

January 30

The Three-in-One Shopping Test

January 31

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

February 1

My Stylish Valentine

February 2

Groundhog Day—the Countdown to Sexy

February 3

Go for Open-Toe Shoes

February 4

Historical Style: Happy Birthday, Rosa Parks

February 5

There Is a Cure for the Wintertime Blues

February 6

The Baggy Clothes Myth

February 7

Buying in Pairs

February 8

Professional Bra Fittings

February 9

World Traveler Style

February 10

Celebrate Your Originality

February 11

Is a Sale Always a Sale?

February 12

Invest in Ballerina Flats

February 13

Learn a New Fashion Term: Piqué

February 14

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 15

Be Your Own Fashion Editor

February 16

Get a Luxury Bathrobe

February 17

The Experts Speak: Joe Zee

February 18

Add a Geometric Print to Your Look

February 19

Happy Birthday, Pisces Girl

February 20

Ten-Minute Date Style

February 21

Wear Chocolate Brown and Classic Pink

February 22

Your Fashion First-Aid Kit

February 23

Stop Getting Beautiful

February 24

Pop Style Quiz

February 25

The Essentials List: Flats

February 26

Dress from Small to Big

February 27

The Drop-Dead Dress

February 28

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

March 1

Spring Fashion Cleaning

March 2

The Experts Speak: Michael Vollbracht

March 3

Let Your Hairstyle Go

March 4

Historical Style: Jeanette Rankin

March 5

Don’t Shop

March 6

Identify Your Signature Look

March 7

Go Ahead, Wear Stripes with Plaids

March 8

Add African Prints to Your Look

March 9

The Experts Speak: Carolina Herrera

March 10

The Year-Round Pant or Skirt Suit

March 11

Don’t Let the Name Fool You

March 12

The Experts Speak: Max Azria

March 13

Learn a New Fashion Term: Jacquard

March 14

Ten-Minute Cocktail Party Style

March 15

Good-bye, Coatdress, Hello, Wrap Sweater

March 16

Count Your Lucky Skirts

March 17

Pop Style Quiz

March 18

The Spring Safari Jacket

March 19

Banish the Morning News; Get Dressed to Music

March 20

Thaw Your Style

March 21

Happy Birthday, Aries Girl

March 22

Glam-It-Up Dress for the Theater

March 23

Be a Man Magnet

March 24

The Experts Speak: Tommy Hilfiger

March 25

Reach Out for the Right Clothes First

March 26

Wake Up Your Outfit with a Pop of Color

March 27

Unmatch Your Handbag and Shoes

March 28

Start Your Dressing Somewhere Else

March 29

Color-Coded Organization

March 30

Date Night Chic

March 31

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

April 1

The Style Reset Button

April 2

The Experts Speak: Lesley Jane Seymour

April 3

The Sabrina Heel

April 4

Happy Birthday, Maya

April 5

Ditch Your Blouse for a Day

April 6

The Experts Speak: Avril Graham

April 7

Upgrade Your Umbrella

April 8

Gray Is Gorgeous

April 9

The Coat Every Woman Needs

April 10

Learn a New Fashion Term: Fedora

April 11

The Experts Speak: Robert Burke

April 12

Add a Polka-Dot Print to Your Look

April 13

Let Go of Old Habits

April 14

Pop Style Quiz

April 15

Are You Stuck?

April 16

Slip into a Sling-Back

April 17

Ten-Minute Wedding Style

April 18

A-Line All the Time

April 19

Better to Be Overdressed

April 20

Get Longer Legs

April 21

Happy Birthday, Taurus Girl

April 22

Heels for Miniskirts

April 23

Wear Black and Navy

April 24

Flattering Floral Prints

April 25

Claim Your Twenties

April 26

Fly Coach, Dress First Class

April 27

Push Your Denim Jacket Over the Top

April 28

Balance Your Wardrobe

April 29

Feature Your Décolletage

April 30

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

May 1

Thank Mom for Style

May 2

The Experts Speak: Ken Pavés

May 3

Have Your Shoes Shined with the Boys

May 4

Look Good Coming and Going

May 5

The Experts Speak: Nicole Fischelis

May 6

Face Posture Check

May 7

The Experts Speak: Reem Acra

May 8

The Right Clothes for Your Hair

May 9

The Experts Speak: Monique Lhuillier

May 10

Investing in a Perfect Black Dress

May 11

Learn a New Fashion Term: Tortoiseshell

May 12

Look at Women Around You

May 13

Everything You Wear Cannot Shine

May 14

Add a Classic Pucci Print to Your Look

May 15

Ten-Minute Art-Gallery Style

May 16

Pop Style Quiz

May 17

Swimwear for Hippy Chicks

May 18

The Model Jean

May 19

Give Love, Get Style

May 20

Happy Birthday, Amelia Earhart

May 21

Happy Birthday, Gemini Girl

May 22

They’re Not Grandma’s Pearls Anymore

May 23

Regional Style Habits, Gone

May 24

Your Clothes Are Your Employees

May 25

Go Basic

May 26

The Bridesmaid’s Dress Lives Again

May 27

Claim Your Thirties

May 28

Be Aware of Proportion

May 29

Play Up Your Assets

May 30

Vintage Clothing

May 31

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

June 1

Stock Up on Summer Essentials Now

June 2

Shop Green, Give Something Back to the Earth

June 3

The Experts Speak: Kelly Killoren Bensimon

June 4

Summer Leather and Suede

June 5

Is a Tattoo Really You?

June 6

Brighten Those Pearly Whites

June 7

Learn a New Fashion Term: Haute Couture

June 8

White Jeans Are for Everyone

June 9

The Experts Speak: Nick Barose

June 10

Pop Style Quiz

June 11

If Your Top Is Finished, Untuck It

June 12

Happy Father’s Day

June 13

Wear Grass Green and Bright White

June 14

The Jeans and T-shirt Redux

June 15

Wear Orange and Hot Pink

June 16

Easy and Sexy Espadrilles

June 17

The Experts Speak: Nanette Lepore

June 18

Ride, Sally, Ride

June 19

Tailor-Made, Right at Home

June 20

What Celebrities Won’t Tell You

June 21

The First Day of Summer Essentials

June 22

Happy Birthday, Cancer Girl

June 23

Ten-Minute Class Reunion Style

June 24

Three Summer Looks in One

June 25

Super-Size Your Shoes

June 26

Claim Your Forties

June 27

Give Your Power Suit a Rest

June 28

The Experts Speak: Bobbi Brown

June 29

Carry Water, Not a Huge Handbag

June 30

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

July 1

Plan an Excursion Inspired by Clothes

July 2

Sleep

July 3

The Experts Speak: Sandra de Nicolais

July 4

Outfits with Fireworks

July 5

Do You Know Sarah Emma Edmonds?

July 6

Put a Denim Skirt to Work

July 7

Baby on the Way? Be More Stylish Than Ever

July 8

Release Past Patterns

July 9

No Wedding Whites—Unless You’re the Bride

July 10

Buy Pants in Multiples

July 11

The Experts Speak: Carmen Marc Valvo

July 12

Get Three Looks in One

July 13

Learn a New Fashion Term: Guayabera Shirt

July 14

Invest in a Cashmere Sweater

July 15

Spring/Summer Clearance Sale Alert

July 16

Ten-Minute Travel Style

July 17

Claim Your Fifties

July 18

Pop Style Quiz

July 19

The Experts Speak: Julie Chaiken

July 20

Add Americana Prints to Your Look

July 21

Juicy Summer Color

July 22

Take an Inch Off Your Waistline

July 23

Happy Birthday, Leo Girl

July 24

Plan a Clothes-Swapping Party

July 25

Add a Fresh Flower to Your Hair

July 26

Build an Outfit Around a Crisp White Shirt

July 27

Make the Best Use of Candlelight

July 28

The Experts Speak: Naima Turner

July 29

Go Silk

July 30

Shop by Style, Not by Name

July 31

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

August 1

Back to Cool

August 2

The Experts Speak: Karen Kozlowski

August 3

Moms Are Still Hot

August 4

Add High Glamour to Any Look

August 5

Dress from Your Head, Not Your Heart

August 6

Go Vintage with Your Bag

August 7

Give Your Clothes the Whiff Test

August 8

Retire Your Backpack

August 9

The Experts Speak: Anna Sui

August 10

Raid His Closet

August 11

Learn a New Fashion Term: Lariat Necklace

August 12

No Panty Hose with Open Toes

August 13

Happy Birthday, Lucy Stone

August 14

Add Paisley Prints to Your Look

August 15

Ten-Minute Girls’ Night Out Style

August 16

Pop Style Quiz

August 17

Donate to a Clothing Charity

August 18

Tan-Boosting Clothes

August 19

Wear a Dazzling Evening Scarf All Day

August 20

The Glove Compartment Makeover

August 21

Do the New Fashion Math

August 22

Stationery Is a Style Signature

August 23

Happy Birthday, Virgo Girl

August 24

The Experts Speak: Tracy Taylor

August 25

Soccer Mom to Rocker Mom

August 26

Reassess Your Eyewear

August 27

Wear an Arresting Color

August 28

Curvy Figures Love Wrap Dresses

August 29

Luxuriate in a Power Bath

August 30

Usually an Eight, Fit a Ten? Go for Ten

August 31

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

September 1

Dump Expired Makeup

September 2

Start Wearing White Today

September 3

The Experts Speak: Mandi Norwood

September 4

Fitting-Room Rules

September 5

Keep Your Makeup Where It Belongs

September 6

Women’s History Flashback: Louisa Ann Swain

September 7

Don’t Match Your Clothing with Your Makeup

September 8

The Skinny on Outlets

September 9

Ten-Minute Countryside Style

September 10

Dressing to Seal the Deal

September 11

Working from Home in Style

September 12

The Experts Speak: Dana Buchman

September 13

Nighttime Is the Right Time for Brown

September 14

Learn a New Fashion Term: Froufrou

September 15

Use Your Animal Print Instincts

September 16

Pucker Up with a Natural Lip

September 17

The Experts Speak: Nadine Luke

September 18

Pop Style Quiz

September 19

Work Smarter, Not Harder

September 20

Jump into a Classic Tan and Navy Ensemble

September 21

Welcome Autumn

September 22

Toss On a Blue Blazer Before Anything Else

September 23

Happy Birthday, Libra Girl

September 24

Accessorize Like a Fashion Model

September 25

Proper Petite Pant Length

September 26

Take a Style Time-Out

September 27

His Cargo Pants Don’t Have to Be Yours

September 28

Dress for the Corner Office

September 29

Monochromatic Style

September 30

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

October 1

Jean Maintenance

October 2

The Experts Speak: Lois Joy Johnson

October 3

The Quilted Jacket Solution

October 4

The Only Sneakers You’ll Need

October 5

Is Shimmer OK for Day?

October 6

Cash In on Your Great Sense of Style

October 7

The Experts Speak: Joan Kaner

October 8

Get Three Autumn Looks in One

October 9

Tie One On for Style

October 10

Gloves for Style, Not Just for Warmth

October 11

Happy Birthday, Eleanor

October 12

Tags and Labels Begone

October 13

The Experts Speak: Sonya Dakar

October 14

Invest in a Sweater Shaver

October 15

Ten-Minute Harvest Style

October 16

Learn a New Fashion Term: Diamanté

October 17

Dramatic Fall Legs

October 18

Add American Indian Prints to Your Look

October 19

Try Footless Hose and Mules

October 20

Pop Style Quiz

October 21

Studs Required

October 22

Mean Business in Your Camel Hair Overcoat

October 23

Happy Birthday, Scorpio Girl

October 24

Go for a Professional Leg Waxing

October 25

Turn a Style Tragedy into a Triumph

October 26

Snap a Photo of Your Best Outfits

October 27

Wear All Black and Be Ready for Anything

October 28

A Fashion-Forward Halloween

October 29

A Perfect Weekend Bag

October 30

Don’t Let Tags Spoil Your Look

October 31

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

November 1

Give Your Jewelry a Bath

November 2

The Experts Speak: Cynthia Rowley

November 3

Upgrade Your Undies

November 4

What’s Your Signature Scent?

November 5

Small Tips, Big Returns

November 6

Barefaced by Bedtime

November 7

Wearing Hose

November 8

The Experts Speak: BJ Gillian

November 9

Learn a New Fashion Term: Batik

November 10

Three Winter Looks in One

November 11

Jump into a Pair of Wellies

November 12

Add Abstract Prints to Your Look

November 13

Define Your Waist

November 14

Pop Style Quiz

November 15

Ten-Minute Tailgate Style

November 16

Simplify and Sexify Your Look

November 17

Wear Lavender, Wear Peace

November 18

Ditch the Worst Accessory Ever

November 19

Try On, Buy Off

November 20

Silver-Screen Inspiration

November 21

How Do I Want to Be Remembered?

November 22

Happy Birthday, Sagittarius Girl

November 23

Go, Hillary, Go!

November 24

The PTA Coat Is Not an Evening Coat

November 25

Give Thanks

November 26

Build Your Outfit from a Crush

November 27

Style Begins Where the Rules End

November 28

The Little Black Dress Cubed

November 29

Dressing in a Hotel

November 30

An Outfit Cheat Sheet

December 1

Recharge and Dress Down

December 2

The Experts Speak: Cynde Watson-Richmond

December 3

Zip Up Your Own Dress

December 4

Nail It Every Time

December 5

Strike Your Best Pose

December 6

Fishnets Make You Flirty

December 7

The Experts Speak: Betsey Johnson

December 8

Learn a New Fashion Term: Houndstooth

December 9

Rent a Men’s Tuxedo, Own the Room

December 10

Surprises as Chic

December 11

Kiss Santa, Don’t Wear Him

December 12

Animals Love Faux Fur

December 13

Reserve Your Newest Clothing for Big Nights

December 14

Let Your Handbag Tickle Your Wild Side

December 15

Pass the Good Things On

December 16

Ten-Minute Holiday Party Style

December 17

Choose Your Outfit Before Your Intimates

December 18

Use Your Consumer Rights

December 19

Pop Style Quiz

December 20

Have an Evening Clutch on Standby

December 21

Welcome the Winter Solstice

December 22

Happy Birthday, Capricorn Girl

December 23

Add a Wig to Your Wardrobe

December 24

Nighttime Makeup All Day Long

December 25

Give a Gift to Yourself First

December 26

Feature a Long Skirt

December 27

Happy Birthday, Marlene Dietrich

December 28

Festive and Fresh Holiday Dress

December 29

A Ten-Minute Makeover

December 30

Dress to Shop

December 31

Raise a Glass to a Year of Style Building

Acknowledgments

Sources

PREFACE

I love my job! Yes, I am probably one of the few who can honestly say that I truly love my job. As an author, television host, and fashion editor, I basically go clothing shopping for a living. And with the help of television I can assist millions of real women in looking and feeling better each and every day using what I find. A blessing.

Before You Put That On is a book for real women of all shapes, sizes, and lifestyles in search of better style year-round. Not just for special occasions or job interviews, but every time you leave the house.

First, I’d like to thank real women everywhere for almost writing my latest book for me! That may sound strange, but it is true. Between the days that I am serving as the on-air fashion editor for America’s number-one morning show, NBC’s Today, I have had the privilege to travel America as spokesperson for numerous fashion designers, mass brands, and labels, spreading the gospel of high style and easy tips on looking great—from intimate fashion shows in boutiques and department stores, to local morning television makeover spots at the crack of dawn, to special appearances for women’s organizations and national conventions. Style has fast become the new motivational genre for women and men.

While getting on and off airplanes and trains and in and out of automobiles, I have witnessed so many real women (not fashion models) going about their day in the most unflattering clothing. And it makes me so sad. Mostly because on each of these women there was at least one redeeming outfit area that could have been played up, but they consciously or unconsciously chose to play it down. Many times I just wanted to reach out and politely whisper a tiny little anonymous tip: Go one size larger on your bra, miss. Or, Add a cuff to those pants for maximum glamour. I would have been slapped or security would have been called. So I chose to keep my mouth shut.

Instead of looking and sounding like an insane fashion stalker, I decided to take all of the wrongs I have witnessed and right them for every woman to benefit from, each day of any given year. Enter Before You Put That On.

A tip a day? 365 of them? It may sound intimidating to absorb, but I mean, really, why care about how you look every day? No one else does. Your kids love it when you show up to parent/teacher night dressed like you’ve been plowing the farm all day. Your husband really doesn’t care because he gets his eyeful of the women at work who actually still take the time to do their nails and hair regularly. And your boss, why bother? Looking at you in the cramped cubicle year after year from her corner office suits her just fine. Not anymore.

Although every tip in this book won’t speak to every woman, much of the style advice that is offered each day are fashion solutions using what you may very well already own. Some tips you may already know, so this is just confirmation that you are doing the right style thing.

You will notice somewhat generic clothing descriptions, and that I deal with big picture style (your top, your bottom, your shoes) often devoid of designer names, specific accessories, prints and patterns, etcetera. This was intentional to allow women of all bodies, budgets, and lifestyles to read the style ideas, interpret them to suit their needs, and most of all empower a personal style power without them having to run out and find a specific floral skirt with lace trim and beading. Who has time?

An artist for as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated with the way women dress—from images of celebrities on the big and small screens, to real women who would never imagine that a young man was noticing their shoes and lipstick. I think it began with my second-grade teacher—Miss Sanders had the most beautiful lip color that stuck together just in the corners of her mouth when she spoke. You never saw her reapply as the day went on; it was just always perfectly in place atop her full lips.

My mom was a walking supermodel to me as I was growing up. I distinctly remember feeling so secure holding her hand on the way to preschool—yes, that early—and noticing the jingle of the stacks of thin sterling-silver bracelets on her wrists, and the sound her slim frame made as she walked across the gravel parking lot in her stacked wedge shoes. I would always try to walk harder to make the same noise, but my tiny body just wasn’t heavy enough pull it off.

This spark led to well over fifteen years in the fashion and television industries, and nothing pleases me more than helping real women get dressed, and seeing them look and feel their absolute best afterward. I’m always amazed by how much pain women put up with when there are so many more comfortable solutions that are just as stylish. From shoes to undergarments, there is a world of possibilities so many women rush by to get to their old standbys. Before You Put That On unearths many of them.

Kind of like sleeping on the remote, you usually wake up on some channel that scares you in the middle of the night. This is what happens when you just start getting dressed each day and not dressing well. To do this, sometimes all you need is a little pearl of inspiration to set you on your way. And note that although each day has a specific tip, they are very universal and can be used whenever you need a boost. Go ahead and use the tip from January 13 on May 23!

Whether they realize it or not, when most women give a thumbs-up to a red carpet star or magazine page, they are saying that they’d love to look like that one day, one night. It may seem like an insurmountable task, though. This is why a little growth each day is the best way to get there. Hopefully, with the help of my book, and within the course of a calendar year, you will be on track to a stylish New Year and newer style!

I hope to show you how one key piece can give you a multitude of looks. As you turn the pages you will see how to go from your desk to dinner in no time. And finally figure out what really needs to be retired without hesitation from your packed closet.

Sometimes life can seem like one big to-do list, and most women forget to put themselves at the very top. This is where Before You Put That On comes in, boasting daily tips for low-maintenance high fashion.

My sincere hope is that this book will be a continuum to my TV work of helping real women everywhere to look and, most important, feel their absolute best. One woman, one day, one outfit at a time.

You have to invest in your appearance to shine, not only monetarily through clothing and accessories, but also with a little time and thought. This book asks you for just a few short minutes each day. For some this may be over coffee in the morning as you plan your outfit, whereas for others it will be a bedtime read that allows you to dream up a better outfit for tomorrow than you wore today. Make it a private ritual that gives you a little time to look within yourself and exceed your own style expectations. This is all that really matters.

You will come to find that having style is like riding a bike. You will know it when you have it, and so will every woman who passes you by. You’ve witnessed this before, and know it right away. And just like you respond to other women with great style, you’ll begin to get the same reactions. Sometimes it is as simple as a locked glance, but those who know, will know.

JANUARY

Leave last year behind. Every day ahead is another chance for a fresh fashion start.

JANUARY 1

CLAIM THIS YEAR AS YOUR MOST STYLISH EVER. MAKE A PACT WITH YOURSELF TO EXPLORE NEW IDEAS, BREAK BAD HABITS, AND BE OPEN TO CHANGE.

To have style is to give shape to the way you carry yourself. Our focus here is primarily on the way you dress, but the truth is that every way in which you present yourself to the world is important.

Set a tone for the new year rather than commit yourself to resolutions—which most of us break in ninety days’ time. Think of adding or practicing good habits, as opposed to denying yourself. If you’re in the habit of wearing black, commit to adding some color. If you’re accustomed to loose garments, try more tailored or form-fitting ones. Start one item at a time.

Don’t claim New Year’s resolutions, embrace a positive evolution.

Affirmation:

Before I put anything on, I will take two minutes each day to focus on ways to a more stylish me.

JANUARY 2

WEAR WORKOUT CLOTHES THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU TO KEEP IT MOVING.

Motivating yourself to exercise is tough whether you’re working out to a program on DVD in the privacy of your home or in a public or co-ed space. You know the scene at the gym. Some members—the gym bunnies—are in better shape than others and hop around letting everyone know it. Others—maybe you—slink around trying to draw as little attention as possible.

Give yourself a self-esteem boost. Wear workout clothes that make you look and feel good—own two or three outfits that are simple, comfortable, and fit well. Try a tank in a bright color, paired with a darker drawstring yoga pant and your cleanest sneakers, athletic shoes, or even ballet slippers, depending on the activity. Or, invest in a supple velour sweat suit in a dark neutral with a bright-colored shoe.

The cut of your workout gear should cover enough of you so that you never feel exposed, yet not large enough to make you feel like you are under a tarp. For instance, swap the XXL giveaway T-shirts for lightweight, zip-front track jackets that can be opened to reveal more, as your body takes on the new shape. And instead of oversized men’s sweatpants, opt for ultrathin, drawstring lounge pants that offer the full coverage of a pajama pant without the thick, visual-pound-adding bulk of traditional sweats.

No need to go to great expense by buying brand-named athletic gear, and definitely avoid working out in heavy makeup or high-maintenance coiffed hair (though a subtle energizing scent could be nice). The idea is that when you look good, you feel better about doing anything—even if it’s an activity you dread. High style can inspire you to high performance and results that stick.

JANUARY 3

ADD PRINTS AND PATTERNS TO THE BEST EFFECT.

Prints, plaids, and stripes are a stylish option for all women no matter what your size. So why, you might be asking yourself, has it been such a long-held belief that patterns only flatter tall and/or slender women and take fashion points away from fuller or shorter figures?

The key to looking fabulous in that floral-patterned garment or