Igniting confidence from The Inside Out

What is confidence? It’s the belief and feeling that you are happy with who you are and you trust yourself. Self-confidence is contagious, it brings joy to all those in your presence. It’s a beautiful thing!

What brings confidence down? Doubting and not connecting with yourself. Low confidence can turn into a downward spiral of not only emotional self harm, but harm to others including people you love.

A confidence boost is something we can all use. Whether it’s dabbling in a new hobby, taking a different path on a walk or trying something new. These little boosts positively impact your mind and give you strength to keep trusting and pushing yourself.

As much as my career is focused on clothing, it’s focused on confidence. Whether it’s dressing for the job you want or telling yourself how awesome you are, these messages to your mind set up your day just right!

Join me in a little exercise: Close your eyes and think about what the best version of your self. What traits do they have? What are their values? How do they make those around them feel? How do they present themselves to the world? What’s noticeable about them when they walk into a room? Let’s bring in style: What does their power outfit feel like? Writing this down is very helpful!

Here’s my example:

Vision: For me it’s having magnetic energy that lets people feel comfortable around me. I love bringing to joy to people and lifting their spirits no matter who they are. My power outfit looks unique, artistic, and flattering. I want my wardrobe to start a conversation, which leads to bonding with another human. I’m 100% present with all those that engage with me and they feel this energy. I make space for whoever I’m with and whatever I’m doing. My goal is to bring happiness and confidence to people’s lives because I know happy individuals will make the world a better place. I want people to walk away from our conversation with excitement and new ideas!

What I gather from this:

  • Being present: meditation allows me to be focused and present, this should be a priority in my morning routine
  • Joy: I like making people laugh, so I shouldn’t shy away from humor
  • My wardrobe starts a conversation: have fun and interesting pieces in my wardrobe that others might consider “daring”
  • Make sure clothing is flattering: dress for my body, not trends – and take care of my body through food and exercise
  • Help people be happy: use my empathy to understand people’s pain points to really dig deep when I work with them
  • Have confidence: read books and listen to podcasts so I can learn new things and always have new ideas

Creating a vision of your best self not only lets you know what traits you already have and celebrate them, but what traits you can practice bringing into your life. It helps you understand your purpose and gives you a goal to work towards. This also starts to paint a picture of how you want to present yourself to the world. I do this exercise with my clients to better understand what they want their personal style to say. Maybe they want to feel more powerful at work because their current wardrobe makes feel juvenile? Maybe they moved to San Francisco from NYC where they used to wear suits and now need help dressing in a new casual environment without losing themselves? Or the big one: they want to feel more confident on dates and wearing a flattering outfit helps give them that boost!

Let’s dig a little deeper: Write down how you want your ideal self to look and feel like. Go as deep as you want. Go beyond appearance, talk about your ideal friendships, relationships, character, career, business, mental health, hobbies, accomplishments etc. Knowing where you want to go is the first step to getting there!

Here are a couple of books I love for confidence and self-awareness:
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Lost Connections by Johann Hari
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Ps. You’ll be surprised how strong the power of writing something down is. Check out this exercise called Your Ten Year Plan. I highly recommend doing it!

Hope you enjoyed this post and it empowers you to do a little digging 🙂

Ditch the Hoodie Gentlemen

Here are jacket styles that are 100x more stylish than hoodies:

Shirt Jacket

Photo Credit: Pinterest
 

Is it a shirt? Is it a jacket? It’s both, a shacket! Shirt jackets are pretty cool. They work really well for transitional seasons like Spring and Fall by providing the perfect thin layer. Pair them with a t-shirt, jeans and some fresh white sneakers and… wow, look at you. Start with a neutral color like navy blue, green or black for easy pairing.

 

Denim Jacket

Photo Credit: Pinterest

 

Denim jackets are awesome! Best of all, there are not enough guys wearing them, which works in your benefit. Denim jackets are the perfect mid-layer and make a subtle style statement. Start with a black or grey jacket, that way you can easily pair it with your blue jeans and not worry about the whole Canadian Tuxedo thing. Denim jackets can also be referred to as Jean Jackets or Trucker Jackets.

 

Unstructured Blazer

Photo Credit: J. Crew

 

Before I scare you with the word “blazer”, the keyword here is “unstructured”. Unstructured blazers have the look of a blazer, but are not formal at all. They have the classic details like lapels, buttons, and pockets, but come in a range of styles from very casual, usually made of a thin cotton material, or something a tad dressier, usually made of a soft and stretchy sweater-like material. This is a great option for the guy who likes his looks on the dressy side.

 

Bomber Jacket

Photo Credit: Pinterest

 

Bomber jackets make an excellent layer. They come in a variety of fabrics: suede being on the dressy side of things, while nylon-blend (feel like a hoodie) being on the casual side. Bomber jackets are defined by their flat neck and elastic band at the hip. The elastic band does round out the upper body, so if your body shape is already round at the top, look for a bomber jacket without the elastic band.

 

Chore Jacket

Photo Credit: Nordstrom

 

Back in the day the chore jacket was popular amongst farmers and blue collar workers, but now they have become commonplace in the modern man’s wardrobe. A chore jacket embodies elements of a shirt jacket, but with more pockets. Chore jackets come in a range of materials from heavy, like wax, to something more thin and simple, like cotton.

 

Harrington Jacket

Photo Credit: Asos

 

Harrington jackets look very similar to bomber jackets, but the collar is folded and they don’t always come with the elastic band at the waist. Harrington jackets work really well with everything from casual to dressy clothing, making them super versatile. For example, you can wear it with a t-shirt and jeans or throw it over a dress shirt and slacks for work.

Which One Should You Go For?

To figure out what the best option for you is, look at your personal style. Are you a casual person? Go for the shirt or bomber jacket. If you like to keep things on the dressier side, a Harrington or unstructured blazer works really well. If you want a unique and modern look, go for a denim or chore jacket.

Now that you know what these jackets are called, go ahead and use the key terms to browse around. Most, if not all, of these jackets come in a variety of materials, like nylon-blend for indoors (i.e. feels like a hoodie) or polyester-blend for outdoor (i.e. feels like a rain jacket). 

Closet Cleanse 101

Got some time on your hands? Do a closet cleanse! It’s something we know we need to do, but keep putting off. No more excuses! Here are a couple of tips that I use when I help my clients cleanse away…

Set The Mood

Play some music, light a candle and have your favorite drink and snacks at hand.

Pull Out All Your Clothing

If you have multiple areas where you keep your clothing (I.e. another closet, dressers) you can do one at a time. If you have a rolling rack, use it, if you don’t, bed is fine.

A Piece At A Time

You are going to separate your clothing into piles of keep, donate and maybe. Also, categorize your “keeps” into piles of tops, skirts, pants, sweaters, shoes etc. You will try your “maybes” on after and make a decision (feel free to send a pic to a friend for a second opinion if you are unsure).

Outfits

If some of your items were “maybes” because you didn’t know how to wear them and ended up making an outfit you loved, take a picture! It’s so much easier referring back to photos for outfit ideas, especially when you need to get ready quickly.

Shopping List

You might have some favorite pieces, but have no idea how to wear them or don’t have the right things to go with them. For example, you have a fabulous skirt, but no idea what top to wear. In your shopping list, you can write “Top for Green Striped Skirt”.

Hang And Fold

Now it’s time to put everything back. Put all clothing in the same category next to each other. Organize tops by sleeve length, fold sweaters (keep cashmere in a bag to avoid moth holes), hang pants, clip skirts, and hang dresses and jumpsuits by occasion and then length. Putting shoes next to each other the opposite way (heel of one shoe next to the toe of the other) is a huge space saver.

Alright, there you have it… a cleansed closet full of your favorites. You also have a shopping list to help round out your closet!

Feel free to ask any questions! I help my clients with closet cleanses all the time and they feel so free and light after filtering through the clutter.
Stay safe everyone and I hope you use your quarantine time productively!

Search for the Best Natural Deodorant

Hey guys, I’ve updated this list with my latest findings. Finally found a deodorant that works for me!

If you know me, you know I’m always on the hunt to replace my day-to-day beauty products with natural ones. One that has proved difficult to find is a natural and aluminum-free deodorant that actually works. I stopped using aluminum based deodorant a couple of years ago when I read aluminum prevents the body from detoxing.

After wanting to give up, I decided to do another round of testing and am happy to say… I think I finally found it!

I’ve tested out 9 natural deodorants and here are my results:

1. Native, $12.00 – OMG Love! 

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This is the latest one I’ve tried and I gotta say I LOVE it! It’s the only one that has worked for me so far, especially for keeping odor away. I wish they made a clear version since some white deodorants can make my underarms dark, however this hasn’t been too bad about it. I really like lavender & rose scented one, but they do have an unscented one for those who prefer that. Want a free travel size deodorant when you buy a full size one? Here’s a link for ya!

2. Primal Pit Paste– Almost!

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I was excited when I first heard about Paleo Pit Paste. It was available at my local health food store and at a decent price point. It worked for combatting odor and wetness, but it started burning my underarms (ouch!). I was talking to a friend recently about natural deodorants and she told me they have a baking soda free version out now, which I think is the culprit. Since i’m hooked on Native, I haven’t tried it the baking soda free version.

3. Crystal, 3 for $17– I wish!

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If Crystal Natural Deodorant works for you, amazing! It’s the most cost effective. Unfortunately, it wasn’t strong enough for me. Worst of all, my clothes started smelling (nightmare for a fashionista!). However, the reason I put this as #3 is because I have friends that rave about this deodorant. I guess it works great for them, so if it works for you, I say do it! It comes in a liquid rollon or a solid crystalyou have to add some water to.

4. Bali Secrets, $12.99 – Like!

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Bali Secrets is a great deodorant as well! It has a slight scent to it, but it went away after a while. If you don’t have a huge wetness problem, this one won’t dry you out like the magnesium may. Bali Secrets was great for protecting against odor too. It’s small enough to fit in your purse in case you ever need reapplication (I haven’t had to so far). Remember to let it dry before putting your arms down. Also, a little bit goes a long way.

Update:Bali Secrets does contain Potassium alum, which is a natural mineral salt made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. While this is a way better alternative to what you see in stores, it is not completely aluminum-free.

5. Lavanila, $12.81 – Meh!

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I didn’t love this one. This deodorant is a white solid. I personally like clear deodorants because my underarms get a little discolored when I apply white deodarants to them. It didn’t help with keeping me dry. The scent isn’t bad, but it didn’t do the trick for me.

6. Tom’s, $3.26 – Nah!

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The price is good, but it definitely didn’t work for me. It didn’t help with wetness or odor protection. If you don’t sweat too much or don’t have any odor, I would say it’s good for the price. However, if you work out and need heavier protection, this guy is not for you.

7. Lafe’s Aloe Spray Deodorant$5.19 + Shipping – Nope!

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I initially tried this stuff at a gym and thought it worked, but quickly realized it’s not good for day-to-day use. I applied it at night after showering at the gym and it was fine over night while I was sleeping, but that’s about it. My underarms stayed wet and it wasn’t a great odor protecter during the day.

8. Lush Greeench, $20.89 – So-So!

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It will protect you for half the day, but you will need to reapply. The only problem is how do you re-apply loose powder without getting it all over your clothes? I made my own mixture of lush powder, coconut oil, and baking soda and turned it into a solid to fix that, but it just created more work. It somewhat protected from odor, but the wetness was still there. I prefer the magnesium or Bali secrets one over this guy.

9. Vitale 100% Confident, $18 – Ugh!

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I’m beginning to think spray deodorants aren’t for me. This guy didn’t protect me from wetness or odor. I had to return it because it was a disappointment. This is alright if you don’t have wetness or don’t need odor protection.

In conclusion, Bali Secrets was my favorite because it protected me from wetness. The magnesium one is a close second if you don’t need a lot of wetness protection. I hope it works for you!

Stay healthy friends! Thanks for tuning in 🙂

Guy’s Edition: Athleisure

Waking up on Sunday morning after a fun night out and desperate for coffee? No need to sacrifice style on your walk to Ritual. Throw on a chic and comfortable athleisure look consisting of joggers, basic t-shirt, collar neck full zip sweatshirt, windbreaker, and a sleek pair of white sneakers. Oh, and don’t forget the no show socks!

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Guy’s Edition: Casual Monday

The beauty of working at a startup is you don’t need to put on uncomfortable dressy clothing, instead, you can be yourself and wear something casual and  put together. Try this on: slim fit jeans (optional: cuff them), t-shirt, sweater and  chukka boots. Take the look to happy hour if need be! Oh Mondays…

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5 Easy Style Tips for Men that Won’t Sacrifice Comfort

I get this scenario a lot: I’m a twenty/thirty-something guy living in San Francisco. I wear a t-shirt, jeans, hoodie, and running shoes to work everyday. I want to  look more put together, especially because I like to go out after work and on weekends. How do I look stylish without sacrificing comfort and time?

Being stylish doesn’t mean spending hours getting ready every morning. It’s more about having a wardrobe that’s easy to work with.

Here are my top 5 picks to create a more stylish and comfortable wardrobe.

1. The Perfect Black Jean. Black jeans are your best friend. They go with virtually anything and are easy to dress up or down. Look for a pair with a lot of stretch so it almost has a sweatpants feel. Fit wise, look for a slim fit to make you look taller. .

2. The Long Sleeve T-Shirt. I take it you have plenty of short sleeve t-shirts, but what about long sleeve? Long-sleeve t-shirts (or henley) are great for looking more put together, but with zero added effort. I personally love the way long sleeves make a guy’s arms look. You can also roll them up for a more effortless/stylish look.

3. Boots. Ditch the sneakers and invest in a comfortable pair of boots. Some of my favorite styles are the Chukka or Desert Boot. These boots are comfortable and can dress up any outfit (even jeans and a t-shirt!). Nordstrom has a great selection in a variety of colors that are worth checking out.

4. Wool Bomber Jacket. Out with the techy sweatshirts and in with the soft jackets! Structured jackets add style instantly and work great indoors too. This could literally be your everyday San Francisco weather friendly jacket. Best part: you can just throw one on over your t-shirt and look sharp.

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5. Button Downs. Alright, this one might be more daring, but a fitted button down is the easiest way to dress up a pair of jeans. They make great outfits for dates, going out to bars or clubs, or just hanging out around the city. Find one with stretch so it doesn’t feel like a traditional dress shirt. Have fun with colors and prints. Ben Sherman makes great slim button downs.