Dressing for the First Date: Spring Edition

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Advice, Clothing, Date Looks, Technology

The perfect date night outfit is a look I get a ton of requests about. Picking the perfect outfit is especially difficult when you’re just starting to date. Whether you think about it or not, your clothes, and how you choose to dress, can say a lot about you! This is particularly true when you’re in the dating game. I thought I’d put together a little guide for picking the perfect first date outfit to provide a little inspiration to help those of you out who spend an entire afternoon deciding what to wear. This week’s post is for the ladies, check back for a post of First Date Outfits for the Fellas.

Comfort is Key

In high school, when I couldn’t decide what to wear, my mom would ask me, “What’s most comfortable?” It’s unbelievable how important comfort is when it comes to selecting your outfit. This is especially true when you’re meeting someone for the first time; the last thing you want to be concerned with is if your dress is static-y or your blouse is hanging awkwardly. If you’re uncomfortable in something you’re wearing, your date may misinterpret that as discomfort with him/her. Plus, your date won’t think those heels are that cute if you’re wobbling around because your feet hurt. So before I make any suggestions as to outfit ideas or styles to try, I want to emphasize the importance of comfort.

Confidence Baby

My next tip builds on the comfort factor, and that’s confidence. You want to select an outfit that is not only comfortable, but makes you feel really good. You know your body better than anyone, so choose an outfit that you feel is flattering, well-fitting, and makes you feel like a million bucks. If you know red is your color, wear red! If your legs are your best feature, show them off. Maybe there’s a piece of clothing you are frequently complimented on? Wear that! Chances are there is something you own that makes you feel like a rock star. Pinpoint what about that look makes you feel so good, and then implement that for your date!

Can’t think of anything?

Here are a few examples:

  1. Do you have a lot of definition in your collar bone? Wear an off the shoulder style.
  2. Is your hair your best feature? Keep your top simple, and wear it down.
  3. Itty bitty waist? Choose a belted dress or high waist jeans.
  4. Nice long neck? V-neck is great for you!
  5. Are you proud of that booty? Opt for a bodycon style dress.
 

Outfit Inspiration

Now, unfortunately there is not a one-size-fits-all, universally perfect first date outfit. I wish! You have to make a selection that works for you! Your body, your closet, your date. But I have put together a few samples ideas to get the ball rolling. Since spring is creeping up fast, I selected some looks for moderate temps that will work for either an inside date, or something outdoors. Depending on if you’re going out to a fancy dinner, or a walk in the park, here are some ideas to point you in the right direction.

Super Casual

It’s crazy how fashion is so cyclical, but the denim skirt is back! A well fitting denim skirt, and a length you are comfortable with, is the perfect option for a first date (and a great way to show off your perfectly contoured spray tan). The denim skirt is casual, but just a step above regular jeans. It can be dressed up and down. Here are a few ideas for styling a denim skirt for a casual first date.

 

A distressed denim skirt, with a simple striped button down. Try a half tuck, French tuck, or knot it to add some shape to your figure. This is a great look because it can be paired with simple white sneakers, espadrille wedges, or flat sandals.

 

Another casual date option is a more structured denim skirt with a graphic tee. Do you have a favorite band? Maybe a cool vacation t-shirt? Or just a vintage tee that demonstrates something of interest? It’s a great way to dress comfortable, casual, and stimulate a little conversation to learn more about each other.

  

My last denim skirt look is super simple. Opt for a longer style skirt, a simple tank, and a cute scarf! When you’re struggling to find the perfect look, a good suggestion is to keep things simple, and use accessories to add character to look. In this case a scarf! You can also try fun earrings, jingly bangles, or a bright bag to bring your personality!

Dressy

Maybe your date plans include something a little more formal. Are you going to a nice restaurant? A performance? A night on the town? If you need a look that requires you to be more dressed up I recommend experimenting with mixing textures. Since Spring is transitional, you can pull elements from both your winter and summer wardrobe to create a unique look that works only this time of year! Here I put together a few more formal outfit ideas that play with textures and patterns to give a more classy and put-together look for your next first date.

Floral with Leather

  

Pair a floral dress with a leather jacket and booties. You can incorporate florals without freezing your a** off. Plus a cute pair of low-heel leather booties will be both comfortable and sexy. And it may be the last chance you can wear that leather jacket before temps get too hot!

Embroidery and Suede

   

Get one last wear out of those over the knee boots! Pair suede boots with an embroidered dress for a look with tons of character. You can also try a suede moto jacket, or blazer for another approach. Get creative and mix soft suede with bright stitching!

Denim and Lace

 

For a slightly more casual evening/dinner look, trying mixing dark denim with lace. Lace is elegant, and very detailed, so it’s best when paired with simple pieces. If you’re more of a jeans girl, try a delicate lace top and pumps for the perfect spring date night.
P.S. Consider a boot cut!

In Between Dressy and Casual

If you’re looking for a look somewhere in between dressed up and dressed down, or your date is going to be a surprise, might I suggest a classic wrap dress? The wrap dress is the perfect look for virtually any occasion. It’s breathable, comfortable, nearly universally flattering, and can be dressed up or down with the right accessories. Every woman should have at least one wrap dress in their closet. DVF is the queen of the wrap, so if you’re looking for the perfect wrap for you, I suggest starting with her website. But there are tons of more affordable options.  Here is one of my favorites:

You can wear a classic wrap with sneakers and a denim jacket, get some strappy sandals and chandelier earrings, or just a simple pair of flats. The possibilities are endless, which is why this makes such a great, versatile first date look.

Now that I’ve provided you with a few ideas of how to dress for your next first date, I’d love to see some of the looks you created! Or, if you’ve had any major first date outfit fails?? If you think you still might need some help, Refined offers customized One Time styling packages to help you achieve that perfect first date ensemble.

Check back soon for Spring date looks for men, and  summer first date looks! Thanks for reading

XOX

Theresa

The Alternative to the Little Black Dress

Posted 6 CommentsPosted in Advice, Clothing, Technology

The LBD

When I’m making a list of closet staples for my clients, I always make sure to include a Little Black Dress! As I’m sure many of you know, a LBD is a necessary item for all women to own. A little black dress is a dress that can be made to work for any number of occasions; you can dress it up, you can dress it down. When in doubt, wear the little black dress!

So if you’re on the hunt for your own LBD, you want to be sure to find a high quality, well-fitting style in which you feel comfortable. You want to find a style that you love that looks good, and versatility is the name of the game. Ideally you select a style that pairs well with many different styles of shoes and accessories. The LBD is also key when traveling. In the event you may go to dinner at a fancy restaurant, or end up requiring more formal attire, the LBD will be your best friend.

The little black dress is a classic, timeless component to your wardrobe, but what if you want something a little different? Maybe you’ve worn out your favorite LBD, or you want something less traditional, maybe you feel less comfortable in a dress, or it’s a little chilly and you feel you need something more? For these reasons and more, I present to you the perfect alternative to the classic LBD:

The Little Black Jumpsuit!

Or as I like to call it: the LBJ.

A jumpsuit can be the perfect formal alternative to your traditional LBJ. If you opt for a wide-leg option, you give the illusion of a full length dress, but with more comfort and flexibility. You can dress a jumpsuit up with heels, and chandelier earrings. The LBJ also offers a more professional vibe if you go with close toes and a blazer. Or you can throw on a denim jacket and flat sandals for a more casual look. The possibilities are endless, and the only limit is your creativity!

Now I’ve gone a step further than simply suggestion the LBJ as an alternative to the LBD. I’ve also selected the perfect LBJ!

I give you: The Halston Heritage Flowy Jumpsuit w/ Draped Front:

   

This style is almost universally flattering. It is a style merges sexiness and modesty almost perfectly. With a fitted waste, and billowing pant, it give you the perfect hourglass shape. It is full length, but it’s unique draped leg gives the illusion of a slit, without being too revealing. With a plunging neckline, it offers the perfect amount of cleavage; but with a lace bralette can easily be made more conservative. It’s wide straps allow you to wear a bra, if that’s how you’re most comfortable. Also the tie detail in back gives the jumpsuit a little personality from all angles.

In Conclusion

If you want to try your own spin on the classic Little Black Dress consider shopping for an LBJ instead. Look for a style that moves with your body, fits well, is breathable, and comfortable. If you don’t know where to start, consider my Halston pick! Whether you’re going out for drinks with the girls, need a go-to wedding look, or want to look ultra-chic for a work event, this style will cover all of your bases!

Ready to pull the trigger? The Halston Heritage Flowy Jumpsuit is available at all of these retailers for under $200:
Neiman Marcus
Saks Fifth Avenue
Bergdorf Goodman
Halston.com
Amazon

XOX

Theresa

Taking the first step…

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Hello everyone! I wanted to start this blog with a post that was both helpful and relatable for anyone who may be looking to overhaul their closet, or build a wardrobe from scratch. Refined was built with a mission of helping you save time and money when it comes to your closet. I also hope to make looking and feeling stylish as easy as possible. We’ve all been there: staring at our closet thinking, “I have nothing to wear.” Well the good news is I can help you to avoid having that terrible feeling ever again! What do you think?

Do any of these sound like you?

  • You put way too many hours into finding the perfect outfit only to wear it one time.
  • You put no thought into a look only to leave the house feel self-conscious.
  • You try at least three different outfits before you settle on what to wear.
  • You are a clothing hoarder, with dozens of clothes you haven’t worn in years.
  • You have clothes in your closet don’t fit quite right. (“I can only wear these jeans with loose fitting shirts.” or “Those are my skinny pants.”)
  • You have damaged pieces you can’t seem to say goodbye to.
  • You just don’t want to think about clothes!

Do not worry! I am here…

First stop: Sales!

It can be tempting to buy a blouse off the discount rack, simply because it’s $10 and might work with these jeans, or it’s the perfect color for those shoes. But then when you get home and it doesn’t look quite right, at $10 is it worth the drive back to the store, or the shipping cost it would take to return it? Now what? Hang it up! You might find the perfect occasion to wear it…. Someday.

No! No! NO!

It’s the mistake we’ve all made. I know I have. I’ve reluctantly donated clothes with the tags still on. Too often we waste our valuable time spinning circles in our closet trying to decide what to wear. This is because our closet is filled with items just like that discount blouse. Believe me, I GET IT! f you’ve ever stubbornly held on to something just to try to get your money’s worth, I can help.

It Just Doesn’t Fit

Everyone goes through phases of losing and gaining weight. In fact, that could be the primary reason you’re considering a personal stylist to begin with. But a lot of us are holding onto those “skinny pants” with the hopes of being inspired to lose the weight. While it seems logical, believe me, it’s only hurting you. You dressers and closets being flooded with items you can’t wear just makes it that much hard to select an outfit each day. It’s a waste of your time, time that could be spent earning money or doing things you love. Not to mention the depression that settles in when you try to squeeze into something that is just too small.

Some of you may have the opposite problem. You’ve just lost weight and you feel and look great, but you’re reluctant to invest the money in all new clothes because, well, it’s just so expensive! Those jeans may have been your favorites, but they’re not doing you any favors being belted up to look like a lunch bag. A major component of style, and in my opinion the primary one, is to make you feel confident! When you feel good, good things happen. So if you’ve recently shed some pounds, reward yourself with a few pieces that fit you well and make you feel good.

Damaged Goods

I once had a very stylish friend who had a talent for combining all the right styles and colors to look 100%. However, one day she showed up to our dinner date wearing a boot with a dime sized hole in the toe! Don’t get me wrong, the boots were cute (or at least had been) but all I could do was stare at her purple sock peeping through. The moral of the story: no matter how fashion savvy you may be, a rip or hole in your clothes NEVER looks good. 

In conclusion…

Wouldn’t it nice to just close your eyes, reach into your closet, and pull out the perfect outfit? While that might not be completely possible, I can help get you close. Learning how to shop takes time. Whether you’re looking to buy new, or trying to shop your own closet, there are many factors to consider. Hopefully this post shed a little light and will help you get started on your transformation. If you have questions, or you have a problem I didn’t address here, please let me know!

I’m here to help!

XOX

Theresa