Getting Your Fashion Groove On

August 31, 2012
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By Barbara Ardolino

Understanding Style

Fall is just around the corner and with that brings many changes. The evenings will be getting cooler, the leaves will be turning their autumn colors and the fall fashions will come front and center.

Every fashion magazine is touting this season’s hottest trends. Many of the fashion editors have weighed in on their “must haves” for the season. All the fashion clamor brings excitement to some and confusion and frustration to others. I know that some will take on the trends with panache while many others will miss the mark.

The question begs asking: Why do some women look so effortless in their style, so confident? Their step has a certain sashay to it; it doesn’t matter whether they are going to the grocery store or a night out with the girls. This woman has the “it” factor. The answer is simple. These women know who they are and embrace it. They understand how silhouette and proportion work. These women of style know what fashion trends work for them and what trends do not.

OK, by now you may be thinking: “Well, this is all well and good but this is so not me. I’m looking at my closet and I don’t have anything to wear. I went to the mall today to buy an outfit for my 25th-year reunion and I came up with nothing. The sales girl kept bringing me dresses that conjured up images of my mother-in-law at my niece’s christening. Oh, and by the way, I never look put together when I go to the grocery store. I’m lucky if I run a brush through my hair!”

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So, I think it is safe to say that we all know at least one person who has the “it” factor as well as someone who needs a complete wardrobe overhaul. Then there are the vast majority of women who “kind of understand” what works for them but are not sure why. I call these women the “hit and misses” in dressing. They can look “put together” one day and miss the mark the next. No matter where you fall on the style scale, take heart in knowing that there is a solution.

Let me start by saying that getting your “style groove” on is surprisingly uncomplicated. There really is a formula in place. The benefits are endless. From a logical perspective, understanding what works for you is a timesaver. You know immediately what you can pull off and what you cannot. The long frustrating hours at the store are gone.

From an emotional point of view, it’s a game changer. Personal style is an attitude, not just a look. There is a confidence and a self-assurance that comes about. There is a shift in thinking and joy exudes from within. Life becomes… happier!

How do I know this? I see it all the time with the women I work with. It is truly a wonderful site to behold. So if you are interested in (re)discovering your style please stay tuned. For the next few weeks let’s pretend that you are attending one of my workshops. I encourage you to send in any and all questions you may have.

Next: We will start by discussing a basic style strategy and introduce The Formula.

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Barbara Ardolino is a personal stylist. Since starting her company, Fab Over 40, she has been helping women understand their sense of style and what looks best on them. She is writing a five-part series on personal style for The Two River Times™. Look for each installment of the series on the third Friday of each month in the Style section. Please reach Barbara by e-mail with your questions or comments at

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