Frenchie Friday: Dress for Romance

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“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn” ― Gore Vidal

Since injuring my back a few weeks ago during my epic wake boarding attempt, I found myself living in yoga pants.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love my yoga pants (when I’m doing yoga) but day after day?  Ugh . . . my mood started to go downhill.

I put on a dress last weekend, and it was like Stella getting her groove back.

While some people say that clothes don’t matter, I boldly disagree.

They do.

Imagine this:  A mom of two peruses the local grocery store, dressed in a sexy black wrap dress, stockings with a hint of peek-a-boo lace, and cute ankle boots, while stocking her cart with healthy veggies, gourmet cheese, and a nice bottle of Merlot.

Or the woman who rocks a pair of ripped jeans, a t-shirt that says Je t’aime and a pair of combat boots while hopping on her Vespa.

Or Oprah, Beyonce or Kate Middleton?

What their style is is not important; it’s that they have style.

Clothing is part of our unspoken language and self-expression. If you choose to walk around all day in sweats and sneakers, what message do you convey? If you stick to only black business suits, what are you expressing to the world?

Clothes communicate our level of self-adoration, our desires, allurement and sensuality. It’s not so much the clothing, but that it is chosen with mindfulness, intention and a desire to express yourself in a way that feels good.

Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing.’ – Alexander Wang

And whether you’re a mom, wife, student or CEO, every day is a chance to reinvent yourself, own your role and self-expression and treat life like a grand romance.

The French Kiss Lifestyle challenges you to view your world and your place in it as art.

If we live with this philosophy, whether we are French Kissing the World or our own backyard, our wardrobe is our canvas. Decorate yourself exquisitely, in such a way that your outsides match who you desire to BE in the world.

“Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”
― Anna Wintour

The French woman accepts the world as her runway. It is a beautiful platform in which she can play with her style, be self-expressive and have a lot of fun.

Being mindlessly dressed? Mais non! I don’t think so.

She knows that part of her je ne sais quoi is her personal style.  For this reason, you will rarely find two French women donning the same fashion. They add their personal flair to just about anything.

At the same time, I don’t take fashion and style too seriously.  Paradoxical, I know.

But, you are more than the clothes you wear AND what you wear is an expression of who you are.  I still have my days where I lounge in my yoga pants.  But, too many days of that, and I start to feel blah.  This is not about perfectionism.  This is about fun, play and creativity with your style.

In my Slim, Chic and Savvy program, I encourage women to dress the bodies they have NOW to reflect how they desire to feel.  I also tell them that “It’s the woman in the dress that matters most.”

You could be dressed in head-to-toe Chanel and be miserable or great thrift store finds and have the greatest day of your life.

A great outfit that reflects who you desire to be in the world is one of the best mood enhancers.

So, I have a challenge for you:  

–Ditch the sweats and sneakers, the business suit that you despise or anything that doesn’t represent the woman you want to BE in the world.

–Wear heels to the grocery store.

–Have fun with color.

–Buy a fun pair of shades.

–Throw on a scarf.

–Dig that dress out of the back of your closet that makes you feel sexy.

–Change your hairstyle.

–Wear things that make you feel sensual.

–Go to a vintage store and see what you can find.

–Spritz yourself with your favorite scent.

–And, for brownie points, find that perfect shade of lipstick!

Care to add to the list?  Please do so in the comments below.

And here’s the secret to it all: Choose to dress for romance every single day, whether you have a special date, a job interview, or an appointment with the dentist.

Do it when you’re in a bad mood to lift your spirits.

Do it when you’re in a great mood to excite and celebrate how you’re feeling.

Do it when you’re working at home in your office and your clients will sense the energy.

Do it when you’re taking the kids to the park and your kids will notice.

The greatest romance of your life staring back at you in the mirror.  Dress to impress yourself.  (Tweet it).  

Trust me, the world will be impressed as a result.

With Love and Style,

Signature

Tonya

(P.S. Many clients tell me that they don’t know their style, and I always say GREAT!  What a fun journey to start.  Approach it with a fun and playful attitude.  Pinterest is always a great place to start.  You can check out my personal style board here.)

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7 Responses to Frenchie Friday: Dress for Romance

  1. Tonya, your emails are one of the few I read religiously. Becuase you always put me in a great mood and I love how you encourage us to enjoy life – be feminine, dress up, indulce, dance and play.

    I especially this, with the style challenge, because I often go for my ballerina flats (always sparkly though) leaving my heels to gather dust in a corner.

    I’m so putting on heels the next time I’m going to the shops.

    Thank you for the inspiration,
    Lina

  2. Tonya, I love your Frenchie Friday so much. I hope you know how much joy and inspiration you bring and I love your attitude. I have been studying the French lifestyle since I discovered Anne Barone “Chic & Slim” about 10 years ago. I read all of her books and love the concepts of simple, quality and enjoying life. It was a light bulb went off in my head. I no longer felt the need to compete with “I’m busier than you” lifestyle. I believe it was through Anne that I discovered your blog and I keep track of you weekly. I am not in a position yet to fully join the FK Society, but hope some day I get to have an adventure with you. I am finally going to get to Paris next spring and I can’t wait. I am so ready.I live on the East Coast of Canada and was disappointed to see the StitchFix is only for US. Would you or your contacts know of any Canadian companies like this?

  3. OK, I know you’re talking about me in my yoga pants. I have become far too comfortable/sloppy lately; making excuses for them all the time.
    I will make an effort to open my closet this week and wear “real” clothes! Thank you for your pointers and inspiration!

  4. Bonjour Tonya and readers. Do you have any suggestions for how to dress for someone who works at a job that they hate and that they can’t dress nicely for? For example if you are a farmer or a cleaning lady, so you can’t dress nicely for these kinds of jobs, of course. And the worst thing is that you also do not like these jobs, so when you dress for these jobs, you are dressing in a way that you don’t like, because you are representing yourself working at a job that you hate. Thank you. Bisous.

    • Hi Serena. It is probably so long ago that you won’t read this comment. I have some views on your situation. My father was a farmer and it involved a lot of hard, dirty, manual labour. Everyday he wore clean, ironed work clothes, no matter how filthy he knew they were going to get. He would shower and change as soon as he came home, getting dressed in nice casual clothing. An uncle was a boilermaker. He took the tram to and from work wearing a 3 piece suit, even in the height of Summer and no one would have ever known his job. Now I have a lady who cleans my house. She always arrives nicely dressed although obviously not in her best clothing. Her hair is simple and neat, and she wears simple makeup. When she gets here she changes her shoes. She always carries a nice handbag. If she stops at the shops on her way home, she looks good. I think the common thread is having pride in yourself, the work you do, and how you present yourself to the world. Although these are jobs I choose not to do myself, they are valuable to me and to the community. You owe it to yourself to be the best you can be.

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