There is a really cool aspect of my Facebook Group that I don’t feel I can take complete credit for. It’s the safety many members feel to evolve their styles. You could say that it’s the expertise that can be found among myself and members but I don’t think that’s it entirely. I think it’s the space itself, which is safe, inclusive, and encouraging. It takes tremendous vulnerability to ask people to analyze an outfit you feel unsure about when you only know them through social media.
When I think of a member like Carrie, who I am featuring as November’s Member of the Month, I think about this energy of support because, like Carrie, many members have learned, evolved, and brought their styles along by feeling safe enough to put themselves out there while knowing the feedback they would get in return would be helpful, constructive and supportive. I can only take so much responsibility for fostering these feelings that exist in the group, the rest should be credited to the members.
Carrie is someone who consistently posts winning looks but like most women, the journey of getting to this point with her style has been hard-won and has also taken a huge commitment on her part. This makes Carrie such an ideal candidate to feature. I found her eloquent and thoughtful answers to my questions a delight to read and I am sure you will too. Let’s get to know Carrie and her style better.
Location: Cary, North Carolina
Q: What do you like most about being a member of Bridgette’s Facebook Group?
A: The connection to women with a shared interest – we all want to look and feel our best, that’s universal. I love seeing how other women live in their clothes, and how they make choices. I appreciate learning about brands and items that have worked well for others – the posts are genuine and not commercially biased. I also enjoy helping people and occasionally feel like I can contribute to a question or concern posed by another member. Last but not least, staying connected to Bridgette provides a sense of security–it’s the wild west out there and her advice is very grounding.
Q: The biggest benefits you have received from being a Group member
A: This is the only social media group (other than my small group of Instagram friends) where I feel comfortable sharing personal posts and pictures. The process of thinking about creating a post and/or comment always moves me a few inches further down the path of self-refection and alignment with my personal style. So I suppose the benefit is that this group helps me have more confidence in my own choices and also provides a platform to help and encourage others.
Q: What would you tell women who haven’t joined The Group yet?
A: It’s a safe space, OK to be a little vulnerable. The group provides a soft landing for anyone looking to get feedback, ask for help, and share the joy of hitting the mark when you feel great in an outfit.
A: Classic, polished (but not too fussy), and elevated (but practical).
Q: How did you discover your style?
A: It was always there, right? When I look back at pictures from my childhood, it’s very obvious that I selected classic, unfussy, practical pieces. But the truth is, over time, I became a fashion victim. Bridgette wrote a post about this in September. In short, the world flashed endless pictures of “fashionable” women that I allowed to insidiously erode my own sense of self. The media barrage was then reflected in my purchases as my budget increased with career advancement–I spent too much on novelty items that made me feel good at the moment but didn’t have the staying power of high-quality basics in keeping with my innate style. Two children, 2 dogs, an intense work schedule, a global pandemic…it all eventually lead to a closet full of clothes with an ever-present sense of nothing to wear. I had to take a huge step back and reflect on who I am, what I want to look like, and what I need to get rid of/add to make that a reality. For me, this took re-setting my priorities and making some changes. Change is hard and forming new habits takes time. So I hired professional help! I’ve also been journaling, saving inspirational pictures, ruthlessly culling my wardrobe, honing a running list of priority items, buying higher quality basics, taking lots of selfies, and boring my husband and teenagers to death with my personal style revelations:) Bottom line: I re-discovered my style by taking control, making it a priority, and putting in the work.
Q: What advice do you have for others trying to find their style?
A: It’s a process. Give yourself time and space. Be firm, but kind to yourself – treat yourself as you would if you were helping a friend find their style. If you don’t love the way an item looks and feels on you, move on. It’s not you, it’s the item, there’s nothing wrong with your shape or your body. Testing outfits in the mirror is just a way to gather information about what works/what doesn’t work, it’s not a setup to cast judgment.
Q: What fashion issues are you currently struggling with?
A: I’m in such a different place than I was a year ago. I honestly wouldn’t say there are any true “struggles” because fashion has become much less threatening and much more enjoyable now that I have a roadmap to navigate my way through it all.
A: Jeans, blazers, classic button-down tops!
Q: If you could go back and change the way you dressed in the past, what would you change?
A: I’m not ashamed of any of it. Even my old “Pam from The Office” looks! I look back on those pictures and think “she was doing the best she could.”
Q: Is there a fashion purchase you made that you found more useful than you thought it would be?
A: Without a doubt, the camel sweater blazer from J. crew. This piece is in heavy rotation and always looks polished yet practical.
Q: What about a fashion purchase that you thought would solve all your problems, but didn’t?
A: There are too many to count. Reflecting back, any piece that I thought would solve all my problems ultimately ended up creating more! I’ve finally come to understand that there is no such thing as a purchase that will solve all my problems.
Q: How do you envision yourself when you look your best?
A: Confident and put together.
Q: What are your biggest fashion goals for the year?
A: I started this process in January ’22. It’s been 11 months and I’m super proud of the progress I’ve made–both in mindset, closet cleaning, and new purchases. But there are a few items left on my shopping list that I’m holding out for Black Friday deals! These include black cap toe pumps, a camel trench (I’m eying the classic coat from The Curated), and a DeMellier London crossbody.
Q: What is the best fashion advice you ever received?
A: I’ve benefitted from Bridgette’s wisdom for over 10 years, she’s been so generous with her advice and there’s too much to recall. But the concept of “splitting your wears” resonates with me. Before I put an item on my shopping list, I need to think about whether I already have something in my wardrobe that serves that purpose. Bridgette also helped tame my addiction to novelty pieces (my drug of choice was a printed top) and made the analogy that I need to “eat my vegetables first” i.e., build a good foundation of basics. Having solid basics has been a game-changer in terms of ease of getting dressed!
Q: The first thing you take off when you get home?
A: My entire outfit. I walk in the door, drop my shoes/coat in the mudroom, and then head straight to my bedroom to put on my comfy clothes (Vuori joggers and a t-shirt).
Q: Favorite color(s) to wear
A: Navy, denim, deep teal, camel, black, white/cream. A pop of red.
Q: Favorite stores to shop?
A: MM LaFleur, J crew, Poshmark, M gemi, Sezane, Quince.
A: I’m torn between the sense of personal accomplishment that comes from constantly pushing myself to be better, learn more, and then see incremental change….and the sense of gooey comfort I get from plopping on the couch with my family and dogs to watch a show.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Women who are confident, and expert in their knowledge, but also willing to make mistakes and be real.
Q: Use One Word to Describe Your Style
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