My Favorites

Caio! Meet Me in Italy!

My Style is My Brand has partnered with Trovia Trip for an exciting 6-day adventure to Italy, May 23 – 28, 2024.  Trovia Trip has planned over 500 successful group trips. This adventure will take us to Rome and Florence, two of my favorite places I’ve ever visited.  This is my first group trip, and I am excited for the opportunity to meet the friends I’ve only had the chance to know through Instagram and Facebook. We have much to talk about.

Early-bird reservations receive $100 off the total price of $3,229.  There are seven early-bird slots remaining. The price includes a personal guide for our group, 4-star hotel accommodations, airport transfers, all excursions and transportation, 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners.  We will visit the world famous, historic attractions in the area and have time to create adventures of our own (shopping anyone?).


Roman Colosseum and Forun

The detailed daily itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive in Rome
  • Get comfortable
  • Welcome Dinner
Day 2 – Exploring Rome
  • Colosseum Guided Visit and Entrance
  • Palantine Hill and Roman Forum Guided Visit and Entrance
  • Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain Guided Walking Tour
  • Pantheon Guided Visit and Entrance
Day 3 – Rome and On to Florence
  • Vatican City and Sistine Chapel
  • Peter’s Basilica
  • Travel to Florence by Train
Sights around Florence
Day 4 – Tuscan Countryside
  • Tuscan Farm Tour including lunch
Day 5 – See Florence and Back to Rome
  • Guided Florence Walking Tour
  • Travel to Rome by Train
Day 6 – Say Goodbye
  • Final Breakfast and Travel Home (or extend your stay on your own)

*Airfare is not included

I first traveled to Rome and Florence on a family vacation in 2017.  The history and the thought of how people of the time built these structures without the modern tools and machinery we have today amazes me.  I remember staring at the grandeur of the Roman Forum in awe.

Our 2017 Family Trip to Florence

If you’ve visited Rome and Florence before, I hope you’ll consider joining this trip. If you’ve never been, do yourself a favor and book your reservation with a deposit today.  Payment plans are available even through the period after the trip is complete.  Check out the trip website for all of the details.


Another Way to Get Dressed with Joy

I love acquiring new clothes as much as anyone.  It doesn’t matter whether the items are new or pre-loved, I always feel excitement when styling up new pieces with my old pieces.  However, I know it is not financially and environmentally sustainable to always have new pieces. Well, at least that’s what I thought before I discovered clothing rental.

I’d always thought of clothing rental as a thing you do for special occasion clothing only.  You know, the beaded gowns and cocktail dresses that you typically wear only once.  The truth is I consider life to be a special occasion, so it makes sense that clothing rental is also a great option for everyday wear as well.  With that in mind, I’m launching the My Style is My Brand Style Box, subscription clothing rental service to help you and me get dressed with joy every day.

How does the My Style is My Brand Style Box Work?

  • Sign up at to get started with your 30-day FREE trial.
  • Shop the My Style is My Brand Style Box inventory.
  • Add at least six items to your style box virtual closet.
  • Wait for your first shipment of two items.
  • Wear the items as many, or as few times as you want.
  • Keep the items as long as you want.
  • Return the items in the bag provided.
  • Two more items are sent from your virtual closet.

What’s good about the My Style is My Brand Style Box?

  • Try new styles without commitment.
  • Purchase the items you love at an exclusive discounted price.
  • Return what you don’t love.
  • Shop brands you love and discover new brands.
  • Unlimited exchanges during the month.
  • The cleaning is handled for you.
  • Always have something new or different to wear without breaking the bank.
  • Size inclusive (styles up to size 4X).
  • Free shipping.

Rent, Return, Repeat.  Get started today!

I can’t wait to show you how I style my style box pieces.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see how I style my pieces, and help me decide what to keep or send back.


Size Doesn’t Matter

Size Tag isolated on white, photo does not infringe any copyright

There are some aspects where bigger is better (diamonds) and others in which smaller is better (blood pressure readings), but clothing fits neither of those categories.  Size in clothing just is.  One size is not better than any other, yet we’ve given a lot of power and value to the number on the little tag attached to our garments.

For many of us being a perfect size (fill in the blank) is a point of pride.  It becomes part of our identity and can result in us making poor style choices. Several years ago, while shopping at Ross Dress for Less with a group of friends, one friend left the store empty-handed, declaring that she didn’t like Ross because they did not carry her size.  After considering the merits of this statement, I asked, “what is your size”? “Nine”, she declared.  We all know Ross carries sizes up to at least XXXL.  She had tried on several size 9 garments that were too small.  Instead of trying the next size up, she determined that they did not have her size.  We still laugh about this today.

My friend’s attachment to “her size” caused her to ignore what matters most, the fit.  Your size in any particular style or brand is the one that fits you. The sooner we accept that, the more fun shopping will be.  Going up a size to get the best fit should not be a negative experience.

I have come to the conclusion that size isn’t even a real thing.  The fact that “size” differs by brand is all the proof you need.  There is no industry standard for what measurements equal to a size 8.  Also, a modern size 8 is vastly different from a vintage size 8.  Size labeling has been adjusted over time to accommodate modern bodies, which are larger than 30 years ago.

Size standards aren’t even consistent within a brand.  I love Tory Burch clothing, and my closet has Tory Burch items ranging from size 4 to size 10 due to style variations.  The size I purchase is dictated by the fit of the garment.  The fit is determined by the fabric composition and the overall style of the item.

Generally, I recommend purchasing items to fit the largest part of the area you are dressing. For example, when purchasing pants, they must first fit my thighs comfortably.  Often this means that the waist will be too large, but that’s nothing a trip to the tailor can’t resolve.

Many of us are attached to a particular size because we believe that it’s better to wear a smaller size, but the irony is we look slimmer in clothes that fit properly regardless of the number on the tag.  Squeezing into a garment that is too small, often results in an emphasis on our rolls and lumps or creates rolls and lumps that don’t actually exist.  Not to mention too small clothing is uncomfortable, which affects our confidence as we move throughout the day.

At the end of the day, you’re the only one who knows what size you’re wearing, and no one else really cares.  They’ll be thinking about how great you looked, not what size you’re wearing. Buy whatever size fits you.

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for daily style inspiration.


What I Wish I Had Known About Menopause

I didn’t realize how taboo the topic of menopause is until I was going through it. Nor did not realize how much I didn’t know until I was going through it. Needless to say, I was unprepared for, and uneducated about, the experience.

Unbeknownst to me, I was peri-menopausal in my 30s. There was one sign that told me something was not quite right, but I ignored it because no one is thinking about menopause in their 30s, are they? I presume I may have been alarmed had being a mother been a priority for me, but I wasn’t. So, I ignored it.

I began experiencing hot flashes in my mid-30s. They occurred only every six months or so, only in the mornings, only on my morning subway commute.  I’d be in one of my gorgeous coats, all bundled up and suddenly would experience a crazy heat-up from the inside out. Boulder-sized sweat beads would form on my face out of nowhere, and my whole body would be clammy and wet. What the hell?

There was also the occasional, what I now know as, night sweats.  I would wake up sweating profusely, drenched and lying on sheets that appeared to have had water sprayed all over them until they were soaking wet.  There was nothing more than this until I accidentally disrupted my birth control regimen.  That’s when all hell broke loose.

Hot flashes began coming frequently and intensely.  This was the most obvious and outward indication, but there was much more that I didn’t know could accompany this experience:

Early Menopause (which I now know is called Premature Ovarian Insufficiency) – suffice it to say, I had no idea one could be peri-menopausal or any level of menopausal in their 30s.  Frankly, I my focus was preventing an unwanted pregnancy.  Even my doctor was in denial about my symptoms until I insisted that if I wasn’t experiencing hot flashes, he’d need to order a battery of medical tests because I must be dying of something.  It was all confirmed with a very caring hormonal test result from an OB/GYN of, “yep, you’re done.”

Insomnia – I had been a champion sleeper for years, but suddenly sleep was elusive. All I could do was toss and turn all night, every night. My long driving commutes to and from work were dangerous. Drowsiness got the best of me several times and I would have no idea how I’d made it home safely.  Everyday arriving at work, required at least a 15-minute (usually 30 minutes) nap just to get the day started.  I was exhausted.

Vaginal Dryness – All I knew about this, I learned from pharmaceutical commercials. I had been experiencing a change in vaginal moisture but attributed that to a change in diet and exercise regimen. Once I realized I was in menopause, it all made sense (sort of).

Physical Changes – the loss of muscle mass was unexpected and seemed sudden. I’ve been working out consistently since I was 21 years old.  My diet and nutrition practice have been reasonably healthy since I was 35 years old. I thought these measures would considerably slow physical decline. I was not aware of how the diminished estrogen levels would affect my body. Cellulite I’d never had appeared on my abdomen and thighs. Maintaining muscle mass is extremely challenging, and let’s not mention the weight gain and outgrowth of much of my wardrobe.

Constipation – I won’t get into the gory details, nut I had never had a problem “going”.    All I’ll say is, it became a dreadful and excruciating experience.

Isolation – I was fully menopausal (no menstruation for a 12-month period) at the age of 42.  None of my close friends were experiencing what I was experiencing. There was no one to commiserate with. All I could do was share my experiences and prepare others. I had to seek information on my own and there was not a lot to be found.


Now at 51, with more friends going through the changes brought on by menopause, I’m learning about so many more experiences including body aches, hair loss, depression, and the list goes on.

I’m grateful to see that the topic of menopause is becoming less taboo.  Hell, there was even a menopause commercial during the Super Bowl this year.  National Public Radio (NPR) has covered the topic and many Instagram profiles are dedicated to discussing the experiences of women going through menopause. I recently discovered the podcast, Black Girls’ Guide to Surviving Menopause. I actually found a list of 60 podcasts on the topic!!!!Unfortunately, none of them existed when I started my experience.

I’m happy to see it all coming out of the shadows.  Menopause is a natural experience and not something of which to be ashamed. Perhaps we can break this cycle and ensure the next generation of persons experiencing menopause will be educated and supported through the experience. Based on what I’m learning, I still have the post-menopausal phase to experience.  Here’s hoping I’m better informed and better prepared.

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for mostly style inspiration.














Finding Freedom Through Thrifting

I made my first thrift store purchase four years ago, and my style is forever changed.  I won’t pretend that I started thrifting to support sustainable causes or anything so noble.  My goal was to find cool clothing for cheap prices like the wonderful, stylish folks I’d found in the Instagram community.  I wound up receiving so much more.  No amount of money could buy what I receive from jumping into thrift shopping.

Stylistic freedom is something I didn’t even know I needed, but is something I unexpectedly receive with every purchase I make.  I like to say thrifting unleashed me to find my authentic style, and actually made my style better.  Once my mind was freed, so was my style, which is now a true reflection of who I am.


How is it possible that buying and wearing someone else’s old stuff could improve my style?  Thrifting helped me dismiss the boundaries, categories, and labels that we unconsciously learn every day through the advertising and imagery we consume.  The mere organization, or lack thereof, at the thrift store requires that you let go of what you know.  To effectively shop these stores, you’ve got to have an open mind.

There is no sizing (at most stores) and no brand differentiation.  All you get is a loose grouping of slightly similar items. I’ve learned that clothes do not need to be grouped by size because size labels literally do not matter.  That can seem scary at first, but it helped me break through the limited view that many of us are conditioned to have about how clothing “should” be worn, and what “should” fit us.  The only thrifting rule, if you like the item, try it on and style it any way that feels good to you.  How freeing is that?

Freedom is also found in shopping the whole store, and not just one section.  I always shop through blazers and button-down shirts from both the men’s and women’s sections.  Just as size doesn’t matter in the thrift store, neither do gender and age labels.  Although clothing is separated into a Men’s, Women’s and Children’s section, I shop every area without hesitation. I’ve purchased a Boy Scouts of America shirt and a youth football jersey, both of which are part of my current wardrobe.

Purchased from the children’s department. Sorry, not sorry, kids.

My favorite jeans, blazers and button-down shirts are from the Men’s section.  Although, I have always loved to mix menswear inspired elements into my style, I NEVER even considered shopping the men’s section in any store.  Thrifting helped me let go of that boundary, and opened up a whole new way of style.

A denim shirt from the men’s department is a perfect pairing for a denim on denim look.

I can’t recall being as confident in my personal style as I am today, nor have I had so much fun getting dressed.  It could be partially due to age but, I know, a big part of it is thrifting.  If you’ve been on the fence about thrifting, I encourage you give it a try.  Walk in with an open mind, use the strategies from my previous blog post, and prepare to be transformed.

Follow me on Instagram at @mystyleismybrand for more style tips and inspiration.


Successful Thrifting – It’s All About Strategy

Photos of stylish folks showing off their unique, thrifted or secondhand clothing finds are all over Instagram.  Some items are vintage, others are designer, and some are one-of-a-kind handcrafted gems.  These images can cause serious FOMO, and make you want to jump into that action. You make a decision to drop in on the thrift store one day, and come away empty-handed, disgusted and disappointed.  You didn’t see any of the cool stuff these bloggers are wearing, and the store was actually kinda gross.  That’s exactly how I felt when I first tried thrifting.

How could this be?  I know how to shop, and almost have a black-belt in shopping.  Thrifting is a form of shopping; therefore, I should be good at thrifting and able to find amazing stuff, right?  Wrong!  The truth is, thrift shopping is a skill that must be developed, and requires understanding of the environment, and a shopping strategy that is customized to your needs and preferences, and requires commitment.

The Environment

The first time I attempted to shop a thrift store, I was thoroughly confused. The Goodwill store had racks and racks of clothes, with no discernable organization. I had no idea how I was supposed to find something good in this hodgepodge of, what appeared to be, junk.

Developing thrifting skill will take time and patience, but begins with understanding how the store is organized. Thrift stores are more organized than they appear at first glance, and are typically organized by clothing type. Dresses will be together, tops together, pants together and so on.

Thrifted skirts and dress, easily found at Desert Industries, one of the most organized thrift stores I’ve ever visited.

Some stores will display clothing categories by color group as well, which is very handy when you’re looking for something more specific, and can save you time by not shopping through colors you do not like.  Others stores (though few) will actually have clothes grouped by size which can be helpful, but I recommended shopping all sizes because size is a false construct that varies widely depending on the brand and garment materials (that’s another topic another day).

The Strategy

Most seasoned thrifters advise you to keep an ongoing thrift wish list.  These are specific items you may be in the market for, such as wide-legged jeans, or a Black turtleneck. The list will help focus your search and attention when you shop and keep you from being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of available merchandise.  The idea is, you make a beeline for the wish list items as you shop, and ignore other items that you don’t need or want.

My favorite thing to thrift is jackets and blazers, often from the men’s section.

I confess that I do not keep a thrift list because I don’t want to miss something cool that wasn’t on my list, and I am open to any item that will enhance my wardrobe.  My personal strategy includes first searching through my favorite categories of clothing me every time I go.  I love blazers and button-down shirts, so my search always starts there (in both the men’s and women’s sections).  When time permits, I go through every item on the rack.  If my time is limited, I skim the racks for fabrics, colors, and patterns I like, and pull those items for consideration.  Also, I pull everything that interests me and try it on after I made my rounds, then I eliminate items that don’t work for me.

The Commitment

This is the big one.  Most successful thrifters go shopping often because some days are better than others.  Some people go multiple times per week because thrift stores add new inventory on a daily basis. One day you might find a treasure trove of great stuff, but come up empty-handed the next.  Finding gems in the thrift store is a numbers game; the more often you go, the greater the likelihood that you’ll find something.  It’s really that simple.

The blazer. trousers, and sweater were all items I searched for over time, and eventually the hunt paid off.


Not all thrift stores are created equal.  There are some that live down to the thought that they’re full of junk, but more often than not there are gems to be discovered.  I’ve found that I gravitate to some stores over others, though I never rule out any store.  Certain Goodwill locations are better than others.  Many stores are affiliated with charities or other non-profit organizations you may want to support, so don’t rule out any store based on brand.

The day I found a full men’s suit that fit the way I wanted without alterations felt like hitting thrift store gold.

Also, thrifting while traveling is totally a thing now.  One of my favorite stores is Desert Industries in North Las Vegas, and I find myself researching thrift store locations as part of vacation pre-planning.  Considering that style varieties widely by region, you’ll find differences in merchandise which means you’ll find a lot of unique items you may not otherwise find.

Now that I’ve started thrifting, I know I will never quit.  It’s been a life-changing experience.  I’ll share more about that in the next article.

Follow me on Instagram or Facebook for more thrifted style inspiration.



No Longer Dressing By the Rules

If you’ve seen my styling videos on Instagram, you may have noticed that I get dressed with creative abandon.  It wasn’t always that way.  I used to follow some very specific rules for dressing that had me well-dressed and looking nice, but not necessarily sartorially interesting.

I began to notice folks, whom I consider to be uber-stylish, wearing things that my mind told me shouldn’t be put together, but my eyes told me something completely different.  Think about the folks that are featured in photographs during fashion week or on style blogs. They look amazing and obviously follow no style rules.

I realize many folks are dressing based on a set of societally- or self-imposed rules.  People dress based on what other people will say or think.  I’ve had people attempt to impose their style rules on me, and I’m not having it!  Some of the more interesting rules I’ve been advised that I’m breaking are:

  • Putting my socks on after I put my pants on. (Who knew there was a required order for these things?)
  • Wearing large-scale watches. (Apparently, these are only for men.)
  • Carrying a handbag that does not “match” my outfit.

The list goes on, but none of these matter to me because what I know for sure is my style improved by leaps and bounds after I abandoned my own set of rules.  Here are a few of the rules I used to follow that will never again abide by:

Abandoned Rule #1: Belt, shoes, and handbag must match.

I now know that this is not only not a requirement, it can be better when they don’t match. When I say “match”, I mean they had to be the same exact color and tone.  I looked like an ad for Sears Garanimals.  Now, I pull colors from various elements of my outfits, and choose these accessories to coordinate accordingly, or other times, I go for a complete contrast in color and tone. As a result, there are days when none of these items actually “match”, and the resulting outfit is incredible.

The belt, shoes, and purse don’t match, and I’m okay with that.

Abandoned Rule #2: There is a “proper” way to wear clothes.

What I know now is clothes are garments to be worn, and can be worn however you put them on.  There is no one “right” way for a garment to look amazing.  A shirt or dress can be worn backwards or upside down. I have a shirt dress that I prefer wearing “back” to “front”.

A belt can be worn with the buckle in any position, to the front, the side, the rear, and any position in-between.  Skirts become tops when they are pulled up around the chest, and all clothes are layering pieces if you style them that way.

The same dress work “the right way” and worn backward layered over pants.

Abandoned Rule #3: Gold- and silver-tone jewelry and hardware should not be mixed.

This has to be one of the most ridiculous rules I followed as a young woman.  I never mixed the jewelry, and extended the rule to my other accessories as well.  I followed it to the extent that I had to have a black belt with gold hardware, a black belt with silver hardware and a purse to coordinate with each.

I now see this as an opportunity to elevate a look.  If my belt has a silver-tone buckle and my bag has gold-tone hardware, I extend the mixed metals to my jewelry.  I’ll wear yellow gold earrings with a silver necklace, extending the theme throughout the outfit for an intentional and cohesive look.

The large silver tiger pendant is styled with gold accessories.

These rules limited me and kept me from connecting with my true style.  Once I shed the rules and opened my mind to the possibilities, I got more use out of my clothes and getting dressed became extremely fun.  I also gained clarity on how I really want to dress every day and show up in the world.

I understand getting dressed without rules can be confusing or scary for folks that need to color within the lines.  If rules serve you best, follow them.  Just remember those rules are yours and do not apply to others. The only real style rule is, there are no rules.  Wear whatever you want, however you want.

When I tried a new way of wearing a tie, I received comments on how to properly tie it (as if I didn’t know).  Notice the shoes don’t match the bag.

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso

Follow me on Instagram for daily style inspiration.


Motivation for Fitness

I am often asked what it is I do for exercise. The short answer is, for the past 11 years, I have been doing in-home workouts from a streaming service.  The workouts that include a combination of resistance training, cardio, high-intensity interval training, and yoga.  However, it’s difficult to talk about what I do today without discussing how I got here.  My relationship with exercise and fitness has evolved with each phase of my life, as have my reasons for engaging in a consistent routine.

My earliest memory of exercise is my Mom exercising to Carol Hensel albums.  These albums predated the VCR, and the fitness video craze of the 80s, popularized by Jane Fonda. Each album included an instruction booklet in the album sleeve, and all of the workouts were choreographed to popular music of the time.  My sister and I would always join in the fun, throwing on our leotards and legwarmers, and do the moves right alongside Mom in our living room.  I was about 8 or 9 years old, and my sister was 2 or 3.

My first fitness role model (Mom) after we completed the Wonder Woman 10K run.

Throughout my adolescence, exercise was in the form of mandatory physical education classes in school. This period is not a good memory.  Having to change into the uniform in a locker room of girls, developing more rapidly than myself, was the stuff of awkward, adolescent insecurity nightmares.  I was overjoyed when, in high school, I was able to substitute PE with the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps class.

Exercise didn’t enter my life again until some friends and I enrolled in a college PE class.  Over the course of the quarter, my body began to change in ways that surprised me.  I had always been thin and never given exercise much though but, when I began to develop muscle and become toned, I was intrigued. I started going to the gym on occasion, though still didn’t made it part of my life.

That all changed after college graduation, when I got an apartment with my best friend and her new-born infant daughter.  As she would be home all day caring for her daughter, I felt the need to have some alone time away from the apartment. My parents had purchased a gym family plan years before, so I decided to use the gym as a way to get away, and it didn’t cost me anything.  I have not stopped working out since that time.

Once I began frequenting the gym, I met a trainer who trained me for free.  Working with the trainer built my confidence to work with free weights, and started my exercise education. In these early days, I enjoyed the aesthetic results aspect of exercise. I looked great, and my skinny frame began to fill out.

As I got older, the exercise didn’t seem to be working as well as it had in my early 20s.  I gained weight and was not as toned, despite consistently working out three days per week.  That’s when I learned about the importance of nutrition, and learned that food was the most important part of the equation. Once I figured that out, the extra weight came off and the toned body came back.

I learned about nutrition and was more fit in my 40s than my 30s.

Over the years I’ve done everything from weight lifting to running, and everything in between to keep fit. Before my wedding I created a one-woman bridal boot camp to ensure I could fit my dress with no issues on the big day.  Exercise has become as second nature as brushing my teeth.

Bridal boot camp worked to perfection.

Now entering my 50s and experiencing the realities of menopause, I have let go of the aesthetic expectations I held through my early 40s.  My reasons for exercise are focused on, what I call the “-ilities”.  They are capability, agility, stability, flexibility, and strength.  These are the things that matter most now.

When my husband and I travel, we like to do adventurous excursions.  I want to continue doing those things, so fitness is now a quality-of-life issue for me, and the aesthetics are the cherry on top.

Glacier hiking with my husband is something I want to be able to do for a long time.

It is never too late to start your fitness journey or regain some of the “-ilities” that have diminished over the years,  You just need to make up your mind to make it a priority.

If you’re interested in  the streaming service I use, feel free to message me for more information.

Follow me on Instagram at @mystyleismybrand.


Gray Hair, Don’t Care (Anymore)

I got my first gray hair in my early thirties, and moved through the decade adding only a few more.  Then came my 20-year high school reunion.  It seems like that milestone was fertilizer for a gray-hair growth spurt.  I swear a new one appeared every day, and I was not ready for it. Gray hair is one of the most obvious signs of aging, and I considered myself to be youthful. Gray hair did not figure into my vision of myself.

I made the decision to start covering the grays, and that worked great for a while…until it didn’t.  As more gray hair grew in, the effort to cover it became a time-consuming chore, especially because I prefer wearing my hair short. Every time I cut my hair, I had to cover the newly revealed gray hair.  As a result, I would not cut my hair as often as I wanted, leading to me wearing the length longer than I wanted.  It was a continuous loop of discontent.

The dark dye days.

My husband kept asking me when I was just going to stop the madness, as he watched my late-night dye sessions. My response was always, “I’m not ready”, as I lost sleep, sitting under the hair dryer for the processing time. Then I turned 50, and something clicked.

I figure I have more years behind me than in front of me, and I do not want to waste time on things that do not bring me joy. I calculated that I would be spending 18 hours a year in hair dye processing time.  That doesn’t include the time to apply it or rinse it out.  Dyeing my hair was not bringing me joy, and it was beginning to look harsh and artificial to me. Not cutting my hair as often as I wanted also was not bringing me joy.  So, I got my next haircut, and didn’t reach for the dye.

The transition has not been easy.  In the beginning, there were days my hair looked like a reverse skunk. I often wished I had never started dyeing my hair. Some days, I wonder what people think when they see me now.  Do they think, “damn, Sabra looks old”?

Gray, claiming it’s space.

It’s usually concern about other people’s perception and opinion that keeps us from doing what we want to do, whether it’s how we dress or wear our hair.  While speaking to a cousin on the phone, I informed them that my hair would be gray the next time they saw me.  My cousin said, “What!? Nooooooo. Well, at least you look good in other ways.”  Say what?  This is the same cousin who told me I no longer looked as polished after I stopped relaxing my hair, and went natural.

Thankfully, my self-esteem is strong enough to withstand this kind of judgement, but this is very indicative of the negative attitude around aging and showing your age.  In our youth obsessed culture, aging and the signs of it are considered to be unattractive and undesirable.

Regardless, I am happy with my choice.  As the artificial color continues to be cut away, I’m feeling prettier.  My abundance of gray looks great against my skin tone and is giving me a softer look.  I can see that I definitely inherited my Mother’s color pattern, as she also had an abundance of gray long before her senior years.  She is now 69 with a beautiful head of mostly white hair.  I can only hope mine continues to come in so beautifully.

Follow me on Instagram for daily style and gray hair inspiration.


I Did It!

Finally! I finally did it!!  Thank you for being here to see it.  I have had a dream of starting a blog and having a website for several years.  For several years I have paid monthly fees to Word Press because I believed I would get started if I was paying.  I mean, I wasn’t going to allow myself to just waste money, right?  If only that were true.

I first had the idea in 2016, after I completed my Silver-Pin Sommelier certification with the North American Sommelier Association.  Wine was to be the blog subject until the, almost immediate, onset of imposter syndrome killed that idea.  Despite the hundreds of hours of study and passing a grueling exam, I questioned whether I had the qualifications to talk about my own perspective on the world of wine.  Why would/should anyone care what I have to say on the topic?

I abandoned that idea, then thought I might write about my experience moving back into an inner-city area after having achieved the dream of education and financial success that is synonymous with leaving these areas for “better” neighborhoods.  I had lived away from the inner-city for 26 years, and it was certainly a lifestyle adjustment moving back.  The idea was fun, but I was concerned that it wouldn’t be received in the right context.  I abandoned that idea before the first article was finished.

Four years later I would be presented with an opportunity to be a monthly style contributor for an online magazine publication.  How was I going to write about something for which I had no certifiable credentials, when I didn’t have the confidence to write about something I had studied and was being educated in?  Imposter syndrome was lurking in the shadows, but did not have the opportunity to kill this opportunity.

This time there was someone else cheering me on and blowing wind into my sails. The publisher of the magazine, Laura, had been my first personal styling client. When I questioned who would want to read anything I had to say about style, Laura assured me that she and others would find it interesting.  Ultimately, I realized she wouldn’t jeopardize her own magazine by bringing in someone that had nothing to offer.  So, I wrapped myself in confidence and got to work. I was a nervous wreck every time my articles were published.  Laura would shut down her magazine about a year later, but she had given me a gift.

A little over a year later, my dream is a reality.  I abandoned the do-it-yourself approach, and got some creative folks to help bring my vision to life.  My current talents do not lie in coding and web design, and that’s okay. I’ve realized that no one is more qualified that me to write about my perspective and experience on any topic.

Let this be a sign to not give up on your dreams.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram.


The Accidental Stylist

Before the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020, I had the unexpected opportunity to begin personal styling.  This is the story of how that happened, including an interview with my client:

I met Laura at a meeting of a wine society of which we are both members.  We were seated next to each other and had the typical introductory small talk (What’s your name?; Is this your first time attending?), and talked about what we liked or didn’t like about the wines we were having that evening.  She commented on my outfit, but there was no discussion about style.

We met again a few months later at the wine society meeting.  Laura and I spoke about her passion for home decorating and her lifestyle newsletter MyLALifestyle (no longer in publication). In this conversation, she made a comment that still stands out to me; she asked if my home décor was similar to my clothing style.  I cannot recall my answer, but I thought it was an interesting question for someone to ask.

After that second meeting, our mutual friend Stacie texted me, saying that Laura liked my style and wanted to know if I’d be willing to help her update her wardrobe.  I was initially shocked.  Did Laura understand I have a day job, with no connection to the fashion industry?  I had no credentials for styling other than a passion for fashion. I’d always loved helping friends and family put looks together, even when my help was unwanted (here’s looking at you sister).

As I thought more about the prospect of working with Laura, I began to get excited and a little nervous.  It was important to me that Laura develop her own personal style, not be a clone of me.  I wanted her to feel great about her style at the end of the process, and didn’t want to let her down.  This was actually a lot of responsibility!

Laura in one of her new looks.

Our journey was interrupted by the pandemic, but we did manage to complete a closet cleanout, add some great new items to her wardrobe, and have a couple of sessions to put looks together.  I had a chance to ask Laura to share her thoughts on the process.

What were you looking to change about your style?

I wanted to get away from the boring blue/black/grey wardrobe. The tried and true safe bet. I got tired of just fitting in and admiring those that put together fun and unapologetic color and fashion choices and take risks. Those risk takers in my mind evoked a sense of confidence that I knew lived in me just waiting to be unleashed. My goal was to infuse color first of all, a European sensibility and polish of course!

Why did you think I would be able to help you find your new style?

I remember you entering a party – your attire looked as though you just got back from European fashion excursion. The colorful tailored coat that fit like a glove, the use of different patterns and the shoes…oh the shoes – they looked like they were from another era…vintage done right!

How did the process compare with your expectations?

“I checked different stylists on the net. Some had put together websites, but at the end of the day, their fashion sense was ordinary and expected. My husband jumped in one day and said, think back at who you know that dresses like you want to dress. That’s when I thought back at the party that I met you at. That is the moment I asked my friend for your number and called you.

I think having you come to my house and do a “closet cleanse”, so to speak, helped tremendously. Having me try on pieces and losing those that just didn’t work and keeping those that did. I liked setting up the Pinterest board with you and having you drop in items that would complement or add that pop to my wardrobe. And finally, combining various outfits and photographing them so I have a picture board that I look at any time I get ready. Such a time saver and fun and efficient way of getting ready.”

Have others noticed a change in your style? What have they said?

“Some of my friends have noticed and commented on the use of color. And recently I’ve had a few clients say they liked what I was wearing.”

How do you feel about your style now?

“Great! I treat it more like a creative process, like art! I love looking at how people mix/match and now I find myself checking out what Instagram influencers are wearing; particularly the European models. They are definitely not afraid of color and have knack about how to put them together so they uniquely work and are harmonious.

During these times I keep hearing how people are just wearing sweat pants and not really caring about what they put on. But I feel it’s important for me especially now to exert the effort because I need the extra pick me up. It’s amazing what a little color can do to the emotions. Think of the color “orange” for instance. Just the thought of it makes me smile and makes me think of a happy warm sunny day.”

As for me, it was an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.  I especially loved being able to help Laura feel better and more confident about her style.  I’m looking forward to getting together with Laura again for more style sessions to help her get the most out of her wardrobe, and helping others do the same.

Follow me on Instagram @mystyleismybrand for more style inspiration.  Send me an inquiry if you’re interested in a style consultation.


Why You Should Be Playing in Your Closet

I admit it.  I play in my closet, and I do it often.  I used to hide the fact that I have these “Closet Play Dates”.  I didn’t even want my husband to know, and would only do it when he was away from the house.  Not anymore. I’m putting it out in the open, and letting you know why you should be playing in your closet too.

I believe we all desire to look effortlessly stylish. You know, like those chic people photographed on the streets of major world cities during every fashion week.  We see them and wonder how they knew to combine that shirt and jacket, and top it with that beautiful scarf to create an amazing look.  You may think they were just born with a stylish gene that predisposes them to making great fashion choices.  That’s nonsense!  Either they, or their stylist has been playing in the closet.  Here are reasons you should do the same:

Because effortless style requires effort

When dressing yourself, like most any activity, practice provides a better outcome.  When I practice styling an item, I try it with different combinations to learn what works well and what does not.  I also take photos of the final looks for later reference.  The photos provide an opportunity to objectively edit the look, and are an easy reference for getting dressed later. When showtime comes, you know what pieces go to together and you are confident that you look great.

Some of my playthings.

Saves time

Knowing what items to pull from your closet, prevents that moment when you’re aimlessly staring into the closet hoping that an amazing outfit jumps out and places itself on you.  You will also avoid being late to work, or an event, because you’re desperately trying to create an outfit that makes you feel good.  Lack of planning often ends with a with a pile of rejected choices on your bed (or floor), or wearing the same thing you always wear.

Prevents wardrobe boredom.

I notice that most people wear their clothing items the same way every time they wear them (see reason #2); styling the same pants, with the same shirt and jacket time and time again.  No wonder there is no excitement about getting dressed every day.  If they were playing in their closets, they would have many ways to mix those items up, creating unique looks.


Maximizes the wearability of your items.

You can use your closet play time to figure out how to style that item you say you love, but continue to push further back in the closet for lack of knowing how to wear it.  On a recent Closet Play Date, I styled a pair of trousers I recently purchased form the Target x La Ligne collaboration.  I was able to create about 20 different looks during my hour-long Closet Play Date.

Closet Play Date with the Target x La Ligne pants.

My typical personal Closet Play Date is one hour (unless I lose focus and start pulling other items), and two hours when styling a client.  Not only do I photograph my final looks, I record them too. You can find them on my Instagram page @mystyleismybrand.  Talk about coming out of the closet!

 Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more style inspiration and tips.