The Blog by Michele Charles Gustafson
You know it. Great. The buzz words - “preppy,” “classic,” “trendy,” “sophisticated” - those kinds of buzz words that the style world is but on...
Now, what do you do with it? What does it really mean? Why does it matter?
What you don’t know is that while there are a roster of positive presence-building qualities that go with a personal style story, the ones that actually work against you are the disconnecting ones you don’t realize you are sending... you’re just trying to get dressed and feel good about how you look - you think.
Lady, we all have insecurities. And what you don’t realize is that by default without knowing, you are portraying those self-doubt characteristics in how you dress
Some of you look intimidating to your audience, others can’t seem to command presence for people to take you seriously.
So how do you dress in a way that communicates the best parts of you and not turn people off or are...
Recently, I was in a breakthrough session with a lady and she admitted to me that 25% of the few hundred she follows on Instagram are fashionistas, fashion bloggers or stylists. She giggled and said, “I follow you too, Michele.”
I smiled through the phone and asked her, “Lady, can you tell me the top 3 things you’ve learned from them about how to create your own style?”
She paused. “Well, no,” she said, “I just look at their posts for inspiration.”
“I see,” I said, “In that case, can you tell me what specific inspirations you’ve learned about your own body, color palette and message you’ve learned from them?”
A longer pause.
“Well…..no,” she answered with disappointment in her voice.
I know, Ladies. I used to be where you are - except back when I was frustrated with my body, confused about where to shop, and hating my entire closet, there wasn’t a whole internet full of...
Sometimes you have to let go of the old. Old beliefs about yourself, who you think you should be, who you think you want to be, who you think you serve, who you think you are supposed to be to serve them, who you see is supporting you who and who you are to everyone around you.
Sometimes you have to let go to let more in.
I did just that this year - Detachment. And while the word sounds cold or lonely, it really isn’t. It’s self-loving-kindness at its core and it’s Faith in action because to practice true Detachment, you have to believe that “it’s all working for your good” no matter what you see with your eyes.
Detachment will show your true gifts. It will whisper how to use them. It allows you to go within and find a value you didn’t know you had. It let you be vulnerable with yourself and reveals those who are safety nets for your vulnerable state too. It helps you to grow courage - to practice bravery in the face of fear - because you...
What a joy it was to be the opening speaker at the Ignite Girls Conference this morning in my city.
The room was filled with 14 and 15-year-old girls learning more about themselves and how to create a community with each other.
I took them on a journey of giving themselves permission to be #InstagramUnworthy.
We discovered how they could begin diving into learning and loving their own gifts and talents and the letting go of any social media that doesn’t support who they are becoming.
I watched their faces change (some with horror) as I revealed to them the influence their "feed" is having on them learning to build their own self-esteem and confidence.
It was amazing. Their questions after my talk were insightful, revealing and touching. These girls get it and will never look at their IG feed the same way.
It was a powerful message to begin their day at their conference.
And as always, no "Michele-style-keynote" is complete without "homework" They got some me and...
One thing I hear from women when I talk to them about creating an image that helps them stand out is…”I just don’t want to come off as TOO MUCH.”
I get it. We’ve been told somewhere along the line…
“No one likes a show-off.”
“Don’t be boastful.”
“You’re not more special than anyone else.”
I beg to differ - actually….
Who are you NOT to show up as the best version of yourself?
Who are you NOT to celebrate your successes and use those past successes to create your future by helping others?
Who are you NOT to see yourself - not as more special than anyone else - but as completely unique and in that uniqueness is a value needing to be showcased?
It’s all a question of perspective.
Your image. How you see your self through the mirror everyday sets your perspective to create success. It influences:
“Change how you dress and you’ll change how you feel.” How many times have you heard it? But you’re thinking, “Seriously? Is it that big of a deal?”
Many of you may not know that I began my image consultancy and mentorship business because after coming through a 9-month bout of depression, I used the process I take my clients through today to re-discover myself, my personal joy, my appreciation for my body, my life and my own definition of success. It saved me.
While many of you wish you could find a renewed confidence like me and you’ll want to do some “retail therapy” and hope it helps. I’ll tell you, looking at just finding a new blouse will not heal the root of what is keeping you stuck and sad. And don’t let the clothing manufacturers tell you it will. It won’t.
Begin with uncovering where your insecurity lives. Dispel it and then transform it. It’s the only way to true, permanent, sustainable and...
Here I am paddle boarding this past weekend. I just got home and posted this reflection on my Instagram. I hope it offers you inspiration, Gals!
"I wanted to tell you that you look so awesome in your bikini!" For me, who has been plagued with past body image demons, depression because of it and conquered that crippling negative voice, this kind of compliment still catches me off guard.
I've made it my work to help other women conquer the limiting beliefs that crush their confidence by connecting them to a new self-acceptance with their body, their image, and their personal power. The major reason I can do it and transform others with life-altering results is that I was there myself.
When I learned to explore every inch, every measurement and every proportion of my body and then how to dress it in flattering balance and perfectly aligned personal expression, the self-acceptance I created in myself brought me back from the brink.
Many see me a someone who could never have...
OK, my gym bags are heavy. Are yours?
Creating a presence in your image happens every day you leave the house. That means even when leaving the gym.
I go with a full change of clothes, makeup and accessories I pack the night before so I'm always ready to create a look that is at the least crisp and at the most impactful - even in the Pilates studio parking lot.
I teach my women to do the same. It doesn't take the effort you think it does when you know exactly what works for you.
Then you can head off to the grocery store and if you meet your next client or customer....you're totally "image-of-trust" ready!
How big is your gym bag?
What are fashion tips anyway? Advice on how to wear something? Advice on what "thing to put together?" Suggestions on how to "find your style?"
Yes. Those are fashion tips. Have you noticed that I don't give you a bunch of those?
In isolation, they don't work.
Here's an example, if I told you "Wear stripes. They are in this season." Without a defined and empowered sense of personal style clarity and wardrobe confidence, you won't know:
:: what color those stripes should be to not overpower your face
:: what contrast level those stripes should be to not throw off the balance of your outfit
:: where to place the stripes on your body to create a balance and proportion that makes you look 10lbs slimmer
...nor would you feel unquestionably confident shopping for stripes because you know exactly which to choose.
Can you see that generic "fashion tips" do more harm than good for your wardrobe, for your style and your confidence? In isolation, they create more confusion for...
These days it seems like women have every reason to be super confident.
They can get all the degrees and credentials, they can start businesses, they can hustle to make "a six-figure income," and they can raise a family and be a great part of their community.
They seem to have it all and look so "confident" doing it.
It's all a sham.
These women doing and having it all have a secret you don't know. Inside they are crumbling.
They don't remember why they "do it all". Even though they tell you they love their life, something behind the scenes is falling apart. Or they are stuck in a people-pleaser trap and they are doing all this "greatness" for the people around them. Do you know why they are doing it all?
1. They don't remember who they are.
2. They don't remember what flatters their heart and makes them happy
3. They haven't prioritized themselves in they don't know how long...
And the reality is, they are broke in the currency of Confidence.
Confidence is a quality that is built...