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Learn How to Wear Your Power

When you feel good in your current wardrobe, and even in the physical space of your closet, magic happens. Both physical and mental space is cleared for you to keep going and take control of more areas of your life. We developed Wear Your Power, the Real Life Style on demand e-Course, to make our service more approachable.

This blog chronicles the before and after story of two sisters and Wear Your Power alums. When you met Kara and Molly last January, they had just completed the four-week e-Course. Molly was celebrating a weight loss and a new appreciation for “real clothes”; Kara was struggling to feel good at her highest weight since pregnancy. As we always tell our clients, dress for the body you have right now. (See our client Monica’s recent blog on this topic for more inspiration!)

Keep reading for the details (and amazing pictures!) of both Kara and Molly’s one-year post Wear Your Power e-Course update. I hope you are as inspired by their journeys as I am. And if you are new to the blog, or need a refresher, read the original blog post from last January, Wear Your Power This Year.  

Enjoy!

Kara and Molly, the 2022 versions!

Change Your Wardrobe, Change Your Life

Kara’s Story: One Year Later

Not long after I completed my Wear Your Power e-course with Lani last January, I hit my highest non-pregnancy weight ever.

By Christmas, I was at my lowest weight in 20 years.

So 2021 was the year my wardrobe seesawed, too. I went from most of my clothes being too snug (I’m being kind) to donating nearly all of my work pants because they were too big to be tailored.

Here are some of my fashion highlights of the year, all of which connect to what I learned from the Wear Your Power course or from Lani’s blog, which I read faithfully every week.

In late 2020, with Lani’s guidance, I ditched a bulky velvet blazer that, despite the gorgeous deep purple color, was just plain old ill-fitting. (You’ll see it in the original blog. It makes me cringe now!) I replaced it with this lighter-weight plum jacket that works nearly all year round. In this photo, they’re paired with jeans that represent a fashion first for me: In October I read a rave review from Lani of the Madewell Perfect Vintage Jean, clicked right through and bought them, and they actually fit me. There was no gaping in the waist. The thighs weren’t too tight. I didn’t need to have them hemmed. It was surreal.

Kara wearing her Madewell Perfect Vintage Jeans with her new plum blazer

During our post-course consultation, Lani recommended The Shirt as my go-to oxford, a staple I somehow didn’t have. I decided to forego basic white and get it in fuchsia instead, which makes way more of an impact when I’m on camera for work.

This time last year, I couldn’t bear to part with a 20 (!)-year-old Ann Taylor oxford that had once been among my most flattering work tops, even though I could barely button it anymore and, as I described in the blog, the arms made me feel like The Hulk. I was determined to fit into it again. Nine months later, mission accomplished:

1. Kara’s beloved oxford that was rescued from her donate pile
2. Kara’s memory that made her want to save the blouse!

Last year my “After” outfit for the blog included a M.M.LaFleur Woolf Jardigan, a shell in yellow (my power color), black jeggings, and black suede Blondo booties. Here’s how it looks this year. Same jacket, same shell, new Pull-On Straight Pants in Ponte by Loft, yet another Lani recommendation:

1. The 2021 “After” Outfit
2. The 2022 Version
3. The 2022 Version, sans jardigan

I had been thinking about upgrading my workout wear and ditching my uniform of t-shirts paired with oversized wide-leg yoga pants when Lani blogged about All Day Alba’s mega sale. She wasn’t kidding about the deep discounts (still in effect, by the way). I bought leggings, tops and a jacket that would’ve totaled $530 full price but came to $106 on sale. When my haul arrived, I was so thrilled with it that I quickly placed another order. All told, $1,210 worth of All Day Alba gear has cost me $310. Beyond being thrilled with the relative bargain, I’m excited to wear silhouettes and fabrics (like velour) that had always felt off-limits to me.

Kara wearing her All The Time sweater

Speaking of new silhouettes, I loved what I wore on Thanksgiving—this persimmony M.M.LaFleur Nejvi Top featuring draping that’s both flattering and forgiving:

The Nejvi top worn for Thanksgiving

I’m only bummed by this part of last January’s recap: “And one day in 2021, I will stroll back into my office, feeling secure in and excited by what I’m wearing.” Well, I’ve yet to return to my office—the latest projection is April 2022—but whenever I finally do, I will be far more excited than I was when I wrote that line. While a year ago I knew my wardrobe was as coordinated and stylish as it had ever been, I certainly wasn’t happy with the way I looked in it. That’s the big change this time: I’ve got the updated figure to match the updated clothing, as well as the insight into how to achieve flattering, fashion-forward looks. Bring on 2022!

Change Your Wardrobe, Get a Bigger Closet?

Molly’s Story: One Year Later

About a year ago, I wrote this blog post about my closet and wardrobe makeover, thanks to taking part in Lani’s Wear Your Power e-Course. It was a thoughtful birthday present from my sister Kara. She gifted me this much needed course after a COVID-inspired (major) weight loss.

I’m happy to share that with about an eight pound swing in either direction, I’ve kept the weight off and I have also managed to maintain, and even build upon, the lessons I learned from Wear Your Power. I’d say, a year later, my biggest challenge is that I may need a bigger closet!

Over the course of the past year, I’ve added some staples (hello black pants and knee-length black boots). I’ve grown my sweater collection (I just can’t seem to help myself). My power color (RED!) seems to have gained prominence in my clothing selection. I’ve taken more chances (finally purchased those red heels I talked about in my last blog post). I’ve fully embraced WEARING DRESSES (an entirely new concept for me!). And I’ve settled into feeling confident in my not-so-new-body. So much of this has to do with the contents of my dresser and my closet—both the clothing inside them and the way in which it’s all presented to me each day as I open those drawers and that door.

And I have Lani’s Wear Your Power e-Course to thank. I’m so grateful that I took the time to edit my closet, learn what staples I should have, and determine my style and power color. I filled my wardrobe with all those things and then some. I’m even more grateful that more than a year later, it’s stuck!

Here are a few more photos that show how my wardrobe and confidence have changed and grown in 2021:

In February of 2021, I finally put to use that camelhair jacket I bought at a Banana Republic outlet store in northern New Hampshire. Paired with jeans and brown boots from Madewell, I love how simple and classic the look comes together and how confident it makes me feel. 

In April, I got together with girlfriends I’ve known for 20 years (with my twin sister). They’ve seen me through so many changes.  Here I am wearing my power color, feeling happy to be with those who have been with me through some serious weight and fashion ups and downs.

In May I finally purchased those red heels I was determined to get in 2020. While I’ve got some practicing to do walking confidently in them, I really love the way they fancy up the J Crew dress that I fell in love with. Which…also looks good paired with my red Converse! 

In June I stepped WAY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE for a wedding I attended with a bunch of co-workers. They hadn’t seen me in over a year and a half, and typically see me in my on-event wardrobe of workout pants, sneakers and short sleeve staff tech shirt! I was wearing a sleeveless halter sequin dress from Banana Republic (which I got for roughly $40 on major sale). I love this dress and look forward to more opportunities to wear it. Also, check out those heels! 

One of the highlights of my year (and honestly, my life!) was in August when I was finally able to go back home to Ireland—a place I’ve gone to 20 times since 2000—for the first time since the pandemic began. I loved showing off the new and improved me and…I bought my FIRST IRISH TWEED JACKET! 

September in Los Angeles is nice and warm with summer-like weather lingering. It also found me enjoying some time outside, drinking beer with a friend while wearing my strapless H&M dress in butter yellow. I wore that dress so much this summer! 

In October, at my first work dinner in nearly two years, I spiced it up a bit with some animal print! 

And here I am, toasting to the end of another weird but fabulous year in a button split neck tweed shift dress from Talbots. Paired with some tall brown boots, it was the perfect outfit to wear for my Christmas dinner. Feeling comfortable and classic—the perfect combination! 

I spent nearly my entire adult life shying away from buying clothes and looking in a mirror. While I may still struggle a bit with body issues and self-confidence, I can look back on the past year and feel so much gratitude for the ways in which I’ve grown and changed. And I can honestly say that a HUGE part of that has to do with learning how to wear my power and putting that into practice every single day.

Lani said at the beginning of my blog post nearly a year ago, “My wish for all of you this year is to learn how to wear your power!” And a year later, I so fully and emphatically endorse this. I can tell you from personal experience that learning how to wear your power truly improves how you see yourself! I hope you can tell from how happy and comfortable I look in all the photos I’ve shared from the past year!

Lani’s Commentary

Wow. I am so proud of these women for taking control of their closets and their lives in the process.

What I remember most from my chat with Kara after she went through the Wear Your Power e-Course is how happy she was to have cleared the clutter. She finally felt in control of her closet after so long. I am so glad she is feeling fit and healthy now and in control of her body too!

As for Molly, she told me that she mostly lived in leggings and t-shirts day-to-day. So to receive these super glamorous shots of her wearing a variety of fabulous outfits is quite a thrill! How much do you LOVE the color of that Irish tweed jacket??? If I ever go to Ireland, I am getting all the shopping tips from Molly!

Are you ready to Wear Your Power? Read more about Wear Your Power, the Real Life Style on-demand e-Course, and make 2022 the year that you learn to Wear Your Power!

Real Life Style is a style consulting firm that teaches busy women to wear their power so they can live their lives fully and confidently. Lani Inlander and Kyle Dunphy are based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and serve clients across the country. We offer personal styling services, an on-demand e-course, corporate services, and training to become a personal stylist.

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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