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Dress Well

Chanele’s Check-In: October 2017

In October, I:

But, I was disappointed that:

  • I still haven’t figured out how I want to create my coaching/mentorship program
  • I haven’t worked on my plan for continuing my networking events

To listen to an audio version of this post, click below!

Books I read:

In November, I’m looking forward to:

  • Attending the Girlboss Rally in NYC on November 11th
  • Launching my holiday content on the site
  • Writing freelance pieces for other outlets
  • Celebrating my birthday on November 30th!

October was an interesting month. In October, we’re really in the middle of fall but I think it’s when it also really hits me that we’re fast approaching the end of another year. This year, I found myself getting really reflective (more than usual, I should say) as I began to review the year in my head and evaluate whether I was happy with what I was able to achieve.

For the most part, yes, I was happy but there were a few things that I said I would do that I hadn’t done yet. So, I made a list of the remaining items and instantly made an action plan.

The launch of Do Well Dress Well Audio

This was the first thing on the list because it’s an idea I’ve had for so long and to be honest, it is pretty easy to do. I kept procrastinating mainly because I feel a little self-conscious about my voice (although I’m quickly getting over that because of all your nice compliments!) and also, I felt like I needed to have all of the fancy podcasting tools. But on one evening, I just used what I had (my iPhone headphones), recorded my first audio blogpost and taught myself how to edit on Garage Band. I was really nervous about putting it out there but I’m glad I did and the experience has made me more confident. It’s not yet at the quality I would love it to be but I will continue to get better – I’ve also put a podcast microphone on my holiday wishlist so I can’t wait to go into 2018 (and beyond!) with it! If you haven’t listened to them yet, please head over to my Audio page and give it a listen!

I read more books this month than usual

As I write this, I’m realizing that I had more time to reflect because it was the first month in the while where I had a lot of free weekends. I’m not complaining though because it was so nice to just sleep in and get things done at my leisure. I decided that I wanted to use this newfound free time to catch up on reading so I ordered the three books I mentioned above. I wrote a full book review on Braving the Wilderness but in a nutshell, I loved that book. I read it within 1 day. I then moved on to Entrepreneurial You, a recommendation from Cubicle Chic. I haven’t reviewed that in full yet but it has given me the insight I need to continue building Do Well Dress Well into a sustainable business. There’s no fluff in this book – just actionable tips on how to monetize your expertise. I’m now on The Power of Moments and it’s such a good read. Once I finish it, I’ll add a review to my 2017 Book Recommendations post.

I found out I’m an…ambivert?!?

So when I attended the networking event in mid-October, J.Kelly Hoey talked about the fact that she’s an ambivert. Honestly, before that date, I had never heard of it so I made a note to look it up on my way home. On the Quiet Revolution website (created by the author of the book, Quiet – I haven’t read it yet but it’s on my list!), you can take a quiz to find out if you’re an ambivert. Well, ladies, I am an ambivert and I feel like my life has been changed.

As you know, I’ve always identified myself as an introvert. I’ll never be the most talkative person in the room and I really enjoy time alone. But over the last few years, I’ve been able to confidently do things that are very unlike most introverts. For example, I occasionally do public speaking which I enjoy. I host networking events and I almost always attend other networking events alone. Sure, I get a little nervous beforehand but never to the point where I’m too afraid to do it. Anyways, I feel really good about my new-found personality type because I believe it’s something that I was able to change on my own through starting Do Well Dress Well. I was definitely an introvert before I launched but 2 years later, I’ve made it to the middle of the introvert/extrovert spectrum.

I’m planning for next year and I need your help!

To completely change the subject – I’ve started my content planning for 2018 and although I can get a good sense of what you like and not like from my analytics and comments from social media, I’d love to hear feedback from you directly. I’ve decided to create my first ever Reader Feedback Survey! It will only take you a few minutes and it will ensure that the content I create speaks directly to your needs and interests. It’s anonymous so please be open and honest. I’d really appreciate it!

Want to fill it out now? Click here.

Until next month,

Chanèle

Note: The book links provided above are affiliate links for which I may receive a small commission.

10 Fall Essentials You Need in Your Wardrobe

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love putting together outfits in the fall. “Sweater weather” is such a cozy time as we can get creative with layers, while pairing pieces from our summer wardrobe to extend their wear a little further.

fall essentials

However, it can be easy to get caught up in the fall shopping frenzy. With cute jackets, sweaters and booties everywhere we turn, it’s hard to restrain ourselves. In an effort to save a little money and challenge myself to be more creative, I purposely limited my new fall purchases. Instead, I wanted to focus on curating a fall wardrobe that I could build tons of different outfits with that would take me from work to weekend with ease.

Click below to listen to an audio version of this post!

Want to strategically upgrade your wardrobe for fall? Here are the 10 Fall essentials you need in your wardrobe:

  • Embroidered jeans
  • Cropped coloured jacket
  • Black and white striped shirt
  • Sweater dress
  • Black booties
  • Patterned tights
  • Coloured dress shirt
  • Leather skirt
  • White bell-sleeve top
  • Long, cozy cardigan

fall essentials

Want some more inspiration to build a sustainable fall wardrobe? I asked two of my favourite style bloggers to tell me one item they can’t live without in their fall wardrobe:

“A killer pair of jeans! Living in Michigan, fall seems to be our shortest season before the REALLY cold weather hits! That’s when I make sure that my jean game is strong with a variety of styles {skinny, wide leg, distressed} and colors {dark wash, black, green} to create a cohesive fall wardrobe.”

Kherington from Currently Kherington

“One of the staple pieces in my Fall wardrobe are definitely my Stuart Weitzman over-the-knee boots in black with a heel (“Highlands”). Despite how much coverage they give (especially for a shoe!), they’re extremely easy to style, and make those days where you’re wearing lots of hats (student, retail employee, blogger, and human being that socializes) a lot easier in terms of putting together a “one-size-fits-all” outfit. A shoe that can be styled both dressy and casual, it makes picking what to wear on your feet super easy.”

Ella from Ella Voyage

What’s your favourite item in your fall wardrobe?

Chanele’s Check-In: August 2017

In August, I…

Books I Read:

  • The Hate U Give (review coming soon!)

In September, I’m looking forward to…

  • Renewing my sense of focus
  • Being featured in a campaign by one of my favourite brands
  • Celebrating my 2 year wedding anniversary
  • Shooting some fall outfit photos
  • Finishing up my User Experience Design course

Expectations and disappointments

They say August is a month of new beginnings. After all, it’s the month before “back to school” so it’s no wonder many of get excited for the impending fresh start.

I’m one of those people. As soon as August hits, I start to get into “refresh mode” – almost like a second opportunity to start new and crush my goals for the rest of the year. So like any other year, I had set goals and expectations in August and got some amazing opportunities that initially aligned with said goals and then…they fell through.

Was I upset? Come on, you should know better than to ask. If you’ve been following along with my check-in posts each month, you know that crying is typically my default reaction to anything. Happy? Cry. Sad? Cry. Frustrated? Cry. That’s me in a nutshell.

But after that initial disappointment, I actually felt kind of empowered (and happy – but more on that later). Through that experience, I spent a lot of time self-analyzing and realized that I have this tendency to set my expectations way too high. I realized – if I try to get better at managing my expectations, the disappointment won’t hurt as much. 

My thing has always been that if I don’t set high expectations it may come off as me being negative and I typically like to be very optimistic. More often than not, I give people the benefit of the doubt – are you like this too? 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately especially as I get older and realize how society contributes to these expectations. Go to school, work hard, get a job, get married, etc. etc. It’s all supposed to be easy peasy. But not often do we stop and think about whether we’re trying to live by our own expectations or those that other people have for us. Which leads me to my next point of discussion…

“So, when are you going to work on DWDW full-time?”

That my friends, is one of the most commonly asked questions that I get. Like all.the.time. 

And for the longest time, my response would be “Soon!” and I would give some sort of timeline. 

The thing I never stopped to think about though is – I actually don’t mind working. In fact, I’m pretty good at it. For my day job, I work in digital marketing and communications. Even as I start to really figure out what particular things I like and don’t like, I’m enjoying this phase in my career. 

All of this to say – I want to keep working, as much as I can because the experiences that I gain through my career have helped fuel Do Well Dress Well. It’s where I get 90% of the inspiration for new blogposts and it’s what I hope makes me somewhat credible when I share my career advice with you. 

I mentioned being happy about the opportunities falling through. Well, the experience has allowed me to regain focus and reevaluate what my goals are. It has empowered me in ways I haven’t felt before and that makes all the disappointment worth it.

But wouldn’t you love more time? 

Oh, absolutely. But I’ve also had a chance to reevaluate how I’m spending my time and I’ve realized that I can be much more efficient. So why give myself more time when I’m not being fully productive with the time I do have? Full-time entrepreneurship is not for everyone nor do you have to rush to get there. Respect and trust the process and do things when you’re ready – not when other people tell you that you should be.

I went back and forth on whether or not I should post this. That’s why I’m publishing this a lot later in the month than usual. But I decided to go for it because I know I’m not alone and I hope that through my openness, it encourages you to find the silver lining in any disappointment. You’re awesome and the opportunities that are meant for you will never pass you by. 

Until next month,

Chanèle

5 Reasons Why You Need Outfit Formulas

Have you ever looked at someone and wondered how they put together such a stylish outfit?

It may seem as though they spent hours deliberating on each particular element of their outfit but truth is, some of the most stylish people simply have an outfit formula.

What’s an outfit formula? It’s a signature outfit that you feel most comfortable in and you know that each element suits you perfectly. You don’t even have to think about it – you slip it on and go!

Earlier in the year, I released an e-Book that shared 5 outfit formulas for spring and summer. They aren’t just any outfit formulas though – they are my personal, tried and true outfit formulas that I use on a weekly basis for work.

My typical work outfit formula usually looks a little something like this: Solid top + patterned skirt or pants + solid flats or heels.

I personally love this formula because it’s simple yet stylish as it allows me to make a statement through the skirt or pants that I wear. Knowing that this formula works for me, shopping trips are a breeze as I can easily pick out new items that fit into my signature style.

Here’s why you need to uncover your own outfit formulas:

Getting dressed becomes easier

If you’re someone that gets overwhelmed when you open your closet, this should be all the reason you need to spend time determining your outfit formulas. You’ll always know exactly what to wear and won’t even need to think about what items go together.

More daily outfit options

The great thing about outfit formulas is that each item can typically be mixed and matched with other items and they can easily be transitioned for various occasions!

outfit formula

Shopping trips become easier and faster

It’s always best to head on a shopping trip with a plan in mind – if not you end up aimlessly wandering the store and purchasing items that you’ll only wear once or not at all. When you know your outfit formulas, you’ll easily be able to pick out items that fit into your signature style. Don’t get me wrong – I love myself a trip to the mall but when you can save yourself some time, that’s always a good thing!

You’ll pack lighter for trips

Instead of packing 20 different shirts for a 3 day trip (I know a girl needs options but you don’t need that many), you can pack 2 and mix and match with different bottoms to achieve a completely different look each time. You’ll have way more space in your suitcase so you’ll avoid overweight fees plus have room for any purchases you make while away.

Remember, dressing well requires strategy. But, determining your outfit formulas is just one part of that. Being “stylish” is also very much about the confidence you exude and the way you pull everything together. Nothing you put on should every be random – dress with intent and you’ll never go wrong!

 

How to Wear a Jumpsuit at Work

Dressing for work in the summer can be difficult. It’s hot outside yet cold inside (why do offices insist on blasting A/C?) so finding the right outfit that will keep us cool yet professional can be a challenge.

Enter the jumpsuit.

jumpsuit

I’ve always been a fan but quite honestly, it never crossed my mind to wear it to wear until I found the right one. This one-piece wonder has changed the way I think about summer work attire (I typically stick to dresses) and has made getting dressed so much quicker. Anything that allows me to get even 5 extra minutes of sleep in the morning is a win in my books!

Here are 3 things to keep in mind when wearing a jumpsuit at work:

Find a professional fit

Jumpsuits come in all different shapes and styles. From cold shoulder to side-cutouts, the options are pretty much endless. Take the time to find one that has a sleek, professional look – one that isn’t shorter than just above your knee, fits well and isn’t revealing.

jumpsuit

Add the right layer

Still not sure about whether you can make the jumpsuit work for work? Add a layer. Whether it’s a cardigan or a blazer, you’ll find that this extra piece will instantly take your professionalism up a notch. Plus, it almost makes it look like you’re wearing two separate pieces!

Accessorize

Like any piece of clothing, there’s always an accessory that can add the perfect finishing touch. A great pair of earrings or a necklace can be exactly what you need to showcase more of your personality.

 

There’s something about a jumpsuit that instantly makes you look put together. Take your work style up a notch by incorporating a jumpsuit and you’ll find that you’ll transition from work to play with ease!

Jumpsuit: Ann Taylor

Heels: Call it Spring

Photography by Gooseberry Studios

What to Wear to a Summer Networking Event

Oh, summer! I absolutely love this season as not only does it allow us to wear fun summer attire but as the temperature rises so does the amount of networking opportunities! I think it’s safe to say that no matter where you’re located, there’s an opportunity for you to get out and meet new people every single week. So if you’re eager to get out, take advantage of the warm weather and meet new people, there’s only question I have for you – what are you going to wear?

Related: Check out this post on How to Find Local Networking Opportunities

Dressing for summer networking events (and just dressing in the summer, in general) does pose a bit of challenge as since it’s so warm outside, many of us become tempted to dress super casually (I mean, flip flops and shorts type of casual) and show skin. Although summer events tend to be held in more casual settings such as a restaurant patio or rooftop, it’s still important to look professional as after all, first impressions are important no matter what season it is!

networking event outfit

When Nine West Canada provided me with the opportunity to select a pair of shoes from their summer collection, I knew immediately that I needed this red pair in my closet. They are a sleek and classic pair of wedges that you can easily transition for different dress codes.

I wore these shoes during the networking event I hosted in June and I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they wore! I was running up and down all afternoon and didn’t complain about my feet once. Finding a stylish yet comfortable pair of shoes can be tricky but it’s not a challenge you should back down from. I speak from experience when I say that if you wear uncomfortable shoes to a networking event, it will make you super miserable and you’ll end up leaving early. Do you want to potentially miss out on meeting someone important all because your shoes are uncomfortable?

Here are two different networking outfit options featuring the same pair of shoes:

The Fun, Patterned Dress

I love this outfit because it’s one that you can wear both to the office and an after-work networking event! In an effort to remain cool yet stylish, I recommend choosing a light dress that is flattering and exposes little to no skin. Try to find a dress that is hemmed just below your knee to achieve an elegant look. I also typically go for sleeveless dresses especially on super humid days to ensure that I avoid those embarrassing sweat pits.

networking event outfit

Summer is also the perfect season to wear some fun colours and patterns to your networking events. This dress is great because it’s super colourful but is still very clean and elegant. Of course, you should always wear a statement necklace when you can – not only is it the perfect icebreaker but it adds the perfect finishing touch.

I loved how the open-toe wedges really complimented my dress as they were a great match with the colours on my dress and they helped to give me an overall friendly and approachable look while still looking professional, as open-toe shoes typically do.

The Statement Jeans

I know this outfit might not work for many office settings but it’s a look that I love for super casual weekend events! In fact, this is the exact outfit I wore when I hosted my event last month. Embroidered jeans seem to be “on-trend” this summer and although you know I’m not a big fan of following fashion trends – I can appreciate embroidered jeans as they are a great way to make a statement! Pair them with a neutral top so that your jeans become the focal point – I’m sure you’ll even get a compliment or two on how great they look! To bring out some of the colour in the embroidery, the wedges were perfect and of course, super comfy!

 

So, there you have it – one pair of shoes styled for two different types of networking events! Any pair of shoes that I can wear from work to weekend is a winner in my books. Find yourself your own pair of comfortable networking shoes and you too will be ready to make a great first impression no matter where you go!

Outfit details

Wedges: Nine West Canada (they’re on sale!)

Dress: Zara

Statement Necklace: H&M

Earrings: Charming Charlie

Top: Zara

Embroidered Jeans: Zara

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

Disclosure: My shoes were sponsored by Nine West Canada but all words and opinions are my own.

 

Chanele’s Check-In: June 2017

In June, I…

  • Hosted the 4th ideate networking event 
  • Visited my business bestie for one week in Grand Cayman
  • Took a 3 week break from writing blogposts

But I was disappointed that…

  • I still didn’t finish the website for ideate networking – I keep encountering so many technical issues but I should have it done in the next few weeks!

In July, I’m looking forward to…

  • Meeting up with some new women over coffee (would love to meet ya in-person or virtually – email me and let’s set something up!)
  • Working on building out my new mentorship program
  • Writing blogposts more consistently
  • Potentially taking a course in User Experience Design

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need an escape from” – Seth Godin

Like many things in life, I believe that what this quote is suggesting is much easier said than done. As many of you know, I recently came back from a one-week vacation to visit my friend Jeanne in the Cayman Islands. From the moment she announced she was moving there, I was super excited by the idea of visiting.

Leading up to the trip, I had a lot on my plate. From day job work to side-hustle work, I was feeling extremely stressed. A lot of my time was spent organizing the next ideate networking event and I’ll be honest – I put a lot of pressure on myself to make it the best it can be. I wanted to make sure that the branding was on point and that everything looked professional. I invested hundreds of dollars in a standing banner, posters, pens, stickers and colourful gift bags. Why? Because, it will pay off.

To prematurely escape from the stress I was feeling from various work commitments, I began to work on creating a “vacation wardrobe”. I haven’t been on a vacation in almost 2 years, I told myself as I spent almost 2 months buying various swimsuits, dresses, shoes and accessories to wear upon my arrival to Cayman Islands. I became so obsessed with this new vacation style I was creating that I decided it was time to hang everything up on a clothing rack in my spare room so I could look at it everyday and figure out what was missing. It’s fine that I’m getting all this new stuff – they aren’t luxury items anyway and besides…I deserve it.

Those two very real scenarios from my life that I’ve chosen to share with you highlight the kinds of things I tell myself when I spend money. Leading up to the trip, I didn’t even second guess myself. The event went extremely well (you can read the recap here) and I was satisfied with my wardrobe and went off on my trip with a smile on my face.

Until, I came back, of course.

There’s nothing like that feeling of coming back down from the high of a vacation to be smacked in the face with reality. All the things you wanted to ignore and escape from are finally staring you right in the face and there’s nothing you can do but just deal with them.

I’ll just go right out and make this declaration – I don’t make very much money from my side-hustles.

The thing is though, I’m not in it for the money. Never have been and never will be. If I was, I would have quit this thing a long time ago. But, if there’s one piece of advice I can share with you…

…even if you’re not in it for the money, you still have to think about the money.

Over the last year and a half, I’ve invested probably close to a couple thousand dollars into my businesses. I have sacrificed vacations, conferences and tons of other things I’ve wanted to do because I’m so passionate about building my brand and this wonderful community that surrounds me. This is my life’s work. However, every time I spend money on something, I tell myself “it will pay off” or “I work so hard. I deserve this”.

But, the thing I want to know is – how do we know when it will really “pay off” or we’re just trying to justify spending money?

I was really inspired by the transparency of my friend Jessica over at Cubicle Chic as she shared how much fashion blogging ruined her finances. I couldn’t agree more. It’s easy to justify one shirt here and one pair of shoes there until of course you look back and realize that it all adds up. If you’re not bringing in anything extra to at least break even, your finances will really take a hit.

So, how will I deal with all of this? Well, naturally – I started off with a good cry. Although I’m very happy with the results of everything thus far, I felt (and still feel) a bit upset with myself for letting myself get this far without being serious about how much I’m spending on things. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t have tons of debt racked up or anything crazy but I could be much, much better with my money.

I then moved on to review all the things that I’m currently spending on and how I can cut back. There are a few recurring monthly expenses that I have to maintain Do Well Dress Well and I’ve cancelled a few for now and already I feel pretty good about myself. So good that of course, I went out and bought 3 cute new summer pieces from Old Navy. Then I got home and realized that I don’t need all of them so I’m going to do a return. Baby steps, right? 

 

How to Feel Confident and Comfortable in a Suit

How do you feel when you wear a suit?

For many people, suits are considered very “corporate”, boring and simply non-stylish. It’s something they just put on for an interview and then take off as soon as possible afterwards.

suit

If this is you, don’t worry – I won’t judge but unfortunately I can’t relate. As soon as I put on a suit, I feel happy, comfortable and super confident. But you may be thinking – why does it really matter whether or not I feel comfortable in a suit? 

Well, have you ever noticed how some people look so effortlessly cool in their suits (or just business attire in general) while others look like they’re a fish out of water? In other words, they can’t wait to get back in their jeans and sweatpants.

Here are 3 things to consider so you can get that confident and comfortable look?

1 – Find the right fit

It’s important that your suit isn’t too tight or too baggy or else your overall appearance will suffer. If your suit isn’t the right fit when you buy it, take it to a tailor. For my fellow petite ladies, I highly recommend checking the petite section if possible as it will instantly give you a more neat and tailored fit.

2 – Pick a colour

When you think of suits, I bet the first thing that comes to mind are simple black and grey suits, right? Depending on your office dress code, you may not be able to get away with a pink suit but try to find something with a little bit of style! This could be a subtle pattern or a light colour shade that’s still professional for the environment you’re in. Suits don’t always equal boring and there are tons of options out there.

3 – Be yourself

I know this may sound super corny but if you try to act like someone you’re not, it will be completely obvious. Don’t overthink your outfit or what others will think. I actually wore this suit earlier in the year to a presentation and although I knew I’d be “overdressed”, it was more important for me that I wear an outfit I feel most confident and comfortable in.

As soon as you put on the suit, look in the mirror, admire how amazing you look and then go out and conquer your day.

Feeling and looking comfortable in a suit will not only allow you to build your confidence but you’ll demand attention and respect wherever you go.

Photography by Gooseberry Studios

The Professionalism of Pink

When I was young, my favourite colour used to be blue.

I know…it’s shocking, right? Considering the amount of pink that I wear and the fact that it’s one of my core brand colours you would think that my love for the colour started from a young age.

Well, believe it or not – I went through a pretty extensive “tomboy” phase. I loved hoodies, basketball jerseys, tracksuits and sneakers and that was my clothing of choice most days. I clearly remember my outfit for my first day of high school – a grey TNA tracksuit from Aritzia and a pair of pink and white Adidas sneakers.

But as you know, high school has a way of really impacting your self-esteem as you try to figure out where you belong. We all want to be accepted by the “cool kids” and of course, have people notice us. I quickly began to change (both literally and figuratively) from a tomboy to someone who embraced their girly side. Thinking back, it sounds so ridiculous but at the time, I felt as though I had no other choice in order to be accepted by my peers.

Fast forward to current day and of course, I’m very comfortable and happy with my personal style but I now find myself with a new dilemma – navigating the “professionalism” of the colour pink.

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