Do you have a closet stuffed with clothes but nothing to wear? Alison Lumbatis reveals her outfit formulas for every body and budget to build your wardrobe, and make it easy to get dressed using items from your closet.
Don’t miss the different formulas that suit all body shapes, sizes, ages, and budgets!
WATCH THE SHOW:
LISTEN TO THE SHOW:
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN
- How to discover your passion and purpose in blogging
- Entrepreneurial success: Business, family, and parenting
- Daily tips to create a healthier lifestyle
- What a “capsule wardrobe” is and how to build one
- Creative ideas to define your distinctive style and celebrate your body type
ABOUT ALISON LUMBATIS
Alison Lumbatis is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and empowerment influencer. She’s attracted an audience of millions to her Get Your Pretty On® blog and has served over 100,000 women through her personal styling program Outfit Formulas® – the #1 online capsule wardrobe program in the world.
Alison is a thought leader in the personal style and confidence arenas and has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Redbook, Life & Style Magazine, and Good Morning Texas.
You can follow her for all things book and style-related as well as family life on the farm on Instagram at @alisonlumbatis.
CONNECT WITH ALISON
- Website: Outfit Formulas, Get Your Pretty On, and Alison Lumbatis
- IG: @alisonlumbatis
- Facebook: Alison Lumbatis
- Youtube: Alison Lumbatis
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After you just had a really, really crappy day in business. You just have to keep showing up. That’s the key to success. I still tell myself that every single day just keeps showing up and the magic will happen. There’s no, short-cutting the process. As long as you’re being consistent with it, you will get results.
Even if you can’t see it right now. Welcome to the M perfectly empowered podcast with leading DIY lifestyle blogger on. Where women are inspired with authentic stories and practical strategies to reclaim their hearts and homes by empowering transformation. One imperfect day at a time. Welcome to another episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast.
I am your host on a Fullmer, and today it is my pleasure to introduce you to one of my very favorite fashion influencers. Alison. Lambada Alison is an influencer entrepreneur and bestselling author of the book, the ultimate guide to outfit formulas. It’s amazing. We’ll talk about it. Some more. Her website get your pretty on.com is viewed by millions every year and has served over a hundred thousand members through her personal styling program outfit, formulas, where women of every budget embody are inspired to find company.
In their closets. Alison offers practical ways to fight the feeling of unworthiness and inspire the magic of re-invention to make the next chapter you are best featured in Forbes, business, insider, Yahoo, finance, red book, and life and style magazine. Welcome styling expert, and really all around wonder woman, Alison Lombard.
Well, Alison, welcome to the imperfectly empowered podcast. This is really a treat to have you here. I first was introduced to you when we’re in a shared mastermind group and you had just launched your book. Right here. And as soon as the actual like book came up and I was reading through this description, I literally bought it.
I went from our mastermind group to Amazon. I bought it right away. And what I love about it is it speaks to everything that I am all about, which is. There’s inspiration in it. There’s motivation in it, but more importantly, there are practical strategies to implement. And again, we aren’t necessarily defined by what we’re wearing or our appearance, but we can absolutely be redeveloped by it and inspired with more confidence.
And so, anyway, that was like my first introduction to you. I love this woman. She speaks my language. So I have to ask you where you. The little girl who grew up clopping around in her mom’s high heels. Like if your parents would have guessed you are where you are today, would they have guessed that? Or would they be a little surprised that you are a fashion expert?
They would be totally surprised. I’ve actually the little girl that grew up playing in the mud I’ll have the river all the time. We had a river that flowed through our backyard, so I was more tomboy and less into. The makeup and the hair and the clothes. I think that that really started to come into play when I hit around 14 or 15.
And then I started to get interested in that kind of stuff. But the funny thing about that is my mom was totally that way. Like she would not leave the house. She still doesn’t to this day. Full face of makeup dressed, head to toe, like she was always so put together. And I really think in the dedication of my book, I acknowledged that because although when I was little, I didn’t really have an appreciation for that.
As I got older and had kids of my own and sort of going through this process of feeling like I was losing myself in a sense, this was a way for me to get back in touch with who I am and with feeling good again, and really realizing that my appearance affected. Then just how I looked, but also my motivation and so many other factors as well as being a role model for my own daughters.
So yeah, I think that’s an important part of this story that I didn’t even realize until I had the perspective of looking back on. Over the mud and the dirt, mud and dirt. I’m with you there. I was kind of the in-between girl. I loved dresses, but I inevitably was the girl that ended up still playing football with the kids, getting dirty shoes came off, but I still love the dress.
So I resonate with what you’re saying. The other thing I love about your story is like many of us in the blogging world. So you started with. Blogging initially, and then leading into this journey. But even before blogging, you didn’t start out as a fashion blogger or styling expert. You had jobs as a telecom engineer.
I think I saw that you were an actress. You were a model. Tell us a little bit about those chapters of your life and how they contributed to the chapter that we’re reading. Yeah. So I’ve worn many hats in my career or many outfits as the case may be perfect. But I did spend 14 years as a telecom engineer and it was one of those things.
I came out of college. I had a psychology degree and I entered the workforce. That makes sense. That’s why you’re a telecom. It totally, I mean, it totally makes sense. Right. Back in the nineties, when tech was booming and they were taking anybody like, Hey, psych degree, come on. We want you to be an engineer.
We’ll train, you know, So that’s how I accidentally ended up in the world of telecom. And then I ended up staying there because we had kids, we were a two income family and I didn’t really feel like I had a lot of choices, but I also knew that I was a square peg in a round hole, but it’s not where I belonged.
I would sit in my beige cubicle every day and think there’s gotta be something more out there for me. This is not it. And that would have people, you know, well-meaning people say, but you have such a good job and it pays well and you have security and stability and all the things. That just didn’t feel like it was enough to me.
So that’s where the acting and modeling came in. I had always wanted to do acting even as a teenager, but I was painfully shy. So I would try out for the little bit roles and musicals and plays, but never really just fully dedicate to it. So I started taking acting classes under the guise of, well, this will make.
A better speaker or assert myself in meetings or all of these other excuses that I was telling myself when really I just wanted, I just had this burning desire to always do this. So I started taking some acting classes, ended up getting an agent actually pretty quickly. My first few teachers that I had said, Hey, you’ve got some potential here.
Like you should be out there working and you can go do this. So I did. And for 10 years overlapping with my telecom career, I was a professional actress and print model in Dallas, which was a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I grew a lot of confidence. I felt confident on camera for the first time ever. And I really just kind of started to come out of my shell in a lot of ways.
But then I fell into my yoga pants, right. Which is when I started blogging back in 2012, I got the opportunity to work from home with my telecom job, which was amazing. It was my first time working from home. And I was loving every minute of it. But over the course of a few months, I started to notice some things happening where I wasn’t getting dressed every day.
I wasn’t putting on makeup anymore. I wasn’t fixing my hair. And while it felt super convenient at the time, and I’m like, yeah, I’m saving money. I’m saving time. This is awesome. I also noticed some things around me were changing. For instance, I wasn’t feeling as motivated about my job and I really started to get into this heavy.
It was probably more of a depression now that I’m looking back on it. I can see that more clearly, but I didn’t know how to dig myself out of this. And that’s when I really came back to basics and said, what was I doing when I was working in the office? That was different than obviously I had to keep hours because I had to work eight to five every day.
But I was also getting up earlier. I was getting dressed. I was putting on makeup. I was fixing my hair before I walked out the door everyday. And that was the one thing I knew that I could change and that I had power over doing that. Again, it seemed like such a simple change, but it ended up being so incredibly profound that I had to start blogging about it.
And that’s how get your pretty young goddess start now. Were you still acting and modeling over this whole time? Like over this crossover between working at home? For the most part? Yes. So shortly before I started blogging and I think blogging stepped into its place as a creative outlet for me, I realized within the acting space that in Dallas, I had kind of reached the pinnacle of as far as I could go in a career.
I had shot, I want to say 33 commercials in a year, which is a lot. I had done national commercials. I’d done independent film roles, which was your favorite job. Do you have a favorite? Does one combine. I love film work, anything that I can really just kind of get in touch with my emotions. So I’d have. I had a role in an independent film where I was able to really tap into that the spokesperson work and the commercial work, they give you the lines and they let you run with it, but you just don’t get that deep character development.
And I think that, that was the thing that I loved the most and theater. Oh my gosh. Life theaters is so fulfilling. Just getting that feedback from the audience immediately and feeling the energy in the room, nothing compares to that. So I would have to say theaters probably tied with film roles, but I love that.
Yeah. So I just kind of got to a point with that too, where I realized. I didn’t want to pick up my family, moved to LA. Right. And I just wasn’t sure where I was going next. So I talk about this period in my life where I kind of quit everything other than my corporate job. I was doing so many things. I was like on the HOA board and volunteering at my kids’ schools and doing the acting and modeling and life coaching and business coaching.
And working a full-time job. Like it was just too much probably where you could use your psych degree, the HOA board. Oh my gosh. You have no idea. There’s so much drama. So much drama. Yeah. Like forget an office. Just go to the HOA board. Everyone should have. Seriously. Yes, but that was one of the more stressful things in my life at the time.
And I’m like, I’m a volunteer on this board. Like, why am I going through this? Why am I putting myself through this? So once I quit all the stuff and got all this noise cleared out of my life, that white space was a little unnerving at first, but that’s also the opportunity that I had to go inward and say, what do I want to do going forward?
What do I want to create? And starting the blog was really. Honestly, I call it an accidental business because I was not planning a business out of this. It was a hobby, it was fun. It was a creative outlet that turned into so much more than I had had entrepreneurial pursuits in the past, on the side, other than all of those things going on, which I used to hide this from people I’m like, I don’t want you to know that I ran a nanny agency at one point or that I had a personalized gift business at one point.
But now I embrace all those parts because I see, oh my gosh, that’s more than I was learning. How to do my own books or how to do social media or how to build a website or all the things that I’ve used over the course of the past nine years to build the business that I have today. So there was a lot going on during that period in time.
But I think the moral of the story is that clarity comes from engagement and experiences and trying things. And sometimes. Failing at them. And I embrace all parts of my story now, and I’m no longer embarrassed to share that I’ve done so many things because, Hey, there’s no shame in it, right? No, not at all.
I resonate so much with your story because from my part by education, I’m a nurse practitioner. I have two masters and, you know, I always joke that the 20 letters behind my name have nothing to do with blogging or even business really. Hm. I love that you mentioned, I’ve heard you say before that you blogged for several years before really seeing a profit on this, which is also understandable because I think a lot of people go into blogging.
This was my story. It was a creative outlet that I needed, kind of use the other side of my brain. And yeah, I wanted to make money on it, but I also, it takes a long time, even if you want to make money on it, to see money on it. At what point did you transition between? Okay, I’m blogging. This is fun. It’s a creative outlet too.
Wait a second. I can turn this into. Uh, business and that gray area in between where their struggles with doubt or question marks that suddenly you realized, oh, I could turn this into a business, but who am I going to be able to do that? Like tell me a little bit what your thought process was in those in-between moments, because the struggle is the piece that we rarely get to highlight in the run.
Yes. So going back to 2012, I realized very quickly that the blog was growing organically because I was offering a style of resource that wasn’t there. Weren’t a lot of people at the time talking about work from home style or stay at home style. It was more office style or Haute couture. And there weren’t a lot of people just talking to the everyday woman about what do we wear when we’re working from home during the day?
How do we look cute and put together when we run to target? And that’s exactly what my niche was. So laser before COVID. Yes. Yes. I know what you’re saying. I’m thinking like that’s crazy, like pre COVID that’s so true. And now it is, it’s funny to hear you say that, because now it’s like, that’s just, everyone’s working from home.
It’s so true. And that is true reasons. Maybe the primary reason why I had a business that grew during COVID, I mean, in the beginning, things slowed down a bit, but then it kind of exploded after that because. The things that I’ve kind of been preaching about for the past nine years, everybody was like, oh my gosh, yes.
I understand that. Now I’m in that rut. I’m in that place. So whenever that happened and things grew organically, I realized that I was kind of onto something, but I didn’t know what, because I wasn’t making money and I wasn’t going down the traditional blogger business model path of selling clothes through my blog because I didn’t buy a lot of clothes.
We’re using the things that were in my closet and mixing and matching them in different ways and showing women how to utilize what they already had. So I knew I wasn’t going to make money doing that through the commissions earned off of clothing. So in 2013, spring of 2013, my manager came to me and said, you have the opportunity to go retrain in the data side of the house, do something completely different in engineering than what you’re doing right now.
Or we can offer you a severance package. And I said, I’m ready. And I give me that severance pack. So I talked it over with my husband and we agreed that if we cut back on everything, we could make my severance stretch for up to a year. So I really just focused that year. I had a career counselor that was assigned to me from Verizon, anytime employee separate.
And that was one of the benefits that we got. We got to work with a career counselor and every week I would meet with her and she, and I would talk and she would say, Alison, you’ve really got to try to make something happen with this blog. Like, this is what we keep coming back to over and over. You don’t belong in corporate America, you should be your own boss.
And she, even first person that said to me, and you should also write a book someday. And so, oh, I really, those calls with Herber. One of the things that sustain me in the beginning, whenever I couldn’t see anything happening when the money wasn’t coming in, when the severance was dwindling month after month after month and nothing was happening, I got to the point about nine months later, where I still was not making any money.
I had a great audience. I had an amazing community around it. I did not have anything to sell them. So I met with a friend of mine who was a business coach and we just had an informal chat and she said, well, what are you selling them? And I said, well, nothing. I don’t want to sell them anything. I’ve built this community.
They trust me. It feels sleazy. She’s like Alison you’re giving them so much stuff for free. You’ve got all these free resources out here. You are serving them every single day. Ask them what they want. So I did, I did a survey, I put it out there and I said, what is something that I could give to you that would make your life easier around style?
And all the responses came in. There was a huge overlap in those responses that women said, would you please just give me a list of clothes to go out and buy, to rebuild my wardrobe or to have some basics in my closet and tell me what trends. So I started working on this list. I’m like, great. I can do this.
I know this inside and out. I do this with my own closet all the time. I created the shopping list and as I was going through it, I realized that what good is a list. If I’m not pairing up the pieces into outfits. So I inadvertently created a capsule wardrobe out of these pieces on this list. I launched it on my blog.
I think I charged $10 for it. That first time that I launched and I was like, oh my gosh, nobody’s going to sign up. I’ll be happy if 50 women like overjoyed a 50 women sign up 500 women signed up the very first time out of the gate. And that was the day that I said to my husband, you know what? I think we’re going to make it.
I think you said it was $10. It was like $10 for what did you offer? Initially, I was giving them a shopping list to basically start with in a wardrobe. So closet staples, and then also some seasonal trends to add into that list. And then I mixed and matched the pieces on that list up and at least four to five different ways to create a month’s worth of outfit.
So that was the. It was called style challenges back at the time we’ve rebranded as outfit formulas recently. Yes. There’s three things that I am taking notes over here that I just want to highlight because I think so many of my listeners and women and men, any entrepreneur starting. In a similar place.
And I feel like there’s phases of everyone’s journey that are just so similar and we need that same encouragement. But I think there’s three things that you mentioned. I hear frequently from successful entrepreneurs. And number one, you mentioned that you cut back. It’s so easy to just highlight the fact that you now run a seven figure business and to see all the success.
And it takes a little bit of forcefully pressing the rewind button. And I think it’s important for people to hear. And I mean, I’ve been here and I would argue, I am still here. Most successful entrepreneurs cut back. At some point, they make sacrifices. Short-term sacrifices for long-term gain. And you guys did that for a year with your severance pay.
You took a risk, but you made an intentional choice. And I also heard the personal accountability is something that is so huge. If you’re listening to this and you’re struggling, Alison had somebody speaking into her and with that personal. I wasn’t from the, uh, career advice. I think that’s so important too, is you need somebody who can see the bigger picture who’s been there, done that, and is smarter than we are to speak into our lives and to say, keep going and to meet you where you’re at.
And then the third thing that I’m hearing that you did that I think is so excellent is you serve to the people. Who were already there, you resource them, you ask them, what can I do better for you? And sometimes we forget about that and we want to keep gaining new business, new clients when maybe the answer is you need to pull.
The people who are currently serving and ask them, how can I serve you better? So I just wanted to point that out. Those are the three things that I heard that I just think is so awesome that you’re communicating. And anyway, for anybody listening, who’s discouraged right now, I would consider you to do at least one of those three things, if not all, three of those things.
In addition to everything that you just said, all of these incredible accomplishments, you are also a wife and a mom of three. I believe, I think I have their names. Right? Is it Devin? Aubrey and Ava? Yes. And I think I saw that Alberry did she just take over your jewelry line? She did. Yeah. So Abra graduated in may from TCU and she has a psychology degree and she came to me and said, I’m not excited about any of the options that are out there right now.
Yes. So recognizing her journey at that point in time, I had the jewelry business up for sale because she and I had started it before she went off to college. It was something that I was doing on the side. Had some people that were helping me. I just didn’t have the bandwidth to focus on it. So she came to me one day and said, you know what?
I’ve really been thinking about it. And I would love to take over the jewelry business and try to make a go of it and focus on it full time. So she started doing that shortly after she graduated, she’s launched a subscription box program. She has grown our sales by at least 50%. It’s amazing watching her blossom and grow and get involved in every part of being an entrepreneur.
And, you know, she comes to me with. Almost daily, but I noticed that every day she just trusts herself a little bit more, trust her instincts more in his able to view it as her business now and taking the steps that she needs to take in order to grow it. But I think the coolest part of being an entrepreneur for myself and seeing it in her is the personal development that comes along with that.
And a lot of times we don’t really acknowledge that as part of the journey. It is such an important part of the journey. And like I’ve learned so much about myself just from being an entrepreneur and all the ways that I’ve had to put myself out there on the risks that I’ve had to take it. I don’t even consider myself a risk taker.
I’ve had to take some pretty big risks over the years. And fortunately most of them have paid off and some have not, but I’ve learned from those two, so, well, it speaks highly of you because I think oftentimes kids, if they see a parent doing something and the parent does not do it well or destroys relationships in the process because of fill in the blank, it’s the last thing that they want to do.
So. I admire you because if a child is following in your footsteps and that speaks really highly of how you have not only been successful as an entrepreneur, but the way that you have still built and sustained the relationships at home. And that is a question that I would love to hear your advice on as a mom of three.
In all of this, sometimes we forget that, oh, PS, I’m also a mom. Right. Which is like the most full-time job. There is no clock in clock, out with parenting. How do you balance building a seven figure business while still building your relationships at home? What advice do you have? Certainly for myself and for any of us listening, what advice do you have for us really starting this business.
Was about them. And I knew that I wanted time and financial freedom because of my family. I didn’t want anybody telling me that I had to travel or that I had to be somewhere that I didn’t want to be, or I had to work hours that I didn’t want to work. And granted, there were years where I really had to lean hard into the business to get it where it is today, but with the ultimate goal of knowing.
That this will pay off. And to an extent, I feel like I’ve almost spoiled my kids in the regard that when they came out of college, I’ve had two that have graduated in. Both of them kind of struggled with that. I don’t know that I want to go into working a nine to five. I do want to do something for myself.
I don’t know what that is yet. And that’s when I get to go back and revisit the story and say, Hey, you remember the days when I was working at variety. And the things that I had going on on the side, like my 25 year old son now is working in corporate America, but he’s also building his real estate investment portfolio on the side.
And my 22 year old is now decided she wants to go straight down the entrepreneurial path. So I think that setting that example for them of, yes, you can have life this way. You can have the time and financial freedom. You just need to take these steps to get there and understand that there is sacrifice involved.
And they do understand that. I think a lot of business owners that I even talked to to this. That want some mentoring or to pick my brain or whatever. I’m always willing to have coffee with them and sit down. But if one of the first things they say to me is I’m going to give myself three months to make money at this business.
Then I say, you’re probably not, probably not going to succeed. I’m sorry to tell you that you get a psych degree. Exactly. Yes. Then you’ll be fine. Yes, exactly. But it is such a journey and it is been such a privilege to be able to do this and have. Kind of see that transition for me. I wasn’t always an entrepreneur things.
Weren’t always this way. We had struggles. We had $10 Fridays when I was working through that year on my severance. We would not go out to dinner all week. We would take $10, go to little Caesar’s and get a pizza and get a movie at red box. And that was like our thing for the week. And we have fond memories looking back on $10 Fridays now.
They’re all grown up and things are way different now, but I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything in the world. And just being able to go through that with them has been such an amazing journey. And I have had so much time and freedom with them and I still close my laptop by four to five o’clock every single day, I try to stay off social media in the evenings.
I want to be fully present with my family because they’re the reason that I’m doing all of this, like keeping the. It’s sometimes you can get clouded up, whatever everything else is going on, but just really focusing on keeping that priority and keeping it in the forefront. It hasn’t been difficult if I’m being honest, there have been busy times busy days.
This chair right behind me in my office every single day. When my kids got home from school, they sit down on the chair and they tell me about their day and I turned around so that I’m not facing my laptop intentionally so that I can focus on them. And that’s still the highlight of my day. My daughter’s a senior now, so I’m not going to get to enjoy it much longer, but I’m going to enjoy, there’ll be back.
If there are anything like. My parents they’ll be back coming back. I love the intentionality that you’ve communicated, because again, it’s these little decisions that we make to be intentional. Like you can have both, it doesn’t have to be an either or type of scenario, but you have to be intentional about it.
That has been the greatest learning curve for me working from home. I don’t have a swipe in swipe out job anymore, and I love the work and it’s so easy for me to very quickly get caught up in the work. And I’m like, oh my word, I have not sat down with my kids all day today. And mine are little eight, seven, and four, but absolutely turning off your phone.
Or at least turning off social media and closing laptop was one of the first things I had to learn. And four o’clock is actually kind of the time that I tried to do too. But I love that. And when you started in this role, especially a virtual business, can you think of a time where it had to be a huge learning curve?
It was for me. Can you think of a funny mistake that you made at any point during this journey that you were like, oh my word, I can’t believe I did that, but it was like a lesson learned. I’ve got 5 million of them. Oh my gosh, the list goes on and on. But like, I think sometimes people don’t appreciate, they hear, oh, you started a blog.
I didn’t know what a blog. I didn’t know what a widget was. I was like, is this a character out of star wars? This is not a real thing. I had no social media when I started, I had no idea what I was doing. So I’m wondering, do you have any. But you can think of there’s so many, there’s so many. So whenever I first launched, I knew nothing about blogging either.
So I was figuring all that out as I went along, but the engineering background did help me figure out the tech stuff. But when I created my first membership site and launched the first program, I just cobbled things together on the backend. I was doing like password protected pages on WordPress and like go to PayPal button code that I was pulling over.
It was not secure at all, but I realized during one of my launches that for a full day, I gave away free access to my broker. So, and there was nothing I could do about it. They had the digital download and off, they went on their Merry way. So I’d have to say that was probably one of the biggest mistakes I ever made.
Just finally having that realization as I came to check my sales numbers on date. That I had no money in my bank account. And my biggest day of sales is always the day my cart opens in the day it closes. So yeah, that was a pretty tough lesson to learn. And you know what I, now that I think about that, I want to say that I had a customer who came to me and said, Hey, I wanted to let you know, I signed up for the program, but I don’t see the.
And that was the thing I believe that actually did cue me in. And then I logged in the next morning. I was like, oh no, this is not good, but aren’t you so grateful for those clients though? I’m so grateful for the ones who are like, Hey, did you know that X, Y, Z, isn’t working. I’m like, okay, I know that hundreds, maybe thousands of people have seen that and not taking the time.
Yes. Yes. Always. So appreciative, please point out my mistakes, please let me know. Even if it’s a typo, I don’t care. Like. Exactly. If you could use one word, this is always a really hard question, but if you could use one word to sum up the key to success, what would it be? Hm, this is such a good one. There’s so many that just instantly popped into my head.
And I’m always attempted to pick the Boerum one because it’s consistency. It is, it’s not sexy at all. It is just getting up and showing up every single day, whether you feel like it or not, because you don’t have to feel it to do. And that applies to everything in life, whether it’s getting dressed or working out or showing up after you just had a really, really crappy day in business, you just have to keep showing up.
That’s the key to success. It has been for me. And I still tell myself that every single day, just like keep showing up and the magic will happen. There’s no, short-cutting the process. But as long as you’re being consistent with it, you will get results. Even if you can’t see it right now. I love that. And the last question I want to ask before we take a break is what is one goal you hope to achieve yet in your lifetime?
It could be personal or professional. We’re all about goals here. So I would love to hear what is one that you still would like to accomplish? I would love to have a New York times bestseller. Ooh. I don’t think I’ve ever said that out loud before. Yeah. Hey, we threw it out there everywhere. Write that down.
Alright, universe, you heard that once a New York times bestseller go, you’re going to get it. I don’t know that I do not doubt that. I love that. Well, after you launch your New York times best. Come on back on absolutely 100%. We are going to take a quick break, but stay tuned for a speed round of this or that with Alison.
And then we’re going to also learn from her expertise and discover practical ways to create a flatter. Functional wardrobe for every body and budget. When we come back from this break, save time, get practical inspiration delivered to your inbox every month. With exclusive access to the premier digital women’s health and home magazine for just 1499 a month, you will get delicious and nutritious recipes, essential cleaning, and organization hacks.
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Perfectly empowered journal tab to sign up for a free issue of the imperfectly empowered. Today. Welcome back. We are here with Alison Lombardo. We’re going to do a quick speed round of this or that. Alison, we’re going to get to know you a little bit better. You will get two options. You don’t have to think about it too hard.
Whichever one comes to mind. So first one M and M’s or Skittles, Skittles cake or pie. Hi. Ooh. Favorite pie pumpkin. Ooh, that’s a great choice. Music or podcasts. Favorite band or artists?
Uh, I love rap. I’ve got to admit it. I love Drake. Okay. Between Drake and beaver. Oh, okay. Hey, no judgment here. Do you ever listen to Lecrae? You’ve heard of Lecrae. I love him. He’s a Christian rapper, but he’s amazing. Family card, game or board. Yeah. Board game. Do you have a family favorite? We play so many more games, especially during the holidays.
It’s like constant. My husband’s the big board game lover. We have one that’s called. Smart a and it’s a fun. Yeah, it’s a trivia game. And I went it every single time and there’s like this running family joke. I’m an Enneagram five. So trivia is my jam and we even have like guests over and we’ll play the game together and they’ll say, oh, you just wait, I’m going to beat you at this game.
And then I ended up winning it every time. And I’m not even saying that, like I know a little bit about a lot. Let’s just say that I don’t know a lot about any deep subjects, but yeah. I usually win, oh my God. Terrible at trivia while you would crush me shoes or purses. Oh man. That’s like asking me what kid is my favorite.
It’s really equal I’ve shoes, shoes, shoes. Do you have a favorite brand or. Not really? No, I just like something that’s a little bit funky and a little bit different. I’m a pretty classic girl, but I always look for those little details that make something just kind of special. I love that. I’m a shoe girl.
I’m with you there. Okay. What’s worse. Laundry or dishes, dishes, cups in the cupboard. Do you stack them right side up or upside down, upside down online shopping or shopping? Online all the way. Oh, interesting. Okay. Some people it’s funny. They’re really passionate about this one. There’s some retail shoppers that are like, I will not shop online.
It’s like the experience of walking into the store. Is there like therapy? Yeah. Flats or heels? I love heels. I wear flats almost every day, but I’m a heel lover. Yeah. London or Paris. Ooh, Paris. Cabin by the lake or house on the beach beach. That’s an easy I’m with you there. That’s again, people have that answer really, really quickly.
So I want to point out as we’re talking about clothing, a lot of people may not realize this. I am very confident that you do, but for our friends that are listening or watching, when we talk about clothing and getting yourself ready for the day, I want you to understand too, that there are actually studies that have shown that simply putting on makeup, doing your hair, putting on clothes that make you feel confident has a direct correlation on improved productivity.
So I want to throw that out there as we start to dive into this expertise, because I think a lot of people don’t realize that. What you are doing in the morning, what you were doing to get ready. What you’re wearing has truly been shown in research to have an effect on not just your mood and outlook, but what you are actually able to accomplish in a day.
So there is very, very good reasons. To pay attention here to buy her book, to check out her website, we’ll get into all this. But from my part, my listeners are familiar with this story. I am not a morning person by nature. And I had to force myself when I started working from home to establish an early morning routine.
And the last thing that I finally got a hang of was getting myself dressed for the day. Cause I would always work out in the afternoon. Because I was an athlete for years. And so I was kind of just trained, you worked out in the afternoon, but then I would wear sweat pants all day were workout clothes all day long.
So that was really, really hard for me. I’ve worked for several years now to try to. That as a part of my day-to-day life and my baseline, so that I’m a little bit more resilient and making that happen day after day. Are you naturally a morning person or have you had to discipline yourself over the years to establish a morning routine and get yourself ready for the day?
I know you had that kind of the yoga pants slump, but typically, are you a morning person or is this just something that has happened over years? Of creating that discipline in your life. And what strategies would you offer for people trying to do that? I am not a morning person and I’m still not a morning person.
And as a matter of fact, I was probably dressed and ready earlier today, simply because I had interviews and zoom going on this morning, but I am a routine person. And I think it’s important to note that some days I don’t get dressed and ready for the day until one or two o’clock in the afternoon. On my days, whenever I do work out in the mornings where I have a lot going on.
What I try to do is structure my schedule around that. So I’ll know that today, maybe my zoom calls or in-person meetings happen from this point forward instead of earlier in the day. So the days that I know I’m not going to be able to get dressed and ready as early, I can build a little bit of space into my schedule for that, but I do get dressed and ready every single day.
Some days it’s not until three o’clock. But I noticed that if I don’t, it does affect my motivation and my mood. And I have those red flags in my life that are kind of like the warning signs for, Hey, it’s time to get dressed. I may have two or three days in row that will go. Where I am just staying in my yoga pants, where I’m not putting on makeup and I start to feel it every single time.
Like it affects my motivation and the way things are happening around the house. Like maybe there’s dirty dishes in the sink or I’m making the bed later in the day or whatever, but I’ve come to be able to realize that there are certain things going on in my inbox. That are telling me, Hey, let’s just refocus on the routine.
And I know what the routine means. The routine means get in the shower and get dressed. Put on makeup. I was thinking about this yesterday because I was tempted. I got out of the shower, I got dressed. I sat down to do my makeup and then I thought, oh, I want to run an answer. A couple emails really quickly.
And then I have this role for myself. Do not leave the bathroom until you are completely ready, because I know if I do. Then I run the risk of getting involved in something else and just not focusing that time on me. And it’s part of my self-care. So while it’s not happening at the same time every day, I do maintain the routine every day.
It just kind of a little bit more flexible than that, but I do make sure that I get dressed and ready every single day is the most practical tip that you could give somebody who is trying. Start that process, whether it be an early morning routine, or just simply, where do you start? Because the problem is there’s multiple things that we all know as women, we need to be doing every day, at least five days a week, such as exercising or getting a healthy meal prepared for our family or getting dressed.
And sometimes it can feel overwhelming. It’s like, oh my gosh, there’s so much that needs to be happening every day. What is a practical piece of advice that you could give somebody to just start. To take care of yourself and implement this type of discipline. Yeah. So the very first thing that I did back when I was in my yoga pants, rod, I sat down the night before and I planned out my next day.
And I really think that that pre-planning was the thing that turned everything around for me. I live and die by a calendar. I put everything in there. My non-negotiables like getting ready every single day. And like I said, it varies from day to day, depending upon what my work schedule is, but it’s in there every single day.
So I sit down on Sunday mornings. I have my digital calendar. That’s on my phone and my laptop, but I also keep a paper calendar so that I have something in front of me. My three rocks for the day, the three most important things that I’m going to focus on. I try not to get too overwhelmed by stuffing too much into one day, but usually at the top of the day, I have getting dressed in that calendar.
If I’m able to accomplish it at the top of the day, on the days that I work out in the mornings that it gets pushed to around 1130 or 12. I give myself some grace and some leeway, but just having that in the schedule and knowing that I’m going to make it happen, it feels that much more real to me. And then I also love just being able to check that off.
Like, there’s that sense of accomplishment of being able to say I did that. I got dressed today. Like I got myself ready for the. It’s a really good feeling. Well, I know you’re the checklist lover, which is why your book spoke to my heart because you guys, there’s all kinds of checklists and this and things that you can like circle and take notes.
So I was like, have this woman speaking my language. Do you put times next to the things that you want to do when you say you plan your day? Or is it more just. Put your top three things, make sure you check those things off or do you actually like kind of block schedule your day? So my paper calendar has space at the top where I can put my big rocks for the day.
So that’s before the hourly schedule starts and then I have an hourly schedule under that, which goes the whole way through the evening. So I put things into the hourly schedule and sometimes they shift a little bit, especially if they’re not work calls or something like that. I do write everything in there that I want to accomplish in the day.
And then at the bottom of the day, I believe there’s space for additional notes and certain things that I don’t want to forget. So I’ll write those in there too, but the paper calendar thing just works so well for me to have. Sitting here staring at me all day while I’m working and staying on track and on schedule with it.
I’m with you. I’m the multi-colored pen, highlighter paper planner, girl. I love it. I love it. Okay. Let’s talk about capsule wardrobes. So you’re world renowned outfit. Formula styling program is really all about creating a capsule wardrobe. So tell me what is a capsule wardrobe and how do we create one for our body?
Yeah. So I will say this in the beginning, I didn’t even realize that created a capsule wardrobe. One of my followers came to me and said, oh my gosh, I love this capsule wardrobe. And I was like, wait, what? So I had to Google the term. That’s awesome. Oh, okay. That was an accident. Cool. Let’s embrace this. So a capsule wardrobe is basically a smaller set of clothing that you can mix and match with each other to create outfits.
If we take this back, I think it was started back in the sixties by a London boutique owner, and it was a smaller set of clothes. So maybe like 12 pieces in a capsule that could be mixed and matched. I’ve taken the concept a little bit further with outfit formulas, which is more of a proprietary framework where I’m taking.
Tops bottoms, jackets, shoes, and accessories. So there are five different categories and creating outfits and mixing and matching the pieces within those categories. So you may have five to six bottoms in the capsule. So those are going to be anything you wear on the lower half of your body, which could be pants or.
And then I put about five to six tops in the capsule, a few different jackets that could be blazers. It could be a Moto jacket, something that you’re going to wear as a topper for your outfits. Then of course your shoes and accessories. You get to pick the shoes that work for your lifestyle because I’m not gonna.
Leopard print heels on there. If you’re working from home all day, which I’ve done that before, but I’ve worn them working from home, but those are my confidence shoes. Sometimes whenever I’m having like a big interview and I just want to feel like I’m slaying the day I will put on my power. And I will sit at my desk with those shoes on, but anyway, I’m getting sidetracked, but the capsule wardrobe is just essentially a mixture of these pieces in the capsule that you can use to combine different outfits.
It’s kind of like Garanimals. If you’re a little kid and you had the little mix and match pieces in your wardrobe that had the little stickers on them, that blinds go with lions and bears go with bears. It’s that same concept where I’m showing you different ways to mix and match sometimes pieces that you already have in your closet.
Most of us have. A lot of really good basic items in our closet, but we keep going out and buying more stuff because we think that’s the solution to getting dressed every day. When really it’s just looking at your closet through a different lens and seeing what you already have and the ways that you can pair up what’s in there.
Then making the effort to intentionally add things every season to keep it fresh and new, whether it’s a new color, seasonal color trend, a new pattern, a new style, a syllabus. Something that just kind of refreshes those basics yet. You’re not having to go out and spend a ton of money every season and you can still feel installed.
One of the things that I took away from your book that was so helpful is you mentioned that the capsule wardrobe may even include a lot of pieces that you currently have in your closet. And you have in the book, you talk about these fashion rules and fashion rule, number nine. It’s so simple. And yet it made so much sense to me.
You said fit matters more than anything. And you mentioned that the best fitting. Clothing should skim over your body. It shouldn’t constrict or be too loose or baggy. I am no fashion used to inform me for some reason that just really resonated with me. Like I need to go through my wardrobe and if it is not flattering, if it is not skimming, I think especially like shirts and dresses, that concept where it’s not hugging in the wrong places where it’s highlighting the right.
That was so helpful because I went through and I just got bagged the things that one I haven’t worn yet. Years. And to that, I felt like when I had them on, they were hugging the wrong places or were, were too baggy in others. So I looked for clothes that were skimming. I just loved that word. It made so much sense to me.
So I think for anybody listening and thinking like, oh my gosh, you have to go buy a new wardrobe. You are so good at communicating that. No, you just have to know. Which ones actually you should be wearing. Absolutely could include pieces that are there, that you’ve just never styled. Right? It’s so true. We don’t worry about 80% of what’s in our closets at any given time we’re wearing about 20% of what’s in there.
So the reason I liked the checklists and the book is because you can go through and check off anything that you do already have and see that. Through the lens of how could I pair this up in ways that I’ve never worn it before and really just pulling every piece out of your closet and asking yourself, do I feel good in this?
Does this make me feel confident? Does it fit and flatter my body? When I look in the mirror, does it make me feel good? Do I want to step out in public in this item? And I’m all about choosing your favorite body part and showcasing it like. A beautiful way to celebrate our bodies and also not covering a lot of women when they come to me, they’ll say what’s appropriate for me.
I’m over 40 or I’m a new mom, or I’m an empty nester. Like what is age appropriate that I get asked that question all the time. And I always go back to say, what is you appropriate? What feels appropriate for you? You can wear ripped jeans over 50. There’s no rule that says that. As long as it fits. And fodders your body, you do a selfie litmus test.
Take that selfie in the mirror. Does it look good? Do you feel good in it? And if you’re not sure, send that selfish to your most honest friend and ask them because they will tell you because your famous quote is if it’s not a heck. Yes, it’s a no, yes. Quality over quantity people. If it’s not a. It’s a no another question that I am sure you are asked all of the time, because as I was reading through your book, this thought popped into my head and then the very next chapter you addressed it.
And I was like, we need to be friends. So how do we know what our personal style is? How do we know what type, like, what is my style? How do you determine that when your closet is mix and match of maybe the last two decades of life, how would we determine that? Yeah. So the funny thing about style is that you can reinvent yourself at any point in time, right?
You can be classic minimalist one day, you can be modern edgy the next day. You can be boho the day after that, you can be feminine. You don’t have to lock yourself into one style personality, which is amazing. And I think as women, when we get older, we realize that freedom that we don’t have to define ourselves into one box, but if you are in a box and you’ve known your style and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you’ve known your style, since you’ve been a teenage.
Which I have. I know that I tend toward the classics and I love to just throw in some trends. That’s just who I am. And sometimes those trends do feel more modern or more boho or more edgy or more feminine. But I feel like I know myself well in that space, but if you have no idea where to start, number one, go to.
Start pinning images that appeal to you. Search for outfits. You can do this seasonally, or you can just look at outfits in general. Don’t overthink it. Start pinning away. Once you have about 25 to 50 pins in your folder, and then you can either do this with a friend, send us to your friend, say, Hey, take a look at this.
Tell me what your. Or you can do this yourself. What types of patterns are in these outfits? I’m a lover of stripes and leopard. So a lot of my outfits are going to have stripes and LeBron in them. What colors are represented here? Are you more of a neutral color palette girl? Do you like a pop of color?
Are you both color all over? Do you like bold patterns? What are the silhouettes like? Are they very clean lines? Are they modern? Is this more feminine? Is it more boho? What kind of vibes are you picking up? Through these pieces. Is it very lady-like are you more of like a Jackie O type or a Kate Middleton?
You’ll be able to pick up clues from these outfits that you pin that should get you down to at least one to three categories that you think you can fall in. And then. Look at your own closet, what are you drawn to over and over again? When you go out in the store? I always tell this story. I tell it in the book too.
I think I quoted 12 striped shirts in the book, but I actually had 15 when I went back and counted them. Cause I kept going out and buying the same black and white striped shirt. That was a whole different issue. I wasn’t taking an inventory of my closet because I was a bad shopper, but that told me something about myself.
Like I love French minimalist and that classic style vibe that is so jam. That’s why I go out and buy black and white striped shirts all the time. Really just pay attention to all of these cues and clues, and they will reveal things about your style personality and ask your friends. Think about, do you have a friend that you really admire her style and maybe that gives you some clues to, or a celebrity that you would love to have her wardrobe.
That’s going to also give you some clues on your own personal style personality. Yeah, that was so helpful in the book. The other thing that was incredibly helpful was the very practical numbers based approach to determining. Your body type. And again, one of the challenges, I think many of us face, especially those of us who are really not that knowledgeable about fashion is maybe you just simply need a numbers based approach to what you should be wearing.
And in the book. There are actually like formulas with numbers. You measure, you take four different measurements and then Alison has actual like this divided by this times, this, and if it is greater than, or less than this, then you are a pair type and then you laid out, this is what you should definitely not be wearing.
This is what you should be wearing. You guys, this is like a goldmine here. And you should say, I’ve got highlights. I’ve got like pencil notes everywhere. My husband was like, what are you doing? I said, I am following Allison’s advice, walk away. So I’m a rectangle and it was really helpful to read through what you were saying you should be wearing versus what you shouldn’t be wearing.
Are there any rules that you would especially care to share for the different bodies? Like one thing you shouldn’t wear, if you are this body type, I really think with the body shape portion of this book, this was something that my publisher very much pushed for in the book, because. I really wanted to celebrate all body shapes and all body types and show you that your super power that you have has every single body shape has a super power in their thing, that they can really flaunt.
And as a rectangle, you know, you are in one of the luckiest categories that there are because you couldn’t wear practically anything. And it’s amazing. So for rectangles shapes, one of the things that, and yet. And yet you don’t feel it. I know we all struggle with finding genes, right? It’s all about finding that perfect fitting pair of jeans, which every woman knows is a unicorn.
And when you find it, make sure you buy it in multiple washes because. I want to go back and get more pears. It’s true. So yeah, with rectangles, you’re very proportioned through your shoulders and your hips. So the one thing that you want to do is accentuate your waist. So you’ll be looking for things that kind of nip in at the waist, but you have those nice, beautiful shoulders that you can hide.
I love highlighting all of the body shapes with neck lines, really just drawing the eye towards your face and towards your pretty neck line. V-necks are a great way to do that. And this isn’t really body shape specific, but for most of the body shapes, we’re looking at things for curvy body shapes. You have that beautiful hourglass shape.
Again, accentuating your waist. You typically have your proportions are matching between your shoulders and your hips. If you’re a curvy body as. So you can wear mostly anything. If you’re curvy, I am a pair or a triangle shape. So I’m always trying to draw the eye up, doing things like what I am today. A wider shoulder on my shirts, anything that kind of draws that eye up and makes me look broader across the top half of my body, which is then the opposite.
If you are the pear shape, then you probably have smaller legs and carry more of your weight towards your middle. So in that case is again about accentuating the middle widdling things down and really just focusing on where you want to draw the eye in your outfits and celebrating that part of your body.
Yeah, that’s such, I mean, it’s a gold mine in here that section, especially because it’s so very practical, which I’m all about. This is a really specific question. But do you have a particular thought on the wider belts versus skinny belts? Yes. So, so right now, as far as trends are concerned, the wider belts are more on trend and wearing those at the natural waist.
So if you’re wearing. At your natural waist, which is about an inch above your belly button, not where your pants hit generally, but where you would put a belt. If you were wearing a dress or a belted cardigan, then I would do the wider belts right now. A lot of those are elasticized. So you don’t have to worry about it being the right size for you.
It’s just going to stretch along the sides of it. And then it’ll look in the front to probably be leather or some other material on the front of it in hook. So I love the wider belts for belting sweater dresses, which are super on trend. Right. For belting, those bigger cardigans, or if you’re wearing some layers and you want to draw everything in, I would go with a wider belt, the skinny belts.
I love those with jeans. Like I love a skinny leopard calf hair belt with a pair of black jeans. I think it’s a very classic look, tuck in a button-down chambray top with that. And you have an instant outfit. So those are my, I don’t think there were any rules as far as belts are concerned, but that’s just my preference for styling belts.
If you’re going to do wide versus skinny. Also, I encourage everyone listening and watching to follow. Alison, if you’re not already, you give some of the most practical advice. I think I just saw one that you did. Where should your jeans? Because the shorter jeans are now a style, the like crop jeans, and she did this incredible video on how far they should land above your boot.
There’s something so simple, but it’s amazing how much more put together you look when you’re wearing. Things that are actually flattering your body and your body type. So be sure to follow her on social media and we’ll have all of this on the show notes on the firstname.lastname@example.org. You must visit WW dot outfit, formulas.com and be able to check all of these amazing styling programs for free.
Not only do you need this book as well, but I love the very last page of your book. Alison resonated so much. It’s definitely, we share a heartbeat here, but Alison says, if you walk away with just one thing from this book, I want it to be this. You are worthy, you are wonderfully made by your creator. Never, ever forget this.
And why I love this so much is that, you know, we live in a day and age where. Too often our definition and our worth is being driven by how we appear or our accomplishments or our achievements. And someone might ask, well, how do you resonate and reconcile that message with a book, all about appearances.
And I would say that you cannot be redefined, but you can be redeveloped. That’s my heartbeat that you were. Infinitely made valuable the day you were in it together in your mother’s room, by a divine creator and nothing that you do or say can add to or detract from that worth. But you can be redeveloped to live with more confidence, more freedom, more joy, and fulfill your God-given purpose and this book and what Alison does.
It’s just that it is helping you redevelop to live with more confidence and to fulfill your God-given purpose with maybe a just slightly brighter smile. So Alison is truly an honor to have you on here. And I really pray God’s were just blessing over your family. And Aubrey is she’s pursuing a new endeavor and I’m so grateful for your input in all of our lives.
You are really a role model for us. Thank you so much, you are making a difference in this world. And I think that’s beautiful. I, I love your message of redefining. I’m sorry. Say that again. Cause I actually want to write that down. Like I love that. Yeah. Uh, my heartbeat, what all my followers, my clients may say is that you cannot be redefined only redeveloped.
Okay. I love that. Ah, this is so good. Thank you. But again, thank you. Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of the imperfectly empowered podcast. It is my honor to be here with you. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. If you are watching on YouTube, be sure to click the subscribe button below.
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