November 7, 2014 - Style, Style Challenges

Sharing Your Stories

Style challenges change lives.

When I ask for feedback from challengers, this is the one thing that I hear over and over again.  Many of the women who participate in these challenges have life changing experiences.

It’s something that’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been through one.  How could a shopping list with 21 days of outfits really change someone’s life?

Because it’s not about the shopping list or outfits, it’s about so much more.

When I did the first Style Me Pretty Challenge earlier this year, it was to provide a way to make a personal stylist affordable to every woman.  My goal is for all of us to feel pretty every day.

What I didn’t realize is that it would lead to so much more.

These women find something that a lot of them thought they had lost.  They find confidence, better self-esteem, improved health and relationships and lasting friendships with a tribe of other women just like them.

And no, I’m not giving myself credit in any way.  These women are the ones doing all of the work.

Because it’s so hard for me to put into words, I thought I’d share some stories and confident, smiling faces from the Fall Style Me Pretty Challenge with you today.

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“As a first-time participant in the Style Me Pretty Challenge, let me just say that it has definitely had a positive impact on me.  I feel much more confident in knowing how to incorporate colors and patterns in my wardrobe and am learning to step out of my comfort zone and try something new that I may not have worn before!  The positive comments, compliments, and encouragement from fellow challengers is so uplifting ~ you ladies really know how to make a girl feel good about herself!  Best of all, knowing ahead of time what to wear the next day is such a time saver!  Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us and helping me gain some much needed self confidence!” – Jill E.

“I’m currently living the dream…I’m a new mom to a 16 month old little girl and married to a wonderful man (he’s younger to boot!)  I work from home 50+ hours a week, so it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of t-shirts and sweats, because I really have no where to go and no one else is going to see me.  I recently gave up on the idea that I was ever going to fit back in to my pre-baby clothes, coming to the realization that our bodies are just different after giving birth.  So, hesitantly, I threw out nearly everything in my closet with the mindset that I will embrace this new body and start shopping for my body today, not my body 2 years ago.  My dearest friend told me about you and this style challenge, so I jumped at the chance to join.  It sure has been a fun experience.  I can absolutely say that it has changed my life for the better.  I feel better because I know I look better, and that goes a long way each and every day, both professionally and personally.  I get compliments every time I step out of the house, and of course my husband loves the new looks.  I didn’t realize how my dressing down every day was affecting him as well. What’s so great about this challenge is how easy you make it for us newbies, and then the Facebook group just lets women empower each other with compliments, advice, etc.  It goes way beyond clothes! Thank you for what you are doing!  You are touching thousands of women in ways I bet you had never considered. Keep on rockin’ it!” – Becky W.

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“As a busy stay at home mom of three, fashion hasn’t been my priority since my first child was born almost 7 years ago.  I have literally gained and lost 140 lbs over the course of three pregnancies and now that I am finally back at my goal weight, it felt so awesome to go shopping again!  With Alison’s list in my hands, I went on a shopping marathon and I have been so pleased with my purchases.  It feels amazing to have my outfits picked out for me the night before.  No more staying in my PJs all day or wearing my yoga pants for the 99th time.  It is hard to be in a bad mood when you are in a fabulous outfit!  It may seem silly, but this challenge has given my self esteem a big boost and as a result, I am nicer to everyone around me.  Thank you Alison!” – Sheryl J.
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“I’m not sure where to start but I think it is best to begin with the shopping list. This tool has changed the way I shop. Instead of wandering aimlessly through the mall trying to find what is in style, I now have a guide for both the season and what is in style. Next would be the daily outfits. In the beginning, I thought I had to mirror them exactly. After the Facebook group began posting, I realized I feel better about myself and my outfit when I tailor it to my colors and body shape. However, the basic principle is provided for me to have a visual idea of what I’m trying to put together. Lastly would be how my confidence has grown to try things that are outside my comfort zone and embrace the tall person I am today. With this knowledge, I’ve been able to adapt my outfits using things I pin on Pinterest as well. I’m so happy that I stumbled across your blog. It has been such an inspiration for me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!” – Bonnie B.
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“After the birth of my second child I have lived in yoga pants and my hair in a pony. He is two now, but is a horrible sleeper, up at all hours every night. I am always exhausted and unmotivated to take care of myself. Your challenge has kicked my butt into getting dressed for the day and having a routine for ME! I may not do anything outside of the house, but I feel like I get more accomplished around the house when I am put together!” – Jessica D.

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“Thank you for giving me some direction and guidance for it has helped me take more interest in making me be the best all around me that I can possibly be.”  – Deeanne P.

fall-challenge-week-3-6 Thank you for making getting dressed in the morning fun again…like the movie Groundhog Day, I feel like every morning is the first day of school and I am excited about all of the new ways I have to wear my clothes!! The best part of the challenges for me has been the ease with which I am able to create my own outfits and get dressed for almost any activity.  BC (in this case)=Before Challenge, I would stand in my closet and look at all of my clothes but not be able to figure out what to wear. Now, no matter the season, the weather or the occasion, I feel like I have the pieces to (pack and) put together appropriate outfits.  I no longer wonder if what I am wearing is age appropriate because I feel comfortable and confident in every challenge outfit.  Sure, some of the pieces are a step or two out of my comfort zone but that’s what makes these challenges great.  They CHALLENGE YOU!  They challenge you to try something new, to use the essential pieces in outfits you adapt to fit your lifestyle. Since my retirement, I have been rediscovering myself from the inside out…BUT I have also been rediscovering myself from the outside in!” – Leslie C.

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This fall challenge has been so good for me, I’m learning so much about putting outfits together, but the best part to me has been the support from other women!  Women can be hard on each other!  But this group of women is just fabulous and so sweet in offering suggestions and help in such a lovely way!  My husband has had a blast taking my picture and seeing what I’m going to put together each day!  Young moms at church say “I hope I look like you do when I’m your age!”  And, that is such a nice feeling.” – Susie B.

“This Challenge has been exactly what I needed! Fashion has never been my thing. My focus has always been my kids and husband and house decorating.  Shopping for clothes was something I dreaded and only looked for something new for Holidays or a special occasion and my wardrobe reflected that. Now, I love shopping for clothes because I know what I’m looking for and this casual chic style is spot on for me. 🙂 Thank you so much Alison for giving me the ability to feel confident again!” – Sandi M.

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“Thank you for the time and effort you have invested in creating stylish, casual outfits that can be worn by women of any shape, size or age! I’ve been feeling the need and on the lookout for something such as your Style Challenges for years and am so happy I found out about them in time to join the Fall Challenge. I’ve learned so much during this Fall Challenge. I’ve learned some fashion rules to follow (leopard is a neutral and goes with anything) and some fashion rules to break (It doesn’t have to “match”, it just has to “go”). I have found the most interesting thing though, is the word CHALLENGE. It is truly a challenge to trust someone else with what we are going to wear every day! There have been days when I didn’t think a particular outfit was going to look good on me, but I challenged myself to put it on and take a picture anyway. There have been other days when I didn’t think I had the right components to complete an outfit. But I challenged myself to take a second look at my Challenge pieces, scour my closet, and be persistent until I found a combination that fit the guidelines of the day and that I felt comfortable in. In both instances, I ended up discovering a new way of dressing that suited my taste, and made me feel up to date. Whereas, if I would have not trusted your judgment and challenged myself to see each day’s outfit through to completion, I would be stuck in my old wardrobe rut, growing frumpier and frumpier with each passing year. One day it occurred to me that this challenge is a good life lesson to not be prideful and think we know what is best for ourselves, but to humble ourselves, and admit that we could use some help. If we would always be as open to suggestions as we have been during this Challenge, our lives would be so much richer and fuller and more vibrant in every area! Thank you once again for everything!”- Nancy C.

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“You have made my mornings much less stressful, and I feel better about myself because I know I look better (than I would have otherwise)! The shopping wasn’t too much, and I had a number of things on the list anyway. The bonus is that my husband (who always would say he didn’t care what I wore) has been telling me how sexy I look! Definitely worth $30 to you for that! Thank you so much!” – Alyssa W.

“I am a busy 30-something mom with two year old twin girls and I also own a financial planning company with my husband.  It has been a tremendous help for me to plan my outfits the night before and to see ideas for mix-and-matching to get more mileage out of clothes I already own.  I tend to wear things just as they are displayed in stores when I purchase them and don’t take the time to think of other styling options.  I was amazed at how many of the items in your challenges I already owned, but had never realized how many ways they could be styled!  Thank you so much for all that you do!” – Jessica H. fall-challenge-week-3-10

“When I got married I was a size 2 I am now a size 8.  I am 5ft 2 inches.  As you can imagine my self-confidence is almost nonexistent.  After being told for 25 years that no one else would ever want me …I believe it.  I have no idea how to dress my bigger size and I stumbled upon your blog and love to see the basics and how to put all of this together.  I am learning!  Being a single mom of a college student I do not have a huge clothing budget and the fact that some of these things are not expensive is awesome!!   I thought I was too old for riding boots and for leggings…..and still haven’t worn them but I have to admit I have bought them. Thank you!! THANK YOU! I look forward to your email and will be lost without it!” – Name Withheld

I am truly, truly BLESSED to be a small part of this and humbled beyond belief.  Thank you all for sharing your stories with me!

This time around we got together around the country for a few GYPO GNO’s – Get Your Pretty On Girls’ Nights Out!
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We also had the cutest mother/daughter duo join us to give us their spin on the daily outfits.
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Pretty-Strong-Logo I’m excited to share with you a new program at Get Your Pretty On that allows me to give back a small portion of the blessings in my life.  There’s quite possibly no harder time to feel pretty than when undergoing cancer treatment.  That’s why I’m thrilled to introduce the Pretty Strong program.  Pretty Strong is for women currently undergoing or who have recently completed cancer treatment.  It’s a way to make their lives a little easier by providing a complimentary Style Me Pretty Challenge.  Pretty Strong members also receive other special membership benefits.  You can learn more about the program and apply at this link.

over-40-challenge-FB-banner If you’ve never tried a challenge and would love to see what it’s all about, it’s not too late to join Build Your Wardrobe Basics, a special collaboration I’m doing with Cyndi Spivey.  The shopping list went out this morning and late registration is now open.  Sign up now to get your shopping list immediately and start shopping this weekend.  Cyndi and I would love to have you join us!

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GET YOUR FREE CASUAL CAPSULE WARDROBE SHOPPING LIST

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34 Comments

  • I’m so proud of you lady, you have created such a strong community of women.

    xo
    PinkSole

    • Thank you Rachelle. So happy and proud of all these women!

  • This is amazing!!! I love that women can get together and lift each other up!! That is what we should be doing! We girls need to stick together! Susan

    • I agree Susan! Have a great Friday!

  • Deana

    This is my first challenge. I was so excited to open my email this morning and see “the list”. I quickly read through the email and then saw that I had to enter the password. When I typed in the password….I literally got tears in my eyes! The words you have as the password really touched me. I don’t ever think of myself in that way and it shook me a little to actually type it! I can feel a change coming over me and I almost feel ready to embrace it! 🙂 Thank you for making this possible!!!

    Blessings on your day!

    • Wow. Deana, I can’t express how beautiful that was to read. You are so wonderful!

  • Alison! This is what it’s all about! I loved everything about this post and had the best time reading everybody’s stories! You should be very proud!!!!! xoxo
    p.s. LOVE your Pretty Strong idea too! That will be amazing!

    • Thank you Sheaffer. I am incredibly proud of all of them! They are the highlight of my day!

  • This is so sweet Alison! You have created something so positive and helpful and it really shows through all of these women’s stories and beautiful pictures!! That’s so awesome & fun that you were able to have a girl’s night out with them too! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
    P.S If you get a chance to stop by today I’m giving you a shout out in my post:)
    Marta
    http://www.sweatersstripesandsweets.com

    • Thank you thank you Marta! Have a great weekend. Thanks for the shout out. 😉

  • Kim in RI

    Alison, thank you so much for doing this! Besides being excited about getting a new outfit idea everyday, the women of this group have truly been my favorite part of this challenge! Thank you thank you!

    • Kim, THANK YOU for being a part of this too! I have been blessed to have such wonderful women who enjoy what I do! This makes it an easy “job”! 🙂

  • Courtney Taylor

    Alison, I have love every challenge so much! It’s so much more than just an outfit delivered daily…this community, this amazing sisterhood is far better than any fabulous outfit you put us in. I LOVE your Pretty Strong idea too!!

    • Thank you Courtney!!! I am amazed at all of this!

  • You have created a great community for women! I really enjoyed participating in the challenge and reading about everyone’s stories!

    Jill
    http://www.dousedinpink.com

    • Can’t wait to have you in more challenges Jill! It is SO beautiful!

  • When we help improve other people’s lives — as you are doing — we are making the world a better place. I applaud your efforts.

    • That means a lot! Thank you!

  • It’s simply amazing Alison! Reading the stories and looking at all the beautiful women who participated in this challenge is actually quite spectacular. These challenges have been life changing for women and I’m thrilled for all the participants. So glad you shared this post today:) Have a great weekend!!

    Audrey
    http://www.audreysalutes.com

    • You are welcome Audrey! So glad you read through this long post today! Happy Friday!

  • Oh the Pretty Strong program sounds awesome, what nice idea for these women!
    http://www.robincharmagne.com/blog

    • Thanks!! Have a great weekend!

  • Alison, thank you for all that you do. You really have helped me to feel more confident about my wardrobe choices, and more confident in interacting with other people. It is definitely a perspective shift to go from just getting dressed (usually hoodies and yoga pants) and getting by in day-to-day life, to taking the time to care for myself and feel more confident and valuable. I think I am much more productive and able to face each day more fully because I am prepared for whatever happens. Who would have thought a shopping list, encouragement, and some great ladies would be so motivating? Thank you again. You are an absolute blessing.

    • Thank you for the sweet message Joy. I am blessed to have ladies like you join the challenge.

  • Bonnie

    Thanks Alison for including me and my comments about the style challenges. I’m enjoying them so much and a lot of inspiration from the facebook group! You are doing such a great job with us!

    • Thank you for sending it in Bonnie!! 🙂

  • Bebe

    I think this challenge is one of my favorites! I’m so excited for you and proud of your success!

    I’m your biggest fan! 😉

    xoxo
    Bebe

    • Thank you Bebe!! You just made my day!

  • Susie

    Alison, what a beautiful post! All the stories are so inspiring. Being a part of the Fall challenge was so special. God bless you for all the work you do in helping restore confidence in ourselves and helping women feel pretty at all ages and stages!! xxoo

    • Thank you so much Susie! I am blessed because of you being a part of this!

  • Kathryn Armstrong

    I had so much fun participating in this challenge. The best part was being part of such a wonderfully supportive group of women. All ages, all sizes, style newbies and seasoned pros, everyone welcomed with open arms.

    • I’m so pleased to hear that Kathryn. Thank you for participating with us!! Cheers to many more!

  • Libby Gordon

    Alison,
    I LOVED doing the Fall Challenge even though many of the days were in the 90’s here (I’m about 45 minutes from you in Dallas) and I’m just now wearing some of these outfits. I learned a lot, feel more confident and have loved participating in the FB group . Thank you for today’s post! How fun to see so many new “friends” that I’ve “met” through this challenge.

    • Libby, I’m thrilled to see that you have made new friends through this challenge! That is the best part of it. 🙂