What I’m about to say seems so obvious you’re probably going to roll your eyes: the more effort you put into your personal style, the better it’s going to be. If your eyes have returned to their normal position, let me explain- my clients are, overwhelmingly, women who work and have children. They’re busy. They’re also accustomed to putting most everyone’s needs ahead of their own, and after years of this, many are so out of the habit of making an effort for themselves that they forget how. Does this sound familiar? I think this is probably true of every woman whose ever had a child.

So you stop getting manicures, putting on makeup (when you once did), and you stop trying with your wardrobe: trying to separate out what still fits and looks great with what doesn’t, trying to put together a few head-to-toe outfits that make you feel confident and beautiful, trying to make yourself wear the shoes or jeans that take a little more effort. Casual and comfortable become constant.

Now, to be clear, I’m not suggesting that you sport your best for a trip to the grocery store or school drop off. You’re not wearing a ball gown to pick up bagels. But for lunch with a friend, an event at school, date night? Make the effort; it’s something you’re going to have to get back in the habit of doing so eventually wrangling into your skinny jeans, dry cleaning your favorite top, putting on lipstick, and doing the physical pyrotechnics necessary to get those knee-high boots on will no longer feel like work.

There’s just so much your clothing can work for you; you need to work for it too.

Thank you to my beautiful client Carolyn (pictured) for working it in this photo!