TENets: A Code for Living Life with Ease

TENets: A Code for Living Life with Ease

These “tenets” came to me as a proverbial download in March of 2018.

Mostly it’s advice I give myself – sometimes that is the best advice of all.

Presented in 4 parts:

ONE

1) (PL)EASE

2) BENEVOLENCE

3) HELP

4) HOME

5) RELISHES

6) CHANNEL

7) LEARN

8) SHARE

9) CELEBRATE

10) CAN

TWO

1) (PL)EASE – say it with ease

2) Open-hearted benevolence

3) Help others, and self, when needed and possible

4) Feels at home anywhere and helps others feel the same

5) Relishes earthly possessions but is not tied to them

6) Values health above all else

7) Views self as an open channel to give and receive love and light; the body is a temple, the home for the soul

8) Knows there is always more to learn and isn’t afraid to get “dirty” doing it

9) Looks at each day as a reason to celebrate

10) I ALWAYS KNOW I CAN (I never thought I couldn’t)

THREE

1) (PL)EASE – say it with ease; this word opens the world and literally makes everything easier – say it to others, say it to yourself.

2) Open-hearted benevolence – you ever know where you can do good or from where, or whom, good will be done to you.  Do good, be good but do what is best for you.

3) Help others, and self, when needed and possible – you never know who you can help or, conversely, who can help you.

4) Feels at home anywhere and helps others feel the same – observe your surroundings, assimilate and stand out with confidence; take care of those who feel less comfortable than you.

5) Relishes earthly possessions but is not tied to them – enjoys clothing, accessories, luxuries of all sorts, experiences, travel but nothing defines her or weighs her down. The saying holds weight here: you can’t take it with you so live life to the fullest NOW. Enjoy with joy.

6) Values health above all else – the body is a temple, the home for your soul. Worship it, love it and it will love you back.

7) Views self as an open channel to give, and receive, love and light

8) Knows there is always more to learn – education never ends; expansion is eternal.

9) Looks at each day as a reason to celebrate – everyday truly is your BIRTHDAY. There was no assurance you would wake up today and what if today is your final day on earth? Do you want to spend it denying who you are? What you can contribute

10) I ALWAYS KNOW I CAN – total confidence, no expectations, on her one schedule. I never thought I couldn’t

FOUR

1) (PL)EASE – this word opens the world, everything is easy when you open up Tom needing help. It’s easier to say thank you but please is eternally more profitable. EASE comes from saying PLEASE.

2) Open-hearted benevolence – you never know who you can help, you ever know who you can help, or conversely, who can help you. Everyone has something to teach us about the world, about ourselves. Keep an open heart, an open mind.

3) Help others, and self, when needed and possible – do good, be good but do what is best for you

4) Feels at home anywhere and helps others feel the same – observe your surroundings, assimilate and stand out with confidence; take care of those who feel less comfortable than you; build confidence in others and show that you are comfortable anywhere. LEAVE NO TRACE OTHER THAN ON THE HEARTS OF THOSE AROUND YOU.

5) Relishes earthly possessions but is not tied to them – enjoys clothing, accessories, luxuries of all sorts, experiences travel but nothing defines her or weighs her down. Experiences spirituality in the ritual of getting dressed and expressing individuality.

6) Views self as an open channel to give, and receive, love and light by valuing health above all else – the body is a temple, the home for your soul. Worship it, love it and it will love you back. If you don’t have your health, you have nothing; if you don’t have health, channels shut down.

7) Knows there is always more to learn – education never ends; expansion is eternal.

8) SHARE – express who you are and it will inspire others to do the same.

9) Looks at each day as a reason to celebrate – everyday truly is a BIRTHDAY

10) Says: I ALWAYS KNOW I CAN – total confidence, no expectations, on her own schedule. Positivity translation of: I never thought I couldn’t. Leave room for deciding when but always knowing you CAN if you decide you WILL.

Photography by Sonya Highfield

Your Closet is an Altar

Your Closet is an Altar

It started happening early on – my clients would say:

“I feel like you are doing more than just helping me figure out what to wear…”

And it’s true. But I didn’t really understand all of it until recently.

The fact is, my work comes from a deep place of believing that every woman everywhere deserves to look and feel beautiful and powerful every day.

It is this belief that drove me to launch H.GRANTSTYLE and what spurred me to create my online offerings (BE YOUR OWN STYLIST and Capsule Creation Crash Course).

And recently I realized something…you can take it or leave it.

There’s spirituality in the process of getting dressed.

When you wear something that represents who you are, who you want to be, the Universe responds in incredible ways. When you celebrate your beauty with clothes you know look good, your body and mind align.

You empower yourself by integrating the inside and the outside.

And it doesn’t have to be expensive.  It doesn’t even have to involve new clothes – the best way to initiate this is with a shift in perspective. By making the choice to decide you will honor your beauty, and celebrate it.

I believe that a woman’s closet is her “altar” –  it’s a place where her expression of beauty starts every day and it represents a density of symbols – the brands she loves, the things she believes about herself. Your closet is also the one thing in your life over which you have complete control; there is ritual involved when you put on something that makes you feel unstoppable.

And when you feel unstoppable – that’s when you become one of those women who people always say: “WOW, she always looks fabulous!”

In my opinion, this can happen every day whether it’s a Little Black Dress or a pair of jeans that fits just right, even yoga pants can illicit this internal feeling of empowerment and an external reaction of compliments.

Whatever you wear, it needs to FIT you both literally and figuratively.

And as for the “altar” part? That’s where we get into the logistics of organization and merchandising your closet so it looks like your favorite boutique, a topic we cover in a dedicated module of BE YOUR OWN STYLIST.

But all of this takes effort – at least in the beginning as you are setting up to #DressIntuitively (side note: will link to challenge evenually).

It’s so easy to say: “It doesn’t matter how I look.”

I actually hear this a lot. I try not to get too perturbed but, when you say it doesn’t matter how I look, this is what you are really saying:

It doesn’t matter = I don’t care

I don’t care = I’m not worth it

I’m not worth it = a crime against yourself

You are ALWAYS worth the effort. You are BEAUTIFUL. Let your inner goddess shine. Watch and see how differently people respond to you – watch and see how differently your respond to yourself.

Photography by Sonya Highfield

Pack like a ROCKSTAR

Pack like a ROCKSTAR

It’s a bit counter-intuitive but a small, well-planned suitcase gives you a plethora of options plus the ability to feel unhindered by your baggage.  Keep it to a carry-on and make sure everything you take with you is worthy of a place in your bag.

Remember this “packing zen” phrase:  

Large, heavy suitcase: struggle and forget things.

Small, manageable suitcase: forget nothing, wear everything.

5 Strategies for Feeling Fab No Matter Your Destination:

1)   Pack for 3 days – prepare for one hot, one cold, and one rainy day (apply as necessary).  What you need for 3 days is the same as what you require for 10 so focus on minimalism.  Align your itinerary with the weather and it helps to select a tonal palette of colors: choose a capsule of 3 base neutrals and two accent colors.  This will also aide you in accomplishing strategy #2.

2)   It’s a big PUZZLE – think of it as a game: each item needs to serve more than one purpose.  Lay it all out on the bed or the floor – walk through each day’s activities and envision the outfits.  Interchangeability is a plus i.e. a dress for evening becomes a dress for day; plays well with sneakers and heels.

3)   Fold & Roll – maximize space and minimize wrinkles by turning every item into a burrito-sized roll.  Stuff shoes with smaller items like socks and underwear.

4)   Prioritize – sometimes our imaginations are bigger than the suitcase; put the most important, must-have pieces in first so you don’t end up cramming the essentials in at the end.

5)   Travel Outfit – look nice for the best treatment but go for comfort.  Who do you think will get the upgrade? The woman in yoga pants and sneakers or the one in skinny jeans, ballet flats and a perfectly draped scarf?  Layers are key for fluctuating temperatures and en route is the best time to transport bulky items like sweaters, outwear and shoes.

BON VOYAGE!

Helena Grant is the founder of the personal styling company H.GrantStyle and creator of the online course BE YOUR OWN STYLIST.  She is on a mission to ensure every woman everywhere feels like a ROCKSTAR every day.

 

Packing List

Destination: Anywhere in the world

Duration: 3 days. 10 days or 3 weeks

Weather Preparedness: Hot, rainy, cold (30-70 degrees)

Important activities

      Touring

      Enjoying

      Exploring

      Dining

      Feeling awesome all the time

Style Itinerary:

Travel outfit

      Skinny jeans (dark wash or printed)

      Belt

      Tank top

      Lightweight sweater

      Leather jacket

      Moto boots

      Blanket scarf

Day 1 – Exploring, hiking

Morning: Athleisure

      Deconstructed flannel

      Printed leggings

      Tank

      Wide belt

      Sneakers

      Hat

      Sunglasses

Evening: Loungewear

      Jogger pants

      Tank

      Sweatshirt

      Ballet flats

OR

Evening: Out to Dinner

      Fitted Dress

      Leather leggings

      Ballet flats

      Vest or leather jacket or both layered together

Day 2 – Touring

Morning: Athleisure

      Long black leggings

      Sport tank

      Performance top or long cashmere sweater

      Mid-weight zipper jacket

      Sneakers

Evening: Dinner

      Distressed jeans

      Silk blouse

      Striped cashmere sweater for warmth

      Vest for added coziness

      Moto boots

Day 3: Shopping

Morning: polish so the shop clerks treat me well

      Printed travel jeans

      Striped long sleeve shirt

      Moto boots

      Skinny belt

Evening: Dinner at the bar

      Leather leggings

      Fitted dress

      Ballet flats

      Vest

OR

      Distressed jeans

      Cashmere sweater

      Moto boots

      Leather jacket

Travel outfit

      Printed jeans

      Tee shirt

      Flannel shirt tied at the waist

      Moto boots

      Leather jacket

 

Packing List:

Yoga/Athleisure clothes

      3 pairs of leggings

      Lounge pants

      4 Tank tops (for layering)

      Sports top (built-in bra)

      Sports bra

      Warm layer

      Vest

      Jacket

      Sneakers

      Socks (3-4 pairs)

      Baseball hat

Other

      2 pairs of jeans

      2 short sleeve tee shirts

      1 long sleeve tee shirt

      2 sweaters (wool/cashmere preferable)

      Ballet flats

      Blanket scarf (wrap yourself up on the plane!)

      Winter hat (beanie) or warm headband

      Underpinnings

      Water bottle

      Sunblock

      Sunglasses

      Gloves

      Dop kit (hair, skin and tooth care)

      Make-up bag (for headshots)

      Chargers – phone/ipad/computer

Photography by Sonya Highfield

Waterfall Effect

Waterfall Effect

When it comes to style and closet management, there is a phenomenon I call the Waterfall Effect.

Since there are no rules in the realm of personal expression, in this case a “waterfall” can flow in either direction: up or down; in or out.

And, as with the Style Archetypes (as in no one archetype is better than another  – link coming soon) any of these directions can be beneficial… or dangerous. There is light and shadow to everything.

Remember the last time you went shopping and bought something fabulous and you brought it home only to find it made the rest of your closet look “schlubby dumpy”?

Maybe it was a dress, a silk blouse, a new sweater or jeans that fit just right. Whatever the specifics, it’s a piece that gives you a whole new perspective on your wardrobe and maybe even inspires you to purge yourself of the things that don’t stand up to this newly established level.

This is an instance of the waterfall flowing up or out – this piece makes it easier to edit and pare down.

Then there are pieces that perhaps you coveted. Maybe you saw it in a glossy magazine or someone sporting “street style” on Instagram.  It’s something you just know you MUST HAVE, life would not be complete without it. It’s so beautiful. It will change everything. Maybe it’s something with some sort of detail, embellishment or in a color your rarely choose.  Regardless, you get it home and FLOP.

What the hell do you do it with?

How do you style it?

Where will you wear it?

This is when the waterfall flows down or in – it’s something you wanted so badly but when it’s finally yours, nothing you already own quite does the trick. You need to invest in a few more pieces to make it work thus bringing in more and possibly drowning in the decisions you had to make under duress.

So where does this lead you? Here’s a self-awareness tip:

Ask yourself: is this a WATERFALL ITEM? If so, which way will the waterfall flow?

And remember, whatever you bring into your closet, and whichever way the waterfall goes, put it to the styling test using one or all of the 3 Antidotes to I-Have-Nothing-to Wear.

Photography by Daniel Zapata

Shopping is a Workout – Preparing for the Hard Work and the Payoff

Shopping is a Workout – Preparing for the Hard Work and the Payoff

Shopping is a Workout – Preparing for the Hard Work and the Payoff

It’s no joke that shopping is tiring. It really is a workout. You’re faced with a myriad of stores, a plethora of options. You’re surrounded by trends and fads; you just want to find something, anything because your wardrobe needs updating. You’re getting cardio just by walking the floor, weight training holding all those heavy hangers and a bit of yoga with all the up-and-over-the-head, shimmying, kicking and jumping of the try-on process.

Be prepared for the harsh conditions and the bright lights. It’s exhausting just thinking about all the activity which is why preparing for the excursion can mean all the difference between feeling elated or deflated by your purchases.

1) Warm-up: Get Dressed To Go Shopping

This means everything from your hair to your make-up to your attire (including shoes). Look good when you catch a glimpse of yourself in those harsh mirrors and you will not only feel better but you will likely get better service from the salespeople. So wash your hair, blow it dry, put on some make-up and wear clothes that are easy to remove but that are presentable.  Slip-on shoes, like loafers are highly recommended – this is a great opportunity to build your outfit using the first of my 3 Antidotes.  This is also a good time to wear your prettiest underpinnings.  Again, those mirrors.

2) Hitting the Floor: Be Focused But Open to Opportunities

Know what works for you and what doesn’t. Stay focused on what you’re looking for but you never know what you’re going to find when you’re looking for something else. That’s called style serendipity.  Either way, be sure that when you look at the price tag you would be willing to pay five times more than what’s listed. This puts into perspective whether or not something is worthwhile, especially if it’s on sale.

3) Sustaining the Workout: Hydration and Satiation

Low blood sugar is a surefire way to buy something that you don’t really like just to end the painful process of shopping itself. And, with all the exertion, you likely are losing quite a lot of water.  Bring a small water bottle with you and don’t be afraid to ask an eager sales clerk if they have water on hand. Most stores do and it’s in their best interest to keep customers happy.

4) Stamina: Try It On!

Buying it and taking it home means that you will be swayed into thinking that you should keep it mostly because you don’t want to go through the returns process (I don’t blame you!). This results in all kinds of clothing that you don’t really like and that you won’t really wear. Trying clothes on in-store helps combat falling into this trap.  When in doubt or even when you find something you think you love, take a SELFIE!

5) Throwing in the Towel: Leaving “Empty Handed”

This is paramount. Just because you went shopping doesn’t mean you have to go buying. If it isn’t fabulous and you don’t absolutely love it and you wouldn’t pay five times more for it, then leave it behind. You’ll feel so much better and you’re making room to buy something that you do really love down the line. Again, let me stress, don’t be afraid to walk out of the store with nothing. The worst is getting trapped on the wrong side of the Waterfall Effect so be sure to practice just a dash of restraint and self awareness.

Whether you have plotted a course or you are out browsing for an impulse buy, these strategies will arm you for the battle and ensure you are confident in your purchases when you walk out of a store, shiny bag and tissue paper in the crook of you arm.

Helena Grant is a Boston-based Brand Stylist who loves to shop anywhere from T.J.Maxx to Saks.  She believes everyone can benefit from a little retail therapy with the right strategies. Follow her on Instagram @hgrantstyle

Photography by Sonya Highfield

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