About LaQuinda Brewington

Posts by LaQuinda Brewington:

How to make more money at work

How to make more money at work

How to make more money at work

According to a recent study, good looks can equate to good money in the workplace. For many people – translation: your supervisor, coworkers, potential clients and business partners – appearance equates to performance. A sharp dresser, for instance, can be perceived as quick-witted and focused, whereas, someone who is shabbily dressed can be seen as having a poor work ethic.

In fact, when it comes to the qualities that people most often associate with professionalism, a person’s appearance ranks second only to good communication skills.  For women in particular, the more pleasing you are to the eye, the greater your chances are of advancing professionally and in turn, making more money.

Sounds crazy? Well, you won’t get any arguments from me on that one. Maybe it teeters on the edge of being sexist? I’m going to say … mmm, probably, yes. But, if you’re a professional woman like me who knows that if you look good, you feel good then you will do good, you might want to put away that side-eye for a quick moment and read on.

I’m not much different from most people who will read this post. I am a natural born skeptic.  Then, I remembered my own story. It was only a few years ago that I started a new job and quickly became known for two things: my curly hair and the way I dressed. There wasn’t a single week that went by that someone didn’t either comment or compliment.  After a year, I was promoted, and a little less than three years after that, I had nearly doubled my starting salary.

Do I believe that all this happened because of the way I look? Heck no!  I’m a hard worker with an incredibly keen work ethic. But, here’s what I do believe: perception is reality. And, going in, I knew I wanted to make an impact and stand out as a leader. So, that was the image I began to cultivate.  In other words, I dressed for the role I wanted to play even though I didn’t have it at that point.

So, what the heck does all this have to do with you, exactly? Simply put, the way you look matters. I know. It’s downright depressing to think that in spite of the countless accomplishments women have made in virtually every field, our overall success is still tied to how attractive other people think we are.

But, the truth of the matter is, people do and will draw conclusions about you based solely on what you look like. Take Hillary Clinton for example. Despite your personal feelings about her, there’s no denying that she is shaping American history as the first woman ever to win a major party’s nomination for president!

As amazing as that is, at least publicly, few women have been ridiculed for their looks as much as Mrs. Clinton has. She’s gone from the studious looking law student, to the somewhat frumpy First Lady, then the no-nonsense Senator and Secretary of State and finally, the more authoritative yet approachable presidential candidate.

Over time, her image has evolved. Why? Because she wants to be our Commander in Chief, and she is dressing for the role she wants to play. If her story — and even mine –doesn’t serve as proof about the power of personal image, then I don’t know what does.

Now that you have this knowledge, I want to help you make it work to your advantage. Do a quick favor for me and envision what success looks like for you. Is it a promotion at work? Maybe you’ve finally decided to launch that new project you’ve been thinking about for so long? Or, perhaps you’ve figured out how to make your side hustle your main hustle? Once you’ve settled on your vision – whatever it may be – I want you to ask yourself this question:  Am I dressed for the role I want to play?

If you’re having a hard time answering the question definitively, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Lots of women can’t. Not because they don’t know or don’t have the resources to create a killer style aesthetic.

It’s that they simply don’t have the right information. Unfortunately, the road to personal style success can be hard to navigate given the many obstacles (aka distractions) there are to get through:

  • Adapting the latest fashion trends to fit your own lifestyle
  • Learning the art of business casual
  • Understanding how to dress your body, especially if you’re a member of the B&B (Boobs & Butt) crew

Believe me … Been there! Done that!

But, discovering your inner style star shouldn’t feel like work. It should feel natural. After all, there’s nobody in this world quite like you. You’re unique, so embrace it. Because of all the options we have, the concept of personal style can become overwhelming pretty quickly. To overcome it, I find it’s sometimes easier to focus on what NOT to do. Some personal style tips might include:

  1. Being overly provocative: Personal style is just that, it’s personal. So, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with showing your personality in the clothes you choose. But remember, there’s a time and place for everything and when it comes to winning over people in the workplace or wowing a potential client, you have to be careful that the message your outfit is conveying doesn’t alienate the people you want to impress the most.
  2. Wearing clothes that are considered inappropriate: Fashion designer Miuccia Prada once said, “Fashion is instant language.”  Are the tight pants, blouse that shows too much cleavage or the sky-high heels you’re wearing telling your colleagues or clients that you lack good judgment? These days, what is and is not appropriate appears to be up for interpretation, but generally speaking, being in tune with your environment is an excellent place to start. For example, if you have a meeting in a law office – many of which still adhere to a pretty conservative dress code— you probably wouldn’t want to show up in khaki’s and a polo shirt.
  3. Failing to dress with intention: Your style of dress can serve as a powerful extension of your personal brand. What you put on your body in the morning can either reinforce or diminish your skills in the eyes of employers, co-workers and potential clients. So, the lesson here is twofold: choose wisely and dress for the job you want (assuming you don’t already have it, rock star!).

Let me know what you think. Tell me in the comments if you think appearance plays a part in how much money you make.

Giving the bold shoulder

Giving the bold shoulder

Giving the bold shoulder

As corny as it might sound, I really did leave my heart in San Francisco – well, Napa Valley, to be exact. Seriously, since I’ve been back, not a single day has gone by that I haven’t thought about it at least once. It really was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. For the first time in a long time, I had a chance to get my “adult” on; wine tasting, checking out the local foodie scene (which is ahh-mazing, BTW) and museum hopping … you know, doing all the things that sophisticated adults in the movies do.

Anyway, I did quite a bit of wardrobe planning in advance. My goal was to pack light, but also give myself as many options as possible. If you’re the least bit familiar with northern California, then you know it can quickly go from 80 degrees during the day to 40 degrees at night. So, having pieces that I could mix, match, layer, then repeat was definitely top of mind for me.

One of the most versatile pieces I took was this little off-the-shoulder number. It’s a style that’s been trending for the past two years. Not surprising because it’s one of those items that looks good on just about anybody — tall, short, thick, slim, young or young at heart.

The cotton fabric meant it was light and airy during the day, and at night, I put on a cardigan to keep me warm. This top really came through for me. In addition to the outfit pictured in this post, I was able to pair it with jeans and a maxi skirt for a total of three outfits using this one shirt!

It was such a great find that I bought two similar pieces in different colors when I returned home. Remember those options I talked about earlier? A girl’s got to keep hers open, ya know?

So what about you? Any secrets you have for how to pack tight ‘n light? Do tell in the comments below.

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Reflections from San Francisco

Reflections from San Francisco

Reflections from San Francisco

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been back from my vacation in San Francisco, and I can’t stop thinking about the great time I had. It was unlike any other city I’ve ever visited. I’ve never been any place where I’ve awakened in a valley, was in the forest by noon and on the pier for dinner.

When I tell you there’s something for everyone there, it’s not an exaggeration. I remember thinking that the diversity of the city’s people, its culture and activities, even the climate, was nothing short of astounding.  It is just about impossible to have an average day.

One of my favorite parts of the entire trip was our stop at the de Young Museum at Golden Gate Park. “Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective” was the featured exhibit, with about 130 of his most celebrated ensembles.

I’ll admit that going in, my knowledge of Mr. de la Renta — who passed away in 2014 — was fairly limited. I knew that he was a fashion icon responsible for some of the most infamous looks of our time. And, I knew that he was a go-to fashion designer for actress Sara Jessica Parker, a fashion icon in her own right. Simply put, I knew he was a genius.

But, that’s not all Oscar was. After walking through the amazing exhibit and soaking in all the beauty I could possibly stand, I learned that he was a dedicated philanthropist, a doting father, a savvy businessman and a loyal friend.

The exhibit was so inspiring! So of course, I took lots of photos and I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. Take a look at some of Oscar de la Renta’s  most famous creations and let me know in the comments if you’re as inspired by them as I was.

Enjoy!

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Stuck in a style rut? Here are 5 easy things you can do right now to break free

Stuck in a style rut? Here are 5 easy things you can do right now to break free

Stuck in a style rut? Here are 5 easy things you can do right now to break free

I have a confession to make. I watch ratchet T.V. and I like it! In fact, one of my favorite guilty pleasures is the Real Housewives of Atlanta. This past season was especially fun for me because former child star Kim Fields was added to the cast.

Okay … soooo … I have another confession. When I was a kid, I was a Tootie groupie! I even wrote a fan letter (my first and only) telling her how great I thought she was.  Do you know she never wrote back?!! I admit it. My little pre-pubescent feelings were hurt.  But I’ll save the details of that confession for another day.

Anyway, during one of the season’s early episodes, Kim and co-star Phaedra Parks met for a play date with their kids. While chatting, Kim revealed that she sometimes struggled with the demands of being a full-time working professional, mom and wife. She talked about how she had “lost Kim.”

Kim went on to say that so much of her time and energy had been spent on being a “superwoman,” that she no longer knew how to feel good about the way she looked. She had become stuck in a style rut.

Now, I know the majority of situations we see on “reality” television are actually scripted, but this particular scene really resonated with me because Kim’s confession sounded so very familiar. It seems whenever I post about personal style, I get the inevitable comments from women who tell me that it’s just not a priority for them because they’re so busy living life.

No judgment here, but I’m a huge believer in the notion that people make time for the things that are important to them. So, I have to wonder if those ladies who say they’re too busy to think about anything beyond a t-shirt and jeans aren’t actually using it as an excuse because they really don’t understand the true meaning of personal style.

Regardless of which category you find yourself in, you may be surprised to learn that developing a style that’s all your own really isn’t all that hard. In fact, a great sense of style starts with something each and every person on the planet already has. It’s called an imagination. And, the only requirement is a higher degree of open-mindedness.

Depending on where you fall on the style spectrum, getting started may be easier for some than it is for others. So, to help, I’ve put together a list of five easy things you can do right now to help you break free if you’re stuck in a style rut:

  1. Pay more attention to your surroundings. From the colors in the sky, to the leaves on the ground, and everything in between; inspiration – quite literally – is all around you. Ask yourself what resonates with you the most: colors, textures, shapes, etc. Use this knowledge to trigger your creativity.
  1. The next time you see someone with a great sense of style, ask yourself what it is about their look you like so much and what elements you might be able to replicate or incorporate into your own wardrobe.
  1. Take note of the things that “speak” to you. Your inspiration might be an image from a blog, your favorite magazine or social media site. Use this as an opportunity to free your mind and think beyond the boundaries of your normal “comfort zone.”
  1. Make a list of every outfit you wore last week. What elements of each ensemble would you change or tweak to upgrade the look?

5.  If all of your clothes were lost as a result of a fire, flood, tornado  or   whatever, what 10 items would you replace first?

See what I mean about using your imagination? Let me know what you think about my short list by leaving a comment below.

Gain maximum style with minimal effort: How to create a signature look that reflects who you are inside and out

Gain maximum style with minimal effort: How to create a signature look that reflects who you are inside and out

Gain maximum style with minimal effort: How to create a signature look that reflects who you are inside and out

A few days ago, a colleague approached me in the hallway and said, “You always look so put together!” I smiled politely and thanked her for her kind words. In my head, though, I was doing the dab like Cam Newton because that is EXACTLY the impression I want people to have of me!

You may be asking yourself, Why does the way I dress even matter? Well, believe it or not, what you wear gives other people insight into who you are. In fact, numerous studies have shown that appearance very much shapes other people’s perceptions of not only you as a person, but your financial success, intelligence, honesty and whether or not you’re suitable enough to hire or promote. So, when you think about it in those terms, what others believe about you really does matter.

So, the key question becomes: what do you want people to know about you?

Click Here to Download The Checklist!

For the most part, when people look at me, I think they see a self-assured, polished and composed career woman.  How do I know this? Because they give me unsolicited positive feedback just like my colleague gave me, on an almost daily basis.

So, why am I telling you this? Certainly not to brag or cause envy. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I’m telling you this because being a stylish standout isn’t as difficult or as time-consuming as you might think.  And, if I can do it, anyone can.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been exploring the concept of signature style in posts like this and this. And, I was surprised to see that a lot of the women who commented had one of two main concerns: How to define their signature style and how to create a wardrobe that is simultaneously chic and comfortable.

Now, I’m not the edgiest style blogger on the block. But here’s the thing: I never claimed to be. In fact, when it comes to fashion sense, I am the antithesis of cutting-edge. As a busy professional, wife, mom and homemaker, I don’t want to think too hard about getting dressed in the morning, but I still want to look like I made the effort.

So, what’s my secret? Simple … I just know what I like. And, if you remember nothing else, remember this: At the heart of signature style is Y-O-U, so the style staples you select (those benchmark items that make you feel your most inspired, your most beautiful and your most confident) should reflect the type of person you are and the lifestyle you live.

So, who are you?

Well, I’ve created this checklist to put you on the path to uncovering your signature style! It includes examples of wardrobe staples that will help you understand, evaluate, clarify and edit your own personal style.

Click Here to Download The Checklist!

Size does matter and here’s the reason why

Size does matter and here’s the reason why

Size does matter and here’s the reason why

(The top photo was taken before a proper bra fitting and the bottom photo was taken after.)

I have officially entered the stage in life that I like to refer to as the “annual visitation” phase. If you’re over the age of 40, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. For what equates to roughly two weeks of my life every year, I spend an inordinate amount of time coordinating appointments to get voluntarily poked and prodded by a variety of physicians specializing in a variety of fields.

During one of my most recent p-n-p sessions, my OB/gyn told me that the density of my breasts had started to change.

Say whaaaaaaat?

After noting the look of sheer horror on my face, she quickly went on to explain that breast density – a relatively normal phenomenon for most mature women – can be caused by a number of factors, including fluctuating estrogen and weight levels, as well as age.

A woman’s breasts are made up of fat, glands, lobes, ducts and other breast tissue which is supported by a network of ligaments contributing to perk and lift. Over time, those ligaments lose some of their elasticity, causing “the girls” to soften and sag.

Aging is inevitable and we can’t fight its effects any more than we can those of gravity. What we can do to combat the signs of aging, though, is update our wardrobe to include a few properly fitted bras that will give the illusion of having those perky, firm breasts we all remember so fondly from our 20s.

So, what does it mean to have a bra that’s properly fitted? Start with this checklist.

  1. Make sure you’re wearing the right size – A lot of women believe incorrectly that it’s the bra cup that provides the most support. In reality, it’s the band. If it’s too loose, the weight of the breasts will drag down the front. To avoid this very common mistake, have your measurements taken by a professional bra fitter or refer to the guide below to determine your perfect bra size.

Style Tip: Wearing a bra with a properly fitted band can eliminate “back fat,” and give you a smoother, more figure-flattering sillouette.

  1. Replace your bra on a regular basis – The useful life expectancy of most bras will run out at around 6-9 months. That’s an approximation, of course, depending on care and storage. But, the more you wear and wash your pieces, the more the elastic will stretch and the overall support will be lost. So, be sure to rotate wear among your bras to prolong the life.

Style Tip: To extend the life of your bra, be sure that it fits snugly (but not too snugly) on the loosest hook. Over time, your bra will stretch and as it does, you’ll be able to fit it on the tighter hooks, which, in effect will help prolong the life of the bra.

  1. Ensure proper care and storage for your bras – Always, I repeat, ALWAYS air dry your bra after washing it. The heat from a dryer can damage the memory of plastic underwire and elastic bands, causing your bra to lose support.

Style Tip: Rather than stuffing your bras into a lingerie drawer that’s probably already filled to the brim (guilty!) try placing your bra on a hanger in your closet. That way, you can ensure the integrity of the bra’s structure, which is especially important for molded/padded bras, which can dimple or pucker if the cup gets inverted in the drawer.

So, give your tatas the TLC they deserve and check out the guide below to help you determine your perfect bra size. It’s the first step toward achieving that sexy silhouette you’ve been looking for. And, don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter below to get more style tips and advice.

Oh, and P.S. –  Be sure to have your breasts examined by a professional on a regular basis (in addition to your own self-examinations) because the more dense the tissue in your breasts, the more difficult it can be to detect a lump. Early detection is one of the best weapons we have to fight breast cancer.

Xoxo

Quin

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Make sure you’re wearing your bra and wrap a tape measure firmly around your torso. Be sure that the tape measure falls directly underneath your breasts to get the correct band size.

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Still wearing your bra, pull the tape measure firmly around the largest part of your bust to find your cup size.

 

 

What to wear to an R&B concert

What to wear to an R&B concert

What to wear to an R&B concert

When I heard that one of my favorite R&B artists was making a return visit to the Bay area, naturally my first thought was: What am I going to wear? This is all before I’ve even bought the first ticket! Talk about priorities, huh!

If you’ve ever been to an R&B concert, then you understand my conundrum. Like so many people who grew up in the 80’s, going to a concert was an event and the perfect opportunity to dress to impress.

So, what do you think of this Cyndi Lauper inspired ensemble? I think pairing denim with tulle gave me the perfect cross between being a little feminine and a little tough.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Do you think I’ll make the fashion cut at the concert?

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Bag Lady

Bag Lady

Bag Lady

With the right accessories, even the most basic outfit can appear AH-mazing! One of the easiest ways to update your look in an instant is to add a handbag. The type of bag you carry is a great indicator of personal style. So, if you’ve always wanted to make a statement without saying a word, this may be the solution you’ve been waiting for.

Lately, I’ve been slightly obsessed with #KateSpade. I find these bags to be durable, modern and very well structured. They’re perfect for ladies like me who require a lot from their bag. It’s got to be flexible enough to go wherever I go, large enough to carry all of my essentials and stylish enough to anchor my outfit.

imageIf trendy and classic were to get married and have a bag baby, I’m pretty sure it would look just like a Kate Spade! Who knows how long this obsession will last? I’m a Scorpio, after all, and if there’s one thing we love, it’s change. For the immediate future, though, I think I’ll stick with Kate. I feel like she and I are going to be great friends.

Get to know your bag styles

 

Satchels have flat, rigid bottoms and are typically square or rectangular in shape.

Satchels have flat, rigid bottoms and are typically square or rectangular.

Shoulder bags have a single or double straps that are worn over the shoulder; hence the name.

Shoulder bags have a single or double strap that is worn over the shoulder.

The reinforced leather of Structured bags reinsures it will hold its shape.

The reinforced leather of Structured bags reinsures it will hold its shape.

Be a stylish standout

Be a stylish standout

Be a stylish standout

Some have described my style as “simple savvy sophistication.” I absolutely LOVE that characterization because if there’s one thing I’m not, it’s fussy. Looks that are effortless really resonate with me. And, when I’m searching for inspiration, I want to see outfits I can actually envision myself wearing.

A favorite pastime for me is scouring Pinterest and Instagram for looks that move me. Too often, I come up short because many of the styles I see are so “specific” to a particular person. It makes me feel as though I’m “copying” them, or I have a hard time imagining how to incorporate the pieces they’re wearing into my own wardrobe.

While I’m a big proponent of signature style, it has to look and feel authentic. That’s what the SisterLadyGirl blog is all about; showing grown, classy and sassy ladies that being a stylish standout doesn’t have to be complicated.

Recently, one of my blog’s readers, Andresea Jackson over at More than a Mom, sent in a photo showing me how she replicated some of the looks I’d posted previously. Even though she was inspired by my style, the looks she created were all her own.  I think she nailed it! Tell me in the comments below if you agree. And, while you’re at it, I’d love to hear about the kinds of looks that inspire you! Maybe I’ll even style a few of your favorites. *wink*

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PHOTO CREDIT: STACY PIERCE PHOTOGRAPHY

 

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Perfectly flawed

Perfectly flawed

Perfectly flawed

After taking a few blog photos for me recently, my husband looked at me and said, “Considering where you were a couple years ago, I never would have imagined you’d be doing the things you’re doing now.”

I looked at him and smiled. “That makes two of us.”

Anyone who knows me even marginally well knows that I had major anxiety about having my photo taken. I often found it difficult, when I saw photos of myself, to refrain from emphasizing each and every flaw – whether real or perceived.

Some (not all) people – even those claiming to be friends – can be cruel. And, over the years, I’ve had some pretty rude comments hurled my way. So, self-deprecation became my go-to for subconsciously soothing the sting. Years later, l would come to realize that this behavior was a way for me to protect myself from criticism. I mean, if I were my own harshest critic, then nothing anyone else said could possibly hurt me, right?

It took a while for me get here, but today, I am my own biggest cheerleader (although hubby might take exception to that).  Now, when I see my photos, I still tend to focus on all my flaws. But, instead of being embarrassed or fearful, I’m proud.

My journey on the road to self-love has been a long one, indeed. But now that I’m on it, I can’t wait to see where it leads.

PHOTOS: Stacy Pierce Photography

MAKEUP: Ebony Stephens

STYLING: LaQuinda Brewington

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