Stuck in a style rut? Press play.

She's back!

It's the grand re-opening of my beloved video masterclass for just the second time ever.

Live for a limited time only, so hustle your bustle and watch it now

Do you have a friend who deserves to look as fabulous and professional as she is?

Introduce her to the free series at StyleandStyleability.com.

Sharing the inside scoop is always on trend in my book. {wink}

Movie Moments in Everyday Style

Movies make you wish.

Wish you were Audrey Hepburn dancing with Fred Astaire or life had moments Nicole Kidman swinging high above the Moulin Rouge.

Wish you had Kerry Mulligan's wardrobe in An Educated Style or Gwyneth Paltrow's in The Talented Mister Ripley.

It can feel exhilarating, lovely, and far away.

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Life doesn't just have to be pretend.

With the right teaching, tools, tweaks, tricks, we can take those glorious mavens of the movies and let them truly inspire us today in our real world.

I was having one of those "if only life were ...." moments earlier this summer when watching The Talented Mister Ripley and decided the next to declare that, "life is now".

I stood scanning my closet, mentally breaking apart what it was I loved about Gwyneth's style, and voila.

A brand new outfit I'd never paired together that made me feel just as romantic, effortlessly chic and timelessly feminine.

Shop this Style { White Button Down : Trina Turk : Similar | Blue Midi Skirt : Vintage, Broadway production of 42nd Street : Similar |  Retro Swimsuit Top : c/o Albion Fit | Brown Wedges : DSW : Similar | Lipstick : MAC in Lustering } + Photography by Michelle Kim 

 

Even better, this outfit features a skirt I inherited worn by leading lady, Peggy Sawyer, in the 1980's Broadway production of 42nd Street.

I've performed that musical over 500 times including with the Broadway touring company.

It would be easy to take a costume piece and say it feels too much, too dated but I was determined to reclaim it and give it a new life. 
 

Now is the time to stop wishing, and start making things happen.

I'm bringing back my special class, Style & Styleability, this fall and the grand re-opening begins on Thursday!

It's all about making the ideal, real.

Stop simply being inspired from afar by style blogs, Instagram, movies and magazines; start learning the secrets yourself to create the style and lifestyle you desire.

More on Thursday, but till then, I highly recommend you pop something lovely on the television tonight and let it not just make you wistful, but wide-eyed with new ideas.

P.S. She's here on Thursday. Get on the list now to be the first to watch!

The Little White Dress

I hate rules.

No white after Labor Day? Has that person never seen white jeans with a cozy fall sweater, a winter bride or a stunning white peacoat in the snow?!

Not to mention, let's be honest, September is when I am the most tan and thus, looking the most like the hotness in a white dress, so you best believe I am rocking every one in my closet right now. {wink}

And finally: sales. Lady, this is totally the time to stock up on darling sundresses and swimsuits {did you read my post on the science of style behind swimsuits?} at a steal of a deal to have them on hand for the winter beach vacation you're already planning {I'm not the only one dreaming of ditching the snow for the shore come January, right?}   

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A white dress is classic, charming and chic.

Aside from not being able to wear her to a wedding, she's a go-to I believe looks beautiful on every woman if you find the right silhouette for you.

And yes, she works for all seasons. This floral is probably too summery to pull off, but keep your eyes on Instagram and I guarantee you'll see me wearing plenty o' white this fall and beyond.

Plus she lets you play with any accessories or colors like this blue weekender {that I've been living in all summer for last minute trips to the Hamptons or repeat visits on Sundays to the beach}, polka dotted hat, floral bikini ... anything I want to play with, she's game.

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Shop this Style { White Dress : Asos  | Weekender Bag : c/o Lo & Sons |  Retro Swimsuit Top : c/o Albion Fit | High Waisted Swimsuit Bottoms : c/o Albion Fit |  Straw Fedora : Accessorize : Similar | Sandals : DSW : Similar | Necklace : Similar } + Photography by Michelle Kim 

Here's to breaking rules, love. 

And instead embracing principles. That's what I teach inside Style & Styleability, which happens to be coming back right around the corner ... {Get on the list today!}

 

P.S. To celebrate my 3 year anniversary for Dean Street Society, I want to hear from you!

Take 3 minutes to complete our first ever survey here.

Plus be entered to win a gaggle of stylish gifts from shops like Shamelessly Sparkly, Moorea Seal and Angela Kay Designs

Reply by Monday September 15th to be entered!

Who do you want to be in 3 years?

Once upon a time, there was a girl wearing a required uniform of polyester polo shirt and orthopedic shoes, on her feet for 16 hour days, promising herself this would be the last mindless insulting job she would ever work because unbeknownst to anyone she had just launched a styling business called Dean Street Society. 

{My first photo shoot that launched the blog.}

Once upon a time was 3 years ago today.

Happy 3rd birthday Dean Street Society! Read more about my story from a Broadway tour to a steamy industrial kitchen in this post I wrote last year on my 2nd birthday. 


Then get ready for a month of birthday celebrations!

  • We want to hear from you for the 1st time ever in an all-bettys survey and we've got fun prizes along the way. Coming soon ...
  • I'll be interviewed by my smartypants friend Anne Samoilov to share the story of the last 3 years and you can join us live. Coming soon ...
  • Best of all, I can think of no better gift to share with you than our award-winning* free video series "3 Steps to Simplified Style" so I'm smitten to announce: Style & Styleability is back! Class starts October 15th, with our free video series kicking off September 18th

*Alright so we didn't literally win any awards, but that's what all the emails and Instagram comments of love, joy, delight and aha moments felt like!

 

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So pencil us into your social calendar, darling! Then pause for just a moment and ask yourself:

Where and who do you want to be 3 years from now?

It's one of my favorite questions.

3 years feels just far enough to dream big, and just close enough to taste the reality and see the path there.

And today it's especially poignant because 3 years ago I never imagined this would be true:

  • 2 full-time employees {Jess & Diana} who are insanely talented
  • The Dean Street Studio to work from
  • Our first 6-figure year in revenue
  • Wrote a book
  • Worked from Laguna Beach, Santa Barbara, Cambridge UK, London, Puerto Rico, the Hamptons {travel is a major life value for me}
  • Interviewed as a success story by Marie Forleo, featured in Better Homes & Garden Magazine, speaker at Altitude Design Summit, on-camera host for Hearst Media, styled photo shoots in the Hamptons and Nantucket
  • Dear friends who are talented colleagues I turn to for both business and personal advice on the regular

Those things sound fancy. And they are! {Cue Iggy Azalea.} And I would never in a million years have believed you if you'd told me they would happen in the first 3 years.

So dream big, betty. I believe in fancy.

Nor could I have imagined how much hard work it would take, how many tears, anxiety attacks, how little sleep. But I can't imagine anything bringing me more joy or fulfillment.

So hustle hard for the things that matter, m'dear.

And whether in your style, business or life -- from the bottom of my heart -- I'm here to help you have more authentic confidence and deep joy.

Let's write your "once upon a time" this fall ...

 

P.S. Remember, save the dates:  September 18 video series launches, October 15 class begins ...

P.S.S. Have a friend you think would love my free video series? Send 'em here today!

Secrets to a Swimsuit that Flatters Your Figure

Being in a bathing suit is weird. You're, like, almost naked. I don't care how comfortable you are in your skin, it's kind of bizarre that it's socially acceptable to wear so little clothes in public, right?

Meanwhile, with so little fabric and so little diversity in shape, it's very hard to apply a lot of the style principles I teach: how to be empowered over a garment, change the shape, the silhouette, the style chemistry, where the eye goes. A few strips of lycra don't give a girl much to be empowered over!

So I confess finding a suit I feel utterly comfortable in has been perhaps the last bastion to tackle. This summer, I finally succeeded.

Here's the truth: This isn't a post on how to dress every shape. {But if you're a different shape than me read on to draw your own takeaways and see my discovery about separates below!}

It's a deeply personal post if you share my shape struggles: namely your stomach {feeling like your stomach is your "problem area"} and/or feeling larger on the bottom than you are on the top.

Secret 1: Your magic word is balance, or more specifically, volume.

The science of style here is that in a flat two piece, with the same amount of fabric on both ends, my bottom half reads as larger than my top. I don't have an ample bosom and any weight I carry is in my stomach.

This means that high-waisted bottoms alone were NOT the answer for me: they only made my bottom half appear larger. Ditto one-pieces because they do nothing to change my shape -- they just show it as it is.

To balance out my shape, I need not just more fabric on top {nope, a tankini doesn't help either} but more volume. This could be ruffles, a swing top or in this case, peplum, but I need to use the top of my bikini to change my shape and create balance.

 

The moment I saw Kortni Jeane's suits on Instagram I gasped. Might this be the answer?!

I put on the suit timidly, preparing to be disappointed yet again, and wanted to squeal I was so happy with what I saw in the mirror. I could walk down the beach and NOT SUCK IN wearing this! It was a Christmas in July miracle!

The other aha moment I had looking around Kortni's shop was to consider my very small bathing suit drawer {unless you walk to the beach daily, how many suits does a girl need?} the way I do my closet:

Secret 2: Choose re-mixable possibilities to play with.

So I chose two suits, four separates, that all played or paired together. Which means I bought two suits, but have four options every time I head to the shore. I also love this because it means when you find a bikini that you LOVE the way it fits you: buy two versions!

Goodness knows you don't want to have to hunt anew, so just pick different prints and patterns from the same designer and style. And one last thing:

Secret 3: Guide the eye intentionally

Knowing that I want more balance or emphasis up top, I chose more bold and bright tops that would pull the eye upward. Squint your eyes at the photo below. What stands out the most?

One final way you're empowered is in choosing a 2-piece with two different prints or colors to direct the eye to where you want.

P.S. Of course if you're busty with teeny legs, you know you can just invert this whole equation. {wink}

Kortni Jeane Bathing Suits, Dean Street Society

Shop these styles { Swim separates : c/o KortniJeane | Beach hat : Betmar | Sunglasses : Cole Haan from TJ Maxx : Similar } + Photography by Michelle Kim 

And because you know Dean Street Society is style for the smart and savvy betty, you might take a moment to watch this Q Talk on The Evolution of the Bikini.

For me, my bathing suit woes have not been about modesty, but a lack of empowerment to change my shape to the silhouettes I know in real clothes are most flattering on my figure. Therefore, a one piece wasn't the answer, but could even make me feel more pregnant perhaps.

So whatever your swimwear struggle is, I encourage you to take back the power.

Look for suits that allow you to control where you want the eye to go and balance out your shape. Try on a ton of different styles in the dressing room and play detective.

Because there is a style that's most flattering on you, and that joy makes the beach oh so much more divine!

 

P.S. Oh and consider buying them now when you're tanned and they're on sale. After all, a Dean St betty should be prepared to be whisked away on a beach vacation this winter. {wink}