The warmer weather brings out the best in fashion.  There is always a lot of colour, florals and a mix of neutral and minimal styles that start coming through. It’s the perfect time to have a look at your current wardrobe and give it a bit of a revamp for the coming season, with a slight update to keep up with the Spring trends. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to dress in Spring and Summer trends for your body shape.

Determining your body shape

The first step is to determine what your actual body shape is.  We all have a perceived idea of what category we think our body shape may fit into, but in reality it is not always the right type. Here’s a detailed body shape guide to help every woman establish what category they fit into so that they can determine the type of clothing that will work with their body shape:

Body-Shapes-Kash-O'Hara-Leaders-in-Heels-

Now that body shape is determined, it makes it easier to look at the current trends and see what will work best for you. Don’t follow trends to a tee – always consider your shape, and whether or not the current trend will do more harm than good.

When dressing for a new season, or revamping your wardrobe, always ask yourself if it will suit your lifestyle.  This is key – it allows you to determine which style of clothing you should invest in as wardrobe staples.

Once you have determined your shape and your lifestyle requirements, here are some simple and easy to achieve tips on how to make the latest Spring trends work for you.

Trend: White on White

White on white is a great trend for the warmer months.  Not only does it look stylish, but white and neutral tones suit many women. Women with fair skin often worry that white tones may wash them out, but this is not the case.  It’s actually the off-whites and cream tones that you should be careful of. Pure white tones radiates light and brightens your complexion. It’s also a slimming colour when worn in the right fabrics.  It may not be the most practical colour, but works well with a structured piece to take from the office to a day out.

White-on-White-trend-Leaders-in-Heels

Trend: Utility

Another key trend this season is the utility trend. Both the high fashion and high street stores have jumped on board and brands such as Marc Jacobs, Rodarte and Nicholas K have taken this trend to their runways.

A major part of the utility trend is khaki, followed by key features such as D-rings, army and military patches, deep square pockets and, of course, aviator sunglasses – all making a comeback this season. The below image showcases the utility trend to suit every woman’s shape.

Utility-Trend-Leaders-in-Heels

Trend: Denim

Denim is a trend that will work all year round.  This Spring in particular it can be found and styled in many variations: double denim, light denim, white denim, denim dresses and even denim overalls.

Denim works well on everyone, no matter what size or shape. Look for pieces that you feel comfortable in wearing and that works well for you.  The cut and style of skinny jeans, wide leg jeans or shorts may not work for everyone.

Denim-Trend-Leaders-in-Heels

Trend: Japanese influence

 There is a noticeably strong Japanese influence this Spring, with brands such as BCBG, Marni, Alexander McQueen and Aganovich showcasing a clear Japanese influence in their Spring/Summer 2015 collections.

The trend focuses on Kimono style dresses, tops, oversized sleeves, floral and digital prints as well as beautiful silks and Japanese belt ties. When styling this trend an important tip to keep in mind is that there are a lot of oversized pieces and loose fitting styles so pair with a structured pant or jacket to bring structure to the overall look.

Kimono-Trend-Leaders-in-Heels

This season brings a variety of trends to the table, and no matter what size, shape or style there is something that everyone can look fabulous in.

All images in this article courtesy of Kash O’Hara, Founder of The Style Doctor

 

Kash-O'Hara-Leaders-in-HeelsKash O’Hara
With a long held interest in fashion and styling, Kash O’Hara, founder and head style doctor at The Style Doctor, gained extensive experience within the Australian fashion industry and became heavily involved in styling work. Kash has worked as a fashion designer, personal stylist, editorial stylist and celebrity stylist for the likes of Danni Minogue, Lizzy Lovette and Lynette Bolton.

With her experience in styling and fashion design working hand in hand, Kash launched the diverse offering of The Style Doctor in 2015, the online styling expert which is the first of its kind in Australia.

 

 


Are you busy? Like, really really busy? Are you too busy to read this article? Pick up the dry-cleaning? Make a healthy dinner?

What about feeling grounded and calm? Are you too busy for that? Are you too busy to put yourself first for once, and to set clear, healthy boundaries? Are you too busy to replenish your energy stores and improve your mood? Too busy to feel inspired, connected and expansive? Are you too busy to say no, so you’re always saying yes even though it leaves you feeling resentful and stressed out?

Busyness might be ubiquitous but that doesn’t mean it’s cool. Sorry to burst that bubble, but I have a different idea of what’s trendy.

I think trendy is looking after ourselves, deeply and completely.  Saying no when we mean no.  Setting clear, healthy boundaries (and holding to them).  Backing ourselves, slowing down without the guilt, and incorporating little moments of calm into our day.

So here are 6 ways to release yourself from the busyness trap – you can take them or leave them. But if you don’t take them, can you really afford to burn out?

1. Say no when you mean no

Before you say yes to anything else, ask yourself if you really want to say yes. Really? Would it feel good to you? Expansive? Freeing? Or does saying yes feel restrictive and rigid? Do you already feel resentment bubbling up inside you? What would feel good to you?

You can say no in a loving, kind way. And in fact, saying no is often being loving and kind to yourself, and it’s as important as saying yes. Balance the scales a little more in your favour by saying no when you truly, deeply, honourably mean no.

2. Set clear, healthy boundaries (and honour them)

Boundaries define your territory; what you say yes to, what you say no to, and how you allow others to treat you, and getting clear on your boundaries is an important step in getting out of the busyness trap.

But healthy boundaries are more than just saying no when you really, truly mean no. They’re also about holding your own energy and space so that you don’t take on others peoples’ stuff, which we often do if we feel (consciously or not) that they aren’t capable of looking after themselves or of doing the job right.

You can decide how others treat you by how you show up, by how you set boundaries, and by how you honour them. Initially it can feel a little scary to do this, but you’ll soon see, feel and know the difference this makes. Start today.

3. Back yourself

If you had a date planned with a friend, would you cancel them with five minutes to go? Probably not. Likewise, if you were walking into your yoga studio for a little bit of ‘me’ time and a colleague called you up to go through tomorrow’s presentation, would you turn and walk away from your yoga mat? Or would you back yourself and politely say, “Thanks so much for the call. I’m just walking into an appointment; I’ll call you back later”?

Much like you show up your family, friends and colleagues, it’s time you begin showing up for yourself too. Use this free self-care planner I created to help you make space for yourself in your busy calendar.

4. Slow down without the guilt

If I asked you to create time in your busy calendar to not make plans, to rest in whichever way felt good to you, and to restore your energy, how would you feel? Guilty for taking some time out of your busy day? Guilty for filling your well before you give more back to others? You need to put yourself first and give yourself time to rest if you want to show up in the world. The world doesn’t need the burnt-out, exhausted version of you. The world needs you, at your best, and you can’t be your best if you’re always putting everyone else’s’ needs ahead of your own.

You must create white space in your calendar and mind. You must give yourself permission to slow down and rest up. And you must allow yourself to do this, guilt-free. Not only do you ‘deserve’ it, but you’re worthy of it.

5. Incorporate little moments of calm into your day

This sounds easy and honestly, it can be. How can you incorporate a few moments of calm into your day? I do this by simply sitting down away from my computer for several moments between clients, by switching off my emails for an hour or so (nothing like reducing the ‘pings’ in your life to induce a calmer state) or by walking around the block to get some sunshine and fresh air between writing articles.

It doesn’t need to be expensive or time-costly, it just needs to be something you do frequently in your day that disconnects you from the busy and connects you to the calm that is somewhere inside you. I know it’s in there, you just need to create space for it.

6. Look after yourself, deeply and completely with herbal medicine

Apart from eating well in a way that nourishes your body and your soul, and making time for rest, exercise, sunshine, fresh air, and good times with your family and friends, you can turn to beautiful herbal medicines to restore your body’s natural energy.

Some of my favourite herbs include Rhodiola, Licorice and Rehmannia, Withania, Siberian ginseng and Korean ginseng. These herbs will improve your body’s ability to adapt to a wide range of stressors and begin to help your body heal and find equilibrium again.

If you’re feeling a little frazzle and anxious, herbs like Passionflower, Valerian, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile are beautiful, and if you’re feeling down, St John’s Wort (don’t take if you’re on medication), Lavender, Oats and Rhodiola are wonderful. If you don’t know a good naturopath or herbalist, pop in to your local health food store and ask them how best to take these herbs (usually in liquid, tablet or capsule form). Teas also work beautifully however for therapeutic doses, I always recommend liquid herbs.

Getting out of the busyness trap is up to one person… you. Will full permission, zero guilt, firm healthy boundaries and a whole lot of compassion, it’s completely possible.

Featured image provided by Cassie Mendoza-Jones

 

Cassie-Mendoza-Jones-Leaders-in-Heels

Cassie Mendoza-Jones

Cassie founded Elevate Vitality in 2011, which is both a naturopathic and kinesiology clinic and an online space that offers women a vast range of online courses, guides and blog posts that help them achieve health and happiness in their lives. She’s made it her mission to help women find clarity, connection and a sense of ease and freedom in their lives, by guiding them to feel worthy and confident in their skin, and to let go of their limiting beliefs, fears and worries about never being good enough. For more information on Cassie, visit: www.elevatevitality.com.au.


How do you turn obstacles into opportunities?

A challenging question, no doubt, for many of us when things go wrong.

Seeing an obstacle as an opportunity is probably the last thing we think about, right? How much more can we take after all? Our partner is unfaithful, or we find out our child is using drugs. Our car breaks down when we are in a hurry, we lose our keys, we have an accident, we are about to present to a major client and lose our voice, we find ourselves with nothing from one day to the next. We strive to succeed and our health lets us down. The examples are endless. We all have our own story and definition for obstacles, yet we all know what they are and we all experience them! The greater the obstacle however, the greater the opportunity!

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome

– Booker T. Washington

Here are 14 tips for Transforming Obstacles into Opportunities for Growth!

1. Never Give Up! The greatest achievements come from incredible obstacles. In fact, the greater the goal the greater the obstacles.

2. Think of challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.  Challenges will help you grow on the way to your dreams.

3. Ask the right question! If something happens, how about asking, “How can I solve this?” Asking for a solution will open up your mind to inspiration and suddenly you become resourceful! Solutions start to pour in. It is important to refrain from unhelpful questions like “Why me?”

4. Life is full of duality, or opposites. How is one to know they have lost their sight unless one has seen the light? We cannot know one without the other. When we realize this, we suddenly see the order in all things.

5. When we stop seeing things as good or bad and simply see them as they are, we are able to let go of our judgments. That makes our access to opportunity out of obstacles so much easier.

6. Say NO to Drama! When obstacles come up, instead of going into a panic, calling our friends, take a deep, long breath and look at the situation calmly.

Life is full of duality, or opposites. How is one to know they have lost their sight unless one has seen the light?

7. We cannot control people, places or things. We can only control our responses. Therefore naming, shaming or blaming does not serve us. What serves us is our personal awareness and accountability. We are, after all, responsible for our own lives.

8. You are your Attention. When challenges come up, do you look at the problem or the solution? Knowing how powerful our thoughts are, can we really afford to focus our attention on the negative?

9. When obstacles come up we often look at the obstacle. Try looking for the gift. The law of opposites deems there is always a gift and the evidence of the silver lining you have received is the fact that you are here, reading this right now.

10. It is important to become aware of our choices, if we wish to transform obstacles. We all make a million choices everyday, even when we don’t think we are (having a coffee, for example). By making conscious choices we can always check in and ask, “is this helpful to me and/or others”? Our bodies are amazing when we listen to them.

11. Learning to love who we are, by recognizing that we too, are full of opposites and they are all valid, gives us the confidence to handle any situation that comes up with the knowledge we will do our best.

12. We are all a part of the whole. Humans share the need to love and be loved. Whatever the event, collaborating with others rather than attacking them will bring positive results and that is a guarantee.

13. Be grateful for every experience because it has made you the person you are today. In hindsight, we always see the reason for things.

14. Inspiration is the key to transforming Obstacles. It is readily accessible when you are in the right frame of mind.

There you have it, my friends. We are incredibly strong; there is nothing we can’t do. Wishing you an easier passage through time. After all, we are power women!

 

Tula Tzoras img Leaders in HeelsTula Tzoras

Tula Tzoras, The Inspiration Genie is here to Unleash Your Full Expression. She is an Actor, Author, Speaker, Host, with a successful acting career behind her, starring in several of Australia’s top rating shows as actor and presenter. Her experience in the Corporate Arena and Mindset realm make her a multi dimensional source. For more information, courses and coaching, please visit www.tulatzoras.com


As Power Women, we control our career, diet, exercise and lifestyle. As women, our nature is to nurture. But when it comes to relationships, many of us seem to fall down. Divorce rates are staggering. So what are some of the situations we can find ourselves in?

Some of us seem to be beacons for troubled people with major issues like addiction. We go in to rescue them, and find ourselves bereft at the end of it. Some of us attract partners who cannot commit and wonder why. Some of us are in marriages resembling hell. There is arguing, misunderstanding, sometimes even violence. This wears out our self esteem to such a degree that we begin to blame ourselves! Worse, these situations can render us powerless to leave. After all, perhaps we have children to consider.

23 tips for transforming failing relationships:

1. If you have a willing partner, relationship counselling can be great for establishing boundaries and tasks to work on for the relationship.

2. If you are working alone, the work you do can shift the perception of your relationship, and provide an example your partner may choose to follow.

3. Take an internal inventory of your own habits and behaviour. Develop self awareness. This will allow you to see and take responsibility for your part in every situation.

4. Realise that continuing the same behaviour will give you the same results. Be open to change.

5. Stay on your side of the fence. This means bringing the focus to the self and making it a rule not to name, blame, shame or state your partner’s reality. An example of stating someone’s reality is to tell someone how he or she is feeling, or what they are doing.

6. Own your feelings. Our feelings belong to us and though we may be triggered by events, we cannot blame others for them.

7. Refrain from criticism. If something hurts your feelings, you can communicate how you feel in a constructive way, without lashing out. Use “feeling” words like sad, scared, frustrated, angry, ashamed, lonely etc. If you express how you feel and leave it at that, when asked why, you may respond by saying “When you do this, I feel that”. It is not asking anything, it is letting them know and leaving the choice up to them.

How-to-transform-failing-relationships

8. Do not expect or ask someone to change. Love is accepting someone for who they are and who they are not. It is only at the point of something we absolutely cannot accept that a relationship ends.

9. Find your joy! Stop focusing on what you hate and begin to focus on what you love. We are our attention. The happier you are within yourself, the less you are affected by others.

10. The beauty of self-awareness is that we begin to identify what is ours and what isn’t. This way, we can build self-referral, aiding us in becoming immune to outside poison.

11. Find gratitude and express it for the great things your partner does.

12. Begin to focus on your partner’s good points.

13. Recognise that we are all connected and our ultimate wish is the same. We all want to be loved.

14. Realise that we are mirrors to each other. What we give, we give to ourselves, what we withhold we also withhold from ourselves.

15. Find the love in your heart.

It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else

16. Always ask yourself, “Is this choice loving to me and to others?”

17. Release the Judge! When we stop classifying things as good or bad, right or wrong, we experience peace.

18. Show kindness to your partner, no matter what.

19. Surprise your partner with treats, big or small, in or out of the bedroom.

20. Compliment your partner. A compliment is a gift.

21. Go into service for the other. This will give you happiness and invite service to you.

22. Practice regular meditation, visualising your relationship as you desire it to be.

23. Always do your best, after all that’s all we can do!

Before you go, here are some helpful quotes by Dr. Phil:

  • Awareness without action is worthless
  • You’re only lonely if you’re not there for you
  • Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration
  • It’s better to be healthy alone than sick with someone else
  • You cannot be who and what you are unless you have a lifestyle, both internally and externally, that is designed to support that definition of self

It is said that leaders can only lead by example. With any luck, your partner will be committed to a loving relationship and will choose to work with you. If not, practicing these tips will most likely inspire him to reciprocate accordingly. It’s your choice to stay or leave the relationship. That will require some courage, which of course you will have cultivated working on your self-awareness.

Featured image via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0

 

Tula Tzoras img Leaders in HeelsTula Tzoras

Tula, a.k.a The Inspiration Genie, is an experienced actor, author, speaker and host, with a successful acting career behind her, starring in several of Australia’s top rating shows as actor and presenter. For more information, courses and coaching, please visit www.tulatzoras.com


2015 Bubbles and Bargains  event will feature a “Success Collection”, comprised of outfits and success tips from 50 women of influence, such as Pru Goward, Naomi Simpson, Mia Freedman and Leaders in Heels Founder, Kasia Gospos!

Since opening in 2009, Dress for Success Sydney has supported over 8,000 women in need by providing high quality professional attire and practical advice to prepare for job interviews. And today Dress for Success shared some of the fantastic advice with Leaders in Heels to inspire and motivate our readers.

Success tips from women of influence

Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right

Pip Marlow, Managing Director, Microsoft Australia

 Have confidence to push for the role you want and keep a sense of humour.

Ann Sherry AO, CEO Carnival Australia

When you feel sad, when you feel that the world is not appreciating you and you feel hopeless, the best you can do is to help someone else. You will quickly notice that amazing things happen when women help other women.

Kasia Gospos, Founder of Leaders in Heels

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!

Alexandra Mills, CEO of Product, AussieCommerce Group

Never underestimate the power of self-belief. Know in your heart that you’re capable of achieving great things. Only surround yourself with positive people that build you up, support you and believe in you for they will become your rock in times of need. Back yourself and be amazed at what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it.

Deborah Hutton, Publisher and Founder, Balance by Deborah Hutton

Be true to yourself and don’t let work rule your life. Family must come first.

Deb Knight, Co-host Weekend Today | Host of Financial Review Sunday and Nine News presenter

Your reputation is everything. Word hard, treat everyone with respect and always try to do the right thing.

Kirsten Galliott, Editor InStyle Magazine | Ambassador Dress for Success Sydney

Minister for Women “Don’t hesitate when taking the next step. Take a risk and back yourself. Men don’t get bogged down in the qualifications they need for a role. Women need to stop believing they need to be overqualified to do the job. There’s no substitute for getting your hands dirty and getting experience under your belt.

Pru Goward, New South Wales Minister for Planning | NSW

If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.

Naomi Simson, Founding Director RedBalloon Author, Blogger and Speaker

Fail fast. You don’t learn by omission, you learn by co-mission.

Mia Freedman, Journalist, columnist, author, blogger and media consultant

 

This Sunday the 15th of March 2015, grab a bargain and sip champagne at Bubbles and Bargains, whilst raising critical funds to help women in need. Whether you fancy a near new pair of Prada shoes, a fabulous suit or just the opportunity to browse with a glass of bubbles in hand, Bubbles and Bargains is the event for you.

Bubbles and Bargains will be running from 10am – 3.00pm at the Easts Bondi Leagues Club (93-97 Spring Street, Bondi Junctin). Funds raised support Dressed for Success, find out more about Dressed for Success here.