Dana Mook - Image Consultant - Charlottesville, VA
Photo: Melanie Collazo. Dress: Rebecca Roller Rabbit

Warmer weather calls for outdoor gatherings, reconnecting with family and friends, and celebrating – whether it’s a holiday, or simply spending some time outside. And that means a change in our wardrobes, too – trading all those layers for outfits that are lighter, a little brighter, and that function well for spring and summer.

How do you know if that outfit is going to function well, and what does that mean?

My mission as an image consultant is empowering women with the knowledge they need to make smart, fast, and easy choices when they’re choosing clothing for all walks of life. And the major way I do that is by keeping things functional and practical. (Without sacrificing the fun!)

When you’re getting dressed for your next cookout or summer party and evaluating your options, ask yourself these questions:

1. Is this weather appropriate?

Just how warm (or cool) will it be outside the day of the event? (I’m located in Central Virginia and the weather is craaaazy here. Always check ahead of time!)

How does that compare with the weight of the fabric, sleeves versus sleeveless, long skirts and pants versus shorter styles?

Is there a possibility for rain that day? That may affect your shoe choice (open or closed toe, flats or heels).

2. Is this practical for what I’ll be doing there?

What kinds of foods do you think you think will be served? Messy barbecue, or neat hors d’oeurves? This will play a factor in if you’re choosing fabrics that are easily washed versus clothing that requires special care, such as dry cleaning.

Ease of movement is important, too – will you be standing, sitting? Playing with kids or animals? Choose your comfort level and your ability to move accordingly!

3. Does this represent my authentic self?

This question goes for anything you wear, in any place at any time, but I ask it because it is so important.

When our image is a true representation of who we are on the inside, we feel more complete, and we radiate confidence.

And I don’t know about you, but I tend to get a little nervous going to parties (especially when I don’t know many of the guests). I take all the confidence boosters I can get, so I’m ready to tackle those social situations with less stress!

Get inspired with these looks…

Now that we’ve answered those questions, it’s time to have some fun! Scroll down to get inspired by some fun warm-weather looks. I’ve included looks for a variety of style personalities and preferences. Click the pictures to go straight to the product’s shopping page. I’d love to know which one’s your favorite!

A nice basic to have: a loosely-fitting, casual style with pockets! Who doesn’t love pockets on a dress? This one comes in tons of colors and patterns.
I would totally wear this one. A vintage Audrey Hepburn look for the fancier affair, or if you just dig a more dramatic look.
A maxi dress in a bright, gorgeous color palette. I’d wear this one too. (Okay, who am I kidding – I’d wear all of these!)
jumpsuit
Think you can’t rock a jumpsuit? Yes you can! With so many styles available, there’s something for everyone. When I shop for them, I look for styles with as few buttons, zippers, and ties as possible – something that slides off easily for when you need to…you know…go. 😉 Many colors available!
plusdress
Bright and pretty pattern, and a great silhouette – in plus sizes!
Boho chic that’s so pretty, and a nice sleeved option.

(Full disclosure – clicking the images take you to affiliate shopping links. I earn a small commission from any products bought from these links.)

Which look is your favorite from the bunch? What’s missing for you that you’d like to see in this space? I am open to ideas and challenges! Hit me up with a comment, follow me on Facebook and Instagram, and let’s connect. I’d love to hear from you!

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Did you raid your closet for a cute outfit and come out feeling overwhelmed? Here’s another post you might enjoy: 4 Things to Purge from Your Closet Right Now

Need one-on-one help, and live in the Charlottesville area? Contact me about my personal styling services.

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