S: Does it fit the Situation?
E: Is it worth the Expense?
Schrader invested in a classic three-piece suit. The jacket from White House | Black Market is a little more than your average jacket. The detailed neckline provides a focal point to draw the eye up. This is key for wearing when giving presentations. The neckline keeps the eyes on the face so that people can see and hear what is being shared.
Anything that draws the eyes up also helps to disguise other features of your shape that you might want to conceal. This is a great trick for all body shapes.
This jacket is a peplum shape, and is more narrow at the natural waist. The peplum shows off Schrader's shape -- she was surprised to see that she looks thinner when she wears clothes that fit.
The jacket, originally $148, was marked down to $49. Schrader purchased the coordinating pencil skirt ($78) and a pair of straight-leg suit pants ($78) from White House | Black Market. At a total of $205, this classic suit will make her ready for many meetings and presentations to come.
She purchased a white knit scoop neck top at New York & Co. that was on sale for $12.16. It is a great top that she also can wear with jeans or another skirt. She also found a pair of earrings and necklace to work with her suit at NY&CO on the clearance rack for $3.99 each.
A quick trip to Sephora to find brushes, Bare Minerals foundation -- something she always wanted to try but was afraid to -- and some other basics; her stylist showed her how to do the "five-minute face," including contouring and highlighting so that she could be even more fabulous in a flash. She's a busy mom, after all.
There were a few other items she thought about purchasing during the shopping trip, but they were full-price. Because the other items fit all of the other BASE criteria, the expense at this time couldn't be justified.
Not to worry. She has the tools and shopping savvy to hit the stores -- even the thrift stores -- to find things that fit her body, style and budget. Most important, she's also found her confidence.
Schrader attended a conference earlier this month and shared, "Now I look more professional, and people want to listen to me."
A few days after getting her new look, Schrader shared in a text message, "I have prayed for years to be free from this bondage of weight. I was thinking I had to lose all the weight first. I looked in the mirror this morning and felt absolute peace. I am finally confident just as I am."
To some it may seem shallow to think that external enhancements can make one feel differently inside. But they can, and they do. It's not shallow to do these enhancements for ourselves and to help others. We are being better versions of ourselves so that we can be better and do better.
It's not always to prove something or to be one of the crowd. I like to think that it's a way to stand out, be great and make our mark. We don't have to be others' versions of beautiful, but we have to feel beautiful to share it. But how wonderful it would be for all of us to find the peace and self-appreciation Cathy Schrader has found!
For more on Cathy Schrader's transformation, check out the special feature on the WVStyleTeam blog at www.wvstyleteam.com/cathy. Check out the blog for helpful tips to boost your confidence too!
Jen Wood Cunningham works in personal and professional development and loves classic style. Get tips and trends by following @WVstyleteam on Twitter. More tips and insights are available on the Style Team blog, www.wvstyleteam.com.