Showing Up is Not Enough. Zhoosh Away!

Welcome to my first installment of my Style Inspiration collection of posts.  This will be a series focusing on style tips, tricks and inspiration, all from my style journey directly to yours.

We’ve all heard the saying “showing up is half the battle”.  It’s totally true.  Its like getting out of bed early to get to the gym for a pre-work butt-kicking. Taking those first steps to put your feet on the floor truly is, half the battle.

But would you ever just stop there?  Would you ever drag yourself out of your cozy slumber just to get to the gym and sit around?  Probably not (although maybe…I’ve been highly surprised by what I’ve seen at my gym over the years). 

Wishful thinking: maybe someday there will be a gym membership premium upgrade that will allow you to get ripped just by being in the presence of people with six-packs and sculpted legs.  Genius!  Hopefully someone in Silicon Valley is reading this and getting to work on that, but until then…

Showing up is not enough.

It’s not enough at the gym, or anywhere in your life (if you want to get anything meaningful out of it at least).  The same is true for your wardrobe.    

As if picking out the right outfit wasn’t hard enough, right?  You’re saying just putting on the clothes isn’t enough?

Ok, hear me out.  Having a great piece of clothing is half of the battle (and believe me, there will be PLENTY of inspiration of that half of the battle to come).  However, let’s start with some pieces you already have and love! 

How do you make those pieces your own?  You wouldn’t have the PB without the J right?  Don’t leave the zhoosh out of the equation?

Ok, I swear, this IS a real word and no, I didn’t just call you something nasty.  It just means to make something more attractive, lively or exciting.  It’s also SUPER fun to say (learn how here)

Some of my favorite ways to do the zhushing include:

The Rolled Cuff:

Okay, so this one isn’t a mind-blower, but it is honestly one of the easiest ways to make an outfit look complete. Make sure to appropriately roll your cuffs.  Always.  You don’t have to leave this just for your button-up shirts either.  I often roll cuffs on sweaters, blazers and jackets to add a little interest to the styling of my outfit (and also to show off my staple watch and bracelets)


The Rolled Cuff

The Rolled Cuff

The Front Tuck:

Popping a shirt over your head and calling it a day may work in some instances, but more often than not, I find that an easy front tuck is the perfect way to elevate a basic look.  The other benefit is you can show off a great belt if you’re wearing one.  This trick works especially well with high-waisted bottom styles and really helps balance out proportions.  You can also try what I have done here with the button-down and just tuck in one side.  This trick is great for a really laid back feel maybe paired with destroyed jeans and loafers.

The Front Tuck

The Front Tuck

The semi-popped collar: 

I’m going to digress for a hot second and tell one of my favorite stories from the years I lived in DC, which obviously, is related to popped collars. 

I went to a club that shall not be named (but is in Georgetown and is eponymously named).  My first clue to run for the hills should have been the guy that I encountered the moment I stepped in the door.  

Seemingly the product of prep-school greatness, he decided to get real good and layered up (not Well Layered just to be clear) that evening with not two, but THREE pastel polo shirts.  Two polo shirts just wasn’t going to cut it on this miraculous evening.  He honestly looked like a neapolitan dessert made with fruity sorbets ranging from tangerine to raspberry. 

Oh, and did I mention that he had ALL THREE COLLARS FULLY POPPED?

His opening line to me was this:

“Hey, do you come to (insert eponymously named club here) often?”

What I did respond with was “No, first time.  Not sure I’ll be coming back though”.  Ouch, that was almost as cold as the ice cream sandwich of shirts he was wearing.

The Semi-Popped Collar

The Semi-Popped Collar

Looking back now, what I should have said was “Yes sir, and you MUST get me the name of your drycleaner! His starch game is clearly on point.”

Ok, in all seriousness though, I’m not talking about bros with sky-high popped collars here.  I am talking about finding a happy middle ground on the collar spectrum (yeah, just made that a thing).  It’s great to rock a cute messy bun with this to show off your perfectly zhooshed shirt.  An easy way to achieve this is to pop up the back of the collar and the fold down the front on each side.  Voila!  Semi-popped collar.

Side note: please only practice the semi-popped collar with one collar at a time.

A little zhushing goes a long way and if you have fun with it, your clothes will truly feel more uniquely yours.

How do you zhoosh your favorite pieces to make them your own?  Do you love a piece in your closet but can’t figure out the perfect way to style it?  Let me know below!

In love and body positivity,