Fashion Tips from George Brescia, plus a contest!

Looking for the perfect ensemble for your night out on the town with that special someone? Seasoned stylist and image consultant George Brescia, mastermind behind George B Style and author of the revolutionary fashion guide Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life, shares some tips on how to choose the clothes that will make you look and feel your best. Read below to discover your perfect Date Night attire, and don’t forget to check out the exclusive excerpt that follows. If you love what you read you’re in luck…Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life is available in stores and online now!

I was having lunch with a friend when my phone rang. Recognizing the caller, and not wanting to be rude, I apologized to her, and took the call—an emergency style-out.

“Red silk strapless, gold statement dangles, and the 4-inch Ruthie Davis sling-backs,” I said into the phone. The caller thanked me (tearfully!), and I hung up. My friend asked, “What was that?” I replied, “This happens all the time…and I LOVE IT!”

After I’ve worked with a client a few times, the phone calls begin, whether it’s a special occasion, a public event, or most important, a Date Night, the stakes are high, and you want to leave your guy breathless.

So let’s get down to it…what do you wear on a Date Night? The first three questions I ask my clients are: (1) Where are you going? (2) What date number is it? and (3) What do you want to say?….Because your look speaks volumes!

1)     Where are you going? Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the place. “Location! Location! Location!” may be a hard and fast rule in searching for a home, but it’s also a great rule for searching through your closet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to talk a girl out of wearing a clingy top and a mini-skirt to her boyfriend’s business dinner. My solution? “S. B. S”…“Sexy But Sophisticated!” Think Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair, or Melanie Griffith in Working Girl after she “rethinks her accessories!”

2)     What date number is this? My rule for the first date is: you have to be exciting! For the tenth date: you have to be more exciting! Did cousin Sally arrange a blind date for you with a guy in the cubicle next to hers? Or is it your tenth date with that special someone, and he’s getting more special by the minute? When it comes to romance, remember, there are no unspecial occasions. You always have to be luminescent. Choose colors that set off your eyes, hair, and skin tone, and make sure your make-up palette is flattering and never overdone.

3)     What do you want to say? Your clothes and your whole appearance from head-to-toe tells the world who you are…so make sure you’re telling the world and your date exactly what you want them to know. A black, one-shoulder matte-jersey Donna Karan with gold accessories can say “city girl.” A floral fit ‘n’ flair from J. Crew can say soft and feminine “girly girl.” And a Ralph Lauren pantsuit with tons of pearls can say chic, sophisticated “career girl.” It’s all up to you.

When the door opens and your date sees you, it’s your story to tell! Remember that you’re the leading lady and all your clothes and accessories are your supporting players. Whether you’re heading out for a night on Broadway or a barbecue on the beach, make it magic…

Keep reading to check out this exclusive excerpt from George Brescia’s Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life!


How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything

The story your clothing is telling is only the beginning. Cultivating awareness and learning to pay attention matter not just because of the material results they enable, but also because of what these habits of mind signify in the larger scheme of our lives. What else are you ignoring? Your finances? Your friendships? Your health? I don’t know about you, but I tend to ignore those things I fear, those parts of my life that fill me with uncertainty, anxiety, and dread. Bad idea. When we let fear rule our actions (or lack thereof ), the results are never pretty. A pattern of inattention can be just as impactful, in the negative sense, as calculated intention can be in the positive.

This is obviously true for your wardrobe—a wardrobe built out of fear and inattention will almost certainly be subpar. But because one black hole creates another, you cannot simply close the door to that hot mess of a closet of yours and dwell in the rest of your life without consequences. Or, to put it another way: How you do anything is how you do everything. Think of the care with which a traditional Japanese tea is served, the ceremony with which a kimono is slipped on. Why do the Japanese take such care with their rituals? To cultivate an unbroken sense of grace that extends out from the action to every area of life. Similarly, you can use fashion to become present in your life.

Soon, you will be making conscious decisions about everything you put on your body, and the way in which every piece comes together into a whole picture, every single day. That care will affect the perceptions of every single person with whom you interact, thus shaping your fate in incalculable ways.


Life Is Not a Series of Events

If you’re thinking, Enough already with this awareness / consciousness jibber-jabber, I thought I was reading a book about fashion!, let me put it to you in yet another way: For most of us, real life is not a series of events calling for cocktail dresses, “day-to-night” outfits, or impeccably pressed suits. The average day is generally, well, average, sometimes containing no more exotic a medley than running errands, ferrying children to and fro, making dinner, doing the dishes, tidying up, and, at some point, collapsing in an exhausted heap. But that doesn’t mean there ’s no room for a harmonious and flattering outfit that helps you make the best of your day.

Beyond that, when you dress only for the events you know about, you are missing out on the chance to seize the opportunities you didn’t know were there. Wouldn’t you rather start from a place that has you treating every day as an unknown quantity, full of potential surprises?

Here’s the mind-set from which I operate: I believe that the world is essentially a small town in which you never know who you’re going to run into, and what role that person may come to play in your life. The fact that I live in New York, the biggest small town on this side of Paris, may have something to do with that—our sidewalks boast a heady mix of opportunity, pedestrian traffic, and high fashion. But I’d live by this rule in Tulsa, Dubuque, and Wichita, too. I don’t want to exist in a world in which I wake up and expect that nothing exciting is going to come out of my day! So I always dress as if I might turn a corner and run into my next client, my next best friend, my next big adventure.

What does that mean for a day comprising a session at the gym, a trip to the grocery store, a stop at the dry cleaners? For me, probably a stellar pair of dark jeans, a clean and fresh (that is, not faded or holey) tee, and my cherry-red, twenty-dollar zip-up hoodie. Sounds like a stylist’s dream, right? I’m the first to admit it’s nothing special. But it’s all about that bright red hoodie. I could have worn a gray hoodie—but with a pair of jeans and a tee, what does that outfit say? Don’t look at me, or, expect nothing out of this day. A pop of color changes all of that. Not just any color, of course, but a color that happens to look great on me, that works with and not against my hair color, my skin tone, and my eyes. All of a sudden, I’m noticeable. I’m playful. I’m cheerful. And I’m brave. That twenty-dollar sweatshirt changes everything. And it doesn’t take a whole lot of forethought. Because my closet is filled with clothing that flatters me and that projects a range of positive statements from the casually cheerful to the powerfully tailored, even when I’m rushed and grabbing for something easy and last minute, I’m never in danger of dressing for a drab, fruitless day.

By the end of this book, you’ll be able to say the same. But somewhere along the way, you’re going to have to examine your mind-set and make sure that you’re open to a shift that’s more profound than a superficial makeover. Are you ready to dress for possibility? To prepare yourself, every day, to encounter a matrix of hidden opportunities you don’t know about in advance? It’s a bit scary, to be sure, in the way that the unknown is always scary. But it’s also so exciting.

We want to know what trend is hottest in your city right now. Tell us in a comment below (and don’t forget to mention where you’re from!) to enter for your chance to a 2-hour shopping consultation with George Brescia in New York City! There will be 1 lucky shopping consultation winner and 3 lucky winners who will receive a copy of Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life.

Contest begins at 9:00 a.m. Friday, August 22nd and ends at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 3rd. Sorry, contest open to U.S. residents only. Please click here for complete contest rules.

*Please note, shopping consultation is only held in New York City. XOXO After Dark is not responsible for the winner’s travel, accommodations, and purchases made during shopping consultation. Consultation must be scheduled between September 15th, 2014 and February 15th, 2015.

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Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life

Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life

George Brescia

In this revolutionary how-to book, seasoned stylist and image consultant George Brescia takes an eye-opening look at the intersection between our clothing and our emotions, hopes, and dreams, showing us how improving our external appearance can have life-changing effects on how we're perceived by others; and more importantly, on how we perceive ourselves. From major closet overhauls to a whole new philosophy on color, this is a comprehensive manual for anyone who has ever looked at her closet in despair.



77 comments so far

  1. irinastiles

    Will be good rainy day read.

  2. I will have to get this book..

  3. great book!

  4. hakaurvamp

    I’m actually from Buffalo, NY and there really is not trend that sticks for longer than a couple of weeks, and right now that trend would have to be crop tops….a big no in my world.

  5. This looks like a great book. I can’t wait to read it! I’m from Raleigh, NC and kimonos seem to be the hottest trend here right now.

  6. This looks like an awesome read! I’d love to win a chance to meet the author. Although it’s not clothing, the ombre hair style is something very popular right now.

  7. bowerysphinx

    Clothes manifest our deepest longings, deepest secrets and deepest hopes.
    In New York, even in the height of summer, black is still the goddess, night and day. It will ever be that way.

  8. rubenesqueme

    My mother used to tell me to observe everyone around me – then maybe I would pick-up some fashion sense. The problem is – I wouldn’t be caught dead in half the stuff I see!!!

  9. cshively212

    The hottest trend in Dayton OH is crop tops.

  10. wedges, skinny pants, colorful skirts

  11. I need this!

  12. Much better than “clothes make the man” – I may need George’s phone number. What to wear when approaching the boss about upcoming changes?

  13. LMAO I moved 3 years ago to the Modest is Hottest State Utah. Fashion trend here is Chervon Long Skirts and big ass statement necklaces.

    This is gal from Los Angeles wasn’t ready for Utah fashion.

  14. LuckyPenny51

    I need all the help I can get

  15. vetta roberts

    looking forward to this!!!

  16. johnsonchicky00

    Just read the blurb… sounds very logical!! What woman would not want to look amazing!!

  17. lalousiane

    I need a complete makeover. I am a tee shirt, flannel shirt, jeans, shorts or warm ups woman. I don’t know what looks good on me. I’m a big, beautiful woman, but don’t feel it when I look in the mirror.

  18. I can’t wait to read this.

  19. Floral patterns are hot in my city right now! I’m fromAustin TX!!! Thanks for this awesome giveaway!!!

  20. Thank you for the awesome giveaway! And such great advise in this post. 😀

    This book sounds amazing, and I could definitely use some help with my wardrobe and professional appearance. Can’t wait to read it.

  21. Lisanne624

    Saw a lot of girls at a gathering last night wearing very skimpy outfits with boots. It was 95 degrees, so I’m sure their feet were suffering!

  22. spongebob2285

    I live in upstate NY. I am a fashionista and I love to wake up in the morning and figure out what I am going to wear for the day. What I have seen trending are jean jackets and patched up jeans. There has been many animal prints and great color combinations. Floral print has been a hit this summer. Can’t wait to read this book. Thanks for the chance of winning.

  23. Again, thank you for the awesome giveaway! And the hottest trend in the San Francisco Bay Area are lots of skinny jeans, loose tops with tanks peeking underneath, and jeweled sandals.

  24. jenniferedit

    I doubt I ever stand out like a sore thumb regarding my clothes — at least not in a bad way — but I’d like to stand out more often in a fabulous way!

  25. I need to read this!

  26. Unfortunately, I live in the country and the fashion trend is jeans and camoflauge. Every once and a while someone wears a really cute Maxi or steps up the jeans with a crisp white shirt and accessories. That is usually me. I do my best with what I have. Anything is better than camo to me. I live in Lake City, Florida

  27. Apachewoman59

    I could so use this!

  28. Recently, shopping for my in-law’s 50th Anniversary I realized how sad are my options as a curvy girl in Tampa, FL. It is extreme! There seems to be only two kind of styles: lay back, informal FL or club wear. None reflect my style nor what I wanted to project that day. Thank God for online shopping that allows to reach out for good quality clothing lines at reasonable prices.

  29. debbishaw

    high heels and jeans

  30. I’m from Jackson Ms and right now the only thing that I’m positive is trending is Van’s. I see women and girls alike everywhere with those shoes! I’ve never really been that fashion coordinated and I could definitely use an expert in that area to help me out! As it is right now I have to ask my husband for advice. HELP!!

  31. Since I live in New Mexico, almost everyone wears jeans. I would love a new look!

  32. I’m from the Pittsburgh PA area and the hottest trend where I live is anything Pittsburgh Steelers black and gold.

  33. bookworm4evs

    Hi! I live in Naples, Florida and I’ve noticed that a lot of people are wearing either long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve shirts tucked into high-waisted, colored/patterned khaki shorts. I would love it if I could try out a new style and add some items to my wardrobe! Or at least win the book to serve as replacement for the author!

  34. I live in Minnesota. Since I was laid off two years ago, my main “style” is jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt. Going back to school didn’t improve that any. I need something to excite my closet again. This looks like the book that will do it!

  35. angarcia41

    I’m from Miami, FL, where trendy is the watchword. While neon, big earrings, Coach bags, and four-inch heels are always in style, high-waisted shorts and crop tops are the current trend.

  36. sunshinehdfan

    I live in St louis Mo and we do not have a new trend right now that I know of but I hope I win : )

  37. I live on Long Island but travel to NYC quite frequently. It seems to me that here & in NYC there is an ongoing trend of scarves. I love them & personally think that they go with everything all year round & never go out of style!

  38. Jany Honeycutt

    I’m from Colorado. I think the latest trendy is crop tops and high waisted shorts!

  39. hsfullman

    The hottest trend in Chatham, NJ is high-waisted skirts with crop tops!

  40. I’m always looking for those great fashion books and this sounds amazing! I love how the book seems to give pretty specific tips on how to fit your outfit to your needs. Thanks so much for the book recommendation and the contest:).

  41. My life is changing and I need this book. I am hoping for lots of dates and need all the tips I can get! So looking forward to reading the book.

  42. flowers27

    Sounds like a fascinating book

  43. amanda8760

    Short shorts, mid drifts, cowboy boots and flip flops. Here in Indianapolis

  44. duncansmomma

    I’m in Charlotte, where it’s super hot and humid right now, so I’d say the current trend is strappy tank tops and short cut off jean shorts with plenty of fraying on the edges and a very distressed look.

  45. Sounds like a useful book.

  46. I’m in a suburb of NYC. Looking for a new style.

  47. I have no idea what fashion trends are going around in St. Louis right now. I am utterly out-dated and am either running my daughter around to work and school, working my office job, or reading for book reviews. Help!

  48. bright colors; LA

  49. Letsgocats

    Cleveland, Ohio: Where anything regarding the Tribe is the hottest thing to wear!

  50. Sheri Zee

    Layering is a big trend here in NY!

  51. I’m in Dayton, OH and layering is a big trend here.

  52. jkaymatson

    Need all the help I can get and this book sounds like it it filled with good advice.

  53. I can’t wait to read & put this fantastic read into action!! I desperately need a wardrobe makeover and would love to have some personal advice from George.

  54. FloeticFlo

    I’m in Florida so anything that keeps us cool! Cute shorts and skirts, halter tops, etc.

  55. I’m from Los Angeles. The weather here has been extreme from one end to the other end. I’m trying to figure what in between clothing to wear so I don’t put the summer clothes prematurely or bring out the winter clothes too early.

  56. cstokes1979

    I’m terrible at putting things together. I need lots of help!

  57. chevywrangler

    Wow!!! I need this yesterday. Have a complete image to change.

  58. Live in So. California. The style is casual. I work at different venues so everything from shorts and tank tops to club wear. Some women don’t appear to have looked in the mirror before they left home. My style is mostly jeans and t-shirts. I guess at 71 most clothing is very staid and boring. I enjoy being girly and carefully casual.

  59. I live in the most redneck part of NC and I absolutely dislike the style here. It’s so very country and redneck. I want something different, something cute and trendy but comfortable.

  60. I live in Laurinburg, NC the hottest trend down here is leggings all colors, designs and styles.

  61. CrystalMirror

    Some great tips

  62. DevonAlexander

    I live in New Orleans, Louisiana and the styles here are as varied as the people, a true gumbo of styles. With the beginning of football season, every weekend you see almost everyone wearing Saints related shirts. My personal style is jeans and a simple top for work and on weekends it shorts and a tee.

  63. superkannen

    Right now, everyone in Fort Smith, Arkansas, is wearing wide leg pants in brightly-colored patterns with solid tops (frequently Piko tops–which I loathe). Please rescue me from this fate.

  64. iloveable

    Highwaisted shorts with crop tops sometimes are a trend in Orlando, FL.

  65. couldn’t hurt. Although invisible has been a pretty good look for me here in suburban Philadelphia

  66. In Baltimore, the styles change

  67. I need this book. I live in a city with no style.

  68. chanpreet

    I’m from Atlanta, and I haven’t really seen a trend that’s currently tearing up the streets. It’s just basically whatever you feel like wearing. I guess I need to get out more and see what people are wearing.

  69. radolini6

    Capri pants are trendy here, but I can’t stand them. I’m in Matlacha, FL….going to check this book out!

  70. Icecream18

    I’m from Chicago and the trend seems to be leggings in different patterns. Thank you for the amazing giveaway!

  71. miamidiva

    Miami is very trendy and very diverse so its hard to pin point one serious look……tights was the hottest thing since sliced bread the past 3 years but now I would say that The hottest trend in Miami right now is ……. and I saw in other comments crop tops, so I will have to say Blazers paired with jean shorts.

  72. mygreatkid1023

    George did a Q&A on Twitter/Facebook last year and gave me such great advice as to picking the right colors (when I asked him about the theory that each of us is a season) and it helped me enormously make better decisions and break out of my rut of wearing black, black and more black. I’m lucky enough to be in the NYC area and catch him on his always entertaining television appearances and always learn something new and exciting when I watch him. He’s a fashion guru!

  73. Kenttraore

    I live in upstate New York and to be honest I have no idea what is in fashion. I work in the city NYC that is and I see so many fashion statement until i am confused. I think this legging wore as pants business needs to stop. Some people seem to be confused by what is a legging and what are pantyhose vs what are tights this trend has gotten out of control. I like earth colors as well as dark blues and grays with a splash of yellow foe each outfit.

  74. The current trend is shorts and tanks with flip flops.

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