10 Affordable Ways to Update Your Style for 2018

Looking for affordable ways to update your style in the wake of holiday spending?  It can be done, and I’ve put together a list of easy and fun ways to give your style an extra “kick” for the new year. You can also shop this customized Nordstrom catalog to help you make the recommended purchases. (Note, I’m a Nordie’s affiliate and may receive a commission from purchases made through these links.)

1.  Take everything out of your closet that doesn’t fit right now.

Plowing through a bunch of clothes that are too small or too big is completely demoralizing.  Don’t torture yourself.  Pull them out, give them away, free room in your closet/dresser for show-stopping garments you’ll wear!

2. Pucker up with a new shade of lipstick

Try a new shade of lipstick that makes your complexion dazzle.  If you have a cooler skin tone, go for shades with names that feel cooler by nature like “plum” or “pale pink.”  Warm skin tones will like names that include hot words like “lava” or “caramel.” Remember that pinks are cooler than reds.  The point is to choose a hue that’s noticeably different enough from your current shade. FashionMagazine.com featured a list of the most popular shades from around the world.



lipsticks nordstrom

Shop lipsticks, Nordstrom.com


3.  Indulge in a statement everyday Handbag. White, Gold or silver.

I’m so fortunate in that my husband gifts me an amazing handbag every Christmas.  This year, the sales associate told him “white” was flying off the shelves, so I wound up with an amazing white Prada bag.  Silver and gold (separate or mixed together) are also really hot this season.  They are bright, clean and neutral so they will go with everything.  Invest in one nice handbag (instead of 10 from the bargain bin) that’s your go-to accessory for most daily wear and your “cost per wear” will lower quickly. In the end, it will make the purchase a wise and affordable one.


nordstrom white handbags

Shop metallic & white handbags, Nordstrom.com

4.  Get a new hairstyle or hair color.

Unless you’re like Anna Wintour and have designated your hair cut as your signature style statement, it may be time to make a change. I jumped off the deep end and cut a good 8 inches off my hair in 2016. My husband freaked out, but I loved it and he warmed up to it (after a lot of men paid me compliments in front of him). Big changes in your cut and/or color is a BOLD step and one that can set the tone for the rest of the year.

5.  Start daily affirmations.

I cannot express how effective my sticky note affirmations from Stick With It have helped me stay focused during chaotic times.  I stick a new one on my mirror every Sunday and repeat the affirmation while getting ready for work all week long.  There are a number of “themes” to choose from and they are budget friendly.

6.  Sign up for a specific event and train for it.

I believe that looking at numbers go up and down on a scale is a fleeting and punitive measurement of good physical health. Instead try signing up for an event and train for it. It may sound strange, but my event is the TEDxUTAustin talk that I’m presenting February 10, 2018. It’s not a race or competition, but I do want to look and feel my best when I’m standing in front of 150 people and and a video camera. Austin hosts a revolving door of races and competitions year round. Pick one that works for your abilities, find a support group on sites like MeetUp.com and turn it into a FUN fitness goal.

7. Brighten your outlook with LED light therapy.

Skin therapist Laurie Falcon turned me on to this healing and calming skin treatment.  Once you close your eyes and get under those lights, you fall into an almost meditative state– it’s good for the skin *and* the mind!  And people notice the difference for weeks after a session. There are various colors to address the different needs of your skin.

8. Dispose of all expired beauty products (or those older than 6 months).

In fact, mascara’s shelf life is only about 3 months. Makeup will cake, become discolored and can even cause infections if used past the expiration date.  I like EverydayHealth.com’s list of  11  beauty products, from lip gloss to loofahs, and when it’s time to toss them.


nordstrom skincare

Shop beauty & skincare, Nordstrom.com

9.  Replace bras that are more than a year old.

If a bra is worn more than once a week for a year, it’s time for retirement. The band stretches and the cups and wires lose their shape. Make sure you get a professional fitting before your next purchase and read this article I wrote about the risks of certain materials/designs and how to care for your bras for maximum value as part of an interview with leading bra designer Heidi Lehman.  I like to purchase two panties that match a bra. Wearing a matching set always makes me feel sexy, even though no one else can see it.


bras nordstrom

Shop Bras, Nordstrom.com

10.  Change your perfume.

Your olfactory system is the strongest sense when it comes to conjuring memories and associations.  When I smell “Beautiful” by Estée Lauder, my mind goes back to 1990’s Virginia, when I worked in the music industry.  By switching perfumes, you create a scented memory for the period that will last a lifetime.  Here are tips from perfume expert Jane Daly for picking the brand that best suits your tastes.


nordstrom perfumes

Shop Perfume, Nordstrom.com

If you would like personal help with your style questions, please contact me. I’m always happy to help!


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12 Responses to 10 Affordable Ways to Update Your Style for 2018

  1. Evelyn, PathofPresence May 5, 2018 at 7:41 am #

    Love these ideas to update your style. I am in the process of moving this weekend and all your suggestions or surely be used! There’s no better time than the present to renew and refresh. Thanks!

  2. Tiffany May 5, 2018 at 3:39 am #

    I really love all your ideas in this post and it was so nice to read some different suggestions! I’ve been having a massive wardrobe purge this week and have just been sent a very nice statement handbag so I reckon I maybe need a new bright lip colour and I’m set for spring?!

  3. Rachel May 4, 2018 at 4:10 pm #

    A great selection of very practical and achievable ideas and a good reminder that it can be affordable to update your style. I’m feeling inspired!

  4. Elise Ho February 22, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

    I love your update ideas. Affirmations and new bras are amongst my two favorite tips. Affirmations can help with making you feel uplifted and some great new bras can really uplift the girls.

  5. Leatrice Eiseman February 2, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

    Your programs and consulting services always sound so real and right on target! i wish we lived in closer proximity so I could get to see you again but my presentations take me out of the country more often than in the country. Austin is so lucky to have you………

    • Thea Wood February 27, 2018 at 8:55 am #

      So great to hear from you, Lee. I was just chatting about you with a pediatric ophthalmologist who was reading the book “The Secret Lives of Colors.” Ordering it now!

  6. Nancy Baten January 30, 2018 at 1:06 pm #

    I defenitely need to change my bras!

  7. KATE BATTEN January 15, 2018 at 7:25 am #

    I love how you shared that mindset is some important and that you use affirmations every day and have self-discipline in using them. Sometimes it’s what we are saying to ourselves that needs addressing the most so it stops leading to emotional shopping when really we already have enough clothes, we just need a little pick me up and some different ways of thinking.

  8. Lynn James January 13, 2018 at 3:15 am #

    Love this post. A bright lippy makes a huge difference i find

  9. Kim B Smith January 11, 2018 at 6:38 am #

    Done, done, done! On your list!
    Congrats on the Ted Talk in Austin! Exciting!

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