What are we supposed to wear to work these days? Many of us just headed back into the office for the first time over the last few weeks. Some of us are dipping a toe back into the corporate world via one of the “hybrid” models we’ve heard so much about — models where employees spend a few days working from home, and a few days in the office.
At HerMoney, we’ve begun huddling again for team meetings and other gatherings about once a month, and as we’ve been getting together more often, we’ve all been thinking more critically about our wardrobe. Some of what we were wearing pre-pandemic just doesn’t fit quite right anymore, or, frankly, we just don’t like it… And all around us, it seems the world has gotten more casual overall… So what on earth do we buy to look good for the modern office? Are we ever going to go back to formal suits, sky-high heels (that are just not comfortable no matter what kind of magic insoles you buy), and blazers, even when it’s 95 degrees out? To answer those pressing questions for us on this week’s episode of the HerMoney podcast is fashion and beauty expert Jacqui Stafford. You may know Jacqui best from her numerous appearances on the Today Show and her work on QVC, collaborating with fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Jacqui is known for her practical ‘best girlfriend’ style advice, and her bestselling book: The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget, has been referred to as “the style bible.” (You can find Jacqui on her website, on Facebook and Instagram, and she’s open to any/all questions from HerMoney listeners!)
Jacqui weighs in on what she’s been wearing for the last 18 months and what she’s hearing from women now as they look to transition back to the “real world.” She and Jean also discuss whether the world will be more comfortable with jeans forever — or whether we’re headed right back to formality.
The pair also discuss the most important and impactful investment pieces you can have in your wardrobe today, and the items that you need to have in your closet for 2022 and beyond. Some of Jacqui’s favorite suggestions are as follows:
A crewneck cardigan
A denim jacket
A simple leather handbag (in camel and in black if that’s affordable for you)
An iconic ballet flat (Jacqui’s favorites are these!)
A scarf, ideally that’s lightweight
Jeans — light for summer, dark for winter, no rips!
“I don’t feel the investment pieces ever do change, because those are the classic pieces that don’t really date, and that’s what you should have in your wardrobe,” Jacqui tells Jean. “The bulk of your wardrobe should be the pieces that you can wear for years to come… you can change them with a different earring, a little accessory, a cardigan, but invest in those pieces that you love, that you’ll always have, that will work with everything.”
Jacqui also discusses the term ‘“chic comfort,” which we’ve heard a lot about lately. What does it really mean? We also talk about fast fashion and what it means to be transitioning to a sustainable wardrobe. And of course we talk shoes, accessories, the biggest mistakes women make when buying clothes, and how to save money when we’re shopping… We hope you enjoy this amazing show as much as we did!
In Mailbag, we hear from a listener who is worried about an increase in her long term care premiums, and Jean advises a woman who is concerned about her daughter’s overspending habits. We also hear from a listener who is retired and who is considering becoming a financial planner so that she can offer much-needed support to her friends.
And if you wanted to check out my lipstick recommendations as discussed before Mailbag, I love all shades of this Sephora brand lip stain, but especially #96, Red Velvet. (It’s a true red, not blue, not orange, just pure candy apple LOVE.) I also love this Tarte “tarteist” lip paint, in rosé… And if you’re looking for something that won’t stay all day but will give you at least 4 good hours of color and will keep your lips super hydrated, check out the Tarte sugar rush in Cupcake, and the Glossy lip paint in “Fave.” (And if you really want a little video tutorial, email me at email@example.com and I just might be convinced to post one 😉
Lastly, in Thrive, Jean dishes on the hot topic of “revenge spending.” Are you falling victim to it this summer?
MORE ON HERMONEY:
- How to Avoid Fast-Fashion, Saving The Planet + Your Wallet
- 6 Ways to Improve Your Look Beyond Fashion
- The Messages Your Fashion Choices Are Really Sending – And How to Make Sure You’re Always Commanding Respect
SUBSCRIBE: Own your money, own your life. Subscribe to HerMoney today to get the latest money news and tips!
This podcast is proudly supported by Edelman Financial Engines. Let our modern wealth management advice raise your financial potential. Get the full story at EdelmanFinancialEngines.com. Sponsored by Edelman Financial Engines – Modern wealth planning. All advisory services offered through Financial Engines Advisors L.L.C. (FEA), a federally registered investment advisor. Results are not guaranteed. AM1969416
Jacqui Stafford: (00:02)
I don’t feel the investment pieces ever do change because when you’re looking at the classic pieces that don’t really date and that’s what you should get for your wardrobe, the bulk of your wardrobe should be the pieces that you can wear for years to come. You can change them with a different earring, different accessory little cardigan, but invest in those pieces that you love – that will always have a work with everything.
Jean Chatzky: (00:31)
HerMoney is supported by Fidelity Investments. You work too hard for your money to let it sit on the sidelines. Fidelity can show you how to demand more from your money every day. Visit Fidelity.com/HerMoney to learn more. Hey everybody I’m Jean Chatzky. Thank you so much for being with us today on HerMoney. I know some of you are listening to us on your commute to work many of you, because you are essential workers who never really stopped going in on a daily basis. And we are so grateful for all of you, but I also know that some of you may have just headed back into the office for the very first time over the last few weeks, maybe you are dipping a toe back into the corporate world via one of the hybrid models that we keep hearing about. Models, where employees spend a few days at home and a few days in the office at HerMoney, my team and I we’ve been huddling again for team meetings and other gatherings about once a month, I am actually sitting in the same room with Kathryn Tuggle to report this podcast for the first time in 17 months. We have been having lunches and meeting occasionally, but this is the first time that we have taped a show together.
Jean Chatzky: (01:50)
And it is so nice to be back in the same space, but as we’ve been getting together more often, I have been struggling with what to wear. And I know that I am not the only one, because some of what I was wearing into the office pre pandemic, it doesn’t quite seem right anymore. And quite frankly, I just don’t like some of it. And many of our listeners know that I recently moved to Philadelphia. I did a big purge before we packed everything up. I feel good about that. But realistically, I also know to my husband’s chagrin, not because he watches what I’m spending, but because he is very closely watching how we share the closet space. I know that I am going to need some new things, but what you get these days to look good for the modern office. I’m wondering, are we going to be more casual?
Jean Chatzky: (02:45)
Are we ever going to go back to suits and heels that are just not comfortable? No matter what kind of magic insoles you buy and blazers. If it’s 95 degrees out. No matter your company stands on the back to the office. Spectrum, my guess is you are struggling with these questions just like I am. And so today I’ve got fashion and beauty expert, Jacqui Stafford. You may know her as I do from her numerous appearances on The Today Show and her work on QVC collaborating with Isaac Mizrahi. She is known for her practical “best girlfriend’s” style advice, and her best-selling book, “The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget.” Some people call it The Style Bible. Jacqui, welcome.
Jacqui Stafford: (03:40)
Thank you so much for having me Jean. And it’s so fascinating because every time I listened to your podcast, which I love and listen to religiously. One thing that always sticks out to me is when you say that we want our money to work hard for us. And I have that same philosophy when it comes to fashion, every item that we purchase must work hard for us.
Jean Chatzky: (04:04)
I love that philosophy. I am, and we’ll get into this. I’m a clothing advertiser. I will actually think about how many times I’m going to wear this or that as I decide whether or not to buy it. But let me just start by asking, what has the author of the style Bible actually been wearing for the last 16 months? Did you get more casual with the rest of us?
Jacqui Stafford: (04:27)
Probably not, because I’m one of those people that puts on earrings and lipstick if I’m going absolutely nowhere. That’s just me, but I know that I’m an anomaly. But what I have seen with my clients is that we’re dressing more comfortably. We’re dressing more casually, but we’re not looking sloppy. So the shift now has gone into more luxurious, comfortable fabrics, embracing all the new technology in fabric. Everything that we get might have a little bit of stretch with it, comfort. So when you’re referring to those items like structured suits, that we’re going back to the office, where if we’re in a profession that demands a more conservative approach, for example, in clothing, now we’re looking forward to easier pieces that are slightly more relaxed, but still polished and still looking good together. And I can give you some examples of those things.
Jean Chatzky: (05:24)
Yeah. I would love some examples because I’m thinking about going into some sort of an office going into a meeting, going to a place where I have to see other people and where I have to look good, not just from the waist up, which has been the way of the world for the last year, but head to toe. Can we take it from a head to toe perspective? What are the elements that we should all be thinking about and how casual has the world overall really gotten?
Jacqui Stafford: (05:56)
The world has definitely become more casual. I don’t want us to fall into the trap of casual equals sloppy. When we say casual, we mean a little more relaxed in the dress code. So there’s days of wearing very structured, extremely corporate jackets, blazers, suits. They’re moving away. There are still some fields corporate, for example, the financial services industries like that are still demanding something a little more corporate, a little more pulled together. But if you’re working in a creative field, you have a little more leeway in what you’re wearing, but true style is really not necessarily dictated by a certain type of wardrobe. It’s about having those pieces that feel comfortable. That’s number one, we don’t want to be wearing pieces that don’t feel comfortable. So if you’re in a structured blazer that doesn’t feel comfortable, that’s not what you want. I like to advise my clients to get color into their lives.
Jacqui Stafford: (06:54)
Number one rule: color into your life. When you wear color, it just gives your skin that luminosity, that brightness, that vibrancy, that’s something we learn, number one, when we’re doing all our conference calls and we’re all dressing from the top up when we’re often wearing pajamas on the bottom of. So we learn that color is such a great piece to have to think about when you’re dressing, think about embracing colorful pieces, certainly on the top half that just give your skin more vibrancy. Think about fabrics, invest in better. And this really comes back to the financial aspect of dressing. We found that we really reach for 20% of our wardrobe. 80% of the time. That’s a statistic that is well-known in fashion. When I’m working with clients, when I’m looking through their wardrobes, I ask them to pull out what are you really wearing all the time?
Jacqui Stafford: (07:54)
And you’ll find it’s those pieces that work with everything that can be worn with a multitude of pieces that are easy. You don’t have to think about. For example, not a shirt that might need a different type of underwear with it. You’re probably not going to wear it so much because you’re going to have to think about it. So you want to build your wardrobe with pieces that are fuss free, the lazy girl’s guide to style. If that’s how I build my wardrobe, if I can pluck it out of my wardrobe and put it on and feel great in it and walk out the door and it can take me from brunch to a meeting, that’s what I’m looking for. When I’m creating wardrobes for people,
Jean Chatzky: (08:40)
Let’s get specific about what some of those pieces might be. Cause I know what I reach for, but my body type is not every woman’s body type. And it’s, I don’t know that it’s ubiquitous across the board. Let’s start with those fabrics. What are the fabrics that you think we should be buying these days?
Jacqui Stafford: (09:01)
I want everyone to think about better fabrics. So buy more of better and less of not so good. And the simple reason is this. When you invest in better fabrics, they wash better last longer, hang better on your body. You can usually keep them for decades. So when we think about CPW Cost Per Wear, which is what we think about, you said you advertise what you spend money on, spend money on the better pieces. So for example, washed silk, something in blouses rather than synthetics, because washed silk looks gorgeous, breathable, natural fabrics. Linen. Linen’s, a great thing to invest in it, or it doesn’t matter if it’s looks creased. That’s how it’s meant to look. 100% cotton looks for complete natural fibers. cashmere in the winter. Cashmere is actually a breathable, smart fabric. So often people think they can’t wear cashmere when it’s warm outside, but it does self-regulate to the body. You’re not going to wear it in 90 degree heat, but it’s certainly something that is a three season fabric. I think about natural cashmeres. Fine gauge cashmeres think about Pima cotton when you’re looking for your t-shirts, because it has an extra long fibers in your t-shirts. So when you’re looking for fabric, content of clothing, lots of the highest percentage of natural fabrics, that’s always a good tip. How
Jean Chatzky: (10:32)
Do you decide when you’re looking for an item? Let’s talk about that T-shirt for a second, right? Because there are $10 T-shirts. My closet is full of $10 T-shirts from J.Crew. I like them. They fit well, but I went into a store the other day and I put on a $90 T-shirt and I was just like, what’s the justification for this $90 T-shirt? It actually, it did feel really good, but is it going to last me nine times longer than these $10 J crew t-shirts or am I gonna spill spaghetti sauce on it and be devastated?
Jacqui Stafford: (11:13)
Well, highly likely. And so that’s the point is that better fabrics definitely last longer. But if you are looking for something that you wear every single day and you don’t really care what you do with it, and you’re not that worried about it, then those are the less expensive versions. J.Crew T-shirts are still that’s all cotton T-shirts. So that’s still great. When you’re investing in better fabrics, a better fabric T-shirt, it will last longer. It will feel beautifully on your skin. It will retain its shape. It will last longer in the wash. It won’t fade so easily because you’re using a better quality of the cotton. You’re using a finer quality of the cotton. Don’t be lulled into paying for brand names. I am not a brand person, but I’m a fashion person who is not into fashion. If that makes any sense, I’m very practical person.
Jacqui Stafford: (12:04)
I know what works on women. What makes them look good. And I’d rather steer you into buying something that you’re going to love aware forever. And I don’t care the brand name. I’m not a bit a big person about spending a lot of money on brand names. It’s about buying better pieces that last longer. The T-shirt question is always a good one because it’s, what are you using these pieces for? Are you running around the house, running errands in that case, treat yourself to five, $10 t-shirts. If you want a great t-shirt, that can be a little bit dressier because sometimes t-shirts, if they fit well, remember they can serve as a top. So it’s not just the t-shirt that you’re going to be washing the car or running out, taking the dogs for a walk in. So think about creating your wardrobe with pieces that perhaps can be worn with a nice skirt can be paired with a super cute little cardigan can be worn to the office.
Jean Chatzky: (12:56)
We’ve been hearing this term “chic comfort” lately is that these good fabrics with a little stretch. And if I’m buying something in silk or linen or cotton, can I get it with a little stretch? That seems very important to me in a way that it didn’t use to.
Jacqui Stafford: (13:13)
Absolutely. And it is critical and there are all the new fabrications now that employing all new technologies that do employ stretch within them. And I always talk to my clients about making sure that something is comfortable. I think the days of wearing things for the sake of fashion or for the sake of, oh, well, it’s this brand or this designer it’s high fashion. No, you want to be comfortable in every single piece you are wearing. So only get things that fit properly. This is one of my, hopefully we’ll get time to it. It’s like the mistakes that cost us so much money. One of the pieces I talk about is when you buy something, depending on the label, because you are so determined that you only will wear a certain size and you can’t bear to buy think that you’re buying something in a larger size, because you don’t want to admit it to yourself. You’ll buy it in a smaller size. Thinking that one day you’ll get into it, waste of money. It will hang in your wardrobe and you’ll never get into it.
Jean Chatzky: (14:15)
I’ve always thought that tailoring and having a good tailor is worth the money.
Jacqui Stafford: (14:20)
Definitely. That’s such a great tip. I always take things tailored, and then you can buy things on sale, which is another thing which we’ll get to about what things to buy on sale and what to spend money on and what not to spend money on. But when you buy something, if you just get it taken in, maybe it just needs to be taken in another tool. Maybe the sleeves need to be taken up. Maybe the hem needs to be taken up. Then you can turn something very simple into something that looks couture. So finding a tailor, maybe taking up a neck line, I do that all the time. You find pieces that you love and you look at it and think, I like it, the necklines dipping a little low, I’ll have a stitch put in it. So it’s not quite so low. I’ll perhaps have the arm hole taken in just a tiny bit, a bit. So it fits better. I might have the length taken up. So all little tiny tweaks, not massive alterations that costs a lot of money, but little tweaks that you can have done that easily make something fit absolutely perfectly are worth it.
Jean Chatzky: (15:24)
I want to talk about those pieces that are the investment pieces right now, the 20% of our closet, where we actually should be putting our money. But before we do that, let me remind everyone that HerMoney is proudly sponsored by Fidelity Investments. It is no secret that women are on a different financial journey than men. So it’s important to plan for those differences. When we think about retirement, social security investing, and so much more Fidelity can help. They are taking steps to help women demand more from their money because you have worked way too hard to get where you are to keep your money on the sidelines, get the skills and the investment advice. You need to put it to work for you. Visit Fidelity.com/HerMoney to learn more. I am talking with fashion and beauty expert, Jacqui Stafford, all right, key pieces. I get the feeling that they’re different than they used to be. What are the must haves right now? What are the investment pieces right now feel the investment
Jacqui Stafford: (16:28)
Pieces ever do change because when you’re looking at the classic pieces that don’t really date and that’s what you should get for your wardrobe, the bulk of your wardrobe should be the pieces that you can wear for years to come. You can change them with a different earring, different accessory, little cardigan, but invest in those pieces that you love that will always have a work with everything. So I always talk about like 11 key pieces. Every woman needs to have in her wardrobe. She needs to have a little great denim jacket. A denim jacket, never date. You can wear it casually. You can wear it over a super cute little black dress. You can wear it with over a t-shirt and a different color Jean. So get a great little denim jacket. You’ll reach for it all the time. A fabulous crewneck cardigan. And the reason I love a crew neck cardigan is it works in such a multitude of ways because you can wear it as a top on its own.
Jacqui Stafford: (17:27)
So that’s one way to wear it buttoned all the way up. You can wear it, slip it over a tank and wear it with one button at the top. Open little tank looks different. You can wear it over a button down shirt worn, again, lose three buttons at the top and just have it buttoned up all the way down. That’s how you can wear it. You can just slip it over the shoulder of t-shirt and it looks very chic and super French and fabulous. So when you’re thinking about pieces like this, these are pieces that work with a multitude of things.
Jean Chatzky: (18:01)
Does that cardigan need to be A. Cashmere and B. Black?
Jacqui Stafford: (18:04)
Could be cashmere, doesn’t have to be black. I’m a big believer in color. Black can be a default that we tend to go to. So we tend to always pick up black. A lot of us pick up black because we think it’s always really slimming. And it just goes with everything. Here’s the challenge sometimes with black, especially as we age black can draw color from your skin. It can drain you. So unless you’re pairing black with a bold lipstick and a bold eyewear and some cool accessory or a scarf around your neck, it can actually draw a lot of color from your skin.
Jean Chatzky: (18:39)
I am finding that lately. I was black in my closet and, these days I prefer navy.
Jacqui Stafford: (18:45)
Yes, this is what I talk to my clients, navy, charcoal, chocolate. Those are the shades. They are still neutrals. They still work in that neutral palette that you can mix and match with everything, but they’re not so harsh on your skin. So really when we get old and it’s really just applies to when we get older, when we lose color from our skin, we need to just add a little more definition. That’s why as we get older, the lip liner that most of us would shop it in horror and say, lip liner? Is actually incredibly important because we tend to lose volume and color from our faces. So that’s why,
Jean Chatzky: (19:22)
Yeah. We all need to take lipstick lessons from Kathryn Tuggle. She does lipstick better than anybody I’ve ever seen. So once we get to our mailbag, we’ll take some lipstick lessons from her.
Jacqui Stafford: (19:34)
Definitely, for sure. Alright so we need a denim jacket, we need a cardigan. We need a range. And it’s interesting because we’ve talked about the t-shirt. You need a range of crewneck t-shirts really, you wear them all the time and get them in every color that your budget affords. You wear them with your jeans. You can tap them into skirt. You can wear them with a cargo pant. A great t-shirt will live on an on. So I like to invest in good t-shirts I love Pima cotton because it stretches really well.
Jean Chatzky: (20:01)
I know you said you’re not a brand girl, but what brand t-shirts should we be looking at.
Jacqui Stafford: (20:06)
Well I like any basic t-shirts. Do you know Everlane does some really great t-shirts. I like transparent companies that do, you know Naadam has fabulous cashmere. I worked with Isaac, full disclosure, I worked with Isaac, but he has a Pima t-shirt, which is unparalleled. So think about just wherever you like to shop. And I don’t say to people, you have to go here. You have to go there wherever you like to shop. Take a look at the fabric content, look at that high cotton. You want to have at least 70% cotton, at least. And then you can have a little bit of elastane mixed in it to give it that beefiness and that stretch. But you want to have the high percentage of cotton that just gives it that stretch. Don’t look for things that are very sheer, very flimsy will lose their shape. So you want to go for things that have a nice beefiness to them, but have the perfect amount of stretch. So they fit your body perfectly. If you are somebody that doesn’t wear a short t-shirt because you don’t like your upper arms. And I hear this all the time, go for something that may be a three-quarter length or a fuller length. They still give you that comfort in the height of summer, but you’re not feeling self-conscious if you’re somebody that doesn’t like your upper arms, because I feel like we’ve never done enough tricep dips.
Jean Chatzky: (21:17)
Ever. And we never will. Exactly. All right, t-shirts. What’s next?
Jacqui Stafford: (21:22)
I love a great leather handbag, a simple leather handbag that is not a fashion piece. That is a classic that goes with everything. Get it in camel, get it in black. You can get it in black, but get it in a really easy, bag that you will live for. So rather than trend pieces, synthetic pieces. A great bag that you can use for everyday is a great piece to have in your wardrobe. As a classic, I like always talk to my clients about and iconic ballet flat. Ballet flats, don’t date. I love Everlane’s ballet flat. They’re really comfortable. They can run a little small, but I love Italian. I love M.Gemi. That’s a great brand online, a fabulous shoe brand that I love from Italy. So think about a cute little ballet flat. Get it in as many colors as you can a neutral, think about a silver or a gold. You can wear that with jeans and a t-shirt. It looks fabulous. So think about those pieces. Big fan of scarves. I wear scarf practically every single day. Lightweight, sheer printed scarves. They make the biggest amount of effort for the least amount of the least amount of fuss. So scarves are a great way to look stylish without effort. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on them. Adding a simple, bright scarf around your neck. Over again, a simple crew neck t-shirt wear it with a pair of jeans, a little ballet flat, effortless.
Jean Chatzky: (22:52)
Okay, let’s talk about those jeans for a second, because there’s been a lot of hand wringing over our jeans are skinny jeans. Are they done?
Jacqui Stafford: (23:02)
Yes. I’m not a big believer in trends for jeans. The moment it’s for super high waisted mom jeans, the higher the waist, the wider the leg. I can’t wear them. I cannot, no, they should be reserved for those on the thirty. They look fabulous, but I really believe that fashion, how you wear fashion, how we all wear fashion, should be how it makes you feel. So when I talk about there are no rules. Fashion has no rule. That’s how it makes you feel. So if you feel you can go ahead and weather, high-waisted mom jeans with a super wide leg and you feel fabulous in it. Great. Go for it. If you’re somebody that says that’s not me, then find denim that stretch in it. You should always find denim that has stretch. Always, always, always. You want to look for 5% elastane within it.
Jacqui Stafford: (23:52)
Anything less than that can be really difficult and tight. I like a simple straight cigarette pant, ankle length. That’s how I wear timeless. Classic. I don’t deviate. I wear them all the time. I like a lighter wash in the summer. I like a dark wash for corporate. I’m not into whispering or fading. I don’t ever want to see ripped jeans. That’s not me. That’s not me. That’s fashion. That’s not what you spend your money on. You spend your money on a great pair of jeans that look that are classic silhouette, just a simple ankle pant that works great on it.
Jean Chatzky: (24:30)
In terms of skirts, dresses, are there a couple of silhouettes that work for everybody or that we should be trying to have in our wardrobes?
Jacqui Stafford: (24:39)
I like a knit for a dress. So cotton dresses like cotton, poplin, dresses are challenging to wear. So we love the idea of a camp shirt dress. For example, we love that idea, but they can be harder to pull off. Dresses should always have stretch in them. The classic wrap dress looks good on every single body shape. It really does. If you’re somebody that doesn’t traditionally go for dresses, that’s a great shape to try. I like easy dresses for the summer. Just one and done simple, no wasted. Just tunic dresses that you could wear with a little slide and cute jewelry, super simple for the summer. But when you’re going into the office place, something that has a little more structure to it. And I’m simply talking about structure as pants more belted looks really great. But nothing that is too, um, stiff because stiff can be difficult to pull off. So knits. And when I say knit, I just mean anything with stretch.
Jean Chatzky: (25:39)
Do we have to put our heels back on?
Jacqui Stafford: (25:42)
Nope. We don’t have to put our heels back on. And I think a lot of women just felt like they really don’t want to wear heels, but here’s what I talk about. There’s a heel and then there’s a heel and one inch heel is manageable. A ballet flat looks great. A little pump with a little wedge look super cute. You don’t have to think about a four inch or five inch feel, think about a one inch or two-inch, it’s still manageable. It’s still walkable. It can work. You just have to find the comfort. The key is to find comfort in your shoes and get a pair that really goes with everything. Get a neutral, you get it in a navy, get it in a camel shade, get a black, a little pump with a little heel, not too thick comfort. I would spend money on shoes. That’s what I do think that’s something worth spending on because then you can get the comfort.
Jean Chatzky: (26:36)
You know, it’s interesting. I’m five foot two. And when I’m on stage or when I’m in a meeting, clearly I’m talking about more than a year ago now. I like how my four inch heels make me feel. Right, I feel a little more powerful in those shoes. I feel a little more in control of the room in those shoes. And for that reason, I think I’m not going to get rid of them. I think I will continue to wear them for those purposes. I’m wondering back to that point that we only wear 20% of our stuff, 80% of the time. Are there things that you think we should be getting rid of now that we’ll never wear again?
Jacqui Stafford: (27:17)
We should definitely get rid of things that don’t fit. And what it takes is sometimes a harsh look through your wardrobe and you just talked about how you purged everything and you felt really good about it, and you probably consigned a lot. You know, this is what I talked to my clients about. Take everything out, only put back what you know, and love and fits. That’s a very interesting exercise to do if you literally take everything out, because what sometimes people do is they take one piece out and they’ll go, all right, I won’t wear this. If you take everything out and then only put things back that you absolutely love and that fit the mistake that a lot of us make is hanging on to pieces that we think we will fit into. We think, no, I love this and I will wear it one day.
Jacqui Stafford: (28:03)
I will fit into it one day. The chances are that you probably won’t so donate it to a friend, donate it to a worthy cause if it’s a brand name consign it. There are so many great consignment places that you can send everything off to and use that money. And I listened to the podcast the other day, where you had set aside some money that you got from consigning, and then you went out and bought a really fabulous handbag with it that you might not have bought otherwise.
Jean Chatzky: (28:34)
I keep my consignment funds rolling and they eventually will support a handbag purchase. So that’s my little trick, two questions, Jacqui, as we start to wrap this up a little bit, the first is I would love to know those mistakes that you see people make when they buy things, particularly when we buy them on sale. How do we know if it’s a good sale? How do we know if it’s just a sale? That’s calling our name because it says the word sale. I have decided I have committed that I am never again, buying something that I can’t return because I know I am really susceptible to a sale. I love a good sale, but I’m not going to buy it. If it won’t go back.
Jacqui Stafford: (29:09)
Yeah, that was my number one tip. Don’t rely on inertia. And here’s what we mistakes doing. What we do. We buy things and we don’t return them. And brands and companies rely on our inertia. We buy something on sale. We spend a lot of money with shipping and we can’t be bothered to return it. We just go, ah, it’s too complicated to return. It don’t buy anything that you cannot return really think about those shipping costs. Often they get you in they’ll it’ll be free shipping to you. And then you’ll have to pay return shipping. If you’re paying return shipping of $10, you’ve absolutely wasted it. So that’s something that you just thought you bought on sale, but seemed like a good bargain. And now you’re sending it back. Cause just cost you more. Don’t be susceptible to the rabbit hole of Instagram and we’ve all done it late night browsing.
Jacqui Stafford: (30:04)
And we’ll go down that rabbit hole and we’ll see something and think, oh wow, this is 60% off. We’ve all done it. I’ve done it for dog accessories. We’ve all done it. And you want to think about don’t do those things. Don’t purchase anything on sale that you wouldn’t be happy buying it, full price. I say this all the time with risk of sounding like a broken record. Otherwise it’s not a bargain if you love it. And you want it, think about it. Put a day in between you pressing that buy button. And this is something that you’ve advised so many times, is that before we, it just go by, I want it right now. Give yourself 24 hours. Think about it. Will what I’m purchasing. Go with at least three other items I already own in my wardrobe. If it won’t and you then have to buy the pants that work with it, or you don’t have the right shoe with it, or you need a tank that goes underneath it because it’s a bit Cher or you may have to spend money on having it tailored. All of a sudden the savings that you’re potentially making have just gone out the window.
Jean Chatzky: (31:12)
I love that don’t buy it unless it goes with three other items in your wardrobe. That’s an amazing rule of thumb. That’s just something you can hold onto and remember and use over and over again. Jacqui, when you talk about a 24 hour pause, I know that you have a secret hack where it’s not just about pausing. You turn it into an opportunity to save. Can you talk about that?
Jacqui Stafford: (31:36)
I do. This is a wonderful trick that people just love is that if you give yourself that 24 hours to really think about your intentions, if you need to buy something, if you decide you don’t buy it, put aside that money, you would have wasted. If you will, into a separate savings account, leave it there, leave it for a year. At the end of the year, you’ll be shocked at how much money you would have spent on clothes that you didn’t really want. And also you would have actually earned interest. It’s incredibly powerful at the end of the year. They’ll love it.
Jean Chatzky: (32:09)
Love it. One of the things that I love about this conversation is your focus on pieces that are long-lasting and the transparent producers, the everlands of the world that tell you, where does this stuff come from? How is it made? What’s the cost of production. Can you talk to us a little bit about fast fashion and why there is such a deep level of concern about it?
Jacqui Stafford: (32:33)
Fast fashion is causing concern for so many reasons. We are disposing of items. We don’t want, we buy, we waste money on things that are inexpensive. We’re using non-sustainable fabrications. We’re adding up to immense shipping costs backwards and forwards, just the packaging alone. So fast fashion is now a movement towards slow fashion. So the recycling, huge resurgence now in buying resale pre loved vintage pieces. Now the word is if something has been owned before it used to be, oh, I couldn’t possibly wear secondhand clothing. Now it’s vintage. Now, if those pieces that’s got a cache about it, there’s a movement now towards less fast disposable fashion and more towards being mindful and being intentional about our purposes. That’s the way that we’re going in general in the world, taking more care about what are we doing to the environment with all our fast fashion purchases? Can we make things last longer? Can we use better fabrics? Can we go to use producers that we are more transparent about where we know where purchasing from being more mindful and that’s really counters back with everything that we spend our money on, Jean, everything let’s be mindful about where every dollar goes and let’s make it work for us. And that’s in fashion too.
Jean Chatzky: (34:03)
You know, you’re preaching to the choir here, Jacqui Stafford. Her book is “The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget. Thank you so much for being with us.
Jacqui Stafford: (34:15)
Thank you so much for having me huge fan.
Jean Chatzky: (34:17)
Thank you. And we’ll be right back with Kathryn and your Mailbag. And HerMoney’s Kathryn Tuggle joins me now. Hey Kathryn. Hey Jean. So I promised and we have to deliver just a very brief tutorial on lipstick because, or lips, Jacqui basically said, once you get to be my age, which you are not, I have to start wearing lip liner, but for the rest of us, I put on lipstick every morning and 15 minutes later, it’s gone and yours is there all day long.
Kathryn Tuggle: (34:58)
That’s probably because it’s some toxic substance. So my two favorite brands are Tarte. And then I think the Sephora brand is really good. Like the lip paint or stain with a wand, I’ll put the link to my favorites in the show notes. But my secret is that it’s not all my real lips. Everybody has a certain amount of asymmetry in their faces. And I have one side of my lip. That’s a little lower than the other. So I purposely draw a bigger lip on one side until I get them looking normal. And then sometimes I’ll apply it. And my trick is to take a picture of my lips with my phone and then reverse the camera. And then I can see if the lips are symmetrical or not.
Jean Chatzky: (35:46)
That’s amazing. And it’s something that I never ever thought of doing. But what about, besides brand, because many brands have many different kinds of lipstick, right? If I buy Mac, then they have a matte and they have a gloss and they have a, is there a certain type of lipstick that you need to buy to have it stay on?
Kathryn Tuggle: (36:10)
In my experience, the brands that make the kind that stays, they say it on the packaging. And I think the best way to do it is just to try a few different ones and see what happens to your lips because everybody’s lips are different. And I have tried some that stay all day, but they dry out your lips so badly. By the end of the day, my lips would have color still, but they would just be completely dried out and chapped. And I think everybody’s body is going to react differently to the different types of makeup.
Jean Chatzky: (36:42)
Okie doke. We’re going to go for it. I was excited. I people know cause we told them we were together. And in your apartment, when I went into use the bathroom, I was excited to see that you have also become a user of the spray that sets your makeup and keeps it on all day. It’s the 24 hour Urban Decay Spray. And it is just been my best friend through this entire pandemic.
Kathryn Tuggle: (37:12)
Yeah, that is something I typically only use in the summer, but I love it because in New York, like walking around all day, like if you get on the subway to go somewhere in the middle of July or August, by the time you get where you’re going, you’re just like a melted snow cone. I love that stuff.
Jean Chatzky: (37:29)
Yeah. I walked to your apartment in the hundred degree heat yesterday from my daughter’s down at, it was a 40 block walk. I walked 40 blocks to get there and I did not know my makeup did not melt.
Kathryn Tuggle: (37:43)
You looked amazing when you arrived. I never would have known.
Jean Chatzky: (37:46)
I thank that spray, my lips were non-existant, but my makeup otherwise did not melt.
Kathryn Tuggle: (37:54)
Yeah. I love finding tricks and tips like that. Like I think every beauty product that I love has been recommended to me by another woman, your fellow woman generally doesn’t steer you wrong with that kind of thing.
Jean Chatzky: (38:05)
Yeah, I think you’re totally right. Speaking of our fellow women let’s answer some questions. Absolutely.
Kathryn Tuggle: (38:11)
But before we answer questions, I have to say there was one thing that Jacqui said that I completely disagree with and that is to throw out things or donate things that no longer fit with the goal that you’re going to get back into them. Because as you know, I lost weight recently and my weight has just been kind of a yo-yo my whole life. And I have to say that those things were a few sizes, smaller served as a good inspiration for me. Like my favorite pieces that were a little too tight. They were like a goal. I can visualize it hanging in my closet. I could imagine myself putting it on again. So it’s one thing. If you have a whole closet full of clothes that you can never wear and it makes you feel bad about yourself, if there’s a favorite, beautiful top or dress that you think you want to get back into one day, I don’t know. I don’t think you should give it away.
Jean Chatzky: (39:08)
I agree with you with one exception. And that is, I think as we age, we gain weight in certain places, right? I mean, I think I’m a little bigger around the middle. Then I was 10 years ago. I don’t weigh anymore, but I’m a little bigger around the middle. And if I had held onto those pants that I couldn’t zip anymore, thinking that I would lose weight and get into them, I would be demoralized because it’s not a weight thing. It’s an age thing. And the fact that your body just sometimes shifts, I think you’re right. And if, if I know for my daughter, Julia, it has worked the same way that she’s got a couple of favorite pairs of pants and holding onto them while she really worked to lose a few pounds was motivating for her. But I think for me, and I know for my mom with weight just settling in different places, I think it would have made me sad. Okay. That’s a fair point, but talk to me in 20 years. Okay. Yeah. We’ll have
Kathryn Tuggle: (40:17)
This conversation again in 20 years. It sounds good. In that regard, maybe it makes more sense to keep a dress, right? Maybe a dress would be more forgiving than pants. If your body does change.
Jean Chatzky: (40:32)
I think it’s personal. I think it’s personal. And maybe, you know, if it would make you sad or make you not sad, I do have a few pieces that I’ve held on to, and I don’t know that I’ll ever wear them again, but I really like to look at them.
Kathryn Tuggle: (40:51)
Okay. Onto our Mailbag. Our first note comes to us from Susan. She writes, “I’m 60, and my long-term care policy with Genworth may be going up by 65%. I’ve had the plan in place since I was 45 due to a history of Alzheimer’s. My current premium is a hundred dollars a month for about $8,500 worth of coverage per month. Should I keep the plan? Even if it goes up to $165 to date, I’ve spent about 17,000 in premiums over the past 15 years, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of care. I would truly appreciate any and all of your advice.”
Jean Chatzky: (41:27)
Yes. I love this question because I know that it’s something that a lot of people are dealing with. The of long-term care insurance because we’re living longer. And because it’s taken companies in the insurance industry to figure out how much it’s going to cost them to service these policies on the backend has continued to rise. I also suspect Susan, that if you went out and you shopped for this same policy, again, two things would happen. One, it would be significantly more expensive than that $165. But two, because you bought it such a long time ago, it covers things that you wouldn’t even be able to find now. And so my advice is, if you can afford it, you should keep it 45 for people who are thinking of long-term care. Insurance in the future is a little bit on the early side to start shopping for a policy. I understand why you did it with your family history and your family medical history of Alzheimer’s. I get it. But usually the sweet spot is to start shopping somewhere around 50 or even 55. Right now my suspicion, and it’s hard to tell because I’m not sure how much coverage you’re getting for what you’re paying, but my suspicion is that based on the current marketplace, you are very likely getting a bargain and I would hold onto it if you possibly can.
Kathryn Tuggle: (43:05)
Yeah. I had the same thought. I know that increase is really awful, but by the same token, everything else, all the other policies that I’ve heard of people getting recently are much more expensive than that.
Jean Chatzky: (43:18)
Yeah. But thank you for the question, Susan, and thank you for sharing with us. It’s a really important topic.
Kathryn Tuggle: (43:24)
Our next note comes to us from Carla. She writes, “My early twenties daughters are highly resistant to discussing money. They are a senior and a sophomore in college. The oldest has a summer internship and also works during the school year. We cover her rent and give her $50 a week for food. She pretty much spends everything. She earns on instant gratification. Sephora, Zara, going out, et cetera, there’s no savings. She wanted a new laptop. And with dad’s help, she came up with a plan for us to front 50% of the money. And she would repay us monthly. So far. She’s made two of five payments. Part of that was due to a $415 tax bill she had as we miss the fact that last summer’s internship did not withhold taxes. She saved and paid the taxes herself. So it’s not all bad news, but talking with her about money is painful every time my husband and I bring it up.
Kathryn Tuggle: (44:15)
She’s defensive, argumentative and belligerent. It’s frustrating. And as parents, we know we have to keep going. Despite the resistance, since she’s graduating high school, she’s met with our financial planner twice and has enjoyed the conversations. He was a good third party instead of nagging mom and dad. But we still just see this stream of packages arriving in requests for grocery money a few days early every month. So my question would finance fix be a path with least resistance and less frustration for her. She has no car and lives in Pittsburgh. We really want to have her on a solid money track early in life. It’s not something her dad and I were good at early on, and we want to shift the trajectory for our kids. I love the show. It’s been instrumental in helping us get our financial life under control.
Jean Chatzky: (45:06)
Hey, Carla, and thank you so much for this question because it’s something that’s really been on my mind. I’ve talked about my daughter, Julia, a bunch on this show and all I think, or many young people just getting their footing, especially those who don’t earn a huge amount of money. It is difficult to go through the process of budgeting your money and delaying gratification while doing the things that you want to do with your friends. I have been wondering if FinanceFixx would be a good program for her to go through and even for some of her friends. And I do think it would be a good place for your daughters. I think that what we should do is launch a FinanceFixx session that is specifically just for college students and recent grads. I think we should fill the group with girls, just like your daughters and my daughter. I think we should probably not do a full eight week session, but potentially hold it for four weeks at a lower price.
Jean Chatzky: (46:13)
And so let me just ask the same question back to our audience. If this is something that you’d be interested in for your kids and sons, by the way, as well as daughters, because everybody has these budgeting challenges. Let me know, send me a note, send me a note the same way you sent the note to our mailbag, just at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if we get the interest, we’ll launch a special session in short order. And if we don’t Carla, I do think that going through FinanceFixx even with a group of mixed ages would be helpful for your daughters. These are incredibly collaborative, supportive group experiences. We get women of all ages helping each other with their money, with their challenges and going through the process of actually seeing where your money goes, digging into your own spending, forcing yourself to take a real look at it. It’s just life-changing. I wish I had done it in my twenties.
Kathryn Tuggle: (47:25)
There’s so many things I wish I had done for my finances in my early twenties. So what an amazing mom you are to be thinking about these things for her now. Yeah, a hundred percent. Our next note comes to us from Judy in San Diego. She writes, “Hi Jean and Kathryn. I’m retired. Many of my friends are retired or single divorced women. Few of them are really prepared for retirement. Thank goodness I am. The more seniors I meet, the more I find they don’t know what to do with their money. They also don’t always feel comfortable talking to financial professionals. So I’ve been thinking that maybe I should become a financial planner so I can help them. I don’t necessarily need to make money. I have enough, I don’t mind paying for classes or certification or whatever I need to do to be able to help the people who need it. I swim at the Y and I see many ways to help as I meet people because you helped steer me in the right direction. What do I need to do to safeguard myself and the people I want to help. I looked online. And a few things seem like they might be a bit of a scam. So I thought I’d ask you, thank you so much for your help.
Jean Chatzky: (48:31)
You picked such good questions today, Kathryn, and these are all amazing. And I love this as well, Judy. I think there are a number of different things that you could look at. The first question I have for you is whether you want to become a certified financial planner. That’s a lot of work. My question back to you is how much work do you want to do? Do you want to put in the work to become a certified financial planner? If so, I think that’s amazing, but understand that you’re looking at anywhere from about nine months of intensive work to a couple of years. If you stretch it out over time, if that’s something that you’re interested in, I would go through the financial planning association and I would follow their breadcrumbs to figure out what the right course is for you. Another way to look at it is maybe you want to become more of a financial coach.
Jean Chatzky: (49:36)
Now, a coach is not going to necessarily deal with the issues of retirement and investing that a certified financial planner is, but they help with issues of budgeting. They help with issues of figuring out if you are managing your money correctly, in terms of your budget, in terms of your overall spending needs. And in order to do that, I’d go through an organization called the AFCPE. The AFCPE stands for the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and they too certify people. The final thing that I might suggest, and I’m not sure where you are in your retirement and how much you actually want to work. But if this is something that you’re thinking of embarking on as more of a full-time career, you may want to look at some of the larger financial institutions. I know for example, that our sponsor Fidelity has a big effort underway to hire and to hire women as planners. And I know that a number of other financial organizations are doing the same. So I think, think you’re onto something. I love that you’re looking at specializing in this way. And I hope that you’ll keep us posted on what you decide to do.
Kathryn Tuggle: (51:00)
Absolutely, Jean. And there are organizations, like you said, like Fidelity that will hire you and train you and
Jean Chatzky: (51:06)
Get you licensed. Yeah.
Kathryn Tuggle: (51:08)
You’ll be paid as you’re learning in training. So there’s a lot of different avenues to look at.
Jean Chatzky: (51:13)
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you, Kathryn. Thanks Jean. And in today’s Thrive while we’re talking about all of that spending that we might be doing to beef up our wardrobes, it just feels appropriate to ask the question of whether you’re falling victim to revenge spending. We get it. Now that the end of the pandemic is in sight. You are ready to make up for lost time. You are saying yes to every invitation to dinner and drinks. And when family or friends ask you to take a trip, you are ready to say wheels up. And of course, you’re going to add to your cart when you see a cute dress on Instagram, because after such a tough year, you deserve it. If all of this sound familiar, you might be falling victim to revenge spending. That’s the new term for the spending. Many of us are doing now that the world is opening up.
Jean Chatzky: (52:08)
It’s that big vacation that you book because you missed all the trips you’d planned last year. It’s the new wardrobe you buy because you’ve spent a year stuck at home in leggings and sweats. It’s the new furniture you get because you’re eager to invite friends over again, or just because you’re tired of sitting on the sofa you were sitting on all day, every day in 2020. Impulse spending is up by about 51%. From this time last year travel is up to of course. Memorial Day Weekend, the TSA reported screening more than 7.1 million people from Thursday to Monday. It’s highest traffic numbers since March of 2020. Does this mean that you need to forfeit fund for the sake of your bank account? Of course not. We have been through a really hard time. And sometimes it is great, it is necessary to have a little fun, but it’s better to have that fun in moderation.
Jean Chatzky: (53:06)
So what does that look like instead of going out for dinner, go for happy hour, you’re socializing. You’re still having the experience. You’re just not spending as much money. And if you want to take a vacation, go ahead, just scour the internet for discounts and look to go for a weekend instead of a week. And if temptation is still nagging at you, keep in mind that after the fun has been had, you’re going to be the one stuck with the credit card statements that have ballooned. It’s time to create a budget based on what you actually want. Not on what you see people posting on social media, above all don’t lose sight of your day to day spending. Do you really need that shirt that just popped up on Instagram? Or would you rather take a trip with your friends that none of you will ever forget?
Jean Chatzky: (53:59)
I know what my answer is. Thanks so much for joining me today on HerMoney. Thanks to Jacqui Stafford for guiding us on how we can all look fab and stay comfortable as we return to our offices and the post pandemic work world. If you like what you hear, I hope you’ll subscribe to our show at Apple Podcasts. Leave us a review. We love hearing what you think we want to thank our sponsor Fidelity. We record this podcast out of CDM Sound Studios. Our music is provided by Videohelper and our show comes to you through Megaphone. Thanks so much for joining us and we’ll talk soon.
Speaker 2: (54:35)