Pause what you’re doing and look down at what you’re wearing. Do you feel confident?
If you wouldn’t want to be photographed in the clothes you tend to wear every day, you’re probably not showing up for yourself, your relationships, or your business the way you want to.
My guest today is the Professor of Glam and Elegance, Judith Gaton, and she helps her clients find and display their confidence through their style. Judith is a style coach for women, especially curvy women, and she’s also the author of How to Be a F*cking Lady.
Judith says that style is an outward expression of your thoughts and feelings about yourself. If you aren’t dressing confidently, you probably don’t feel confident. In today’s podcast, she shares exactly how to change that.
In this episode, Judith shares why style matters so much more than you think. She’s showing us where to start with finding your personal style, what to do if standard clothing sizes don’t fit you, and how to start showing up as the badass, confident, amazing person you are.
Check out the video of our conversation below!
What you will discover
- Why style impacts how entrepreneurs build that like-know-trust factor.
- What style means to each of us.
- Where to start if you want to find your personal style.
- Why it’s so important to celebrate what you see in the mirror.
- What to do if you find yourself in a shame spiral while shopping.
- Judith’s advice for anyone who doesn’t fit into standard clothing sizes.
- How Judith can help you build confidence and style through your clothes.
Featured on the show
You're listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo, episode 368.
Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Brooke: Hello my friends. Today, we’re talking about what you’re wearing. What in the actual heck are you wearing right now? Look down. Are you embarrassing yourself? Okay, if you are, I have the answer. I have Judith, the style - what do we call you? The style maven?
Judith: Style maven, professor of glam and elegance. Either works.
Brooke: Professor of glam and elegance on the podcast today. We’re going to talk about why style matters. It’s not just frivolous, it’s not self-indulgent, it’s not just something that we’re playing around with. This is serious, very serious topic. So welcome Judith, tell us everything about yourself.
Judith: Okay. So everything about me, I am a style coach for women and I particularly help my plus-size curvy gals. That’s my jam. I have a background in law and…
Brooke: Very relevant.
Judith: Very relevant. And I also have a minor in fashion design.
Brooke: Oh, I didn’t know that actually.
Judith: Yes. So I’ve taken pattern draping and pattern making and creating a fashion collection. I went through the whole - all the classes, and then decided I should go to law school.
Brooke: Makes sense.
Judith: Yes. And then I found my way back to my favorite thing in the whole world, which is encouraging women to be themselves, helping women find their confidence, and then doing it through their clothes, and then coaching, and combined it all into this delicious baby that I call style coaching.
Brooke: And you wrote a book.
Judith: And I wrote a book. I’m a published author. How To Be A F*cking Lady, yeah.
Brooke: That’s the best title ever. Back in the day we did a writing retreat. I talked about it on the podcast. You came to that and actually got your book started there or you were working on it there and now it’s the real deal, out in the world. You can go to Amazon and purchase it and you should.
Judith: And you should, yes. I hand-wrote the first three chapters there if you recall. I didn’t bring a laptop. I just hand-wrote it. I outlined the whole baby, I brought all of my old school etiquette books with me so that we could turn all the old school vintage etiquette concepts, which are laughably outdated and hilarious to modern ways of empowering women.
So that really is what I wrote in the book is taking all these old-fashioned concepts like elocution and deportment, which sound super fancy but just basically like, how to rise up, how to stand the fuck up, how to cuss courteously. All those things are in the book. Also a blending of all my favorite things into one place as well.
Brooke: I love it. Okay, so one of the challenges that I have is that I try and tell entrepreneurs, coaches, and I know you specialize in women but we’re going to talk about women and men. And one of the things that I - I’m not subtle.
Judith: Yes, we have met.
Brooke: And I will tell students of mine, clients of mine, coaches who want advice from me, go change your clothes. You are not representing yourself or your business or your life properly. And a lot of the feedback that I get is it doesn’t matter, that’s not important to me, I’m more focused on more important things, it’s fine, this is my uniform. How do you respond to this? Please help me help the people.
Judith: Okay. So it’s so interesting to me that entrepreneurs, people who have complete buy-in on the notion of like, know, and trust, they are like, yes, I’m all in on that shit, but they hide from their clients. They don’t even show - we have pictures of them nowhere. There’s like the stock photo people…
Brooke: On the website.
Judith: On the website. How are you going to build like, know, and trust if your clients don’t even know what your ass looks like? You can’t build like, know, and trust without them actually knowing what your face looks like. So that’s just a modicum foundation baseline.
Brooke: Let’s talk about that for a minute because I think there’s two points. There’s one where you’re just hiding. There is no picture of you. But then the other thing I see a lot of are people who get these glam makeovers that don’t even look like themselves, beautiful pictures on their website, and then you see them on Zoom and they’re unrecognizable compared to the website because that was just a one-day thing where they got dressed up for the website, but they’re not showing up for their lives.
Judith: Exactly. Exactly. It’s like you inviting me over to your house for dinner and I’m like, I got this invitation from Brooke, I expect when I get to your house, palatial whiteness. I’m going to Aunty Brooke’s house; it’s going to be a white palatial serene environment. I expect you to be showing up, you actually opening the door to greet me, you dressed fabulously.
What happens when - I have this a lot. Someone does these glamor shots, their client is expecting the host or hostess to open the door and be glamorous. However, when they open the door and they’re in their janky ass PJs and their hair is undone and their face is slightly greasy because they just woke up, your client’s like, wait, what? Is this the same person? Am I in the right place? Maybe I’m at the wrong party. Did I arrive too early?
Brooke: Or what’s wrong? Are you okay?
Judith: Right. When we get invited to a party, which is essentially your services, you’re inviting someone into your space and this community and your sort of internet home that you’ve created. They expect a certain thing when you open the door as the host or hostess. And when you show up and not only are you looking ratchet but your environment behind you is looking ratchet, they’re just like, what? Nah I’m cool, I actually can go down the street to so-and-so’s house because their party actually looks put together and they look like they actually wanted to be here today. You’re clearly not ready to receive to guests, I’ll be back, or never at all.
Brooke: And I think people could hear you say something like that and be like, well that’s snobby, I don’t need to dress up for people to come over, why do I need to have all these fancy clothes? It’s really interesting. I think I get more criticism from being dressed up than I do for not being dressed up. Like oh, where do you think you’re going? And why are you so dressed up?
Kind of this questioning accusatory way about it. And I decided long ago that I would always be overdressed rather than underdressed. And I would always show up for my life as if it actually mattered and it was a special occasion. And I think that when you don’t show up for your life in a way that shows that you care, it’s not that you’re being snobby. It’s not that you think you’re better than other people. It’s that you’re genuinely displaying your self-care.
Judith: Exactly. I think style and the way I define style is it’s the outward reflection of your thoughts and feelings about yourself.
Brooke: Yes. That’s really a good definition.
Judith: So we want to know how you’ve been feeling about yourself, how are you dressing every day or not dressing. How are you showering or not showering? Because in COVID land it’s become a problem for a lot of people and I don’t mean to say that cavalierly.
People actually have trouble getting showered and dressed every day and I acknowledge it. But if we take that definition of style, which again is independent of the size of your body or your - it’s just your thoughts and your feelings about yourself, then you evaluate, do you like how you’ve been showing up?
Don’t compare yourself to Brooke or to me or some other coach that you admire. Just within your own thoughts and feelings about yourself, do you like how you’ve been showing up? Are you doing your dressed up version? Because we can say dressed up is defined by the person who’s getting dressed. Let’s turn it on its head. Dressed up doesn’t mean any particular thing. It’s not like that’s a circumstance.
No, those are a set of thoughts. So you get to create what dressed up means to you. So using your own definition, do you like how you’ve been showing up? Let’s stop all the bullshit, right?
Brooke: I got a test for y’all. Here we go. Are you showing up every day for yourself? Here’s how we know. Could we walk into your house, Judith and I might just do this. In fact, we’re going on the road.
Judith: Oh my god, yes.
Brooke: Could we walk into your house at any point during your workday or your non-workday, take a picture of you, and post it on our Instagram? Or would you be like, what, no, I’m a hot mess, don’t take a picture of me, oh my gosh, don’t do it, I need to go do something in order to be presentable for this picture.
If it’s not acceptable for you to put it on your Instagram, then it shouldn’t be acceptable for you in your life. When you look in the mirror every day, you should be representing yourself at least as well as you would on social media. That’s my test.
Judith: Preach. And it’s funny because the first week in Style Masterclass, my program, we call it awareness week. I have my clients snap a picture of themselves, full body shot, because so many of my ladies try to do that little covert I’m going to do my chest up perfectly curated. Like no, full body, all of you, and you tell me your thoughts and feelings when you look at that picture.
Brooke: Yes, so good.
Judith: You don’t need to know what I think. I want to know what you think. Do you like that? And what don’t you like about it? Because we can tweak anything. We can up-level from somewhere. I think what happens a lot of times in these conversations, like, I got better things to do, I have more important things to do. Don’t we all?
But if your clothing has become a distraction for you, then you’re not actually doing your work in the world because you’re picking out wedgies, you’re hiding from your clients.
Brooke: And yourself.
Judith: And yourself. Oh my gosh, totally. Especially my dudes. I find that they all have this holey t-shirt with the nipples hanging from scratching in one spot. Like dude, what is happening? Every dude I have worked with, they have that weird holey shirt and I’m like, come on. That’s a distraction.
Brooke: It’s so interesting too because I think my boyfriend came in the other day and he had just finished working out. And he came in to kiss me goodbye, he was going to go take his son to an evaluation. And he had his workout clothes on, like had just been working out.
And I was like, are you going to change? What do you mean? He’s like, oh no, I’m just going to this appointment, I’m just going to this appointment for my son. And I was like, in your workout clothes? And one of the things I thought about is when you are out in the world, you are representing - especially if you’re an entrepreneur.
Because you’re going to introduce yourself and tell them what you do for a living. You are representing yourself and your business and your life and who you are. Now, there’s nothing wrong with wearing workout clothes, but are you missing an opportunity to be in the world as the full expression of yourself? And for me, my girlfriend Tonya Leigh really taught me this is like, it’s just as easy to put on a dress as it is a pair of pajamas.
Judith: Oh, there’s a math. If we did the math of getting ready, pair of pants, one item, t-shirt, one item, your holey sweatpants are one item. It’s just as easy, the math of that is just as easy as a blouse and a pair of trousers, or at least a non-stained, non-holey blouse and a pair of pants that actually fit you, or one item with a cute dress. The math of it is the same. All the rest of that shit is just drama. It’s just drama.
Brooke: And think about this. If you’re working on your thoughts and feelings about yourself and you are always Instagram ready or whatever social - I don’t even know. You know I’m not on that. But whatever social media, if you were going to get your photograph taken by the paparazzi, could you represent?
When you show up every day for your life, whether you’re alone with your Zoom or not, whether you’re alone with your day or not, if you are ready for those pictures to be taken and put out publicly, you feel that way about yourself all of the time. And I will say you will show up for yourself, your ideas, your future, your goals in a very different way if you take the time to present yourself to yourself properly.
Judith: Here’s one question I ask my clients. I think it’s a really powerful question and for all your listeners, they can try this exercise. When was the last time you felt stylish? And what did you go do? What did you create? How did you show up? How did you walk? How did you talk? How did you hold up your head that day?
And if style doesn’t resonate with you because sometimes it doesn’t, when was the last time you felt confident? What were you wearing? What did you go do? What did you create?
Brooke: So good. I like your point about style because I think when we say the word style people are like, oh, I have to go wear all these clothes that are designer clothes. This is style to me. This is the way I look at it is if there is anything that you would not want to have your picture taken in, it shouldn’t be in your closet, period. Those old disgusting sweats, it’s a no. What do you call them? The underwear.
Judith: Broke ass panties.
Brooke: If you wouldn’t want to have your picture taken in those panties, you shouldn’t have them. Everything in your closet should be something that when you put in on, someone can take a picture of you and you would say yes ma’am. That is it. That represents. That is part of who I want to be.
And that was a very big difference for me. When Tonya told me, she’s like, it’s just as easy to put on a dress as pajamas, and why would you have anything in your closet - because I had all these oversized things in my closet because they were so comfortable. But I’d look in the mirror and I would be just disappointed in what I would see.
So I just removed anything that I would be tempted to throw on when I’m not feeling good. Because think about this; when you’re not feeling good is when you want to put on the most ugly clothes.
Judith: Which only perpetuates the cycle. We look at the model, whatever thought you’re thinking is going to show up in your R-line.
Brooke: So if you don’t have the option, yeah, you’re like, I feel terrible but I only have this beautiful dress to put on or this beautiful pair of pajamas or whatever, I can’t even tell you what a huge difference it makes. And people will say to me all the time, you always look so dressed up. And it’s not because I spend more time. It’s because the only thing I have to put on is something pretty. And that perpetuates that idea that I have about myself and what I wear and who I am and the clothes I deserve to wear.
Judith: And it’s so funny to me because I think no one ever imagines - we talk about future self a lot at The Life Coach School, so what I find fascinating is everyone’s in love with the idea of their future self, but no one I’ve ever talked to has said, oh, my future self is running around in some janky ass clothes.
Brooke: Some holey sweats.
Judith: Holey sweats, stained things. They’re like, she’s wearing this, he’s wearing that, and I’m like, see? You want to become that person, you have to start the preparation. And it starts with something as simple as I’m no longer going to tolerate things that don’t serve me, starting with my clothes. If this does not fit my future vision of myself, it doesn’t have a place in my life right now. I won’t become that future self I’m so desperately trying to become. If I don’t create a foundation for, I will not tolerate things that do not serve me.
And I start with panties and I joke a lot about it because if I can get your buy-in there, in your underwear drawer, truly no one sees you. This is just about your relationship with yourself. If I could get your buy-in there, then we can go meta, then we can start really applying this to the rest of your life. You want to become your future self? What do you got hiding in the drawers? Literally.
Brooke: In your drawers, yes, exactly. And I think too this idea that I wake up in the morning and I’m in my beautiful pajamas. And it’s time for me to go workout or get ready for work, or to just get ready for my day. And it feels like I’m not going anywhere, I’m just going to be at home, I just feel tired, I just feel frustrated, nobody’s going to see me today, I’m not even going to bother. Let alone consider what is stylish and wear something stylish if no one’s going to see me.
Judith: You see you. I think that explains the crux of the problem, where you’ve lost such - you have no regard for your own self to the degree that you don’t even factor into the equation what you’re going to wear. Where did that happen? Where did you suddenly decide that your opinion wasn’t enough, that your own regard wasn’t sufficient?
It’s so powerful to just stop and be like, when the fuck did that happen? Because your regard is the one that matters. Your opinion is the one that matters, which is I think such a hard part for people to wrap their brain around because I think we’re all sort of socialized that we dress for other people.
Brooke: Right. To be desirable or to be attractive to other people. Okay, so let’s say I’m bought in. Alright, I’ll be stylish, I want to have some better underwear, I don’t know anything about how to dress, I’m a little bit overweight, my clothes don’t fit me very well and it seems so overwhelming and I don’t have a lot of money to be going out and spending. Where do I start? How do I figure this out? If I’m now convinced that it does matter, where can I begin?
Judith: Well, first hire me, but let’s say you have the DIY route. I think every amazing transformation, every makeover story you’ve seen, it all sort of has three pivotal pillars. We have to figure out what you don’t want and what’s not working. We have to figure out what you do want, and then we have to make a plan for you to get it.
Brooke: Okay, here’s what I want. And this is what I think most people want. They want easy, comfortable, and stylish.
Brooke: Done, right?
Judith: Right. So if that’s the goal, if that’s our goal, easy, comfortable, stylish, then our very first, very, very first step is to go try on absolutely everything in our closet and anything that is not easy, comfortable, and stylish has to go.
Brooke: I love this. Okay now listen, everyone may not say easy, comfortable, and stylish. Other people may say stylish, designer, and compliment-worthy. It may be different for everyone. But I think a lot of people who are struggling, the people we’re speaking to, easy, comfortable.
So one of the things that I get a lot of feedback is on my shoes. I’m always wearing high heel shoes. And people will say how do you wear them? Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. But for me, easy, comfortable, and stylish is a real thing. I love high heel shoes but they have to be comfortable.
So there are - I would say I try on for every 10 pair of shoes I try on, one pair is comfortable. Period. And that’s the only one I’ll buy. I don’t care how cute they are, I don’t care how stylish they are, if they’re not comfortable, I’m not purchasing it.
And there are a couple times where I’ve purchased shoes, I’ve worn them for a day, not comfortable, they either get returned or I get rid of them. I am very committed to that. So I love if it doesn’t work, if it doesn’t fit all three of those things, whatever your three things are, it’s got to go.
Judith: Right. So one of the things I work on with my clients is we define their personal style. So I mean, I have had tons of clients go through this process and then that becomes our guiding light because I think let’s say if you are overweight, then one of the questions you only ask yourself is well, does it happen to fit me?
Brooke: Yeah, if it fits me I’ll buy it. Doesn’t matter that it’s lumberjack shirt if it fits.
Judith: It doesn’t matter that I secretly fucking hate it but this just happened to fit, okay. That needs to not be our criteria.
Brooke: That’s just a given. It has to fit.
Judith: It has to fit your body. So let’s not make that our only criteria or our number one criteria. Let’s make that one of many factors and I think the most guiding factor is what is your personal style statement? Now, it’s a process I walk my clients through but the shorthand version of it is like, what do you actually already love? What are you actually already wearing? And when was the last time you felt stylish? When was the last time you felt confident?
And pulling together all those key words because there is a thread in there. And if we can pull that out with envisioning your future self, then we get things like feminine and fierce. Sassy and a little badass-y. Elegant with a little bit of rebel.
You start to develop your own language, your own definition, and then that guides you. That guides you cleaning out your closet, that guides you actually shopping, that guides whether or not you’re going to take hand-me-downs or gifts that you secretly hate.
This becomes the guiding light for all of it, so that way you’re not comparing yourself to Susie down the street because her personal style statement is going to be totally different than yours. And it’s supposed to be that way.
Brooke: And I think what’s interesting about having a style statement and kind of exploring different words that you can use to describe yourself is it’s very easy to get into a rut with your clothes. It’s very easy to just wear what’s comfortable, that’s already in your closet, that you haven’t really put any conscious thought into.
And I really learned this when I worked with a woman at Neiman Marcus, I told her I was going on a trip and she was going to pull a bunch of clothes for me. And so I went down there and she had all these clothes hanging and I was like, oh no, I don’t do prints, I don’t do this type of thing.
And she just said try everything on, you don’t have to buy anything, just try everything on. And wouldn’t you know it, I put on some of these clothes that I never would have picked out myself, never would have thought, and I put them on and I was able to see that yes, that really did reflect who I am and my kind of unique sophisticated edgy style that I wouldn’t normally have done for myself.
And so I think for those of us who are trying to use our style to help ourselves grow and evolve and become a bigger, better version of ourselves, I think exploring different ways of dressing than maybe you have before and working with someone like you can kind of create that. It’s kind of like living on the edge of that.
Judith: Yeah. And I think this is a beautiful thing of you defining your personal style statement, which is why I’m so against those quizzes like, you’re classic, you’re bohemian. I’m like, well, what day of the week? I don’t know.
But if I’m creating my personal style statement then I get the luxury of every statement or every role change in my life or every time I lose weight or gain weight or something changes and I get to decide, oh, I can reinvent myself, I can do this process all over again, now I have these tools and these skills that I can do it ad infinitum essentially.
Brooke: So one of the things that I used to struggle with when I was at a different weight was I felt like nothing looked good on me because I felt like clothes weren’t designed for me because I was bigger and I couldn’t find anything that looked like other people, what they look like in magazines, or what the picture looked like.
So I just didn’t want to go shopping. I didn’t want to put on clothes. I didn’t want to look at my own body, let alone keep trying on clothes that didn’t fit on my body that I didn’t even want to look at in the florescent lights at the department store. That’s real.
Judith: Oh hell yeah that’s real. I think one of the most commented on posts I ever posted about style was I was in a Target dressing room and there was this cute red dress and I was like, oh, I’ll try it. And the fucker got stuck on my head in the Target dressing room. And I remember just having this moment of panic like, oh my god, get it off, get it off my head.
And then the floor was kind of sticky and gross, I was trying to maneuver on one foot to get this thing off my head. I didn’t want to call because they’re not real sales people. The whole experience was nasty and I shouldn’t have gone in there anyway.
So I was beating myself up about having gone in the nasty ass dressing room, and I shared this story and all these women were like, yes, and let me tell you my horror story about the dressing room, where the doors are too short and my tall gals are like, hanging out, or the kid next door is peeking underneath the thing or any number of crazy things that happen in a dressing room when you’re alone in your underwear in florescent lighting. It’s never good.
Brooke: And I think this is a real thing too is I think a lot of us, when we’re not feeling good about ourselves and we’re living an unconscious life and we’re eating more than we need for fuel and we’re buffering all those things, can’t really remember the last time we looked in the mirror.
And we find ourselves in a dressing room with the florescent lights, looking at ourselves in the mirror for the first time maybe in weeks, and we’re looking at ourselves in an outfit that isn’t flattering or doesn’t fit us or whatever, and there’s so much loathing that the last thing we’re doing is trying to think about how to be stylish.
We’re like, wait, when did my thigh get that big and what’s going on with my belly? And wait, this is a size eight, am I a size 10 now? It’s like, the horror that can happen when you are unconscious and all of a sudden you have that moment of consciousness. You have to be careful with yourselves.
Judith: Oh, absolutely. It’s this great disconnect. And I like to think of it this way is your mind remembers maybe once back in the day when you used to look x, y, or z, but your brain is getting all this current input. So they’re not on the same page. And that’s super jarring because you’re literally seeing someone that you don’t recognize in the mirror. You are seeing somebody totally different, which is a shock to the system.
So one of the things I tell all my clients who are - especially if you’re in the weight loss process, you have to look in the mirror. You want a makeover? You have to become so familiar with every wrinkle, lady lump, hump, dimple, all of it.
Brooke: Lady lump.
Judith: All of it. You have to really - and this is what I talk about owning it. Not owning it from the sense of you have to take responsibility for your weight gain. That’s not the thing. Like, own it in the slang version of celebrate that shit. We can’t get to celebrate until we acknowledge what is.
So looking in the mirror is so important. And I know if you’re from a Christian Puritanical background you’re like, oh my god, it’s so vain. No, you want to kick ass in the world? We at least need to know yourself. You take the first step. You be the one who leads, even in pain and discomfort and self-loathing, so that all the people behind you are like, okay, it’s possible for me too.
Brooke: That’s so good. And this is one of the reasons why style matters because it’s so easy to ignore yourself and be indifferent to yourself and not pay attention to yourself, or to tell yourself some rendition of not yet. When I lose weight, then I’ll be stylish, when my body looks different, when I get the job or the kids are grown or I’m not pregnant anymore. Whatever not yet BS you’re telling yourself, it is so important that you recognize when you do that to yourself, you miss that part of your life.
Judith: Yeah. Well you’re holding your body hostage. You’re like, you can’t look cute until you reach some pinnacle of whatever. And then you’re also holding your future hostage because what is not hitting - I think of your to-do list like rotating.
So you accomplish goals, something comes up, now, if at the top of your to-do list is perpetually I need to lose weight in order to be confident, I need to lose weight in order to get on that live call, I need to lose weight in order to fill in the blank, you’re never actually moving your to-do list. It stays frozen in place and stuck, probably like how you’re feeling, because you never allow yourself to go do.
You’ve tethered these things together that don’t need to be tethered. You want to lose weight, great, but that’s independent of you choosing to take care of yourself and show up and get dressed and dress stylishly if that’s what you so choose. These are independent from each other.
And I think somewhere along the way we’ve tethered them in a way that’s not serving any of us. So any time you hear yourself if, then, we’ve got things tied together, they need to come untied.
Brooke: It’s so good. And I think for me, I can speak for me, when I was not at the weight I wanted to be and I was not feeling good about myself, and I wasn’t feeling good physically because I was overeating all the time. So I felt sluggish and heavy and not just because my body was bigger than it normally had been, but just the way I was eating, the way I was feeling, all of it.
And one of the things that I remember doing was going through my closet and picking out outfits and making sure all the clothes fit me. And if they didn’t fit me at my current weight, I got rid of them. And some people just put them in boxes, bye, got rid of them. And so every single thing in my closet was not the size I wanted it to be, but it was the size I was.
And so I remember putting on a pair of jeans and putting on a belt and I was much bigger than I normally had been and feeling like myself again. And what I’d realized is that I had been elastic waistband stuff, trying to pretend that it wasn’t real, that I hadn’t gained the weight. It’s like I was eating my own back and pretending like that wasn’t me in the mirror, which of course was just perpetuating everything again.
Judith: Right. If you ignore yourself long enough, your body will make efforts to get your attention. So whether it’s going to be eating off your protocol and gaining weight, or you’re going to be achy because you don’t move around very much, your body will get your attention. You best be sure.
So start paying attention. I mean, even small little things, like you deciding I’m not going to have a closet that mindfucks me every time I walk into it. Anything that doesn’t fit or serve who I am in this moment either gets placed away, I call it putting it in archive. If there’s something you really want to keep and it’s a collection piece, you put it in your archive. But everything in there, you want to go in and not have to have these tiny decisions of nope, does this fit? I don’t know anymore. Talk about decision fatigue. Before you even get dressed you’ve shamed yourself 50 times with the things that don’t fit you.
Brooke: Oh my gosh, that is so true. So good.
Judith: By the time you finally put your clothes on, oh my gosh, think about if you - just the model you’re running. Sorted through 500 items to get to one that happens to fit me. I don’t really like it. I feel shame.
How are you going to take care of yourself from there? How are you going to do your makeup or not? How are you going to do your hair or not? Are you going to even moisturize or SPF or any of the other self-care things? No, you’re probably just going to put on what happens to pass the smell test and then you’re going to roll. Why bother?
Brooke: That’s actually so well said. I know that when I take the time to get ready, and it’s not even a lot of time, it’s just that I go in and I put on something nice and I brush my hair. That when I see a mirror or when someone acknowledges me, I can be present for them.
And I’ve watched people - someone gives them a compliment or whatever and they haven’t put the thought or energy in and they’re like, oh, what am I wearing? Literally someone’s complimenting you on what you’re wearing and you have to look down at your own self to see what you’re wearing. This is not a life of consciousness, my friends.
Judith: Yeah. And even the thing is I tell my clients too like, I’m up-leveling PJs probably for five of my clients right now. Because we’re like, we’re going to be ladies who lounge 1930s style, ladies of leisure, we’re lounging on purpose. And it’s like, you’re going to decide to wear jammies, if you’re going to decide to wear elastic waist pants or yoga pants or whatever, do it deliberately.
You want to rock it, do you boo-boo, I am here for this. However, let’s make it deliberate. It’s not by default anymore. It’s not what happens - pass the smell test or it happens to fit you. Let’s be very conscious and deliberate about our stretchy pants and rolling with our stretchy pants.
Because that’s a very different vibe to get dressed from. If I’m like, what stretchy pants am I wearing today? You’re excited and you’re picking things out, that’s a whole different mood than I guess this works, okay, that whole body language of meltiness. No, that’s not how we roll. We’re going to do it deliberately and we’re going to do it in a very zhuzhed up style, then let’s do it. I’m here for that.
Brooke: And celebrating where you are right now. Now listen, a lot of us are tied into numbers. We’re tied into what’s on the scale, we’re tied into what’s on the back of our pants. And one of the things that I learned from buying clothes that are stylish and really high-quality clothes that you’re going to wear multiple times is you want those clothes to fit. And sometimes they weren’t made exactly for your body because you know what, you’re not a mannequin, hello.
So sometimes you’re going to put something, it’s going to be a little tight somewhere, a little bit loose somewhere. It’s a beautiful thing. Buy a size bigger. Nobody cares, nobody ever has to see it, you can clip that off, whatever, and have your clothes tailored if you need to, to fit your beautiful body that maybe isn’t mannequin-ish, maybe it doesn’t look like an airbrushed model, but it’s yours. And when you get clothes that actually fit your body, something magical happens.
Judith: Oh yeah. I call it the magic moment. You’ll know, when somethings fits your body, fits your personal style, and you look in the mirror, you’re like, hey, and you do a little second-take and you’re preening, your whole body language changes, that’s that magic moment.
And I think everyone can have that magic moment if they want it. They can - it’s available to all of us. We just sort of somewhere along the way thought it wasn’t.
Brooke: And it’s the difference too, that magic moment is just for you and you. It’s the difference between, hey, does this look good on me? What do you think? And walking out and being like, right? It’s like you walk out of the dressing room, you don’t even need to know anyone’s opinion. You’re just like, mmhm, check it. Those are the clothes that you should be wearing.
Clothes that you don’t need to ask someone else if they look good because you know they look good. They feel good. They’re you. It’s your style. You love it. And there are a lot of things in this world you can’t control that are going to be very hard to deal with. What you put on your body every day, not one of them.
Judith: 100%. And I think it’s funny because the idea of a size dictating your happiness, if you know a little bit of the history of sizing in America, it’s so bizarre. We actually don’t have standardized sizing. We attempted it in the 1940s and the only women who were allowed to participate in the study were white women from the mid-West.
Brooke: Oh, brother.
Judith: Women of color - and mind you, this is during the Depression, so we’re talking about people who are malnourished during…
Brooke: Oh my gosh, I did not know any of this. What?
Judith: Women of color were excluded from this test so there goes a whole number of people. Then we use male sizing on military uniforms to compare it to women’s bodies. And that was our attempt at “standardized” sizing.
Brooke: Is that real?
Judith: That is true. That is the history of it. It’s completely made-up bullshit. It’s insane.
Brooke: Oh my gosh.
Judith: So we start there in terms of our history of attempts at standardized sizing, and then every brand has decided, well, that didn’t make sense so we’re going to use fit models. But these are still models. Even your plus-size fit model is 5’10 and her size 14 body, which is “plus-size” is going to be very different from my sisters who are 5’3 wearing a size 14.
So we have to kind of factor that in. That’s why some brands when you put them on, you’re like, I was a 12 over here, what is happening? Nothing has gone wrong. The fit model at brand A has a very different proportion to the fit model at brand B. And they’re very different from you because you have a human body and so do they.
So we start with the practical understanding of it, it loses a lot of the dramatic like, what is wrong with me, which I totally understand. But nothing’s wrong with you. This is just based on a human body that’s not like yours.
Brooke: Well, and I think we should talk about this because I find this to be maddening is that if your body isn’t what, a zero to a 12, then you don’t belong here somehow in this store, buying these clothes. And so I think for many women who feel like they can’t go to a regular store and buy regular clothes and therefore there’s something wrong with them, that they’re somehow exceptional in a negative way, I just want to say there is no reason to put yourself through that garbage.
To me, there is just no upside. Where does someone want my money? Anyone? Because I got some money, who’s making clothes for this body? And that’s where you go, instead of trying to fit yourself into clothes when people aren’t thinking about you, there are people thinking about you, creating clothes for you. Find those people and buy from them so you never feel left out, excluded, like you don’t fit in.
I know for me, finding certain stores, I remember I used to shop a lot at White House Black Market and I would tell them when I would go in there because their sizes are a little bit - an eight there is a little bit bigger than an eight somewhere else.
So I would tell them, I’d be like, this is the perfect store for me, I feel like the mannequin is like me, my body. When they make the clothes, they put it on a mannequin that is me for a size eight. And so I felt so - I didn’t even have to try clothes on in there. I just knew that that was my store. Now, I would go to other stores and feel like nothing fit me, and so I’d feel like something was wrong with me.
Judith: Yeah, 100%. This is the experience of so many people, not even just women but so many people. You’re like, I see this in the window, it’s so cute, I’m going to go in. And then the hunt begins for that tiny plus-size section in the back if they have it, or the snarky salesgirl.
Brooke: So what do you recommend:
Judith: Okay, so here’s what I recommend. Number one, let’s talk about mindset. You are the leading lady, the leading man in your starring movie. All the clothes are auditioning for you.
Brooke: Oh, girl. That is so good.
Judith: They’re in a line outside the door, some of them may…
Brooke: They all want to be worn by you.
Judith: They want a place in the movie. But not all of them are going to make it because we have standards. So sometimes we’re going to go in a different direction.
Brooke: Like I’m sorry, you’re too small for me. Sorry for your luck.
Judith: You just don’t fit the look we were going for, we had something else in mind. You’re just not going to work, no, thank you for trying.
Brooke: I love this.
Judith: That kind of a mindset, if you really thought you were Clark Kent or Clark Gable in a movie or Greta Garbo, you ain’t got time to worry about shit that doesn’t fit you. You are the leading person. So that’s the mindset you want to go into when trying on clothes, when going into a store, when shopping online.
This is auditioning for me. I don’t have to worry about doing a damn thing to my body. It’s just whether or not this item is going to make the audition. So that’s the mindset, but then there’s also some practical stuff.
Brooke: Okay, what do you got?
Judith: Try on three sizes. Now, this might be a limitation of the COVID but assuming we’re in non-COVID land, you actually want to try on the size you think you are, one above it, and one below it.
Brooke: Yes, great idea.
Judith: Let’s make it a game. We’re just going to happen to see what fits at this particular store. With the mindset that they’re auditioning. So these three are up for the sidekick role, let’s see who’s going to make it or not. So it takes the drama out of I should be a size 12. Who the fuck says? Maybe you’re a size 14 here, maybe you’re a size 16 here, we don’t know.
So play that game. The other thing I would say, to all my lovely humans because I love you all so much, take a break. If you feel yourself in a shame spiral and you have that warm, hot, red feeling and you want to cry secretly but you’re not going to do it in front of the salesperson, get the fuck out of there.
Regroup the troops, get a nap, take a little snack, go sit somewhere, regroup, and then you get to decide whether I want to continue this or I want to try again another day. There is no shame in that at all.
Brooke: I like that idea too because most stores you can order and return without a lot of charge and it’s worth it. So order three different sizes because there’s nothing worth - you see this dress you want and you order it and it’s too small, and then the last thing you want to do is send it back and order a bigger size.
So it’s like, ordering a couple sizes, trying them on, maybe one that’s a size bigger is too big in some areas but that’s when you pull the tailor in to make it fit perfectly. It’s a beautiful idea. Love it.
Judith: Yeah, and Nordstrom I think I have to give them kudos weirdly enough, they have a great on-staff tailor. Your average little Nordstrom will have an on-staff tailor. And they will actually even tailor items for you, this will be site specific so go ask them, that are not from Nordstrom.
They want the work. Just go and ask them, can I have your card? Do you do stuff that’s not from Nordstrom? They will be like, hell yeah, here’s my card, here’s my business. So go talk to them. Ask them what their jam is. Are you really good with dresses? Are you better with trousers? Are you good with menswear? Do you know someone who specializes in women’s wear?
Ask them. They know each other. They want everyone to get the business. Tailors are pretty good about this stuff and if something’s not their jam, they have no desire to cut into it. They’d rather give you to someone who’s more versed in whatever that item is.
Brooke: And you know what I love about using a tailor is you care enough about the clothes on your body that you’re willing to hire someone specifically to fit the clothes to your body. You deserve to have clothes that are custom made for yourself.
And even though it may seem like a hassle, if you think about it in a way - even with jeans, if you think about it in a way like, this matters, I matter, the clothes I wear matters, buying a little bit more expensive piece that you can keep longer and wear more that won’t fall apart and having it tailored and then wearing it multiple times because it looks so beautiful on your body is so much better than going out and buying four pairs of cheaper ones that don’t fit properly that are going to fall apart.
Judith: I totally agree. I also recognize people are all starting at some different place. If most of your stuff is janky right now, we just want you to get out of janky land into good. Just get shit that fits you and is not janky. Please do yourself that favor, we love you so much.
But if you’re like, my shit’s pretty good, then the next question is like, how can I make it so much better? And then that’s when we get to qualitative differences. And then the tailor comes in. So depending on where you’re at, we got a little something for you today. But if you’re janky, please get something that fits and is not gross. Thank you.
Brooke: Okay. So if I wanted to hire you, I would hire you because I know that I’m not representing myself to myself very well in terms of my clothes, my style, and definitely my mindset about it. So I need some help. Tell me how you would help me if I hired you?
Judith: So first we do awareness week. Let’s figure out where you are. Not just with what you’ve been wearing but also what you’ve been thinking and feeling that has caused you to choose items that you’ve been choosing. Awareness week is super crucial and it actually is very different than an average personal stylist.
If you go to a stylist, they don’t really care what you’re thinking. They’re not trained to even address that. They’re just going to slap a cute outfit on you. So that’s not how we roll around here. I’d be doing you a disservice if I just slapped a cute outfit on you. We’ll get there, we will get there, but we start figuring out where you’re starting from.
And I think this is so different and so crucial. And then we work slowly. We clean out your undies. I shop for you, which is very different than a lot of just coaches. This is what’s sort of particular about working with me I shop for you. So you don’t have to wonder, where do I shop? What do I buy? Do they have it in my size?
You get your own personal shopping site where everything fits you. Everything fits your body, everything fits your personal style, that’s where you shop from. So you’re not going all over the place. No, no, boo, I got you. You got one place to go and it all is tailored to you.
Brooke: Okay, so let me make sure I understand. So you’re going to go shopping for me, I’m going to look on this page at all this stuff you picked out for me and I decide which ones I want? How does it work?
Judith: Yeah. You decide which you want, I usually try and stick within your budget so if you tell me I don’t want to spend over $1000 per item, $500 per item, $150 per item, I shop within those parameters. And then you get to decide what you buy. The beautiful thing is the site lives on.
So after our work together, I create a personal style guide that tells you what your top stores were so you know where to go again. So your White House Black Market might be Eloquii for somebody, might be NYDJ for somebody else, so they know where to go again after our time together. And they put those skills learned to use over and over again. Because I like to leave my people beautifully landed with goodies so they know what to do next.
Brooke: I love it. Okay, so I pick out these clothes, I buy them, I put them on, and then do we have a call? What happens?
Judith: Yeah, so we meet one on one. So we have one-on-one hour call once a week. You also get unlimited Slack with me. So as stuff comes in, you’re sending me pictures, we’re talking about fit, and then typically around week five we do a fitting session.
So you try on all the clothes, we go to your closet, I’m like, take that, put that, what about a belt, move this here, tuck that in, what other three items can we wear this with so that as things come in, we’re not just buying shit for the sake of buying shit. That’s ridiculous. You’re shopping your closet and we’re remixing your wardrobe so you know how to create endless outfits of what comes in.
Brooke: So fun, oh my gosh.
Judith: So we’re just maximizing our time together and then you’re building these meta skills that you can use over and over and over.
Brooke: I love that. I love that. So you’re helping me put outfits together, explaining why we’re putting it together, and then when I start feeling sorry for myself because stuff doesn’t fit, I have you to talk me through it. And it’s kind of like - I was thinking with my coach that I - I use Frank Kern with my opt-in page and I’d be like, I’m a terrible coach, no one’s opting in, and he would be like, or your headline’s just not right. And I can imagine you doing that too. Nothing fits me, I’m unacceptable, or you just need a different size.
Judith: Right. Or I keep trying and it doesn’t work, well, maybe if you actually just tucked it into your panties and not your skirt. Wait, what? I’m like, you want smoothness. Try tucking it somewhere else. What? People’s minds are blown. It’s just so delightful to me. Just these little tweaks, I’m like, why don’t you cuff it? Wait, huh?
Brooke: What does that even mean?
Judith: What does that even mean? Or I have spillage on my bra. You know those titties are yours, you can move them around, right? They belong to you, just in case you were wondering. Get in there, girl, move that shit around.
Brooke: That’s so funny. Because it seems so obvious but there’s so many things that I don’t know, sometimes when I get dressed, when I was telling you when I went to Neiman Marcus and the woman was like, oh no, you tie it this way. And I was like, oh, yeah, that looks way better, or you can’t wear this color underwear with these.
Because I’m like, oh, I can’t wear these, my underwear is showing. And they’re like, or you change the type of underwear or the color of underwear. What? It seems so obvious, but having someone to help you get dressed matters.
Judith: Right. It totally matters. Because the beautiful thing I see for my clients all the time is like, just a few weeks in they start to get promotions, or they’re like, I went live and I did this thing and I got these clients, or I decided to do the photoshoot after all, help me get ready. I’m like yes, show up. That’s what I’m talking about. Show up so that you can set it. We want you to be able to set your clothes and then forget about them.
Brooke: Love it.
Judith: Gorgeously set so that you can go do your work undistracted by what you’re wearing.
Brooke: Yes. And I know that some of the other work that you’ve done is helping people come up with outfits for special events, for vacations, for their websites, wanting to be styled for those, and I think sometimes it’s like, for me, I’ve put on an outfit that I know is going to be photographed and the photographer is trying to tell me what looks good. But having a stylist, someone that understands clothes and what you’re trying to do with your brand is like, such an amazing asset to be able to have for your business and for your personal life as well. But for those of us who are showing up visually constantly for our business, you’re the one.
Judith: Totally. And I think what’s so fun to me is to be the underground behind the coach who’s like, what’s your vision? Let’s talk about the dinner party you’re throwing; how do you want to show up as a host? Who are we excluding? Who are we inviting? Are we dressing for this occasion?
Then thinking about like, if I’m dressing this way, what do my limitations look like? What do they sound like? Which is all about copy, right? So looking at it in a very comprehensive way, and then locking that down and creating something like, for them so they can give it to their designer, they can give it to their photographer so everyone’s on the same fucking page whenever we go create content and beautiful graphics. We all know what the vision is as opposed to just doing things for the sake of doing things, which so often happens.
Brooke: Yeah. And I think it’s really important. Even when I’ve talked to some of my friends, they’re about to go do their website, they’re like, oh, I need to go shopping to buy some clothes for my photoshoot tomorrow. I’m like, what?
If you’re doing a photoshoot for your website, you need more than one day at the mall. You need to plan and think this thought and make sure your clothes are representing and that’s not just for those of you who are entrepreneurs but this is for anyone living their life who wants to show up as the best version of yourself. So if you want to hire Judith, which I highly recommend you do, tell us where we can find you.
Judith: Yeah. Go to judithgaton.com and just click on the work with my button and it’s all there.
Brooke: And I just want to say if you’re feeling at all ashamed, upset, scared, worried, self-loathing, Judith’s your woman. She’s going to help you. I just feel like every time I talk to you I feel so loved, I feel like you’re going to take care of me, I feel like you have my back. And I can’t imagine a better area for you to be coaching people than this one, for anyone who’s struggling with it.
Judith: I love my people fiercely. I love people just in general, but I think what drives me is if I can get you to show up, I don’t want to get teary-eyed, but if I can get you to show up, fully confident, fully in your leading energy, whatever that is for you, the ripple effect of you showing up that way is - we can’t quantify it. Because you showing up as you is giving permission to someone who’s just been desperately needing for you to show up as yourself.
And then they’re going to show up in their community and their place, wherever that is for them, and then they’re going to show up differently and that’s how we effect change. That’s why style matters. Because sometimes just modeling the behavior for someone else who’s desperately wanting to see that it’s possible for them, it’s magic.
Brooke: Yeah. And it’s a conscious life, my friends. It’s being conscious about all of the details of your life. And I want to leave y’all with this. You deserve to be seen. You deserve to be seen and that is first by yourself. And so if you want help in this area, I highly recommend it’s worth your time, your money, your energy to work with Judith. Go find her, judithgaton.com and have a beautiful week everybody. Thank you, Judith, for coming on the podcast. I love you so much, I love what you’re doing.
Judith: Thank you so much too.
Brooke: It’s so good. Alright my friends, I’ll talk to you. Thank you again Judith. Talk to y’all next week. Take care. Bye.
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