35 In Getting Dressed/ Style

When a personal stylist sees your fashion comfort zone and asks you to leave it

Wearing a column of orange on BrendaKinsel.com

Wearing a column of orange for the first time


What happens when you step outside of your fashion comfort zone and do something you’ve never done before? I’m talking about wearing something deliberately, in public, that makes you feel uncomfortable.

I did this last week. I left my comfort zone for a day and wore something that I was both attracted to but fearful of: going all the way with orange.


This much orange at one time was unprecedented

If you’ve been following my blog you know how my orange crush began. It was a blind date, a set up. I was looking for a new lipstick color. Elina, the manager of the beauty department at Nordstrom, Corte Madera pulled out a Hot Orange lipstick crayon by Bobbi Brown.

She applied it, leaned back, smiled and was very satisfied.

I looked in the mirror and was terrified. I started shaking my head NO.

I argued. She held her ground. I bought the lip color.

I started getting compliments immediately.

It’s been a love affair ever since.


Accessories for an orange outfit on BrendaKinsel.com

My personal stylist recommends wearing orange and orange together


Trying new things can be scary

As a personal stylist I’m creating fabulous outfits every week for my clients.

Sometimes clients embrace my ideas immediately and tease me that they want the appointment to come to an end so they can walk right out the door and live life in their new outfit with no delay.

Other times they squirm; they’re not sure; they’re hesitant.

I see their nervousness as a temporary speed bump. I always reassure them by saying, “Wear it this week. You’ll be uncomfortable for thirty minutes and then the compliments will start coming in and your anxiety will be gone.”

They follow through, get compliments and they’re proud of themselves afterwards.


Styling a brightly colored outfit on BrendaKinsel.com

My personal stylist accessorizes my orange outfit


The Personal Stylist meets the timid client

I’ve gotten more and more comfortable with the color orange and have added pieces to my wardrobe, slowly. I have at least three orange things in my closet.

The morning when I came up with the idea to wear my newly acquired orange skirt with my orange sweater, the “personal stylist” in me was gleeful. She thought this was a brilliant idea.

Awesome! A column of orange. Fabulous!

This is so ladylike, so Carolina Herrera!

The lines are simple and clean. It’s so sophisticated.

You look smart, intelligent. You look vibrant!


The “client” in me felt so exposed, so naked, so uncomfortable bringing attention to herself like this. She had other very loud thoughts.


It’s BRIGHT ORANGE! All over!

Who wears head-to-toe orange? Not someone like me!

Rene Russo could do this but not Brenda Kinsel. No way!

In public? Are you kidding me? You expect me to wear this in public?


And then the personal stylist in me said, “Brenda, wear it today. You’ll be uncomfortable for thirty minutes. By then you’ll be receiving compliments and your nervousness will go away. I promise.”


The Personal Stylist was right about the compliments

I was meeting a client at Nordstrom for a shopping trip. When I walked in the door, a department manager spotted me and walked toward me. She said, “Brenda! Look at you all in orange! You look great!”


Adding fun to orange outfit on BrendaKinsel.com

Orange outfit accessories


I went upstairs and started pulling clothes for my client. Sales associates came up to me and complimented me. Love your outfit!

And then strangers stopped me and said. “You look so great. You should be wearing that color every day!”

The personal stylist in me was right! The compliments did start flooding in!


Did BK, the client, settle down?

I wouldn’t say I was completely comfortable even after a few hours. It’s a lot of color! But I was quietly proud of myself for daring to do what I thought I couldn’t do.

A day or two passed and I remembered about other times when I did things that seemed so outside of my comfort zone and how my pulse rate stays very normal when I wear them now.


Getting comfortable with fashion choices on BrendaKinsel.com

Doing something different may feel uncomfortable but then it gets easier.



  1. Hats. I thought I was NOT a hat person. I was scared at first, but now I adore them.
  2. Leopard print. I thought I’d NEVER wear leopard print; too racy, too daring. Leopard print is practically a neutral color to me now.
  3. Colored glasses. When Nancy at Uber Optics asked me to try on these blue frames I thought NO WAY. They very quickly became YES WAY.


So how about you: Have you worn things that were outside of your comfort zone? Did you warm up to the new ideas? You’re here to tell the tale, right?

Tell me how it worked out!


Lady in orange on BrendaKinsel.com

Topping it off with an orange trench



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  • Reply
    Ann Nicholls
    November 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    Brenda, you look so good in orange – especially all three pieces. You glow – you are positively radiant. Well done for stepping out of your comfort zone. The end result is so worth the initial discomfort.

    • Reply
      November 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      I have a lot more compassion for when I send my clients on their way with that basic message–that the initial discomfort is tolerable and the results will be great–after experiencing this myself! The test will be if I dare do it again. Thanks for your comment, Ann!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Oh my gosh you look fabulous! I adore pink but have never tried it with more than one item at a time. I think I will work on this straight away. Than you for sharing this.

    • Reply
      November 8, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      You’re so welcome, Tress. Would LOVE to hear how that works out! Sounds beautiful, actually.

  • Reply
    jodie filogomo
    November 8, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Aren’t we funny—it’s so much easier to style on other people, but when it comes to ourselves???
    So I’ll be one of those compliments—you look fabulous Brenda!! The color is vibrant just like you are.
    And thanks again for the scarf trick—I have it on my blog today!

    • Reply
      November 8, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks, Jodie. Glad you understand!! And I am dashing over right now to check out your blog!

      • Reply
        November 8, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        Jodie, just went to your site, love the looks! And your mom looks great in her double pink scarves. I tried to leave a message but had troubles signing in. I’ll try again another time!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2016 at 7:07 am

    You sre a wonderfully lively classy ladt! Love your style. 🙂

    • Reply
      November 8, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks so much, Sheryl!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Should have proofread the above. sorry.
    Intended to write ‘lady’

    • Reply
      November 8, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      I figured it out. I LOVE mistakes by the way. I’m all for making at least one or two of them every single day…if not more!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Love this color on you!

    • Reply
      November 8, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Thanks, so much!

  • Reply
    Mary Ann Doerzbacher
    November 8, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Brenda, you look terrific in that burnt orange. I do not have your tiny figure so I would try a scrf or wrap in that color.

    • Reply
      November 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm

      And that’s a wonderful way to enjoy that color! A scarf or a wrap would be very fun!

  • Reply
    November 8, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Awesome look! And if you added the blue glasses, you’d totally knock ’em dead.

    • Reply
      November 8, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Darn good idea, Laurice!

  • Reply
    Susan B.
    November 9, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I’ve been experimenting with more bold color lately. I’m still a neutrals gal at heart, but it’s nice to have some options. Color, especially bright color, feels fresh in my wardrobe right now.

    • Reply
      November 10, 2016 at 11:10 am

      I’m a neutrals gal at heart but I’m wondering if that could change. Bright color seemed like something that required energy to wear for my mostly introverted self. Now, not so much. I just like it. It feels fresh to me too and at this age, I feel “Why not?”

  • Reply
    November 10, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Lovely post Brenda… and so right!!

    • Reply
      November 10, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks, Pamela!

  • Reply
    Jessica Valadie
    November 12, 2016 at 11:37 am

    You look stunning! I love that color and have been incorporating more of it myself!

    • Reply
      November 13, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      So fun to hear this, Jessica!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Oh wow, this looks amazing! Orange is great with your hair… Perfect

    • Reply
      November 15, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Thank you! I hadn’t thought of it that way but I think you are so right! Orange and brownish/blondish/grayish looks great together! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Kay Taylor
    April 30, 2017 at 6:56 am

    You have the most beautiful smile in anything you wear. One Sunday I wore to church black slim pants, loose long top, very out of style for me. It was so uncomfortable for me I was very nervous. I said I would never wear it again but did get complements . you are right I need to work on trying new outfits. Thanks for encouragement Kay

    • Reply
      May 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Kay for recognizing that there may be other ways to wear things. It can be a struggle, but worth it! Thanks for your kind words about my smile. So sweet. And I also totally relate to what you said about what you wore to church and how you were nervous. I have absolutely experienced that and have gotten similar response as you got. We’re stretching outside of our comfort zones!

  • Reply
    Marcia Miller
    November 16, 2017 at 11:05 am

    I wear orange easily but I have had no experience with blues. My mother who had very different coloring than mine used to say that brown eyed people should not wear blue. Au contraire! It is on my color chart and I am stepping out there with it. I like it.

    • Reply
      November 17, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Isn’t it fun to discover a new hue? Marcia Wears Blue! Your next book!

  • Reply
    Angela Barlow
    November 16, 2017 at 11:29 am

    How extraordinary, this post comes the very next day after I have bought a mango coloured, sleeveless linen dress for our forthcoming summer in New Zealand! I’ve always been a colour addict but with maturing years (65) my wardrobe overall is becoming more subtle. Yesterday I reverted to type and said “(insert any mild to moderate expletive here) it, I feel great in this, buy it”.

    • Reply
      November 17, 2017 at 9:16 am

      I don’t know if we chose the same mild to moderate expletive but I say FAB!!! I think if there are any rules at “our” age, it’s to throw out all the rules!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Love it! Great post!

    • Reply
      November 17, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Thanks, Keira!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Brenda! I am a (just!) 63 years young retired woman, only now getting caught up with your blog posts. LOVE THEM!
    I purchased a sunshine yellow pair of slacks last year and was eager, anxious and terrified to wear them. I love yellow, makes me happy. I had a vintage yellow gingham silk blouse that goes so well with the pants, yet again, terrified at wearing soo much saturated color. But I did, do, and love it! I feel like the best of a new day!
    Kudos to you for your orange victory!
    And thanks for the support of women on the other side of the age scale. Wonderful!
    Liz from CT

    • Reply
      March 10, 2019 at 8:03 pm

      Your enthusiasm delights me! I’m excited you had this experience. And I love that you feel like the best of a new day. What a victory! You got it, Elizabeth!

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