Weekend Vibes, Edition No. 182: Labor Day Sales + Staying Composed.

First: Happy Labor Day sale shopping! I will be updating this post with all my latest sale finds/scores. One sale that ends today is on my beloved gray Superga sneakers, which I wear season after season with everything from dresses to denim and are currently under $30. (Check out the entire Superga sale section here.)

My Latest Snags: Veronica Beard Flats + A Quilted Coat for Fall.

Just reiterating two items I’ve shared a number of times this week that I am CRAZY excited about: first, these Veronica Beard croc flats, which I snagged for $84 (originally $350). I had been looking for a new casual loafer for fall and my front-runner had been a pair of these camo Rothys, which people go wild over (very comfortable). The VBs are SO chic and had to happen thanks to the ultra-steep discount! I can’t wait to wear them with dark denim and fun fall sweaters. I know that they are only available in limited sizes at VB, but Shopbop has a couple of pairs of these flats in different prints/materials on sale for even less ($79) — love these leopard ones and these python ones. Did I mention they are only $79?! You can’t even get a pair from J. Crew for that price, and VB’s quality is infinitely superior. If you’re hell-bent on the light brown croc color I have but they’re sold out in your size on VB, you can find them here for $169.

I also received the CUTEST quilted coat from Talbot’s the other day. I got the black (I guess I really am turning into a Manhattanite…) and took the P size in petites. It fits me perfectly — I am 5’0 and usually wear a size XS or 0 for reference. I absolutely love the length, which is slimming and elongating. I also own a Barbour quilted coat that I love for fall, but I am delighted by the longer length of the Talbot’s coat, which makes it feel a little bit more versatile (it could be dressed up a little bit with spiffy flats or worn over a dress). And the hood is so fun! Anyway, very impressed with quality and can’t wait to wear this as we transition to fall…I also have to say that I really got a lot of mileage out of Everlane’s liner jacket (currently on sale) last fall. It’s thin so not great for weather under, say, 40-45 degrees, but perfect for layering when the temperatures are still turning.

You’re Sooooo Popular: Floral Dress.

The most popular items on le blog this week:

+This beautiful floral dress, which is reminiscent of Zimmermann.

+Gorgeous hand-dipped taper candles in the prettiest rainbow of colors.

+My Thanksgiving dinner dress.

+Gorgeous pearl statement headband for $15.

+The Revlon one-step. (On sale!)

+And an easy-to-wear everyday dress for under $35.

+Just one pair of these fun (very popular) Loeffler Randall sandals left — only $75! I own these, too! I also found them on sale in black here.

+A ribbed cashmere sweater for fall. Love.

+I need these pajamas.

+Moms love this inexpensive nursing nightgown!

+Cutest eyelet shift dress for under $30.

+I’m convinced this is the best eyebrow gel on the market and so are many of you!

Weekend Musings: Tricks for Staying Composed During a Presentation.

I always get nervous before a public speaking engagement or big presentation. At the moment, these opportunities are admittedly few and far between both because of my current career path and coronavirus, but I still find myself leaning on a few tricks I learned from a couple of speech coaches back when I was routinely pitching my business in various venues (at pitch competitions, in front of VCs, and in various other promotional settings) and, before that, when I was delivering talks as a the Chief Innovation Officer for an educational technology non-profit. I find these tactics have come in handy even when I was toasting my sister (virtually!) on her wedding day and on a couple of recent calls I have had relating to this blog and so I thought they may be of use to some of you, too.

The first thing: welcome the nerves. I used to work hard to suppress or deny my anxiousness before speaking in public. “Calm down,” I’d tell myself, irritated. Then I had a speech coach tell me: “You’re thinking about this the wrong way. Accept the nerves and the excitement and the tense energy. Your body is doing what’s natural — it’s getting you ready for the stage. It’s your body saying: “I’m here with you, I’m winding myself up, I’m getting ready to nail this.”” That mental shift made a world of difference to me. Now, whenever I feel butterflies or find myself anxiously pacing or even shivering backstage, I nod at myself: “Yep, you’re just getting ready. Let’s do this, Jen!”

The second thing: Focus on your pacing, especially during the first thirty seconds. It sets the tone for the rest of your talk. Force yourself to speak with deliberation that feels almost unnatural. Deliver your first line as slowly as you ca and then take a very deep breath and a very long pause. If you are anything like me, the measured pace will be mildly excruciating that first couple of seconds because I am always eager to just get started, to jump into things, to go fast, to finish, and my nerves can often cause me to speak very quickly. But you’d be surprised at how well this forced pacing works at giving you a sense of control over the room and over the talk itself. If I make it through that first line very carefully and slowly, I always find the rest of the talk a breeze.

The third thing: Slow and center your movements on stage. It is easy to fidget or pace back and forth when you’re standing in the limelight. It is in fact tremendously difficult to get yourself to stand with both feet planted while you deliver. But I guarantee that teaching yourself to stand confidently in one place and only move with deliberation will make you look and feel much more in control. When you are moving, one big breakthrough for me was learning to take a surprising step toward the audience. It feels a little unnatural the first time — you’d be surprised how often you are likely to stand along the same latitude, or maybe take a step back. But taking a step toward the audience at a key moment in your presentation gives the impression of control, confidence, and engagement with your audience. It’s a tiny thing but it really makes a huge difference if you watch any well-seasoned public speaker.

What other tricks do you have?

Post-Scripts: Footies + Sales.

+This two-pack of footies for infants is such a good deal, and I love the unfussy prints/colors.

+Crazy cute maternity swimsuit on sale. Probably only worth the investment if you have a pool you use regularly!

+Also for pregnant mamas: Sezane now has a bump-friendly section! Such cute pieces.

+Lots of really great Labor Day sales to shop here (will keep updating this post as I find new scores).

+Such a gorgeous everyday dress as we head into fall — love the color and sleeves. Would wear with simple leather sandals now and smart neutral flats as things cool down.

+More great end-of-summer dresses here.

+This fitted wrap cardigan is a clever fall snag for a nursing mother. (More nursing-friendly finds here.)

+This 3-pack of pastel toddler gloves were a great find for mini — I figure they’ll be easy (and non-precious) to throw in the wash after our commute from school, during which I am sure I will cringe countless times as she touches every surface available to her.

+Love trays like these for organizing drawers and medicine cabinets. I own these similar ones — they are in almost every drawer/cabinet in my home!

+More great home organization gear and the perfect small bins for organizing a linen or utility closet.

+I have been seeing a lot of “lettuce-edge” detailing on base layers/thin sweaters this fall. This throws me back to the 90s and I love it! Eyeing this great black basic.

+These ric rac trim jammies are adorable.

+Just the cutest personalized gift enclosures/stickers for little ones.

+This pair of lamps is such a great price for such sweet lamps for a girl’s nursery! Would be cute atop bedside tables or flanking the ends of a wide bookcase or dresser.

+On neighborliness.

+Buy one ginger jar and get the second 50% off here this weekend. Love this unexpected green color for coordinating on a bookshelf.

+What are you reading?

+I love this $30 tank for pairing with full skirts like my new one from Horror Vacui (I own in a different colorway/print, but this one is on sale!).

+Decorating for fall.

7 Comments

  1. Great presentation tips! I will be thinking of these this fall (I give a few presentations each season and sometimes feel the nerves — I love your tip about reframing them as excitement/preparation!)

    That Lost + Wander dress is SO cute — I have the summer version of that dress in 2 colors and might need to add this one into my collection! Also, yes to lettuce-edging … so nostalgic!

    xx

    1. Oo I wasn’t aware of that brand until just now! Yay! And so glad you agree on the lettuce edge. It’s so 90s and I can’t resist it.

      xx

  2. I love wearing floral dresses and I can’t thank you enough for giving this amazing list for getting these dresses at a lower price… Please write something about what are the best options for buying affordable, but trendy accessories on the labor day sales. It will be of great help. Thanks!

  3. Similar to pacing— my dad taught me to count to three before answering interview questions. It helps me slow down the nervous verbal pace, and projects confidence.

  4. My favorite tip: a pause – whether intentional or accidental, while you’re catching your breath, settling your nerves, or remembering your next words – nearly always feels longer to you than it does the audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *