Accepting Things As They Are: Why and How to Do It

Life is full of situations that shouldn’t be the way they are! Sometimes you can fix these situations, but sometimes you can’t. Accepting things as they are is a powerful way to cope with situations that you don’t want or that shouldn’t happen.

Many things in life are beyond your control. Examples are everywhere: traffic, the weather, a burst bathroom pipe, difficult family members, or the death of a loved one — all things you don’t want or need, but things you cannot always prevent. Not having control over things can make you feel sad, angry, frustrated, or anxious.

Sometimes people try to gain a sense of control by trying to make changes, even if they’re unlikely to help. Other times people try to regain the feeling of control by ignoring what’s happening. The sad truth is that trying to change something you cannot (or denying it) only leads to more pain and suffering.

So, what’s a healthy way to deal with things beyond your control?

Accepting Things As They Are

To accept things as they are means to let go of your expectations of how things should be. Instead, allow things to be what they are. It means to say to yourself, “It is what it is, and there is nothing I can do to change the current situation.” This is a contrast to asking the universe “why is this happening to me?”

Why Is Acceptance So Important?

There are three main reasons why it is good to accept things as they are.

First, trying to change reality is a battle you’re guaranteed to lose. It leads to feelings of bitterness, anger, and sadness.

Second, acceptance allows you to recognize and face the actual problem. This can allow for problem-solving. For example, if you’re unhappy in your career, it’s impossible to make any changes before you face the reality of your current situation. Denying reality prevents you from problem-solving and may lead to more serious consequences — in this example, further years of career dissatisfaction.

Third, accepting things as they are leads us toward a sense of peace and calm. It is normal to feel angry, sad, or disappointed when you first acknowledge that you have no control over a difficult situation. However, acceptance will help you eventually feel lighter — as if a burden has been removed.

How to Accept Things As They Are 

  1. Notice when you are trying to change or deny things that can’t be changed. For some people, warning signs include thoughts like This is unfairIt shouldn’t be this way! or Why me? For others, warning signs tend to be emotions like anger or frustration.
  2. Remind yourself that “it is what it is” and there is nothing you can do to change it right now. You may need to do these multiple times a day/hour/minute depending on the situation.
  3. Allow yourself to feel sad and disappointed; these feelings are healthy! At the same time, trust that acceptance will eventually bring you peace and calm.
  4. Seek out social support. Engage in self-care activities to help you cope with difficult feelings and improve your mood.

Remember: accepting things as they are does not mean that you have to enjoy what’s happening. It also does not mean that you are giving up. It simply means that you acknowledge that you don’t have control over the situation, and it is what it is. 

Top 10 Black Friday Shopping Tips for 2022

Follow CR’s advice to get the best deals now and through the holiday season

By James K. Willcox and Samantha B. Gordon

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Some of us wait all year for the Black Friday shopping season, our heads filled with the promise of scoring the very best price on a new TVsmart speakerprinter, or other high-tech gadget. And for good reason—this is when we tend to see some of the biggest discounts of the year on virtually everything.

This year, the landscape of the Black Friday season is changing yet again. As concerns about inflation rise, the National Retail Federation has reported that consumers have started shopping for the holidays earlier than ever before in an effort to find savings and avoid possible price hikes caused by inflation. Retailers have risen to meet their needs, starting the deals in early October. And the sales will only continue throughout November and into December.

holiday shopping trend report from Adobe predicts that the discounts being offered this year will reach record highs. And even though there are plenty of great sales now, the best deals will still come between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Adobe suggests that Thanksgiving will be the day to shop for most electronics, but that Black Friday will offer up the lowest TV prices. If you’re looking for toys, wait until Saturday. Apparel and sporting goods can be found at their best prices on Sunday, and laptops are expected to be a bargain on Cyber Monday.

No matter if you shop sales now or wait for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, many of those deals masquerading as fantastic bargains are not always as good as they look, and it’s easy to be fooled if you’re not careful.

No worries—Consumer Reports has been tracking Black Friday deals for years, and we know all the tricks. Our top 10 Black Friday shopping tips will help you find the best offers and keep the frustration—and overspending—to a minimum.

The final three tips in the list below apply specifically to TVs, always a hot-ticket item at this time of year.

1. Start early. Sales have already begun, which means you don’t have to wait for Black Friday weekend to find discounts. Retailers are offering deals on items in virtually every category, and many have holiday refund and return policies that include partial refunds for items that go on sale for less later in the season. Target, for instance, offers price match adjustments for anything bought at its stores or online between October 6 and December 24. If you see that the price has dropped, contact customer service and they’ll refund you the difference. You just have to save your receipts and be proactive about it.

2. Skip the in-store sales and shop online. While many deals will be available in-person and online, you may have more luck and more options by shopping from your phone or computer. In recent years, we’ve seen retailers offer more of the same promotions online that they do in stores.

We’ve also seen more stores remain closed on Thanksgiving, giving shoppers even more incentive to turn to their online counterparts to find deals during the holiday.

3. Use websites and apps. To judge how good the deals really are in crunch time, you need to track prices leading up to Black Friday. The same goes for Cyber Monday. But you don’t have to go retailer by retailer to compare prices. The Consumer Reports website lists the current prices at various outlets for the products in our ratings. You can also try Google ShoppingPriceGrabber, and Shopzilla. When you’re in a store, smartphone apps such as BuyVia, Shopkick, ShopSavvy, and Shopular let you scan bar codes or QR codes to compare prices, get discounts, and score coupons.

There are now dozens of websites that post leaked—and authorized—Black Friday ads. We regularly check BestBlackFriday.comDealNewsTheBlackFriday.comDeals Plus/BlackFriday.fm, and GottaDeal. Sign up for deal alerts, which you can usually filter by product category.

Retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart have their own shopping apps, as well. Amazon’s mobile app, for example, lets you use a smartphone camera to scan products and compare prices when you’re in a store. (When you’re done crossing everything off your holiday list, delete the apps you don’t use to protect your privacy and security.)

But direct comparison shopping can be really tough in the run-up to Black Friday. The best deals at each retailer often feature models unavailable at other stores or nowhere to be found earlier in the year. Here are two quick tips:

• Browser extensions can help. These are small bits of software you can add to web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox to customize your browsing experience. For example, CamelCamelCamel and Honey are tools that will show you price histories and price alerts or available coupons when you shop online.

• To be a web-savvy shopper, add items to your shopping cart if they have a price you like, so you can find them again quickly and be all set to order. Then go check the websites of other retailers to see whether the price is really special. Putting an item in your cart doesn’t reserve it, though—you need to place your order and get a confirmation that it has been received.

4. Use loyalty programs. Store loyalty programs often grant members early access to coupons, sales, and promotions, then let them earn rewards on what they buy. So sign up for Black Friday shopping alerts. In some cases, you can even find out whether the products you want are in stock or eligible to buy online and pick up at a store, which can save you money on shipping.

5. Get social. The Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about exclusive deals and promotions. Retailers will often reward customers who like or follow them with special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives. And of course texts, tweets, and social media posts are an easy way to share Black Friday shopping intel with your friends, too.

6. Create a budget—and stick to it. Yes, this sounds simple. But Black Friday sales, especially the doorbuster specials available in limited quantities, are designed in part to get you into a store or shopping online so that the retailer can sell you stuff you weren’t intending to buy. It’s really easy to get caught up in the excitement and overspend. Decide ahead of time how much you want to your Black Friday shopping spree to cost, and do your best to resist impulse buying, especially if you’re not sure how good a deal is.

With the shift to online buying, more of us will be using credit cards to pay for purchases. One benefit is that many cards will double the manufacturer’s warranty. But be wary of the interest-free promotions offered by store credit cards. They’re fine if you’re disciplined enough to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends, but if you don’t do that, you’ll get stuck paying interest on the full amount of the purchase, even if you’ve paid down a lot of the balance.

7. Check all store policies in advance. It’s always good to know a store’s price-match and return policies. Analysts expect more retailers to price-match specific deals this year. Almost all the major retailers have some form of price-match policy, and they’ve been expanding them almost every year.

Some stores suspend their price-match guarantees on certain items during the Black Friday weekend, however, so read the fine print. Check the return and exchange policies for Black Friday sales to make sure that the store won’t charge a restocking fee for any item you take back.

Tips for TV Shoppers

Televisions deserve some special attention because so many people shop for deals on TVs at this time of year. Here are three Black Friday shopping tips if you’re looking to upgrade your set this year.

8. Wait until Black Friday to buy. This year, as in years past, we’re expecting to see the biggest discounts on televisions on Black Friday. The Adobe trend report is predicting discounts as high as 19 percent on average, which is up from just 11 percent last year. So it’s shaping up to be a great year to upgrade your TV.

9. Consider a “derivative” TV modelStarting this month, you’ll begin to see low-priced TVs made specifically for Black Friday. Some are available only through a single retailer. These sets are called “derivatives,” because they’re derived from mainstream models—they just have different model numbers and maybe scaled-back features, such as fewer HDMI inputs or a simpler remote control.

We don’t test all the derivative models, but we do bring a number of them into the lab. We often find some derivative TVs from major brands that perform equally well in CR’s tests, despite being priced $100 to $150 lower.

Not every TV introduced at this time of year is a true derivative, though. So it can be hard to judge the quality of newly introduced sets, and it’s difficult to compare prices, too. Consumer Reports will report on heavily promoted sets as they come on the market, and help you pick out the better deals.

10. Beware the cheapest set. Super-low-priced doorbuster specials draw people in with visions of savings, but the sets—often from lesser-known brands—are not always worth the price.

“It is always worth reminding people that Black Friday products are often older technology or specifically engineered to sell at a special Black Friday price and may not be exactly what a consumer would choose,” Stephen Baker, vice president for industry analysis at the market research firm NPD Group, told us last year.

Keep in mind that you’ll be watching your new TV for a number of years. If you’re not happy with the features or picture quality, you may regret not spending the extra $50 to $100 to get something better.

Those loss-leader TVs are usually at their rock-bottom price, too. A retailer may have more wiggle room on a step-up or flagship model, and you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for a better price—regardless of the time of year.

Cooking Broke: Kids Edition!!!

Photo by Amina Filkins on Pexels.com

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

  • Plain flour 
  • Cocoa
  • Cinnamon
  • Ripe bananas
  • Vanilla extract 
  • Mild olive oil
  • Brown sugar 
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water
  • Dark chocolate drops

Ingredient Notes and Substitutes

  • Cinnamon: This can be left out
  • Ripe bananas: Very ripe bananas are the key, if your bananas aren’t super ripe the banana bread won’t be nice and sweet.
  • Mild olive oil: Be sure to use a mild flavoured oil, coconut oil or rice bran oil would work too. You can also substitute for melted butter if you don’t need this recipe to be vegan.
  • Brown sugar: I love the flavour brown sugar adds to banana bread, but white sugar will work just fine too.
  • Dark chocolate drops: Most dark chocolate drops and chips are dairy free, but always check the label. Or if you don’t need this recipe to be dairy free you can use your favourite chocolate drops (milk, dark or white)

Step one: Start with the dry ingredients. Whisk or sift, or even fork together the flour, cocoa, and cinnamon.

Flour and cocoa powder being sifted into a glass mixing bowl.

Step two: Now for the wet ingredients. In a second bowl, mash your bananas.

A glass mixing bowl of mashed bananas with a fork resting in it.

Step three: Add the oil, vanilla extract and brown sugar to the bananas, mix until combined.

Step four: Mix the baking soda with 2 Tablespoons of hot water. Add this to the wet ingredients and stir well.

A bowl of banana bread wet ingredients on a bench top surrounded by mixing spoons and cups.

Step five: Add the wet ingredients to your dry ingredients. Combine them gently and fold through the chocolate chips.

Chocolate banana bread batter in a glass mixing bowl, being stirred with a wooden spoon.

Step six: Spoon the chocolate banana bread batter into a loaf tin. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 40 mins, Or until the loaf has risen and when a skewer is inserted into the centre of the banana bread it comes out clean.

Banana bread batter in a pink silicone loaf tin ready to be baked in the oven.

Cool on a rack before removing from the tin.

Enjoy!!!

Fashion trends 2023: Here’s what fashion experts predict you’ll be wearing next season

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Want to get ahead of the game? These are the 16 fashion trends 2023 that style experts predict you’ll be wearing next year

Want to get ahead of the fashion trends 2023? Every six months designers present a preview of their collections to fashion editors, buyers, and style fans. Available six months later, global fashion weeks give us a glimpse into upcoming fashion trends, readying us for the season ahead.

You might only just be getting to grips with the Fall 2022 fashion trends, but we’re already looking ahead to spring/summer. With the month long series of fashion shows across New York, London, Paris and Milan now over, we now have a an initial blueprint to the next series of trends and we can already see strong patterns emerging – spring/summer 2023 is going to be a good one! And whether you wear designer clothes or not, straight-to-market brands watch the shows carefully to decipher which fashion trends the industry is likely to be celebrating in six months’ time, using the shows to help to guide their own collections too. 

Although designers aren’t governed by anything, in particular, there are often cross-over threads between collections thanks to external influences that gently and independently impact styles. And while trends used to change quite drastically every six months, we’re seeing a number of the big fashion trends 2022 sticking around being developed, extended, and updated for the fashion trends 2023, with silhouettes and colors that have been a roaring success set to still have a spot in your wardrobe for the foreseeable. Can’t wait six months? These are the best Paris Fashion Week street style trends you can wear now.

With both New York and London Fashion Week over, the fashion pack are heading to Milan for the next installment of spring/summer fashion trends 2023. We have been noting down and spotting the key fashion trends to look out for next year, and while designers stayed true to their own personal style signatures, there were some common key threads and we expect that these will trickle down through other fashion weeks and straight-to-market collections, and eventually ending up in your wardrobe. 

So here are the 16 spring/summer fashion trends 2023 from New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week that you need on your radar.  

1. PURPLE HUES

One of the biggest fashion color trends 2022 had to offer is set to remain a firm favorite for 2023. Lilac has adorned everything from casual separates to special occasion pieces and it seems that purple tones across the spectrum are here to stay. 

While the pastel iteration of the color was by far the most popular at New York Fashion Week, richer and deeper hues broke through at Ulla Johnson and looked particularly chic paired with lighter, lavender pieces for a tonal ensemble. Tory Burch and Adam Lippes offered the palest interpretations, so soft they could be mistaken for cream, giving the now staple colorway a new lift for spring 2023. 

Although there was plenty of casual separates, lilac was also given an occasionwear makeover, with some of the best cocktail dresses from the likes of Pamella Roland and Dennis Basso and is certainly one wedding guests and those looking for the best bridesmaids dresses should consider as we head into next year.   

What to look out for:

  • Party dresses: Got a special occasion coming up? A pretty and romantic hue, lilac and purple tones made a big impact in 2022 and their reign on partywear will continue into 2023. Look for silver beaded and tulle iterations to add a new twist to the trend.
  • Tonal ensembles: For a head-to-toe look that gets the fashion crowd’s approval, pair lilac with deeper purples, look to Ulla Johnson for inspiration. 
  • Sporty styles: Give androgynous sportswear a pretty twist, with rain-ready jackets and sleek sweatshirts in the palest of purples. 

2. TASSEL DETAILS

Another trend extending its lifecycle from 2022 into 2023 was tassel detailing. One of our favorite summer trends, the best dresses and party pieces were treated to a fully fringed makeover for a look that will be hard to resist. Fringing is an ideal trend in the summer as it doesn’t work particularly well with coats, and of course, you want the tassel detailing to be on show at all times. Ideal for dancing or for sunny breaks, fringe gives every item of clothing added depth and movement.

The level of fringing differed across the runways, with sweepingly dramatic full fringing at PatBo and Bronx & Banco, while the likes of Proenza Schouler and Ulla Johnson offered softer and more relaxed iterations of the trend. While tassel detailing is often linked to discovering what is boho style, for the fashion trends 2023 the look feels less bohemian and more glam. With party dresses where the trend shined best. 

A favorite look of the style set, fashion stylist and editor Antonia Kraskowski(opens in new tab) explains why this is the dancefloor-ready look to love next year.

“Tassels and fringing are a great way to add drama to your look for spring. From subtle fringing on skirts and knits to full-blown flapper-inspired dresses, this is a trend that you can take as far as you fancy”.

What to look out for:

  • Fringed dresses: Bring a touch of glamour to your closet in 2023. With lots of metallic hues, when it comes to dresses, you want thick layers of fringing, layered on top of bodycon silhouettes, for a party-ready aesthetic that will sway as you move. 
  • Tasseled knits: For a more casual take on the trend, look to lightly tasseled knits that draw more on the bohemian and artisanal roots of this style. 
  • Beachwear: From the best beach cover-ups to the latest swim styles, tasseled finishes will help elevate your poolside ensemble.

3. LACE AND LASER CUTTING

Lace detailing is a great look for a spring/summer outfit as the lighter fabric and cut-out detailing lends itself to gloriously warm weather. We have seen an increased leaning towards artisan detailing, coupled with new technologies in recent years and this combination of lush lace and intricate laser cutting pays homage to craftsmanship.

Lace fabric might have been the basis for this 2023 fashion trend but interpretations of the look differed from brand to brand, with Naeem Khan offering a dramatic cape ensemble, while Proenza Schouler and Bibhu Mohapatra showed off more wearable blouse iterations. 

Seen in a rainbow of colors, from classic white to bold and punchy pinks and blues, thanks to the detailing, this style automatically lends itself more to evening and occasionwear. An ideal investment for what to wear to an engagement party or wedding next year.

What to look out for:

  • Lace shirts: Giving tailoring a feminine twist, lace and laser-cut shirts will look particularly chic styled under well-tailored blazers for a softer finish.
  • Laser-cut dresses: Ideal for wedding guests to what to wear to the races in 2023, laser-cut designs encapsulate the romanticism of lace but with a thoroughly modern finish. 
  • Lace skirts: Injecting any outfit with a romantic feel, look for large lace, over vintage-inspired styles to offer a more modern direction.

4. FROTHY AND FEATHERY

The fashion trends 2023 clearly demonstrated that there was romance on the cards, with tactile and frothy tulle and feathers adorning a selection of styles across New York’s eight-day fashion extravaganza. From full tulle dresses at Siriano and Molly Goddard, that continued this season’s volume trend, to statement hemlines, adding drama to dresses at Herrera. This trend is very much the icing on the occasionwear cake, with almost meringue-like peaks of soft fabric, making it the style to help you twirl into a summer evening. Equally luxurious, feather detailing was used to give added luxe to thigh-skimming hems, and maxi dresses, while a ’20s style feathered jacket was highlighted what to wear over a dress next summer. 

No color was off limits here, with a mixture of pastel hues and bold jewel tones all playing their part in creating one of the most fun and decadent fashion trends 2023 is set to deliver. 

What to look out for:

  • Feather trims: On basically everything, but certainly on your best summer party frocks. Opt for simple A-line or trapeze silhouettes to let your hemline do the talking. 
  • Tulle tiers: Siriano made a point of reminding us that when it comes to dresses, bigger is better. Be the belle of the ball at any  soiree with a tiered dress with tulle layers. This look is about turning as many heads as possible.
  • Feathered jackets: Update eveningwear looks with feathered jackets for outerwear that elevates your favorite frocks. A look that you’ll certainly be able to take through to those fall outfit ideas too. 

5. RAYS OF SUNSHINE

Nothing says summer has returned like sun rays shining through the clouds and New York Fashion Week certainly felt drenched in sunshine, even though in reality the rain clouds were never far away. For the fashion trends 2023 expect the season to be ushered in with significant amounts of yellow, as we welcome rising temperatures back into our lives – we can’t wait. 

From sharp suiting at Gabriela Hearst to the best wedding guest dresses at Badgley Mischka, the bright and sunny style might not be the easiest to pull off but it is guaranteed to offer everyone a much needed dose of dopamine dressing when February 2023 eventually rolls around. 

If yellow is one of those colors that leaves you asking ‘what color suits me‘, everyone can wear yellow, you just need to think about how. To make this tricky hue work universally, look out for sleek skirts or a yellow bag and keep the color away from your face. 

Antonia’s verdict: “Sunshine shades are a spring staple. This cheering shade is bound to put a spring in your step in the new season ahead. Try wearing with neutral tones such as cream and beige for a grown-up take on the trend.”

What to look out for:

  • Occasionwear dresses: When it comes to the summer party circuit, shine brightly in yellow hues. Look for ladylike silhouettes, such as A-line dresses with well-tailored bodices to meet the brief.
  • Light layers: A bright trench coat, like the style spotted at Laquan Smith, will certainly make rainy days feel a little happier. 
  • Yellow stripes: If you don’t want to go for full-on yellow, take a leaf out of Veronica Beard’s book and go for bold yellow and white stripes for an easier way to wear the trend.

6. SPORTS LUXE

The idea of ‘no pain, no gain’, stands no ground here, as Sports Luxe is the fashion trend for 2023 that guarantees you can look great and feel comfortable in one stylish step. 

But make no mistake, although this look is ‘relaxed’ in the fashion sense, it is still far more polished than throwing on old leggings with your best hoodie. While the silhouettes are sporty, the fabrics bring the luxe element, with Tibi treating fashion fans to silky sweatshirts, paired effortlessly with matching skirts. Fendi channeled ’90s grunge with its high-low mix of embellished slip skirts, teamed with sporty jackets – with what is set to be some of the best sweatshirts of the season. 

Although more practical sportswear did make brief appearances on the runway, it was the bold and directional looks elsewhere that really got our heart rate up. To up-style classic sportswear pieces and give them a fashion-forward refresh, add heels to silky tracksuit trousers or cargo pants for a more elevated finish.

woman&home deputy fashion editor, Charlie Bell(opens in new tab) explains how to take this look from gym floor to dance floor:

“Athleisure is now one of the most popular fashion categories but the look for 2023 is more elevated. To avoid looking like you’ve just stepped out of gym, pick just one sporty item and style with more ready-to-wear pieces, for example, a crop top style sports bra under a blazer, or a bomber jacket worn over a dress. This high-low mix will give you the fashion elite’s stamp of approval.”

What to look out for:

  • Bomber jackets: One of the big outerwear trends for fall 2022, this sporty style layering piece will follow us into the new year, so invest now and wear for the next 12 months – that’s what we call great cost-per-wear.
  • Silky sweatshirts: Up-style your every day with satin-style sweatshirts. Easy to tuck into jeans or midi skirts, the light-catching fabric instantly makes this athleisure sweater feel more luxe.
  • Sports jackets: Draw inspiration from this season’s best waterproof jackets to add an activewear spin to your closet. Half zip designs and oversized, practical front pockets are the details to look out for.

7. BUBBLE HEMS

The voluminous bubble hem makes a playful reappearance every few years, and while it is unlikely to become a firm favorite in the way an A-line midi skirt has, a bubble skirt still makes for a fun addition to the fashion trends 2023.

On the runway we saw the bubble hems take on many guises. From floral maxi dresses, to thigh skimming minis, this full silhouette was about creating maximum drama. In a host of colors, whether it was the red carpet-ready styles at Bibhu Mohapatra and Naeem Khan or the more casual interpretations at Ulla Johnson and Proenza Schouler, this larger than life style made itself known. 

A harder silhouette to wear, as always, it comes down to balancing your proportions to make sure that you wear this look, rather than the other way around. If you opt for a bubble hem skirt, wear with a fitted, tucked-in top to highlight your waist and a more tailored top half. Opting for a dress? Choose between a leg flashing silhouette, or an arm baring style to avoid losing your frame entirely. 

What to look out for:

  • Bubble hem skirts: A look that always feel feminine, to make this style work for occasionwear opt for textured or high shine fabrications. 
  • Bubble hem dresses: Show off your pins with thigh hem iterations, team with chunky wedges or sleek plimsolls for a fresh feel. 

8. RUFFLES

The most feminine trend we spotted, ruffles big and small made themselves known sashaying down at numerous runways. Signaling a return to glamour for both evening and day dressing, volume continued to play a big role in how designers interpreted clothing for 2023. A trend that has been front and center for the past few seasons, from big skirts to big sleeves, the explosion of ruffles feels like an extension of a desire to be more present and noticeable, in other words, it’s time to let your style shine. 

Adding a party-ready feel to skirts, ruffles sat vertically, horizontally, and diagonally across the body adding decadence every turn. From statement evening wear at Halpern and Badgley Mischka to delicate chiffon ruffles at Carolina Herrera, and the daringly dramatic daywear at Adam Lippes, ruffled detailing offers an opportunity for feeling elevated at every opportunity – something we can certainly get behind.

If the statement nature of this trend unnerves you, Antonia suggests you can gently step into the ruffle trend, and go as big or as small as you feel comfortable with.

“Ruffles are a fun way to make a style statement – if you’re not sure you can pull off a multi-tiered frock, opt for smaller ruffle detailing items such as blouses and skirt hems.”

What to look out for:

  • Ruffled skirt: When it comes to the best long skirt outfits for 2023, don’t underestimate the power of an elongated ruffle. Look for vertical ruffles that will draw the eye up and down your silhouette.
  • Ruffled shoulders: From tops to sweatshirts, expect appliqued ruffles to add luxe detailing to casual styles.
  • Ruffled blouses: A great way of injecting this look into a workwear wardrobe, a ruffled blouse softens androgynous pieces and tailoring in an instant. 

9. FLORALS

“Florals for spring? Ground breaking.” It might be one of the most popular fashion quotes of all time, but when it comes to the spring/summer fashion trends 2023, florals are back and they’re bigger than ever. Large-scale bloom prints were seen prominently on the runway at London Fashion Week via the likes of Richard Quinn, Paul & Joe and Rixo. And while everyone put their own spin on the style, it was all about bright and punchy hues for maximum impact. 

Florals are the go-to print for the summer, often popular for wedding guest dresses and nailing what to wear to a wedding. Offering timeless femininity, the bolder palettes give a nod to the dopamine dressing trend that dominated last year, giving mood-boosting color at every opportunity.

Expect this trend to be heavily covered by straight-to-market brands. A safe bet, florals are always worth the investment, as it’s a look that will never go out of style

“A timeless trend, florals will always have a part to play in your spring/summer wardrobe. For 2023 however you can go bigger, bolder than ever before”, says Antonia. 

What to look out for:

  • Bold, bright florals: Forget ditsy prints, the spring/summer trend for 2023 is about oversized and statement blooms. Go for large-scale, repeat patterns on pretty much anything.
  • Floral dresses: A safe purchase, a floral dress, is one of the best summer dresses and will cover you for a host of summer occasions, meaning you can avoid those ‘nothing to wear moments’.
  • Printed blouses: When it comes to separates, a printed blouse will add an instant uplift to everyday basics, bringing classic blazers and tailored pants into the new season in a flash. 

10. UNDERWEAR AS OUTERWEAR

Another carried-over trend, underwear as outerwear is the risque fashion trend that fluctuates in popularity. Naturally more suited to spring/summer seasons – as the look doesn’t provide much in the way of warmth – for the fashion trends 2023, you can expect a more vintage-inspired take on the look. With striking corset detailing at Erdem, paired with crinoline-style full skirts, the look was softer and more feminine than previous interpretations. While lingerie as outerwear was previously reserved for one of many ways of how to style a blazer, expect 2023 to offer a more delicate interpretation, harking back to an era where corsets were the norm, fashioning them for next season as dress bodices. While Erdem delved into the fashion archives, Christopher Kane offered a more modern take, integrating vinyl body braces and lace bra cups, that had a shapewear feel. 

“A tricky trend to wear, ease yourself in with corset style tops and bonded bodice dresses. For those feeling a little more daring you could try a longline bralette under a blazer with high-waisted pair of tailored trousers. This allows you to reference the trend without flashing a lot of flesh”, Antonia suggests. 

What to look out for:

  • Fit and flare dresses: Expect to see dresses with fitted bodice or corset style tops, teamed with fuller, statement skirts. This is a romanticized version of underwear and shapewear, championing an A-line silhouette.
  • Slip dresses: A popular look for work or play, slip dresses regained their fashion footing with the ’90s trend but have shored up their position with the lingerie look. Look for thigh-grazing styles, silky fabrics, and lace details. 

11. BOW DETAILS

When it comes to bows for spring/summer 2023 – the bigger, the better. Oversized, statement styles were seen on the runways of London Fashion Week with designers Susan Fang, Richard Quinn, BMUET (TE), Erdem, and Klamby leading the way on the look. 

As with florals, bows are a steady trend for warmer months, thanks to their femininity and naturally romantic feel, making them ideal for special occasionwear. Interpreted in silks, tulles, and cotton, there were scaled-up neck-bows, delicate embellishment styles, and abstract silhouettes that transformed into shoulder strap details for a bold but pretty finish. 

What to look out for:

  • Shoulder details: Spotted at Erdem and Susan Fang, bow shoulder strap details will give a sculptural twist to dresses for 2023, offering feminine dressing for the best bridesmaid dresses and best wedding guest dresses.
  • Bow embellishments: From the slim ribbon styles at BMUET (TE), to more embroidered or appliqued styles, we’ve already seen plenty of raised textures in the forms of florals and ruffles, so we expect this look to not be too far behind.
  • Pussybow necklines: One of the easiest ways to wear this fashion trend next year is via the best shirts and blouses. Chiffon and silky blouses with statement necklines will soften tailoring for work and occasionwear looks. 

12. BLUE HUES

Although pastel hues are rarely missing from the spring/summer trend reports, for 2023 we predict a greater leaning toward pastel and baby blue hues. Seen all over the runway at both New York and London Fashion Weeks, this cool as ice shade covered everything from pretty day dresses to resplendent evening wear, casual separates, and beyond.

Tapping into several of the other trends on the list, from the delicate ruffles at Hai, and gorgeous floral prints at Emilia Wickstead, to the frothy, fluffy coats at 16Arlington, and beautiful sequined gowns at Badgley Mischka – soft blue hues have been one of the domination colors of the season so far, acting as the antidote to the almost acidic like brights that have been highly popular too. One for those who prefer a more delicate color palette. 

What to look out for:

  • Eveningwear: Icy hues in silky fabrics signaled a more subtle and elegant take on partywear. Delicate silver embellishments, such as fine beadwork effortlessly pair with the pastel blue tone for a dressed-up finish.
  • Florals: Bloom prints are often seen as girly enough without being executed in classic tones or red and pink. Blue floral prints offer a more chintzy, china pattern finish and a delightfully retro and subtly sweet finish. 

13. PINK PERFECTION

One of the hottest fashion color trends in 2022 is set to continue as we head into 2023. Originally part of the Dopamine Dressing trend that saw us buy into mood-boosting brights, fuchsia became the standout hit for both designer and straight to market brands. With the best pink dresses the style to be seen in over the summer, we were overjoyed to see pink return strongly to the runway at the 2023 spring summer shows. Signalling a re-run for this fashion trend. 

From hot pink hues that continue to explore what is Barbiecore style, putting it front and center once more, to softer pastel and coral interpretations, pink was spotted at all the major fashion cities, so if you invested last season hold onto those key pink buys. 

What to look out for:

  • Pink dresses: The largest interpretation for this trend was via dresses. Making this one of the easiest fashion trends 2023 to inject into your wardrobe. From cocktail dress iterations to everyday, summer-ready maxi dresses, we expect no silhouette to remain untouched by a pink palette next season. 
  • Pink Suiting: Spotted at Marco Rambaldi, pink suiting and coords have already made an impact as part of many fall outfit ideas, and its popularity in trouser and blazer combos is another ensemble that you can hold onto for February 2023 and beyond. 

14. STATEMENT STRIPES

A style constant, there is rarely a season where stripes in some respect aren’t ‘on-trend’. While classic Breton stripes are still welcome in your capsule wardrobe, for the fashion trends 2023, we’re seeing the rise of bold super stripes. Thicker and louder, from Luisa Spagnoli and Veronica Beard to Moschino, striped patterns were bold and bright, championing an almost deckchair aesthetic. An ideal trend for the summer months, no color is off limits and multi-colored iterations are expected to be a particular favorite for straight to market brands. 

While Moschino used the pattern as an opportunity to give a modern feel to androgynous tailoring, you can easily interpret this look into simpler and more low key pieces such as a chunky striped t-shirt, or lightweight knit.

What to look out for:

  • Summer dresses: Dresses have become a wardrobe staple for all occasions and a striped summer dress instantly conjures up all the beach feels we need as the sun starts to shine. Look for thick horizontal stripes for the most fashion forward interpretation.
  • Trousers: Vertical striped trousers are an instant leg lengthener and will really make a statement, both at home or abroad. Opt for wider legged trousers to really maximize on the bold striped style and choose a high waisted silhouette for maximum figure lengthening. 

15. LEATHER LOOKS

Leather items are often key to a fall wardrobe, and for fall 2022 leather goods in particular, have seen a sharp rise in popularity. From the best leather jackets, to nailing how to style a leather skirt – these are the building block pieces to invest in this season and wear for years to come. An unusual hit for spring / summer, we saw leather coats and jackets take to the runway at the likes of Versace, Tod’s and Prada, where looks continued to lean into the current Biker Chic trend. 

Structured leather jackets are key to this look, with belted styles one of the most popular interpretations of the trend. Colors remained timeless with black, tan and oxblood the most common hues for showcasing this look.  

What to look out for:

  • Leather jackets: Of every style. From structured to embellished, a great leather jacket is a wardrobe essential and will last many more years than this trend. For the most timeless jacket, opt for a classic biker or a black leather blazer to maximize its longevity. 
  • Leather skirts: If you’ve been pondering whether to invest in a leather skirt for the fall, the fact that it will be still totally wearable into the first half 2023 should be all the convincing you need. While the runways were awash with pencil silhouettes, opt for the leather skirt shape that works best for your style. 

16. GOTHIC GLAMOUR

Gothic Glamour feels offers an fashion-forward extension of the ’90s fashion trends that have dominated the current season. Minimalist, with plenty of sheer, slashed and strappy detailing, Gothic Glamour sticks to a dark palette of black and purple hues, and gives a sophisticated development to the Whimsigoth trend

Spotted at the likes of Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Alessandra Rich, this trend has an ’80s-like aesthetic and is ideal for evening and party wear, adding a little va-va-voom to going out outfits. 

What to look out for:

  • Strappy party dresses: Taking on the form of the classic slip dress, then upping the ante with slash and cut out details, this is the cocktail silhouette to shop next summer. With the promise of a host of timeless little black dresses, a sharp silk dress can be cherished for seasons to come.
  • Cowl necklines: Yes, they’re back. Whether you dip your toe in with a lightly cowl neck camisole or go for a plunging neckline – we’re looking at those striking Versace numbers. This is a trend that you can be as a daring as your like with. 

Rivkie Baum

Fashion channel editor Rivkie is a fashion editor, writer and stylist with over fifteen years’ experience in the industry. Having studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, Rivkie fell in love with styling and journalism, covering fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York. 

Specialising in plus size fashion, Rivkie has long championed that style is for everyBODY and has been a regular talking head on a host of radio stations and television shows, pushing for greater representation for plus size women and fashion throughout her career. 

13 Fatigue-Fighting Hacks to Supercharge Your Mornings

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

When waking up is hard to do, consider the following strategies.

We’ve all had those mornings when we just can’t shake a feeling of sluggishness, even when we’ve technically gotten enough sleep. In an effort to perk up on tired days, many of us load up on cup after cup of coffee.

But over-caffeinating can leave us jittery and anxious (not to mention perpetually running to the bathroom).

Perhaps there’s a better way to banish morning fatigue and get on with your day with the energy you need.

1. Don’t hit snooze — at all

That beloved button on top of your alarm clock may not be so helpful after all.

Spending the last half hour or so of nighttime rest in what researchers call “fragmented sleep” has consequencesTrusted Source for your ability to function throughout the day.

Pro-tip: Try the 90-minute sleep cycle hack by setting two alarms — one for 90 minutes before you want to wake up and one for when you actually want to wake up.

The theory is that the 90 minutes of sleep you get between snoozes will be a full sleep cycle, allowing you to wake up after your REM state, instead of during.

2. Drink a glass of water first thing

Fatigue is a classic symptom of dehydration, and even a mild caseTrusted Source can trigger feelings of sleepiness, changes in cognitive ability, and mood disruptions. Let a glass of water freshen up your entire body before you get moving.

Pro-tip: If you find you still can’t shake morning lethargy, try upping your intake of water and other noncaffeinated beverages throughout the day.

3. Stretch out your tired body with yoga

There’s a reason it feels so good to stretch when you wake up. Overnight, during REM sleep, your muscles are literally paralyzed (atonia), and reactivating them releases energy-stimulating endorphins.

Pro-tip: If you have a bit of time for morning yoga, take it; just 25 minutes has been shown to boost energy levels and brain function.

4. Splash your face with water

Cold showersTrusted Source are reported to reduce sick-day absences from work. If you don’t want to take a full shower, a splash of cold water to the face, to signal a temperature change to your body, may also do the trick.

Is getting out of bed the main problem? Keep a spray bottle or water mist by your bedside table so you can lean over and mist yourself without even opening your eyes!

Pro-tip: One cult-favorite product is Saborino’s Morning Face Mask from Japan, which has essential oils to activate your senses. In one minute, this sheet mask cleanses, invigorates, and moisturizes your skin.

Note: People with sensitive skin may want to avoid this product.

5. Eat breakfast to spark your energy

The jury is still out on whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But researchTrusted Source does say that skipping this first meal can negatively affect your energy and ability to pay attention throughout the day.

Food is fuel. Give your body some calories to put it into action at the start of the day.

But if you’re working out in the morning, remember to eat after, not before. This will (a) burn more calories, (b) boost your metabolism, and (c) help you avoid an unsettled stomach.

Pro tip: Build a fatigue-fighting breakfast instead.Since what you eat at breakfast can affect how you feel for hours, making the right choice is critical for your morning.

Reach for a combination of fatigue-fighting foods like lean proteins, whole grains, nuts, and lower-sugar fruits.

6. Avoid having sugar until lunch

All breakfasts are not created equal, so take stock of your morning food choices. Sugary items like sweetened coffee drinks, pastries, and breakfast cereals can lead to the classic blood sugar spike-and-drop that leaves you feeling drained.

Pro-tip: Pay attention to nutrition labels to see how much sugar you’re getting at breakfast — and cut back wherever possible. Keep whole foods like apples, carrots, and oranges on hand for easy access.

7. Drink less coffee

That’s right, we said less coffee — but not none! Though coffee has plenty of health benefits, chugging a lot in the morning may indirectly contribute to increased fatigue later in the day.

Participants in one studyTrusted Source reported feeling more tired the day after they had consumed caffeinated drinks. Experimenting with a reduced amount of caffeine in the morning actually may make you less tired.

Pro-tip: Avoid the big mugs. Purchase a smaller cup, if you have to, to help reduce the amount you drink.

8. Go outside to activate your brain

Sunlight bumps up your body’s serotonin levels, leading to improved sleep — and, therefore, increased daytime energy. And, according to a series of studies at the University of Rochester, spending time in nature “makes people feel more alive.”

Sounds like a very good reason to carve out a portion of your morning in the great outdoors.

Pro-tip: If going outside is a chore in the early morning, adjust your curtain so that the sunlight seeps in when you’re getting ready to wake up.

9. Get some cardio in, throughout the morning

Sure, when you want to crawl back into bed, exercise may sound pretty unappealing — but it may be exactly what your body needs to get help booting up. Research consistently correlates aerobic exercise with reduced fatigue.

See if you can squeeze in a quick walk or bike ride, or try a longer workout for even more benefit.

Pro-tip: When pressed for time, get your body up with a few rounds of high-knees and jumping jacks. Even 30 seconds of torso twists could do the trick, or plan a short cardio commute on your way to work.

10. Address your stress

Is it possible that negative feelings about your job or stressors at home are draining you of morning oomph?

You may not be able to fix certain situations overnight, but once you’ve identified them as a source of mental and physical exhaustion, you can often take some action to alleviate them.

Pro-tip: Streamline harried mornings at home by making school lunches the night before, or make time for morning meditations and create calm before your day begins.

11. Give yourself something to look forward to

Sometimes all we need for an energy boost is a little excitement on the horizon.

To beat morning fatigue, consider scheduling a phone call with a friend during your commute, penciling in an outdoor walk on your midmorning break, or pre-making an appealing breakfast that calls you out of bed.

Pro-tip: Let another schedule determine yours. Make an earlier morning podcast or radio show part of your wake-up routine.

12. Go deeper with mental health

If morning fatigue becomes a chronic problem, it could be caused by depression or anxiety. People with depression can feel worse in the morning or only feel depressed in the morning.

The only way to know, however, is to track your mood or see a professional.

Pro-tip: Dig a little deeper. Asking some key questions about your mental health state may reveal an underlying condition that needs professional attention.

13. Ultimately, practice good sleep (and waking) hygiene

If your bedtime habits can have so profound an effect on your rest, so too could your waking routine. You’ve probably heard of sleep hygiene — the handful of best practices that help you fall asleep at night. These include:

  • turning off screens an hour before bed
  • turning in at the same time each night
  • creating a comfortable sleeping environment

Getting up at the same time each morning helps maintain circadian rhythm, the internal biological clock that’s responsible for feelings of sleepiness.

Make an effort to rise at the same time every day — even on weekends — to see if you can banish the midmorning slump.


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Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a nutritionist, freelance health writer, and food blogger. She lives with her husband and three children in Mesa, Arizona. Find her sharing down-to-earth health and nutrition info and (mostly) healthy recipes at A Love Letter to Food.

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