ExoSymplyWork Fashion

Hi friends,

Happy early Fourth of July! Today, I want to get back to my ExoSymnista roots (☺) and talk about summer style tips for the workplace. I haven’t taken a lot of photos in the last seven months… but captured a few in the last couple weeks to talk about today. Who says tennis shoes can’t look cute for work?! Not me! Be fearlessly YOU.

As mentioned in previous posts, I am a big fan of skinny pants with the device and have always been an Ann Taylor LOFT girl — so I’m excited to share with you that LOFT has a new line of skinny pants that are great for work with breathable fabric for the hot summer months! Check em out here. I have them in several colors (grey, green, blue, navy, & black) and they are perfect! Are you looking for a new pair of summer jeans? Look no further — LOFT has a great line up of regular and colorful skinny jeans to select from too. Check em out here!

Shoes: Men’s Brooks Glycerin, ExoSym Compression Sock: Swiftwick & Zensah Knee Sleeve, Skirt & Tops: LOFT, Non-Exo Sock: Feetures

Enjoy wearing skirts? Have fun by matching a colored skirt with a pop of color in your shoes or shoelaces. (Skirts and tops also from LOFT ☺) Do you work in a business casual environment? Keep it classy with a neutral colored shoe, black socks and a splash of color – you’ll look great and feel cute too! #rockitsista

#exosymplyskirtfashion

Don’t dread dressing up work – make it fun, make it comfortable, make it YOU! Show off your exobody, wear what makes you feel beautiful — feel strong in who you are.

Wishing everyone a great week. I’m pushing through therapy over here and working on my running… it’s been a journey — one day at a time. NEVER GIVE UP! We are Team ExoSym.

#beYOU #beAMAZING #ExoSymplyAmazing

#ExoSymplyBeautiful

I used to think being beautiful meant I needed to wear the popular designers, follow the latest trends, have the “in” shoes… but I was wrong. Being beautiful is being proud of the person you are and expressing yourself in the way you live your life. It’s having the self-confidence to rock what YOU have and shine the light from within. Never forget that a beautiful outside starts with a beautiful inside. ♥ 

Sure, I’ll admit there are days when I miss my cute riding boots or suede flats and there are times when I’m out with friends and see their cute sandals and wish I could be wearing them, too! But, it’s in these moments that I look down see my ExoSym and I look up and see the person I have become. I remember the hard times and how much the device has changed my life — I put my hand to my heart, look into the mirror, smile, (& sometimes do a little dance because YOLO), and I rock on.

So, the next time you are tempted to compare yourself or wonder about your outfit, take a moment to reflect on the beauty in your strength. That is beautiful. You are beautiful. Believe it. Become it. Because YOU are beautiful. Be proud to be YOU. #ExoSymplyBeautiful

Style isn’t about what you wear, it’s about how you live.” – Lilly Pulitzer

IMG_3610

#beYOU #beAMAZING #ExoSymplyAmazing

ExoSymplySummer Fashion

Happy Friday Everyone! Today’s post is for all the ExoSym (IDEO) ladies out there who are getting ready for summer.  As a Texan, I understand the desire to feel light and cool in the heat – so here are a few helpful tips to get you through the ExoSymplySummer months! ☺

  • Skirts & Dresses
    • Find the right length. Styles that hit right above the knee are a flattering look for the device — no need to hide the ExoSym!
    • Look for bright colors. Embrace summer and pick something bright that makes you feel #ExoSymplyAmazing
    • Choose light, breathable fabrics. As active ExoSymplyAmazing people we are always on the go. Make sure you pick materials that move with you. Tip: Try checking out your favorite store’s activewear section — there are a lot of active casual skirts & dresses that you can dress up or down!
  • Pants
    • Look for thinner fabrics. I prefer skinny jeans, tights, and khaki’s so that the device slides over the pant leg & I wear the compression sock underneath.
    • Remember: Always try any pants on before you purchase to ensure that the pant material will not be too thick to wear the device over. Stand up and down & walk around a couple times to see how it feels. The pant will probably stretch out some after you buy, but you don’t want the thickness of the pants to be too constricting.
  • Shorts
    • Old Navy, Gap & Ann Taylor Loft have some cute options out right now — If you’re in the market for a new pair of shorts, I recommend purchasing a black, white, tan, and a colored pair of shorts — this way you can mix it up with fun tops and a pop of color with your socks.
  • Compression Socks
    • Look for fun colors & designs! Black is my go to color year round but colored socks can absolutely make an outfit pop.
    • When getting ready for something special, consider a matching colored sock for your outfit. If you wear the device on one leg only, make sure you have some good socks for the non-device leg! I recommend Feetures black low mid ankle socks. #myfav
  • Shoes
    • My summer collection includes a couple colors of the men’s Brooks Glycerin’s 13 (one black & orange and one blue & silver).
    • I always recommend having a black shoe on hand as it can look classy for all occasions, but also consider a lighter colored shoe too. My blue & silver one makes me feel happy (not to mention they help me #runhappy) ☺
  • Casual Maxi Dresses
    • When shopping for maxi dresses, look for fabrics that won’t snag on the velcro of the device (try it on & walk around to be sure) and also make sure the dress isn’t so long that you will trip. (not that this has ever happened…)
    • Aim to find a length that hits right at the floor so that the tennis shoes are hidden. (can be tricky to find, but don’t give up!)
ExoSymplySummer Fashion

ExoSymplySummer Fashion

Lastly, just remember… no matter what you are wearing this summer, be proud and confident in who you are. Embrace summer. Embrace your body. Embrace the person you fought to become. ♥

#beYOU #beAMAZING #ExoSymplyAmazing

confidence, wear it like makeup :)

Happy Fall Everyone! Truly one of the best times of the year! Pumpkin spiced lattes, leggings, scarves and sweaters. In today’s post, we will cover fall style tips, current shoes in my closet (+ tips on purchasing / maintaining your shoes), and some of the latest adventures in my IDEO! ☆

Let’s start with fashion. Now that the weather is getting a little cooler, it’s a perfect time to find yourself some leggings! (black is my go to color!) Two of my favorite places to look are TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack – you can find some great deals there!

Things to look for in leggings: breathability of the fabric (look for moisture wicking materials / avoid 100% cotton), texture (don’t go crazy here because you don’t want the fabric to disrupt the fit of the IDEO), and fit (don’t buy too loose or the fabric will bunch at the ankle and you won’t want that!). For these reasons, I tend to look in the sports section of the store – lots of options there!

A few of my other favorite places to shop are Ann Taylor Loft, Lululemon (when there is a sale!) and Gap Fit. All great places for comfortable fitting & flattering styles for the IDEO bodied woman!

Key piece of advice: If you opt for skinny jeans / leggings, look for a flowy or long shirt / sweater up top. I think tennis shoes and boots looks great with skinny jeans and by adding a less fitted shirt up top, it will accentuate those great legs you have! 🙂

Next: Current shoes in my closet.

Right now, I have three pairs of Brooks Glycerin’s and one pair of Ahnu Montara Boots (which I absolutely LOVE). Brooks just came out with the Glycerin 13 and the updates are great! I was a Brooks wearer long before I was injured and I’m so glad they still fit me with the IDEO! (I have probably worn every version since I first started wearing them in high school!) The 13 has a strong outer fabric – not mesh like other running shoes – which really helps with longevity for the force the IDEO applies to the shoe!

When you are looking for tennis shoes, follow these three rules:

1). Feel the fabric of the shoe with your hand and make sure it has strength. If you buy a shoe that is completely mesh, your IDEO will break through the fabric in no time and you’ll wonder what happened. You want a shoe that has reinforcement built into the fabric, so it’s important to observe the construct of the shoe when you are out looking.

2.) If the IDEO looks like it’s going to poke through the sides of the shoe when you try it on, that is not a good fit. The IDEO will definitely push up against the sides of shoe, but you don’t want it looking like it’s about to bust through when you first put them on. If you keep this tip in mind, this will help to ensure your shoes last longer. For this reason, look for shoes with a wide toe box (my favs: New Balance, Brooks).

3.) Look at the men’s shoes. Men’s shoes are naturally wider than women’s so this helps my IDEO feel better in my shoe. If you’re finding that the IDEO fits too tight in women’s shoes, try on men’s. In the picture above you’ll see a red/black shoe and a blue/silver shoe – these are the actual Brooks Glycerin’s I have in my closet! The great thing about men’s shoes is that their color schemes aren’t as wild/bright as women’s so they go great with outfits 🙂 To give you an idea of sizing of Glycerin’s, I wear a men’s 8 on my good foot and a men’s 10 on my IDEO foot. (If I remember correctly, I think I used to wear a 9.5 in women’s Glycerin’s pre-injury). I can’t say enough good things about Brooks. They aren’t cheap, but man do they feel good! It’s like having the Lexus version of a shoe. Once you put them on, you never go back. I can’t wear anything else now haha. If you have small feet and are struggling to find a small enough men’s size to fit your non-IDEO foot, try on women’s for non-IDEO foot and a men’s version for your IDEO foot. The colors may be a little different, but see how it feels! You never know – it might feel really awesome! 🙂

As for the Ahnu Montara boots – I these boots. They are amazing. These are the only non-tennis shoes that I have found to fit my IDEO and I feel so cute in them. (& they are women’s – yay!). I purchased these @ REI and my life has never been the same! These boots are so comfortable…. I’m saving up money to try out some of their other versions! If you get a chance, definitely check out Ahnu brand online — I love them so much! (Note: I did have to buy two different sizes to fit (non-IDEO is women’s 9 and IDEO size is women’s 11. It’s just the nature of the beast!).

Last piece of advice on shoes: I find that if you rotate your shoes (as in you don’t wear the same ones every day & don’t wear the same pair to work that you workout in) you can make your shoes last A LOT longer! I know it’s expensive to purchase multiple pairs up front, but trust me, it will save you $$ in the long run because you won’t be out buying shoes every 3 months. I also like to glue a thin piece of leather on the inside sole of my shoe (think where the sweet spot is when you land in the IDEO). If you run a lot, this helps to reinforce the sole which is where I tend to break through the shoe after an extended period of time. Not sure it’s necessary for you to glue in leather at the bottom if you are not out running like a wild banshee like me haha, but if you are finding places where your shoe rips or breaks through, try duct taping (duct tape comes in a lot of fun colors now) or gluing leather in the shoe to reinforce it from the beginning. It’s the small things 🙂

Oh and one last thing, Brooks has a cool SHOE FINDER tool on their site to help you decide which version of their shoe will fit you best. Check it out – it’s pretty handy! I have a neutral foot so Glycerin works for me, but if you pronate / supinate – they have versions for that too!

Next: IDEO adventures 🙂

I’ve been in Austin a little over a month now and it’s been GREAT! Such a cool city with a great fitness community. I’ve been riding my bike, kayaking on Lady Bird Lake, running through downtown & doing a little day hiking! I started Crossfit a little over a week ago and I love it. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try for awhile now so I’m finally taking the plunge! After the half-marathon, I’ve been trying to decide ‘what’s next?” and I think Crossfit is that for me! I’m excited to really focus on my core and strength training. (#jaredwouldbeproud). I also joined an intramural dodgeball team – games start next week so more to come on that! I’ve been drafted as a free agent so we’ll see what team I get on haha. #IDEOtakesonDODGEBALL

Kayaking through Austin 🙂

Lastly, can I just say “What a small world?” I was at a dog event yesterday and as I was walking through the booths, a man came up to me and asked if I could come talk to his wife because he thought we had the same device. I of course immediately thought he was confused (as I never see anyone in Texas with the IDEO) but I decided to go anyway 🙂 I couldn’t believe it when I realized she really did have an IDEO! We immediately hugged and I’m pretty sure my first words were, “Wait, do you know Ryan?” I’m so happy I met Lisa! Such a cool day. Very special! #IDEObuddies #heyyoulooklikeme

IDEOnista Lisa

I hope everyone has a great week! Go out there and BE BOLD. BE BRAVE. BE YOU.

And remember, as Ralph Lauren says: Fashion is something that comes from within you.” 

the IDEO goes to a wedding :)

This past weekend I attended the wedding of my friends Jaclyn & Mason and it was such a beautiful event! Below you’ll see a couple IDEOnista outfits from the parties. I chose to pack my black Brooks Glycerin’s and that was a great decision! I felt super in them and they worked seamlessly with both my dresses. Proof that tennis shoes don’t just have to be for running! I would also like to point out that I ran 3 miles before the wedding… 🙂 #runhappy

 
I unexpectedly received so many compliments on my outfits and more importantly, people were impressed with my dancing skills. haha #IDEOdancer But in all seriousness, I truly felt beautiful and so happy to be able to be out there pain free! I even had women coming up to me saying that I inspired them to want to wear tennis shoes with their dresses! They didn’t know it could look as cute as it did!

I think one of the most memorable parts of the weekend was when a lady approached me at the wedding and said, “You know, I wasn’t going to dance tonight but when I saw you out there, I thought to myself, if she can do it, I can too!” That made my day. Friends, you never know how being strong for others can make a difference. When you smile after all you’ve been through and you choose to see the beauty in yourself, people begin to see the beauty in them too. Recognize the power you have to show others that despite what life throws at you, you can find the silver lining. Choose to be confident in who you are and always wear your smile. That is beautiful.

I think Taylor Swift sums it up perfectly, “If you’re lucky enough to be different, never change.”

{ Be-YOU-tiful }

Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July weekend with family and friends. Today is a short post but a happy one at that 🙂

I want you to see below that the IDEO can easily be a part of your summer outfits. You can pair bright colored compression socks (see my new blue one!!) or you can stick with your black sock and break out the bright colors up top. The IDEO doesn’t have to hold you back in your outfits… In fact, you can look pretty cute with it!

So today, choose to wear something bright and be your own kind of beautiful 🙂

 

To be beautiful is to be YOU. #IDEOnista

Wounded Warrior 10K & Fashion :)

A few weekends ago I ran in a Wounded Warrior 10K race! It was a really meaningful race for which I was incredibly grateful to be a part of. It wasn’t my fastest race time but I gave it all that I had and truly ran for everyone who made the IDEO device possible.

Here is a picture from after the race! It was really hot but well worth it 🙂 Only 14 weeks until the half-marathon!

Last weekend was my friend’s bachelorette party and it was so much fun! You can’t very well see the IDEO in this picture but I had on black tennies and a black compression sock. I felt very pretty and thanks to the IDEO, I danced the night away! #supersleek #blackiskey



Below are two other fun summer IDEOnista outfits! As you can see, I obviously love grey and black and a pop of color 🙂

A special thanks to a very close friend of mine who gave me this tank top (2nd pic) because it reminded her of me. It says: SOLID HEART. STRONG BODY.

That my friends is an IDEOnista. You have heart. You are strong. Be bold. Smile. You are an IDEOnista. Have a great week! #nevergiveup

say hello to summer :)

Hi everyone! I’m happy to say the rain has left Dallas and the sun has finally returned! ☺

With warm weather and sunny skies ahead, I’m excited to post a few summer outfits in hopes that I can inspire you to break out your lighter wear clothes. As you’ll see below, a maxi skirt is a great way to feel classy and dressed up while also camouflaging the IDEO. I’d recommend looking for length that covers your feet so that you can’t see your tennis shoes. (This red maxi skirt happens to be a hand-me down from my mom so it’s a little hard to add length to it at this point… but you get the idea!)

So earlier this week a friend asked me what advice I would give to other IDEO wearers who want to feel cute and fashionable in their clothes.

For me there are really three rules that I follow:

  1. No white tennis shoes
  2. No white socks
  3. No bulky shoes

If you stick to these three rules, you will be headed in the right direction ☺It’s not to say white tennis shoes or white socks are bad, but if you are trying to get dressed up, white tends to look very orthopedic and athletic. So if you are feeling in a rut, try for a darker colored shoe / sock and see if that doesn’t help you to feel more classy and sassy! Bulky shoes can make you feel clunky… so when you are looking for shoes, try to ask yourself if you feel clunky in them and if the answer is yes, put them back. I followed this rule when looking for hiking boots and even though I had to try on a lot of shoes, I was glad I didn’t settle! I think almost any outfit will look great with the IDEO but I really believe that once you find the right shoe, you will feel like a million bucks. You don’t need to go out and buy new clothes… it’s all about the shoes and socks people 🙂



Workout update: Next Sunday is the Wounded Warrior 10K race and I’m very excited! I’ve been keeping up with my training and am feeling strong. For me, it’s really important that I keep my hip flexor and glute muscles strong so that I don’t start overcompensating on one side so I’ve tried to keep this a focus of my training and it’s really helped.

As always, if you feel inclined, please send pics of your IDEOnista outfits so that we can share with others! Wishing everyone a fantastic week and remember, it’s all about feeling confident. My tips are the just icing on the awesome person you already are!#beYOU #beAMAZING #IDEOnista

self confidence is the best outfit. rock it. own it.

It’s not easy wearing a visible brace everyday, but I’ve decided it doesn’t matter what people think about me – it’s okay to be different. It’s not how the world perceives me, but rather it’s what I see in myself. ♥

I am strong.
I am fearless.
I am brave.
I am kind.
I am determined.
I am independent.
I am me.

Everyday you have a choice. Are you going to take in what the world perceives (injured, weak, broken) or are you going to believe in all that you are? You are more than what meets the eye. Don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise. Find the beauty in your strength and let that be your confidence.

Here are a few cute outfit ideas from the last couple weeks.It’s been a little chilly and rainy in Dallas lately so while it may already be summertime, I’m still sporting a few winter favorites. With warmer weather in the forecast, I hope to post some cute additional outfits later this month!

Style tip: Neutrals are my favorite.You’ll see nearly all my posts are with shoes that have a neutral base – grey, black, navy, tan. I really recommend finding a neutral colored shoe that you like – it will make all the difference!

Though not posted here, I wanted to mention Nordstrom Rack has really cute neutral colored Paige Denim skinny jeans that work great with the IDEO. The material is really light and fits close to the leg so that there is no bunching. I have a black and navy pair that go with a lot of outfits. #favorite #treatyoself

Workout update: Currently training for my next 10K race in about 5 weeks! Still on track for the Race for a Soldier 1/2 marathon in September so let the training continue 🙂

Bottom line, the world may try to make you feel different because of your injury, but you have to choose to see the strength that lies within. You are beautiful just the way you are. Rock it, sister! #OWNIT

the IDEO goes undercover.

Happy Saturday! I don’t know about you guys but it’s been freezing in Dallas! We are on our third day of snow & ice… It’s definitely made it more challenging to get my workouts in but I do have to say it’s been fun to have a little winter weather mix for a change!

Today’s post is about proving to you just how easy it is to make the IDEO streamlined (aka undercover) with your outfits all while not having to hide it. Take a look below. Do you even notice the IDEO…?

find yourself some cool running tights 🙂
These long running tights fit great with the IDEO

 

Black workout tights are even more stealthy…

Another great staple to have is black workout tights. Your local running store will carry these. Nike & lululemon also have a wide selection but they are $$… so I recommend checking out TJ Maxx or Marshalls – you can find some great deals there!

Note: Make sure that the workout tights you are buying are fitted near the ankle. The last thing you want is the material from the pant bunching up, so definitely make sure when you try them on that the material fits snuggly all the way down (don’t buy too big). Another point to mention is that if your tights are a little loose at the bottom, you can do what you normally would do with skinny jeans and pull the pant on over the lateral side bars at the bottom. I personally prefer the tights to be snug so that I don’t have to do that but it is an option to consider if you like it looser.
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black IDEO. black tights. grey shoes. black top. blue dress ♥

Just another day breaking the stereotype that you can’t wear tennis shoes with your nice clothes and look cute at the same time 🙂 Style tip: Look for flowy dresses that you can wear with tights. This will make for some fun outfits!

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak. – Rachel Zoe

Enjoy your week everyone. Next weekend I’ll be in Arizona for work and will be running in a race while I’m there so stay tuned!

As always, please don’t hesitate to comment or reach out. Would love to hear from you guys!

XOXO