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Get in Shape for Bikini Season! March 30 2016, 0 Comments

I don’t know about you, but these first warm days of spring have me dreaming of the beach and the pool! But who is ready to put on that bathing suit and head out? Not me! After months of eating comfort food (read: Christmas cookies and Valentine’s Day chocolate) and wearing bulky sweaters, the thought of bearing a little skin can be somewhat intimidating. Luckily, the warmer weather makes it easier to get outside and get moving!

I know exercise is important year round. It not only helps our bodies burn calories, but according to this information from the Mayo Clinic, it can also help prevent a wide range of health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, depression and arthritis. And a fun little bonus, exercise can improve your sex life! For women it helps enhance arousal, while men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction.

As important as it is, it can be hard to exercise in the winter, where you’re more limited by weather and forced to work out indoors, whether it’s at the gym or with a video at home. That’s what’s so great about spring! Just in time for us to get ready for bathing suit season, the weather warms up and we can do our favorite activities outside. Here are a few suggestions to get you moving:

Take a walk. This one’s easy, and one of my favorites. There’s nothing I like better after a long, stressful day at work than coming home, lacing up my favorite athletic shoes, and walking around the neighborhood. It’s a great way to get some fresh air. It helps if you have a walking buddy. Ask a friend to join you, or take your dog if you have one.

Sign up for a 5K. There’s nothing like the goal of a looming race to get you moving. If you’ve always wanted to run, or just want something to help you be more active, go ahead and sign up for that race, and then get yourself out on the track. There are 5Ks all over the place, many of them use the money from your registration fees to support very worthy causes. One I love is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which supports breast cancer research. There are a lot of these races scheduled for April and May, perfect timing if you start training now. Check out the Couch to 5K for a great training regimen.

Ride a Bike. Remember that feeling of exhilaration you had as a kid, riding your bike through the neighborhood, with the wind rushing through your hair? Riding a bike can be just as much fun as an adult! Check out Bicycling.com for great advice on getting the right gear and getting started, safely.

All of these suggestions are outdoors, because I love the beautiful spring weather! But there are plenty of ways to get active inside, especially for those of you who suffer from spring allergies. Sign up for a Zumba class, join the local Y and start swimming or look for a karate class for adults, where you can get in shape and learn a little self-defense at the same time!

The whole point is to get active for a healthier you. And we all know that feeling good is a huge part of feeling sexy! Here’s to a great active spring season for everyone!

 


The Essentials of Cover Ups March 16 2016, 0 Comments

You will see a lot written about bathing suits over the course of the next few weeks. But there’s another essential summer item that rarely gets any press: the bathing suit cover up. I say essential because few women who are past her twenties wouldn’t be caught dead without one. Teenagers and twenty-somethings might be fine strutting around in just a bathing suit from the car to the pool or over to the snack bar, but as for me, I feel a little more comfortable with a little more material covering my body when I’m not right beside a body of water!

There are three things that are important when choosing a cover up.

First, it should be easy to get on and off. A quick tie around the waist or something that slips easily over the head is key. There’s nothing worse than getting to your chair by the pool and then feeling like you’re making a spectacle of yourself just getting out of your cover up.

Second, it should be easy to care for. No delicate hand wash or dry clean only materials here! After all, these garments are worn around chlorine and saltwater, you need to be able to wash it and keep it fresh with little worry.

Third, it needs to look nice. Nice enough to take me from the pool to a quick stop at the grocery store, pumping gas, or even a quick drink with friends before heading home. Something I’m proud to wear even when not at the pool or the beach!

Here are a few of my top picks for this summer.

Crinkle Chiffon Kimono Cover up from Old Navy

 

Blush by Profile at Nordstrom

 

Fringe Cover Up Dress from Victoria’s Secret

 

Magicsuit Convertible Jersey Cover Up at Dillards

 

 

Summer is just around the corner!  I'm not crazy about the annual dreaded event of trying on bathing suits, but knowing I’ve got a great cover up makes the process much more fun!


Celebrity Designers Finding Success March 01 2016, 0 Comments

I was never a huge fan of Full House. Although it was a cute show, it wasn’t one I watched. But with the cast reuniting for a reunion of sorts, in the new series Fuller House, it’s hard to avoid news about this show. It seems to get a lot of publicity, and one thing I noticed is the infamous twins, Mary Kate and Ashley, are absent from the lineup. It turns out these women, who started out in America’s living rooms playing the baby of the family on Full House, have left behind their acting careers to follow their true passion: fashion. They have become award-winning fashion designers and have a beautiful collection under the brand The Row. I was so impressed at what they’ve accomplished. Their line for spring 2016 looks absolutely stunning, with lots of flowing fabrics and neutral colors.

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen aren’t the only celebrities who have found success in the fashion world. Here are a few that we love:

Kate Hudson, Fabletics. The star who was almost destined to be in movies, with parents Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, has found another outlet in addition to acting. She decided to launch a line of active wear that brought style and function to women at a reasonable price. Her line is amazing, full of pieces that you can wear to yoga class or even running errands around town. I love the fun colors in this line.

Melissa McCarthy, Seven7. Melissa’s own words say it best, “I’ve been every size on the planet, and know that I didn’t lose my sense of style because I went above a size 12.” Her wonderful line of clothes brings fashionable choices to women who wear anywhere from size small to 3X. And as we know at Go Free Pants, wearing clothes that fit and look great are one of the best ways to boost your confidence and feel sexy.

A couple of other celebrities with successful fashion lines you have most likely heard of include Victoria Beckham and Jessica Simpson.

All of these women devote a tremendous amount of time and energy to their clothing lines. They know that success doesn’t come without hard work. But it’s also clear to see that they love what they’re doing, and have a mission in their work that helps keep them inspired.

They truly are an inspiration for me! 

Another inspiring group of women are the writers for BellaMia Magazine, of which I am honored to be one.  Check out the awesome February issue here.  Cheers to Love!


A Peek at Spring Fashion February 10 2016, 0 Comments

A few days ago, Punxsutawney Phil came out of his little burrow, and amid a lot of media flurry, predicted an early spring. Admittedly, I don’t put much weight on the weather forecast of a groundhog, but it sure is nice to think of an early spring. And really, won’t that warm weather be here before we know it?

Be sure to be ready for it by getting your wardrobe up to date. A few additions will make your style seem fresh for the new season. Here are some of our favorites from the runways for the Spring 2016 season.

Cropped, flared jeans. One of the biggest trends, according to Glamour magazine.This updated version of cropped pants has a lot of style going for it. They can be dressed up or down, and look great with heels or flats. Even better, you can find them at a reasonable price!

Low-slung, wide leg pants. I can’t help but think of Katherine Hepburn when I see this wonderful style. Of course, her waistband sat a little higher than the one on most pants you’ll find this season, but the elegant, tailored look is still the same.

Lacy, feminine dresses. Spring always seems like a time for femininity to make itself known in the fashion world. I think the flowers and the warm weather have something to do with that. This spring season, you’ll see it manifest itself in lacy patterns and dresses that show a little skin, but with a lot of taste. The one pictured here is from Ann Taylor.

Ruffles. Along the lines of the lacy look, but this one is much bolder, with a Latin flare. Live it up and add a ruffled blouse to your work wardrobe this spring.

Bare shoulders. Whether it’s off one shoulder or both, this spring’s look will have a lot of bare shoulders in dresses and blouses. Make sure you’ve got your self-tanner ready!

And our #1 favorite is the Go Free Melanie Capri made of a light weight tropical blend that feels like you are wearing nothing at all!  Total comfort and a fabulous fit in black which goes with everything!  This will be your go to pant all spring and summer – guaranteed!  

Enjoy these last weeks of cold weather knowing that spring will be here soon!


Stay Warm without the Bulk January 27 2016, 0 Comments

I’ll be the first to admit that I love a good snow day, where there’s enough snow on the ground to make travel hazardous in my southern hometown and most businesses are forced to close. And here on the East Coast, we've had our fair share of those these past few days! Those days are when I pull out my big wool sweater and cozy cords, and enjoy the warmth of my own home while sipping hazelnut coffee and watching the snow fall out the windows. Where I live in North Carolina, those days where the snow shuts everything down only happen once or twice a winter at most. Most of the time during the coldest months of the year, I’m running errands and working in the office, even when temperatures outside are in the teens or twenties. Of course I want to stay warm, but I don’t want to look like the Michelin Man while doing it!

The key to dressing for winter weather is to layer up. Wear two to three thin layers, rather than one big bulky layer. Not only will it keep you warm, it’s easy to shed a layer or two when the sun comes out and warms things up in the afternoon.

Layer One. A thin layer close to the skin helps trap in heat and hold it next to your body, especially when made of a natural fiber such as wool, cashmere or silk. This should be a close-fitting t-shirt, tank top or turtleneck. I like Cuddl Duds. Their products are sort of the next generation of long underwear.

Layer Two. When choosing a shirt or sweater, again it’s important to look for natural fibers, staying away from cotton, which doesn’t do much to keep you warm. Styles that are form-fitting are good for this layer as well, not only because it helps hold heat but because they won’t add bulk under your coat.

Layer Three. This is the outer layer, often a coat, but shawls are also becoming popular. One great thing is that thanks to innovations in fabrics and textiles, coats can provide the necessary warmth without adding a lot of bulk. For example, today’s down coats are often pretty sleek, and even able to be packed away in a small suitcase or backpack. Check out Good Housekeeping for the low-down on lightweight down. This is one layer where you don’t necessarily want form fitting. It’s good to have room for those other layers without stretching things too thin.

Don’t forget to think about your legs!  My go-to pants during the winter are our Go Free Lindsay cords and Margaret velveteen, but leggings and tights are a great way to keep your legs warm when you wear skirts, or even under pants. And I’m always surprised at how my knee-high boots actually keep my entire legs warm.

Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice style for warmth. Here’s to a great fashion winter!

 

 


Dressing to Feel Good: A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep January 13 2016, 0 Comments

Here we are, already in the second week of 2016. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? It’s a good feeling to start off the new year with some goals to provide motivation to be a better you. But it’s slightly disheartening for me to see that the number one New Year’s resolution for 2015 was to lose weight. I’m sure that was at the top of the list for this year as well, and many years prior. The plethora of commercials on TV and radio right now about weight loss programs only serve to reinforce Americans’ belief that they need to lose weight to be happy.

I am a very healthy eater and exercise regularly.  My concern is that most of us aren’t happy with who we are, and feel like losing a few pounds will make us happy. But does it make you happy to starve yourself and get hungry at your desk every day at 3 p.m.? Or to say no to that beautiful birthday cake of a co-worker just because you’re on a diet? Eating right and exercising are important to healthy living, but I have a dream for a society where everyone is happy with their looks and works to stay healthy, rather than constantly dieting in an attempt to change who they are.

One way to do this is to buy clothes that fit and that you feel comfortable in. It’s only natural for our bodies to change as we get older. Let’s face it, our 40-year-old hips just aren’t the same as our 20-year-old hips were. But this doesn’t mean we have to work to get our current body to fit into the pants we wore in our 20s! Trying out new styles, buying a size bigger if necessary, and paying attention to clothes that fit well and look good go a long way toward building your confidence and helping you feel good about yourself.

That’s one reason why we are so proud of our Go Free Pants. This line of pants not only fits well, but looks great on women of all shapes and sizes. And you feel great wearing them! Our patent-pending design replaces the cross seam in traditional pants with a smooth cotton panel that offers all-day comfort.  Thanks to the cotton panel, you can leave those uncomfortable thongs in the drawer and stop worrying about panty lines with any of your favorite styles, helping you feel confident and sexy all day long!  Check out this video as I explain how Go Free Pants give you the fit and feel you want.  

Make a New Year’s resolution this year that you can keep. Resolve to buy clothes that fit and flatter your figure. When your pants fit and look great, you are able to concentrate on life instead of worrying about your weight. And of course, get moving and focus on eating healthy foods. Because feeling good is the biggest factor in looking good and feeling sexy!

 

I also want to take this opportunity to encourage you to check out Bella Mia magazine. This wonderful publication contains fabulous content about looking good and feeling good, inside and out.

 


Enjoy the Holidays without the Guilt! December 16 2015, 0 Comments

We’ve all heard that Americans gain weight over the holidays.  Some reports say it’s about 5 pounds, others say it’s 7-10. That’s a lot of weight! And with so many parties and gatherings with big meals, it’s easy to feel stuffed many days of the holiday season. I’m here to share some good news that might have you feeling a little better about yourself come New Year’s Eve, when we all make that resolution to lose weight: scientific research has shown that people really only gain about one pound during the time from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

While we can all breathe a sigh of relief that we aren’t necessarily packing on the pounds during the holiday season, it is important to keep those healthy eating habits going, something that’s hard to do when party trays full of rich food and overflowing buffets abound. Here are a few tips to help you resist over-indulging through the holidays.

  • Eat a regular meal before going to a party. That way you’ll be more apt to eat healthier foods, and you also won’t be starving and inclined to fill up on rich party foods.
  • Choose water or sparkling water with some fruit juice over alcoholic beverages or sodas, which are packed with calories and sugar. Instead, save those extra calories for something you’re craving, like a gingerbread man.
  • Chew gum. Once you’ve been through the food line once, pop a piece of gum in your mouth to help keep you from grazing or going back for seconds.
  • Resist pressure from others to eat. We’ve all been in situations where Grandma’s fudge is being passed around or Aunt Lucy’s fruitcake, and even though you don’t really like either one, you feel obligated to take a piece and eat it because they worked so hard. One way to get around that is to go ahead and take it, tell them thank you, and wrap it up for later. You might never eat it, but they’ll never know.
  • Indulge a little. Now that you know you won’t necessarily gain 10 pounds between now and New Year’s, you can feel a little better about eating that pumpkin pie or slipping those sugar cookies into your lunch. After all, there are some foods that we really only eat this time of year, and depriving ourselves of them takes a little of the fun out of the season.

I know I’m going to be eating a lot of great food over the holidays. I can’t wait for my brother’s ribs and my sister’s chocolate pie. Great news - our Go Free Lindsay Cords and Margaret Velveteens are my favorite styles this time of year as they both have that wonderfully forgiving “give” to the fabric so the waist band doesn’t get too uncomfortable after enjoying that great food!  But as with all things, moderation is key. And eating well and staying healthy are the best ways to help you feel sexy, inside and out! 

In the meantime,  don't forget to check out the latest issue of BellaMia magazine for some great inspiration and tips for a healthy mind, body and spirit. 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Go Free Pants to all of you!  Cheers and best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year in 2016!


Embracing Boot Season: Short, Long and In-Between! December 08 2015, 0 Comments

One thing I love about fall and winter fashion is the opportunity to pull out my boots. Or better yet, to go shopping for new boots! They are such versatile shoes -- they keep your feet warm and protected, they can be sturdy and practical or feminine and flirty, and they add panache to almost any outfit.

I have noticed one thing among my friends over the years. Some people are very adamant about the type of boot they like to wear. I have friends who will only wear tall boots, while others are strictly ankle boots. I actually like to go both ways, depending on the outfit. And this fall there’s a new style that might help bring the two factions together, the midi boot. Designed to fall halfway between the ankle and the knee, it offers the best of both worlds!

Here’s a short breakdown of this winter’s styles.

 

 

 

 

Ankle boots. [Pictured: Valentino boots from Zappos.] With super-high heels and all sorts of configurations, there’s an ankle boot style to fit almost anyone’s taste. This winter you’ll see ankle boots with a wrap-around look, boots that are all glammed up with studs, suede or metallic-hued materials and boots with creative cutouts. Ankle boots work great with jeans and pants, dressing up your somewhat casual outfits. Pair them up with our Lindsay Corduroy jeans for a great winter look.


Tall Boots.
 [PIctured: Gray suede from Anthropologie.] These might be seen as the classic, the long silhouette that envelopes a leg all the way from the foot up to the knee and beyond. Whether you like an ultra-feminine lace-up boot, traditional leather or a more daring fringe, the variety of styles en vogue this winter make it hard to choose just one. These boots work great with skinny jeans, leggings and mini-skirts.

Midi Boots. [Pictured: Red leather boots from Polyvore.com.] Borrowing a cue from the Old West, the traditional cowboy-boot look of some midis gives a glimpse to where this style came from. But the midi offers a lot more than the traditional brown leather. Perfect for a person who doesn’t really want the thigh-high boot but isn’t comfortable with ankle boots, this style is a compromise that works for everyone. You’ll find them in styles ranging from casual to elegant, high-heeled versions. They’re a perfect match for the longer, flowing skirts and also work well with skinny jeans. 

Check out my friends at Bootights for fun ways to accessorize your boots. 

What is your go-to boot? Are you a fan of the ankle boot, or do you lace up some thigh-high boots before heading out? Comment below and let us know!

 

Also, don't forget to check out the latest issue of BellaMia Magazine. I'm so proud to be a part of this wonderful venture, and you'll find articles by me on pages 65 and 99.

 


Our Gift Picks! November 17 2015, 0 Comments

The holidays are upon us and I couldn’t be more excited!  While you are thinking of your gift list, consider some of these great gift ideas that donate to worthy causes. 

Reformation Academy Dress, $198; thereformation.com.  Made from dead-stock textiles that would otherwise end up in landfills.

 

 

 

Shupaca Patchwork Alpaca Throw Blanket, $115; accompanyus.com.   Fair trade collaboration to support indigenous artisans in Ecuador.

Vinci High Brown/Blue High Top Sneakers, $212; twinsforpeace.com.  For every pair purchased, a sustainably produced pair will be donated to a child in need.

Baoba Batik Stuffed Elephant, $32; shop.thevossfoundation.org.  Supports Voss Foundation's work to bring clean water sources to remote villages in developing countries.

Go Free® Pants Lindsay Corduroy,v Black and Brown, $78 on sale for $39; www.gofreepants.com.  As always, Go Free® Pants donates a portion of our proceeds to hospice and cancer research.  Look for great sales coming your way from Go Free® Pants during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday!

 

 

 

 

 

All of us at Go Free® Pants wish you the best holiday season ever!  Enjoy the parties and the fun fashion opportunities that come along with celebrating the holidays.  Most of all, enjoy the time you spend with family and friends during this special season.  Happy Thanksgiving from us to all of you! 


In November, Honoring our Veterans and Hospice November 11 2015, 0 Comments

We are lucky to live in a country where we are free -- free to say what we want, free to worship as we please and free to work and raise our families with our own values. We owe so much to the brave men and women who serve in our military, who have sacrificed so that we can all enjoy the freedoms we have in America. That’s why Veteran’s Day is such an important holiday for me.  I hope every one of you will stop for a moment today, whether you attend a Veteran’s Day ceremony or just take a quiet moment in your day for reflection, and think about the importance of this day and honoring our veterans.

I attended a very special event honoring veterans that occurred just a few weeks ago. Hospice & Palliative CareCenter is a partner in the We Honor Veterans program and hosted the wonderful celebration.  The Spirit of ’45 Celebration was a special way to let our WWII veterans, known as The Greatest Generation, know how much their service means to us. That night, more than 450 people came to honor 112 WWII veterans, as well as veterans from the Korean conflict, Vietnam, the Gulf War and all other wars in which our U.S. military has served.  Getting to meet all these brave people was just extraordinary. The event included dinner, a special ceremony and entertainment, and you can see what a great time we had in the slideshow.

I also am very excited to be working with the military related to my apparel business.  Most of you know Go Free Pants is my civilian line.  For the past few years, I have been working on a new line called GOFREEDOM that takes the concept of comfort and health and applies it to military uniforms to help our troops stay battle ready. After all, you know where the term “going commando” came from – the military!  This project is still in development, but I will be sure to share the progress with all of you, my Go Free Pants family, as we move forward.

November is also National Hospice Month, which all of you know is very important to me. I support hospice by donating a portion of the proceeds from Go Free Pants to hospice care and cancer research.  Hospice works to ensure people’s end of life wishes are met, and that terminally ill patients are given the opportunity to live their life to the fullest while being kept as comfortable as possible.  The Spirit of ’45 Celebration honoring WWII veterans, many who are in their 90’s, was a perfect example of that.  The national hospice ribbon says, “It’s About How You LIVE.”  This year, in honor of National Hospice Month, consider spending a few hours volunteering at your local hospice or making a donation to support the special kind of care they provide patients and their families. 

Today, one out of every five people in hospice care is a veteran. Spend some time tomorrow honoring our veterans. Take the month of November to get your advance care planning documents completed so your end of life wishes can be met.  Especially for the generation that fought for us during World War II, we need to make the most of the time we have with them.

Happy Veteran’s Day!  Happy Hospice Month!  Here’s to making the most of every day!


Fashion Fun! October 20 2015, 0 Comments

I love fashion, and I also love to have fun. Here are a few tips for having fun with your look this season:

High-Waisted Pants. Halloween is just around the corner, and what better time to dress up as Annie Hall than now, when the high-waisted pant has come back into style. I bought a pair of high-waisted khakis at Banana Republic years ago, complete with suspenders, and you better believe they’ll be coming back into my rotation of what I wear this season. Show off your pants (and your figure) by tucking in a billowy blouse or pairing them with a cropped jacket.

Fire Engine Red. I love bright colors, and what is more fun than a bright red? Whether it’s lipstick, nail polish or a bright red coat, this color will definitely make people stand up and take notice.

One Statement Earring. That’s right, one – not two.  This new trend in the fashion world, whether you feel it’s brave or silly, is definitely a fun one. The idea is to wear one big earring as a statement piece. This look works best with chandelier style costume jewelry or vintage pieces.

You can find out more about these fun fashion ideas as well as others in my article that was published in the current issue of BellaMia Magazine. Visit today and check out this article on page 24 of the magazine.  While you’re there, be sure to read the rest of the magazine filled with great articles about looking good and feeling good, both inside and out.


Breast Cancer Awareness: A Great Reason to Think Pink! October 08 2015, 0 Comments

I used to associate October with colors such as orange, red and yellow. Those are the colors of the leaves on the trees around where I live in beautiful North Carolina, the colors of the pumpkins and squash that fill up the bins at the farmer’s markets, and the colors of the hot apple cider that I love to drink once the weather turns cooler.

But thanks to the great work of all the organizations involved in researching breast cancer, working to find a cure, and educating women on the importance of screenings and early detection, I now associate October with pink! I love to walk through the stores and see pink everywhere.  From Wilson tennis balls  to Yoplait Yogurt, pink is everywhere. You can find many more great products on the Shop Pink site of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

And don’t get so busy shopping that you forget to take care of yourself. Make sure you schedule your mammogram. The American Cancer Society recommends a yearly mammogram for all women over 40 (and younger if there is a history of breast cancer in your family or other risk factors).

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, behind skin cancer, and also the second leading cause of cancer-related death. But death rates due to breast cancer have been declining since 1989, and today the chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is only about 1 in 36. This is due in large part to early detection through proper screening, as well as advances in treatments and therapies.

We can thank organizations like the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation for working hard to increase awareness and raise money for continued research.

Yes, Go Free Pants make you feel sexy. But remember, one of the best ways to feel sexy is to stay healthy!


A Message About Ovarian Cancer Awareness September 23 2015, 0 Comments

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. And much like Breast Cancer Awareness month, it has its own color -- teal. You better believe I will be wearing teal often this month! Not only does it look great with almost any complexion, but let that color be a conversation starter to help raise awareness about ovarian cancer signs and symptoms, something all women need to be aware of.

Did you know that ovarian cancer is the number one cause of gynecologic cancer deaths? According to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, if diagnosed and treated early, when the cancer is confined to the ovary, the 5-year survival rate is over 90 percent. Unfortunately, most cases are diagnosed in the later stages, when the prognosis is poor. That is why the events and press given to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by the media are so important. This is a cancer that can be silent and deadly. And we want to do what we can to stop its death march.

First of all, women need to know that a Pap test, while an important part of preventative screening, does not test for ovarian cancer. Which means women need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:

  • Bloating
  • Feeling full quickly
  • Abdominal pain

There are many possible reasons for these symptoms, but if you experience any or all of these, we encourage you to talk to your doctor immediately just to be on the safe side.

With ovarian cancer, as with so many things concerning our health, it is important for you to know your body and know your family history. Being confident enough to talk to your physician about any feelings or changes in your body is an important part of staying in good health.

So pull out those teal blouses and your turquoise jewelry, which look awesome with our black Go Free jeans and business casual pants!  The Fall Fashion Sale has started, so take advantage of 50% off now!  Let’s all make a statement this month and do our part to help educate our community sisters on the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. 

 


It’s Time to Break the Rules! September 09 2015, 0 Comments

When I was a little girl, I loved the white sandals I got to wear each Sunday with my frilly church dresses in the summer. I loved them so much that I wanted to wear them all year long. But my mom always put them away after Labor Day. I would beg to get them out and wear them still, but she told me I couldn’t, “Tina, you can’t wear white after Labor Day.”

That fashion rule was ingrained in us from an early age. But why is it even a rule? In some parts of the country, it’s still warm and sunny well after Labor Day. This Time video investigates the history of this famous fashion rule, saying it might have come about because at the turn of the 20th century, fashion was dictated mostly by the fashion magazines of the Northeast, where the rainy autumn season made it impractical to wear white. It could also be partly because white clothes are associated with the vacations and resort-wear of summer months, something you put away when you go back to work and school in the fall.

Whatever the reasons, the fashion trend somehow became a fashion rule. But as we all know, rules are made to be broken, especially when it comes to fashion! There’s no reason why you can’t wear your favorite white skirt after Labor Day, or slide on those white sandals once in a while. But I am offering a few tips to make it work, so you don’t look like July in the middle of September!

  • Wear white in a seasonally appropriate way. White jeans with a long sweater, or a white jacket with your favorite pants can help take the color from summer into fall.
  • Be bold. If you’re going to break the rules, do it in a big way. Highlight your white with a splash of red lipstick or a bright scarf so the world knows you know you’re breaking that old tired rule, and you just don’t care!
  • Think about the material. White lace might be pretty in the summer, but it will look a little like the Bride of Frankenstein in the fall. Look for white in denim, cashmere, thick cotton or even wool.
  • Tone it down with “winter white.” This has long been a way women break the “no white after Labor Day” rule. Rich-looking cream colors are refreshing in the winter months. We love the look in our Go Free Pants with our Kathryn 5-pocket jean in stone. Pair this versatile jean with any bright cotton sweater for a fabulous fall look! 

 

It's easy to get a great new look for fall. The Kathryn 5-pocket jean in stone as well as all our corduroys, velveteen and business casuals, are on sale at 50% off.  Welcome to our Fall Fashion Sale! 

Love your freedom to wear white after Labor Day, and love your freedom to Go Free!


Go Commando, It’s Good For You! August 25 2015, 0 Comments

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about the health benefits of wearing pants without underwear. But this time of year, with the hot, humid weather, is the perfect time to bring it up again.

Did you know that it’s actually healthier to go without underwear, especially for women who suffer from chronic bladder or yeast infections? The reason is because yeast grows in warm, moist environments. And wearing a layer of clothing right next to your body, especially when it’s just one of multiple layers, can trap that moisture right next to your private parts. Couple that with the heat of the end of summer, and it’s a perfect invitation for issues.

Some gynecologists, such as Dr. Kate in her Gynotalk blog, recommend to their patients to go without underwear to help prevent the conditions that cause yeast infections and other forms of vaginal itching. Of course, some patients are hesitant to try going commando. Obviously, going without underwear at night is one thing, but no underwear during the day can be a leap of faith for some, but we are here to say – go for it!  You may surprise yourself at how much you like it!

That’s one of the inspirations for Go Free Pants. Our patent-pending design is different than most pants you’re used to. We’ve done away with that coarse cross-seam and created a comfort cotton panel so you can enjoy a new level of comfort and feel your best without underwear. Even if you choose to wear an undergarment, the fact that the cross seam is gone makes our pant so much more comfortable than traditional pants with that irritating cross seam.

Of course, the added benefit to the Go Free design is there are no more panty lines to worry about. So you can get the fit, fashion and smooth look you want without the discomfort of a thong. And all while knowing you’re doing something good for your body!

Make sure you stay healthy by visiting your doctor for an annual check-up once a year, and stay on top of all of your healthcare screenings, mammograms included if you’re over 40.

Enjoy the final dog days of summer in August, and for Pete’s sake, try going commando!  We think you’re going to love it, especially when wearing Go Free Pants


Celebrate Your Body! August 11 2015, 0 Comments

I absolutely love the fact that I have been able to be a part of such a wonderful magazine as BellaMia. This new publication, which has produced three beautiful issues so far since its launch in April 2015, echoes my own values and principles and states them in such a wonderful way, in every article, with every image, on every page.

I have thought each issue was amazing, and I really think that, in flying colors, about this August/September issue. The cover photo just makes my heart happy. We photographed 10 beautiful women, all different ages and different body types, in just a tank top and underwear. You see five of them on the front cover, the other five on the inside cover, and they are all happy and confident in themselves. It is our hope the articles in our magazine will make that attitude contagious for each and every woman who reads it.

You can read the entire issue yourself here at this link.

This issue has great articles on exercise that will help you feel your best, and fun fashion tips, like how to wear a sarong and feel as comfortable as an island princess. My article on page 32 highlights a few of my favorite fall fashion trends to help you get through the upcoming transitional months when mornings are chilly but the afternoons are warm. I also wrote an article on page 120 with tips for the caregiver. Sometimes, when caring for others, people will let their own emotional well-being and physical health go by the wayside, but it is important to be your best, for you and your loved ones.

If you love what you see in this magazine as much as I do, please consider helping our publishers continue production by supporting their Indigogo campaign. It’s a great way to support and celebrate women, and learn some valuable information to enhance your journey as well!

Cheers to the dog days of summer, hot hot hot August, and the freedom to Go Free!


Baby It's Hot Outside! July 28 2015, 0 Comments

High humidity. Temperatures in the 90s. Endless days without rain. We are definitely in the dog days of summer. And while I love the opportunity summer brings to enjoy grilling out, eating on the patio, sitting by the pool with friends and even enjoying great outdoor activities like boating and hiking, I have to admit that I don’t love the frizzy hair and droopy makeup that comes along with summer weather.

Here are a few tips I’ve found that help me keep looking fresh and cool, no matter how hot the day gets!

  • Control the Frizz. Whether you have straight hair or curly, the humidity can quickly wreak havoc on your hairstyle. Stop that from happening with a good frizz control product. I like Rusk Sheer Brilliance. Also check out Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Frizz Serum. They keep hair under control without weighing it down. When on the go, check out the frizz control sheets from Redken
  • Switch to a Summer Make-up Routine. Even with religious use of sunscreen, we all seem to have a little extra glow from the sun’s rays in the summer. Take advantage of that and ditch that cream foundation you use in the winter. Instead, go for something light like a powder foundation or just a quick brush of face powder. I personally love Bare Minerals Mineral Veil and use it year round.
  • Wear Cotton. The natural fibers are more breathable than man-made and help keep you cooler.  Our Go Free Elizabeth Capri is made of cotton twill that will keep you looking sexy and cool all summer long.  
  • Wear Light Colors. They reflect the light rather than absorb it, helping you stay cool.

And please be sure to wear sunscreen! Whether you’re headed to the office or out for a day at the pool, sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from wrinkles and sun damage.

As always, enjoy the freedom to Go Free during these dog days of summer!

 


An Unexpected Path July 09 2015, 3 Comments

When I was a girl growing up in North Carolina, I never expected to be a role model for anyone. Except maybe my children! My parents, like most parents, encouraged me and told me I could be anything I wanted to be, but I never really expected to be president or a famous actress.

Well, it turns out, you don’t have to be the first woman president or the star of the women’s soccer team to be a role model to other women. Through hard work and the grace of God, I have had a successful career doing something that I love, which is working with elderly people and their families through our wonderful Hospice and Palliative Care. I also had the inspiration to create an innovative new fashion trend for women, which I have named Go Free Pants, and that idea led me to becoming an entrepreneur and figuring out the ins and outs of running my own business.

Through it all, I have talked with many other woman, and have learned from their experiences while also being able to share my own. The challenges, the struggles, the achievements, the heartbreak and the joys.

Not long ago I was asked to share my story with a fabulous writer, Ann Sourbeer Morris. She had the wonderful idea of creating a book full of inspirational stories of women and their careers, to help show others that sometimes life might not go exactly how you expect it to, but that even with the challenges and road blocks you can find a way to succeed.

Together with 22 other women, we have helped Ann tell our stories. I am so excited that the book, Unexpected Pathways: Journeys of Women in the Workforce, is finally published and available for purchase either through Amazon or Create Space.

I still don’t consider myself a role model. But I am always willing to share my story, and exchange experiences with others. After all, it is only through talking with each other, corroborating on ideas and sharing our experiences, both good and bad, that we can all learn, grown and improve ourselves.

I am proud to have been able to be a part of this book, and encourage you to read it and share it with other special people in your life, to let the stories from all of these strong, courageous women help inspire you to be your very best.


Now Available for Order: "Unexpected Pathways: The Journeys of Women in the Work Force" June 18 2015, 0 Comments

 
Now available for order on Amazon and Create Space, Unexpected Pathways: The Journeys of Women in the Work Force.  This book, featuring Tina Ketchie Stearns, tells the inspirational stories of twenty-three multi-generational women representing diverse occupations, experiences and backgrounds and the pathways which led to their careers and successes. The stories and lessons offered by these unique and successful women encourage hope and inspiration to women in both their lives and careers. 
 
To order your copy of Unexpected Pathways: The Journeys of Women in the Workforce, visit Amazon.com or https://createspace.com/5194061

Happy 5th Anniversary to Us! We Were Going Commando Before Commando Was Cool! June 16 2015, 0 Comments

 

I am so excited that this month, Go Free Pants will be celebrating our five-year anniversary! It has been such an exciting time to be in the fashion world, providing a unique product that helps women feel more confident and sexy in their lives, every single day.

For those of you who know me personally, you can understand my awe at living my life as an entrepreneur for five years. I am lucky to have been able to live out my dream of owning my own business while still being involved in hospice, another cause that is very near and dear to my heart. That is why I have combined these two parts of my life, letting my clothing business help support hospice, as a portion of the proceeds from sales of Go Free Pants goes to support the special care hospice provides patients and families in the last months of life.

All of this started from a casual conversation with some of my friends about panty lines. Some wear thongs to deal with the panty line issue, while others just don’t wear underwear at all! That got me thinking, going without underwear might be the answer…as long as it was comfortable. The cross seam in traditional pants is far from comfortable, so the idea was born to get rid of the cross seam and replace it with a smooth cotton panel. A prototype was made, and my friends instantly fell in love with Go Free Pants. I knew I had to get this out to other women to let everyone experience the sexy and liberating feeling of “going free!”

And now, according to a recent article in the New York Times, thong sales are down and granny pants are making a comfortable comeback! Take this poll to see where you fall in the underwear category. Ladies who go commando now represent 12% of us, almost tied with the 19% who wear thongs. Comfort is winning, and my prediction is that going commando will rise to the top as soon as women allow themselves that secret privilege to be comfortable and feel sexy.

Thank you for your support over the past five years. To each and every person who has bought a pair of Go Free Pants, who wears them and tells their friends how comfortable they feel. To everyone who has supported me through the long nights and given me encouragement when things got tough. I couldn’t have done it without you. I’m always looking toward the future and I see many years of success ahead not only for Go Free Pants, but her kissing-cousin line, GOFREEDOM, which has been designed for both men and women in the military. You will be hearing much more about GOFREEDOM in the coming months, so stay tuned! Thank you, one and all, for your love and support. It takes a village, and I love my tribe!

 

Thanks to Our Fathers
With Father’s Day coming up, I want to take a moment to honor the men in our lives. For so many of us, it was the love and support of our fathers who helped us grow into strong, confident, successful women. Here’s to the fathers, and those men who are like a father to us, who support us with their time, love and wisdom. Happy Father’s Day!

Check out Bella Mia!
I am so excited to be a part of this wonderful new magazine. Be sure to read the June/July issue, which is full of great articles to help you lead a more joyful life.

 


BellaMia Magazine – Feeling Beautiful At Any Age or Shape June 02 2015, 0 Comments

A couple of months ago I introduced you to a new magazine that I absolutely love, BellaMia Magazine. Now the latest issue is out for June/July. It is available online for everyone to read, and I want to encourage you to click the link and check this magazine out. Not only is it beautifully designed with wonderful photographs, but you won’t be able to stop reading once you start.

I love BellaMia Magazine so much because the founders of this magazine have the same philosophies that I try to communicate through my own company, Go Free Pants. We’re all about helping women feel sexy in their own skin, confident in their everyday lives, grounded spiritually and healthy. The June/July issue of BellaMia is packed with great information that will inspire you in all aspects of your life. From “Four Quick Ways to Bring Your Body Back in Balance,” to “Seven Seconds to Make a First Impression,” you’ll find information to integrate into your own life. There are also great-tasting, healthy recipes, summer hats to die for, and even a fiction piece that will make you think about what it means to be a woman and our role in the world.

I am excited to be a part of this magazine as a contributing writer. Check out my article, “So Long Thongs,” for some great fashion tips for summer. As always, one of those tips is to take a walk on the wild side and Go Free – that is “go commando” –if you have never tried it before!

It is actually good for you to ditch the underwear because it not only helps you feel sexy all day long, it is a healthier choice for women to go without underwear. Summer is the perfect time to try out Go Free Pants if you haven’t yet.   We have never bought into the crazy notion that thongs were comfortable, and now according to the New York Times, thongs are out and granny pants are back in! Our bet is going commando will be the next thing that women finally embrace once they allow themselves that secret privilege.

Check out our shop to find what’s right for your wardrobe. And remember, shipping is always free, and a portion of the proceeds go to support organizations like hospice and cancer research.


Fashion Tips for Women on the Go May 21 2015, 0 Comments

We all lead very busy lives. Rushing from one meeting to another at work, running errands for the household, attending committee meetings, sporting events and life in general keeps us on our toes until we finally fall into bed at night. How do you make sure you’re looking great as you go from one thing to the next? We have some tips that will keep you looking great without having to worry about extreme wardrobe changes.

A good pair of capris. Our Elizabeth and Melanie capri pants are not only perfect for this time of year, they’re also a great addition to your wardrobe to get you from one event to the next. Dress up the capris with nice heels and a jacket over a pretty tank top for work, and then switch over to your comfortable sandals and ditch the jacket for the soccer game, or a night out with friends.

And now is the time to add them to your wardrobe! Capris are on sale, 50% off, for Memorial Day Weekend!

Red lipstick. Don’t say it doesn’t look good on you, there’s a shade for everyone! Check out these tips from Cosmopolitan to find your perfect shade. There is nothing like a great eye-popping bright lipstick to change an outfit from “serious worker” to “I’m a girl ready for a night on the town”!

Dry shampoo. Maybe you’re good about going to the gym during your lunch hour. Or maybe you battled the hot summer sun all day and now you’re just extremely short on time! No matter what the reason, there are days when we just don’t have the time to wash our hair, especially with all the styling it entails. Using a good dry shampoo will give your hair a boost while saving you some valuable time. Check out TotalBeauty.com for their best and worst dry shampoos.

A great tote bag. You are going to need something to stash your work jacket in and keep your changes of shoes, from heels to sandals to cute canvas sneakers. Go ahead and splurge on a quality tote you really like, and make it a staple in your car.

While you are on the go, don’t forget to enjoy the freedom to Go Free!

 

 

 

 

 


Give Mom What She Really Wants for Mother's Day -- You! May 05 2015, 0 Comments

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and none of us should forget our mothers this year, or those who are like a mother to you! Between the jewelry commercials, the ads for dresses, shoes and pocketbooks that mom might want, and the special brunch menus at all of your favorite restaurants, Mother’s Day can be stressful worrying about what to get your mother, the woman who really doesn’t need a single thing. Luckily for us all this year, Ebates.com has made Mother’s Day gift-giving easier. They did a poll to find out what mothers really want, and the top answer was pretty simple -- time! Yes, 60% of the women polled said time with their family was what they really wanted. So I’ve come up with some fun ways to spend a little time with your mother this Sunday. It’s a gift you’ll both enjoy!

  • Get manicures and pedicures together. Sure, paying for her mani/pedi is much like giving her a gift (especially if you were going to give her a gift certificate for a mani/pedi anyway). But this way you get to enjoy the experience together and have a little uninterrupted time to talk. And you both walk away with great looking nails!
  • Take her shopping. When was the last time you and your mom spent a day at the mall together? Pay her back for all those times she took you to the mall when you were a teenager, only this time you’ll actually enjoy the shopping experience together, even if you don’t buy a single thing.
  • Take a class together. There are so many fun wine and art classes or cooking classes to take advantage of these days, why not do one with your mom? Of course, it might not be happening on Mother’s Day, but the promise of time together is pretty special, and gives you both something to look forward to.
  • Facetime. If you don’t live near your mother to do an activity together on Mother’s Day, do something a little more than the traditional phone call. Talking face to face, whether with Facetime or Skype, can be almost as good as being there. If your mom has never done it before, she will surely want to do it again after she experiences it the first time!

No matter what you do for Mother’s Day, the important thing is to let your mom know how much you love her. None of us would be where we are today without our mothers, or the women in our lives who are like a mother by the way they love and support us.

And if you feel the undeniable need to buy her a present, our light and breezy Go Free Melanie Black Capri will have her feeling like a Sexy Mama all summer long!


Try Out the Vintage Look this Spring April 21 2015, 0 Comments

What could be more sexy and feminine than delicate lace, hand-crocheted sweaters and tailored jackets? While we love the bold look of today’s fashion, sometimes it’s fun to raid Grandma’s closet and bring back those timeless classics that never seem to go out of style.

Our friend Amanda Redmon, designer and owner of Foundation Design Studio, is a big fan of vintage clothing. Her passion for vintage clothing got us looking into it, and we found some great tips to share when adding vintage pieces to your own wardrobe.

  • First, find a good place to shop where you feel comfortable. Many antique stores and flea markets might have old clothes among their items for sale, but often there are not dressing rooms available, and the quality is meant more for display than for actual wear. Consignment stores and estate sales are a good place to start. And Internet sites like Ebay.com, Specialist Auctions and Craigslist mean you can find some great pieces without leaving home!
  • Second, know your measurements. Today’s size 8 is entirely different than it was 50 years ago. You’ll be looking for clothes that are sold by inches rather than by size. And in keeping with this, if you’re shopping in person take time to try on the clothes. If you happen to be shopping online, check on the return policy before investing your hard-earned cash.
  • Finally, be prepared to take special care of your new (old) clothes. Antique lace, fine cashmere and delicate silks will need to be washed by hand or dry-cleaned. If you’re into clothes from the more recent decades, the 50s, 60s and 70s, when synthetics were introduced, you’re more likely to be able to throw the clothes in the washing machine. But you might still want to treat them with special care; after all, they have been around awhile and the better you handle them, the longer they’ll stay looking good.

Spruce up your wardrobe with some vintage clothing this spring. It’s not only fun to wear, it’s fun to shop for while looking for that special one of a kind piece! Have fun bringing old and new together with a fabulous vintage blouse paired with our comfy Melani black capri for a sexy, feminine, breezy look and feel perfect for spring!