Let’s do a little classroom exercise. Raise your hand if you enjoy being your child’s Uber. Raise your hand if you are excited about running to Staples six times in three days this week. Raise your hand if you enjoy screaming at your kids to go bed and then yelling at them to wake up in the morning. I’m assuming no one has raised any hands so we will try a different question. Raise your hand if you would like your outfits picked out for you this week so you can get up and get out the door faster. Okay, that I can help with. I can’t plan ahead for meals or a weekly family dinner menu but I can to that with outfits. True story – this text below is an exchange between me and one of my very good friends.
Whereas this is what happens when I go to events at her house.
So I’m going to stick to what I know and let my friend shop for Octopus. Below are suggestions for those mornings where you just need a starting point. I’m throwing in as many realistic type of photos I can find on Pinterest to help with some visual inspiration, (so no pics of celebrities wearing Chanel and 6 inch heels since we know we aren’t going to go to Staples this week in that). It’s all on this little cheat sheet below so you can save the plan and reference it. Hope this helps and good luck this week!
MONDAY – Back to Basics Black
Keep it simple and go all black. It could be a little black dress, jumpsuit, or pair different textures of black together. Keep jewelry minimal or go for larger statement pieces like a cuff or chunky necklace.
MONDAY – Opposites Attract
Pair a trendier cut or style of denim (frayed, distressed, cropped) and pair back to a classic white top. The more casual the denim the dressier your top can be. If you can’t wear jeans to work try throwing on a jean jacket as a blazer back to a pencil skirt o pants, or over a dress.
WEDNESDAY – Start With The Shoes
Pick a pair you haven’t worn for a while and build your outfit around the shoes. Pull out colors from your closet that will coordinate with the shoes, or choose a cropped pant or flared hem that features the shoes.
THURSDAY- Pick A Pattern
Go with something classic like a striped shirt or mix it up with a floral skirt. Leopard, polka dots, and checks are all easy prints to pair back to solid or to wear as a dress.
FRIDAY- Keep It Simple
Solid black with solid white. It’s a classic combination and you can’t go wrong. Even a black t-shirt with white jeans looks pulled together.
Well, hopefully you made it till Friday night. Time to take off the bra, put on your comfiest oldest t-shirt, sweatpants, and pour yourself a gargantuan glass of wine!
*Insider Tip – Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Personally I am pretty useless when it comes to brain after dark. I could possibly be solar-powered but not sure. But if you are one of those proactive organized types who likes to get as much done at night in order to streamline your morning, then try finding a spot in your closet, or maybe a hook on the back of your door, to designate as your O.O.T.D. (Outfit of the day). Just like when you were a kid, or maybe for your own kids, laying out your outfit the night before can save you so much time and ease that pre-morning coffee sluggish brain into getting dressed. Or, if you are more like me and like a glass of wine before bed, you are better off not picking out your outfit at night because Lord knows what you could come up with. (Poor Kylie, clearly she has new mommy brain because this yellow thing is not a good choice).
I have a love/hate version with technology, specifically with my iPhone. I love how it can connect me to all kinds of information anytime I want. But sometimes I hate the pressure of feeling like I always have to be connected at all times. My brain is starting to function very much like my current iPhone, which is actually no longer very current and definitely needs an upgrade. Honestly between all of the social media I feel like I can’t keep up with responding, both socially and professionally, in an intelligent and meaningful manner.
Storage Almost Full
Much like my phone that is overstuffed with photos, my clothes are becoming overstuffed with, well, me. Too much pizza, too much wine (Damn you summer rose`), and too many cookies. Those are my favorite three things to eat and drink and I am pretty sure none of them are in the food triangle that gets pointed out to our kids at their well check. I know what I need to do. I need to take the time to purge the photos off of my phone (I have 12,092 and 83 videos as I type this right now) and onto Dropbox or iCloud or one of a million other options but, I’m lazy and haven’t taken the time to figure out how to do it without accidentally deleting or sharing everything. And I need to hire someone to follow me around and smack my hand whenever I reach for pizza, cookies or wine.
There are two types of people in this world. There are those that just have a picture of their battery in the form of an icon in the corner of their screen, and then there are those who have the actual percentage rate of battery charge posted right next to the battery icon. Guess which one proves to be more stressful? Those of us who have the number posted can’t fathom how the rest of you can function. It is like the gas tank in your car just showing a level but no actual mileage or numbers. I so wish I could be laid back and not stress when I see that battery going low, but, if I am being totally honest, I start to freak when I see my levels go under 50%. I panic because I have no idea what the rate and speed of depletion is. We have all looked at phones and thought, “Hey I’ve got 57%, I’ll be fine.”, only to look down 30 minutes later and see that awful RED battery with a single digit percentage. Lately my brain feels the same way. My energy drains at an inconsistent rate. Somedays I get up and can get a million things done and feel great. Other days I feel spent after simply getting the kids off to school. The one thing I know for sure is after too many social events my battery plummets and I need to be home, alone, staring out at the trees in my backyard, usually eating cookies and drinking rose`. This has to happen immediately or I will shut down and cease to function at all. My introvert self needs to recharge BEFORE the battery turns red.
Too Many Apps and Too Many Open Apps
When we realize our phones are running low on battery and on storage we immediately check to make sure we close or delete any open apps that we aren’t using. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could do that in our brains? This is where yoga and meditation are really as important as everyone tells us. They allow us to close all the noise of all the thoughts that are going simultaneously inside our heads. “I need to make the kids dentist appointment…when was the last time I was at the dentist…do I need toothpaste…I know I need to pick up that prescription from the pharmacy…when I go to the pharmacy I should grab a birthday card for that party my son is going to…did I rsvp for that party…oh and what can I get for a gift…what am I going to do my kids’ birthdays this year…oops red light I thought that was yellow…SQURRIEL! ” When our brain has too many apps open we are not present and that is when we do things like leave our wallets on top of our cars or bang our toes into doorways. Not good stuff. And sometimes we just have too many apps, as in you don’t even know what they all do and if you need all of them anymore. People who are really helpful tend to say yes to everything and the next thing you know they find themselves involved in an overload of activities and obligations. Sometimes you just have to look at all of them all together and see which ones are sucking up the most data and draining the most battery. Often times we don’t use all those apps or things in our lives.
Unable to Install Update
When our phones start to get old we start to notice that they are not charging as fast or effectively as before. Sometimes it’s the chargers themselves, the cords get too bent, the ports get dirty, and sometimes it’s just because the phone needs and update. Most of these nagging update messages pop up and we generally hit the Later option which tells us that it can do the update overnight as long as it is plugged in to charge. Sounds simple but how many times have you fallen asleep without plugging in your phone? If the phone isn’t charged properly it can’t update. Well neither can I. If I don’t get my downtime or a good nights sleep I can’t seem to prioritize the things I know I need to do to upgrade my life. Exercise, eating right, making time for friends all feel like things that slip further out of my reach if I haven’t been able to properly recharge. And the more I put off the updates I so desperately need, the further and further I get from trying to effectively reach my goals personally and professionally. And how many of us put off the update for fear of it changing what is familiar to us? Sometimes we repeat a negative cycle simply because it takes less work than consciously changing a bad habit. We all fear change but usually it creates growth and something positive. This will require me to swap out my cookies and wine for carrots and seltzer, which I have been putting off even though I know I need to do to feel better. I think there is a bit of a rebel in all of us who hates being told by our phone what to do. I don’t want it to tell me I have to install an update. I want to decide and be in control if I want the update. This is so childish but I am very guilty of not always wanting to do something that is told to me rather than asked of me. Stupid and stubborn but I’m working on it. I think Apple needs to work with reverse psychology and tell me not to the update and then maybe I would…totally messed up.
Phone Is Overheated
Well this one isn’t fun. Who has left the phone out in the sun on a hot day, or maybe even in your car? Of course this happens when you need it the most, not like a clown with a bloody knife is chasing me emergency, but more like I need to use the phone to get directions type of emergency. Well again if you are a female over the age of 40 you probably know what it feels like to feel overheated and it ain’t fun. Sweating into your sheets and adding to your mountain of laundry isn’t a great start to your day. Plus when you are overheated you don’t sleep well which means you can’t recharge your battery which creates to our overall slow overall performance. There is only one cure for this one and that is to give you and your phone a chance to cool down. I also recommend lowering your thermostat to 65 after your husband goes to bed and buying these moisture wicking pjs from Soma.
Insider Tip – Upgrade You and Your Phone
Sometimes you do all that you can do and then it is just time. You need to upgrade your phone. There is a famous quote about the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. I am totally guilty of this. Sometimes we just need a new phone. While we can’t just run to the hospital and ask for a new brain, (which of course we would back up first to make sure we could upload all of our memories and feelings), we can make some changes to our outside. We are often told we need to feel good on the inside so that we can look good on the outside. While I do believe this I also believe that we need to both feel and look good. And sometimes these may happen out-of-order. Sometimes a person has done all they can do internally but things just aren’t changing for them in their mindset. That person may just need an extra push and that extra push may come from changing the outside and working in. Sounds confusing but hear me out. I know clients who have lost weight, been through a divorce, or just generally felt insecure or struggled with self-esteem. They are stuck with a voice inside their head that they are desperate not to hear. When someone compliments you how do you feel? It can be something as small and simple as “I love your earrings!” and the next thing you know that person is standing a little taller, holding their head a little higher. I can’t tell you how good it feels to get to know my clients, to understand them and to see their beauty, and then to able to put them into clothing that reflects what I am able to see on their inside. When we feel pulled together on the outside it helps us to feel pulled together on the inside. When we feel pulled together inside we can act pulled together, resulting in a positive shift. Let me be very clear in that this is not a makeover. That would be like trading in your phone and never copying over any of your previous contacts, apps and information. There is a reason when we get a new phone we first connect it to iTunes and reload our backup info. There is comfort in seeing all that information and apps come back up into this new phone. Now we are in the position to edit what we want to put on the phone, so instead of deleting apps and information we get to choose what we want to add in. This is exactly what happens when I first meet with a client and help them go through their closet. I hesitate to use the phrase “get rid of stuff” when I prefer to think of it as choosing what we want to put back in. What items work for their life RIGHT now, fit them RIGHT now, and make them feel good. When you fill your closet back up with the good stuff then you can put together new outfit combinations out of your favorite things, sometimes the clients hardly have to buy anything new. This is kind of like when you finally check with your phone provider and realize you are actually eligible for a free upgrade or that it will cost you very little. Sometimes a client may need just a few key pieces, like jeans in an updated rise and cut or shoes that in line with what’s currently in style, and then they can mix them back into their wardrobe and upgrade. Upgrading is a good thing. It means that it was already good but that it can get even better, just like us.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post,
In fact you can’t even wear these items. But I promise you they are essential.
Item #1 – PAPER.
I know, super exciting, right?? Okay, on its own it’s not much. But, add in most important item number 2, and you’re off to great things.
Item #2 – A pen.
Or a pencil, or a crayon, or whatever you can write with – eyeliner works in a pinch but I don’t recommend it.
Why are these 2 things so important?
Besides the fact that you need both – I don’t want you writing on your walls so paper is important, and it’s of no use to use without a writing tool – together, these two items will create….
I know, you are probably thinking, “What is she talking about??? I can’t wear a “list”, and, the last thing I need is more stuff crammed into my closet, but hear me out.
What do you do when you are in your kitchen and you realize you are out of something? Maybe you have pasta but no sauce, dip but no chips, etc. Maybe you have eggs but they are expired. Typically you write it down, or, for the tech savvy, you type it onto a list on your phone. Your closet is similar to your pantry, or at least it should be. There are basics like bread, milk, and butter (white t-shirts, jeans and, hopefully, underwear). And then there are the extras, like a pair of red high heels, which become the fresh ground cayenne pepper we can use to spice up our wardrobe (corny pun totally intended).
How many times have you gone to the grocery store and forgotten your list? Isn’t it the most annoying feeling ever? You walk up and down the isles trying to be reminded of what you need. Instead you end up throwing random items in the cart and leaving without what you truly came to purchase.
There is not much difference with your wardrobe shopping list. Going into a store unarmed, without any kind of list, is dangerous. More than likely you will spend too much time, and worse, too much money, buying something that you don’t really need, or doesn’t have anything to go with it once it joins its other clothing friends in your closet. Human nature and instinct take over when we go into a store. Remember, with regards to food, we started out as hunters and gatherers. Clothing is no different in that we hunt (shop) and gather (buy) it. The problem arises when we shop for the wrong clothes, or we buy something we don’t actually need. Let’s say Fred the caveman hunted bison, while his wife Frida gathered poison ivy. They bring it back to the cave but their daughter Finley says she hates bison, (she’s debating on going vegetarian, typical teenager), and, Fred Jr. can’t use the poison ivy leaves as toilet paper because, well, I think that one is fairly obvious. Now Fred and Frida are tired, hungry, annoyed, AND they don’t have any toilet paper (i.e. leaves).
The point is that we feel the need to buy something, even if it is not the right thing, just to feel like it was worth our trip and our time. But this can lead to poor choices, like coming home from the Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale with a cute yellow dress that you got for a total steal. You think it will be the perfect dress to wear on a lovely Spring day, you can even picture yourself strolling through a park, or the farmers market, wearing this exact dress. You go home and put the dress in your closet. And there it sits, staring right back at you, two years later, tags still attached. The reality is that you don’t really look that good in yellow, and the dress is a bit tight. And that walk in the park you pictured never happened, and your farmers market trips were done in sneakers and stretch pants, just like Jennifer Garner who always keeps it real when she is out and about. Love her! That dress purchase may have felt right in that moment, but it ends up being so wrong for you, your body, and your lifestyle.
It’s time to shop smarter. It’s time to save money. Keeping a notebook or notepad right inside your closet, along with a pen, ensures that when you discover you are about to run out of something, or, you are missing something to complete an outfit, you can write it down immediately, and remember it. This list needs to be kept in your closet as opposed to somewhere else, because in your closet is where you’ll be when you realize you need something. Once we walk away from that closet we barely can remember what we own. Have you ever gone into J.Crew and saw they have t-shirts on sale and they have every color under the rainbow? We have no idea what one we NEED, only which color we WANT. Only when you are standing in front of your closet will you be aware of what you are missing to complete potential outfits sitting right inside your own closet. When you go to toss your basic black cardigan into the donate bin (which I also suggest you keep right in your closet), you can quickly jot down that you need a new black cardigan. When you put on that beautiful printed skirt you bought at Anthropologie, but take it off yet again, because, you have no idea what will match with it, then write that down! Maintaining a list will help to keep your shopping focused and efficient. Much like compiling a shopping list for a specific recipe, you can compile a list for an item or even a type of outfit you think is missing from your wardrobe. This way, when you open that flash sale email, you can check your Need list and be prepared. No more buying stuff just to buy, needlessly adding more stuff to what could be an already crowded wardrobe.
ARE YOU ON MY LIST?
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*Insider Tip – Take a picture, it’ll last longer.
Afraid of being out and about and forgetting to bring your list? There is no need for that list to ever leave your closet. Every so often just take a picture on your phone of the list, then create an album under your Photos app and call it Shopping. This way, no matter where you are, you will know what you need. All you have to do is look at your list, and you can take advantage of buying something that fulfills a specific need, or want, in your wardrobe. Bonus points for taking a picture of that hard to match item, giving you a visual to reference if you are out. Show your picture to the sales staff for suggestions on how to complete the outfit. You can also take photos of your clothes as they are hanging in your closet and post those photos to the same Album. Now you will have a visual reference reminder of what is hanging in your closet. Even if you can’t see each and every item, it is still more helpful than drawing a blank on what you have and what you need. Say goodbye to impulse shopping and hello to taking control of your closet.
Compiled a list but not sure where to shop for new items? Don’t have the time, or the patience? I’m here to help! Choose any or all of the services below…
Audit your closet – take stock of inventory and see what is in there and what you need – together we will start your list.
I’ll go to the stores and pick out the clothing on your list and deliver it right to you.
Prefer to shop online? I’ll send over an interactive shopping list customized to your needs and you can click and shop at your convenience.
February is gray, really, really gray. It’s a sad gray, it’s bleak. It’s not warm enough to feel like Spring, but we probably aren’t getting any pretty winter snow. It’s damp and it’s damn depressing. This is what I call the February Funk. It happens every year and it’s that total tweener time where we are stuck between the seasons. February is not fun and nothing really goes on. Sure there is Valentines Day – you know that holiday that is set up for husbands to fail, to the singles to feel worse, or just to eat candy and chocolate and gain weight while you wait for Spring Break. Ahhhh…..Spring Break….if you are lucky enough to get out of dodge, and into some warmth and sunshine, then you can cling to that little light at the end of the tunnel known as vacation. This is a lovely thought that gets ruined by the reminder that I will need to stretch skin tight spandex over my body and expose my pasty white smoosh body.
Everything about buying a swim suit is a set up for failure. For starters we usually are shopping for one when our bodies haven’t seen the sun and a proper wax treatment for several months. Then there is that ick factor that someone else has already slapped this saran wrap over their own body, thoughtfully recognized by the sanitary hygienic panty liner sticky strip that is still half adhering to the crotch. While I am super grateful that they include this liner so that my crotch doesn’t touch a stranger’s crotch, there is no getting around how awkward it is to try on a swim suit over your undies. Whether you are full on in granny pannies or going minimum with a thong, there is no way to get a true view of what this will look like in real life. Case in point – this bikini bottom clearly is getting a little too close to showing me this model’s birth canal.
So then you reach the moral dilemma, do you pull back your underwear underneath the suit so you can see what it looks like without said extra material, risking the exposure that someone else has done exactly what you are about to do and let their lady bits be exposed in an effort to see what your suit will look like panty free? Or do you helplessly stare in the mirror and just imagine you aren’t wearing a bikini under a bikini? Either solution frightens me for multiple reasons but ultimately the fact is that I am paying for something to be worn in public that will cover less acreage than my usual underwear. God knows I don’t walk around in my underwear, yet, if you put me near any form of water, this is suddenly totally normal to have my ass cheeks exposed to friends and neighbors at the pool and beach. Yick.
Now we get to move up the body to the belly region – good times. Either you expose what your child did to your body or you find something like the Miraclesuit brand one piece in hopes that in can perform a miracle on your midsection. They will use a generous about of shirred fabric, bright colors and clever cuts to create an optical illusion of a svelte bod, just short of looking like your Grandma’s suit that has that flowy top that floats underwater.
But one pieces can get hot and are not fun to peel off and back up again when you have to have use the ladies room. Two piece suits are essentially made up of less fabric than my bra and underwear. There is no winner here. You just choose the lesser of two evils. Unless, you are one of those moms who gets her butt to the gym, eats right and takes care of herself. Then by all means show off those abs. I’ll be sitting under the umbrella eating crap and feeling jealous, knowing that I am too lazy to change my ways.
Continuing the evaluation under the fluorescent buzzing lights in the store we work our way up to the girls, aka your boobs. Either you got ’em or your don’t. And if you have ’em and they are real they are probably in the process of working their way down toward your toes, making you feel like one of those topless tribal women you would see in the National Geographic magazines as a kid. They had better things to worry about, like food, and not getting eaten by a lion, so they layered on some necklaces and figured ‘eff it, I’m not bothering to find something with metal in it to hold these hush puppies up. We, on the other hand, don’t live in the South of France, or in a tribe, so it becomes necessary to find some sort of support system that lifts, separates and doesn’t make it look like you have a baby’s butt worth of cleavage on your chest. Good luck with that.
Then, if your children literally sucked your boobs dry, you are left with the task of finding something with chicken cutlets stuffed into it to bring you back to some resemblance of your former figure. Even if you avoid the overstuffed tops you still need to find some sort of padding or coverage so you can avoid having your high beams on every time a breeze blows, or you, (God-forbid), actually get into the frozen cold water and get wet. There’s nothing like seeing your kid’s soccer coach while you are dripping wet with some fabric stuck to your chest, hoping he is not trying to figure out what happened to your boobs or where they went.
And what about if you have had a little help up top, with a quick trip to the surgeon? I think that’s great, and I would love to have someone pull things back up to where they once were. Just be prepared, even with a really great surgeon most people will know if you did or didn’t, because there is no woman over the age of 40 who has given birth that has naturally great separation and lift. You can be subtle about it when you wear clothes but when you break out the bathing suit make sure you put on your earmuffs to avoid the other mommies talking about whether you did or didn’t (Oh now we know what Shelia was really recovering from when she said she had “the flu”) and guessing when you did and by whom, and also how much it cost. If they are really good they will probably then ask your for your doctor’s number.
Just try not to want to kick aforementioned coach when you remember that he is a man and gets to wear a bathing suit that conveniently has a mesh hammock to keep all their junk up near their trunk, while throwing on any old t-shirt to cover any dad bod they may or may not be hiding. And just think, they probably just grabbed their normal size in pants or shorts right off the rack and bought it without even trying it on, because, let’s face it, these are just shorts with quick dry fabric, no sticky weird panty liner included. I’m glad they are not wearing speedos because frankly I don’t want to se the size of everyone’s frank and beans, but man wouldn’t it be nice for them to have to suffer through being in complete display for just one day. Totally not fair.
*Insider Tip – Celebrate the Caftan.
Listen, it’s a sad but true fact that at my age I care more about the cover-up because quite frankly I spend more time in it. I do love the water – when it’s warm, and private, and hopefully on a private beach. Public and club pools are just weird because there’s always that one floating band-aid that you know came off of someone’s open wound. Plus I pay way too damn much for my highlights to let the heavily chlorinated water wreak havoc on my hair. So I’m putting my money into the good stuff. Here’s some of my favs via this link Chic-Cover-ups. – I created a catalogue you can click and shop from in case you are into hiding out too.
All joking aside at the end of the day it comes down to confidence. I’ve seen all types of women in all shapes and all sizes in all kinds of suits. It’s what we doo when we are “laying out” at the beach or the pool – we people watch because it’s so damn interesting. The women that look the best are the ones who are standing up straight, they are smiling, and they are living their life totally unaffected by what me or anyone else thinks. They are bodysurfing the waves, jumping off the diving board and playing paddle board with their kids. Even if there is some kind of wardrobe malfunction they just laugh and put it all back into place, wedgie be damned. I’m working on appreciating the face that I have 2 working legs, 2 working arms, and a family that loves me no matter what. In the end nobody ever wishes they spent more time sitting and watching. That’s not living life. Being, doing, enjoying…now that’s living life.