WHAT TO BUY AND WHAT TO SAY BYE-BYE TO!
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WHAT TO BUY AND WHAT TO SAY BYE-BYE TO!
Our mailing address is:
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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…
Didn’t get what you want for Christmas? Don’t get made, get shopping.
Best bets for the deepest discounts? Here’s the best categories to shop.
Cashmere – It may sound boring but make sure you have the basics covered – black, camel, navy, cream – these are the foundation pieces that will act as building blocks for your winter wardrobe. They add warmth without weight and can go with anything from distressed denim to a sequins skirt. Got your basic colors in stock? Go out of your comfort zone and get a color that will flatter you but it way out of your comfort zone. Bright yellow, cobalt blue or a hot pink all will add a jolt of life into your winter grays and blacks.
Coats – The stores want to get rid of the coats and they want to do it now. Expect prices to be slashed as coats are big and bulky in terms of taking up floor space on inventory. Stores need these to get out of the way to make room for resort wear – think bikinis, bathing suits and bright dresses. Again, make sure your basics are covered but by basics I strongly suggest going with a tan, camel or navy over a gray or black. Why? Because our winter wardrobes are sad enough. Banish the doom and gloom by going with an unexpected shade (purple, red, green) or an unexpected neutral like cream or navy. Your coat doesn’t have to match what you have on underneath because most people see you either walking in or around in your jacket or inside with your jacket off. So pick a color that will boost your mood and make you not so bitter about bitter cold.
Formal wear – Black tie event? Cocktail party? Prom dress for your daughter? Look now because many of these styles will still work come April, May and June and will work into your wardrobe for weddings and events this year and years to come. Go for a metallic shade that spans the seasons, or pick a color that you know you look good wearing whether you’re as pale as a pasty white Nun on a beach or as tan as a Kardashian on a yacht. And in this case you can’t go wrong by snagging a steal on a little black dress, it’s an especially good time to find one with sleeves. One of my other favorites? Jumpsuits! They are fun, flattering, and work on all ages.
Shoes – “Boots with the furrrr……the whole club was lookin’ at herrrr….” – It’s only about to be January so that means at least 3 more months of cold toes and freezing feet. Snap up winter styles now. It’s also a great time to try a different style of boots you may have been thinking about – over the knee and thigh high styles can be bought without breaking the bank. And don’t worry, you won’t look like you are trying to pick up Richard Gere and head back to the Wilshire. Choose a pair in a soft suede with a flat or very low chunkier heel and wear them with tights and a long sweater dress or use them to help transition into your spring dresses by wearing them under the hemline of a floaty floral dress. How are your trusty ankle boots holding up? If you are seeing more than a little wear and tear than grab your favorite style at a discount so you’ll have a fresh pair for next fall. Craving something new? Pick up a pair of ankle boots in a fun color, unique pattern or with metallic details.
Password is Suzie. And hurry! Sale ends January 2nd.
Yes, ordering online can be a pain because figuring out what size you need can be difficult. Save yourself a bit of hassle by order 2 sizes of the same item. Nordstrom has free shipping and free returns so in the end it won’t cost you anything to try both sizes. The return process is so easy that you can print out your return label or even bring the item back to any Nordstrom.
Happy Shopping and Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading!
Have you ever received a gift you had to keep and use, even though it was extremely embarrassing to do so? How about watched in complete confusion as something so ugly becomes extremely popular and trendy (think high-waisted pleated acid wash jeans, mc hammer style drop crotch pants, or skin-tight velour track suits, just to name a few)? The funny thing with fashion is that sometimes what at first seems so foreign, so strange, and so ugly, can slyly work its way into become a fashion must have that looks not only acceptable but desirable in a must have item kind of way. I’m going to use the famous “puffy shirt” to illustrate just how an early 90s joke became one of 2017’s most popular feature in fashion.
Even if you weren’t a loyal fan of watching the television show Seinfeld, you probably heard of the puffy shirt episode. This particular episode was so popular that the actual “puffy” shirt is now housed in little ole’ place known as The Smithsonian, in the Natural Museum of American History.
The quick version of the episode is that Jerry’s friend Kramer is dating an up and coming fashion designer who offers to create a shirt for Jerry to wear on a television for a homeless center fundraiser. Jerry says yes but really had no idea what he was saying yes to because Kramer’s girlfriend is “low-talker” and Jerry never really heard her. When Elaine, Jerry’s best friend who is chairing the fundraiser, shows up to see Jerry for the promotion she encounters Kramer who is insisting Jerry wear the custom shirt as his girlfriend’s career depends on this type of exposure. Elaine is horrified and freaks out. because the shirt is hideous and looks like Jerry is going to a pirate party, not promoting aid to the homeless. The promotion bombs, as does Kramer’s girlfriend’s fashion line, leading to hundreds of homeless men on the street wearing the now donated shirts that couldn’t be sold. Jerry spots the shirt and remarks that it really is kind of a nice shirt.
So how is it that Seinfeld’s Puffy Shirt is now available from dozen’s of designers from $50 to $1,500?
From Chico’s to Chanel there is a version of the Puffy Shirt everywhere this season. Why? Because the fashion industry requires change, and when options are exhausted fashion becomes cyclical. The puffy shirt didn’t start in the 1990s with Seinfeld, in fact no one probably knows the exact origins. But we do know that it’s been much longer than the 1990s, going way back to the Baroque period in history. Exaggerated bell sleeves, tiered ruffles on arms and at necks and oversize collars are nothing new. They may seem weird at first we are open-minded to bringing back in style statements that have been doormat because we get bored. It’s important to buy the best quality basics that we can afford because we know we won’t get sick of a basic. Basics are great because they ground trendy items. They allow us to mix it up without feeling like we are losing our identity or becoming fashion victim. The trends that gain the most momentum? As I often mention in my tagline for my company, fashion should “fit, flatter and make you feel good.” Well guess what a ruffle can do?
Ruffles can FIT most women. Depending where they start on the arm of the sleeve, they work on the small and petite to the tall and broad.
Ruffles can FLATTER most women. Ruffles draw attention. Thick in the middle? Ruffles that are a 3/4 length on the sleeve are perfect because they draw attention to your wrists and your forearms and away from where you feel you have excess. Feeling straight up and down and craving curves? The ruffles add a visual curve to those ladies who feel like they would like a little more oomph on the top. Too large and in charge in the bust area? No worries, opt for a v-neck style to elongate your waist and bring the attention away from the chest.
Ruffles can FEEL good. Listen, it ain’t Mr. Roger’s neighborhood out there anymore. Times are tense and tough and everyone is offended or afraid of offending. A little levity is a welcome addition to all the seriousness in our lives. A ruffle on the sleeve feels fun, feminine and makes us happy.
All good things.
Oh and the best part? They are available in all sizes in all price points in pretty much every color and every fabric – Click this link HERE for my favorite picks.
Buyer beware…watch the length of the sleeves. While a dramatic long tiered bell sleeve is indeed beautiful, it will look terrible if it gets covered in green bean casserole or lands just so into the buffalo dip at a party. Make sure the sleeves end at bracelet length, also known as in and around your wrist bone. You can’t help Aunt Marge clean up in the kitchen if your ruffled sleeves are scraping the plates and drying the dishes. Better to be safe than sorry so when you try it on do yourself a favor and pretend you are sitting at a table eating soup. If the sales person comes to check on you just tell them you are having lunch with your imaginary friend. And if anyone, and I mean anyone, makes fun of your ruffled top, just tell them you are making a list of who you want to walk the plank and if they want their name on that list.
While the pirate look is fun there is still the challenge of how exactly you stuff 6 extra sleeves into your winter coat? The solution lies with one of the items I get asked the most questions about – the wrap, aka the ruana, aka the cape. These oversize blankie type pieces are a fun addition to our wardrobe yet most people end up either feeling or looking like they are indeed wrapped up in a blanket. The key is in proportion. Taller and broader can do longer to look leaner. Tinier and petite should look for an abbreviated version in a scarf that they can hang over one shoulder while throwing the other end across the body and over that shoulder.
Use the lines of the wrap to bring attention to where you want it on your body. The rib cage, the waist and the lower hip all work on different bodies for different reasons. If you are afraid that the wrap will be fussy and that you’ll end up looking like Linus from Charlie Brown dragging around his blankie, then opt for a ruana (close to a poncho with a v shape in the back to contour over your shoulders, or a cape with a closure for no-fuss stay put polish. While I realize this won’t work in sub-zero conditions, wraps are a perfect solution for days when you will be running errands and in and out of the car and into all different temperatures as it affords you to drive without feeling like you are in a straight jacket as well as adjust a range of temps. They are also great for night outs or dinner dates when you are going from the house to the garage to the restaurant or party. No jacket, no bulk, just an elegant layer to invite in additional color, texture and pattern to your outfit. Oh and if you are a slob like me and inevitably spill on your sweater, they do double duty by hiding stains while still letting your ruffle arms party on.
Thanks so much for reading and have a lovely Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Remember to shop local and support small businesses this Saturday.