Get Your Sh*t Together

It’s that time of year folks. The birds start to chirp earlier,  the sun tries to warm us up and our schedules start to go in fast forward. I used to think it was just me who started to lose it this time of year but a quick sampling of my friends and family proves I’m not alone.  One friend who I consider one of those people who always has her act together (successful career, cute kids and family, great style) recently drove away with the gas pump still attached to her car. Twice. In the past 6 months. My sister was at my house yesterday for dinner and to have the kids play. We had a nice time while we vented to each other about how overwhelming our lives felt recently. When it was time to go she gathered her kids and was on her way. A little while later my husband came home. “What’s she doing here?” he said. “Who?” I said. He pointed at my sister’s beloved dog who she had brought over to run around in our  yard. Hmmm…I thought. I guess she needs that. I should call her. Despite the fact that I even I didn’t notice we had gained a pet  it could have been worse. It could have been one of her children she left behind.

Get Your Shit Together,

I often waste time wondering what exactly I am doing wrong.  A friend of mine recently had baby number 6. And you know what? She handles life like a boss. I know inside she probably feels she is failing at something. But here is her son’s school project.

image (7)
image via suziegaffney.com

And here is my son’s.

image
image via suziegaffney.com

I did it when he was in the shower because I couldn’t bear to fight through the process with him. Yes we have had 2 weeks to do it and yes of course I am just getting to it tonight, after his baseball game. Oh and by the way it’s supposed to be a polar bear habitat. Can’t you tell?? Just look closely at the polar bear stickers I used. That should help.

Down With the Science Fair
image via Pinterest

I keep a small clutch inside my daily tote so I can pull it out when I am running errands during the day. For this reason I like to keep my smaller clutches easily visible. If I can’t see it I won’t use it. If I’m not using it then it is a complete waste of money. Being that I am visual in nature and I need to see things I also need to see them in an orderly fashion. It sounds a little OCD but it makes me feel better. But here’s the thing, most clutches don’t stand on their own. It’s like trying to prop up dead Bernie on Weekend at Bernie’s. They just keep falling down.  Some people may think I sound like a total princess to get annoyed by clutches not standing up. Don’t be mistaken. I am aware this is a minor problem.  However, when there are bigger issues of stress going on in my life I strive to keep order of what I can control of  the little things that I can control.

Weekend at Bernie's II funny then dog shit
Did anyone realize they made a number 2?? Wasn’t he like really, really, dead by then? Like smelly dead?? Ewwww.

When they all fall down the really stubborn  part of my brain fights this. I will keep trying to prop up the offending clutch that just won’t sit  up, getting more and more pissed off at a poor handbag. This is when the little things that are supposed to bring me order and calm actually make me want to go outside and beat the offending clutch. Kind of like the scene in the movie Office Space, played out along to “Damn it feel good to be a gangsta” by the Geto Boys. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsBB93IqJkE   The solution? It’s found in the kitchen supply isle of any home store. For just under $8.00 I lid rack will help me conquer the  battle of the limp clutch.

THIS

image (6)
image via suziegaffney.com

 

PLUS THIS

image (5)
image via suziegaffney.com

 

 EQUALS THIS

image (4)
image via suziegaffney.com

 

Which in turn leads to me feeling like this:

 

an iconic spa treatment: cucumber-on-eyes provide hydration to your eyes as well as relaxation!
image via Pinterest

It’s money well spent.

 *Insider Tip – Sometimes it is okay to sweat the small stuff.

Take a good look at your closet and decide what drives you the most nuts. Do you share a closet with your husband? Does he have a lot of dry cleaning? I know many a marriages that have been saved at the simple act of placing a small trashcan inside the closet to corral the trash that accompanies a freshly dry cleaned item.  Finding little pins, papers, tags and plastic bags on the floor of your closet can piss off the perkiest of a morning person.  You may never get your husband to detach said trash in an orderly fashion, and transport it out of the closet trashcan. In fact, you may have better luck potty training your dog. So stop complaining about the small things that drive you nuts and find a simple solution. Are you strangling in scarves? This little $10 beauty may just be a life saver.

College Closet Scarf Hanger Dorm Room Products Fun Items College Closet Organization Dorms
from Dormco.com

I am also bin obsessed. Bins come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Your sh*t just looks good when it is hidden inside a pretty bin.

Circo™ Linen Striped Tote - Set of 2 - Gray Birch
Circo™ Linen Striped Tote from Target

 *Insider Tip – Make it convenient.

I used to have the same battle with my son every morning before school. He would get himself dressed, brush his teeth and come downstairs for breakfast. He would be ready to go out to the bus stop as soon as he put on his socks and shoes. But he never brought his socks downstairs. For some reason he just could not complete that step when he was getting dressed. Sending him back upstairs for his socks was like moving a mountain. You think I was asking him to climb up the stairs of the Washington Monument they way he whined and complained. It finally dawned on me to take his socks out of sock drawer and put them in a bin in our downstairs coat closet, right near his shoes. When I am doing laundry all the socks just get tossed into the bin rather than taking an unnecessary trip upstairs. Plus now I have more drawer space in his dresser for his 6,000 t-shirts he can’t bear to part with. I choose to pick my battles one at a time.   So what are waiting for? Listen to Annie as she motivates Carol in one of the scenes from Bridesmaids

. Get your shit together Carol!! There are not words for how much I love this movie. -Bridesmaids-

Thanks for reading!

Suzie

 

P.S. Need a Laugh?

Want more examples of how parents slack off at the end of the school year? Make sure to check out Buzz Feed’s

Parents At The Beginning Of The School Year Vs. The End .

 

How To Shop Smarter Right Now

How To Shop Smarter Right Now

You need to shop for clothes. You may love it, you may hate it, but unless you are living full-time in a nudist colony you need to buy clothes. And whether you love it or hate it the end goal is to come home with purchases that you love and will wear. So why do you have stuff in your closet with tags on it?

Yes, I know you do. I know you do because everybody does. Now instead of asking yourself why you are NOT wearing it ask yourself this:

Why did I buy it?

The are many possible answers to this questions. Examples include:

“I liked it.”

“It was on sale.”

“I thought I needed it.”

“In case I needed it.”

We all have TOO MUCH STUFF, and specifically I mean TOO MUCH STUFF IN OUR CLOSETS. 

The simple truth is that we are regular people. We are not celebrities who cannot be photographed in the same thing. There is no paparazzi following us around while we go grab our coffee and our dry cleaning. Our lives are not structured that we get to wear everything we own.

Now I am not suggesting you stop shopping and give up. What I am telling you is to curate carefully.

How do we curate carefully?

Much like a museum curator you can’t take it all. It won’t all fit in our closets and too much stuff leads to chaos. When we have too many choices we can’t see the forest from the trees. It gets overwhelming. Then we give up. We reach for the same old thing.  To come up with a wardrobe filled with only stuff you love and will actually wear you need to edit out the items that are not working (see my previous post for help). Then you need to shop with the eye of a curator. This sounds harder than it really is. There is one question that can make this process super easy.

Where are you wearing it?

I ask my clients this question all the time when we are editing their closets. You can ask yourself the same thing when you are out shopping. It is a simple question but you have to be honest with yourself if you want to answer it truthfully. You should be able to think of at least 3 ways/places/occasions that you can wear an item to before you select it as an addition to your wardrobe. Some people shop in a state of almost unconsciousness, the throw things into our cart because they like them. Other people are results oriented shoppers. They went out to the store to buy something so they settle for whatever it is that is there in order to fulfill their initial objective of going out to go shopping. Still others, usually those who dislike shopping, go out of necessity. They have an event or a specific occasion. So they pick the first thing that fulfills that immediate need, without thought to how they will, or even if they will, use it in the future.

Lola’s lament.

Take for example a fictional shopper named Lola. Lola is a busy mom of 3 but on Friday is planning to go out with several other women from her neighborhood. They are going to a wine bar to celebrate someone’s birthday so her first thought is “I need something fun.” So Lola runs out to her nearby shopping center. She is limited on time and needs to pick up her youngest from pre-school at noon. She is quickly scanning the racks looking for something that says “fun.” She spots a black tank with silver sequins, it looks “fun.”  She grabs it and races off to her next errand. Friday night comes around and she puts on the tank but doesn’t feel like herself. The tank may look fun but she doesn’t feel fun in it. Back on the hanger it goes, getting hung up in dark recesses of the closet. She will plan on returning it but will never get there. She will throw on another top that she has had and already feels comfortable in. She doesn’t love it but is running late and it will do. She will then look at her other friends while she is out and think “why couldn’t I wear something like that?”

Where did Lola go wrong?

First, she tried to go too far out of her comfort zone. It’s great to go for something a little different but don’t buy something just because you think you are “supposed” to. Lola already is fun, she doesn’t need a top to make that statement for her.

Second, she should have stopped herself right there and asked where she was going to wear that top again. If it seemed like a one time wear she should have moved on.

Third, she should have looked for an item that will go with things she will already have, that way it is guaranteed to work into her wardrobe. If she looked through her closet and noticed she has lots of solid tanks and t’s in black and white, she could have opted to buy a pair of red jeans instead. The red jeans would be “fun”
for the Friday night if she puts them with one of  her t-shirts, cute necklace and heels. She can also wear them with converse sneakers and a gray t-shirt to a baseball game, as well as a cute button down for a volunteer day at the kid’s school.

Clothes sell a fantasy.

The hardest part about conscious shopping is coming to terms with our reality. I have long wanted to cream cable knit wool fisherman sweater. I want to wear it with my Hunter wellie boots and Barbour rain jacket while I am walking with my Foxhound named Chester on the grounds of Madonna’s country estate in England. Madonna herself will come by on her horse and tell me that it is time for high tea. I will then go in to my guest house and change into  the perfect Chanel suit to have tea with Madonna and Victoria Beckham.

This undated photo supplied by Vogue, shows Madonna on her horse beside husband Guy Richie at the English country estate.
image via Pinterest

 

Except I don’t know these people. I have no plans to go to England. My dog is a beagle who likes to sleep, not go for walks. This is why the only piece of this fantasy I own is the Hunter wellies. And I wear them all the time. In the slushy sleet to drive the kids to school, when it is pouring rain and I am at the grocery store, on the beaches in New Jersey. It is my real life.

I have other fantasy purchases. Rock star girlfriend on tour, screen star in St. Tropez yacht, I could go on and on. The key is not give up on the things you love but to find ways to incorporate them into more of your everyday wardrobe. Then you can live out a piece of the fantasy every day.

*Insider Tip – Don’t be afraid to repeat.

I know in the age of Facebook and Instagram it seems like a great outfit is a one and done. It doesn’t have to be. Most people can’t remember what they wore last week let alone what you were wearing. Kate Middleton is the perfect example, and EVERYONE is looking at everything she is wearing. Yet she has repeated some of her best dresses a few times. I’d say if she can do it we all definitely can do it.

Now and Then: Kate Middleton Re-Works her Favourite Roksanda Ilincic Dress
via Pinterest

The black lace dress from Temperly has been to 3 separate events.

Temperly amoret lace dress, worn January 8, 2012 & November 8, 2012 & December 11, 2013
via Pinterest

Actress Keira Knightly wore her favorite Chanel dress 3 times. First on the red carpet, then to her own wedding and most recently adding a beaded mesh top underneath the dress for a completely different look.

Did Keira Knightley Just Wear Her Wedding Dress for the Third Time? | People.com
image via Pinterest

 

*Insider Tip – Don’t be afraid to remix.

One of my favorite things to do is to help clients shop their own closets. I take the pieces you already own and remix them into new outfit combinations. We all get in the habit of labeling certain items. This skirt is “dressy”, this jacket is “preppy”. I can help you take away the labels and remix them into more options. Model  Miranda Kerr wears her leather pants sleek with all black, casual with denim and sneaks and funky with a hat and tweed.

GENETIC PANTS photo | Miranda Kerr

 

Here is a simple stripe dress I re-mixed for a client. First I made casual and then remixed the accessories for an evening look.

2013-04-24 10.21.48 2013-04-24 10.27.37

 

So the next time you go shopping don’t forget to bring with you the one question you will need. Now get out there and get some fabulous pieces for spring, and make sure you WEAR them!

 

going

 

Thanks for reading!

Suzie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Nothing makes my head swivel faster than a shiny sequin. It can become quite the problem because I am easily distracted by anything sparkly. Then the distraction is followed by this “I HAVE TO HAVE IT” mentality. It’s as if I fear a shortage of glitter and the need to stockpile it in my wardrobe.

IMG_1098
Too much bling is NOT a good thing.

Like many of my own clients, I don’t like to admit I have a problem. Many people don’t realize they are hoarding a certain type of style. That is until we complete the wardrobe audit. Only then does it become obvious what the addiction is. For some people it is the color black. When faced with an assortment of sweaters the safe choice always feels like black. The problem is when you get it home and you have 8 other black sweaters.

So what to do?

First, identify the problem.

The best way to do this is to remove the contents of your closet and sort by type and color. This is at the very heart of a wardrobe audit. I take it all out and regroup. It isn’t always as obvious as sequins, or an animal print addiction. The common theme could be an over abundance of long sleeve v-necks, all plain. Sometimes, it is an obvious lack of an item, like all pants but not one dress.

IMG_1302
That’s A LOT of t-shirts.

Second, ask why?

Having too much of the same thing usually means one of two things is going on. Either you keep buying the same item because you have yet to find the one you really love, or, you are stuck in with a style habit, where it is easiest to keep buying and wearing what you are used to. With regard to a lack of a certain style, maybe it’s time to rethink your thinking. Women have a tendency to label themselves and say things like “Oh, my legs are horrible, I could never wear a skirt.” But ask yourself when was the last time you tried one. Today there are limitless styles and options. Is it is because you are petite, and the off the rack skirts always seem too long? What about asking a tailor to nip the skirt up an inch or two, to get a custom look fit for your shape and height. Human beings are creatures of habit. We are drawn toward the things we already know we love. For me that would be things of the shiny and sparkly variety.

IMG_2054
Where’s the color?

The Solution? It’s this week’s *Insider Tip –  Follow the One in One out rule.

Now you know what you have too much of, and hopefully why. This does not mean you have to give up your style, or what you love. I will never stop loving, and buying, garments that look like they have their own party going on. But given the fact that I am not a 20-year-old rock star, I have to consider the wearability of sequins, versus my investment cost. In order to keep my habit in check I follow a strict ONE IN ONE OUT rule. If I bring home a new item that fits my pattern addiction, I have to get rid of one that it’s in my closet. Sounds harsh, because I may love them all, but you don’t want to overdose. Sometimes you may find that you keep buying black jackets because you really don’t love any of the ones that you already own. If that’s the case DO NOT settle. Wait to buy one that you ABSOLUTELY LOVE. Then bring it home and get rid of the all the so-so options in your closet.  If you finally buy a skirt, give up a pair of pants that has been well-loved but has seen their time. A well diversified closet will reflect a certain amount of signature style, while remaining versatile and uncluttered. Sometimes going a little bit out of our comfort zones can lead to big changes in our style.  Remember, with regards to stuff, less is ALWAYS more. 

IMG_0799
A well-rounded collection.

Summer Sale

Summer Sale

There are sooo many good sales out there right now. It is THE perfect time to get a jump-start on your fall wardrobe, even though it is STILL July.  Getting organized NOW will save you TIME AND MONEY later. A pre-fall wardrobe consult will get your summer stuff in order to put away and get you on track for an organized autumn.

Need more motivation???

I am offering a sale! If you schedule a session with me before the end of July for the month of August or September you will get $50 off a 3 hour session, so for $150 (normally $200) I can:

Take your closet from this…

IMG_0161 IMG_0163

to this…

IMG_0272IMG_0271

or your child’s closet from this:

IMG_0015 IMG_0014

to this…

IMG_1469IMG_1468

Not sure if you need the full 3 hours? My hourly rate is $15 off! $60 instead of $75!

In 1 hour I can…

organize your jewelry and accessories…

IMG_1460 IMG_1459  IMG_0128IMG_0265

IMG_0288 IMG_0286

IMG_0276 IMG_0277

help you move into a new space…

IMG_0136 IMG_0283

convert all your hangers…

IMG_1463 IMG_0079

organize your drawers…

IMG_0260IMG_0310

pack for a trip!

IMG_6089 IMG_0010

Every consult I do is unique and personal. There is no “one size fits all” type of service. YOU are unique. YOUR life is unique, so YOUR needs will be customized to you.  Every service starts with a phone call so I can make sure you get exactly what you need.

Don’t forget I can help you find money in your closet! I work with many local consignment shops and I will do the work for you. I will go through and tell you what you can get money for and what you can donate. And I take it all with me when I leave so you can clear the clutter.

IMG_1471 IMG_1470

My clients have ranged from 8 years old to 80, and include women and men. You cannot believe how many men really appreciate having a clean and organized closet space. It makes a great birthday or anniversary gift.

IMG_0312 IMG_0304

IMG_0084IMG_0083

Personal shopping and styling services are also available in a package or by the hour. Sometimes it just takes a fresh set of eyes to shop your own closet and put together your existing pieces in a whole new way, without ever having to purchase anything new. If you do need to add to your wardrobe I work to shop within your budget to find what you need.

I found this Kate Spade bag for a client at a designer consignment shop for a steal! It was brand new and still had the original price tag.

IMG_0016

I can also help with finding the right details to make your closet perfect for YOU.

This ottoman is the perfect piece for inside a closet. It doubles as a seat and a step stool, and adds some fashion to your decor.

IMG_0125

Anxious about going through all your STUFF? I can bring coffee, wine, or snacks. Whatever  you need to relax and make it fun! I absolutely love my job and can’t wait to help you get excited about your wardrobe too! Email me today at suzannegaffney@msn.com or call my cell at 610.517.2983 to set up your appointment!

real style is being yourself

Drawer Wars

Find calm among the chaos in your drawers….

I am a completely visual learner. I need to see something to understand it. I am also a visual dresser. I need to see it to wear it. My closet is lacking in the space I want so my dresser drawers have to be used wisely. I know for many people, especially my own children, folded clothes in drawers do not stay nicely folded. Unless you are a man, or, you opt for the LIFO method, (the LAST shirt put in is the FIRST one out), you will usually find  yourself rifling through a pile to find what you need. You end up with a jumbled mess, squeezing everything in just so you can jam the drawer shut.

IMG_0253

The Solution?

STEP 1 – Empty the drawer.

Take everything out of the drawer and throw it onto the floor or the bed.

IMG_0254

STEP 2 – Sort.

Are you really wearing that white t-shirt with the yellow in the underarms? No. Or for that matter please don’t. Scared you won’t find a new one? Write it down in that essential notebook I keep bugging you about. And trust me, when you don’t have one it will force you to go out and buy one. Holding on to a bad one just because you are afraid of not finding a new one is bad logic. It’s like when you keep dating the jerk guy just because you are afraid of being alone.

The going, going, GONE pile.

IMG_0259

STEP 3 – Rethink how you fold.

The usual method looks something like this:

IMG_0256

Try folding in thirds, like this:

IMG_0258

STEP 4 – Organize.

I prefer to sort by color. Printed t’s go in one column, solid colors in the others. I don’t worry about v-neck or crew-neck because when you fold in thirds you can see the neckline. Although I do keep all my short sleeves in one drawer, tanks in another, and long sleeves in another one. Yes, I have a t-shirt problem.

IMG_0261

STEP 5 – Admire your clean and organized drawers!

IMG_0263

*INSIDER TIP – HANG YOUR FAVS.

I do have some favorite t’s that are my go-to pieces, they are the ones that I prefer to hang to dry. I like to keep those out and hang them in my closets.That way wrinkling is never an issue, and they are right there in my view when I need them. I can grab and go.

IMG_0262

* INSIDER TIP – PACE YOURSELF.

Truth be told this really doesn’t take long. You can do it while are watching tv at night, while you are on the phone with a friend, or in between sets up sit-ups, (not me, but maybe you will). You can even bribe a child to help you. Keep going and you can apply this method to all of your drawers. I do the same thing with my “I-don’t-excercise-but-I-wear-excercise-clothes.”

IMG_0266

I organized the zip-ups on the right, and yoga tanks on the left.

IMG_0268

Sorry for the dark pic but this is the bottoms drawer. I sort it by shorts and tennis skirts, (I tried it once), capris, and full length leggings and yoga pants.

So grab a glass of wine and get going! You will be so proud of yourself! You may even be motivated enough to put away laundry. Maybe. Okay, probably not.

Like the idea but still feel like this is just not fitting into your schedule? Call me! You can go out to dinner and by the time you come back it will be all done! And I promise not to spill any wine while I am sorting 🙂