On Monday I posted about what I packed for my sister for her girls trip, which included visits to both New York City and Newport, Rhode Island. I received lots of comments and questions about the clothing we packed so I did my best to find pieces similar to her looks. I put together a Catalogue where you can that you can easily use to click and shop. We used existing items from her closet, most of them solid color basics, and included lots of jewelry options to give her versatility. You can find the catalogue right here through this link….SHOP THE LOOK. …then go to the FINDS section.
*Insider Tip – Mix and Match
If you are looking to avoid that dreaded HEAVY sticker on your luggage and the even more dreaded extra weight charge than versatility is imperative when it comes to picking out your items you will pack. Sometimes we can get stuck in a rut and where the same tops with the same bottoms. Getting a fresh eye to help mix and match your existing pieces helps to reimagine your wardrobe into some fresh new looks. My favorite way to do this is through the LOOKBOOK feature I create for my clients. Each time you click on one of the items in a “look” it will show you what other outfits it goes with. It’s kind of like when you use those recipe apps where you type in a specific food and it will show you all different meals you can make with that one food. Think of it like meal planning for your clothes, all available on your own app at your fingertips. So whatever your mood or occasion, you will be covered, literally, in an outfit that fits and feels good!
Check out the NYC to Newport Shopping items in different outfit combinations by clicking HERE. and then clicking on the LOOKBOOK header.
This morning I received a text from a friend asking what exactly is she supposed to wear when she’s flying out of somewhere cold but landing somewhere very warm. I threw aside my jealousy of her warm weather get away and told her not to worry. Just this week I helped a client get 1 entire month of outfits into 1 suitcase – and have it come in under the 50lb mark! Full disclosure – 3 pairs of shoes did have to go into an additional carry-on, but still I think we rocked it. The keys to a successful switch in temperatures when traveling? Layers in the same color palette. Oh and pack a backup! A lost or even delayed piece of luggage is a total hassle that you do not need. The hardest thing about a vacation should be deciding between a margarita and a pina colada. So be prepared with some extra necessities in your travel bag. My favorite is the Metro Tote by MZ Wallace because it is lightweight and pretty much indestructible.
When you land, swap the sneakers for the sandals, throw on a cute necklace. Fix bad airplane hair with a cute hat and grab this Stella and Dot clutch (it has the built in wallet feature). Since all that stuff came out of your bag you can now throw in your sneakers, denim jacket and your scarf.
Room not ready? No problem. Pull out your bathing suit you stashed in your carry-on. Swap the wedge sandal for the birks (don’t laugh – they are super comfortable and I’m getting old and my feet hurt). Use the scarf you wore on the plane as a wrap around skirt. Still chilly? Toss that denim jacket over your shoulders like a supermodel. It’s time to order your drink!
Insider Tip – Know your options.
The biggest road block for many of my clients is when they feel stuck with the same exact outfits. In order to mix things up and give yourself some flexibility, try taking one of your favorite outfits and switching out just one element. For example, if, like me, the thought of wearing white jeans on a plane terrifies you because you are a magnet for spills, you can keep everything else but switch the bottoms to a maxi skirt or these cuffed joggers. Not a sneaker girl? Foldable ballet flats will work just fine. Always freezing? Bring an oversize cashmere wrap instead of the scarf. The key is to SWITCH out pieces instead of ADDING in more pieces. It’s nice to have options but it’s a steep cliff to over stuffing your suitcase. Want a specific board for an outfit idea? Let me know what you are looking for and I can put together options for your look for same cost as a one hour session. You can stay in your pajamas, order online, and try on at home. Easy – peasy.
The sun finally showed up outside, but it decided to slap us with weather in the teens in the morning hours.
So when no one wants to leave the house, let alone the bed, it becomes time to arm yourself with some serious winter gear.My absolute favorite, favorite, favorite are these exercise leggings, which I am going to annoyingly re-name Eggings, from Target.
Let me be perfectly clear that I am not a runner. I have nothing against runners but I am weak and I am lazy. I did read the reviews on the Target website for these pants and some runners said the waistband seemed a little big and that it was falling down when they were running. In my opinion maybe they ran themselves skinny and now the pants are big. I’m just saying. I am not endorsing these for any marathons, just for comfy and warm pants.
I do try to drag myself onto my treadmill for some vigorous high incline walking (don’t laugh) or predawn yoga (not on the treadmill of course, although that would be interesting). These pants at least get me half way there to pull myself out of bed and into something warm. If I get these on there is a good chance I am more inclined to continue with the sneakers and the rest of the outfit, or at least be ready to at any point in the day.
As I mentioned they are fleece lined so they are so warm. If you are at all menopausal you will hate them and think you are being tortured. But at least the Moisture Wicking, Duo Dry®, Stretch (per the Target description) will keep you from sweating in them.
They are long, so they don’t do that ugly thing were they start to sag and creep up the ankle. If I have on sneakers there is no cold gap at the ankle. Picky, I know, but we all know that annoying feeling.
The fabric is thick because of the lining so it hides any lumps and bumps. And it never gets pulls. The black stays dark black. No fading. Just enough shine, but not too much where I look like an 80’s breakdancer.
Easy care – throw in the washer, tumble dry low or hang to dry.
And did I mention they are $24.99???????
The waistband is clean and simple. No funny ties, fold over bands, fussy zippers. Just a clean line that doesn’t create a total muffin top. Sizes go from XS to XL. To be honest I have them in 2 sizes. One is for when I have been good about the early morning exercising, and the other for situations like I encountered this past weekend. The girl scouts were set up selling their cookies right in front of the wine store. Do you know what it feels like to say no to a girl scout? It feels about as good as beating up on a kitten. So of course you buy the cookies. Well played girl scouts, well-played.
But the very, very best part is the fact that Eggings convert into the best pair of black skinny pants. I love getting dressed in a great outfit. These are my foundation. I put them on with my skiing socks, (yeah I don’t ski either but it’s the warmest kind of socks) and everything from biker boots to riding boots. Put with almost any top and donezo. Outfit is complete. The boots cover up the little Champion insignia on the ankle so no one knows they are exercise leggings. Unless, of course, I tell them, which I guess I just did right here. If you travel they are a necessity because they can perform double-duty. They look just as good dressed up with my over the knee snake-skin boots and a cashmere sweater, to dressed down with an oversize denim shirt with Frye boots.
I think they always look good and more importantly feel good. As long as my top is of the tunic/oversize length I am not showing the world what the girl scout cookies did to my backside. I am already dressed for the morning but if I later become struck by the motivation to exercise, I can simply swap the top for a t-shirt, and the boots for sneakers, and I am all set.
*INSIDER TIP –Are you long in the torso and struggling to find a long enough top? Try layering a tunic style long tank under your top. Look for the ones that almost look a tank mini dress and aren’t super clingy. They cover your bum and any potential too tight in the crotch issues. Pick black if you want to minimize your hips, or a lighter color to highlight your hips if they are narrow but your waistline is not. It is okay if the shirt on top of the tunic tank is shorter, it will all balance out, just make sure your top over the tank is looser (think flowy) or boxy (think chunky sweater). If its super cold I will add a button down over the tank, underthe sweater (as in the pic at the bottom). In the end it is always about proportion and balance.
*INSIDER TIP – Can’t find these at your local Target? They are available online. Here’s the link.
When I officially “launched” my business, it seemed, according to statistical research, the only way to put yourself out there is through social media. I didn’t even think of social media as a noun until the last year or so.
So here’s the quick scoop. Years and years and years ago I graduated from college with a degree in Finance. I worked very, very hard for that degree and have no regrets. I got a job in the booming late 90’s and pre Y2K years in mutual funds. I was doing well. But my interest and passion for my job was slipping away faster than a reality star’s fifteen minutes of fame.
You know how you have that guy that you dated and you wanted to break up with him, but were too lazy to go through with it, and then suddenly he dumps you and then you are all like “Wait a minute! I was so gonna dump you first!”? That is kind of what happened with my career in Finance. After September 11, 2001 the bank markets I serviced took a serious nose dive. I showed up for work about a couple of weeks before Christmas on what started as a normal day. Around 2pm that afternoon a select group of us were called into an unscheduled meeting. We were handed severance package folders and asked to hand over our company id’s immediately. There was no going back to our desks, we would have to make a separate appointment to “collect our things.” I felt like a criminal. If you have ever been laid off you have a mixture of anger and confusion streaming through your body, kind of like when you have pms only to discover that someone put the ice cream container back in the freezer with only a half a spoonful left in the carton. WTF???? I’m either going to kill someone or cry. Maybe both.
They paid to send us to off-site career counseling, a grown-up version of the high school guidance counselor. Back in the day they still had money to burn, even on laid-off employees, I am sure they figured it helped with the “angry” factor. What do you want to be? Who do you want to be? What do you like? My answers were dogs and clothes. I actually contemplated combining the two.
After I picked my pathetic self up off of the ground I heard of a lead from a good friend of a boutique owner opening her second location. She was looking for a manager. I went in to the interview and told her I had no retail experience but I had been subscribing to and reading Vogue magazine since I was 12. She gave me a chance. (Thanks Nellie!!) And I had the support of a fabulous hubby that told me to go for it.
Almost 11 years later I am still there. It was where I hit my stride. When I managed the store and worked very long hours and customers could make your head spin it still felt like the day was flying by. And what was once my hobby reading was now my required reading. I had a career that fit with my life. AMEN.
I managed the store for a few years and was lucky enough to be home for my two munchkins. Each time after becoming a mother I would go back to working in the store, having a whole new level of appreciation as to what women needed and wanted in their wardrobes. Many of our customers complained of floundering in their closets, buying more clothes but not really making any outfits. Many of them said they need Garanimals, adult style. They also said they needed motivation to clean out and declutter. I had a solution.
With friends and family my favorite hobby of sorts was to delve into the deepest darkest depths of their closets, having them reemerge anew and refreshed. Kind of like in the Poltergeist movie when that tennis ball goes through the tv set in poltergeist and comes out through the closet, but without the blood or the creepy stuff. Okay kinda not like that but you get the general idea. My point being that I LOVE MY JOB. I love it so much I seriously want to shout it from the rooftops, or just the third story of Nordstroms.
The best part about my job is that most of my customers, even if strangers to start, hug me at the end. It is cathartic. They stand a little bit taller, they smile. You know how Santa comes in with a big black sack? I am the opposite in that I leave with sacks filled with emotional and physical baggage. I take the old clothes away and out of your home so that you can start a new life and a new you. We get rid of the stuff, evaluate who you are, your needs and your wants. That is why each consult is unique. I usually start with a Q&A form that I have created to get to know you better and help to determine what you want out of your session. It’s your money and your time so short of you asking me to teach you Zumba for 3 hours I will pretty much help you with anything.
I have grand plans to update my services offered section in the near future to provide some more details. Until then here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Get to know me. Going through your closet is a relationship operating on a two-way street. Read my website, call me on the phone, set up a mini date. I want you to be comfortable enough to have me in your home. One of the main reasons I write this blog is so that you can get a feel for what kind of person I am.
2. If you think you want me in your home please know that WE WILL HAVE FUN! I want you to relax. I have clients answer their door nervous and others answer in their underwear ready to try on clothes. I am down for whatever as long as you are happy. I can’t say as much for the UPS man.
3. You don’t have to clean up before I come over. Think of me as your friendly family foot doctor who has seen every wart and bunion. I have seen it all and then some. Nothing shocks me, nothing phases me.
4. The time is yours, so you need to decide how we spend it. If you prefer to clean out your closet first so that we spend more time creating outfits, “shopping” from your own closet that’s great! If you don’t even want to be a part of the process and you want to sit downstairs with your feet up, coffee in one hand and tabloid mags in the other that’s great too! I will go in, clean out, straighten up, and rearrange for you.
The other main reason I blog is because handing out styling tips is like throwing candy at a parade to little kids. It makes people happy!! Selfishly of course, this in turn makes me happy. I think people feel better about themselves when they dress to reflect who they want to be.
I know my updates have been sporadic on when exactly I post. I blame the two little people who are sleeping upstairs right now and their increasingly hectic schedules. My goal is to aim for once a week, usually midweek. Want to stay in the loop?
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