Spring Break – On the plane…What to wear

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.

It's all in the bag... by sgaffney on Polyvore featuring Birkenstock, Stella & Dot, J.Crew, Carryonbag, birkenstocks and mzwallace:

Spring Break - On the plane... by sgaffney on Polyvore featuring J.Crew, Gap, denimjacket, travelstyle, planefashion and mzwallace:

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.


Spring Break - At the Hotel by sgaffney on Polyvore featuring J.Crew, Stella & Dot, whitedenim, stellaanddot, easychic and vacationstyle:


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!


Spring Break - At the pool... by sgaffney on Polyvore featuring Birkenstock, pool, swimsuit, springbreak, birkenstocks and mzwallace:




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.


Spring Break - Other options by sgaffney on Polyvore featuring J.Crew, Gap, Tieks and Stella & Dot:


Thanks for reading!



This Thursday…Shop forThe Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

This Thursday…Shop forThe Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Last Easter I received a text message with a photo wishing me and my family Happy Easter. It was a beautiful photo of my best friend’s daughters, celebrating the holiday on vacation in Mexico with relatives. Just seconds later their lives would be forever changed.

Maddi, second from right.

Moments after this photo was taken Maddi, the youngest of the three Raimondo girls took a tragic misstep and fell off the rooftop deck.  Jenny literally watched helplessly as her daughter’s eyes locked with hers as she fell. Racing to the street below it was several minutes before they knew if Maddie had even survived the fall. It took an ambulance, a ferry and yet another ambulance ride over the course of 2 full hours before they could even get Maddi to a hospital in Cancun, all the while not knowing what injuries other than the obvious external had occurred. Admitted to an emergency room in a hospital in a foreign country, they fought the language barrier to try to figure out their next step. Over the next 2 days test were run and surgery was deemed necessary to deal with many broken bones, internal bleeding and skull fractures.  Dozens of frantic phone calls were placed, x-rays were emailed and financial arrangements were made to obtain a medically staffed flight to transport Maddi to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. They landed in Philadelphia a full 2 1/2 days after her initial fall, exhausted, terrified and grateful to be at home at one of the best pediatric care hospitals in our country.

children's hospital of philadelphia images - Google Search

Today if you were to meet Maddi for the first time she looks like every other happy little girl her age. But her and her family are forever changed. It has been a very long road that has included surgeries and rehab. There are still obstacles, both physical and emotional to surmount, and only time will tell for sure what challenges will appear. Jenny, for sure, has changed, both as a mother and a human being. Time stood still and a new sense of gratitude has taken over her heart. Her and her family were fortunate. They had a lot of support and resources as they went through this journey, she knows that not everyone is so lucky.

Maddi, Jenny, Ella and Sammi

As they have continued to move forward Jenny and her family want to give back. Ideally they would love to create a transportation oriented emergency fund, to be given out to other families in the need of medical transport at critical times. This is the big picture goal that will take a lot of time and resources. In the meantime Jenny noticed something small but significant that made Maddi’s time at C.H.O.P. easier.Everything at C.H.O.P. is bright, upbeat and meant to make children feel comfortable while they are spending time at a hospital. The one thing that wasn’t child sized was the trays. Standard issue hospital trays are necessary for all type of medically logistical reasons but they didn’t always serve the needs of the kids that were truly stuck in their beds, doing endless hours of crafts and coloring, sometimes for fun and sometimes for therapy. A simple $10 purchase made this experience much easier for Maddi’s small size, with side compartments to hold supplies and other needs. This is a basic purchase that Jenny and her family are hoping to provide as a donation to the trauma department at C.H.O.P.

Childrens Lap Tray - Red in Lap Desks

How can you help? 

This Thursday come out to the Raimondo family home for a truly unique shopping experience. A simple $5 donation at the door gives you access to 16 different vendors. Please use this opportunity to do some early holiday shopping, with products for everyone on your list and nearly every age, you do not want to miss out! Also I will have a drawing for a free hour of personal shopping, but you need to attend to get your name in to win. s4c

*Insider Tip – Shop for a cause.

Even if you hate to shop the holidays make it pretty hard to avoid. Since you are going to be spending money choose wisely where you spend your dough. If you are going to be checking off items on your list try your best to shop small and shop local, these businesses by nature put money back into our communities and our small town, plus it is almost always a more enjoyable experience than shopping online or fighting the mall crowds.

I took my wine butt to the Polo Cup.


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via suziegaffney.com


If you backtrack to you how you met your best friend, or how you got your current job, chances are there were a series of right place right time events that occurred to make it all happen. A couple of years ago I was sitting in the chair at the dentist, (not my favorite place), and the dental hygienist asked what I do for a living. I explained my newly formed business. She shared with me that her husband co-owned a beauty academy. A couple of weeks later she contacted me to participate in a Women’s Expo event at a local country club. My table happened to be set up next to the Stella and Dot jewelry table. The women representing the Stella and Dot jewelry table was named Melanie. She was super sweet and we hit it off right away. A few months later I had a Stella and Dot party at my house. My sister Kelly attended the party and loved the jewelry. She decided to sell the line here locally under Melanie’s guidance. Fast forward some more time and Melanie joins the Women’s Turk’s Head Auxiliary branch of the Chester County Hospital. One of their Spring fundraiser’s is the Chester County Polo Cup, with a Hat’s off to Health Contest. Melanie contacted me to ask if I would like to be one of the judges for the contest. I jumped at the offer and soon received a few VIP passes to an amazing local event. All because I went to the dentist!!  My husband was super impressed that my VIP passes gave him full access to a free Beer Garden.

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He found his happy place!


I didn’t know what to expect, my extend of Polo knowledge stops at Ralph Lauren, but it was a beautiful event. There is a moon bounce for kids, food trucks for adults and the horses were truly beautiful to watch, quite an amazing sport.However people watching is truly my favorite sport of all time and this time I was supposed to stare at everyone because it was my job! But to be honest my stress level was high before we left the house. On weekends I can be somewhat of a hermit and socially quite lazy. This cold winter was not kind on my body and I developed a wine butt, the female version of the male beer gut. Most dresses and shorts were not fitting me the way I wanted them too. I know what I need to be doing differently but as I mentioned I am lazy. I had to follow the advice I give my clients which is sometimes you just have to suck it up and buy a larger size. I wasn’t about to starve myself thinner so I went with black to hide the any sweating I might be doing and the extra booty I had developed.

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image via suziegaffney.com dress: JCrew Collection/shoes: Ashley Austin Boutique/hat: That’s Hats Accessories Boutique
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image via suziegaffney.com


My sister Kelly and her friend Jackie joined my husband Chris and I.


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Jackie, Kelly, me and Chris. image via suziegaffney.com



There were to be three categories total and four winners for the hat contest.

  • Young Miss (for fashionistas under 18)
  • Most Creative
  • Most Elegant Ensemble

The gathering of the ladies (and I think a fella!)

The ladies were to gather in a group during the halftime stomping of the divots. I give each and every one of them credit for showing up and standing there to be judged.

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My fellow judges, Caroline and Stefanie, assessing the competition. 


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We pick the winners!!


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It really was such a good time and I can’t thank Melanie enough for inviting me to be a part of it!


 *Insider Tip – Shop with the experts, and preferably small and local. 

I panicked a little about judging a hat contest when I knew so little about hats. My friend Paula from No Belly Show Shirts suggested I check out That’s Hat’s in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.

Upon entering this jewel box of a store I met the owner Debby, who is exactly what you would picture to own a hat shop. She is refined, delicate and über knowledgeable about hats.  She even gave me a primer on what to look for in judging a contest. She was so helpful. Her store has every kind of hat, casual sun hats to formal fascinators, for women, men and children. The price points are fabulous too, prices ranged from under $50 to a couple hundred. Debby is great because she knows what questions to ask to make sure you get the right look.  Within 20 minutes she helped me purchase a hat that was formal yet functional. I will be sporting this by the pool this summer in an effort to stave off the wrinkles. Oh and right now she has buy one get one 1/2 off!

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Thanks for reading! 










Halloween inspired outfit

How to take a skull sweater from spooky….


to sophisticated.


Do you dress up for Halloween? I generally don’t. Even when I was little I just didn’t love the costume part. But there is something about wearing a skull on your sweater that will make you feel like a total badass. In last week’s post I emphasized the importance of not labeling yourself. I also believe we shouldn’t label our clothes. If that was the case this “badass” sweater would only get worn 1 day a year. And nothing is worth purchasing to wear one day a year.

So how to give it a different vibe? It’s all about what you pair it with. In the first pic, the black jeans, leopard wedge boots and the funky jewelry all work together to give an edgier look. In the second pick, I added a navy blazer with gold buttons, cuffed a clean pair of straight jeans, added classic gold hoops and finished with leopard driving mocs. Suddenly the look is almost preppy, save for the gold foil skull peeping out from the jacket.

I believe our clothes should multitask, even if at first they appear to lack the ability to do so.


Skull Sweater – Just Girls Boutique

Black Jeans – Chantilly Blue

Black and Leopard Wedge Ankle Boots – Ashley Austin Boutique

Gold Spike Bracelet  – Stella and Dot

Gold and Black necklace – DeChic Boutique

Navy Blazer – Marshalls

Gold Hoops – Elizabeth Maar Boutique

Straight Jeans – Chantilly Blue

Leopard Driving Mocs – Ashley Austin Boutique


Sometimes we know an outfit feels “off” but don’t know why. It’s amazing how the smallest of details, say a carnation pink manicure versus deep dark purple nails can convey a whole different message. Don’t be afraid to experiment with tweaking your look to get the most out of your wardrobe. Because some days we want to feel badass, and some days we want to feel sophisticated. For my friends and clients who cook I often relate it to how just a teaspoon of a certain spice can change up the whole flavor of a dish. And it’s really up to you what flavor you choose!

Do you have a special occasion coming up? Maybe you know the impression you want to give, but you are not sure what pieces in your wardrobe to pull together to achieve that look? Call me up for a mini or express session. In 1 hour we can find the pieces to give you the presence you want!

Fashion Myths Debunked

A friend recently contacted me to ask about wearing white after labor day.  It also happened to be the same day I came across this post on Pinterest.

Do you find yourself asking WWJOD (What Would Jackie Onassis Do) when getting dressed this time of year? To end the style debate—here is the definitive answer on when wearing white is appropriate. Design and copy by Amy Sly for BuzzFeed

This particular friend is very stylish, but it reminded me that are some old fashion rules out there that women are not sure if they can break.  So let’s have a little fun by breaking some so-called fashion laws. And I did just happen to give my kids pancakes for dinner Monday night. There has to be some perks to being an adult.


This is an absolute DO. Do not banish those white jeans to the back of your closet for 3 other seasons. White denim can look chic all year long.

Denim under v-neck sweater; fall or springrainy day in the tuileriesCapitol Hill Style - Wearing White After Labor DayJ.Crew Inspiration: 10 Outfits to Pin NowVictoria Beckham - and this is how you wear white after Labor Day!

White after Labor Daywhite jeans for fall/winterIn The Fashion World, We Wear White After Labor DayBanker-chic by Alterations Needed

Preppywhite denim in fall

*All images above via Pinterest

Keys to making this look work?

Keep your pairings heavy. Think wool or cashmere sweaters, a classic blazer.

Winterize your accessories. Riding boots, suede ankle boots, a wine colored handbag, all help to transition white denim into a working part of your fall wardrobe.

Watch your fabrics. White denim and pants in wool blends absolutely work. Anything linen or shorts I do send off for the fall and winter months.


It used to be considered by some to be a no-no to pair these two together but the combinations looks fresh and modern.

Loveee the heelsBlack and Navy

This black & brown, so gorgeous.black and brown <3

*All images above via Pinterest

Keys to making this look work?

Mix up your textures.  Putting a chunky woven brown sweater back to to smooth black pants breaks up the outfit. It also makes sure that your pairing was intentional. Whereas a brown cotton smooth t-shirt back to the same pants may look like you got dressed int he dark and grabbed the wrong color top.

Start with an accent.   Not ready to take the full mix and match plunge? Try accenting with just a simple contrasting accessory. It looks super chic.

Pawleys Island Poshbright blue bag with all-black outfit

*All images above via Pinterest


Once thought of as having to always match our jewelry women are free to experiment with this combo.

mixed metalsnecklace: Forever21, ring: c/o Stella & Dot, bracelets: Noir Jewelry, c/o Stella & Dot. Click through to post for where to buy links!

Keys to making this look work?

Go bold or go home.  This looks best when done with intention on a large scale. Stacking mixed bangles of silver and gold, pairing two chunky pieces the same but different metals, all look like a statement, as opposed to just throwing on gold hoops when your necklace and bracelets are silver.

Use a pre-mixed piece. Many fall items from jewelry lines like Stella and Dot are showing necklaces with a mixed metals approach. This is one stop shopping for accessorizing and an easy way to try this look.

repin for a chance to take home free, ask how you can join my stylist team to earn money with your passion for fashion, or shop now http://www.stelladot.com/denikaclay

*Insider Tip – Be you!

Rules are there to be broken....x  #Life #Quote #Clothes #Fashion #Missguided