I think we can both agree that it would be wonderful to have a closet with only items that are perfect for you. Only items that you love. Only items that make you look and feel amazing! Would you agree?
It’s easier to have this than you may think! The secret is to have a mix and match wardrobe! This doesn’t mean that every item is black, white, brown, blue or gray. It means that you have a good variety of colors and styles that compliment each other.
EVERY woman I have worked with on a Wardrobe Reinvention has had a closet full of mostly blue or brown. While it’s true these are technically colors, we often treat them as neutrals, and this makes a very boring closet, and it makes getting ready in the morning tedious. You probably have a pile of clothes on your bed from the 5 wardrobe changes this morning, don’t you? Or, you have fallen into the trap of jeans and a tee-shirt.
Let me preface all of this that I am a busy mom of 2 as well. Neither of us have time to fuss over our clothes. We need to be dressed and out the door quickly. Maybe you’re a bit lazy about style too. It’s ok, you can raise your hand to that; I am as well. You want your clothes to be really comfortable, right? But you’ve always wanted to look pulled together. Who has time for that, right?! It’s easier than you think.
I hope you’ve had time to read the 5 Wardrobe Must Haves, because that is the key to getting ready quickly. How quick is quick? You should be able to put any tops and bottoms together, and have them look great – grab a jacket, and be out the door in less than 5 minutes.
Here’s the secret: 3 pieces create a pulled together look. Top, jacket (this is the icing on the cake – it can be a cardigan, jacket, blazer, etc. Put this on and you’ll go from drab to fab!), necklace/scarf – boom! You’re done. That’s it.
Let’s recap so far, then we’ll dig a bit deeper. You need a variety of color in your wardrobe (ahem, no more neutrals). Three items make a chic pulled together look.
Mixing and matching colors: there are so many colors in the rainbow, why settle for neutrals? I know it’s ‘easy’, and then ‘everything goes together’, but you can do the same thing with color, and express your personality. The key is finding the colors that are best for you, and finding items that have lots of color in them. I’m not talking about a wild and crazy top if you prefer to blend in, but tops with more than one color (visual interest) will allow you to pair with a completer piece (jackets, etc) and give you more mileage. Believe it or not, solid tops are actually more limiting than printed tops. If floral isn’t your thing (right now), try plaid, or an abstract print. Here’s why a solid is more limiting. Let’s say you have a purple top. It’s harder to pair it with more colors other than a neutral. If you have a purple top with some visual interest, you can pair it with colored pants, or a colored completer piece that pulls out other colors, in addition to pairing with neutrals.
The two easiest colors for ANY skin tone are pink and blue. EVEN if you have red hair. You don’t have to wear baby pink or blue – there are pinks and blues for everyone. Please let the pink part sink in, and don’t take the blue as carte blanche. 😉 Sister, you need more color in your wardrobe.
Mixing and matching pieces: It is a good idea to have tops that are versatile and can be worn with a variety of bottoms. A longer button down that can be tucked or untucked is a must! Flowy knit tops (I hesitate to say tee) that pair nicely with cardigans or blazers. Tunics that can be worn with leggings or skinnies. Items that can go from day to evening with a change of a completer piece. Tops that can be dressed up or down.
Go through your closet and take an inventory. Do you have mostly solid colored items? Do you have mostly neutrals? What colors do you need?
Busy momma, I know you want to stay fresh and current, but don’t want to chase trends, or look like you are ‘trying too hard’. Recently, I spent 3 days curating the best fresh and timeless on trend motifs. It took us 2 days to make it through ONE market (and I was still finding designers we missed)! At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a short clip of some of the trends and finds I saw – many of these will be making their way into the Insiders Club!
Like seasons shift, vibrant summery corals will morph to rusts – this will carry into spring 2017, when they soften to a buttery blush. This is GREAT news for the Autumn skin tones. In 2016, coral was the unofficial color of the year.
Navy is KING (Queen, in our case). I believe that the unofficial color for 2017 will be navy. Blush will take a back seat to navy and be the secondary for spring 2017. I don’t see that either color will diminish in popularity in 2017, or into 2018. Interestingly, olive made a quick resurgence for fall 2016, but will ease into mossy green for 2017.
Rich and sultry berries and plum are also popular this fall, and especially the holiday time!!
Gone are the days of contrasted color blocking black and white, and softer, easier to wear, ivory and charcoal have taken their place.
Plaid EVERYTHING is a MUST. This has been a fun motif to see grow in popularity. It can feel lumberjack meets hipster, so be sure to look for fitted shirts and vests to avoid a unisex look. Plaid will also continue into spring, again in softer, buttery tones. I anticipate plaid staying popular for a few more seasons.
Classic stripes. I hesitate to include this, because stripes are classic, and always chic. However, we’ll see stripe widths mixed and matched to create unique patterns.
Fall florals are hot; it doesn’t really matter if you choose to embrace spring and summer florals, or grounded fall florals – sprinkle them in your wardrobe and you’ll be stylin’.
Faux fur will be on everything from scarves and collars to jackets and shirts (effectively making them jackets).
If you hopped on the fringe bandwagon, work it! It’s it’s going strong – we’ll see more of this in 2017 as well.
Sweaters will be more popular than they have been. Everything from cardigans, to chunky sweaters, and pull overs.
The bold Aztec from a few falls ago, has mellowed into chic ethnic tribal prints. Think classic ikat, well traveled and timeless Moroccan prints.
Tie dye is still popular, but has toned down into batiks and natural colors instead of loud Jerry Garcia colors. This motif will also be sticking around for a while.
For jewelry, polished slices of gems and semiprecious stones are chic, as well as rough, yet refined druzy stones. Gold continues to be the most popular metal.
Enjoy this short video featuring some of the exciting styles for fall! Be sure to join our free Insiders Club so you can avoid the style guesswork!
There is an allure to having a “Classic Style”. A wardrobe that never goes out of style. Never feeling like you’re chasing the trends. Always looking on point. I think we can all agree that we’re looking for the timeless wardrobe where we can wear clothes forever and ever and they are always classic. I’ve written about this quite a bit – perhaps not here, but in my insiders club (which you should join!) Here are a few tips:
- The challenge with a classic wardrobe is that it still has to have a mix of fresh items so it looks current. When gals say they want a ‘classic look’, they really mean that they don’t want to look like they are ‘trying too hard’ or dressing like a younger gal. If you don’t have fresh pieces, it looks like you’re wearing Grandma’s clothes, or it looks like you work for Starbucks (you might want to google their dress code). Neither is a fun option. Having a classic wardrobe, is more about having pieces that work well with other pieces, and can be mixed and matched, having a good variety of prints AND solids (not just one or the other. When you have all basics, this will often times leave you longing for a Pinterest closet).
- Look for classy clothes. These are more timeless, but with modern cuts (figure flattering, showing curves, but not revealing).
- Don’t shy away from trends. This is what adds pizzazz and interest to your wardrobe. A classic style doesn’t mean that you don’t update your look. The trick to looking classy, is to tastefully wear trends. Sprinkle them in. Try a fun pop of color with black slacks. Or fringe with your favorite jeans.
- I don’t necessarily believe in having over-priced “investment” pieces. I do agree that you get what you pay for, but I don’t think you need to spend a small fortune to have a lovely wardrobe.
- Clothes aren’t diamonds; they won’t last forever. Be sure to try new trends. You’ll find new styles you like, and you’ll always look current! I hated lace before I tried it…and high low hems…and skinny jeans, to name a few. Now those are some of my favorite pieces. Ü
- Life is short! Wear the red heels with the graphic tee!!
I can guarantee, that you won’t look or feel like grandma (even if you are one!) if you stay modern and current.
Last year, I flew off the handle blogged about capsule wardrobes. Truth be told, I have one. I never intended to have a tiny closet…it just happened that way. We lived in a house once that had a walk in closet. Just for me. My clothes took up less than one wall! I have always felt perfectly content with a minimalist wardrobe. I have a few thoughts on a bulging wardrobe: these women may be fluctuating between various sizes, these women may have had a ‘previous life’ (ie: occupation) that required a particular dress code. These women may have been chasing trends. These women may have ‘found a great deal’. These women may not have cleaned out their closets in 20 (30?) years. These women may have had babies and are hoping that one day they’ll be that pre-pregnancy size again. These women may have sentimental attachment to clothes. Whatever the reason is, it’s not easy to get dressed. You stand in front of your closet for an eternity (or at the very minimum change your outfits 5 times before rushing out the door…only to realize you are late. Again.) It’s easy to get in a funk right off the bat because you don’t have anything to wear. Have you noticed that you only wear a small percentage of your clothes? I think it’s perfectly natural. You have your favorites. Are they your favorites because they are the newest? Do they fit you the best? Are they the easiest to care for? Do they go with everything?
I CRINGE when I hear of another friend/customer/passerby who is doing the capsule wardrobe, and they are purging their closet. “EEK!!! You might need those!!” I scream inside, all the while nodding and smiling. Sometimes I say it out loud. I can’t help it. I suffer from foot in mouth disease. I really try to bite my tongue. You see, I have been there. I have tossed clothes that I now wish I still had. My mom will cringe when she reads this, but I wish I still had a blue, green and white track suit jacket that my Aunt wore in the 70’s. It was polyester, and it’s probably living in someone else’s closet. Ok, so it’s more of a sentimental attachment. But I have a fleece jacket that reminds me of that jacket. It’s ok to have an attachment to clothes. J It just can’t be ALL of your closet.
Where in the world do you start? It’s easiest to hire a wardrobe coach (me!), and I’ll walk you through everything and I won’t judge. 🙂 If you’re not ready for that, or want to risk it, I mean a total DIYer, here are some things I look for when assessing a wardrobe:
- Are the items working for you?
- Are they the right colors for you?
- Are they still in style?
- Is there still life in the piece?
So you want to tackle the DIY wardrobe on your own? Use the above questions and add these:
- Is this beneficial to my life right now?
- Why am I holding on to this? Short of having a Venn diagram, if it doesn’t fit, donate it. If you are actively working on losing weight, then you should hang on to it. But if you’re been this weight for at least a year (Having had a baby in the last year doesn’t count) or longer, get rid of the visual baggage. Either donate it, or store it. If you haven’t gone through that tote in a year, you either need to reevaluate whether you are actually going to lose weight or if you are going to donate. Sometimes it’s HARD to be honest with ourselves. Please give yourself grace, dear one, but if you WANT to make changes to your appearance, having items that are not helping you right now are NOT helping you. They are a hindrance. The other BIG thing I work through with my clients is self-image. We all have things we want to change, but if you don’t love yourself for who you are RIGHT NOW, those changes are less likely to help. Having clothes staring your down (dare I say, taunting you) every morning is like a slap in the face for the woman you are not. It makes you long for that woman that you were.
- Do I love this? Sometimes this can backfire, if you don’t have a stylist working with you. But I trust that you’ll make good decisions.
Start one pile of clothes that don’t fit. Get rid of them.
Next pile, clothes that need mending or have holes. Are you ACTUALLY going to mend them? I didn’t think so. Gone.
Next pile, clothes you hate. You don’t love them. Move on, sister.
(Why am I having you do separate piles? Because you’re going to hang on to most of them for a few weeks. Why? Because I’m not there to reason you out of getting rid of something you actually need.)
Better grab a tub for this next one: Grab the clothes that don’t fit. Ok good. Go store those under the stairs. Put a note in your phone to revisit those in a year. If you haven’t looked at them in a year, DONATE them!!!! Make the changes you need/want, then go get more clothes. It’s not defeating the purpose to re-buy them. This is actually freeing you from STUFF.
Your closet should look really pared down now. What do you have in it? Sit down (grab a cup of coffee!! You deserve it!!), and look at the colors you have. Not the styles, just the colors. If you have a predominance of one color, you need to make a note of that. Remember a single color wardrobe is boring. Variety is the spice of life. You may need to go back and read my post on what to wear in your ___’s. You might be whining that you don’t like prints, or lace, or ruffles, or…. So go read it! You’ll need to digest it for the next step!!!
I want you to look at what you actually wear. Move those to one part of the closet. You should base your capsule wardrobe around these pieces. (A BIG FAT WORD OF CAUTION: if you don’t have variety at this stage, you won’t like the end result).
Rather than tossing the last group of items, read my recommended capsule list, and make decisions from there. Remember, I haven’t talked to you. I don’t know what your needs are. I don’t know what your lifestyle is. I can only imagine that you wish to be free from clutter and ‘stuff’ around you. I can only imagine that you want to get ready quickly in the morning, and don’t want to be staring at your bulging closet. Please use these as a guide. These items are basically what I have in my closet. I’m a busy mom, juggling family and business.
2-3 Pairs of jeans: boyfriend (works as skinny or boyfriend), and boot cut
5-10 Shirts – a good variety of prints and solids, tees and button downs. Must be able to be dressed up or down. ¾ sleeve is a favorite. Tanks are beneficial because they can be layered.
5-10 jackets, sweaters, cardigans, and vests. I did say 10. Jackets are a MUST. They are a completer piece, and pull ANY outfit together. You could even have more than 10 of these. I’d be ok with that.
2-3 dresses. I’m not a super dressy type person. If you prefer them, a couple more might be a good idea. I have 1 for formal events (you can read my story in my 5 Must Haves), 1 for weddings (they don’t take up that much space, so I’m good with it), and a few others.
Something absolutely ridiculous that you’ll never wear but makes you happy! I have a jacket/bolero that is so outlandish that I’ll never have an occasion to wear it. But should the opportunity present itself, I’m ready!!! 😀
1-2 leggings. Unless you’re my friend Janice, you don’t need a bajillion leggings. They aren’t that flattering on most people, and 1-2 will suit you just fine.
Accessories: Toss the broken pieces. I wouldn’t even think about making them into a Pinterest project – if it’s costume jewelry, out it goes! Accessories are to clothes as chocolate syrup is to ice cream!! It makes your wardrobe FUN!!! Best of all, accessories don’t take up much space!
- You can get a slim necklace organizer for under $30 – there are several kinds – I have one with clear pockets. I have a small tackle/organizing box for my finer jewelry. If you organize your jewelry nicely (I’m not even a very organized person in general!!), you can collect jewelry to your heart’s content!
- Scarves: If you live in a climate that is cooler in the winter, scarves are a functional accessory! They are chic, and can pull an outfit together. I wouldn’t recommend getting rid of these either! I roll each in a ball, and store them in a few shoe boxes in my closet. They take up very little room.
- Belts: I like to roll these in a small circle, and store them in my undies drawer. Some people like to hang them. If you are limited on hanging space, opt for rolling them.
- Hats: Can you believe I have one hat!? It lives under my bed. Isn’t that funny?! I don’t know why, but that’s its home. I share this funny story to say that you don’t have to put your things in ‘traditional’ places. The rest of my closet is pretty full, so under the bed works. Go ahead and think out of the closet, I won’t judge!
- Purses and handbags: I like to store a bag within a bag – the ones that are not as nice, or made of fabric get folded in half, and placed inside of the larger bags. This is one area that you may need to assess and pare down. I prefer to keep the bags that are genuine leather, or a higher end branded bag – these tend to be more timeless and classic.
- One word: if you have a healthy purse collection, but you carry a small purse – it’s ok to pare down your collection. Keep 1-2 larger purses that can multitask as something else (beach bag….carry on…library bag…??), and donate (or consign if they are still fresh and current)
Word to the wise: Don’t throw the baby out with the dishwater. If you are getting frustrated, STOP!!!!! Don’t toss/donate anything in frustration!! You’re likely to get rid of something you might need. If you find that this process is overwhelming, it is a good idea to assess the idea of a Wardrobe Reinvention. I’ll help you walk through what items to keep and what items to throw.
There is an allure to looking like Coco Chanel. She was a style maven, who set the tone, and revolutionized fashion. In a time where women were wearing corsets and layers upon layers of fabric regardless of the temperature, she used fabrics that were not used for women’s clothing. She was timeless. She had a sophisticated heiress-like quality. She gave us many things like a structured jacket, an obsession with jersey knit, swimming suits, the little black dress, shortened hemlines, and the list goes on. Many women strive to be “classic” – like Coco. I understand her allure. She exuded style, confidence and change (did you know that she was one of the first SINGLE women to change fashion?! Before her, style was always backed by a man. She did it on her own. She was a millionaire – on her own. These things are so commonplace now, but in the early days of the 1900’s this was unheard of!)
She was also a woman who was hurting. She had a rough life, and was always looking for someone to love her. She didn’t let many people into her inner world, and with the people she did, she constantly lied about her history. There are many things about her that we can leave in the past, and not take on as our own identity. Thankfully, we can learn from her story!
She left us with 3 ways to be like Coco. Instead of copying Coco (honestly that was her unrealistic, and unobtainable goal – we have different body shapes from her ‘classic’ style), take these tips as your own and blend them with your body shape.
- Be a maven. Develop a personal style, and set the tone. I find that so many women want to blend in. They don’t want their outfits to attract attention. Coco didn’t care what other people thought about her styles. She was designing for herself – all of her models looked like her! People wanted to be Coco! If you set the tone for style, your friends will want to be like you!
- Be confident. Coco had an incredible amount of self-confidence (though she was also a bully. Let’s leave the last part out of this). I’ll bet that at many times, she had to fake it. It’s ok! To a certain degree, you have to put on self-confidence until it becomes you. If you lack self-confidence, please be gracious, and not be a jerk. We have all met the people who are so insecure that they bully people around them. This isn’t true self-confidence. We’re talking about the kind where you know who you are, and where you’re going.
- Try new things. Coco was an insecure person who was looking for love – way to start this style tip out!! With each man she had a relationship with, he influenced her style. With one she developed a more minimalist style; with another lover she discovered royal heralds and the ‘finer things in life’ (pearls and gold), and she adorned everything with her signature double C’s, dripped her styles in gold chains and pearls. She was never afraid of trying something new, even if it was bold and outlandish!
- While her biography, I was surprised to learn that even though she could afford fine jewels, and she charged an arm and a leg for her styles, she still preferred to use (and wear) faux gems, pearls, and gold chain. She always took something from high society and changed it. She was free to be creative! You should too!
- She mixed simple fabrics with pearls and gems (even if they were fake). When Coco designed one of her first lines, she used a fabric that was only used for undergarments. It was soft on the skin. It was revolutionary. We know it today as tee-shirt material! She created dresses and paired them with pearls! So wear your fancy jewelry with your tee shirt! Coco would have!
Coco had people flocking to her from around the world because she was revolutionary! Dear one, you are a world changer! Be revolutionary! With a little self-confidence, and a little discovery of your personal style, you can dress like Coco!! I encourage you to try new styles! In order to look timeless, sometimes you have to try new things!
A person who shall remain nameless (but is one of my favorite people) suggested I post on what to wear in your 50s. I am not in my 50s, but when I have advised clients in their 30s on what to throw out give away, it has always been the vests with snowmen on them…or flamingos (which I think are hilarious, and might possibly wear as a gag). I’ve always said to the younger women with these items in their closets, “You aren’t a 50 year old woman!” I wasn’t a fan of them when my mom wore them as a 30 something (which it might surprise you that I have always been opinionated…and my sweet Grandmother overheard me say to my mom (I was maybe 10) that she shouldn’t wear any shirt with anything on it. My Grandma heard this and SHE followed my counsel. I was heart -broken to learn that she never wore tops with a design on them (like a logo or a snowman) because I said to my mom that she shouldn’t wear it. I really should tone down my intense opinions. My daughter also suffers from this dilemma.). I guess it’s a personal opinion. But I think it makes a woman look older than she is (coming from the 30 something who tells her hairstylist to leave the gray hairs because people don’t ask how old I am.) Isn’t the key looking YOUNGER?
What’s a Gal to Wear in Her 30’s?
In her 30’s, a woman is probably raising a family. When she is in the thick of diaper changing and breast feeding, looking stylish is not really at the forefront of her mind. But once those kiddos are in school and she is contemplating reentering the workforce, style becomes more important. Yoga pants and stained shirts are no longer appropriate for board meetings and PTA meetings. In a woman’s 30’s she is looking to define her style. It breaks my heart when 30 somethings say, “That’s not my style.” I really want to say, “Sister, you are too young to know your style!” Just like college freshmen, 30 somethings are experimenting with patterns and texture. Thirty is too young to fall into a rut of dos-and-don’t-likes.
A 30 something is building her staples that should last many years (if they are properly cared for. I am a super busy mom, and I used to chide my mom about not drying clothes in the dryer, but that woman is a smarty pants!!! When you put clothes in the dryer, it breaks down the fibers and destroys the clothes, and they don’t last as long. If you hang dry them (I have an old fashioned rack – 3 of them actually), they will last you well beyond their stylish years! THAT is why clothes are preserved so well in the Smithsonian!) – A LBD (if you must, but you should know my distain for black black), really good denim pants, jackets, dressed up basics (let’s move beyond cami’s in a myriad of colors, and into blouses/shirts with collars that can be dressed up or down, and fit you really well.) In a woman’s 30s, should she invest in having her clothes altered to fit her, they will be the items she reaches for, and gets more use out of, because they fit her really REALLY well.
Invest in a wardrobe consultation. A good consultant will help you define your style, and help you select items that you need going forward, so you don’t have 5 brown tops, none of which flatter you, or are the best for your body shape.
What’s a Gal to Wear in Her 40’s?
In a woman’s 40’s, it makes sense to have a more defined sense of style. Chances are she has lived through one style, and it has come back again. She may be tempted to keep all the items from her closet so she is best prepared for the next go-around. However, there is no fun in that!! The fun is wearing some of the styles again in new and different ways. She should have the ‘staples’ from her 30s, so she can play with the current trends, and not feel like she is ‘trying too hard’. The common concern I hear from women of any age is, “I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard.” We have all seen the woman who is still shopping in the juniors section, but it’s quite clear that she is old enough to have juniors of her own. For one reason or another, we don’t want to be in that camp. We want to look put together, and polished. Effortless, and chic. We don’t want to look like “that ship has sailed.” This is where having a mix of trendy and staple items come into play. A woman of any age will look frumpy if she has only staples, or “trying too hard” if she has only trendy items. If you find yourself in Camp Frumpy, you may (should) want to add some trendy items. You don’t have to go over board and buy everything in whatever the trend du jour is (and by the way, trends change a LOT slower than you think….like over YEARS instead of minutes, in most cases). Just sprinkle it in. This season, plaids are all over (it’s been ramping up for the past 2 fall seasons), and this year it’ll be hard not to miss it. Living in Colorado, plaids NEVER go out of style. If you are hesitant to try plaid, try it’s cousin: gingham (it’s a plaid with 2 colors, rather than 3 or more). Gingham is a more grownup and refined version of plaid. You could wear either one in a scarf or a poncho. If you love the idea of plaid, but want to make it more sophisticated, pair a plaid top with a pair of sassy patent leather ballet flats and straight leg jeans in a dark wash. Flip the collar up, and you have made it as grown up as plaid comes! You don’t need to rush out every season and buy the latest and greatest. Pick which you like, but still experiment!!!
You also have permission to move the stilettos to the back of the closet, and pull them out for occasions where you’ll walk from the car, to the event, sit down, and return. Invest in chic, comfy shoes. Your feet will thank you.
What’s a Gal to Wear in Her 50’s?
When you have reached your 50’s and your hair is harder to cover the grays, but you still feel young and sassy, you should NOT dress like an old lady!! If you have gotten this far, we have already established that you care about the way you look, and you should be proud of that. Your 50s are not the time that you should sit down and join the sweet young things in their yoga pants and stained tops. Let’s not let things fall by the wayside. Just because you are older and wiser, doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on looking stylish. A woman in her 30’s can mix 15 (ok maybe not 15) patterns, but a woman in her 50’s needs to pull it all together and come off in an effortless fashion. If you google “fashion over 50”, you’ll find that everyone contradicts each other. Some say, “Wear muted colors.” Others say, “Wear bright colors.” And on and on. The things a woman in her 50’s needs in her closet are amazing pants. Throw out the low rise and find pants that make your hips and behind look young and sassy – no extra fabric around the crotch or hips. These are sure signs of frumpiness.
Wear trendy items, but sprinkle it in. I don’t think I’d advise my mom to wear floral and stripes together, whereas I’d suggest it to a 30 somethings. HOWEVER, if you have a sassy-I-don’t-care attitude, I say, “DO IT!” and let your personality shine through.
Many women in their 50’s say, “Oh that role goes against everything I learned in the 80s.” Yes, that’s true. Be rebellious. Give it a try!!! You might like mixing metals! You might find a new style you like! My suggestion is to try a new style around the house first, then branch out to see if you can wear it in public. Clothing is so superficial, but you want to feel like you look comfortable, so that your amazing personality can shine through!
A woman in her 50s can wear classic prints (a black and white plaid, or houndstooth) and look stellar!!! A woman in her 30s needs a bit of effort to make it look more her age. Pair trendy, youthful items with more refined items for an ageless look.
OVERALL, less tonal change in an outfit is better. A younger gal can wear a yellow cardigan with stripes and jeans. Whereas an older woman might want to wear less dramatic colors (that being said, I saw a picture of an older gal with a floor length leopard print dress and a leather moto jacket and she looked flawless! If you wear something dramatic, make sure you put on your confident sassy pants as well!!). As I write this I’m thinking of outfits that 50 year old customers have purchased and they look AMAZING! The biggest thing that any wardrobe should have is confidence. If you want to wear red skinny jeans and a bold striped top – DO IT, but make sure you also have the confidence to wear with it, otherwise others will be able to tell that someone else dressed you. You can ease into more bold outfits if you want to, but chances are that is probably not your personality. You probably fall somewhere between wanting to stay out of Camp Frumpy and Camp Trying Too Hard, and you just want to look stylish. In which case, you should wear toned down colors, and mix and match them with trendy items (like lace and floral (no, you won’t look like you are wearing Grandma’s Muu-Muu)). On the trendy note: if you don’t recycle your clothes from 1986, they’ll come back, and they’ll be more stylish than they were the first time. Florals are one of my favorites. I’m not the most girly-girl (dirty, floral wearing, rivet gun wielding is more like it), but I have an affinity for floral (and lace. I didn’t use to like either one…but having a girl, and owning a store has a way of changing all that). The awesome thing about floral tops today, is most of them are not boxy and Muu-Muu like. They have an incredible shape, and look very modern, as opposed to potentially looking like curtains.
I am a big fan of jackets at any age. They have a way of tying any outfit together and can dress up jeans and a tee, or dress it down! I am not a fan of matching twin sets. I prefer to break them up, because it looks more youthful (while keeping you out of Camp Trying Too Hard). Keeping a twin set together tends to look older, and less creative. I am a big fan of keeping the colors in similar families. If you have a leopard print cardigan, pair it with a solid twin top, or a dressed up knit tee (MUST BE FITTED), but I wouldn’t wear the tank and the cardigan together, if they match. (Of course there will be instances where I’d keep them together, but in general separate them).
Hiring a wardrobe consultant at any age is the easiest way to navigate the seemingly shark infested fashion waters. The great news is all of the old rules have been thrown out. So wear white after Labor Day, mix your metals! No one really cares! 😀
Autumn will quickly be upon us. Sweaters and leggings. Pumpkin spice lattes. Boots. The crispness in the air.
As I write this, I get a sense of deja vu…that I have been here before. Ah yes, I have. Last year. And the year before. As I have said before (every season when I write about upcoming season trends, and what I see from the fashion shows), trends and styles change much slower than most people expect. There is a ramping up period, and a time that it’s really hot, and then it tapers off. A slight bunny trail, but skinny jeans are an excellent example. I bought my first pair of skinny jeans 4 years ago. They had been popular before then, but for one reason or another, I hadn’t hopped on the band wagon (Prior to opening a boutique, I was SLOOOOW to join any trends for the same reason most women I encounter are. I was scared of wasting my money on something that was going to be a fad. I also didn’t want to look ridiculous when I looked back at pictures. But where is the fun in that?!!) But skinny jeans had been in style for 3-4 years before that (if my memory serves me). Now, in 2015, skinny jeans are losing popularity, and boot cut (and flare) jeans are swinging back. IMHO, 8-9 years of a trend is a pretty good run! I’ve gotten my money’s worth out of my skinny jeans.
If you have been following me for any period of time, you’ll remember that last year, I said close to the same words. If you are the type of person, like I was, who waits and waits and waits to hop on a bandwagon, here is your permission to hop on the stylewagon. We want you to join us, and not be left in the dust!!!
As I walked around a recent trade show, I noticed a few things. 1. This is a repeat of last year (yay!!!!) 2. The colors are more muted and subdued – lots and lots of browns.
Last year mustard was a hot color, and this year olive and coral have taken the lead. I’ve been talking about olive for several years. It has been the unofficial color of the year for 2 years. Coral is close behind. I had a customer comment that it must be popular – yep it is! Coral is a great color for almost every skin tone. Olive, on the other hand is not, but that will be another post for another date. Incidently, purple is supposed to be in the lineup for colors of the year, and I have had a HARD TIME findin
Last year, lace, plaid, houndstooth (a true classic), animal prints (which may wane in popularity, but not fully go away), were all popular prints. Pull them out for this year! You’ll be a trendsetter!! What is new/not-so-new: fur. Last year, fur was not so popular, but it was the year before. A MUST HAVE for this year is a fur vest. Just wait, I have some coming.
Last year, we saw a surge in metallic leather (it too had been ramping up for several seasons). This year, we’ll see metallic fabric (but not the cheap, high sheen kind from the 90s). The metallic fabric this season, are small threads woven into the material, making it tasteful and luxe. Instead of trashy. I am a huge fan of metallic fabric! It’s a simple and elegant way to add a bit of sparkle, without going over the top. To make it less Christmas-y, be sure to pair it with something non metallic. For example: a metallic thread skirt is a must for the holidays, but to wear it to the office, pair it with a non-metallic sweater or top (IE: a simple top. Not too dressy).
This year, leather and suede are toasty hot. GET THEM! Black is not going to be the color to buy them in. A buttery brown is the way to go (look at the graphic for my pick). Add fringe, and you’re golden!
“Marsala” is the official color of the year, but we won’t really see it until the holidays, just in time for cranberries and wine. Well, wine is never out of season. (WHY Marsala was picked as the color for the WHOLE year, I’ll never know. It’s really a fall/winter color. Dear Pantone, would you put me in charge of selecting the color of the year? I’ve called it every year for the past 5 years. Thanks!)
Navy or cobalt blue are always in style (hello?! jeans!!!). This is really too easy of a color (even though I’m drawn to it!). Cement gray is also hot hot hot, and a great color choice for every skin tone!!! Think of this as the 3rd unofficial color of the year (which looks amazing with the other two unofficial colors of the year).
Ok, there you have it. You are in the know, and armed with what you should be on the look out for. Really, you don’t need to shop anywhere else, because I’ve got you covered!
Do you stand in front of your closet for what seems like HOURS, trying to figure out what to wear? Do you hate shopping, and put it off as long as possible, only to stand in the store for hours?
Learn how to shop like the pros! Learn what colors look best on you, and which you should avoid.
Even if you think you know "your colors", they've changed, and you should take a peek!
There is a blog posting that has started to float around Facebook…there have been others, and there will be others. I’d like to share with you why I don’t take fashion advice from non-fashionistas, and why you shouldn’t either. Just like I trust my house purchase to a professional, and my hair with a stylist (she’s amazeballs, btw). While you CAN weed out your closet on your own (and I teach the tips and tricks of how to do this), you shouldn’t feel limited to what someone else says you should have. My needs may be different than yours, and why should I have 5 pairs of pants, because you do?
What I saw with the 2 closets were ‘safe colors’: brown, beige, and blue. No fun colors. Perhaps she doesn’t know what colors look best on her…
So, here’s what my closet looks like. I’m a jacket/cardigan hoarder, and a no-apologies scarf monger. These (in addition to shoes, which I am more limited on) will define your wardrobe. I think you’ll agree that I have a tiny closet. I don’t have a dresser. I prefer to hang my clothes (but with this closet it’s not as possible. DO invest in a clothes steamer. You can get them at Costco for a very good price, and it’ll remove the wrinkles in 2 minutes at the most!!! Then you don’t have to worry about wrinkled clothes). I do have a load of darks and lights to do, that aren’t photographed, but I’m clothed, and it makes sense to rotate (by rotate I mean wear some and wash some) some clothes, right!?!?! My portion of the closet extends a few inches to the right, but not by much.
Not everything in your wardrobe has to be worn EVERYDAY. I have a shrug that is completely ridiculous and over the top in the most amazing way…and you never know when you might need an over the top shrug. I have some cocktail dresses that I wear once a year, but I’m not going to donate them, then stress out about not having an outfit.
My question to the 2 gals in the blog: how do they know that they made good choices in their purge? It’s lovely that they have artwork in their closet, but I’d much rather have a strategically planned closet with items that are best for me, and make ME look awesome, than have a bare bones wardrobe with items I hope work for me.
The other thing I noticed, this gal’s uber tiny mix and match wardrobe is extremely limited in style. EVERYTHING is super casual. What is she going to wear on a fancy date? Why is she limiting herself to skinny jeans? Is she REALLY going to wear the same top 6 times in a month? 12 outfits?! How often is she going to be doing laundry?!?! Lastly, Tevas are not style. Those are semi functional for hiking (I don’t hike in sandals…I hike in sturdy shoes…with laces). I’m ALL about comfort, ladies, (I wear Danskos almost everyday, but when it comes to dressing up, or shoes for an outfit, I have shoes that fit the part).
Rather than taking advice from a mom-blogger, please take advice from a mom-stylist who really does care about YOU! Here’s why I care so deeply: When you learn how to love yourself any YOUR body, you treat yourself with love and respect, which teaches your family and friends to treat you the same way…and you have the confidence to tackle the world, and change it for the better. I NEVER feel that I’m selling a shirt. I have always felt that I’m helping women CHANGE THE WORLD. Whether your world is your kids, or your world is the board room, I care deeply.
Ok. I think I’m off my soap box…at least for a few minutes.
I have a wardrobe workshop coming up in a few weeks that will teach you what to keep and what to purge, as well as learning what your body shape is, and how to dress it!! I hope you’ll be able to come! https://squareup.com/market/spirit-love/wardrobe-workshop
In our previous post, we started out with stripe-skirt-wearing 101. What did you think? Is a stripe skirt for you? I hope you said yes after reading the blog!
Today, we are moving on to stripe-skirt-wearing 201! You’ve graduated!!! Note: if you haven’t read the previous how-to, you probably should so you know who can pull of a stripe skirt, because those same rules will apply to this post.
Elite Fashionista: Even if you don’t feel like you’ve reached fashionista status yet, don’t let the title scare you. If you need some compliments, this will be the outfit you’ll want to reach for. You will need to muster up a bit of courage the first time you wear it (perhaps test it going to a place with a bunch of strangers, instead of close friends). This outfit is definitely more dressy, and depending on your work environment, it may be work appropriate. Like with the Polished Casual look, you’ll want a shirt that blouses nicely. Skip bold jewelry, and opt for simple, or no jewelry. With this outfit, the clothes stand alone. Again, you’ll want a fitted shirt, rather than a boxy one.
– Tip: Wear neutral, understated shoes. You don’t want to go too bold with this look. Nude, or blush flat shoes will look great.
– Who this look is good for: A woman with a bit of confidence who wants to add more variety to her wardrobe.
– Where to wear it: If you wear bold patterns usually, I’d wear it anywhere. Otherwise, you should test it, to see if you like it (you might need to test it a few times). This is more of a dressy outfit, so wearing it on a more fancy date would be perfectly acceptable.
Shop this look:
Polished Professional: It’s true that a blazer doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to work. I wear them because I feel like it, and with jeans. But clothing is a funny thing: you can take a structured blazer, pair it with jeans and it’s casual, or slacks and it’s professional. The same is with this skirt; on its own, it’s fairly simple. However, this is a very versatile skirt. I prefer knee-length skirts, as opposed to maxi skirts, because there are more styling options. Maxi skirts tend to look casual, and can look ‘church lady’ like when paired with something structured.
If your tee from Polished Casual is solid (we have one coming soon!!), pair it with this look. Avoid wearing a printed tee – it will make the look instantly casual.
I love the blazer we’ve paired with this outfit. It washes really well, and loses some of the stuffy structure, making it a chic-not-too-stuffy-pulled-together look. This is a PERFECT outfit for meeting clients. Super classy.
– Tip: If you are wearing this in a traditional business setting, you’ll want to keep the colors to a monochromatic palette. I wouldn’t wear a blue blazer. I’d wear white or gray. And I’d wear a dark neutral top.
– Bonus tip: If you need to make this look more professional, a solid button down will do the trick. A light blue would be lovely, with a gray blazer. When you start adding too many colors, the look loses the professional touch, and looks more casual.
– Who this look is good for: Anyone who wants to look professionally pulled together (as opposed to polished and pulled together)
– Where to wear it: Work or meetings are perfectly appropriate places to wear this outfit.
Shop this look:
I was chatting with a customer/friend (ALL of my customers become my friends) the other day about models. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that there is an extreme disconnect between reality and perceived reality. Let’s face it, as we age there are lumps and bumps, and our skin sags in areas it did not in our 20s. Learning to dress this different body is challenging. How does a woman stay looking current without looking like she is trying too hard, knows what she is doing, without spending hours a day in the gym (I don’t know about you, but I don’t have hours to spend in the gym every day).
Believe it or not, stripes are very forgiving, and are very flattering. There is some truth in finding the right stripe for your body shape, but I think the cut of the top/bottom/whatever, is more important than anything. The exception to the rule resides with the extremes – large women wearing a skinny, teeny tiny stripe, and tiny women wearing a large stripe – just don’t do it. But we aren’t talking about either of those, today.
I have hunted high and low, spent countless hours (seriously hundreds) looking for the PERFECT stripe skirt. It is harder than you think. The other factor, besides size of the stripe, is the woman’s body shape. I’m sure you’ve seen the bold a-line, billowy, balloony stripe skirts on Pinterest. The only shape they look good on is a banana shape woman (this is a gal who has no curves). Or how about pencil skirts? They look fantastic if you want to wear shape wear; but I don’t every day (for a special occasion I will don the obligatory gut sucker, but it’s not my favorite). It’s true that we are now talking about skirts in general – they should have a slight gather/give, be comfortable for every woman, and not require surgery to look amazing in. Oh, and an age appropriate length is also a must. Evidently, we’re asking for too much.
I happened to stumble upon the perfect skirt. A slight gather at the waist: perfect for EVERY woman to wear without reaching for the fat busting shape wear. It should be a cut that will look flattering on ALL women. Comfortable, comfortable, comfortable. And looks good in all seasons.
Aside from a basic neutral skirt, a stripe skirt is the next thing you ought to have in your wardrobe. It trumps a stripe shirt because a skirt can be worn with tights, or leggings, or without either in the warmer months. A short sleeved stripe shirt may look amazing, but has limitations in the winter. Believe it or not, a striped skirt is VERY versatile. I’ve put a few looks together for you, and given some reasons why they work. In case you were wondering (and I know you were), yes this skirt is flattering on ALL women –regardless of where you carry your weight, and where you have curves.
Level 1: If you have never owned a stripe article of clothing, you may want to start here, but please don’t land here and stay. You’ll want to keep moving. There is FUN to be had!!! Pair the skirt with a simple fitted tee in a neutral color. This is a super safe way to test the stripey waters.
Tip: Wear bold colored shoes, or floral scarf, or bold necklaces (ie: several pearl necklaces of varying lengths). This look is so casual, that it needs some visual interest.
Who this look is good for: Someone who has never worn stripes before. You should probably keep reading, because you’ll quickly move from this level!
Polished Casual: The easiest way to wear a stripe skirt is with a denim jacket and a tee shirt. It’s a great casual look. You’ll definitely want to tuck the tee shirt in; it’ll look more polished and pulled together. There is a time and a place for an un-tucked tee and skirt, but this is not it. We are going to polished, but not stuffy. This outfit blends classic (the skirt) with comfort (the tee) with familiar (the denim jacket). When you are trying a new-to-you look, don’t go overboard. Start with easy, familiar items, and add 1-2 new elements – in this case the skirt. If you already wear bold jewelry, then by all means wear the bold jewelry with this outfit! You’ll earn more fashionista points if you do!!
– Tip: For this outfit to look flawless, your tee shirt should be fitted, and slightly slouchy (that means a little too big, but not falling off the shoulder. That’s a nice look, but won’t work with this outfit. For this version of slouchy, the tee should be able to blouse nicely over the top of the skirt)
– Who this look is good for: Every shape. Apples may want to hike the skirt up a bit, instead of the band landing right at the waist.
– Where to wear it: Anywhere. It’s casual enough that people won’t second guess that you just came from another event. Ok, so I might not wear it to the park if I’m planning on climbing with the kids. But it’d be perfectly acceptable to wear this for a day filled with errands, or a casual date/family dinner. I wouldn’t wear it to a fancy schmancy dinner 😉
Shop this look:
Our amazing stripe skirt is arriving in a few short weeks. If you want to be the FIRST to hear about it, you’ll want to signup for our emails. We promise not to spam you!