Three Things I’m Mixing Up In My Wardrobe

I think the question, “what’s your personal style?” is actually pretty tough to answer. Needless to say, I have to ask it. While I can’t even narrow mine down to an easy sentence due to the fact my outfits vary day to day based on what I feel like, what I do know is that there are things in my life I’ve simply outgrown and are transitioning out of my wardrobe now. Here are three areas of my personal style that are changing this year.

Low Waisted Pants

With the high waisted trend around for a few years now, it makes you wonder how you ever wore low waisted pants for so long! 85% of my denim are still low waisted and I find myself only gravitating toward my few high waisted pairs every time I’m either packing for a trip or having a denim day. You know what that tells me? Time to clean house. Get rid of the things you are no longer excited to wear, or that simply aren’t comfortable to you anymore. I work with women with all body types and will have to say that high waisted silhouettes are the most flattering when it comes to balancing their proportions and pairing with other pieces in their wardrobes to create great outfits.

Uncomfortable Shoes

Speaking of comfortable, I don’t have the patience for uncomfortable shoes anymore. It’s just not worth it. I’ve worn too many shoes that have torn up my achilles to the point I considered walking barefoot in the streets of NYC, and shoes too high where I didn’t even want to get up and use the bathroom at restaurants because I was afraid I’d topple over. Dumb, right? Needless to say, some of my favorite uncomfortable shoes were my most expensive so lesson learned. When you’re constantly thinking about what you’re wearing and it prohibits you from actually enjoying yourself, it’s just not meant to be. Move on. There are plenty of other cute (and comfortable) fish in the sea.

Poor Fabric

I’ll admit the fact I’m at the age where I want things to feel nice. Opting for higher quality fabrics is also a very easy way to elevate your wardrobe and are definitely worth spending a little more on, especially when it comes to staple items that you’ll wear for five years and more. Also, is there anything worse than buying a dress you got for a great price only to find it’s wrinkled mess if you sit down for five minutes? I don’t think so! Think about your athletic clothes as well. I’m so over buying workout pants based on price to discover they stretch out after one workout and just aren’t that flattering to begin with. Don’t be afraid to spend a bit extra on things that are probably worth the extra cost. It’ll save you money down the road when you have one great white blouse you can wear with a million different things versus having to buy five cheap ones to sustain your wardrobe. There are also great sites like Everlane that offer quality clothing and fabrications at very reasonable prices. It’s important to prioritize feeling good in what you wear, both physically and mentally.

Highlight: The Collective, a designer consignment boutique

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If you know me well, you know I’m a huge bargain shopper. I love perusing Nordstrom Rack for two hours to find $500 pieces for $35 (true story). It excites me! I rarely buy anything full price and try to find the best deals for my clients as well.

Aside from off price retailers, I love quality consignment stores where I can find like new designer pieces for a fraction of the price, which brings me to how I met Gabby (formally known as Gabrielle). Gabby owns The Collective, a designer consignment boutique located in Summit, New Jersey. Chase and I like to hang out in surrounding suburban neighborhoods every now and then to get a break from the city and try some new restaurants. Lucky me, I happened to discover this gem and found out the owner is as great as the merchandise she carries.

Some of my favorite pieces I’ve found at The Collective are:

  • Stuart Weitzman authentic python booties

  • Helmut Lang silk white camisole

  • J.Crew authentic leather paneled cardigan

  • Bell Collection resort dress

I always tell people that quality dressing doesn’t have to cost you a ton of money and I’m proof of that misconception. I, along with most of my clients, are at the age where we don’t want to wear cheap fabrications or ill fitting garments anymore which is why I decided to highlight one of my favorite consignments boutiques that I think you’ll enjoy as well. Check out my conversation with Gabby where we briefly discuss what inspires her in both business and personal style.


Tell us a little bit why you started The Collective.

So I worked for a high-end consignment company that suddenly closed its doors in June 2017.  I was super upset, anxious and worried about what I was going to do as I had loved my job and didn’t want to work for anyone that could possibly take that love away again.  So I started my own consignment shop.  I was really hesitant and nervous , not about the work itself or being an entrepreneur, but about the fear of failing.  Once I committed to the idea, I dove right in and hustled.  And I’ve now been in business for over a year and a half!

What excites you the most about owning your own store and being involved in the fashion industry? 

To be completely honest, I love working for myself.  Again, to touch on the previous question, I never wanted to work for anyone again that could take away something I loved.  I love the control, I love knowing all the ins and outs of my business.  It’s my baby.  And the cherry on top is that I get to work with people and clothing all day.  I love meeting people that wander into my shop, I love asking how they know about me or why they chose to come in.  I truly value the relationships I’ve built.  Fashion is a huge industry and the fact that I get to be a small part of that is super cool and something I don’t really think about because I more so focus on people, my relationships with them and the space I’m creating.  I challenge myself to be the very best I can be on a daily basis.

What is the most appealing thing about consignment and why should customers gravitate more toward buying second hand versus buying something brand new?

The most appealing thing about consignment is the fact that it’s literally a treasure hunt.  I encourage people to shop based on what they love and I absolutely love when people tell me they’re just browsing when I ask if they were looking for anything.  That’s the best way to shop consignment, you never know what’s going to pop up, you never know what you’re going to respond to.  A lot of customers recently have been telling me that they find more apparel at my shop as opposed to the mall and other retailers because the market is saturated with the “same old thing.”  My customers are looking for something different, something that’s well made.  They get the opportunity to buy something that was carefully curated at my shop or another consignment shop.  It’s riveting.

What are some of the most memorable pieces you’ve consigned?

So just the other day, I went through every Instagram post I’ve ever done and I was amazed (sorry, but I was) at all of the pieces I’ve collected over the past year and a half.  Some of the best things, surprisingly, were one-of-a-kind vintage pieces such as a plaid mustard yellow cape that sold in minutes.  I’ll name a few more (but the list is endless): Issey Miyake windcoat from the 90s, a vintage beaded cropped blazer from the 80s that was so on-trend it sold in minutes, a Max Mara reversible camel coat  (anyone notice my coat addiction) and countless amazing bags such as a reversible Chanel lambskin/rabbit hair evening bag, Stella McCartney Falabella, Givenchy Pandora, Hermes Evelyne and more.

In my opinion, you have a very spunky personal style which I love. What do you attribute to your healthy relationship with your wardrobe and what inspires you?

Well thank you!  So my number one love is jewelry believe it or not  but clothing is a very close second.  I have a ton of clothes and I try to keep it neat and tidy but it always looks like an explosion at the end of the week.  I also care deeply about my clothes and don’t just buy something because it’s a good deal.  I maintain my clothing and have had several pieces for years.  I like to dress based on mood (a la George Costanza) so I throw on whatever I’d like to wear on any given day.  I like to think that part of my secret is that I look at the whole and not the parts… and what I mean by that is I don’t think about each piece of my outfit and think about how it works together, I just make it work.  And then I add a lot of jewelry.  The comment I hear the most about my outfits is that “I would never think to put that together.”  My number one inspiration for this method is my Aunt Margie.  She’s an artist and always just layers on clothing and jewelry and makes it work (although she mostly wears black and I rarely do).  I’m also super inspired by the Japanese designer Sacai, nature and art.

For those outside the New Jersey area, everything at The Collective can be shopped on their Instagram feed or online. Be sure to follow on Instagram to get first glimpse of all the great designer merchandise available: @the.collective.nj

Lessons From My Past Year As a Personal Stylist

2018 was strange for many people and a lot of people close to me are ready to hit the refresh button. I always take time around the end of the year to think about how I’ve grown as a person and what I want to improve moving forward. Here are a few things I learned as a fresh entrepreneur, working with varieties of people, and simply being in my 30’s.

Get Over Yourself

When you run your own business, you find yourself constantly having internal battles. Am I wasting my time doing this? Will I ever succeed? Should I post this? What if the networking event is awkward? The list goes on and on, at least for me. One thing I’ve taught myself is it’s not about me. It’s about my end goal and what I’m trying to achieve in my life and for others. Don’t let fear and insecurity hold you back from pursuits. Also, you’re thinking about yourself more than others are thinking about you. Think about how many messages people see a day and how many people they are connected to thanks to social media. You’re just one of them. Overanalyzing how other people view you is such a waste of energy. This might sound contradictory coming from someone who helps people present themselves through fashion, but even when it comes to style it should be about what makes you feel like the best version of yourself, not stressing about dressing for others. Don’t sweat the small stuff and focus on the things that matter.

You Deserve It

Most of my clients are women (I also work with men and love doing so) and I often notice how much they justify the fact they are working with me to themselves, husbands, or others. Taking the time to invest in yourself makes you a better person and therefore positively impacts your relationship with yourself and the people in your life. I loved when my friend Soojin pointed out in her post about sustaining her personal style throughout motherhood that self care makes her a better mother. It’s so true and is applicable no matter what your situation. I believe that personal appearance is often overlooked as a factor impacting one’s self esteem and the way someone is feeling is attributed to many other things, however, there is power in looking and feeling your best so don’t be afraid to invest in that part of yourself. You deserve it. And, if you don’t believe me, watch an episode of Queer Eye. ;)

You Control Your Story

As cliche as this statement is in the self help world, it’s true. The past couple of years have been an emotional roller coaster for me and I can say I’ve honestly learned so much about myself. I’ve learned that mental battles are way harder to overcome than physical ailments and it can get very scary when you’re in such a negative state and feel like you have no hope or direction. These are all lies from the devil. You have two options in every situation and the way you perceive them. You can live in fear or faith, be grateful or thankless, take rejection as a challenge or let it defeat you, and compare yourself to others or let them motivate you. This list can go on. Is your glass half full or half empty? One of my favorite lines from Eat, Pray, Love is "you were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within life no matter how slight". The word duty is very powerful in that and I remind myself of this every time I’m throwing self pity party. I’ll always remember my father telling me about a time where he was having a really hard time in life and extremely unhappy. He approached a stop light and watched a guy with no legs cross the street in a wheelchair and at that moment he realized his life wasn’t so bad after all. Is yours? If you can learn how to count your blessings, I guarantee you’ll watch them grow. Control what you can and learn to let go of what you cannot.

Nothing is Permanent

Life is unpredictable and you have to understand that when it comes to the ups and downs. One moment that stuck with me is when I was in a really bad place and talking it out with my brother. He looked at me and said, “your situation isn’t permanent, nothing lasts forever.” That was my wheelchair moment and I realized I was wasting so much energy being miserable in a chapter I was in instead of treating it as something that was only going to lead me somewhere better. Now, that chapter feels so long ago and it definitely contributed to where and who I am today. I thank God everyday for the journey I’m on and the trail that lead me here. Of course, there are circumstances you want to be permeant like a healthy relationship or a great career, but I’m talking about those situations in life you really don’t understand at the time. Nothing is the end of your world unless you let it be.

I know this isn’t the typical blenderstyle post, but it means a lot to me to be able so share some of my reflections. Being an adult is hard and I work with a lot of different types of people that share their personal journeys with me and are open to enabling me to help impact one area of their life. While people may perceive my job to be a hobby of playing dress up, it actually helps people feel more confident and is an area of their life they can control and deserve to experience. Cheers to a great 2019!

Items That Create Easy & Affordable Holiday Looks

Holidays are just as hectic as they are great which is why coming up with the perfect outfit for every occasion can seem more like a drag than enjoyable. Whether your calendar is maxed out with parties, or you’re planning on spending way too many hours at the mall, below are a few key items that will mix well into your existing wardrobe to help create easy holiday looks so you don’t have to spend a lot of money every time an invite rolls around.

Statement Shoe

I came across a quote from actor Omari Hardwick that said “Shoes make an outfit; they are like rims for a car.” It’s so true. An embellished bootie can really upgrade a basic sweater and jean look when finding those last minute gifts at the mall, and a glitter covered heel can make any little black dress pop. If you feel a bit underwhelmed with your clothing options for the holiday activities, don’t underestimate the power of a statement shoe.

Patterned Tight

I’ve had a pair of polka dot tights for about six years now and they never fail to bring in the compliments. They are also super fun to wear. A patterned tight is a subtle way of adding a little extra something to your look without blinding people with the typical holiday bling. They can be sexy, sophisticated, and easily add texture and print to a look such as a simple sweater dress or a skirt and sweater combo (one of my favs you learned about from my last post). Opt for tasteful patterns and avoid breaking out the fishnets when you should be dressing more conservatively such as at an office holiday party.

Cute Scarf

Scarves are essential on days you have zero motivation and just want to throw on a long sleeve knit and some comfy pants. Not only are they great for styling your casual running errands look, but they are also very useful in eveningwear as well. Opt for a fur/faux fur stole or scarf when you need to dress up for a special occasion and colorful plaids or a pretty print for your basic casual outfits.

Luxe Textures

While this one doesn’t lend itself to one item, one of the reasons holiday dressing is so fun (if you don’t stress over it!) is because everything is so lush and luxe. You have silks and velvets, cashmere and furs, embellishments and sequins. Opting for items in luxe textures is probably one of the easiest ways to be seasonally appropriate because one piece can accommodate in creating the entire look- a beautiful silk top, a velvet handbag, or a sequined dress.

Everyone has a different style and likes/dislikes. Apply ideas and wear things that make you feel your best whether it’s a decked out sequin jumpsuit or a simple blouse with jeans. I hope you find a way to shine this holiday season whether it’s hopping around the party circuit or baking cookies at home with loved ones. x0x

Instantly Chic Pieces For Fall

Sometimes it’s hard to digest the copious amount of style inspo we are exposed to today and apply it to our own wardrobes. Here are some of my favorite pieces for fall and different ways you can mix them up. Enjoy!

WOMEN

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Statement Shoes

This monochromatic look paired with the snakeskin booties is genius. It’s comfortable and chic all while adding the perfect amount of a big fall trend to enhance a basic look. Statement shoes, whether they are booties or flats, are a great way to upgrade a simple outfit. Animal print too much for you? Opt for a metallic or another color other than nude or black. Check out how different varieties of booties below help improve the aesthetic of the overall outfit.

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Duster Cardigan

This is one of the most versatile and comfortable pieces you can have for fall. It’s a great alternative to a light trench coat or jacket and can be layered over basically anything from a t-shirt and jean look to a dress and otk boots. Make sure to choose one with a length that is best for your proportions and don't be afraid to invest in a quality knit that you’ll be excited to wear. Sweaters are a wardrobe item you should invest in and a classic staple you can wear year after year without it going out of style.

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Feminine Skirt

So many people dismiss the idea of wearing skirts once the weather gets cooler, however, skirts are one of my favorite fall pieces. Create a flirty and cozy look by pairing it with a chunky sweater or layering it under a great topcoat and turtleneck. You can always warm up the outfit by adding tights and tall boots. My fleece lined tights are actually the warmest bottoms I own. Shop similar ones here.

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Structured Vest

I tell all of my professional clients that want to upgrade their workwear to give vests a try. They are a great alternative to blazers and easy to layer over just about everything from work dresses to blouses and pants. Vests are versatile enough to dress up or down and are a chic addition to simple looks.

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Suede/Leather Jacket

I’ve talked about leather jackets being a must-have wardrobe item before and they are still on the list! Look at how many ways you can wear it. Throw it over a maxi dress to make it seasonally appropriate, wear it with a pencil skirt to work, or simply add it to an easy camisole and jean combo. A quality suede or leather jacket (I always lean toward the moto styles) adds an effortless dose of cool to any look and the perfect amount of edge to a feminine fall outfit.

 

MEN

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The Sports Coat

A quality sports coat is essential for a man and I’m not talking about the blazer that’s part of your suit. A sports coat adds instant polish to a casual look, is great for layering, and exudes sophistication. Opt for two that you can wear with darker colors and more earthy tones for fall.

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Boots

Love a man in boots! Give the loafers and sneakers a rest and try a cool pair of boots to create a fresh fall look. The chelsea style (shown) is probably the most popular among men and sleek enough to wear with casual looks, such as jeans and a sweater, or dress up with slacks and, ahem, a sports coat. Need more direction? Check out this article.

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Accessories

Fall is a great time for men to implement accessories. It’s also a good way to incorporate color into your wardrobe. There are more options such as scarves, hats, and gloves that you can play with. Also, if you carry a bag to work, invest in a quality one that enhances your look versus looking like you’re still wearing your college backpack. Don’t shy away from jewelry. It can add a stylish touch and show you put effort into your appearance.

pictured: @laurenconrad, @maryorton, @kattanita, @happilygrey, @lisadnyc, @emilyluciano, @oliviapalermo

Insight From a Stylish Mother of Two

I love fashion. From a young age, I had lofty goals of being a part of the fashion world in New York City. First, I would attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. Second, I would be swept off of my feet by a poorer and less charming version of “Big”. Third, I would be a fashion writer for Women’s Wear Daily, attending all of the sought after runway shows. Well, I achieved my first goal. Achieving one out of three is something that is not too much of a failure, I try and convince myself daily.

I traded in all of my fashion dreams to be a stay at home mom of a two year old daughter, who scares me, and a four year old son who has a better sense of direction than me. But, is motherhood an incredible and fulfilling journey that I would never trade in for anything else? Of course. Do I also sometimes curse my four-eyed son and dictator daughter for killing any chance of my big apple dream? Of course.

Now, the height of my fashion excitement is when my online shipment of dresses arrive and I have to convince my husband that the ball gown and metallic Tina Turner-esque dress are needs, not wants. Then I try everything on in front of my kids. My son once told me that I forgot to put pants on and my daughter yells “cute, cute” to everything I try on. I cannot trust the judgment of someone who lies when asked if she has poohed herself.

But in all seriousness, I am now pushing 40 with two high energy kids. Sometimes a simple shower is what gets me through the day. But no matter how many nursery rhymes I am forced to sing, fashion remains crucial to my sense of well-being. 

Fashion to me is not about excess or being vapid or superficial. To me, fashion is an outlet to being creative and having fun with something that is not related to potty training or action figures. It is my escape that I enjoy. Also, it makes me feel good. And simply put, I enjoy looking nice. When I look nice and I feel good, I am a happier person, which makes me a better mom.

I encourage all mama’s of any age and stage to embrace their style, no matter what it is. Motherhood can be synonymous with losing your identity. In between tantrums and ring-a-round the rosie, it can be so easy to lose focus on your own needs. However, I have found that the happiest mama’s are the ones that allow time for self-care. It is not selfish to take time for yourself. In fact, it is the opposite. Making sure I am happy, ensures that my family is happy. 

Motherhood has exhausting moments of stress and anxiety. We have constant demands for our attention by midget people who do not even know where their nose is. However, that does not mean we need to succumb to stained clothes and perpetual mom bun. If anyone deserves to feel good and look good it is us mama’s! Moreso, than deserve it, we need it. 

All my kids need is unconditional love. All I need are Louboutins and free shipping.

Five Fall 2018 Trends to Mix Into Your Closet

I'm sure you are seeing fall trend reports pop up everywhere lately, but here is my take on what trends are easiest to apply to your current wardrobe. And, hey, if you happen to hate them all, no need to incorporate them. I don't believe in following trends unless they absolutely fit you or are something you want to give a try. 

Animal Prints

I mean how is leopard not a neutral yet? It's like saying florals are new for spring, but get ready to see animal mania this fall that will include other prints like snakeskin and zebra. Two ways to wear it include outerwear and accessories. A great animal print jacket is fierce and makes any outfit extra special, however, if that's a bit out of your comfort zone, try the print in an accessory like a handbag, shoe, or scarf that will be more understated but still give you some extra pizazz.

I have a ton of leopard already, so I'm excited to find the perfect snakeskin pencil skirt, handbag, or bootie for my closet this fall. 

Plaid 

Check, please!  The classic, menswear inspired print is back in full force. While it's expected to make a strong presence in the assumed pieces such as blazers and topcoats, you can expect brands to apply the print to more feminine silhouettes like dresses, skirts, and blouses. Similar to the animal print, you have options when it comes to incorporating a lot or a little into your wardrobe and there are varieties of plaid to consider - tartan, houndstooth, classic - all ranging in different colors and scales. This fall, you can keep it simple with a great plaid topcoat to give your outfit some pattern play, or go all out in a head to toe checked look.  When in doubt, a thick plaid scarf always does the trick.

I personally am drawn to plaid skirts in particular. Maybe it roots from growing up in private school (you would think that would have the opposite effect, I know), but paired with a quality knit turtleneck and good boots, you can't go wrong.

80's, Baby

Get yo shine on!! No, but literally. We saw a lot of metallics last fall season and they are here to stay, but under a larger trend umbrella of 80's glam. That's right, 80's are back. Aside from lots of shine and glitz, you can expect a shift from the softer color palettes we've seen over the past few seasons into more bolder and brighter hues like barney purple, royal blues, red oranges and fuchsia. Large statement jewelry will also be making a comeback versus the thin, delicate designs and, most importantly, get ready for some big shoulders and oversized suiting! Statement sleeves have been holding strong over the past couple of years, but you'll notice more focus on the shoulders whether it's additional padding or puff sleeve designs. To give this trend a try, incorporate a bolder color into your fall color scheme through an accessory or basic top, or go all out in a purple sequined mini dress paired with some great slouch boots. 

I actually have a pair of slouch boots that fit into this trend that I'm excited to wear more. I'm also not opposed to a good sequin piece when the sun is still up ;)

Western

Yeee haw! Prairie florals, western inspired boots, fringe, leather, denim, and thick knits create this fall trend that exudes a vintage, yet contemporary vibe. Unlike the 80's trend, you can expect more muted hues in the typical fall colors. For some reason, the movie "Far and Away" pops into my mind when discussing this one. Nicole Kidman's tops in that movie are the perfect example of the western inspired romantic blouses you'll be seeing in stores (and yes, more puff sleeves). An easy way to implement some western feels into your current wardrobe is to start with a fabrication whether it's a leather skirt, denim button down, or suede booties. Just adding a western belt is an easy way as well. If you're ready to ride a horse all the way off the runway, then find yourself a little prairie dress, layer it under a fringe leather jacket with some cowboy boots and don't forget your hat on your way out.

I really like western inspired boots and the small details in western inspired clothing like embellished buttons, sporadically placed lace, and textures. I'm looking forward to finding pieces more on the subtle side of this trend. 

City Slicker

Have you seen the belt bags and dad shoes taking over Instagram? Well, those can fall into this trend. The whole idea is to be comfortable, cool, and have a functional nature. You'll notice jackets with extra pockets and drawstrings, shoes with thicker soles (dad shoes and combat boots), and hassle free handbags (hi, belt bag). This trend is really a blend of streetwear and athleisure, but in a much more exaggerated way. To incorporate this trend, try swapping out your classic fall trench coat for a light puffer jacket, or go all out with a belt bag around your logo t-shirt and combat boots to the ground.

So, I haven't gotten into this trend although I appreciate all the functional aspects of it. If anything, I might opt for a light puffer this fall to switch up the usual top coat and leather styles I lean toward. 

I think fall is going to be fun. While this doesn't cover all the trends being discussed in the industry right now, I think it gives a pretty good overview of what you can expect from retailers this fall. And, like I mentioned earlier, stick to what works for you and only you x0x

First Steps to Achieving a Complete Wardrobe

One of the main things I notice in every single client’s closet I’ve worked in is that is skews towards a general theme. One may have too many prints while another has nothing but basics and so on. I once had a client say, “I really want to maximize my wardrobe”, and it made me realize that majority of people have trouble with their closets and figuring out what to wear each day because they lack a well-rounded wardrobe that enables them to create versatility and the ability to mix and match items to create multiple looks. 

Here are a few things to consider in order to take the first steps in achieving a wardrobe that works for you:

Layering Pieces

Quality layering pieces are a major factor in being able to wear things so many different ways. Think about how many types of tank tops or t-shirts you can throw a good blazer over to create different looks (this applies to men as well). For example, an outfit exudes a different vibe if you throw a blazer over a lace camisole and pair it with a skirt versus wearing it over your favorite graphic t-shirt and jeans. For men, think about how a look changes when you throw a sports coat over a white v-neck versus a crisp button down. When you take inventory of your closet’s layering pieces consider your basics such as camisoles, blouses/button downs, t-shirts, and then the things you can pair them with such as vests, jackets (bombers, blazers), dusters, cardigans, etc. I would even put your more basic dresses in the layering category too since they could easily pair with any of the items mentioned. You can even take it further and assess your accessories such as your scarves. Consider what categories you feel like you’re lacking quality items. Do you have five jackets, but only two great camisoles to layer them over? Do you have a ton of blouses that you feel like you have nothing to wear with so you’re stuck wearing them the same way each time?

Prints

I live for prints and admit that I have too many in my closet, however, over the years I’ve noticed that printed pieces exhaust way quicker than my basics.  Prints can work well if you have the basics to balance them out. Make sure you’re covering your bases with the neutrals first before you fill your closet with printed items that can only go so far.  Having too many prints that you’ve worn a lot of times can also result in the “nothing to wear” feeling when you’re standing in your closet just sick of all your options. Consider how many items you have that you can only really wear with one or two other items in your wardrobe, or have to wear the same way each time?  You want to try to minimize the amount of these pieces. 

Shoes

Having good neutral shoes in all the categories- flats, heels, wedges, sandals- is mandatory.  I even consider metallics, such as silver and gold, neutral because they go with almost everything. Make sure that you have a black shoe and nude shoe for every type of outfit whether it be dressing up for dinner or just running errands on the weekend. Having different types of neutral shoes not only allows you to be prepared to wear anything you own, but also enables you to create different looks by maybe trying out a black heel with an outfit that you would typically wear a black flat with and so on.   I had my nude wedges break last year and couldn’t find another pair I loved so spent half the summer forgoing some cute outfits because I didn’t have shoes to wear with them for the particular occassions. So sad, I know. 

A complete wardrobe really comes down to quality over quantity and once you’ve incorporated items that allow you to diversity your closet, instead of buying too many trends on sale or filling it up with things that are one and done, you’ll find getting dressed is much easier every day and will have a great wardrobe base to build upon. 

How to Successfully Work with a Personal Stylist

Hiring a personal stylist and shopper can be an intimate experience. You’re inviting someone into your wardrobe and revealing the mentality behind how you put yourself together each day. There are numerous studies that discuss a person’s psyche and the connection it plays in how they portray themselves to society. Most often it’s a subconscious effort, however, most of the people I work with are forced to reveal the reasoning behind why they aren’t happy with the way they look. It’s a vulnerable experience for my clients and has made me realize that what I do goes far beyond finding someone a new pair of shoes. 

I chose to write on this topic not to force you to eventually take the plunge in hiring me, but to ensure that when you do decide to invest in yourself and personal style that you get the most out of it.  Below are a few things I’ve learned along the way that are vital in creating the ultimate experience when working with a personal stylist and/or shopper.

We want to help

Personal stylist don’t get into the business because they like to shop and play dress up. Yes, that’s a fun part of the job and something we are good at, but most of the stylists I know truly get into the business because they care about people and want to share the knowledge they possess to benefit others. Understand this going into your service. We are here to help you. Use us. Don’t hide anything you need help with. Tell us everything so we can do our best to fulfill whatever void you’re experiencing whether it’s as small as just wanting to be able to see your clothes in a more organized closet, or are getting over a horrible phase in your life and are ready to shine.  

It takes two to tango

Personal stylists are human and not mind readers. Going back to point one, the more you tell us the easier it will be for us to do our job. Aside from the reason for why you’re hiring someone to conduct this service, we need to know the things you like and dislike, love and hate, what you feel good in, and colors you refuse to wear. You’re not going to hurt our feelings if you tell us you absolutely hate the dress we thought you might look good in. Don’t be rude, but be honest. The more transparency you provide us, the happier you’ll be with the outcome. We are building a relationship with you and sometimes two people need a little time to build synergy in order to tango smoothly. 

Trust and Try  

Going back to the dress you absolutely hated, keep in mind it’s also our job to try to take you out of your comfort zone and into an area we hope you discover and like.  We are going to throw you some wild cards to see if they stick. Remember, we are here to help you and things will only be done with your absolute best intention in mind. Trust us and try new things. You will be surprised at what you discover works for you and things you never considered. 

Invest

Hiring a personal stylist and/or shopper is just like hiring any other service professional- hairdresser, personal trainer, house keepers, landscapers- so treat it as such.  If you’ve already decided to spend money on an area you need help in, then don’t half ass it. Would you hire a personal trainer to only help you work your abs? Or would you want a full body experience since you’re paying him or her up to $100/session? A study reveals that women are more hesitant to spend money on themselves and often feel guilty when they do. Screw that! I’ve sent out a lot of proposals to people who have contacted me and have been completely ghosted after trying to follow up a couple times. Invest what you can if it’s something you really want, but going back to being communicative, if you tell your stylist a budget you have in mind, most likely they will have another service that they can offer. Speaking of services, don’t just sign up for the cheapest one. My Digital Daiquiri is my most inexpensive menu item where as my in-person services are the most, however, it takes a special type of person to actually benefit from the online styling and shopping service and I’ve found that it’s not that fitting for some clients. Invest in what would work best for you and trust that your stylist will recommend the best package after discovering your pain points. If they are good, they will end up saving you money anyways (found a client a $400 dress for $35 and another a $370 skirt for $65) so the service ends up paying for itself. 

Whether you just need space in your closet, don’t have the time to shop, or are experiencing a new phase in your life, don’t hesitate to invest yourself emotionally and financially in something that will make you happy or ease a problematic factor in your life, but make sure you’re also giving back to the relationship so you get exactly what you need. You’re worth it. 

Four Ways to Be Extra Stylish This Summer

It's heating up, people! When the temperatures begin to rise, it's easy to get comfortable throwing on a sundress and flip flops everyday, or a romper and pair of wedges for a night out. Don't get me wrong, I loveeee rompers, but I want to challenge you to try a few things below this summer that will add variety to your summertime outfits.

Scarves

A scarf is probably one of the most versatile summer accessory, but the most forgotten one. People often associate it with cold weather, however, there are plenty of lightweight options that you can transition into summer and use to enhance your seasonal style. Here are a couple of ways you can style with scarves in warmer weather:

  • Tie it around your neck (duh). This might sound unappealing considering 90 degree weather, but opt for a neck tie size that is just enough fabric to make a statement, but feels no more than a necklace.
  • Tie it around your straw bag handle, or any bag for that matter. Straw bags have been the it-bag of the summer for a few years now. Make yours stand out by simply tying a brightly colored scarf around the handle.
  • Use it as a belt. If you have a scarf that's long enough, use it in place of a leather belt for an extra pop of color and unexpected addition to your outfit. This is also a great way to embellish a somewhat basic look. 
  • Use it as a hair accessory. Scarves are great to tie around your head in the summer whether on the beach or hitting the city streets. You can wrap it around like a bandana or use it to conceal your hair tie. Either way, it's a chic and effortless look.

 

Pants

This might sound silly, but don't forgo pants this summer (especially on days you don't feel like reaching for the razor). Opt for lightweight options like linen or silk. I feel like people automatically think of jeans when they hear pants, but there are so many great options that you can incorporate into warmer seasons that will give you more variety when getting dressed everyday and enable you to create different looks. A good summer pant should feel just as light as wearing a maxi dress. 

Layering

I preach layering to all my clients! Anyone can throw on a top with a skirt or pant, choose a dress, or pair a t-shirt with shorts, however, layering shows you can actually coordinate outfits and that you put a bit more effort and thought into how you look. Going back to scarves, they are a great layering piece for the summer, but don't discredit other pieces like denim jackets, cotton blazers, dusters, or vests for layering over a basic summer look, especially in the evenings when it's a bit cooler. 

Loafers

I'm very lucky that my boyfriend and I can live in the city with enough closet space to not have to swap our closets each season. This allows me to see my entire wardrobe and get creative when mixing and matching seasonal items and transitioning them over and over. I love wearing my fall/spring flats and loafers with summer outfits. First, because I actually find sandals to be uncomfortable when walking a lot and, second, because they add more of a sophisticated polish to a summer dress or top and shorts look than sandals in my opinion. Men don't have a lot of sandal options other than slides and flip flops so tend to wear summer style loafers and sneakers a lot more than women. 

No matter what you wear this summer, I hope you find the time to relax, get your toes in the sand, and enjoy the sunshine with a cold cocktail in hand.

x0x,

G