Thursday, July 29, 2010

Closet Love

Closets are a sensitive subject. A girl's relationship with her closet is a tricky one. She might have had that one great closet in the past and her current one just doesn't live up to it. She might have accused it of losing items at crucial moment, or blamed said closet for why she had nothing cute to wear to a friend's rehearsal dinner. In some cases she will never mention her closet because it houses more than just clothes and works overtime as her towel rack, pantry, or Christmas decoration storage unit, making her feel like a candidate for that reality show about hoarders.

It makes sense that in order to look stylish and feel great in your clothes you must treat where they come from with care like Otis says, and Try a Little Tenderness. While it is easier to "accessorize" a larger walk-in style closet, every closet deserves (and will benefit from) a bit of attention and interest.

A few simple steps can really change the personality of your space, regardless of size or shape. Let your sense of style start from the source! First things first: hangers. White or clear hangers work best, same principle works for dishware. Colors look best presented on white or against something see-through. Buy as many as your closet will hold so your pretty tops/sweaters don't have to share real estate with others on the same hanger. If you are sharing closet space--these hints apply to men too. All men respond well to anything that will make getting dressed easier and faster. I'm sure that's a proven fact, somewhere.

A hanging shelf from Target like the one above can be used for items that you want in easy reach. Think denim, handbags, or sweaters that would lose their shape if hung. I usually organize my closet by item type, so it is merchandised the way a store would be. Hoodies in one spot, silk tops in another. It's fun to "shop" in your own closet. Display current favorites that you are particularly proud of near the front.

If you have any exposed wall space-consider hanging a print or two in a beautiful frame, or a photo that makes you smile every time you see it. If you have space on an empty shelf, add a soft-smelling diffuser. This one by Archipelago is my go-to scent. The closet is a room in your house (however confined it might be) and there is no reason not to accessorize it with a small faux plant, a pretty mirror, or even a small soft rug.

I'm not a fan of being told what I should or should not throw out in terms of clothing. If you haven't worn a particular dress, top or jacket in years consider how you felt in it when you did wear it. If the piece gave you a feeling that you are not ready to part with, I say keep it. I have an ill-fitting cowl neck dress my Dad bought me during a family-vacation to Australia that makes me happy every time I see it hanging. If you cannot get rid of an item but you are hard up for space, consider a zip up bag for storage under your bed. I do however support the purging of outdated shoes, empty boxes, mismatched socks, or anything else that is not helping you get dressed in the morning.

Take some time this weekend to give your closet some one-on-one attention. Let your closet know that you are a team and will hereby promise to accessorize and care for it's contents. If you have an open wall you can try a storage piece like this one from IKEA that measures only 11" in depth and can maximize a narrow space. If a major clean-out is in order you will feel all the better. I see nothing wrong with a few empty hangers just waiting for a new dress or two...

Good luck. Snap some before/after pics. I would love to see them!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The M.O.B. ought not be S.O.L.

Finding something fabulous to wear as the Mother of the Bride can be one of the most frustrating and difficult tasks of the wedding planning process. It can rival deciding who should sit with whom and what vegetarian option to serve. The truth is, beautiful and tasteful options for the other special lady of the evening do exist--they are just a tad harder to find and require a bit more creativity. I've compiled a few lovely options that will suit your event and enhance your proud-parent-glow!

The lucky Momma of the Bride is a V.I.P. and should dress the part. No need to wear a colorless suit or a high-neck dress. This is a time to celebrate and honor yourself. It is important to focus on fit and comfort while keeping your look modern and elegant. This number would look flawless amidst a group of tuxedos, no?

I don't believe in rules as far as what the M.O.B. should or should not wear (other than the avoidance of anything that appears white or bridal). If you want to wear black, wear black! The jeweled neckline of the dress below is gorgeous and will photograph beautifully. There is no need to match your outfit to the bridesmaids, the flowers, the cake or the table linens. Wear what feels good to you. Adding a vintage sweater, wrap or jacket can accent a beautiful dress and de-accentuate any areas that are not your favorite.

If you are out on foot, look for these designers who know how to create timeless and flattering dresses for women:

-Adrianna Papell
-ABS by Allen Schwartz
-Aidan Mattox
-Badgley Mischka Bridesmaids (not be overlooked!)
-Carmen Marc Valvo

The color of the dress below by Alex Evenings is a standout and would be perfectly lovely for a semi-formal event.
It's best to keep your hair and makeup fresh and natural. No need for a fussy updo. Something loose and feminine is always the perfect choice. Best of luck and congratulations!

Monday, July 19, 2010

To Ms. Stylish and Guest

The challenge: What to wear to a semi-formal wedding? The solution: If you have been invited to a semi-formal event, a shorter print dress is always a perfect choice. Prints are lively and the outfit below just looks like a party. These drop earrings will look stunning with any hair type or style, if you want to spoil yourself pick up a pair here.

The full skirt of this dress will look stellar on any figure and a colored clutch like this one will guarantee a compliMINT, I assure you. The dress runs a bit small on top, so order up ladies. Finish off this look with a pair of sparklies for your feet like these from ALDO. You will be the most stylish invitee on the dance floor. Have a fantastic evening!

Wedding Week

While I believe that any time of year is a wonderful time for a wedding, it just so happens that we are in the midst of "Wedding Season". You have an invite or two affixed your fridge no doubt, and I am here to help you win best dressed guest at the event. Okay, second best dressed because the bride is always best dressed. (Well almost always).

Often times the invite itself can give you some attire hints. Obviously a beach theme calls for something a bit lighter and more casual, while a glitzy hotel-affair will require a bit more flash. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as being overdressed, so my best piece of advice is to wear your best stuff. You know what I mean. If you have a sparkly pair of sandals and it's an afternoon ceremony--wear them anyway! It will always serve you well to be the most fabulously dressed person at a party. If I were in charge of writing fortune cookies, I would print that in each and every one.

Now that our prom-years are well behind us, weddings represent one of the few opportunities to fancy ourselves up and wear a beautiful dress and accessories. Take advantage! The look below is fresh, lovely and flattering. A dressy event is the perfect time to ditch the black and try a color like this sunny yellow. (I am a fan of a great black dress myself but most wedding guests wear black so why not stand out a bit?) Don't be afraid to wear something bright and fun. The only color I would try to avoid, other than white would be a cherry red. Truthfully, red can be very tricky even in a large setting. The dress below is by Max & Cleo and can be found here.

A statement necklace would pair beautifully with this romantic dress. The beads are not metallic and would give a bit of grounded-ness to this airy frock.

Almost any strappy gold pair of heels will complement this dress. Keep the lines thin, nothing too chunky as this look is soft and ultra-feminine. How about these budget friendly beauties?

Keep the earrings small and simple, a tiny gold hoop or just diamond-esque studs. I would wear my hair down and loose with this dress, maybe a few go-rounds with a curling iron? Feel free to add a small gold bag or clutch. You will look like a dream in this outfit. The only accessory missing from this look is a sparkling glass of prosecco to toast the outfit and the happy couple. Cheers!