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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Living In The Moment

As many of you know my daughter Kelsi is starting graduate school up North next week. This summer she came home for what I expect was her last substantial time home..(if not that’s ok). I’m not quite sure were the time went, but preparing for her move sure did keep us busy. Up fitting an apartment with furniture, kitchen-wares, bedding, pictures and nick knacks was quite the endeavor. We also spent hours going through garments, shoes and accessories, which she has plenty of! We prioritized in a few key ways: fit, style, and donation versus consignment. Somehow, it became a joy to do this with my daughter. Years ago we did something similar together before undergraduate school and saying it was not fun is putting it nicely. I attribute this to my daughter’s maturity and my mellowing (which I hope she would agree with). This time we both knew we had a job to do and realized that haggling over a simple garment would not be beneficial to either of us. Ready or not the cold weather climate was coming for her and she had to be prepared.

I’d like to share with you what this experience has taught me. Through dissecting her wardrobe, packing her up, unloading her belongings, and settling her into her new home I have added new qualifications and work experience to my resume.

1.  No garment is worth more than a 3 minutes conversation.
*I have always been able to judge very quickly on a client whether it works for their body or not.  The moment I begin to cock my head to the right (I’m a lefty) it is gone!

2.  If you haven’t worn it in 2 years then you will probably never wear it.
*If it’s a pair of jeans, then chances are they won’t be in style or you’ll fall out of love with them.

3. If it is not great quality it will show by peeling or the seams will begin to fray or open.
*Buy the best quality you can afford. I have been buying my daughter core pieces (coats, jackets and boots) for a few years now.

4. Try and stick to 5 colors in your wardrobe. Black, brown and navy are considered core colors.
*Choose 4 others and build a wardrobe around it as well as household knick -knacks. There is something to be said about consistency in our lives!

5. Most accessories such as necklaces, scarves, hats and quality bags don’t go out of style and have a longer shelf life, so keep em’!
*Many of the household items she took from our attic still worked and looked current. This included a ceramic set of colorful canisters that I broke while I was in the process of explaining to her how great they would look in her new kitchen! Crap!!

6. If your favorite item of clothing is looking too worn then don’t freak because you most likely can get it restored!
*If a heel of a shoe is worn down to its nub then it can be re-heeled. Make sure to think in terms of whether it is a trendy shoe or something similar to a classic. It wouldn’t make sense to spend money on just a one-season shoe.
*It also is not cost effective to clean up and repair shoes that are not leather.

7. Decide if it is worth your time and your effort to consign certain garments.
*If the garment is quality and current merchandise, then go for it! My daughter and I got a rude awakening when she brought over 4 bags to one trendy store and left with three full bags and only $20 cash…

In conclusion there are two points I want to make.
1) Going through your closet thoroughly should happen twice a year, regardless of where you are living.
~Keep only the items that work in your closet, it will make pulling together outfits easier!
2) Embrace your loved ones while you can.
~ I enjoyed my time with my daughter so much that it almost didn’t feel like work (although I almost left an invoice on her dresser).

I’m going to reflect on this time we shared together for many years to come. It makes me reminiscent of a similar, earlier journey we shared as we looked at more than a dozen colleges spread out all along the east coast together. I love a good memory, especially the ones that I still remember!

From my closet to yours-

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It's A Shoe Thing, Part II

This season we have so many skirt length options to enjoy. Whether the skirt is short or right above the ankle, straight or flowing, buying a shoe to express your lifestyle dressing is easy.
Short Skirt Options
Casual - We all interpret casual dress differently, and the most important element of a casual look is the shoe should scream comfort. A thong or woven flat sandal, a casual sequin open toe flat, or a canvas Ked are certainly good options for a casual short skirt.  
Dressier short skirts - Wedge sandals, whether you opt for espadrilles with ankle straps or fabric ties, are easier to walk in than high heels and look great with most length skirts. Kitten heels, lightweight leathers, microfiber shoes, or open toe patent leathers are great for a dressier short skirt.
Options for Longer Skirts
Casual long, flowing, or gauzy fabric skirts pair easily with sandals and wedges of all sorts. Metallics are true neutrals and soften bright colored fabrics and patterns. Transparent shoes in a smoky black or clear, along with blush, bone, or flesh tones have replaced the white shoe - amazing! Various colored corks, a lace up low heel, and open toe platforms pair easily with dressy chiffon fabric blends or simple cotton. Mules are a wonderful comfort shoe for flowing skirts, but are not necessarily a look to wear with straight long skirts. It may appear too heavy and clunky.
Tip for wearing long skirts: Hem the skirts to allow two and a half inches to show from the top of your foot to your ankle. It is more flattering for your foot and shoe.

With all the choices of colors, textures, fabrics, lightweight leathers, embellishments, heels heights, and styles, it is a fabulous time to let your personality shine through your shoe choices. Being practical works, but being expressive can be so much fun too!

Monday, August 5, 2013

It’s a Shoe Thing, Part One

When it comes to summer dressing in skirts and shorts, most of us are quick to scratch our heads - wondering if we have selected the correct shoe to give our outfit the needed umph or finishing touch. For most of us the dog days of summer mean grabbing our Old Navy flip flops to pair with a cotton sundress or Bermuda short. Really, summer shoe options are endless and much more fun than a non-supportive rubber flip flop.
Summer shoes tend to be less expensive due to the reduced materials and workmanship required, and also offer multiple color and fabric variations. For these reasons alone, we try to extend our summer shoes well into fall. Summer is lighter on the feet and our shoes can express that sentiment. When selecting a shoe keep in mind just a few rules of thumb:
·      Choose shoe styles according to the occasion that you feel you will wear them most. Example: A shoe that completes a go-to cotton skirt, worn with a t-shirt during the day and loose fitting prairie style top for evening.
·      Balance the weight of your garment with your shoe. Example: A Bermuda short is worn with flats or espadrilles.
·      Matching this summer’s brightly colored shoes is tricky. Having a hint of the shoe’s color in your outfit is helpful, but blending the tones is much easier. Our grandmother’s ways of matching the shoe and bag to the outfit is no longer necessary. Example: A coral or dusty blue color linen skirt looks best with a natural color wedge with a raffia or rope heel.
What About Shorts?
Shorts are similar to bathing suits - they have to fit properly. Wearing ill fitting shorts, whether too short or too tight, can’t be saved by wearing a cute pair of shoes. Make sure the shorts are appropriate for your body shape and lifestyle. Pleats and prints will make you appear heavier, and wide legged shorts will do just the opposite. Plus size women should avoid pleats and cargo pockets. Petite women look best in a short with a 5-inch inseam, and not a longer style. Remember that fitted shorts look best when hemmed at or right above the knee, and not at the widest part of your knee.

Shoe Options for Shorts and Capri’s

Bermuda or tapered leg: Opt for a thong sandal, wedge, or color Converse for that urban twist.  Skimmers (ballerina flats), neutral driving moccasins, or boat shoes are also flattering, relaxed styles for a longer style short.
Cuffed or rolled shorts: Look for a strappy, thong, or Grecian style sandal with open woven patterns or a canvas flat, like Tom’s. 
Dress short: For a sassy look for a dressy day or night wear, stick to open toe strappy shoes or peep toe pumps. Platforms with chunky heels help elongate your leg and keep the dressy look consistent. Anything embellished or that has rivets on the shoe offer a trendier option. This is when balancing the fabric of your clothing to the shoe is most important.

Capri’s: Capri’s come in all lengths, from right below the knee to three inches above the ankle. The possibilities are endless as long as you keep the look light and not heavy with a completely closed toe shoe. Stay away from Croc’s, clogs, and cross trainers as frumpy is not a word you want to be remembered by!
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