Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Keeping it Real in Rainy Day Flats

Sometimes it's hard for me to know what is "post worthy", but today a reader introduced herself (Thank you J., I love it when I get to meet new people) and she reminded me that sometimes we just want to see "real life" style.  Thank you for the reminder! I always need to remember this, especially after I've looked at Harper's Bazaar or a really fancy style blog- ha!  

So, here's what I really wore today.  You may already know about these shoes, but just in case you don't I wanted to share because I love them.  They are the rainy day flats from J. Crew.  They are the perfect shoe for when there is a light drizzle or just a few puddles and you don't want to wear full on rain boots.  I'm sure we have all ruined a pair or two of shoes from the rain.  I used to wear these with my suits at work all the time. I was not going to ruin my nice work shoes one more time!

Outfit Links:

Sweater- Gap for similar, Shirt- J.Crew, Jeans- Joe's Jeans (similar), Flats- J.Crew and Melissa for alternative, Sunglasses- Ray-Ban, Purse- Marc Jacobs, Earrings- Kate Spade, Watch- Michael Kors

Here's a close up picture of the rainy day flats.  They're made of all rubber with a little bow on top. In the spirit of keeping it real, I have been known to wear these flats even when there's no rain in sight- just because I think their cute and comfy.

Keepin' it real.

(Photos by Mallory Lee)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dress for Weather or Season?

One of the best parts about living in Houston is that it is warm and sunny in the middle of the winter.  At one point in my life I felt like I couldn't wear warm weather clothes in January because it was still officially winter.  I don't know when I changed my opinion, but I'm so glad I did and now I'm on another kick- ha!  In fact, my new mantra just may be dress according to the weather, not the season- ha!

While I can't pin-point the moment my opinion changed, I have a few scenario's I think may have influenced me. I have a bff that lives in Miami (she's a stylist- check her blog out here) and we had a conversation about what people wear there in the fall. She said they wear beach shoes, shorts, sweaters for layering at night and always the color white- YES!  It may have been the times when I was sweating in my cold weather clothes when it was unseasonably warm, (suffer no more!).  Maybe it's because when the sun is finally shining I want to celebrate and wear my warm weather clothes.  Or maybe it was after I blogged about wearing white all year round because, hey- after all, Emily Post says it's OK.  Who knows what the catalyst was for the change, but what I do know is that it's been kinda liberating!

I hope you'll join me in dressing for the weather and not the season.  And for those of you who have been doing this for years, why didn't you tell me- ha! 

Outfit Links: 

Shirt- J.Crew, Jeans- AG, Shoes- J.Crew, Sunglasses- Marc Jacobs, Purse- LV, Earrings- Urban Outfitters (in store only), Belt- J.Crew

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mixing Metals?- YES!

I am on a HUGE kick right now.  I've been asked a number of times recently if it is OK to mix gold and silver or any different metals, and my answer was YES without any hesitation! Those questions got me thinking, and ever since mixing metals has become an obsession. Now I'm seeing it everywhere!  This post is to show just how great mixing metals can look and how it can add an unexpected richness to a look in fashion or at home.

Thin Gold Ring-Ila&I, click here for similar -for a less expensive version click here, Thin Silver Ring-Ila&I, click here for similar for a less expensive version click here, Diamond Ring- my wedding band, Gold Rope Rings- my Mom's wedding rings 

 The diamond(y) bracelet was more brassy than gold and the diamonds leave a silver effect, but it really accented the grey sweatshirt so I threw it on!

Bangle- Kate Spade, Watch- Michael Kors, Diamond(y) Bracelet- similar

 As part of this obsession, I started noticing the mixing of metals everywhere, including pins on Pinterest!  These spaces have a lived in, casual elegance to them- very homey.  I think it's because the mixed metals allow the space to feel imperfect... that it's OK if every metal doesn't match exactly.  Imagine these spaces with all chrome fixtures and hardware.  

 But the Designer that has mixing metals down pat is Nate Berkus.  Look at this kitchen- the brass hardware is so pretty!  I might have brass hardware in my future...

I love all of these two tone pieces!

 Long Necklace- Pink Mascara , Stackable Rings- similar

This was my very favorite picture!  I couldn't figure out whether I liked the brass hardware and the stainless steel range, or her hair, converse and casual elegance.  But who says I have to choose- ha!  I hope you'll join me in mixing metals, whether it be with your jewelry or in your home.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Stylish Sweatshirt?- YES!

You don't have to tell me twice to wear a sweatshirt! There's just something about a sweatshirt that's so versatile, all american, and comfy at the same time. When I saw this one at Anthropologie I was seriously so excited! What I love about it is the raglan sleeves, the scoop neck, the v detail at the neck, and the slim cut (not baggy around the center).  Can you tell I love this sweatshirt?!?! - ha!

So far, I've worn it on the plane for a perfect "Elaine" outfit and to Target with the kids.  I'm looking forward to adding it to my comfy/work out clothes rotation, and wearing it on chilly nights with shorts.  

 Outfit Links:  
Sweatshirt- Anthropologie, Jeggings- Citizens of Humanity, Sunglasses- Ray-Ban, Purse- Marc Jacobs, Watch- Michael Kors

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dead of Winter

One of the best parts of my job is that I get to go into women's closets and put together outfits that inspire me. I have been to a couple of different closets lately that had bright colorful cords, and I was inspired.  I love this trend because in the dead of winter sometimes you want, no, need some bright color.  I was so surprised with how many outfits we were able to make from these cords, regardless of the color.    

If you're looking for some more bright cord outfit ideas check out my C. Style Pinterest page.

Am I in Europe?  Nope.  See, Houston really is a pretty city! 

Pink Cords- J.Crew, Shirt- Splendid, Shoes- Via Spiga (no longer availble) for similar, Purse- Marc Jacobs

There's that "statement" necklace again- ha!

Statement Necklace- Michael Kors (no longer available) for similar, Sunglasses- Ray-Ban, Ring- Banana Republic (from the Banana Box), Bangle- Kate Spade, Link Bracelet- Michael Kors (no longer available) for similar, Watch- Michael Kors, Earrings- Kate Spade

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What Took Me So Long?

Ok, I have to be honest, it took me a long time to buy Uggs.  I think I bought my pair about a year and a half ago and that was 11 years too long.  They were one of Oprah's favorite things in 2000, so what took me so long?!?!  Well, I'll tell you. It's because I just wasn't sure about them.  I thought they were an expensive trend and I didn't know how they would look on me.  

  Uggs were originally worn by surfers in Southern California to keep their feet warm after getting out of the water.  The sheepskin keeps your feet cool and warm at the same time, which is perfect for going from the cold outdoors to the heated indoors.  After owning them, I realize why everyone loves them! Now I'm not so sure they're just a trend.  I think they make too much sense to go away.  I wouldn't say they are the most attractive boots on me but they are soooo comfy and warm, so who cares?!?!?  Sometimes function just takes over fashion for me.  I clearly wouldn't wear these somewhere fancy, but I love to run errands in them or wear them around the house with my pajama pants. 

I thought it would be fun for you to see what I had on before I checked the weather- ha!   

Outfit links below in pink

Pants- Citizens of Humanity, Boots- Ugg, Vest- Patagonia, Sunglasses- Ray-Ban, Scarf- Target for similar, Sweater- for similar, Shirt- J.Crew for similar, Watch- Michael Kors, Purse- Marc Jacobs, Earrings- Kate Spade

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Closet: Saving Space and Time

Today, my sister and I are doing a joint post on saving space and time in your closet! My sister Erica (and her blog Tell It To Your Neighbor) had a huge influence.  Erica is the consummate researcher, so when she recommends something I listen.  Well, most of the time... and when I don't, I regret it.  She loves to watch HSN (Home Shopping Network) to fall asleep, and I love her for this.  After one of these HSN viewing nights, she recommended Joy Mangano's Huggable Hangers and Steamer.  Today I'm posting about the hangers, and she's posting about the steamer.  The Steamer is the perfect solution when you just need a little de-wrinkle and don't want to pull out the ironing board. It works amazingly and saves a ton of time!  Check out my sister's before- and-after photos on her post (here)!  
She posted about these hangers a couple months ago (here).  I thought they were really cool, but I didn't know if I wanted to make the investment to buy all new hangers.  Will they really be superior to my current hangers and save space and time?  Then I saw The JM Huggable Hangers in action while working with a client, and I was sold!  Her closet was so organized and clean.  Whether I was hanging a spaghetti strap tank or a cowl neck sweater, the clothes stayed!  The velvety texture "hugs" your clothes and the hanger's curves help eliminate shoulder bumps!  I love how the hook is a little longer, which is perfect for turtle necks.  But the very best part is the space it saves!  

 Look at the amount of shirts I have hanging!  I have everything up there, even my workout clothes and sweaters!  It's hard to describe how much space this saves, but it really does... hopefully you can tell by the picture.  My husband is now requesting that I purchase them for his side of the closet, so he's sold on The JM Huggable Hangers too!

The biggest time saver in my closet is my little catalog of outfits.  Part of what I do for clients is help them "shop" in their closets for new outfits using the clothes they already own.  So much of the time we just need another pair of eyes in our closets, because normally we would never take the time to put together outfits ourselves.  I not only do this for clients, but I do this for myself.  You may think I'm CRAZY (I may even agree) for doing this, but I'm telling you it saves me so much time and stress.  Stress? Yes- when I feel put together it really does help me feel better throughout the day!  I know we are all very busy and don't have time to pick out outfits, but that's why I have set outfits ready to go. The pictures above were my outfits from this summer/fall.  That's it for the closet series!  I hope everyone found at least one useful tidbit- ha!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Winning Combination

I am always looking for a new way to wear my cowboy boots and leggings.  Both are so comfortable, but I never thought about wearing them together!  

My sister and I ran into a friend while shopping who inspired this look.  Lauren is pregnant, and she was wearing her leggings WITH her cowboy boots and an open cardigan.  Genius!  Why had I never thought to put this combination together?!?!  Thank you Lauren!  Lauren is an interior designer, check her blog out here.   

Here's my disclaimer: I originally had leggings on this morning, but after taking a good look at my leggings I knew I couldn't take pictures in them.  They were bagging out at the knee and looked faded... I've had them for awhile. I went to Ann Taylor Loft to get my same Ponte Leggings.  They didn't have them in the store, and the ones they had didn't past the test (Leggings: Do's and Don'ts).  Then I went to the Gap and had the same problem.  I had a great conversation with the Manager, Curtis, at the Rice Village Location about leggings, which once again, reminded me of my style epiphany- check it out here (Style Epiphany: Black Jeggings).  So, all of this is to say that I'm actually in jeggings... which really are just as comfortable as leggings.

Outfit Links in pink: 
Sweater- Gap, Shirt- BP, Cami- Gap, Jeggings- Citizens of Humanity, Boots- Lucchese, Necklace- Anthropologie, Watch- Michael Kors, Earrings- Urban Outfitters (in store only), Bracelet- Kate Spade similar, Bag- Stash & Co

Monday, January 7, 2013

Closet Design

It's crazy to me how many of you are building or renovating a house!  I'm glad a few of you mentioned that you would like some closet design ideas, because I never would have thought to do a post on this subject.  I saw Keri Russell's closet in Elle Decor and I loved it (here), and with the help of our Builder, Adam Wells at Ethos Design Group, we copied it!  The different drawers help keep me organized and I love them.  The shelves are really useful, but as you can see I don't utilize them for sweaters because I hang my sweaters.  I have to hang all my clothes so I can see them. It's a personal preference, but this may change if I need the space- ha!  But, I do really love having shelves in my closet to serve as a station for my returns, receipts, hats, clutches, perfume, kindle, lap top and cell phone. 

I don't have a dresser in my bedroom and so these closet drawers are perfect.  It's been really nice to have all my clothes in one place.  When I'm changing out of my day clothes, I can hang the clothes I'm wearing and then just turn, open the drawer and get into pjs.  I was told by a lingerie sales associate that you are not suppose to fold your bras into each other, if that makes sense.  Now, I don't have to, I can lay them flat in the top drawer... love my bra drawer.  The flip flop and tennis shoe drawer has really worked out well too.  I can just chunk them in there and they are out of sight. 

This was a genius idea from our builder- the corners of closets are usually wasted space, but not if you make them into shelves! 

 I hope this post has been helpful.  Next post will be about organizing and space saving tricks.  Maybe :)... I'm getting tired of looking at my closet-ha!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How To Clean Out Your Closet

As a follow up to my last post, this post is about how to decide what to discard from your closet.  Hopefully, for some of you this will serve as an inspiration to tackle your closet for a fresh start in the new year.  When I'm with clients it's usually a collaborative decision as to what to discard, but in my own closet it's very simple.  In fact, you can say I'm a little discard happy, hence the permanent discard pile in the corner of my closet (pictured above). If I come across an item while looking for something to wear and I hear a little voice that says "I don't like how that ____ fits, feels, looks, etc.", it goes straight in the discard pile.  You know that voice, listen to it.  In my mind someone could really use those jeans that gape in the back, or that shirt that is cut a little too low for comfort.  It isn't right for me, but it may fit someone else perfectly.     

I have 4 main questions I concentrate on in a closet:

1.) Does it fit?  
This may seem obvious, but this is VERY important.  There's so much that goes into fit, it's not just is it too big or too small.  Ask yourself the specifics...
Is it too short, do I constantly pull it down?  
Is it gaping at the neck (showing my chest) or back (showing my undies)?
Is it too tight, pulling at the buttons or smiling at the seams?
Is it too big, making you look heavier/skinnier than you are?  
Are the sleeves too short?
Are your shoulders extending way beyond the shoulder seams?
Is the fit comfortable?

2.)  When was the last time you wore this item?
If you didn't wear it last season you probably won't wear it this season or any seasons to come.  Unless it's a classic which brings me to my next category...

3.) Is this item dated?  
Is the item a classic or does it have details that date it?  Look at the cut of the piece, the buttons, the stitching and the graphics.  Remember the pointed collar of the 70's or the puff paint shirts of the 80's...these are extremes, but you catch my drift.  
A piece of clothing can also be dated by showing signs of wear.  Ask yourself if the piece of clothing has lost it's shape, is it pilling, does it have holes, or does it have noticeable armpit stains?

THIS is the MOST IMPORTANT category!
4.)  Do you feel confident when you wear this piece of clothing? 
In my mind, as long as it fits, if you feel confident in a 70's pointed collar shirt then I know you could totally pull it off.  I truly believe this.  Isn't that what vintage clothing is all about?!
There is nothing worse than wearing a piece of clothing that just makes you feel ____- you name it, matronly, pregnant, boring, not you, unattractive.  Also, if the item has a bad association in your mind, pitch it.  For instance, if you think, "this item reminds me of that really bad experience I had while wearing it", do not keep that item, burn it-- just kidding :)

In conclusion, only keep items that fit you fantastically and that you feel confident wearing.  Donate the rest!  I promise you won't miss them!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Closet

Ahhhhh! I can't believe I'm actually posting my closet on the internet- no judging please!  In the spirit of all things new, I thought I'd do a post on my "new" philosophy.  It may serve as a little motivation to clean out your closet, or maybe not- ha!  In the post, Staples, I said that my husband had more clothes than me.  Whenever I make this statement most people say that they do not believe me.  Well, here's the proof!  My husband's side of the closet is on the right, and my side is on the left.  See, I really was telling the truth!  In his defense, he wears a suit to work everyday. I only have a few suits, since I don't have the occasion to wear them very often.

In a way, I happened upon my new philosophy by chance.  For one, my body has completely changed since having 2 kids, so NOTHING fits the same.  And two, while renovating our house we had to put a majority of our clothes in storage, and guess what, I didn't miss them!   

The only clothes I have in my closet now are: 1.) clothes that fit, and 2.) clothes that I'm excited about and feel confident wearing.

In my next post I'll share with you the questions I ask myself and clients when assessing whether or not to keep, alter, or donate an article of clothing.  And, just in case you are building or renovating your house, I'll share the reasoning behind my closet design, what I'd do the same and what I'd do differently, and I'll also share some space saving tricks.