Sustainability and Your Wardrobe

The fashion industry creates a big carbon footprint, but every little bit helps, so give some thought to what you’re buying and from whom; and how you take care of those pieces and wear them once you own them.

Shop brands known for using environmentally friendly practices such as Stella McCartney (no leather or fur, all organic fabrics), Eileen Fisher (natural dyes, recycled garments and her sustainably made pieces can, surprisingly, work with many different personal style aesthetics), Rag & Bone or Madewell (both for denim recycling), Alberta Ferretti (just won an Ethical and Sustainable Award with her upcycled cashmere) and Dôen (natural fabrics, domestic production and just the most dreamy California vibe now with a shop in The Brentwood Country Mart).

Shop vintage and consignment stores. Many feel like boutiques—clean and open and airy. This is a great way to extend the life of a beautiful garment and create one-of-a-kind looks.

Donate pieces from your own closet. You can decide on these at the end of each season. For example, as you put your Summer clothes away in the next few weeks, collect the items you’re ready to release into a bag and keep for next Spring. When you’re ready to put your Winter clothes away at that time, your Summer donation bags will be ready to go. This approach works well for giving to local thrift shops and consignment stores; however, The Vietnam Vets and The Real Real will take any-season pieces at any time of the year.

Rent your wardrobe (or at least some special outfits). Rent the Runway started as party dresses but now you can rent an endless rotation of work-wear and just cool-looking garments. Armarium is my rental choice for show-stopper dresses, jewelry and earrings. Rebecca Taylor has started a rental service for her own line.

Mend your clothes and refurbish your shoes. This is not the most profound statement—but seriously, don’t we all have things that could just use a little love (clothing, handbags, jewelry, shoes) to make them “like new” again?  Take the time to visit the tailor, cobbler or get out your sewing box.

Upcycle clothing that you thought was a lost cause with strategic alterations.  Remove/add sleeves to a dress. Move/replace buttons on a jacket. Sew in undergarments—like a bra—to pieces that are backless or otherwise difficult to wear.

Follow Livia Firth. She’s the founder of EcoAge and The Green Carpet Challenge who asks herself, “Will I wear this at least 30 times?” before she buys anything. I love her Instagram posts where she visits her seamstress and imagines taking old garments and re-making them. Anyone who has visited Olga with me knows how fun this can be!

For further reading, here are three good books for you to consider. Click on each for more details.

How to Wear All Black, All Summer Long

While everyone else is planning red, white and blue outfits for tomorrow, let’s talk about an all-black wardrobe. My ladies who love head-to-toe black (you know who you are!) can follow these tips for Summertime-chic outfits.

To keep all black from looking boring, be sure to combine fabrics and textures to create layers of shine and tone. Don’t forget (mostly) black accessories, too. And in the Summer, lightweight and airy black linen or black cotton are your best friends. Here is some inspiration!

Add Some Summer Sunshine to Your Closet

Add one, two or all three of these trends into your closet to inject a bit of sunshine and warmth for the new season: Pinks + Corals…Slip Dresses….Tropical Prints. Click on links below each photo for more info. Welcome, Summer!!

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Create a tonal outfit by combining these pink and coral pieces into one outfit or highlight these sunset colors by pairing them with white.

Straw Bag Pink Striped Shorts Tassel Earrings Striped Shirt Peach Skinny Jeans

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The 90s are back with these simple slip dresses. Low-heeled or flat strappy sandals finish the look. A white jean jacket thrown over top any of these would keep you warm on a cool evening.

Striped Slip Dress Short Striped Dress Green Slip Dress Blue Cheetah Slip Dress

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Choose a really fun and whimsical piece with tropical details to fully welcome Summer. These strong pieces should be the focal point of any outfit—keep everything else relatively simple.

Ikat Print Top Palm Tree Tote Parrot Print Sneakers Pineapple Mules Desert Island Shirt Dress

Work that matters for people who care.
— Seth Godin

What to Wear during May(hem)

I love the month of May! But it has become as hectic as the holidays (if not more so) . Hearing it described as Mayhem made me laugh. Here is some outfit inspiration to get you through this month of wonderful celebrations and busyness. It’s all good! But it’s also good to take care of yourself and have your outfits planned in advance :) Use color, proportion and the right accessories to create looks of your own based on these examples. Instructions below.

Here’s how you can replicate:

The Graduation Look—repeat the floral motif on a dress or top in your accessories. Here it’s done literally on the earring and more subtly on the petal-like scallops of the white sandal.

The Birthday Brunch Look—combine the traditional pieces (jacket, necklace, white jeans or trousers) with a more casual platform sandal to modernize the whole look.

The Work Look—pair all-black everything with a brightly colored, lightweight jacket and scarf that echoes the color of the jacket.

The Benefit Outfit—choose details on your dress that reflect the theme of the event. ‘Masquerade’ was the theme here—the black filigree and colored earrings conjure Venetian masks.

The Committee Meeting Look—focus on one color and use different tones of it to elevate your casual look. These pants have a pale pink windowpane running through and so the T-shirt, the sweater, the necklace and even the shoes have differing tones of pink in each.

The Lunch Outfit—combine complementary colors in a sophisticated way. The cadet blue of the pants pairs well with the gold undertones of the cinnamon sweater. Similar colors in the scarf pull the look together.

The Day to Dinner Dress—use a similar color in each piece. The blue bead in the necklace and blue/grey fleck in the sandal successfully draws the eye from the dress to the necklace to the shoe and back up again.

The School Event Outfit—invest in a great jacket made in a beautiful fabric. Wear this with a white T-shirt and any pants: crisp navy cotton pants in this example, but also light wash blue jeans or white skinny jeans, too.

The NYC Outfit—wear the same color on repeat. In this example, everything is navy: the leather jacket, the crisp blouse and stove-pipe pants. Make sure each fabric is different (one matte, one shiny, one textured) and don’t be afraid to mix black accessories with navy clothing.

What to Wear on the Plane

Sometimes the “plane outfit” is the trickiest part of packing for a trip. You may start off in one climate and end in another. Or, the flight is long, you anticipate getting rumpled and the city that you’re landing in is chic. Or, you tend to get really cold (or hot)! Here are a few suggestions for layering on a plane so you look great at every stage and build of the outfit :) Buon viaggio!!

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When the flight is LONG, start out in workout gear: leggings, a comfy T-shirt, sneakers and a vest. Bring a cute cardigan and scarf in a similar color palette—mix and match and rearrange throughout the flight. Sneakers on, sneakers off, etc. Before landing, make a quick change from leggings into cute jeans—think of it as yoga in that tiny bathroom—the stretching, the twisting, the balancing on one foot :) You can layer the workout vest under the cardigan and scarf. Add an earring and exit at the gate looking fantastic after such a long flight.

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When you’re heading from one climate to another—use layers and color to make the transition. Start in a warm coat, scarf and boots (which you can ditch into a tote when you land), peel away the winter-worthy layers to end in a gauzy top, sleeves rolled up, and all accessories island-ready (shoes, too—which you’ll swap right before landing). This will comfortably get you to your accommodations where you can then change gears completely into warm-weather attire. When you (sadly!) have to return to the cold weather, repeat this same outfit in reverse for the plane ride home.

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Black + white + blue jeans always looks great. The shoes are easy on, easy off. The only color in this combination is the scarf—which can be wrapped at the neck or worn as a shawl. The outfit above can be as simple as a white T-shirt and jeans with the extra pieces (scarf and black cardigan and black poncho) stowed in your carry-on. Or it can layer up to T-shirt, jeans, cardigan, scarf with the black poncho thrown over top of it all. Don’t worry about the cardigan hanging lower than the poncho—it will look very chic to have different ‘levels’ to your outfit. When you put the poncho on top of everything, pull the necklace out on top of the poncho.

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For a shorter flight (city to city), you can start with a base of T-shirt and chinos and then add a small cardigan and fitted blazer. The cardigan can be worn over the shoulders or under the blazer. The scarf can be worn around the neck or around the shoulders (even around the shoulders over top of the blazer). The belt can be added just before landing. Slip on shoes are always helpful. Again, keep the color palette simple so that all pieces mix and match with each other.

How to Love Your Closet (in 3 Steps)

Purge. Purchase. Combine. That’s the simple formula. Here’s how to do it:

#1) Clear out items that don’t make you feel great when you wear them. It could be that they feel dated or they’re a bit worn or some other reason you just can’t quite put your finger on. But unless you put the item on and then smile, let it go.

#2) Decide what additions would be most effective. Do you need to update classics (fresh white shirts or a great pair of trousers)? Do you need a new silhouette to make your jeans feel updated?  Create a short list and shop from that. 

#3) Bring home your new purchases and combine them with the pieces you’ve kept in the closet. Set a goal of 3 different outfits for each item.  For example, how can you wear that blazer a) over a dress and b) with jeans-n-tees and also c) with a blouse and trousers.

As anyone who’s worked with me knows, I love to photograph the outfits—including the exact earrings, bracelets, shoes and sometimes even handbags. This way you have a record of all of your work and those photos make getting dressed each day simple and stress-free.

Casual vs Smart Casual: What's the Difference?

Dressing ‘smart casual’ sounds great, but what does that really mean? In a nutshell, it’s elevating your everyday style by adding thoughtful and interesting elements to each outfit.. So smart casual can work whether you spend your days in an office, at volunteer meetings or running around town keeping your family moving forward. Here are some visual examples with my thoughts on the differences between each outfit and how you can pull this off no matter your personal style or budget.

LONG CARDIGAN + JEANS:

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While both of the outfits above are tonal, the smart casual version uses proportion in a more interesting way. The cardigan/poncho has short sleeves so the long sleeve turtleneck peeks out from underneath giving added dimension to the look. Also notice the proportion of the jeans—high rise and cropped with a flat boot. The handbag and earring add to the overall look by pulling in color (in the bag) and some light near the face (the earring) which reflects the shine on the boot.

STRIPED PULLOVER + JEANS-N-SNEAKERS:

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The smart casual version of the striped sweater and jeans outfit uses proportion and also color to elevate the basic pieces of the outfit. Notice how white is added in three places: turtleneck, handbag and sneaker. That keeps the eye moving around the outfit (which is a good thing). The proportion of the jeans is a bit more interesting as well: higher rise (plus the front tuck of the sweater) and straight and cropped. Those details make a big difference.

BLACK BLAZER + PANTS:

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The tendency is to put the pattern on the piece directly under a jacket (in the casual example, the striped shirt), but notice how interesting it becomes to add pattern to the pant and then a solid color under the black jacket. Another choice that elevates this whole look: the white shoe. The expected shoe would most likely be black. And notice that the handbag color does not match the shoe color but is still light. Imagine the plaid pants in the same silhouette as the black ankle pants in the casual example; then picture the more simple black blazer (also in the casual example) with a plaid ankle pant. Those shapes read even more casual and you could still apply the same ideas shown in the sophisticated smart casual example above.

The take away: look at your everyday outfits and find ways to elevate them using color or proportion or an expected combination.

How to Wear Maxi Skirts + Boots

The maxi trend is going strong. Whether you choose a slim, bias cut or A-line with a little flair or fully-pleated, voluminous piece, the correct footwear is a must. Boots are a chic option. You can show a little leg between the end of the skirt and top of the boot. Or choose a taller boot over which the skirt will hang. A heel always helps, but it’s nice to have flat options for everyday. If you want to wear hosiery (it’s cold outside these days!!), make a conscious choice to either match the skirt color or the tone of your boot. Here are some visual references for you to follow.

Show a little leg (top left example) or add a ribbed tight in a neutral color to pull together the skirt and boot tones. Or keep your leg completely covered by choosing a knee-length boot over which the skirt will hang (top right example). For a dressier look, choose all black, except the creme colored skirt (bottom left example). I suggest adding an opaque black tight to this outfit. Everything is black except that gorgeous pale skirt. And for everyday, choose a flat boot the hits mid-calf (bottom right example). Add a dark tight here, too—ribbed grey or deep forest green would be so pretty with that outfit.

What To Do with All Those Clothes?

After your closet clean-out, you have options as to what to do with all those clothes that need to be released. Here’s a short list with ideas for donating, selling and consigning. Click on any highlighted text for specific donation/location information.

DONATIONS

Most every town has it’s local thrift shops that support the community.  Here are three of my favorites that are specific to Greenwich.

Neighbor to Neighbor Great local organization where clients can shop (at no cost) for what they need. Seasonal clothing donations.

Greenwich Hospital Thrift Shop (click then scroll down to bottom half of page). All proceeds from the sale of your donations directly support Greenwich Hospital. Seasonal clothing donations.

The Rummage Room in Old Greenwich. All proceeds from the sale of your donations support the outreach of First Congregational Church of Greenwich. Over the past 50 years, the business has been responsible for the contribution of over four million dollars to local, national and international benevolent organizations. Wow!! Seasonal clothing donations.

Here are two time-and-style-specific donation options:

J.Crew’s coat drive J.CREW X ONE WARM COAT GIVE-AND-GET COAT EVENT. Donate a gently worn piece of outerwear now through December 28th and receive $25 off next purchase of $125. Any J.Crew store.

One Day to Shop at Norwalk Community College.  The Career Center is holding an event for students to ‘shop’ at no cost in early November.  If you live close to me and have men’s or women’s Professional Clothing to donate, you can drop it at my house by next week, Wednesday October 31st. I will deliver to NCC for you. Jackets/Blazers, Suits/Dresses, Blouses/Dress Shirts, Dress Pants and Ties. No shoes. Text me if you need my address. 203 247 0717. Otherwise, follow instructions in link to drop off directly to NCC.

DONATE BACK TO A STORE; RECEIVE A DISCOUNT

Many stores are focused on sustainability and recycling. Here’s a nice variety of options, but there are many more. Notice that some brands will accept clothing that is not their own.

Any Theory Store. Theory for Good—collects gently used Theory clothing on behalf of Year-Up, a non-profit devoted to empowering young adults. Customers who donate clothing can exchange it for new items at a reduced price.

H&M. Donate any clothing from any store.  Ripped or stained clothes?  They will be turned into insulation. 15% off your next purchase.

Levi’s. Website asks that you donate clean and dry clothing and shoes, any brand. Receive 20% off a single, regular-priced Levi’s item.

**OK side note here: Please only donate CLEAN and DRY clothes no matter where you donate or consign or sell.  I would think that goes without saying. Be respectful of everyone who is working to recycle these items and also respectful of anyone who may use them next.  The good karma of clean clothing will come back to you ten-fold.

Patagonia. Trade in Patagonia gear that ‘functions perfectly and is in good condition’ and get money towards your next Patagonia purchase.

CONSIGN OR SELL DIRECTLY

DWR Consignments in New Canaan. Nice local shop with good selection.

Consigned Designs in Greenwich. Big inventory! Great online option especially for bags-n-shoes.

Roundabout in Greenwich. High end items. They have multiple locations and will select pieces which they believe will sell in particular areas.

The Real Real  online consignment. Check the list of accepted brands on the website. Items can be any season which I find a great benefit. If your items are accepted, they will most likely sell.

Poshmark  online marketplace for fashion. If you like the social media aspect of things, this is for you.

There are many more places where you can pass along your clothing to help others and reduce waste.  I’d love to hear some of your favorites that are not listed here!  Comments, please :)

3 Trends to Try for Fall 2018

I love that with each new season, ‘Fashion’ is becoming more and more about personal style and not so much about wearing ‘what’s in’ or ‘what’s out.’ Individualism is the overall trend. Having said that, it is really fun to add in a few new, trendy pieces each season to your closet. I’ve picked 3 that I think can work in just about anyone’s closet no matter your style—preppy, artsy, classic, etc. Choose silhouettes that feel good on you. To really stand out this Fall, choose a leopard dress or oversize plaid blazer or dark floral maxi dress. To be more subtle, choose one of these patterns in a top or belt or fitted jacket. Have fun with these! Click here for a Pinterest board I created full of ideas with a wide range of prices plus images of how to wear these items.

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Maria Turkel Wardrobe Styling is 10 going on 11

I can't tell you how grateful I am to each and every person who has helped my business to grow and flourish over the past 10 years.  In September of 2007, my youngest child started pre-school and I started my wardrobe styling business. Since then, I've met so many wonderful people--clients, vendors, sales associates, seamstresses, tailors, jewelry designers, other small (and large!) business owners.  My life is greatly enriched by you all.  THANK YOU for allowing me to help so many people love getting dressed each day, feel more confident in themselves and save time and money, too! Scroll down for some style inspiration from just a few of my beautiful ladies over the years. 

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Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.
— Jean Cocteau

Preserving the Archive: tips for long-term storage

Sometimes, clients will have garments they aren’t currently using, but they don’t want to part with—for one valid reason or another. Here are some tips on how to store items to ensure the best possible outcome for preserving them. Scroll down for my suggestions on what (and what not) to store for the long-haul.

  1. Launder and/or Dry Clean before packing away.  Never store unclean clothing—tiny bits of body oils or deodorant/food residue will ruin a garment over time. Remove all dry cleaner’s plastic when storing long term.
  2. Protect everything. For folded clothing, use clear plastic bins with snap-on lids.  For hanging clothes, a garment rack with either a sheet draped over top or cloth garment bags with zippers.  You want some light exposure (but not direct) and some airflow (vacuum bags aren’t great for long term). You also want to keep the dust away.
  3. Store in a dry area with some natural light, but again, not direct sunlight. Cool, dry attics work well. Dark, damp basements do not. A cool cedar closet with a small window is ideal.
  4. Wool is tricky!  Using cedar bricks or even a cedar closet doesn’t always guarantee that moths won’t get at it over time. Clear bins with snap-on lids that let in a little bit of light seem to be the best bet, but click here for some more thorough ideas (DIY moth balls; freezers!!). Moths love soiled fabric so clean completely before you store.

Click on the above images to link to the item (all found at The Container Store).  These are all useful for seasonal (as well as long-term) storage, too.

Clients often ask me what is “OK” to keep.

Store the item if:

  • It is super-specific and you may wear it one day in the future to A) an art opening  B) a costume party or C) someone’s wedding.
  • It is just a bit too big or too small (5 pounds or so).  No need to keep these in your everyday closet.  The only items in there should fit perfectly and be ready to wear right now.
  • You wore it for A) someone’s Christening B) someone’s Bat Mitzvah or C) your rehearsal dinner and it just makes you super-happy to know you have it.
  • It was a gift from your A) aunt B) mom or C) mother in law—some female relative or close friend—but you’ll never wear it and can’t live with yourself if you give it away. Only a few of these!
  • You really love it; it fits; you’re just not wearing it right now. Not an overwhelming number of these!

I advise against storing items if:

  • It is more than one or two sizes too big or too small.  If your weight should fluctuate, you will most likely want something new.
  • It’s dated but you paid a lot of money for it.  Prime example:  beautiful business clothing with no stretch in the fabric.  Really hard to wear these items again—between the cut and the fabric, they most likely will never feel “right.”
  • You found it on sale; it never quite fit right or isn’t really “you” but maybe your A) daughter B) mother or C) friend’s daughter’s friend's cousin might like it someday. Ask your daughter and if she says no, then release it :)

FIELD TRIP: NOLITA (NORTH OF LITTLE ITALY)

What can you do in two square blocks of Nolita? Here is an itinerary complete with where to shop, where to eat, what else to see, how to get there and where to find the best restrooms (always important!).

First, get some style inspiration from the Cartier-Bresson and Elliott Erwitt exhibits at International Center for Photography Museum. From Grand Central, take the Downtown 6 train for 5 stops to Bleecker Street. Make a left onto Bleecker, walk a few blocks and then turn right on Bowery. Great cafe and restrooms here! Closed Mondays.  After visiting the museum, walk right on Bowery, turning right at Prince Street and then right again on Elizabeth Street to fuel up at Tacombi--don't miss the watermelon juice and pork tacos (or fish or beef or chicken--you get the idea!). Another great restroom--even just to say a little prayer (see photo below).

Time to shop! Head across the street to Marine Layer, Ministry of Supply or Gorjana. Make your way back towards Prince Street, stopping into the small shops on either side of Elizabeth Street (Sézane or In Support Of or Clare V or the pop-up shop full of pretty dresses made in L.A.) on your way to Vince or Maje or Sandro (on Prince).  Also on Prince, you can hunt for treasure at Ina Designer Consignment or pick up a new pair of espadrilles at Soludos. Stock up on essentials across the street at Everlane. There are at least another dozen options on these two blocks alone--explore and enjoy!

Rest and recuperate with a coffee and snack at McNally Jackson Books--one of my all-time favorite places. Find a great book or hard-to-find magazine (use their restroom!). Peek through the iron gate at St. Patrick's Old Cathedral and start strolling back towards the subway. 

Most images above are linked to a destination.  Just click on them!

What to Wear on Mother's Day

Whether you're heading to brunch, the beach (or other outdoor activities) or just back to bed for a day of R&R, here are some ideas for what to wear next Sunday. Plus I've added a selection of lavender pieces--it's such a pretty trend this Spring.  Click through to the links in case you need a last minute gift--even for yourself :)

Wear  neutrals  to brunch.

Wear neutrals to brunch.

Wear a white T-shirt and  pants-that-are-not-jeans  for any outdoor activities you have planned.

Wear a white T-shirt and pants-that-are-not-jeans for any outdoor activities you have planned.

Wear a pretty  pajama set  to lounge around for the day.

Wear a pretty pajama set to lounge around for the day.

Choose any of these  lavender pieces  to instantly update your Spring '18 wardrobe.

Choose any of these lavender pieces to instantly update your Spring '18 wardrobe.

Handbags: every ounce counts

My lovely friend, Kap, needed a good ‘work bag' and asked me to go on the hunt for her. It had to be practical but still stylish. And it couldn’t weigh too much because she needed to carry it all day long and fill it with a lot of stuff.  She reminded me, "Every ounce counts!" Whether we are looking for a ‘work bag’ per se or just carrying a purse, ladies’ bags get heavy—wallets, eyeglass cases, personal items, phones, and seemingly everything but the kitchen sink ends up in there.

When selecting your everyday bag, think lightweight in terms of the fabric—nylon is great for work bags, everyday purses and backpacks.  If you want a beautiful leather “It” bag, be aware of the weight of the hardware or leather itself.  Some softer leathers are much lighter than their structured counterparts.

And then consider everything you’re throwing in there. What doesn’t need to be in there on a daily basis? I use colorful pouches to keep things organized and easy to find (the color of the pouches fends off the ‘dark abyss’ of a black purse—it’s just so frustrating rummaging around in there looking for my wallet!). These pouches are also great because you might need one of them on a certain day, but not the next. When I see clients, I carry a pouch containing thread, needles, fashion tape, jewelry pliers—but when I don’t, I leave that pouch at home.  No need for the extra weight, even if it’s only a few ounces.  Right, Kap? :)

Here are some everyday lightweight options for Spring 2018. 

Have you ever stood in front of a full closet and thought, “I have nothing to wear!” It may be true. Maria helped me clear out about three-quarters of my closet, eliminating outdated or ill-fitting items (and stashing a few beloved but no longer worn pieces in an “archive”) and showed me how to work with what remained. She didn’t try to make me conform to someone else’s idea of fashion and she worked with my own particular challenges (bad feet which demand not-so-attractive shoes). She took photos and sent me a reference document featuring outfits she built from my closet. She also recommended a few key purchases to round out my wardrobe. And because I loathe shopping, Maria also coached me to be patient as I searched for the right pieces that would both do the trick and be comfortable enough that I would actually wear them. It may seem like an indulgence to hire a stylist, but working with Maria has saved me a lot of aggravation, not to mention money that I would have wasted on clothing that would just take up space in my closet.
— Thoughts from a happy client, J.B.

Going Somewhere?

Whether you’re headed to sea, ski or somewhere in between, here are some simple suggestions for creating a great travel wardrobe.

Before you start: take a few minutes to visualize what you’ll be doing each day of your trip. For example,  5 days at the beach with casual lunches and 3 dressy dinners or 3 days skiing, 3 days hiking, 2 dinners with friends, 3 business dinners, etc.  This way you’ll know exactly what you need.

#1 Start with your shoes. Choose a dressy night shoe (this doesn’t have to be a heel but it can be); 3 everyday yet still great for walking options (such as fashion sneakers, flats, or booties); and then add in flip-flops or snow boots or anything else specific to your destination. If you’re flying: wear easy on-off shoes to go through security OR conversely, your heaviest boot so that it doesn’t take up space in your suitcase.

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#2 Build your outfits up from the shoes you’ve already chosen. Work within a specific color way so that many (or all!) of the pieces can be mixed and matched.  In these pictures, we chose blue—green—orange as our color way.  Notice how we used multiple tones of each of these colors. Typically, I suggest packing solid colored pants so that each can be worn with many different top options. Want to fit everything into a carry-on? Use this formula: 5 tops + 3 bottoms + 2 dresses + 2 cardigans/jackets and 4 pairs of shoes = 7 days of vacation.

 

#3 Don’t forget specific undergarments and jewelry to go with each outfit. Use an accessories travel pouch with clear, zip pockets or separate your jewelry for each outfit and store in individual zip-top baggies.

 

In anticipation of Valentine's Day next week, I'm looking for a little love :) Please LIKE my Facebook page and follow me on Instagram. Thank you so much!

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Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should: Wardrobe Tips for Women over 50

At a friend’s house just before the holidays, this phrase came up (thank you for the topic, Christina Downey!).  Dressing over the age of 50 can seem difficult—you want to look current and modern without looking like you’re ‘trying too hard.’ You want to still feel attractive and confident—but don’t want to miss the mark and look like you’re ‘dressing too young.’  You also don’t want to head straight into matronly clothes and comfort shoes that say ‘I’ve just given up.’  Here are a few tips…that are really appropriate at any age:

  1. Just Because You Can Fit into Clothing from the Juniors' Section, Doesn’t Mean You Should Shop in the Juniors' Section…unless you are actually a junior person (25 and younger).  Those ‘cute’ jeans with large, exposed buttons up the fly or the ‘adorable’ baby-doll top with the tiny pockets and smocking…avoid :)
  2. Just Because You Have a Dozen Pairs of Jeans that Are Low-Rise, Boot-Cut and still in Great Condition, Doesn’t Mean You Should Continue to Wear that Style…at any age. Wearing the super-low rise that was popular quite a few years ago will make you look dated; update your denim to a higher rise.  This doesn’t have to mean ‘skinny jeans’—actually the leg can be flared or straight or skinny—it’s more about the rise on the pants (the length of the zipper is a good indication of this).  If your zippers are super-short, time to release.
  3. Just Because You Have Great Legs, Doesn’t Mean Your Skirts Should Be Very Short…adding a little bit of length to your skirts, dresses and/or shorts looks more sophisticated, serious and stylish.  Think ‘elegant’ rather than ‘sexy’ and you’ll achieve ‘sexy’ every time. 
  4. Just Because You Can Show a Lot of Skin, Doesn’t Mean You Should Do That…unless you’re a movie star on the red carpet, slits ‘up to there’ and plunging necklines ‘down to there’ rarely work.  Strapless and Backless need to hit at the exact right spots or else they are a no-go.  Again, aim for ‘elegant’ or ‘dramatic’ rather than ‘bare’ and you’ll hit the right mark.
Here are some over-50 beauties who are looking very chic! From left to right: Stella McCartney bell-bottoms--NYDJ straight leg Ponte knit pants under a dress--AG black skinny jeans--NYDJ straight leg grey jeans.

Here are some over-50 beauties who are looking very chic! From left to right: Stella McCartney bell-bottoms--NYDJ straight leg Ponte knit pants under a dress--AG black skinny jeans--NYDJ straight leg grey jeans.

And, here are some ideas of things that ALWAYS work well, again at any age, but especially over 50:

  1. Make sure your clothes fit well. Extra fabric on the body or too-long sleeves or cuffed-up pants will make you look frumpy.  
  2. Use color and pattern intelligently—dress in similar tones of one color and break that up with interesting textures in your accessories.
  3. Go for natural fabrics as much as possible—cotton, wool, cashmere, linen, silk—these are breathable and therefore extremely helpful when your hormones are playing tricks on you.
  4. Make sure your shoes are comfortable—but not dowdy!—lace up brogues, lower and stacked heels, and the plethora of great-looking fashion sneakers available make comfort easy to achieve without giving up on great style.
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Feeling Festive in December

 It’s typical to focus on what you’ll be wearing to holiday parties and family get-togethers, but what about right now as you get your shopping done? A great coat or jacket in festive colors and patterns is what you need while out and about. Add some comfy boots and really simple pieces underneath--a stretchy legging or jean and easy top. And then there's shopping-from-home.  I have some thoughts for looking great for that, too!

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#1 Shopping in the Suburbs:  Greenwich Avenue and Westport’s or New Canaan’s main streets offer great gift-shopping all in one stop.  Choose a jacket or scarf in plaid, skinny jeans and black boots.

#2 Shopping in NYC: Up the sophistication level, but keep the comfort. Low-heeled boots and a longer coat will keep you happily in the holiday mood whether at one of the famous departments stores or downtown in smaller shops. Layer a lightweight puffer vest under a patterned cloth coat for extra warmth.

#3 Shopping from home: What to wear for ordering those Amazon Prime gifts?  :) —you can still look chic while shopping from your kitchen counter.  Does anyone else love matching PJs as much as I do?

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Summer to Fall Workplace Wardrobe

What to wear to work when it's 60 degrees in the morning and 80 degrees by afternoon? Natural fabrics in darker colors and lightweight shoes with lots of open spaces...

If the dress code in your workplace allows open-toed shoes, these alone can get you through the transitional weather of late September.  Wear these styles with cotton pants, jackets and/or dresses in darker colors.  Put away the bright colors in your closet and pull out the navy, dark denim, and jewel-toned cottons and silks.

For the men: buy a pair of lightweight dress shoes designed to breathe (and don't forget breathable socks, too).  A stretch cotton blazer looks crisp (not rumpled like linen), and will keep you cool when the afternoon temperature shoots up outside.

 

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” –
— Aesop

I love this quote from The Undies Project website.  This organization is collecting new underwear to send to the people of Texas and Florida after the recent devastating hurricanes.  Such a great idea and effective way to truly help.  Click here to see how to donate.