The Rules Of Getting All Dressed Up Have Changed

I would say nine times out of ten, when a customer comes in looking for an outfit to wear to a wedding, she comes in looking for a dress. While I love a great dress, there are so many other ways to look dressy enough for a wedding without limiting yourself to only a dress. As our society gets more and more casual, pants, skirts and leggings are getting more and more accepted within the realm of business professional and also for special occasions. Honestly, the rules for getting all dressed up have changed.

The difficulty with a dress is you have to deal with the nylon issue. It is not fashionable right now to wear nylons, and while tights are making a come back, women of a certain age don’t often feel confident enough to go bear legged. Let’s face it, when you are fifty and over, your legs just don’t look the way they did in your twenties. And even if you have great legs, you might now have unsightly veins and discolorations that you don’t really want to leave uncovered. So what is a girl to do? It is a real problem. Do you look unfashionable by wearing nylons or do you feel exposed and uncomfortable having to show off your legs. Certainly there are options to get around this…you can wear a maxi dress that comes to the floor, or maybe cowboy boots that cover your legs, but both of those options add new wrinkles like creating a style that can work with the wedding and cowboy boots, as an example.

This is why it always surprises me when women are dead set on wearing a dress to a wedding rather than branching out to the much more convenient and easy to wear related separates option. I just dated myself there a bit. The term “related separates” is an old fashioned retail term used by manufactures to describe an outfit that is designed to go together and looks paired but includes two to three different items. The down side to this option is it usually costs a bit more because you are buying three items instead of one. The up side, however, is that if you are smart, you can get two to three great pieces that can stand on their own and be worn with other things in your closet. To me, this is a BIG win. Dresses can only be worn with themselves, and in this way, they are limiting.

Oftentimes, when I have a customer that is in this dress or die mindset, I have to move her, carefully, through all of her options. We start by looking at the dresses, and inevitably, all the problems with dresses surface. This one is too long. This one is too short. This one needs a cover up because she doesn’t want to show her arms. If we do make it to the dressing room, then other problems arise. If we get it to fit her bust, it is too big everywhere else. Or, vice versa, if it fits her hips and rear, it is too big in the shoulders and neck. You see, by their nature, dresses are designed for a woman who is the same size top to bottom. But really, who do you know that actually can say they wear an 8 or small on the top and an 8 or small on the bottom? It is rare that we are proportioned that evenly. If you have ever struggled to find a dress, even though you really wanted to find one, this is probably the reason.

So after some pain in the dressing room, I will usually, tentatively say, “What do you think about a skirt and top? Or what about a dressy pant and top?” We then have the obligatory, “Is it okay to wear pants to a wedding?” conversation, to which I assure her that it is totally okay. Honestly, in my twenty plus years of getting women dressed for the most swank special occasions like Governor’s Ball or weddings on the East coast, my favorite looks were never dresses. That is not to say that I didn’t have some women who looked amazing in the dresses that they purchased. I’m just saying that my favorites were…well….not the dresses.

I write all of this to perhaps open your mind to this idea of showing up to your special event in an elegant pant or skirt outfit and not a dress. At the end of the day, you will be more comfortable, and you are way more likely to wear those pieces again with other items in your closet.

It is okay that rules of getting all dressed up have changed. We just have to accept that they have.

6 Styles For The Perfect Bonfire Night

The warm orange glow of a fire that crackles softly in the cool, crisp air; the warmth of a cup of hot chocolate in the palms of your hands; the soft Chenille of a cozy sweater; the tip of a nose turned red by the first cold fall night….oooh, I can hardly wait!

Truth be told, while I love summer and all the wonderful things I get to do, my favorite season is fall. I love everything about fall because, here in Wyoming, it is a time of transition – the season between the heat of summer and the dead of winter; I look forward to it every year. And, in my opinion, fall clothes are THE BEST clothes. It isn’t cold enough to warrant a heavy winter coat, so we get to wear soft and cozy sweaters, warm down vests, trendy capes, cute hats and scarves, tall boots, shoe boots and, my favorite, UGGS.

So today’s blog post is all about dressing for those bonfire nights and staying trendy and fashionable while you do it. Whether you are on a hay ride, finding your way through a corn maze, sitting by a campfire roasting hot dogs, attending a loved one’s football game or cheering on our good ol’ Wyoming Cowboys, these tips will ensure you look great while you are doing it.

My favorite fall trends for those bonfire nights:

  1. The Shacket: this combination between a shirt and jacket is like wearing your dad’s heavy weight camping flannel. The oversized fit means you can layer it over other things and also makes it perfect to pair with the season’s trendy leggings. Add some shoe boots or tall boots and a coordinating hat and scarf, and you will have a trendy fall style, perfect for whatever fun you have in mind.
  2. The Chenille Sweater: sweaters are huge this season and Chenille (ultra soft yarn) abounds. This fabric just oozes comfort and cozy. You’ll be giving yourself hugs, I promise.
  3. Wide brimmed Fedora: Your fall look won’t be complete without a brushed velvet Fedora. This style works well with plaid blouses, shackets, capes, and more. Match your hat to your shoes and handbag for a the classic classy lady style.
  4. Plaid Shirts: My sixteen year old daughter calls these her “flannels.” I haven’t pointed out to her that flannel is a fabric and what she really means to say is “plaid,” which is the print. Ugh…did I just sound like an English teacher? (You can take the girl out of the classroom but not the classroom out of the girl! He he.) At any rate, my daughter is enamored with paid shirts because they are so trendy and they work so well over the cropped tops she loves to wear with her high waisted shorts and jeans. Wear them open, partially buttoned, tied…you choose, but make sure you have a plaid shirt this season.
  5. Suede or faux leather leggings: the great thing about this trend is these fabrics are ever so much warmer than cotton knit, so here in the west, we love this trend! Pair them with a cute graphic tee and a long sweater cardigan. Wear them with a tunic length shacket. Match them to a longer sweater. The best thing about this style is you will be as comfortable as you are fashionable for all those cool weather activities.
  6. Puffy down vests: these will just not go away, and it is probably because they are the perfect transitional item for fall when you don’t quite need a coat, but a sweater is just not enough. Choose one in a trendy fall color like olive, rust or mustard to give your outfit a fresh look. Match up a cute beanie and scarf, and you’ll be rocking fall style.

The leaves are already turning yellow on the tree outside my office as I type this blog post. Soon, we will be seeing golden yellow patches on the mountain indicating that the Aspen trees are beginning to turn. This year, make sure you get out and enjoy this season with all it has to offer. And, make sure you look great while you are doing it for all those selfies!

Want more ideas for fun fall outfits? Watch my Wednesday Night Wardrobing Live Video at 6 p.m. MST in our VIP Facebook group.

What Is A Trapeze Dress

You may have heard about Trapeze or Trapezoid dresses being popular this season. Another term you may be more familiar with is “Baby Doll.” All three terms refer to a shape of dress that is characterized by a narrow and close fitting bodice that fits the shoulders and neck tightly but then flares out into a triangular shape. This sillouette traces its roots all the way back to the English court and has had periodic popularity throughout the centuries with major designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy highlighting the shape in their lines. For more about the history of this dress, check out this fascinating article.

To wear this dress correctly, the hemline should sit above the knee and the top of the dress should fit close to the neck and shoulders. Because the shape naturally shows off your legs, you should make them the featured body part and wear some great shoes; heels work especially well with this dress. Petite women should be careful the shape does not overwhelm them, and heels can be a big help with this. Taller women can choose any shoe they prefer.

As a style, this dress is particularly good for pear shaped women who have a small torso but are wider in the hips. It is also great for hiding a fuller middle area. As a shape, this dress is known to be flattering on just about any body type when worn correctly and with the right hem length and shoe.

In the picture above, I am modelling Sympli’s Trapeze Dress Short in Poppy Red. You can see how the elements that I described as important are represented here:

  1. Close fitting neck and bust
  2. Hemline just above the knee
  3. Wedge sandal (I am 5’3)

I also love that this dress has both sleeves and pockets and that it can be worn dressy or casual, depending on footwear and jewelry choices. Plus, Sympli’s patented fabric that won’t wrinkle, fade or shrink makes this dress a great choice for travelling, as it can be washed out in the sink and hung to dry for an easy and wrinkle free dress you can wear sightseeing or out to dinner.

If you are looking for a new dress style for this summer, I highly recommend considering a Trapeze Dress. The airy and floaty design makes it a great summer dress that allows plenty of air flow on a hot day, and the fact that the fabric sits away from the skin from the rib cage down keeps you from getting hot and sticky.

See our great selection of Trapeze Dresses from Sympli including styles with sleeves and without. You can also tune into our Wednesday Night Wardrobing Live Video series tonight at 6 p.m. MST for more information. Find this series on our Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas Facebook Page.

Spring 2021 Shoe Trends

Here in Wyoming, our toes are itching to get out of all of our closed toe boots that characterize our winter months. A little sunshine and warmer temperatures, and you’ll see us digging out those summery shoes – even if it means cold feet! And when the summer shoes come out, it’s time to start thinking about the latest shoe trends and whether some new shoes might be needed for the season.

In this blog post, I wanted to share some of the most wearable shoe trends for Spring 2021. You can watch my Wednesday Wardrobing Video here for more info and a live explanation of these trends.

  1. Woven: This trend is defined by the fabric and or fiber used to create the straps of the shoe. Natural fibers such as woven fabrics in neutral tones are an important trend in shoes this season. I love this trend because any flesh toned shoe is effortless to pair with clothing, as they will work well with most items as long as the style of the shoe is a correct choice for the outfit. Since natural fibers do tend to be more casual, keep that in mind as you are making pairing choices. Also, some natural fibers are warmer and some are cooler. Consider the tone of the fiber as you are putting your outfits together and keep it consistent: cool with cool and warm with warm.
  2. Animal Prints: Those animal prints will just not go away, and you’ll continue to see them on shoes this season. Whether it is an all over animal print tennis shoe or just a touch of animal print as an accent, leopard, cheetah and zebra prints are strong for the season.
  3. Funky Tennis Shoes: We love our comfy tennis shoes, and they continue to be a strong trend. Keep them funky and as a statement piece in your outfit to stay edgy. An example would be the all over animal print tennis shoes pictured here. When wearing a shoe as a statement piece, keep the rest of your look toned down and let the statement piece be the true star of the show.
  4. Platforms and Embellishments: Platform bottoms are coming on strong in shoes. If you don’t know, platforms are an obviously thick sole usually between 1 to 4 inches in height. The wedge styles pictured above qualify as platforms. In addition to the thick sole, these shoes also have metal studs as embellishments, another key trend in shoes this season.
  5. Outdoor: I honestly had a chuckle when I came across this trend. Here in Wyoming, the capital of the outdoor shoe, what we consider outdoor and what style trend setters consider outdoor are not the same! But for the sake of language, I will stick with the term. What shoe trend bloggers called the “outdoor” trend is really Birkenstock sandals or shoes that look like Birkenstocks. I even saw one picture of a gal wearing turquoise fuzzy socks with red Birkenstock sandals and a skirt! That is a bit too edgy for us conservatives here in Wyoming, but the basic concept of a Birkenstock sandal is something we can definitely get behind, bare footed, of course.
  6. Mixed Metals: Shiny metals are a key trend in clothing this summer, so it is not surprising to see that trend in shoes as well. Look for metals like copper, gold and pewter to be used in shoe designs. What I love about metal tones is they are neutral and are easy to pair with a multitude of looks.
  7. Loafers: If you want a comfy summer shoe, look no further than any of the multitude of loafer styles that are popular this season! These shoes are characterized by no lace or fastener and by the fact that they just slip on your feet.

All of these styles work very well with the ankle length trend. Make sure your hemline hits an inch above your ankle bone for the correct look. Try loafers or tennis shoes with dresses for a younger looking style. Wedge sandals have the added bonus of elongating your legs and so are an excellent choice for dresses or shorts.

Spring 2021 Fabric Trends And How They Relate To Our Lives

This is my third blog post in my three part spring trends for 2021 series. If you missed the previous two, check out Spring 2021 Trends That A Wyoming Girl Would Wear and Spring 2021 Top Fashion Colors for a complete trend review of the season.

Clothing design combines multiple elements that have to come together for a cohesive whole. The three most significant elements are color, style and fabric, and all three are a big part of the complete picture we see when we walk into a store bursting with new spring arrivals. It is much like a painting that is built upon from the foundation of the canvas (fabric) and then added to with the essential element of paint (color) and finally turned into something meaningful with design and composition (style). And, just like art, fashion is always a representation of what is happening socially, economically, and politically in our nation and world. As an example, when trying to explain the prevalence of lightweight and airy fabrics this season, one website offered this explanation:

The Lightness theme connects to the call for transparency and the fluid world in which we live. Adapting to the spirit of the times and the situation demands flexibility, pliability and the ability to transform quickly. 

https://fashionunited.uk/news/fashion/fabrics-and-colours-trends-for-summer-2021/2020072349965

The idea struck me; even the weight and texture of the fabrics we will put on our bodies this summer are a representation of some of the challenges and opportunities we are facing both as a country politically and as a world with the Covid19 Pandemic. Keep this idea in mind as you read through the most significant fabric trends of the season, and see if you can’t make some other important connections.

Shimmer: Look for fabrics that catch the light with glitter, sparkle and beads as well as fabrics that look metallic.

Sheer and Light: As mentioned above, a key fabric trend will include lightweight options like featherweight knits, nylon and chiffon. Also look for airy linens and handmade fabrics that have rough or “raw” surfaces.

Denim: This wardrobe staple just keeps re-inventing itself. This season, look for denim that is embellished with details like embroidery. Also keep your eye out for new washes like tie dye, batik, and new stone washing techniques that create fun new textures and colors.

Indigo Dying: Picture the ocean and the attempt to re-create its colors in fabric when trying to imagine this trend. It is really all about the specific color of indigo and how it can be used in denim, silk and linen fabrics to create interesting textures and color patterns.

Indigo is a dye with a distinctive blue color. The chemical compound that constitutes the indigo dye is called indigotin. Historically, indigo played an important role in many countries’ economy because natural blue dyes are rare. Among other uses, it is used in the production of denim cloth for blue jeans.

https://bsamply.com/encyclopedia/indigo/

Marble And Stone Inspiration: Look for fabrics that mimic the look of grey marble with its grey, black and white colors as well as natural stones that combine swirls of grey and grey brown.

Softer Than Soft Knits: Want to get cozy? You will love the ultra soft knits that envelop you in comfort.

It doesn’t surprise me that denim will continue to be a key player in fashion trends this year. Not only is it practical, we connect the fabric with comfort and fun…denim days are day off days – less formal and more relaxed. As we have coped with an inordinate amount of stress over the last ten months, carefree denim days sound pretty good, don’t you think? Similarly, longings for the ocean and travel might be driving the focus on indigo dyes this season, as many of us have put our adventures on hold during the Pandemic. And, we are all seeking emotional comfort; having our clothing envelop us in softness is a little like curling up in a blanket, and it focuses our mind on soft rather than hard, yet another connection to the difficulties we have all faced.

I hope this perusal through some of the key fabric trends for Spring 2021 expands your perspective and helps you see the clothing you wear as so much more than just garments that cover your body. They are, quite literally, like walking pieces of art. And, like all good art, the fabrics you wear are in their own way an attempt to make sense of the world and the human condition.

Spring 2021 Trends That A Wyoming Girl Would Wear

I mean no disrespect by my title. Some of the season’s trends like feathered skirts, exposed bralettes and exaggerated stand up collars will be worn by someone, just not here in Wyoming. And to you I say, “go for it and rock it.” If we Wyoming girls stretch out towards the edgier trends, we look like a transplant, and Wyoming folks are suspicious of transplants…we’re scared you might try to change our way of life, which we love. So, this blog is really about the latest Spring 2021 trends that I will likely see on the streets of Casper, Wyoming and the ones that I have bought for my store. That is in no way to characterize Wyoming women as un-trendy; on the contrary, our version of trendy is just mountain west trendy as opposed to New York or California trendy. And there is a difference. So, here you go…my top ten Spring 2021 trends that we will wear:

  1. Button Down Oversized Blouses (top and bottom right). I think “slouchy” might be an appropriate term to describe the trends of 2021. The oversized blouse trend includes both longer button ups as well as blouses that literally look a couple of sizes too big. These comfy blouses are perfect worn with oversized jeans like girlfriend jeans or leggings. To keep from looking shapeless, do a front tuck, tie or twist with your blouse into your jeans so that the front of your jeans shows.
  2. Belted Waists (top middle): Last season was all about the tie front details on blouses. This season will highlight the waist with belted details and peplums that show your shape. If your belts have been gathering dust in your closet, this is the season to pull them out, dust them off, and start belting your blouses, dresses, coats and whatever else you can find that looks great with a belt.
  3. Tie Dye (bottom middle): This classic “do it yourself” fashion saw us through much of 2020. I listened to a podcast this morning, and the host talked about wearing tie dyed jogger suits all last year while she was quarantined at home. There is no slow down to this look for 2021 so keep wearing your tie dye pieces that you bought last year.
  4. Wide Legged pants (bottom left): Another style trend that is continuing from 2020 is the wide legged pant. Yet another “slouchy” style, this pant trend screams comfort and ease. As with the oversized blouse and jean trend, you have to balance the wide legs with a tucked, belted or tailored top that comes in at the waist. This will keep you from looking boxy.
  5. Sheer styles (top middle): Sheer fabrics will be a key fabric trend this season, lending to a light and airy option for tops. You’ll see everything from chiffon to mesh and peek-a-boo tanks.
  6. Floral Prints (top left): The print trends for the season are definitely feminine with floral prints taking center stage. Look for all over floral tops and dresses as well as floral prints on jackets and accessories.
  7. Khaki: This color and style will be significant this season. Look for khaki pants, especially trouser styles as an important way to wear this look. Pair khaki up with chambray or dark denim for a classic style.
  8. Oversized Jeans: Yet another “slouchy” trend this season is the oversized jean trend. We’ve seen variations of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” jeans for several seasons now, and this style looks like it will continue to be strong. Look for distressed styles with holes and patches.
  9. Cream or Ivory mono-chromatic outfits: Head to toe white, ivory or cream is a lovely look for special events, as it exudes class. Look for all white dresses as well as ivory top and slack sets.
  10. Cut Outs: We saw cut outs begin with the “cold shoulder” trend of several seasons ago. It has morphed into cut outs occurring any where on a garment, including the neck. midriff, side, and shoulder. This added detail has one purpose: to show skin and draw the eye to a particular part of the body. Be sure your cut out items are focusing the eye on a part of your body you love.

The season’s trends are in direct relation to Covid19 and the political unrest of 2020. As we are still coping with many of the restrictions and complications from the pandemic, our lives feel smaller, somehow. The slouchy styles embrace a more casual, stay at home lifestyle and allow us to hide any extra weight we might have gained last year. They are the equivalent of comfort food…pieces you will love to put on that make you feel relaxed. The softer, feminine floral prints and sheer chiffon fabrics remind us of gardens and carefree days, something we are all missing. The focus on white, ivory and cream signals purity and innocence, things we worry might be gone forever. And in the midst of all of this we have tie dye, an iconic reminder of the turbulent 70s but also a style that signals freedom from constraints.

I’d love to hear the trends you are excited about. If you’d like to watch a live video on this topic, tune into my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing videos where I discuss the latest trends as well as fashion know how. Tonight’s video can be seen in our VIP Facebook group. It will air at 6 p.m. MST. You can watch here: https://www.facebook.com/events/174482441137123

Spring 2021 Top Fashion Colors

Picture from Pantone.com

That Pantone chose Ultimate Gray (or Pandemic Gray) and Illuminating Yellow as the 2021 colors of the year says so much about the psyche of our nation and world as we still face an alarming death toll from the Covid19 Pandemic while cautiously and anxiously hoping for brighter days. It has always been interesting to me how colors in both fashion and design often mimic the political and social climate from which they come. This spring’s color palate is both earthy and exuberant, indicating a need to feel both grounded and hopeful.

Perhaps it is because I am a Wyoming girl with strong roots in this state (my dad’s family homesteaded here) or because I am a mountain girl dreaming of backpacking next summer that this season’s key colors remind me of a field of lovely spring wild flowers. I’ve seen open fields in late June adorned with flowers in these same bright pinks, oranges, yellows, blues and purples. And yet, there is also the toasted coral and rust as well as the warm tan and olive that remind me of the forest floor layered with pine needles and organic matter that cushions my feet as I walk across it. For me, there is no place more serene than the mountains, and after 2020, I am looking for serene wherever I can find it. I am excited about both extremes in the color palate for spring 2021, as I too am finding myself seeking both grounding and hope.

As you plan your spring wardrobe, I hope you will add colors from both categories this year. All of the top colors in the picture above can be used for tops or as accents. “Raspberry Sorbet,” “Illuminating Yellow,” “Green Ash,” “Mint,” “Cerulean,” “French Blue,” and “Amethyst” will all pair beautifully with “Ultimate Gray” or “Inkwell.” For a warmer palate, choose “Burnt Coral” and “Rust” and also “Marigold,” and pair them with the lovely “Desert Mist” tan or even the warm olive “Willow.” The easy to wear “Buttercream” also makes a lovely choice as a neutral bottom and would be especially pretty with “Burnt Coral” and “Desert Mist.”

To see examples of these colors, watch my live Wednesday Wardrobing video tonight at 6 p.m. MST. To watch, join our VIP Facebook Group called Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas.

Closet Clean Out Step 4: Organize Those Accessories!

Once you have taken the time to get your clothing organized by using my 3 step closet clean out process, you might now be ready to take on those unruly accessories. If the goal of a cleaned out and organized closet is ease of dressing, then we cannot claim success until grabbing the perfect necklace, scarf or shoe is also just as easy as grabbing the top and bottom. The process for organizing your accessories is very similar to the one I taught you for your clothing. Here are the steps:

  1. Organize by color: When you put your outfits together, you are building a “color story.” In most instances, you choose a neutral bottom color and then pop it with a top and layer. Your accessories are just an added layer in that palate. Thus, to make grabbing the correct accessory easy, your most important organization strategy is to separate them by color.

Take necklaces, as an example. For many of us, our accessories are in basket or drawer that we have to dig through to find what we need. I suggest, instead, finding a way to hang necklaces in your closet on some type of multi-pegged hanger. You can buy a wooden peg coat rack, as an example, if you don’t have a ton of jewelry to organize. If you have more, look for a peg board or closet addition that has multiple pegs. Then, take all of your necklaces out and begin laying them out on the bed. Put all the like colors together using the colors of the rainbow as a guide (ROYGBIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet).

2. Organize by length/shape: Once you have an accessory category separated by color, the next step is to put them in order from shortest to longest or smallest to biggest.

In our necklace example from above, depending upon the length of your pegs, you may be able to fit 2-4 necklaces on a single peg. Put the longest in the back and then work your way forward to the shortest. This will allow you to see what you have even when you have several necklaces hanging together.

3. Lastly, organize your accessories by type. You can choose casual and dressy, heels and flats, satchels and duffels, neck scarves and long scarves, etc.

Continuing with the necklace example, put your casual necklaces together and your dressier necklaces together, all the while keeping them in their color and length order. You might have a peg with blue dressy necklaces organized from shortest to longest and a peg with blue casual necklaces together organized by shortest to longest. A helpful benefit of doing this is you will instantly be able to see what can be easily layered and worn together.

For earrings, you can easily organize by both color and type. I have a jewelry chest that has a drawer with boxes. I have organized all my earrings by color within these boxes. This same chest also has drawers with larger boxes. I use these for my bracelet, necklace and earring sets so they always stay together. I also have a top portion where I put all my gold and silver “every day” earrings.

An ingenious way to organize your scarves is with a scarf hanger. This is essentially a grid of metal circles all joined together and attached to a hanger. You can put your scarves on the circles using a slip knot, and when you are done, you can clearly see what scarves you have. I also recommend organizing scarves by color and length. If you have a lot of scarves, you might want to consider getting a separate scarf hanger for each type of scarf: short, long, and shawl.

I love to organize my shoes with an inexpensive cabinet I found at Target that has rows of boxes, each one big enough for one pair of shoes. I have my summer and winter shoes separated so I know exactly where I need to go to find the shoe I am looking for. I can also use the rows of boxes to organize by color, starting on the far left with red and moving right and down through the colors of the rainbow.

Purses can also be organized by color and size. They work well standing up, so if you have any shelves in your closet that are good for folded things, these will also work well for your handbags. Follow the same principles: first organize by color and second organize by size so you have your smallest purses on one side and your largest purses on the other.

Once you have everything organized, stand back and take stock. Are there any accessories that just stick out like a sore thumb? Maybe 95% of your necklaces are neutrals but there is one in neon, as an example. Ask yourself if you have anything to match that necklace. Chances are, you may have bought it for a specific outfit that you might not still have. Do the same with your scarves, shoes and purses. The ideal closet is organized not only around color but around colors that look good on you! If you have things in there that are not serving you, get rid of them! When you do this, getting dressed in the morning is a breeze because everything you have matches everything else you have.

My last tip for the perfectly organized closet is to create a space where you can hang your outfit for the next day each night before you go to bed. A logical place in on the back of your closet door because it will allow you to have enough space to see both your top and bottom. Don’t just pick out a top, bottom and layering piece; pick out an outfit that will make you feel great, including the perfectly matched accessories!

If you’d like to see me explain this process in person, watch me live tonight at 6 p.m. in our VIP Facebook Group.

Re-Fill: Step 3 To A Closet That Makes Sense

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So here is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, and this is why you have faithfully gone through Get Organized: Step 1 To A Closet That Makes Sense and Refresh and Renew: Step 2 To A Closet That Makes Sense .  Now, you are truly ready to take advantage of your newly organized and cleaned out closet.  If you would like, you can join our VIP Facebook Group, Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas , and watch my videos explaining the process.  I will be airing Step 3 live this Wednesday at 6 p.m.  You can get entered to win a $20 gift card to our stores by watching all the videos and commenting with your biggest take-away.  

The goal for today’s time spent in your closet is to create a “Buying List” where you will record all the things you need to shop for in the future.  I recommend that you carry this list with you in your purse for those unplanned shopping days.  It will keep you on track to purchase the things you need, and, as a result, you will be a smarter shopper who avoids bringing items home that have to be eliminated in your next closet clean out!

Please grab a piece of paper and divide it into 3 Categories:

  1. Basics I Need
  2. Items that Need Matches
  3. Trends I Want To Buy

BASICS I NEED:

This section of your list should include all the core basics that are missing from your closet or need to be replaced.  Basics include solid neutrals such as grey, black, white, tan, navy, brown.  Take a moment to take stock of your sleeved and sleeveless tops, jackets, skirts and pants.  Are there any that you didn’t pull out but that are wearing out? If yes, write this down on your list.  Other items in this category might be classic prints and fabrics like Hounds-tooth,  tweed, some basic plaids, etc. Also consider your layering pieces.  Are there any jackets that need basic tops to complete them? Do you have any basic slacks that lack a coordinating blouse or top? Do you have a good white blouse? Do you have a basic black dress that can be dressed up or down? Do you have a nice pair of black work slacks? What about your shoes? Do any of these need to be replaced? This step should produce the biggest portion of your list because these are the core items in your closet that work back and forth with everything else.  These are the things that you should spend more money on and focus on getting quality that will last.

ITEMS THAT NEED MATCHES:

This section of your list is for all those printed items that need a match to make them work.  Is a there a jacket that you don’t wear enough because you don’t really like the top that goes with it? Write that down.  Is there a printed skirt that needs a top to match?  Maybe you eliminated a top that you always wore with that skirt in steps one or two of this 3 step process.  Now you need to replace that top.  Write it down on your list.  It is also helpful to take pictures of any printed items so when you get to the store you can remember what colors are in the print.  Better yet, however, is to set some time aside to go “match shopping” and bring all of your items with you so you can see not only how the colors work but also how fabric textures and styles work as well.  Try new items on with your old items and see how they work together before you buy them.

TRENDS I WANT TO BUY:

Make sure you leave some room in your closet for current trends that will keep your wardrobe updated.  Take some time to read trend reports (I’ll have one coming in the near future), and identify your favorite trends of the season.  Write these down so the next time you are shopping, you can pull out your list and remind yourself what you need to look for.  Trendy items can be less expensive because they are the most likely to come and go quickly and won’t need to stand the test of time.  Just keep in mind, the lighter the fabric, the more it will show your figure flaws.  Usually, the thicker (not stiffer) the fabric, the better the drape will be and the better job the item will do of disguising extra weight.

So that’s it.  You’ve made it!  Wow! Great job! I’d love to hear your feedback on your biggest “ah ah” moments from going through this process.  And now…happy shopping!

Next week, I’ll be adding a bonus step focused on getting your jewelry, scarves, handbags and shoes organized too!

Refresh and Renew: Step 2 To Creating A Closet That Makes Sense

pearsonphoto2018_010I hope you have enjoyed your newly organized closet! If you missed joining me for Get Organized: Step 1 To Creating A Closet That Makes Sense, you can read my blog post about how to do that here or you can watch my live video from my weekly Wednesday Night Wardrobing video from last week here.

I performed step 1 on my own closet, and it felt good to get things organized.  I eliminated about 15 items that I knew I would never wear again.  They were cluttering my closet, and having the extra space feels good! Heck, now I have the room to buy more…smile!

For those of you who are ready for step 2 in creating a closet that makes sense, this week’s step is called refresh and renew because we are going to take a hard look at what you kept.  I am guessing there were some items that you didn’t pull out because you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of them or because you rationalized their value in your wardrobe and the potential that you will…someday…wear them again.  I know you did this because I did the same thing.  This week, I have challenged myself to wear some of those “sacred cows,” as I call them.  If I can create an outfit that I like with them, they get to stay, but if not, they have to go.

As I have analyzed the top 10 rationalizations I used to determine which items to keep, I think they are probably some of the same ones you use too.  For me, these are the main arguments for hanging on:

  1. I might lose weight and be able to wear this again.
  2. If I would just take this to a tailor and get it altered I would wear it again.
  3. This is still fashionable, and I still love it, so how can I let it go?
  4. I wore this item for my anniversary with my husband so I should keep it for sentimental value.
  5. I might need this for a party, vacation, or special event some day.
  6. I wouldn’t be caught dead in this any more, but I could wear it around the house or when I go camping.
  7. I can’t have too many sweaters, vests and coats; I live in Wyoming!
  8. This is a classic that never goes out of style.
  9. I can’t fit in this anymore, but I will use it as “motivation” to lose weight.
  10. I just bought this item last year, so it is a waste of money to get rid of it.

Do any of these excuses seem familiar? Building from this, I think we can create a list of corresponding questions that will help you evaluate what you kept to determine if those items really do need to stay in your closet another year.  So, here is what I want you to do: go through your closet and gather up all your “sacred cows” (the items that you have probably considered letting loose before now but always talk yourself out of) and every other item you did not wear in 2019.  Take them out of your closet into another room and then, one by one, answer the following questions for each item:

  1. I might lose weight and be able to wear this again. Is this item either my current size, ONE size bigger,  or ONE size smaller than I wear today? If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  2. If I would just take this to a tailor and get it altered, I would wear it again. Can I take this item to a tailor in the next 10 days? If the answer is “yes,” put this date on your calendar and keep it.  If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  3. This is still fashionable, and I still love it, so how can I let it go?  If the item is still in fashion and you still love it but haven’t worn it in a year, you need to evaluate why.  Take a minute now and try it on.  Maybe there is just a fit issue that you don’t like.  Perhaps it clings too much in the wrong places.  Maybe it is itchy.  Maybe it drains the color out of your face.  If you discover any issue with the item that has been keeping you from wearing it, it goes.
  4. I wore this item for my anniversary with my husband so I should keep it for sentimental value. This one is tough.  We tend to attach sentimental value to items we wore for special events, and we hold on to them for that reason.  For me, the decision to keep these items is really about space.  Do you have the space to hold onto items that you will probably never wear again? If the answer is no, it goes.  Is there another place that you could store them, say perhaps a cedar chest? If the answer is yes, move it.
  5. I might need this for a party, vacation, or special event some day. So I am particularly bad about number 5.  I had dresses I hadn’t worn in more than a year (and that I didn’t wear on my last beach vacation) that I was saving for my next beach vacation.  I had a hard talk with myself and they ended up in the “donate” pile.  After all, part of the fun of a vacation is buying something new for it.  Do you know for sure that you are taking a vacation or having a special event in 2020 that you would wear the item to? If the answer is “no,” it goes.
  6. I wouldn’t be caught dead in this any more, but I could wear it around the house or when I go camping.  Do you already have enough “wear around the house” or “painting” or “cleaning” or “camping” items? (I’m guessing your answer will be “yes.”) Are any of those worn out? (probably yes again.) Consider adding these items to your comfy group after you have thrown some others out.
  7. I can’t have too many sweaters, vests and coats; I live in Wyoming! Yes, hoarding coats and sweaters when you live in a state that has 6 months of winter seems to make sense, however, how many coats do you really need? Let me help you out: 1 long dress coat, 1 3/4 length dress coat, 1 casual coat, 1 sport coat (like a skiing jacket), and 1 spring coat.  Okay, okay…maybe you can add 1 trendy coat, but I’m giving you that one, coat hoarder….I’m speaking to myself here.  Coats are especially needed by the poor and disadvantaged, so that is even more incentive to get rid of them.  As far as sweaters go, if you didn’t wear it last year….guess what….it goes.
  8. This is a classic that never goes out of style. Another particularly tempting rationalization for me is the “you should never get rid of a classic” argument.  Well, here’s what I know about clothing from having been in this business for over twenty years.  Even when manufacturers and designers bring back a classic like the blazer, they change it just enough to make the older ones seem out of date.  The changes are small things like length, number of buttons, collar style, sleeve length, etc., but they are just enough to cause your “classic” item to become “vintage.”  Here’s my rule for “classic pieces:” if you haven’t worn it in the last TWO years, it goes.  Oh, and just in case you need to know what items qualify as “classic,” here is a list: blazers; solid collared, button up blouses; layering pieces like tanks, turtle necks and light weight sweaters; suit skirts in neutral colors; slacks in neutral colors; basic black dresses.
  9. I can’t fit in this anymore, but I will use it as “motivation” to lose weight. Okay ladies, I’m going to be in your business a little here.  Pardon me.  I have your best interests at heart, I promise.  Our bodies change as we age.  At 48, I am going through this very thing myself.  There are certain aspects of my body that will never look the same as they did five or ten years ago.  I am a BIG advocate for staying active and healthy, however, I am also realizing that I need to let some expectations about my body go.  Size 4 may be gone for me…I don’t know.  I’m working on it to see.  But, I definitely know size 2 is out, and I don’t want to work that hard to get back there any way.  If it is too tight or too small for me to get into, it goes.
  10. I just bought this item last year, so it is a waste of money to get rid of it.  We ALL make buying mistakes.  Who knows why we do it? Maybe we were influenced by a shopping partner or we were in the mood for something new or out of the box that day.  Whatever it was that caused us to buy it, we have questioned that decision ever since.  As an example, I pulled a pair of floral wrap pants out of my closet during the first step of this process that I just bought last summer.  I wore them once and then passed them up the rest of the season.  Why? They really weren’t me.  If it’s new, but you keep passing it by for other things when you get dressed in the morning, it goes.

Okay, that’s it.  These are the top 10 rationalizations I have made (and I’m guessing you have made) and my answers for them.

If you want to watch my video explaining this process, you will be able to see that this Wednesday in our Fashion Crossroads Fashionistas Facebook Group here.