Capsule Confessions and Duster Power

So, I’ve changed my mind.
I was going to be done and start wearing my fall/winter capsule starting this month but two things happened.
1 – I didn’t have enough time in August to prepare and I hate feeling rushed when picking out my clothes.
2 – It’s still hot and I’m not in the mood to wear my fall clothes yet.
So there you have it. I will now rearrange my quarters and follow Caroline’s example and begin my fall/winter capsule with October and end it with December. And with that decision has come much joy and a sense of peace as I slowly and thoughtfully change, add and move around my 37 piece capsule.

Aubrey, on the other hand, already has her capsule done. She starts her new job on Monday and needed to get her “work outfits” set up ASAP so what I’ll share today is a few snippets of pieces I have firmly decided on and the ones Aubrey has picked out for herself. I work part time in a coffee shop and come home covered in coffee so I am not including my work clothes in my fall capsule. Instead, my capsule will be focused on clothes to wear to appointments, run errands in, out with friends and church. And then you’ll have a nice contrast with Aubrey’s work clothes if that is more of what you need.

Here are a few of Aubrey’s pieces so far:
aubs fall capsule
And look how cool this is. Caroline has developed an app for your phone called StyleBook app (there is one for men too). It’s only $3.99 for the download and it allows you to bring in all the photos you take of your capsule as individual pieces, edits out the background and saves them in the folders you pick. You can then create outfits so you don’t forget and can even plan out your days in the apps calendar. If only I were young again…and what a blessing to young working moms too!
aubrey's fall capsule 2

And here are my pieces so far:
missys capsule
All of these pieces were either purchased at Nordstrom Rack or Evereve (Hot Mama) and all were on sale.  1 – Toms wedge booties, 2 – Free People, 3 – Evereve brand, 4 – Rack, 5 – Ugg from the Rack, 6 – Democracy from the Rack, 7 – Lucky from the Rack, 8 – Evereve, 9 – Free Bird from the Rack.  As I have been out and about shopping and moving my pieces around I have slowly come up with a color theme of navies, chocolate browns, blacks and touches of berry reds and golds.  I can already tell how much this is going to help as I reinvent outfits for the next 90 days.  And surprisingly I have had a hard time finishing out my 15 tops/jackets so I may sub in another dress or skirt.  We’ll see.  This is what some of my combos look like in the app:
missys capsule combos
I’m just getting started but wanted you to see how this works.

We’ll be back next weekend to show you our progress. But in the meanwhile, I want to introduce you to the power of the Duster Sweater.
duster samples
1 - Anthropologie, 2 – H&M, 3 – Evereve (formerly Hot Mama)
I love this time of year when my dusters can come out and play. Dusters typically are made of very light weight, loose weave knits that are long in length, almost hitting the floor. And because of their light weave are PERFECT pairings with your sleeveless tops and dresses or after a work out to cover your booty. It’s that perfect piece for this transitional month of weather when we still have summer in our closet but need our arms covered in the evenings.   And they are too thin to wear with long sleeves so now is the time to wear it!

I have ordered a fall/winter duster from Free People that is thermal and meant to be worn over layers and hoping to add it to my capsule so we’ll see.
duster winter
As you can tell I love this piece of clothing and think they look great on all body shapes and sizes.
Anyway, enough for now. I have more shopping to do!
And we would love to hear if you are trying this too!

You can read all about the capsule idea here.
You can download the capsule worksheet here.
You can enjoy Caroline’s blog posts and her progress on her own capsule here (Caroline is in her late 20’s and a free lance photographer).
See you next week.
#37capsulelove,
missy

#37 Quarterly Capsules

Since starting my blog back up this year, I decided to post when I felt inspired instead of putting myself on a schedule. So as I have been pondering what I might write about next, I stumbled upon another fashion blog called un-fancy.com. This beautiful young gal named Caroline took the idea of wardrobe capsuling and put a few rules and recommendations on it and came up with what she calls the Capsule Wardrobe. Her definition is, ” It’s a 37 piece wardrobe that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes.”

I don’t know why, but this concept really struck a chord with me and I have not been able to stop thinking about it ever since. I think over the years of being a stylist and cleaning out closets and working with mine too, I have realized it’s really hard to find a balance of just enough to keep your wardrobe enjoyable and new and having so much that you can’t find, see or remember to wear everything in your closet. Then there is the guilt of spending too much or not wearing what you bought and as women we already beat ourselves up for so much, let’s not add this to the list.  Or perhaps you are on the other end of the spectrum and find getting dressed in the morning to be very draining so you wear the same things over and over again so you don’t have to think about it.

So, I am ready to embark on this adventure and I am challenging you to do it with me. You can read all the details here and even print out a planner. I am also editing the planner for myself to add in body shape, color, personal style and accessories. I’ll let you know when I have that ready. Caroline lives in Austin, so her seasons are a little different than what we have here in CO so I have decided to start the fall capsule with the months of September, October and November. She recommends that you not only think about your weather but also write down any special events, holidays or trips you might have coming up during the quarter.  Here is what I have so far:
#37
If you have a rack like this you can use, I highly recommend it. It has been nice getting the fall pieces out so I can see them all at once, count them out and move them around. This also gives you an opportunity to see where you might have some holes and helps you make a specific shopping list with a budget. She also created a fun app called StyleBook app where you can store the photos of each piece of your capsule so you can remember outfit combinations and have it handy when shopping for accessories.  I have noticed Caroline tends to be monochromatic in her wardrobe selection and brings color in with her shoes and accessories so it’s up to you on how you want to do this.

With my schedule, I can’t do this in the last week of August, which would have been a perfect time to complete my capsule, so I will instead use the first week of September to get things finished up. So I’ll be back soon with a finished list and will start posting outfits I am able to make with these 37 pieces.

I am also glad to come to your house and help you put this together. I will still do all the things I normally do in a style appointment, with color, body shape, style, etc but I’ll have my empty rack and will help you sort through your closet and leave you with a three month capsule that is perfect for you with a specific list of items needed. Just click on my “services” tab to read more about it.

See you in a few weeks ready to share and enjoy my fall capsule!
xo missy

Vaca/Stayca Summer Makeup

It’s summer, it’s hot, and it’s an active time of year, so I thought I’d share a very easy beauty routine with you. You can do this in a few minutes and it will give your face a little break from your normal makeup routine while on vacation or even at home enjoying the summer season. Plus, this is that time of year we all want to look fresh-faced and undone but it’s hard to know what to cut out and what to keep. So here are three simple steps after you have applied your morning moisturizer with SPF:
vaca makeup
#1 Under Eye Concealer – makeup artist, Bobbi Brown calls this her “desert island product“. It easily covers up dark circles and blemishes and if you are like me, and your eyelids have become “crepey”, I use it as a base over my eyelids and SKIP the eye shadow when applying my full makeup routine. There is nothing worse than eye shadow that has clumped into your eyelid creases! I find concealer gives me a finished look up top without the fuss. Apply concealer under the eye, all the way up to the lash line and over the eye lid.  You can use your finger or a concealer brush like mine.
#2 Cream Blush – Bobbi Brown makes a great creamy blush called Pot Rouge, but any brand will do. This is a “double duty” product that you can use on both your cheeks and lips.  Apply to the apples of your cheeks and lips.
#3 Mascara – It’s the number one way to make your eyes stand out. Start at the base of your lashes and gently stroke upward towards your nose. It will pull your eyelashes up and over to give you more of a wide-eyed look. You can also grab a q-tip and dip it into your mascara and apply as a lid liner (Bobbi Brown’s gel eyeliner is actually made with the same base as her mascara). In the picture above I have two mascaras showing because on full makeup days I like to start with a light mascara, like Bobbi Brown’s Everything Mascara and then apply a second coat with a more dramatic mascara like this one called Best Lash Extreme by Jordana. And of course, a waterproof brand would be ideal if getting in the water.

That’s it! Here is a picture of Aubrey before and after. Perfect for a day at the beach, pool, hike in the mountains or a day of fly fishing with her dad. :)
vaca makeup aubrey

I tried it too and was pleasantly surprised.
vaca makeup missy
I find also, that on active days like this, I prefer showering in the evening before dinner, so you can always switch back to your full beauty routine for the evening in case you have plans to go out, and revert back to the simple routine the next day.

And for those of you who don’t usually wear makeup, this simple routine would be an easy step up when needed for special occasions.
I can’t believe August is almost here! The summers always seem to fly by. I hope this catches you before that last vacation before school starts and you get a chance to try it out!
xo missy

Dressing Your Man

Being it’s still June, I thought I would squeeze this subject in while we are still enjoying the Father’s Day holiday month. I don’t know how many of you have husbands like mine, but Scott really doesn’t care what he has on except it has to be comfortable. He will even rip tags out of the neck because they “scratch”. So, needless to say, I tend to let Scott alone with his comfy clothes but I recently realized it was time for some intervention.

One thing that happens to the men in our life is they start to grey around the temples and in their beard and most men will not be coloring those flecks of grey out like we do as women. My husband has always been in the same category as me, “Soft” (think Channing Tatum), but as he grays I am realizing it’s time to switch him to the “Cool” category (think George Clooney), which is quite different from what he has hanging in his closet. He now needs to be in white vs cream, black vs brown, silver instead of gold, etc.

Another point I want to bring up also, regardless of the age of your man, is that dressing in the right color for them can make the difference between getting that coveted job or being promoted. I think we as women look at color as being fun and helpful when shopping but for a man this is serious business. I don’t think it occurs to us how much a difference dressing in the right colors can make in their lives. A perfect example;  when my husband was in the “soft” category, his best suit colors were browns, slate grays and navy blue. You will notice I left out black. For a soft to wear black, especially as a suit color, is draining and overwhelming to their skin tone and makes them look tired, pale, aged and unnoticeable. And black is so popular I think this happens more often than we think. If your man comes home wondering why he didn’t get the promotion or the new job when he was the best qualified, this may be the problem.

So here are the Dominant Color Characteristics redone with men as the focal point.
DCC for men
Please take note, all of these men are wearing perfect colors for their category.   If you need a reminder of what the characteristics are for each category go here.

Whether your husband is a sharp dresser and likes to shop for himself or he is like mine and lets me do all the shopping, I can’t think of a better gift then to give him his own personal color swatches. I carry Scott’s around in my purse along with mine, so when I purchase an item I think he might like, I can make sure I am choosing the best color for him, not just one that I like.
swatches
It also gives me some bargaining chips as I quietly slip out the bad colors for some new good ones, hoping he doesn’t notice. :)

If you have any questions about where to categorize the man in your life, be it a new grad looking for his first job all the way to the father of the bride, just email or text and we can figure it out together.  Swatches are available to order here for around $20 per set or you can click on the girl with the umbrella on the right hand side of this page.  There is a cheat sheet that comes with them so be sure and read them thoroughly before you start shopping.

I know the saying goes, “never judge a book by its cover” but when it comes to first impressions we unfortunately are created to take you in visually before you have a chance to say one word. So let’s help the men in our lives make wise and more purposeful wardrobe purchases and they can take it from there . Sometimes it’s the little things that count.
Hope everyone had a great Dad’s Day!
XO Missy

Here comes the MOB/MOG

It’s wedding season so I thought now would be a good time to go over some tips and tricks for you “Moms of Brides” and “Moms of Grooms”. I have personally been through this experience as an MOB and I will tell you, even as a stylist, I found it to be very stressful and full of challenges. So here are my best tips followed by photos of me and some dear friends that have successfully made it through the event, both looking and feeling beautiful!

Lesson #1: Know your body shape and personal style. I went over body shape in this post. I cannot express this enough. When you work alongside a stylist and have her go over what necklines, styles and materials are best suited for you, the results will be in your favor. If you are lucky, you and your daughter will be very similar in style. If not, don’t change just for her. When the style of dress you choose isn’t right for you, it will show!

Lesson #2: Picking the right color. I found this to be harder than I thought as I watched my daughter pick out her flower colors and bridesmaids dresses. Are we supposed to match, compliment or do something totally different? There is no perfect answer for this question so as you start shopping for that perfect dress, you may end up with one of the above and have no choice in the matter. The only mistake would be wearing white or matching the bridesmaids perfectly. You want to set yourself apart as the “mom”, not trying to be one of the girls or competing with your daughter or daughter-in-law to be. Ideally, you want to be wearing one of your best “pop” colors so you look radiant both in person and in the wedding photos. If you can’t remember what color category you belong to, click here.

Lesson #3: Picking the right formality. This also can be tricky as you consider the time of day of the wedding and the formality of the bridesmaids along with the wedding gown. The cocktail length is very popular and can be worn day or evening. One thing I don’t recommend is a full length gown for you while the bridesmaids are to the knee and less formal or visa versa. Again, the goal is to complement the wedding party, not draw attention away from it.

Lesson #4: Take care of yourself like you do the bride. I can’t tell you how easy it is to neglect yourself as you take care of every little detail for your daughter or daughter in law. As she gets her fittings, you should be too. As she does dry runs of her hair style and make up, you should too. As she shops for just the right shoes, you should too. As her dress is getting pressed and steamed for the big day, yours should too. She needs help and so do you. So do it together.  And on the big day, plan to have a family member or good friend be your personal assistant.  She will be the one to tell you you have food stuck in your teeth or that your bra straps are showing.  She will be someone you trust and can stay calm in the midst of chaos.

Lesson #5: Enjoy the day. This is the biggest “party” you have probably ever hosted so enjoy it. Know that once the big day arrives, nothing more can be done, so let it go. You have family and good friends all there to enjoy the day with you so be there in mind AND body and enjoy every minute!

Another very common question I get is what to wear on the legs and feet.  If it’s a summer wedding you are probably struggling with whether to wear hose or not so here are my recommendations.
hosiery options
Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs – this stuff is amazing, comes in lots of shades and is not more than $13. You will find it at Ulta and most drugstores. This is NOT a spray tan that takes hours to show up or turns orange. It is more like skin makeup and you will swear it looks like the coverage of panty hose when you are done. I can’t say enough about it. It will also cover varicose veins and any uneven skin tone. The only draw back is you must remember your shape-wear, since you now don’t have the control top of the pantyhose.  I also recommend playing around with this.  Put it on and wear it before the big day so you can see what you think and make sure the color you picked out is right.
Nude Fishnet Hose – these are so much more popular these days, I’m even seeing them at Target. I prefer these over panty hose because they are not looked at as being “old” but more fashion forward.  And they still give that illusion of an even toned leg.   This can be a very fun addition to your outfit.
A Nude Shoe - this is the safest, most beautiful shoe you can put on your feet any time of the year and especially in the summer months. If you have done a good job finding a nude that matches your skin tone your legs will elongate and our eyes won’t stop at your feet as you walk down the aisle. And the options are endless whether you do a nude strappy or a closed toe pump. Pick your favorite style and make sure it is comfortable. If you choose a shoe that is stunning but uncomfortable, make sure you have a second pair to slip into at the reception. I loved my pumps for the wedding but they killed my feet so I had some fun cowboy boots to change into for the reception. And even better, a nude shoe is something you will get a ton of use out of later.

So here are some examples of beautiful moms with their beautiful brides all with their unique styles:
renee wedding
This is Renee as an MOB first then an MOG second. Her daughter had a fall wedding in the month of October with black and vivid red tones and her daughter in law was married in May, with an elegant black and white theme and touches of honey dew greens.

missy wedding
My daughter’s wedding was in January, with a country chic theme, soft pinks, ivories, blacks and brown.

miss renee
This is Aubrey’s sister in law’s wedding with her mom Renee. The wedding was in late June with vivid corals, violets, peaches, champagnes and light greens with a chabby chic theme.

derri wedding
Next is Derri’s daughter’s wedding in November with a vintage barn and garden theme, with soft blues, dusty greens and ivory.

deb wedding
And last is Deb’s son’s wedding, in September in the upper east coast. A more formal wedding with black attire and beautiful red accents in the flowers.

And please know, I have a very soft spot for MOB’s and MOG’s and I want you to feel free to call or text, or if you are in town, to run over and be your second pair of eyes. This is such an important day for you and your family and you deserve a little TLC yourself!
xo missy

My Slip is Showing

I LOVE dresses, especially in the summer. For my body shape and style they are more comfy and breezy than shorts and t-shirts, but I have found that most casual dresses I find, whether it’s Gap, Old Navy or Nordstrom Rack, all seem to have short hemlines…at least for my taste. So, this summer I decided to attack the problem with capri leggings and purchased several colors in them but now I’m hot again. So what am I to do?

While in Free People looking around, I noticed how many slips they had hanging throughout the store. Some were maxi length, some more tunic in length and then I spotted a traditional slip that hit right at the knee. Here it is.
eyelash slip
This is called the Eyelashes Slip in alabaster. I love that it has adjustable arm straps so that you can decide where you want the slip to hit at your knee. And it gives some nice coverage up top if you need that. I have gotten a ton of use out of it, wearing it under some Chambray sleeveless dresses from Old Navy and some colorful summer dresses from Gap, all too short in length for someone my age.

Here is a picture of me wearing a Splendid dress from Nordstrom Rack that has that fun high low hem, but I was a little uncomfortable with the “high” in the front.
no slipslip
I also love the added detail of the straps peeking out up top. It takes a cute cotton dress and makes it just a little bit unusual and intriguing. Just my cup of tea!

Another place to find slips is Anthropologie. Just make sure it’s a mix of slip/dress. We don’t want our mom’s silky pajama like slips showing. Then someone really will stop us to tell us our slip is showing!
Hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day.
xo Missy

PS Don’t forget I’ll be doing the 5 Minute Face makeovers this Saturday, May 17th from 10am to 4pm, at my house. Any age is welcome, especially the young teens. Now is a good time to show them simple makeup techniques that are timeless and beautiful.

The Young and the Youthful

So our subject this week is are you dressing “young” or are you dressing “youthful”. I know turning 50 this past summer really made me think hard about this question and I think all of us can relate when we enter any new decade in our lives. “Am I dressing appropriately for my age?” I have actually been plagued with this question for the past several months and I finally feel at peace as I realize there is a big difference in dressing too young for your age vs. dressing youthful.

When I think of dressing too young for my age, I think of short mini skirts, mid-drift tops and 4″ plus heels. I think the same thing can happen if you are shopping in Forever 21 but your 21st birthday happened a long time ago. When we present ourselves visually to the world do we want people thinking, “oh my gosh she got stuck in a time warp” or “what a fun youthful look she has for her age”? Here are some obvious examples of what not to do:
dressing too young

So, the big question is how to determine the difference between young and youthful and I will give you three suggestions.
#1 Choose carefully where you shop. The reason I can’t shop in Forever 21 is because the clothes are cut for pre-teen body shapes, the materials used are very thin and low quality and the hemlines are too high and the waist lines too low, and their prices are cheap because they know their buying audience. I remember a few years back, when applying for a job at Anthropologie, they proudly stated the age group of women they designed for and sold to and it’s our job to hear it, identify with it, and know when it’s time to move on.
#2 Find designers that seem to have a natural talent for your age group. Betsey Johnson is a fun designer for the pre-teen/teens, Carol Anderson (CAbi) is perfect for the 30 to 40 somethings and Michael Kors and Vince Camuto do a great job with my age group.
#3 Knowing how to take a piece that may be on the edge of inappropriate and blending it with more modest pieces. A perfect example is the trendy dress right now with the high-low hemline or the shirt tail hemline, both being way above the knee or having dips in them that go high on the leg. An easy way to enjoy the dress as you age is to wear it like a tunic and add rolled up skinny jeans or leggings and a fun shoe.  Here is a great example.
high low hem

I also find it helpful to identify with high profile people that have similar style as me and I can observe and take notes on how they dress. Kimberly Inskeep, president of CAbi, is in her 50’s and I have always enjoyed her style and how gracefully she ages. Kate Middleton is another great example for you “Classic Moderns”* in your 30’s and in the thick of career and motherhood.
appropriate

As a “Creative Original”* in my clothing style, I find I am very drawn to the out of the ordinary, unexpected mixing of different vintages and styles so I have to be careful where I shop. I’d rather be at Free People than Chicos but with that can come disaster if I’m not careful. Free People is designing for the 20 somethings, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make it work. I call it being Free and 50! Here is one of Free People’s most popular items they sell year round. It’s called the Trapeze Slip.
lace slip
Obviously, I would never wear this piece in this way but knew I could use it in other ways so here I am mixing it with a sleeveless maxi dress and denim jacket.

50 and free
This summer I think this will be cute with bermuda shorts or rolled up boyfriend jeans…I never know until I try it. :)

In the end, it’s all about embracing your age, whether you are in your 20’s or 70’s. The more content you are with your age and how you present yourself to the world, the more youthful and beautiful you become from the inside out.
xo missy

*Classic Modern – a classic style that always looks polished and put together, clothes are timeless, understated and chic.
*Creative Original – a style all its own, that can be described as quirky, funky and fun. Able to to mix vintages and styles so her outfits are unique and unexpected.

Getting your Face in Shape

This time of year is probably one of the hardest to dress for, as we get glimpses of perfect spring days and then get snow the next. So I thought talking about sunglasses might be a fun change of pace and something you can do now regardless of the temperature.

In my first style training classes, I was given a vast set of measurements to take on the face with a tape measure and a formula to calculate the shape.   I was never sure if I had done everything right and it took way too long. But what I am going to have you do today is fun, easy, quick and will give you information you can use for more than just sunglasses.

I happen to follow a sweet blog, called The Small Things Blog. She is a new mom, former hair stylist and she has some of the best YouTubes on hair tutorials that you will ever see. And this last week her blog focus was on the best hair cuts based on face shape and I loved how simple she made the whole process. So, before we go any further, I need you to move over to her blog and follow all her steps. But first, I have two extra bits of advice I want to give:

  • It is a MUST that you have ALL of your hair pulled back and off your face.  Use lots of bobby pins if your hair is short.
  • Close one eye when tracing your face shape on to the mirror.  It is impossible to look and draw with both eyes open.  Try it, you’ll see.
  • Now go to the blog…I’ll be here when you get back.

Okay, now that you’re back and know your face shape, let’s talk about sunglasses. It’s that time of year with lots of travel coming up, and picking out a pair of new sunglasses for the season is always a fun treat. So, here are my suggestions based on your shape.

Round: to make a round face look longer, add definition with wider and rectangular-shaped frames and sunglasses in bold, deep colors.
face round shades
(nordstrom.com, Kenneth Cole Reaction, $48)

Oval: just like with hair styles, almost any style works with an oval-shaped face; wraparound styles or rounded square silhouettes are especially flattering.
face oval shades
(hm.com, $24.95)

Square: complement your features with frames that are oval or round. Narrow frames such as cat-eyes can also soften and elongate proportions.
face square shades
(nordstrom.com, Kate Spade, $138)

Heart: balance your profile by adding drama and definition to the eye area with cat-eye, aviator, or rimless style frames and light colors. Avoid large frames, bold colors, or shapes and frames that sit too high on the face.
face heart shades
(nordstrom.com, FE NY Aviator Sunglasses, $22)

Triangle: you are the opposite of a heart shape with your forehead being more narrow than your jawline but can follow the same rules.
face triangle shades
(hm.com, $24.95, love the added bar at top to widen your forehead)

So, here I am…
face shape
I have a square face shape and used to wear these rectangular, very dark brown frames above, then discovered aviators and I’ve never looked back. I have been buying my shades at Walmart the past couple of years because it seemed the more I spent, the quicker I broke or lost them. Go figure. Maybe I’ll upgrade to the $20 range and see what happens.

Final “shades of brown and black” thoughts:
– Aviators are complimentary to all face shapes.
– If your hair style is flattering to your face shape, you can probably get away with more options with your glasses and sunglasses
– There is nothing better than a bright fun lip color when wearing sunglasses
– Personally, I think wearing sunglasses inside of stores and buildings is rude. Please don’t do it.
– If you are “soft” in coloring, please avoid black rimmed glasses. They are too harsh for your hair and skin.
– And lastly, I am so thankful that noses don’t gain weight…ha

Thanks for reading, have fun shopping!
xo missy

Where are you going in that?

As promised, we are going to tackle spring closet clean-out tips this week.  If you are like me, and have to physically switch clothes from one closet to another, this will especially be helpful as you handle each piece off the rack and then put the new season’s pieces back on.

Step one:  make a list of all the places you go in your clothes.  Here are some suggestions.

  • running errands/grocery shopping
  • exercise/walking the dog
  • work outside of the home
  • work from home
  • evening/comfy clothes for staying inside
  • church
  • out with the girls
  • date night

…okay, you get the idea.

Step two: Go thru each piece of clothing and ask yourself, “Where am I going in this?”, then make a tally mark next to the appropriate categories. Two things will happen as you tally up your clothing. First, you will notice you have way too many in one category. For instance, *exercise clothes and/or *comfy clothing tend to be very popular. The second thing that might happen is the item won’t fit into any category. This can happen because it is inappropriate, uncomfortable or too fancy. Either way, take it as permission to give away or resell it at a second-hand store. I know it can be hard to part with clothes, but if you are not wearing items year after year, think about someone that could be getting good use out of them instead.

I first heard this strategy from stylist/blogger Bridgette Raes and it really stuck with me and has “haunted” me ever since. In fact, soon after hearing this phrase I had instant guilt over an impulse purchase from Nordstrom Rack. I happen to love the “Clearance Rack” at Nordstrom Rack and during the holiday season it is especially rich with amazing items at reduced prices. One of the pieces I discovered was a fun knit cape with a detachable black fur collar by Michael Kors. It was sitting in my room with the tags on for a couple weeks while I stewed over it. It was adorable on and very unique but I knew deep down I didn’t really have a good answer for where I was going in it. Here is my daughter Aubrey in the cape and the fur collar.
Michael Kors Cape

So, determined I could make it work, I kept it, took the tags off and wore it to run errands. First of all, the fur scarf made me very hot and I had to take it off. Secondly, there was no way to comfortably wear my purse. And last, you have to wear it like you would a sweater, so when I got hot, there wasn’t a thing I could do about it because I only had a tank on underneath. Arghhhh!!! Bridgette was right and I knew I had made a foolish purchase. But I guess those are the best lessons learned.  And obviously, Aubrey had no trouble finding many places to go in my cape, so I’ll be passing this on to her knowing it will be loved.

Your COW (challenge of the week) for the week: make a list of “where you go” in your clothes and put it up somewhere you can see it in your closet. Go through each piece and make your tally marks. Get rid of pieces that have no category or you have way too many of. And do the same when out shopping and ask yourself, “Where am I going in this?”.

By the way, this works VERY well for shoe shopping too.

Now, when your husband questions your recent purchases you can proudly give him the exact destinations of all items. He’ll be so proud of your practicality!
xo missy

Dressing up your Winter Chicken

You are probably wondering what in the world chicken has to do with fashion so I thought this would be a fun way to approach a common winter problem. For some reason when it comes to sweaters, coats and scarves they tend to be in those neutral shades of black, gray and ivory. Which is fine, especially because of their versatility but I think after several “winter weather” months you feel like you are choking down boiled chicken and you just can’t take one more day. In the culinary world we would never accept a piece of boiled chicken as a meal. We would want seasonings, spices….something to make it unique. So why do we allow this in the fashion world? I think what happens is we get into bad habits and we don’t know how to change it, and day after day we get dressed in our “chicken outfits”.

This whole concept of “dressing up your chicken” came from a well known stylist and blogger, Bridgette Raes. It’s a fun way to think about your wardrobe with humor and also something you won’t forget. So the spices to your chicken are the colorful pop accessories to your wardrobe, and today I want to talk about the power of a statement earring for adding “spice” back into your winter wardrobe.

First, we’ll start off with the “base” of your wardrobe. This can be a pair of grey or black pants or jeans, and a neutral shirt like a white button down with a navy blazer. Here is a picture of my “base” winter wardrobe that is appropriate for my lifestyle.
base outfit

On top of my base comes my sweaters or printed tops called the “accent” pieces. Today I’ll add my printed top from the holidays.
base with accent
(leggings from Kika, lace edged tank from Free People and top from Hot Mama)

So I’m basically wearing black and ivory. Not very exciting and not very complimentary to my skin tone. But what if I added a statement earring like this…
naomi clusters

I wore this ensemble to work yesterday with these Naomi Cluster earrings from Stella and Dot and got so many compliments. And as much as I’ve worn this combination this winter, I got excited all over again because of my new earrings. No more boiled chicken for me!

When picking out statement earrings to add to your wardrobe, I can’t stress enough that they be the perfect pop color for you. Earrings are worn right next to your face and give you a wonderful opportunity to brighten up your complexion and eyes.

If you don’t know what color category you belong in, I want you to click on the “color analysis” tab and see if you can figure it out from the example photos. If you are not sure just email me. I’m going to show you some beautiful earrings from Stella and Dot and let you know which color profiles are best for each one just to give you some ideas. Cheaper versions of colorful statement earrings can also be found at Charming Charlies if you have one in your area.
statement earrings

And if you are interested in having your own set of color swatches to go shopping with, I have them on hand for $21 or you can also view and order them online by clicking here. They will cost just a bit more due to shipping.

And if wearing earrings is not your cup of tea, consider a colorful scarf or hand bag, like these, also from Stella and Dot.
pop purse and scarf

Your COW (challenge of the week): identify the chicken outfits in your closet and wear at least one of them this week with a statement earring or scarf or handbag. Let me know how it goes either in the comment section or on our facebook page.
And as the Chick-fil-A cows would say, “Eat mor chikin!”……. with flavor that is.
xo missy