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Friday, May 30, 2014

Sexy Closet Beast


"They went into my closets looking for skeletons, but thank God, all they found were shoes, beautiful shoes."~Imelda Marcos

It's gotten to where I can't find what I'm looking for in my closet. That's because closets are sort of 'living' things- they evolve.  Their character changes over time. In some ways they reflect our mental, emotional and physical state. A messy closet looks sick. A clean, well organized and well lit closet is, well, kinda sexy.

As with all living things, they need care- regular upkeep and 'grooming.' And I've been a bit neglectful of late. So, *sigh* that was the obvious choice for my blog this week. (Guess what I'll be doing this weekend?)

During my research I haven't come across any better ways to arrange things than the old standbys;  by color, by type, or by function (work, casual.) If you chose to organize by color, (all items of the same color grouped together) you might chose to further subcategorize all types within that color together as well (all shirts together, all pants, etc.) Or, should you decide to group by type, you can subcategorize by color, etc. Beyond these simple, obvious methods are an infinite number of ways you can customize and tweak things to your specific needs and satisfaction.

The following are tips, reminders and a few helpful links to make your closet the best it can be-

If space is an issue, be sure to use every square inch with hanging shoe racks, hanging shelves, etc. Customize your closet as much as possible.

It's always visually 'neater' to have all one kind and color hanger; or, different color hangers (preferably the same brand) for different type of clothing or for different functions. Remember that slim, flocked hangars take up less space and 'grab' clothes so they don't fall off so easily. 

If you don't have enough space for all your hanging clothes, think about one of those short bars to make a double rod for shirts, skirts and folded pants- http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/double-hang-commercial-grade-closet-rod-in-chrome/1015040149?categoryId=12209

If you live in cramped quarters, consider using a curtain system of some kind, rather than sliding or folding doors. This takes up less space, and allows you to see everything at once when the curtains are open.

Here's an idea I love- use clear plastic drawers to store undies and odds and ends; you can see at a glance where everything is- http://www.containerstore.com/shop/closet/shoeStorage/shelf?productId=10000103

While organizing, be conscious of which things you use most often, and give them the most accessible spots in your closet and dresser.

Also don't forget under bed storage bins- good for less used items or out of season things.


Don't forget to install some lighting if needed- you need to be able to see what's in there.

With regular care and upkeep your closet can be a healthy, functional and beautiful beast-
Happy Dressing!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stuck in a Rut

“The only value of wasted time is knowledge.” ~Monica Drake


There's this thing that happens to some of us. 

We grow up, we get busy, we don't go shopping anymore. 

We start a busy career, we have babies, we don't have time for 'frivolities' like that anymore. We're not about superficial things like 'how we look' anymore- we're about what we can accomplish. 

When we were younger we'd go shopping and look at all the pretty colors, all the different styles, try them on, decide what we liked, buy, and change our minds the next week.  We hadn't yet figured out who we are, didn't have a clue what we liked or what we looked good in. But we explored with great enthusiasm. And we bought clothes, and stuffed our cosets and dressers till they burst, and we couldn't find anything anymore...

Now we're all grown up, and have important priorities, and shopping for clothes just isn't important in a grown up life. 

And that, of course, is totally wrong. Every priority you hold and every goal you move toward is helped or hindered by how you look. Period. Because we are a visual species, within the first 7 seconds of laying eyes on someone we make lots of assumptions about them. How intelligent they are, how much money they make, what their socio-economic background is, their trustworthiness, their level of education….so it pays to present yourself in your best light. Always.

One really great part is that now that you're all grown up you know yourself better, so you know what you want and what you like. And if you don't know what designs flatter your proportions (because it's ALL about balancing your proportions, NOT size) or what colors are the most flattering for your skin tone, then get help from a professional, like me. 

And then you know what happens? Armed with all that knowledge, suddenly it all gets easier. The shopping is a breeze- since being all grown up and knowing what you like you know where to shop; when you walk in, you can scan the racks for your colors; after zeroing in on the color you can look for the design lines you need, or garments that can be altered to be the perfect design lines for you. This reduces the hit or miss aspect of shopping profoundly. 

Getting dressed every morning becomes faster and more rewarding, too- since you've spent a little time putting together a functional wardrobe that you love, you'll probably have gotten rid of all that stuff you never ever wear that takes up soooo much space, so now you know everything that's in your streamlined, efficiently organized closet...

Saving your precious time for all those…more important priorities. :-)

Happy Dressing!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Caught!


"If something can be said to make an awkward moment even worse, I'm going to say it."~Carrie Underwood

I got caught in an awkward situation the other morning. My son was going to a friends pet rescue/pet supply store to be in a segment a local news channel was doing on them- I got up at my usual time, went for my run, got my son's lunch ready, made our breakfast and as we were out of time, we headed out the door.  

The problem is, I didn't think it through the night before; I laid out clothes to wear, but didn't realize I wouldn't have enough time to shower and wash my hair. When I went for my run I pulled my un-brushed hair into a pony tail…so this is how I arrived for the news segment- sweaty running duds, not-showered and wild, flyaway hair, no makeup. At all. (Oh, the horror.) 

You know where this is going, right?

They were doing a few segments; the first segment I managed to hide in the back. All good. The next segment they filmed at the counter- so I slunk over to the pen where the puppies were and settled in with a couple of sleeping pups on my lap. 

As I should have known would happen, during the filming the camera man came over to the puppy pen, and despite my hiding in the corner, I was confronted with the camera. I saw the footage later, and of course it was worse than I imagined. *Sigh* 

The moral of this sorry little story? Always think through your schedule when planning a day with an unusual schedule like this- and have a backup plan. Actually, one should always have a backup plan anyway. I should have realized the potential there, and combed my hair, washed my face and put on a little lipgloss- would have made us 3 minutes later, at the most. 

Why am I making such a big deal about this? What if this had been a situation where I happened to meet someone who might have been important to my business? What if I met a cute guy? You just never know. The thing is, in the first 7 seconds of meeting someone we make all sorts of assumptions about people subconsciously, based on their appearance. And it may be that none of the assumptions are true…so it always, always pays to be aware of your appearance…

Remember, you never get a second chance to make that first impression.

Happy Dressing!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hey Good Lookin'


"When you're young and good-looking, you've got to behave. But when you're old, you can get away with murder."~ Julie Newmar

Want to feel great about how you look today? Ok. That's easy. 

Here's the recipe. 3 little steps.

1. Don't compare yourself with anyone else. Ever. There's no point. You're either going to feel 'better than' or 'less than,' and neither one of those perspectives is healthy or, again, has any point.

2. Focus only on your best colors and design lines, and expressing your aesthetic starting with those guidelines. If you do this you'll look your healthiest, your most visually 'balanced,' and you'll KNOW you do- with your aesthetic sensibility respected, you can't help but feel great about how you look. 

3. Never worry about what others think of you. I guess this is a sort of flip side to not comparing yourself to others. It's not your job to 'please' others with your appearance- it's your job to present yourself in what you feel is your best light, and enjoy the potential for self expression. 

That's it. End of thought process. 

We're not 'less' or 'more' than anyone else. Everyone has their own, unique and perfect beauty- inside and out. When we respect that, and find our own, it can't help but show.

Happy Dressing! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Finding the Flow

"Do the hard things first and life will be easy. Do the easy things first and life will be hard."~ Stuart Keevy

So, I have an update on my perpetual search for the perfect wardrobe planning system. 

I've created or come across, and subsequently passed along all sorts of ideas- some really fancy ones requiring big, huge work to put together an elaborate system; pictures of all your clothes and accessories that you put together for each outfit, etc. This is best for the true clothes hound who has an extensive wardrobe that may be closeted in difficult-to-reach places. I've also presented simple, streamlined ideas; simply lay out the next days entire ensemble the night before. After doing it both ways (though I never got as far as photographing all my stuff) I've found a middle road that seems to be a perfect fit for me.

The difference between a good system and a bad system is easy enough to define: a good system makes the daily task of dressing easier, and your image consistently better than it would be without said system, while a bad system makes the same task more difficult usually by overcomplicating things.

Last year I read a book by David Allen called 'Getting Things Done' which helps you get a handle on managing your time. One of his techniques for time management- which really means 'self' management- that I find particularly helpful is to do what he calls a 'weekly review.'  His ideas are really geared toward the busy business executive, but I'm a full time mom with a part time, entrepreneurial business, so I customized his ideas for my needs. My version of the 'weekly review' means I sit down on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning and co-ordinate my weekly/monthly low-tech 'daytimer' calendar and anything in my tickler file with my large wall calendar for the coming week; meal plans around whatever events and weather may affect it, create my shopping lists, and define goals for my business for the coming week. (The meal planning saves a ton of money and time, BTW.)


This year I added a new area on the week-at-a-glance section of my daytimer. (I'm picky-I make my own calendar every year.) It's a small space tucked into the corner of each day with the headline 'wardrobe.' So, at the same time that I'm looking at the big picture of everything that's going on all week, what the weather will be, etc, I plan out what I'll wear- for the whole week. This by far has been the easiest and most effective technique for me. I've been doing it for a while now, where I used to drop other systems much sooner. I think it's working for me because it fits in with my weekly review so neatly. Doing this before the week starts means I have some time to make sure everything is in good condition and ready to go. Not only does this make mornings a breeze, but also means one less chore in the evenings- I can either just look at my book and get things out, or if I've been particularly clever the weekend before, then I've already arranged next weeks clothes together in the closet.  All this means my day 'flows' much more easily.




Of course, this could be done electronically, but for me, I don't see an advantage- you may find it would work better for you. Computers, ipads and phones would be ideal places to store this, but I just don't want to have to turn something on to access this particular info. It's just easier for me to flip open my book. 

Like I'm always preaching, if you find a way to organize your wardrobe in advance you'll find you consistently look better and your mornings will run more smoothly. Just try it for a week and you'll see. The thing is, you have to find a way that works for you- maybe you're better with laying the clothes out the night before, maybe you need the elaborate system with all the pictures and the book. Maybe you want to keep it on a clipboard hanging in your closet, or maybe you want to keep it in a small list in your phone. 

This bowl of porridge is too hot, this bowl is too cold, but this one is just right...

Happy Dressing!