Vacation Closet Postscript

 

If you have been following my posts in the month of January, you know that I was away in a much warmer climate; Apache Junction, Arizona which is east of Phoenix.  During that time I shared what I packed in my suitcase and the outfits I created from those items for the month.  Now that I’m back I decided to do a review of what worked well, what didn’t and things to consider for the next time.

The temperatures were predicted to be in the 40s at night and upper 60s to low 70s during the day which was pretty close to true with a few mornings being a little colder and a few days being upper 70s to low 80s. This is a place where you can be busy all day, or just sit by the pool and read.  My husband and I chose the former.

As a reminder, these were the items in “my vacation closet.”

Here is the suitcase (25” hard side) I used. I also carried a backpack on the plane and a cross-body purse.

 

In addition to all the clothing pictured above, I packed in there 5 days worth of undergarments, 2 bathing suits, a hooded sweatshirt, lounge PJs and the items pictured below.

 

For just about all my travel (plane, train or car) I always layer an outfit and wear leggings, for this trip it meant black leggings, bronze colored tank top, denim shirt and a cashmere wrap.  I also always wear my sneakers on the plane as they are bulky to pack and no matter what, they always come with me; experience has taught me that.

When I packed, I chose colors that were versatile enough to mix and match just about everything in “my vacation closet.”  As you could tell from photos, there was a lot of mixing and matching and although I brought several scarves to add patterns and upper interest to my outfits, it just wasn’t that dressy of a place to use them.  I had anticipated eating out maybe once a week, but instead we rotated fixing dinner among 3 couples and only had dinner out once.  But we did have a dance once a week and a concert once a week, so that was considered the evening casual looks.

I got it right items:

Daytime Tops – All of the casual cotton short sleeve tops, top and center left in the “My Suitcase” collage, along with the black/white top center bottom worked well either alone or, if it was a little cooler, layered with my hooded sweatshirt or the denim shirt.

Daytime and Evening Bottoms – All of the bottoms worked well, from the casual gray shorts, beige capris to the 2 different weight leggings, skinny Chico’s pant and jeans.  The jeans, Chico’s pant and heavier weight leggings were good for the cooler days and evenings as this is a place that has very little humidity so as soon as the sun goes down, so does the temperature.  A tip for your leggings, they can do duel duty as capris if you pull them up to create a “seam” just below the knee as I did in bottom left picture of the “Mix and Match” collage in the Facebook post.

Evening Tops – Here is where the mix and match came into play a lot.  The tops in the center and bottom right of the “My Suitcase” collage were my staples along with the cashmere wrap.  I used these a lot, both alone and layered with a camisole underneath.

What I didn’t use:

I got very little use out of the 3 tank tops.  It was a little too cool to wear alone during the day and only used a cotton one once as a layer under the denim shirt for a very casual evening.

I also didn’t need the pair of bronze colored flats.  If I needed shoes, the short boots worked fine.

As I mentioned before, I didn’t get much use out of the scarves, but I would continue to pack scarves in the future as they take up very little space and add interest to your outfit.  This was true for the belt as well.

In lieu of the purple long sleeve top pictured in the “My Suitcase” collage, I would have packed a different top as it would have been more versatile.

What did I need but not pack:

I originally had a denim skirt out to pack but changed my mind.  Go with your first instinct, I should have brought it.

I also would have gotten use out of additional leggings to go with the burnt orange tops and denim shirt.  I did purchase 2  pair from LuLaRoe  when we went shopping at Mesa Market Place Swap Meet (great place to go if you ever get out that way),  They are a nice pattern, go with both tops and are oh so comfortable.

As I mentioned earlier, I should have packed another long sleeve tunic length top (to take the place of the purple top) that would have given me more options with leggings (butts covered please).

All in all, the amount and type of clothing worked well, but there is always room to refine the selection.  I will admit I like a lot of variety in what I wear so towards the end of the trip I got a little board with my options.  The addition of the LuLaRoe leggings was a nice boost.

Remember, pick either a pattern for your tops or bottoms to give you the most possibilities to mix and match, always bring your sneakers, pack some accessories (belt and scarves in addition to jewelry) and go with your first instincts when pulling clothes for a trip.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Do’s and Don’t’s of Denim

Here are a few tips for keeping your jeans (and any denim) looking like new.

  • Yes you can launder your jeans, but you don’t need to wash every time you wear them.  Every three to five wears should do, unless you’ve been playing in the mud!
  • The best way to keep those dark washed jeans dark is to skip the heat. Always wash in cold water and in a laundry bag as the less heat and agitation the better.
  • When picking out a skinny pair of jeans, look for ones that have Lycra in the fabric content.  It helps jeans keep their shape longer and form fits to you.
  • Are you looking at a new pair with some bling?  I really don’t like to hand wash as I just don’t think they get as clean.  So when it’s time to wash I turn them inside out and again, so to my mesh laundry bag.  I wash on delicate cycle and they never go in the dryer.
  • And remember, heat is the worst thing you can do to your denim, no matter if it’s a shirt, skirt, jacket or jeans.  Always hang to dry.  This is a must to prevent shrinkage.

 

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Spring 2017 Styles

Mother Nature continues to “toy” with us on spring weather, but as April approaches, we know it will be time to switch to a wardrobe with lighter colors and lighter weight fabric.  It you are looking to freshen up your outfits, here is a glimpse of some of the popular styles that I see as items that are main stream and can be adapted into styles for casual and/or business attire.

 

Banker Stripes – the staple of Wall Street has been transformed for Women’s Ready-to-Wear.

 

 

 

 

 

Beach stripes – these are fun stripes that can go in any direction.   Vertical will give the  illusion of making you taller and thinner,  horizontal stripes can add shape to the “not curvy” figure and diagonal stripes can be a fun look for any body type.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foldover – replacing the belted waist by adding interest at the waist can take a casual style to a dressy, fun look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Khaki – we are talking about the fabric rather than the color; I consider this a staple in the closet as the khaki look never goes out of style and can cross seasons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Continuing the trend to show a bit of shoulder, they are showing up as…

Off the shoulder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and Shoulder  cutouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeve slits – if the shoulder showing styles are not for you (and not all can wear it successfully) try one of these.  And add some bangles to this look for added interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

White shirt dress – the classic item for work wear with new interest at the waist and/or hem

 

 

 

 

Whether you plan on shopping for a few new pieces or an entire wardrobe update with the seasons newest trends, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I love the look?
  • Does it create the illusion of a curvy (proportioned) body type?

If the answer to either is “no” then put it back on the rack.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

 

Your Closet Called ….

 

 

The weather in the Washington, DC area is not going to be pleasant for anyone without ice skates this weekend.  And since your closet called – it could probably use a review of what is working and what is just hanging around.  There are outfits lurking in there, you just need to discover them, but in order to find them, it’s time for a bit of housecleaning and organization.  It’s time to stop pushing around pieces that don’t work anymore.

Now that you are a few months into your Fall/Winter wardrobe, take a second look at everything you own (the first should have been when you brought out this season’s options).  Are there things you have not worn yet?  Why? Are they too big/small? Are they out of fashion?  Answer these questions on every piece.  Even though most styles come back into fashion at some point, there is usually just enough change that you may not be able to use it again the second time around.  Or is it an item you just can’t find anything to go with?

As you sort through things, make several piles.  Ones that you consider past any hope of being worn again as they are torn or stained, ones that just aren’t right for you anymore; whether style or size, and those that are good, but just do not fit the style image you want to project.

Once you get through this exercise, organize the items left in your closet.  If you have not already done so, your closet should be organized by tops, bottoms and dresses.  Within these groupings, organize by color.  This is the best way to take a fresh look at what you have, what you may need to add and what may truly be a new outfit right in front of your nose.

With the January sales in full swing, think about items you may be able to pick up at a great price that will create an entirely new outfit or 2. The items in your closet should not be a one-to-one relationship.  And don’t be stuck on always finding a garment to create that new outfit, look to accessories to make the difference.

Here is some insight into your options for what to do with those items you took out of the closet; don’t look back and don’t second guess yourself.

Donations –
There are many options for donating usable clothing, some with pick-up service that are nationally known such as Vietnam Veterans of America and The Salvation Army. These are 2 of my favorite as the clothing is used for a good cause.

For donations that have seen better days, don’t just throw them in the trash, recycle them and get a discount in the deal. H&M offers H&M Conscious in their stores. They will accept any clothing, not just an H&M brand, to be recycled. You can bring into the store up to 2 bags/day and in return get a 15% coupon toward a purchase. What a deal! And H&M is a great place to pick up a new trendy item at a great price.

Swap some clothing –
There are many sites on the web that offers this type of deal but what about throwing a swap party with your friends? This is a great idea for a girl’s night out. It would also be a great place to swap not just clothing but scarves, belts and jewelry. If you want a little education added to the mix, Your Style IQ would be happy to join the fun and give you a mini session on the accessories for each body type.

Earn some extra spending money –
True you invested in every one of those garments you are about to send out the door, but there is no reason not to recoup some of that as spendable cash rather than a tax deduction. Every town has local consignment shops with varying percentages of what you will earn on clothing they sell for you.  Check the web for a local list as some of the shops my clients have used in the past no longer exist. There are also many options on-line with their own app. Be sure to check carefully as every store or site has a list of “labels” they will accept.

Now you are ready to find new outfits right in your closet.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?