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?

Tales from an “I love my wardrobe” session

 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with a new client. I have known her for several years through a networking group and over that time she has expressed an interest in my services.  Well, she finally felt the time was right to delve into her closet.  She had a great basic wardrobe along with some fun dresses and jackets. One of my goals was to add more color to her outfits.  She had it, but just didn’t know how to make it all work.  Here are some photos of what we put together and what she had to say afterwards.

“I had a session today with Karen / Your Style IQ that was amazing!  I was afraid going in that I had nothing she could work with.  She created over 30 outfits that when worn with different shoes, necklaces, pants and jeans offer over 100 combinations! “

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

I only have a few outfits in my closet

No matter if you have suits, dresses or basic separates, layering your outfit is a great way to extend your closet without having to buy a thing.

I can still remember years ago when I worked for Casual Corner (I may be dating myself). I put together an outfit on a display of corduroy pants, a diagonal striped blouse with bow and a crocheted cowl neck short sleeve sweater. I probably sold 5 of those outfits without even trying.  It was simple but a great layered look.  So can you layer anything?  Not necessarily.  Let’s go through it.

First layering should not add volume to your body and remember to keep your proportions in mind so you don’t look like you are drowning in layers. Start with a pair of slim or mid-width pants based on your body type.  Next put on a crisp shirt or tunic style knit top. Maybe even a fly-away turtleneck. Simple and basic outfit, but is that really you?  Then add a sweater or even vest to the outfit, it can be short or long. Showing shirt tails or tunic hem are ok. Next add a splash of color. An oblong scarf underneath the sweater with just the hint of color around the neck and the tails peeking out at the hem is a different approach. Or what about a statement necklace instead of a scarf?  If you go with the same color family in your top pieces, it will add length to your body.   You could take this same idea and in lieu of the pants go with a solid skirt with matching tights and pumps. Have you tried putting a belt over a shirt, long vest or even your scarf?

Added bonus: You’re going to Aunt ____’s house for Thanksgiving.  She probably has been cooking and baking all day which means it may be 80 degrees inside.  If you put together a layered outfit, you can shed a layer inside, but still be stylish.

There are endless possibilities when you have basic pieces and accessories in your closet. And the more solids you have the easier it will be to layer and create something new. Use your accessories to give that splash of color to bring out your personal style. Here are some suggestions to get you started

Polyvore - layering

 What outfits are hiding in your closet?

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