I’m ready to get away!

Summer officially starts on Thursday and in this area the kids will finally be out of school today! That means a summer getaway is probably not far behind.  So what can you do to make the escape easier on you from start to finish? Pre-planning and packing light.

If you are going by car with endless room you may not worry about it, but if you are flying, packing can be a challenge.  I always want to take things I usually don’t wear at home; you know that cute maxi-dress you bought on your last tropical outing that’s a bit on the wild side for wearing out to dinner at home. Let’s see if we can squeeze it in.

Let’s start with the pre-planning. How many days and how many outfits can you realistically wear?  Do you plan on an outfit for day and change for the evening?  Think back, did that really happen the last time?  If you are in a bathing suit all day are you really going to get dressed for dinner and is the location you are going to require something more than a casual outfit? These are the questions to ask yourself.  If you are not going to the beach, is it a climate that might need a heavier layer than a t-shirt?

With these answers we move on to selecting what to bring. Also think about creating your own travel checklist.  I started one several years ago and tweak it every time we come back from vacation.

First pick a neutral shade as your base color.  You can do this for either the tops or bottoms, but I would suggest it be your bottoms for the most flexibility.  According to where you are going that may include jeans (dark is preferable as they can go dressy or casual), a skirt or dress and a pair of slacks (again maybe a pair of the trendy soft pants or an ankle pant). In tropical locations, I always bring a denim skirt and opt for sun dresses over shorts for comfort.  And remember, neutral does not always mean black and tan.  Gray and navy work really well to maximize your options. I always use the fewer bottoms to tops ratio when packing and if you are going to a warm destination, always consider that you will only wear the top once (unless it’s a layering piece), particularly in the summer..

Select tops to add color and interest to your outfit.  If you brought along a pattern bottom, you can opt for a solid top or you can really go trendy and use another pattern as long as both patterns have the same dominant color.  No matter what tops you select be sure that each top goes with at least 2 bottoms to give you maximum options.

Now add the accessories.  Scarves and jewelry can change the feel of an outfit from casual to dressy in an instant.  I would recommend gold over silver jewelry if going to the beach to avoid damage to the silver, but whichever you choose, only take one metal color. Or opt to bring your costume jewelry and leave the good stuff at home.  Patterns in a lightweight scarf can pull together a great outfit that has a solid top and bottom. A belt in either silver or gold is a great way to accentuate the waist and dress up jeans for an evening out.

Did you remember a small purse for evening and shopping? And don’t forget your pashmina for the plane, train and evenings out.

There is plenty of debate on the best way to pack all those clothes; fold, roll, bundle or investing in wrinkle resistant clothing.  A recent article I read suggests the best method is a combo and I would agree.  I started using packing envelopes over 10 years ago and just loved them particularly for a trip that moved around a lot.  Then 2 years ago I was given a set of packing cubes by the tour company we were using to go to Europe.  These were even better.  I had one for undergarments, sleepwear and scarves and another for dresses, pants, shorts and tops (in this one I rolled the bottoms and folded the tops). It keeps your clothes neatly folded, maximizes space and you really don’t need to unpack.

Put jewelry inside your shoes so you use every inch of space.  Swap out the jewelry for dirty clothes on the way home.  And if at all possible, wear the bulky item on the plane. Trust me on a long trip the only people that will notice that you wore those same jeans 4 times is you because you had tops and accessories to make it look like a totally new outfit.

Enjoy!!

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

If at first you don’t succeed try, try again

Growing up I would hear this from my parents when I tried to do something and it didn’t go as planned.  I use these same words when working with a client.  We may have to get a few misses before we hit a home run with a great style that’s right for you.  Today, I’m going to make it personal and talk about my recent shopping experience.  We’re going to talk about cardigans.

  Twin Sweater set1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I first have to admit, this was never a staple in my closet.  I tend to lean towards a contemporary, almost eclectic wardrobe, particularly since I got out of the rat race of being a Federal employee.  Even in the days of my “former career” I was never a suit person; optioning to show my more artistic side in my fashion selections.  But last year I decided I needed to add a cardigan to my wardrobe to wear with capri pants or my favorite denim skirt (indigo, white and hot pink).  I failed miserably.  Maybe I ran out of energy or patience, but I ended my hunt. Yes, me the person who is supposed to be a pro at this.  Determined that I still wanted this look (I have a secret desire to put together an Audrey Hepburn look for my travels later this year) I set out again to the mall.  I headed into a store known for their classic looks.  Success!!!  I have picked out this great sweater that will mix and match with a multitude of pants, skirts and shorts in my closet.  Isn’t that what it’s all about, being able to create at least 3 new outfits from one purchase?

Classic Cardigan

 

 

 

 

 

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

Flower Power

 It’s not surprising that floral patterns are everywhere given the 70’s influence in this season’s fashions.  But are you thinking outside the box when it comes to adding a floral to your outfit?  Sure, adding a flowered skirt or blouse to your outfit will bring in that touch of spring we are all yearning for.  Enough of the cold, I want warm breezes and flowers.  Maybe you don’t like to invest in a patterned item because it limits your ability to mix and match, or maybe you can’t find the right size floral patterned style that speaks to you; remember a floral pattern should always take into account your body type.

How about a flower as an accessory.  No I’m not talking about in your hair, but on your blouse, over your pashmina or on the lapel of your jacket.  I have found them inexpensively in craft store or you can easily make your own from a floral stem with some wire cutters, a hot glue gun and safety pin (or even a magnet strip).  That’s the easiest way to find the perfect match.

I have several floral pins.  I once used a large hot pink flower pin at the waist of a black chiffon halter dress, or I have used a large white flower on a white ruana for additional texture.

 But one of my favorite styling tips is shown below.

Polyvore - spring flowers

You have this great print bottom (it could be a skirt or even pants).  It’s cold in your office or it’s just to chilly outside to think about going without sleeves, so you put on the jacket from that skirt suit you have hanging in the closet.  It’s ok, but people will get stuck looking at the skirt/pant and not see the rest of your outfit, or that great smile you have.  Add a flower to the lapel and it will immediately force eyes to travel around your entire outfit, not just the bottoms you are wearing.  An easy accessory that won’t break the bank.  This is a great way to balance color in you outfit by pulling some of the color from a dominant piece to the other half; whether it be with a pin, scarf or flower.

What outfits are hiding in your closet?

What will be “in” for Spring/Summer 2016

It seems that mother nature doesn’t want to let us forget who’s boss when it comes to the weather, but we are inching closer to those days when we’ll be wearing those new colors for 2016 I talked about a few weeks ago and sandals instead of close toed shoes. So what are the newest styles you’ll see in stores now and in the coming months? Here’s a rundown of some of the trends and how you might incorporate it into your wardrobe.

Spring 16 styles

1 – Victorian influence – The trends of this era can be seen in many styles, from the high neckline and ruffles, to subtle floral prints. Interpret this trend with a floral print dress with a ruffled neckline.

polyvore - victorian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 – Lightweight Denim  This is a classic, whether your go-to style is a dress, pants or a skirt. Lightweight denim skirts are a great alternative to shorts in spring and summer.

polyvore - denim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 – X-factor  This is a combo of a halter top look with the off the shoulder look.

4 – Fringe – It looks like this is a trend that is here to stay.

5 – Paper bag waist – Not the easiest style to wear, this style pairs this easiest effect with wide-leg pants and loose skirts.

6 – Pleats  Gone are the wide car-wash pleats of the fall. Spring styles are showing much smaller knife pleats.

7 – White shirt That staple that everyone should have in the closet had a makeover for this season.

8 – Spanish influence – This will feature a lot of red (which was not one of the predicted colors from Pantone) to styles that remind you of flamenco dancers with flounces and full sleeves.

9 – 70’s inspired suede  This era continues to have an influence in fashion.  For those of us who remember the original, it may be something you want to pass on, but combining it with suede?  This one is simply a personal preference that has no boundaries by body type. Why not get your 70’s look along with a fringe statement with accessories.

polyvore - 70s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always, every trend is not for everyone. For example, the woman with a little extra in the middle should not even think about wearing a paper bag waist style. And of course you need to look in your closet first. You may very well have something with fringe (maybe a scarf) and have that light denim shirtdress stuck in the back of the closet.

 

What outfits are hiding in your closet?