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Helpful Hints

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Shop Your Closet.

Once upon a time (like 8 years ago) I (Elana) had way too much in my closet, but still felt the need to shop every time I had an event. I’d run out and buy something new. But, then I started working with Hallie (as a client – I fessed up to it all here). Hallie was like my knight in shining armor (well,  shining accessories) and rescued me. She taught me how to shop my own closet BEFORE going out to shop.  I was surprised to find out I had plenty of pieces that could be paired back to other pieces creating new and interesting outfits, but back then I had no idea how to do it. That’s how so many of our clients feel initially. Learning to shop my closet was a total game changer, and gone are the days that I shop every single time I have an event. 

Now that I work with Hallie, I get to help clients learn the art of shopping their own closets first!!

No need to shop the stores, shop your closet first!

Here’s the thing, and it’s key to learning to shop your closet…

Have an arm party-stack it with bracelets.

This whole arm party thing has been around for quite a while and sometimes we need to check in and see if “trends” are still relevant. First though, we need to discuss WHAT AN ARM PARTY IS anyway? Basically, it’s stacking a bunch of bracelets on your wrist at once. Thus creating a par-tay on your arm. The bottom line is, YES, it is totally still current and in style. But just like a dinner party, there are subtle details that will make your party a hit or a flop.  

Summer’s an optimal time for an arm party because in the warmer months there’s more skin to show, more wrist space that’s screaming to be adorned. And again, like we talked about a few weeks ago, we have less layers to contend with so it helps us feel put together when we throw on more accessories to compensate for the loss of clothing. In a nutshell the bracelets, or the “arm party” are becoming your 3rd piece and taking place of heavy cardigans or jackets that are usually covering up your wrists. Now that we’ve established stacking bracelets is still “in”, read on for the do’s and don’ts and have your own arm party.

A Travel Shoe or Two. Three at Most

We’ve been packing for our clients a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. Maybe you’ve even seen it on Hallie’s Insta stories. And, regardless of the final destination, the common theme has been the dire need of travel shoes. And the desire NOT to over pack in the shoe department. Most people think they need waaaay more shoes than they do to go on a trip. This is the deal, shoes take up A LOT of room in your suitcase (and your weight restrictions). USE THAT SPACE WISELY!

We’ve helped pack for Cali, Arizona, Florida, Italy, France, Portugal, Ireland, Vietnam, Israel, you name the destination, and we’ve probably assisted in packing for it.  And, it hasn’t seemed to matter what the weather is at the final destination, hot, cold, humid, or wet, all of these traveling gals have had the same conundrum, what shoes to pack and how many are really needed? And we figured, hey, if this has been the common theme, then why not put it out there for you, too. 

Travel Shoe Tips from the Pros: 

Build your outfit based on your travel shoes.

Literally, this has been life changing for many of our clients (men and women alike) START FROM THE GROUND UP. Start with your shoes and build the outfits from there. The shoe makes the outfit so when it comes to travel let the shoe start out the outfit. It really helps to cut down on the amount of shoes you need to schlep with you. If you have one or two good travel shoes that you can wear around all day or night that’s all you need. Don’t over pack in the shoe department. Give it a try, and save the space for shoe shopping on your trip.

Day Dresses

Day Dresses for summer – they’re a thing and if you hate wearing shorts as much as we do, you need to know about them. It is hard to imagine, because ummm, spring JUST sprung, like last week (FINALLY). But, summer really is right around the corner. And pretty soon we will all be complaining about how hot and sticky it is outside. More importantly, when it’s 85 degrees and 120 percent humidity outside and you’d rather sweat yourself to death than put on shorts, what’s a girl to wear? The answer is a day dress.

Shorts? Yes or no?

If you like wearing shorts, more power to you girl! Wear them and rock them – literally no judgment (maybe a wee bit of jealousy, but 100% no judgement). But it seems we are not alone in our trepidation about shorts season. We’ve received quite a few text messages and emails about what to wear in place of shorts due to, and we quote, “dropping knees, varicose veins, cellulite, pasty legs, swollen ankles” and a plethora of other leg related issues.

For many the shorts issue is a self conscious thing. Too short and you feel super self conscious, or too long and you feel like a granny. And that feeling of sitting down  and having them ride up your thighs so your butt cheek sticks to the metal bench – that’s enough to put anyone over the edge .

Day Dress = Your Jeans for the Summer

The summer day dress is the perfect option. They are easy, breezy, one and done. These aren’t occasion dresses. They are dresses that you wake up on an 80 degree day and throw on with a summer sandal or flip flop. These are dresses you bring on vacation with you because you can wear it with sneakers to tour around all day. 

These are dresses you can wear to the beach and then to lunch. Shopping or a kids birthday party. Maybe even to an amusement park. Think of these dresses as your jeans for the summer – something you can throw on and go. Ideally, the best ones are those you can dress up or down. Meaning you can wear them with a flip flop during the day and a heel at night and feel equally put together.

White Boots, Yes Really

If I had to pick a favorite purchase this season, it’s my white boots. They make me happy, and I feel springy, and hip, but not too hip to feel foolish. I’ve been wearing them A LOT. Like everyday for the past 2 weeks. Partly because I am sick and tired of my winter clothes, shoes etc and partly because even though it’s spring, the weather is still unpredictable. And like many people, my shoe selection seems to go directly from boots to sandals and this in between weather can sometimes leave me shaking my head. In case you can’t tell, It’s Hallie writing solo this week. Elana has been busy with, well, you know, life. But she’ll be back soon.

The Transitional Shoe Dilemma

My white boots seem to be the PERFECT solution to that age old transitional shoe dilemma. It’s too warm for boot, boots and even though the calendar says April, May or dare I say June, the actual weather has not gotten the memo. It’s cold, or rainy and just not true sandal weather yet.

When it’s rainy no one wants to wear open toe shoes and be all sloshing around the rest of the day. But wearing a dark pair of boots or even booties seems too heavy for spring. I know, it’s definitely a first world problem, but a problem none the less.

White boots, or really white booties, because they are not going past the ankle, They. Are. The. Answer! They’ve been on the scene for about 18 months, in fact I posted about them on IG this time last year and even toyed with buying a pair I found at TJ Maxx, but the heel was too high for me to wear on a daily basis. I schlep around all day long with bags and rolling racks, I ain’t got no time for super high heels. So I kept searching… And now that I’ve pulled the trigger I don’t know how I lived with out them.

But, HOW Do you Wear Them?

Now that we’ve all been seeing street style and social media photos of white boots, they don’t seem as out there and daring as they did a year and a half ago, but there still is this leap of HOW TO ACTUALLY WEAR THEM.

Literally, every time I wear my white boots, even with the uber fashionable gals, someone says “oh, I’ve been eyeing white boots but don’t know how to wear them” or “I have a pair sitting in my closet but I am not sure what to put them with”

Guys, consider the gauntlet thrown. Challenge accepted. Because adding a pair to your wardrobe is the easiest spring update you can make, I promise. There are a few simple rules to keep in mind, after that it’ll be easy to make a go of your white booties.

Simple Spring Update. Add a Belt.

There’s a really easy way this spring to take what you already have and make it feel current. Ready for it….Tuck your shirt in, and add a belt.  In fact, chances are you already own at least a half a dozen belts that you’ve been storing in the archives waiting for this moment. Yes, people…belts are back and we’re seeing them everywhere, because, the proportions are changin’.

Why add a belt?

It doesn’t even have to be a huge investment to make things feel current. Like we said, the proportions are changing. (We even talked about this last summer in the mom jean post.)  The waist and rise of pants, and skirts have been on the rise for a while now. The days of plumber’s crack is gone, and in our humble opinion…good riddance, because this makes it super easy to achieve an hour glass figure, even if you don’t have one. It’s just about every girl’s dream to have an hour glass figure and with the rise of the rise, you too can. Like Hallie says, getting dressed is all just an optical illusion. So, tuck it in and add a belt to be current, while creating the ultimate hour glass figure.

To tuck or not to tuck.

The question becomes to tuck or not to tuck?  When the waist of your bottoms sits just at about your belly button the goal then is to create an hourglass figure. So, now’s the time to tuck in your top and add that belt.  A TWC style trick…After you’re tucked in and belted, reach your hands up over your head like you’re grabbing something you can’t reach. When you let your arms down you’ll find you have the perfect amount of blouse over. You’ll feel more fashionable, less stiff, and a lot less like your local UPS man.

The one downside to wearing a belt is that a once quick bathroom break now takes a good 5 minutes longer when you factor in having to tuck your shirt in and then buckle the belt. Oh the things we do in the name of fashion…

Black Pumps, Boring But Necessary.

Black  pumps. Are they boring? Kind of. But, are they necessary? Yes! This is one of those needs vs. wants things.  In the food pyramid of clothing,  a plain black pump falls into the veggie category, not the sweets category. Nobody really wants to eat them, but they need them to sustain a healthy body. Eating sweets would be way more fun. And the same goes for the black pump.

Most people don’t really want spend a chunk of their clothing budget on a “boring” shoe like the black pump, but it’s a building block in your wardrobe. In fact, if you invest in a plain black pump now it’ll save you money in the future. With the black pumps we’re talking about, you probably won’t need a different black pump for every occasion. When you have a classic pump in your closet that goes with just about everything,  just like your veggies, it will take you further than a piece of cake.

Black pumps are versatile.

Time and again we meet with clients that are missing this key element in their wardrobe.  We’ve realized maybe it’s time to give the classic black pump a little PSA. It’s one of those pieces it pays to invest in.  It will end up being one of, IF NOT the most versatile shoe in your wardrobe. It goes with just about everything from jeans, to dresses. It’s that versatile, and a classic if chosen correctly.

Rules for picking a classic black pumps…

Approach Your Next Shopping Trip Like a Pro.

We are shopping pros. When we go on a shopping trip (with a client or with friends) we shop with purpose and we don’t like to waste time. We’re not like the Whirling Dervish or anything like that, but we’re on a mission when we go on a shopping trip.  We know where to go, and have in mind what to get.  We try to know every clean bathroom in every shopping spot between here and Timbuktu and we’ve even mastered eating and shopping at the same time.  Like we said, we’re pros.  We have to be efficient to make the most out of our time with our clients.  So, since time is of the essence here,  we’ll cut right to the chase. When you shop you have to wear an outfit that’ll SAVE YOU TIME and won’t slow you down.

Wear the Right Shopping Outfit.

You might think, who cares? Why does it even matter? But, it does. Remember the last time you went shopping and wore something that was a pain in the butt to take off? That day you spent half your time buttoning and unbuttoning and lacing up boots, or shoes to just say, the heck with it. I’ll just buy it now, and try it on at home to then realize you’ve wasted the time schlepping it back to the store because it didn’t fit. Or instead, you totally wasted the money because you were too lazy to take it back, and now it’s sitting in your closet with the tags on it.  And all of this because you were wearing an outfit that was a headache to shop in. Next time, try a stylist approved outfit, one that’s comfortable, easy on, and easy off. But that looks put together, but not sloppy. It’s a tall order but it’s do-able. And, in the end, it’ll save you both time and money.

What to wear on your next shopping trip:

Have you heard that saying “shopping is my cardio”? Well, the same way there’s a right and wrong way to be dressed to get the maximum benefit from your yoga or spin class, there’s also a right way to dress for maximum efficiency in a shopping trip.

All outfits have key elements and a shopping outfit is no different. We’re breaking it down (right down to the skivvies actually) as to what you need to wear the next time you’re out for a day of retail therapy…

The Coolest Evening Bags for a Night Out.

Evening bags. The last puzzle piece.
Evening bags are often a void in our clients wardrobes when we first meet with them.  At one point I wasn’t any different – btw, it’s Elana writing this week.  When I first started working with Hallie, (meaning, as a client “worked” – if you didn’t know I started as a client, you can read about it here.) Anyway, back then,  I didn’t have an evening bag to my name. I would either stuff my pockets with my belongings or call my Mother-In-Law (whom is a very good sharer) in a panic begging to borrow one of hers. Hallie called my void, “a hole in my wardrobe”.  The problem was I would concentrate so much on the perfect outfit for the occasion that I’d forget the last piece to the puzzle, which was the essential evening bag. But, Hallie put a stop to that. She taught me that little bag made a big impact. The puzzle can’t be complete without the last piece, right? 

Bottom Line There are 3 Types of Evening Bags EVERY Girl Needs…