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Style & Fashion

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A Simple Trick to Look More Stylish

When I’m working with styling clients, I like to create fashion rules, like the third piece rule, to make the process more manageable. Looking put together and polished can feel overwhelming at times. There are societal norms, fashion trends, and on top of that, everyone has their own mishegoss (long legs, short legs, big bum, not a big enough bum, loves to wear heels, can’t wear heels…you get the picture).

My job description may be that of a wardrobe consultant. But in some ways, I am more of a coach or tutor, maybe even a quasi therapist. My mission is to take what may seem like fashion babble and help translate it in an understandable and easy to execute way.

I equate fashion rules to the study tricks teachers would create to help us remember subject matter in school. To this day, when I hear HOMES, I recall the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. It’s ingrained in my brain, which means the acronym rule works!!

The Third Piece Rule

Do you know those people that always look put together? It can be kind of annoying, right? Well, next time you see one of them, check. I bet they’re using the third piece rule…

 The “Classic” White Shirt

A white shirt is on about every wardrobe must-have list ever created. It’s perennial, it’s classic, it never goes out of style…Well, that’s kind of true, but also, not.

Yes, a white button-up shirt is a time-honored piece of clothing. Partly because it’s so versatile. It can be worn in so many ways and works regardless of one’s body type or personal style aesthetic. The basic elements of the shirt remain the same,  white cotton, with a collar and buttons up the front – generally unassuming and at the same time quite functional.

BUT and this is a big ol’ but…
The shape, silhouette, and fit of a white shirt that is considered “modern” versus “dated” has changed.

In the past (think J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, and Banana Republic circa 2000) a classic white shirt would have a very slim fit. So much so, that women sporting any sort of bust would have issues with the area between the buttons flaring open. I know there are a bunch of you nodding your head in recognition right now!! It was/is a real problem…

Kalyn Johnson Chandler – Girl Crush

I am so thankful to my client and friend, Heidi, for introducing me to Kalyn Johnson Chandler. Kalyn’s a real-life wonder-woman that started her career as an attorney and then pivoted to create the lifestyle brand Effie’s Paper: Stationery & Whatnot. And she is completely Girl Crush worthy! I’m excited for you to meet her and check out some of her favorite things below! Front and center on Effie’s homepage is their credo, “We believe the future is female & that  it’s being fueled by black girl magic!” Powerful, right?

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale’s Best UNDER $100 Finds

Every year there’s a whole bunch of pomp and circumstance surrounding the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. BIG yellow signs, customer excitement,  early access dates, and special buys for the upcoming season. In some ways, I think it has usurped the role of the big, fat, Vogue September issue as the official marker of Autumn fashion.

While I’ve felt slightly skeptical about this sale in past years, in 2020 I’m finding it’s arrival quite familiar and comforting. Perhaps it’s that many of the items included in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale are perennial favorites brought back year after year. Or that I know I can stock up on my most worn shoes, pj’s, sweats, makeup, and more at the best prices of the year. So many of my best finds are under $100, even under $50 – The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has some treasures.

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts NOW

You’re going to see a lot of content from me (and probably other bloggers as well) about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale over the next couple of weeks.

Why? What’s the Big Deal?

Because this sale, the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, is not like all other sales. Typically sales happen when retailers hit the end of a season and are trying to make space for the new season of merchandise. Basically, a sale means it’s leftovers.

But the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is different. With this sale, fall merchandise (for the upcoming season) is being sold BEFORE the season begins, and at an extreme discount.

What to Keep in Mind when Navigating the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Consider this the starter post, sharing the basics of the 2020 sale. The dates to keep in mind and the best strategy to use, so you can get the products you want and need. 

Please, don’t waste your precious time or money on a bad buy. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it 1000 times. It is not a good deal just because you get it on sale. If it hangs in your closet with the tags on, it was a waste of money! Period. The end.

Melinda Maria necklace, Goorin Bros. Hat, Jcrew dress

Melinda Maria Jewelry

About 18 months ago, one of my super stylish sisters-in-law showed up to a Sunday night family dinner sporting the most fabulous Melinda Maria necklace! It was a collection of charms. But styled in a cool, modern, fun way, Rather than those charm necklaces grandmas used to wear.

I must have complimented her 500 times that night alone. Her Melinda Maria necklace encompassed all the elements that make a piece super wearable and therefore a wardrobe workhouse.

Just the right amount of shine.  Like there were some stones but it wasn’t so glitzy you could only wear it at night –  100% grocery store and carpool appropriate.
It was the perfect balance between delicate and statement. For instance, the gaggle of charms had an impact but on the other hand, was delicate enough to be layered.
You could not tell the price by looking at it – personally I love clothes, and stores that are so well designed you can’t tell if something is going to have one, two, three, or four zeros in the price. (ie. $10, $100, $1000, $10,000)

Yellow schutz block heel sandal - The Wardrobe Consultant

Summer Shoes Fashion Segment

My friends at WKYC Channel 3 reached out asking me to do a Fashion Friday segment this week about summer shoes. And while I LOVE partnering with them and going TV segments, ironically, even though I write this blog weekly, I always still prefer to talk rather than type. However, there is only so much info you can pack into a 2.5-minute segment. 

And in a blog, I can go deeper with links, tips, and even different styles. For example, I posted on Instagram asking what summer shoe questions you all had. There were quite a few comments about summer shoes that don’t show toes. Bunions, no pedicure (thanks COVID), and such. Honestly, I didn’t think of that before filming. But, I’ll be sure to address it here.

BTW, the spot should air Friday, July 17, 2020. Tune in if you can. I always try to share it on Facebook and Instagram as well, so make sure to follow me there too.

What’s Old is New Again

The cool thing about the “in” shoes of summer 2020 is that they’re totally practical.  AND in many cases, you might already have them or something similar in your closet.

Alice and Olivia Kimono on Hallie Abrams, The Wardrobe Consultant

Cheers, It’s Time for Summer Sales

Post 4th of July is usually the time in the fashion/retail calendar where the summer stuff goes on major sale. Why? Because stores are trying to clear things out to make way for fall merchandise. Even though this year has been anything but typical. The summer sales are still going strong. So it’s a great way to snag some key pieces at a deep discount.

Don’t Buy It Just Because It’s on Sale

However, my rule for styling clients, and that I’m sharing with you is: DO NOT BUY IT JUST BECAUSE IT’S ON SALE. An item isn’t a deal if it just sits in your closet. If it’s not adding, in a positive way to your wardrobe, it doesn’t belong there.

I can’t tell you the number of times I meet with a first time styling client for a wardrobe analysis and there are pieces STILL WITH TAGS! Meaning they have never worn it. And, 9 out of 10 times the reason is they got it on sale or at a discount store and it was such a good deal. BUT THEY HAVEN’T WORN IT – so, P.S. it’s not a good deal, it’s just money spent with no return on the investment and, in addition, it’s taking up valuable closet space. Ok, I’ll get off of my soapbox now and dish on the deals and steals I’ve found.

One Summer Sales Note…

Renting my clothes?? Really?

YUP! You read it right. Before Covid-19 and quarantine, I was trying out various clothing rental programs! Not just special occasion rentals either, I was renting my everyday clothes! In other words, my jeans, sweaters, blouses, blazers, handbags – the clothes I was wearing on the regular, many of them were rentals. In fact, I rented the dress pictured above in October 2019 and wore it 3 times before returning it.

At first, I wasn’t sure. I had hesitation and questions…

Would the items feel clean and fresh?

How would the clothes fit? 

Could it actually save me money?

Would the clothes be age-appropriate?

The answers to those questions have generally been…