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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…

All You Needed to Know About Bras, You DIDN’T Learn in Middle School.

This weekend, we had our first socially distanced get together with friends. First of all, it was AWESOME!! Boy, did I miss people!  And, second, I was totally inspired to write this blog post. The women were saying our get together was the first time in MONTHS that they’ve actually worn a real bra!! Ummm, raise your hand if it’s me too for you…

And that it felt weird, because their bras were uncomfortable, and pinched and didn’t perk the girls up enough. Amen to that! And sorry if it’s TMI.

But it got me thinking… I’ve not really addressed the whole bra issue here before. I talk about it with my one on one wardrobe clients. And we talked about it a lot in the virtual closet class I’ve been teaching. Which, btw, I’m going to run again… I’ll tell you more about that at the end… But back to bras. So many women just don’t really know about proper fitting bras and how to care for them.

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Bras

So why should you care about bras? Because, in case no one ever told you,  if your undergarments don’t fit properly, your whole outfit will look crappy. I’m being harsh, but it’s true. There’s a reason they’re called foundation pieces. Your undergarments are LITERALLY the foundation of your outfit. And if your foundation is ill-fitting, your clothes will look lumpy and droopy and sloppy.

And, as we age and the elasticity of our skin declines, undergarments become even more important…

matta dress on Hallie Abrams, The Wardrobe Consultant

A Post-Quarantine Wardrobe??

Lockdown, ughhhhh! It’s been 2+ months. And, if you’re like me,  you’ve been wearing a variation of pajamas and sweats on constant rotation. Even if working from home, a comfier version of regular clothes seemed to be the norm. Now, some states are starting to loosen restrictions and open up, but what does that mean? In other words, what does post quarantine life look like? And what’s needed in a post-quarantine wardrobe?

I can’t really answer what post-quarantine life will look like, I’m still trying to figure out what that means myself. However, I can offer advice about what’s needed wardrobe wise. Since I’ve been helping clients (virtually) prepare for re-entry, I’ve noticed a few themes emerge…

Comfort, now more than ever. But to feel more put together than quarantine house clothes.
Washability – with germs, germs everywhere, once home, it all needs to be washed. Think lice (ugh, itch) but times like a zillion and harmful.
Color, color, and more color. Maybe it’s all the seeing ourselves washed out on zoom and facetime. Or that we need something cheery. But even my color shy clients are asking for reds and pinks and blues!

And then there’s the aftermath of being at home for months…

A Perfect White Tee, Basic, But Hard to Find.

It’s funny that something as seemingly basic as a perfect white tee could be that hard to find. But it is!! Of the thousands of women I’ve styled over the past 15 years, it’s always on their list and always elusive. It’s a holy grail of the closet kind of item.

Keep the White Tee’s White

The good and the bad of white tee’s is that they need to be replaced fairly often. The simplicity and crispness of white is why it’s such a wardrobe staple. But when your white tee becomes stained or yellow, it’s gotta go.  I recommend replacing them every few years depending on how often they’re worn. And how sloppy an eater you are (spills down the front are totally my nemesis) or how much you sweat (yellow pit stains, anyone?). My hypothesis is that the need to replace them is part of what feeds the perpetual hunt.

What Makes a Perfect White Tee?

And btw, what makes a white tee PERFECT changes and evolves over time…

Hallie Abrams with flowers by Fawn Glick

Dress-Up Your Deck (or Patio) with Outdoor Decor and Flowers

The weather is finally getting nicer, thank G-d! And while this time of year always has me thinking about spring trends and fashion for the closet… It also has me thinking of ways to spruce up the outdoor space, aka dress your deck. And at this particular moment in time, I think the whole subject of outdoor space deserves some extra attention.

Why? Because with this pain in the a** virus, we’re spending so much more time at home. Having an outdoor space to “escape to” helps make the shelter at home thing more bearable. And, when the time finally comes that we can entertain, it’s easier to have some socially distanced human interaction outdoors – so if we are going to see family or friends, it’s most likely going to be in our outdoor spaces.

Outdoor Decor

When I think of my outdoor space, I like to approach it as an extension of the other rooms in my home. Literally, like another living room, that we only use in the warmer months, but a room, not just the backyard. Putting a little effort into the outdoor decor and flowers can have a big payoff in terms of the look and feel of the space.

There are a few key tips I’ve learned that help make my outdoor space feel “homey” and a place the whole family wants to spend time…

Mother’s Day Gifts

Ladies can be super hard to buy gifts for. And mom’s in particular. Yes, we say we are happy with a handmade card or breakfast in bed. And we are. But, trust me, the effort of actually getting a gift for mom, especially at this time in history, when we are all cooped up, can make all the difference.

And if there are any guys reading this, ORDER SOMETHING NOW! The gifts your kids usually make in school and bring home are not happening this year – just FYI.

As women, we put our families first. And right now there is either a lot of cooking and cleaning happening (omg, in my house there is SO MUCH LAUNDRY!!). Or things are sort of lonely when you can’t see your loved ones because of quarantine. Neither is ideal, but it’s our collective reality.

Any way you slice it, we ladies need props. This is the time to cheer up the lady or ladies in your life. Mother’s Day, birthdays, just because I love you days. With health worries, and family worries, and money and job worries – you can spend a little or a lot and she’ll love it either way. Here are some gift ideas at all different price points I’m confident she’s gonna love.

pearl encrusted face mask by Christian Siriano

Face Masks as Part of the New Normal

According to many experts, wearing a facemask will be part of our new normal for quite a while, thanks to Covid-19. This pandemic is not only changing how we behave (social distancing and sheltering in place) but what we wear (sweats all day and now facemasks) and even how we think.

So Many Questions About Masks

If masks are going to be part of our lives for a while (some say it could be for up to a year) there are a lot of questions about them. Not just from a health and safety perspective, but from a HOW DO I WEAR ONE AND STILL FEEL LIKE MYSELF, perspective.

Here are just a few of the questions I’ve received from both clients and readers..