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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…

Can Shelter in Place be a Happy Time?

Happy Shelter in Place week 3… That’s how an email exchange from one of my clients started. And I’ve been thinking about it. It’s not that I’m unhappy, per se, but rather that I’m uncertain. And that uncertainty is leaving me VERY unmotivated and uninspired creatively.

For instance, I have NO IDEA what to write about this week. All of the content I had lined up for you seems irrelevant and unimportant in light of the pandemic and subsequent isolation we are all facing. And so as I’m procrastinating writing (hello, I mean I have nothing else to do except clean toilets) I’m thinking about what I’d want to see if I were you reading this…And the answer is I JUST DON’T KNOW.

Even though stores are having CRAZY sales right now (like Nordstrom 40% off,  JCrew 40 % off, Madwell 30% off, Saks 25% off) it personally feels weird to shop for clothes right now considering there’s nowhere to go. 

Making the Most of It…

Hallie Abrams and Sara Shookman style animal prints

Animal Prints are HUGE right now. Maybe too Huge.

Animal prints are forever chic. They’ve truly never gone out of style. But right now, the animal print trend is huge. Like maybe too huge. All you have to do is spit and you’ll hit an animal print something in every store you enter. There is not a retailer, from Target to Saks (and everywhere in-between) that hasn’t jumped, heavily, on to this trend. In some ways, it’s great, because you can find animal print pieces at all price points. But in some ways, it’s feeling kind of overdone and saturated.

And as one client recently said to me “5 years ago you had me wear my animal print pieces and I felt a little edgy and different. Now when I go out it seems like everyone is wearing it, it’s a sea of women in leopard and it all just blends together.”

So the question might not be How to Wear Animal Print BUT How to Wear Animal Prints and Make Them Uniquely Your Own for 2020… Because getting dressed is about communicating who you are. Not just looking like everyone else.

Zara bootie with crystals and Aldo shoe clip

Holiday Party Outfit Overwhelm

In theory, getting dressed for a holiday party can seem kind of simple and straight forward. But let me give you an idea of what goes through most people’s minds…

“I know the invitation says FILL IN THE BLANK (cocktail, festive, casual, business) but what does that REALLY mean??? Do I have to wear a dress? Long? Short? And pantyhose? Do I have to shave??

I don’t want to be too overdressed. But I also don’t want to be underdressed. And, I don’t have anything in my closet that fits the bill! Ugh, I have to go shopping for something new. But I don’t want to buy something I’m only going to wear once. I have things but they don’t feel special or festive. And, my “going out” clothes aren’t totally appropriate to wear around my FILL IN THE BLANK (boss, co-workers, clients, grandpa, children). UGHHHH forget it. I just won’t go!”

And that there is precisely why getting dressed for holiday parties can be so dang stressful.

But it doesn’t have to be. Let’s get down to it… what do you wear to a holiday party so you’re not overdressed and also not underdressed. AND, I’d even add, if you need to buy something new, that it’s something you might actually be able to wear at another time of the year.

Tie Neck Blouses for the WIN

Let’s talk tie neck blouses, or bow neck or librarian blouses. Whatever you call them we are LOVING them right now!  Yeah, seriously…these are an updated modern take on the old school blouse that you’ve got in your head. You know we’re all about making the most out of your wardrobe, and the updated tie neck blouses are uber versatile. Last week we talked about a comfortable pointy toe flat like Rothy’s showing up on our clients’  shopping lists, and now it’s happening with this tie neck type of blouse too. Even Princess Kate is getting in on it! Regardless of how busty you are or not, this style seems to work on everyone.

Why It looks good on everyone…

Instant Fall 2018 Wardrobe Updates.

Fall is our favorite season for getting dressed.  We love a warm cozy sweater and a pair of booties on a nice crisp day. There’s nothing quite like getting dressed for Fall, ya know? Maybe it’s that we feel safe not showing so much skin. Or that the extra layers of clothing help us to feel more put together. We don’t really know. We do know we never feel bad buying a few new pieces for our wardrobes in the Fall.  We’ve got months ahead of us to wear them over, and over (and maybe over) again. So, on a cost per wear basis, we’re getting our money’s worth.

We’ve come up with a list of the 6 essential items to add to your existing pieces to feel instantly updated for Fall/Winter 2018/19. We looked at what we were seeing on the runways and magazines, what we were drawn to ourselves and what we were suggesting to clients.

These 6 Updates Will Get You Fall ’18 Ready ASAP.

We’re going to share the 6 items that’ll instantly update your wardrobe this Fall. A few each week so you won’t get overwhelmed. So stay tuned.  We’re starting with the first two on the list –  1. western wear, and 2. leopard print (which we talked about a few weeks ago) and we’re doing it again because alone they’re good, but together they’re great!

Style Tips…

What is Reformation?

I was in NYC a few weeks ago with my daughter and her friend and we spent a few hours at the Reformation store in SoHo. The clothing there has a vintage vibe that’s super current (if that’s not an oxymoron, I don’t know what it…). More importantly, It’s a store that my teenage daughter and I can both agree on in terms of appropriateness, cool factor and ethos.

A Store for BOTH Mom and Teen

We were pleasantly surprised to find things we BOTH will wear at Reformation.  And, that’s not always easy. She doesn’t want to look like a middle aged mom (understandably), and I don’t want to look like that middle aged mom trying to look like a teenager. Sadly, we’ve all seen that before, and it ain’t pretty. Reformation is kind of that perfect middle ground. And the price point is in the $30 – $200 range for most items, so while slightly indulgent for my daughter, the price doesn’t make me want to puke either.

If I had to explain Reformation, I’d call it ethical fast fashion.

Reformation is true fast fashion. Typically stores/clothing lines take 12-18 months to develop a piece from sketch to store. At Reformation, a sketch can become a dress in about a month.  Meaning they’re designing and making what we want to wear NOW!

And, it’s ethical. They make their pieces from sustainable materials like…

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…

What’s so special about the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale?

It’s that time of year again… The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. If you’re not familiar with this sale (is that even possible??) here’s a quick 411. Unlike of typical sales where mark downs are on PAST season merchandise, The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale  marks down  PRE SEASON items. Like all the things you might need for this upcoming Fall/Winter 2018! And because it’s pre-season there are full size runs, not just the picked over stuff. It’s only for a few weeks in July/August and after that the pieces go UP to their regular price!!

Really, the sale is worth it. You can end up with some key pieces for a lot less – but there are some tricks of the trade I’ll share with you to up your chances of success.

Both personally and when advising clients, I like to approach this sale in a few ways…