Must-Have Bags For The Perfect Closet

The perfect closet is like an elusive unicorn. It’s the closet that has all the latest on trend pieces mixed in with the classics and basics. The perfect balance between minimal and chic. Getting to this closet takes time, financial investment, and the knowledge that you won’t get away with abusing your clothing, but that you’ll have to take really good care of your things. (No tumble drying!)

The quest to the penultimate closet also includes organizing your bag situation. Slimming down your wardrobe from tons of semi great bags you only use a few times, to the few quality bags you’ll use over and over again will take diligence and self-control. If you’re serious about tackling your bags but the financial investment part scares you, then shop at places like TJMaxx, Zara, Mango, and other department stores that have really great leather products but for a fraction of the cost of high-end names. Same material quality, different price point.

Here’s my list!

The Tote: An Every-Day Bag

A tote bag is a necessary bag not only for style reasons but for functionality. You can use a great tote for work or school to pile in your books, laptop etc or as a great weekend travel bag. Think about traveling and using it as your carry on. When you’re looking for a tote, look for one that’s structured and leather. Always do leather. Make sure it’s not too small (should be tall and wide enough to fit a laptop and some books, in my opinion), and a neutral color with not too many flashy aspects like buckles and zippers. You want to go for timeless. Will this bag be in style next season and 10 seasons from now. Think colors like black, grey, tan. I’d try find one that has a zipper closure so you don’t have sticky fingers rummaging in your bag if you live in a place with pickpockets around.

 

The Weekender

Your weekend bag is something you can toss on your shoulder and go. It’s small, no hassle and carries the essentials. You can run about town and do your thing without lugging something heavy around. Stick to your neutral colors, that way you don’t have to worry that neon pink is clashing with your look. It goes without saying, choose a quality leather item.

 

The Black Tie Event Clutch

We’ve all been caught in situations where we’ve been invited somewhere nice and realize we don’t have a bag to go with the elegance of the evening. That being said, a “black tie event” clutch will go a long ways to ensuring your date, broadway, and fancy soiree nights are fully prepared for. You’re most likely wearing a gorgeous black dress to one of these events, so have fun with a clutch that is both elegant but has some great style elements.

The Wallet/Every-Day Clutch

This little guy is where I live. I despise carrying around my tote (it’s usually full..), and that weekend bag isn’t always appropriate. But what IS appropriate is this wallet that doubles as a clutch. It’s small enough to throw into your tote or weekend bag, but big enough to carry like a clutch. It fits all the necessary things like your phone, a lipstick, a few credit cards, some cash,keys, and your license. So adorable!

 

The Fun Bag

This is sort of a bonus category, but in case you feel like you may get tired of your neutral colored bags, it’s fun to have that “other” bag for the days when you feel like you’re made from sun rays. We all have those days! Try a fun colored bag, or if colors aren’t your thing, go for a neutral color with crazy amounts of texture. Thing tassels, buckles, zippers. Make sure when doing a fun colored bag that your overall look is well balanced. Depending on the outfit, looking like a neon eye-shadow palette might not be so hot.

 

Hope you found this article helpful! Let me know what you think!

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The Bomber Jacket: Why You Need One

This 90’s grunge (at least in my memory) has taken quite a a major turn and presented us with a pretty unforeseen comeback. Sure Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid were seen wearing this but is that enough to make it a closet staple? It a little bit is.

I remember seeing boys with jeans wrapped around their thighs wearing oversized bomber jackets in high school, which was almost 12 years ago (huge gasp), and I never thought in a million years that I would see this come back like it did. The great thing about a black bomber jacket is that the shape is unique enough to create a really interesting look. If you’re wearing a classic look, it’s enough to add enough to add that extra edge to your look.

It’s unexpected.

I’ve come to love bomber jackets so much that I’d almost classify it as a closet staple. Jackets come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find the ones that work for you and I do feel as though this one works for just about anyone. Whether you’re draping it around your shoulders your simply have it zipped over your work out clothes, it’s really a great look.

Check out these examples below!

The Uniform: How To Be Stylish 100% Of The Time

We all have those days where putting on clothing is the hardest thing your brain can comprehend to do. You’ve had a long week, you’re exhausted, you can’t think straight, you have deadlines looming and the babies are screaming. It’s at these times we see mommas rocking their pj’s to drop their kids off at school.

Recently in the UK a school principle wrote a letter to ask parents to stop this habit (only in the UK would something like this happen) but there was stiff opposition, and even friendly protesting. I imagine getting your kids ready for school means that you pay zero attention to yourself in those frantic 30 min before the bell rings.

For those of you who aren’t  mothers, but have the same scheduling demands, the pressure can be just as overwhelming. You’re running out of the house, coffee mug in hand and you have no idea what you’re wearing. Raise a hand if you’ve been there.

I don’t have kids, but in the past, when I was pressed for time, I developed a habit of creating uniforms to streamline my preparation for the day. As well as waking up earlier, I found that I had some extra time every morning to add a bit more mascara, or actually eat a piece of toast before the hectic day began. Creating a “uniform” will help you focus on what you need to focus on, and you’ll feel good about yourself at the same time!

My go to off duty outfit will always be high-waisted black skinny pants/jeans and a black fitted tee, when I’m in a rush or getting dressed feels hard. It’s extremely simple. So much so that writing an article about it seems like a major waste of time. It’s the obvious choice. I accessorize however with earrings and fun belts and shoes. It works for me. I have multiples in tees and jeans which means I can grab and go. No rummaging around.

If you work in an office environment and are having a hard time creating looks on the go, try purchasing classic, trendy pieces (still office appropriate and stylish) and you’ll notice how you’ll feel strangely free from the extra burden of deciding what to wear.

Check out these examples of stylish looks that can easily become uniforms if you purchase multiples. Remember to purchase things according to your body type, but don’t be afraid to experiment. If you’re buying multiples of a certain style, make sure it’s the most flattering fit you can find and definitely opt for high quality goods.

The Office Look

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Here, your basic outfit stays the same, but your accessories and beauty looks change. Every day you wear a different pair of shoes and perhaps one day a feminine neck tie, and the next day perhaps just an open collar with some dainty gold jewelry. You can also focus on doing your hair and makeup nicely; and now you have an amazing look. You’re not only investing into your wardrobe, but also into your time. Time management is critical in todays fast paced society.

 

Off Duty Look

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Here again, your basic look stays the same, but your accessories are what make your look pop. This look is great if you need to run out the door (certainly put more time into your looks where you can, I love putting together great outfits!)

I live in kitten heels, they’re easy to wear, feminine and chic, and your feet don’t hate you at the end of a long day. I also love having a great tote bag. I keep the critical things in a little clutch that I can pull out if I’m not in the mood to carry a larger bag, but can easily throw into the tote when I’m on the go. Invest in good leather products that can last forever. 

Get amazing accessories! You’ll never be let down and you’ll always feel chic and ready to go. Keep a watch on one wrist and a simple bracelet on the other. It’s not time consuming, it’s easy to throw on and you’ll look amazing. Same goes for the necklace and earrings. Have one or two nice pair of sunglasses and belts you can alternate between to mix up your overall look. 

If high waisted skinny jeans aren’t your jam then opt for a look that you know flatters you nicely. The reason this outfit plan works is that you’re dealing with minimal colors and patterns. It’s hard for your outfit to not work. 

 

Living in todays fast paced society doesn’t mean we need to sacrifice looking and feeling amazing. By tweaking our wardrobes and managing our time better, we get to have the best of both worlds.

Let me know what your morning routines are and what works for you! I’ll feature them in the next article!

 

 

 

 

Much Ado About Cindy: Body Image and the Big Screen

The Cinderella movie just came out, and though I haven’t seen it yet, twitters’ all abuzz about the size of poor Cindy’s waist. Comments from it being airbrushed, to how the actress, Lily James, needed to go on a liquid diet to fit into the dress, and how it’s a terrible role model for children. The part that really gets me is where she is a “bad role model for children”, mainly because people come in all shapes and sizes, and because you’re not that size, you’re unaccepting of her as a person.

I feel passionate about body image because I didn’t always love myself; I knew I was pretty because my mom always said so, but I felt like an outsider at school because I was bullied, which made me terrified of people. Today it’s a different story. I love my body, I love myself, and I have a healthy (maybe too healthy..) level of confidence to where I can be in the buff in front of my hubby and not feel ashamed or ugly. Though to be honest, when I see a truly fit girl, I do feel a pang of dolefulness at my lack of discipline when it comes to working out. But nevertheless, I’ll tell you how I got to a place of loving my body.

I have a gorgeous mother. She has the body of a woman who had two kids but she’s beautiful and very fit. When I was growing up, I’d watch her faithfully put on makeup every day and refresh her lipstick before my dad got home. She believes that you must always look your best for your husband. She took care of her body in that she ate heartily and healthily, she was very active and is still quite fit for her age. She washed her face with amazing skin care products and later on would switch to all natural oils, lotions and potions. This paid off in that her skin looks like a 45 year old’s and she’s well into her 60’s. I watched her religiously put body butter on her whole body when she got out of the shower in the morning, and before she would go to bed at night. She would put lotion on her hands the second she got into the car, every single time. She was the woman that always had fabulous hairdressers, and I remember thinking that she was at the cutting edge of fashion and style. A real modern woman.

She had clothing for every situation, and her wardrobe was impressive. She could find amazing clothes anywhere she shopped and I would prance around the house in her clothing that she brought back from Greece and Israel. I stomped around in her high heels and played the “I’m so beautiful game” as a humble 5 year old, and my sister and I would pretend that we were princesses with the scarves she had gotten from some far away land. My mother didn’t only dress well though, she lived well, and she was the embodiment of a confident, loving, beautiful woman that I wanted to be one day.

She and my dad complimented my sister and I endlessly, and she would give us manicures and pedicures and put lotion on our hands and we would watch her spend time on herself like that. She championed our independence when it came to picking out our own clothes. She wasn’t my favorite person when she disciplined us, but I always knew without a doubt that I was my mom’s (and dad’s) princess, and that my sister was their rose. Those were her nicknames for us and they still are. Sure there were times when it wasn’t all rosy and things were hard and unfair. My dad and her would be gone a lot on business or really busy with work, but I remember the good times.

When we moved to the United States, it all got worse, compared to what it had been at school back home. I didn’t know who I was, where I belonged and I felt like I really stood out. I went into a bit of a grunge phase and, though I was confident and strong, I felt like I wasn’t being myself. After 4 years of painful high school memories and so many bad moments, I graduated and I knew that I could choose who I wanted to be. After a year of detoxing from school and being thrust into a new life in a city surrounded by amazing people, I finally stepped into “myself”. I knew who I was and started acting accordingly. I started being like that princess my mom always called me. I started doing my hair and makeup every day, had a nice wardrobe and really started loving myself. I changed my outlook on life, and decided that it was fun and I was meant to live it to the fullest.

When I’m about town I notice things, and I see moms who don’t love themselves, they don’t take care of themselves, and their outward image speaks of “I don’t care, I don’t know how to care, why does it matter” etc. I see wives who don’t try to look their absolute best for their husbands. I also hear moms who never compliment their daughters for fear that they might grow up with a false sense of self. They don’t want to pressure them into being someone specific, rather let them have the freedom to choose whatever. What they’re doing, in fact, is not giving them a framework to thrive in; those girls, therefore, will be the ones who succumb to society’s “ideal woman” and they will be the ones struggling with their body image because it was perpetuated through their mothers’ insecurity.

It’s those same mothers who are offended at the Cinderellas’ of the industry. You see, although in principle it might sound nice to give a child the choice of who they want to be, you can’t expect them to make decisions like adults do. They haven’t been given the options, seen the consequences, made the mistakes, intellectually derived solutions to problems, and lived through years of regret, understanding, knowledge of wisdom, like adults have. All they see are unicorns, flowers, fun, not fun, sad, happy. They don’t understand, or can’t comprehend, the “choose whatever” lifestyle. Why? Because they’re kids. Their brains haven’t fully formed to a place where they can decide for themselves. All they’re doing is absorbing, like sponges, information around them. They aren’t deciding anything, just absorbing.

What role model are you being for your daughter or son, so that the information they’re absorbing is information you can be proud of. The information I absorbed about body image around my mother, was that I could be beautiful, that I was a princess, that I had a good heart, that it mattered that I loved myself for my future husband’s sake.

So it all starts at home. Mothers, love yourselves. Show your daughters that you love yourselves. If you don’t love yourself then do something to change it. Change your diet and start working out. Those endorphins will immediately change your mood! Find the things about you that you love and if you’re having a hard time, grab a girlfriend and chat about it. Be open, honest, and real. The best thing you can do for your daughter is give her a proper framework for what true beauty is. Actually, be an amazing role model for her. Teach her what you think she should know about beauty and body image. Rather say something than nothing at all. Teach her to love her body, in whatever shape or size it is, whether it’s tall and willowy or a little tubby.

Before I got married, I weighed a very slight 125lbs. For a 5’9″ girl, that’s quite skinny. After marriage I quickly gained the “marriage weight” and clocked in at a solid 140lbs. That felt like a lot to me. You guys. It was real. I was so ashamed. My husband didn’t really care because we were both in the marriage muffin boat. I went from prancing around the house in my undies as a single girl to wearing t-shirts to bed. This was so not me! I loved being free and loving myself! I knew something had to change, and drastically. First I cut out the pizzas and Krispy Kremes, the chocolates, and the drinks, and I joined a gym. (Although, you haven’t lived if you haven’t had a freshly glazed hot Krispy Kreme donut right off the belt.) That was fine but I realized that my mindset concerning myself wasn’t changing. I decided that I would stare at myself in the mirror until I could accept myself and love my body. I continued to faithfully put lotion on every night, and I would stare at myself until the day came that I realized I looked like a cherub. I kid you not. Those little angels in Michelangelo’s paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Those ones. I laughed so hard the moment I realized it, because I loved it. I started feeling playful again, and then soon after that I felt sexy. I felt like the models in those old paintings, the ones lounging lazily on a couch with grapes in their hands. When I saw myself like that, I started loving my body. My sexiness hadn’t diminished with the extra love. It was there all along; I just had to realize it.

I’m closer now to the size I was when I got married and I remind myself every now and then that I might not look like a Victoria’s Secret model, yet, but I sure do feel like one. And that’s what counts.

Borrowed From The Boys: How To Rock Menswear

The “girls just wanna boys” look has been around since women first started wearing pants.. circa 1920’s. We saw androgynous looks on the runway this year (and every year past) which means that the trend of women wearing mens clothing, and vise versa, really isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. If you love being feminine (like me) it might seem hard to trade your heels for brogues or loafers, and your a-line skirts for trousers, but there is a way to rock this trend while still staying true to our girly selves.

Check out these looks below for some menswear inspired trends!

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These are some basic “borrowed from the boys” pieces, mix and match and have some fun outfits! The way to rock this look is all in the details. Soft and feminine hair and makeup, accessories and the right shoes.

That 70’s Vibe: The Beginning

We’ve seen it on the streets, and we’ve seen it on the runways, but that 70’s trend is coming back, albeit with a modern twist, and it’s coming back full force. From culottes, to flared denim, to flowery, flowing dresses and billowing coats, these pieces will be around for a while bringing texture, color and prints to center stage. I’ve collected the top 20 outfit inspirations from that decade and given us a mood board we can glean from. Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin and Debbie Harry are some of our leading ladies in this collection.

Check it out! Which looks are your favorite?

Spring/Summer Trend: Overalls

Such a fun look! There are a lot of overalls or dungarees out there so be sure you try on a bunch till you find one that works for you. I love this high-wasited one, specifically because I have long legs and because I can get away with crop tops. A low-waisted dungaree that sits very loose can soon make you look like a farm kid (no disrespect, I used to be one) instead of a mature adult. Same goes for the shorts version. Unless of course you’ve styled it and you look adorable.

With these, I added that textured blouse, which immediately matures it. A tee-shirt is great if you’re just relaxing and a flannel, gingham or really any kind of checkered shirt is a big no-go unless you’re headed to your local hoedown. Pairing it with a blouse gives it an adult, but playful look. It says, “I’m willing to have fun, but not at the expense of my dignity”. I love the wedges because all together, they add to this vintage 70’s vibe that I’m loving. It’s perfect for spring and summer, it’s relaxed and playful, not to mention that wedges will make your legs look great!

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Silk – The New Luxe

There’s something so terrific about wearing silk. It’s one of the softest and coziest (yet most chic), materials to wear, and this season is it’s debut into the lime light. You’ll see this luxe material showcased in high-waisted pants, classic cigarette-leg pants , shorts, blazers, blouses, etc. and we will find no shortage of it in all our favorite stores.

9d4ebbe3e390dc53b38247e07ff02d74Get this chic look for a sunny winter day by pairing high-waisted pants similar to this pair from ShopBop by Rebecca Minkoff, or a slim leg version by Moschino that still has those fun prints and silky feel.  For the top, if you’re trying for something a bit more put together, try something like a cotton top or a knit sweater like this cardi from Zara. A classic structured top would go really well with a trouser that has a fun print. Stella McCartney’s top will add  a touch of class to a fun pant. If you want something more casual a simple crop tee or tank will do the trick. Try this cropped tee from Top Shop.

If  wearing a pair of bold trousers doesn’t quite fit your modus apparendi, then try a fun blouse instead. If wearing bold colors, period, isn’t your thing, then ease into it by wearing something subtle at first. There’s no end to the attractiveness of a woman who wears something with confidence that stands out.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with new things and putting together different outfits. You’ll feel a boost in your self-esteem and your peers will definitely notice that new smile on your face.

Check out the different looks below to get some inspiration!

 

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