Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Packing for Vegas (As a 31 Year Old): The Perfect Red LIpsticks, Comfortable Shoes, and Yes, Black

Packing for Vegas (As a 31 Year Old)

In my mid to late 20s, my packing list for Vegas would have looked something like this: highest heels I own, shortest dresses I own, string bikinis, huge earrings, makeup, jean shorts, tank tops. Likely all black.

Now, I'm 31, married, and packing for an upcoming trip to Vegas. We're meeting up with a couple we met years ago while on vacation, and last week I suddenly felt myself pressuring myself to pack things that were "more Vegas" or somehow more fun or fancy than what I had in mind. Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I love to pack things that I want to wear. And yes, there are some special things I like to bring to Vegas (ehm, lashes!), but generally, I am who I am. I'm so much more comfortable in my own (sunscreened) skin now. Thank goodness for that!

So, here is my packing list:
      • Lashes?
      • Lipsticks
      • All gold or all metallic accessories?
      • Shoes that won't kill me
      • Fun dresses for nighttime (all black)
      • Pool shoes
      • Jean shorts and tshirts
      • Pool head situation
      • Casino and restaurant layers
      • Work out? Yoga classes?
      • Sunscreen
      • Bathing suits/bikinis
      • Lotions
      • Vitamins
      • Books to read
I still love fake lashes for a trip to over-the-top Vegas. I usually buy the ELF brand because they're so cheap. I look for the most natural-looking ones now, ones that will just make my own lashes look fuller. I buy two tubes of glue because there's often wrong with one. These would be perfect!

My theme for this trip's clothing is black and white with metallic accessories. (I always pack with a theme like by color, boho, nautical prep, etc). Therefore, I want to remember all of my most fun, bold "It's still summer, dammit!" lipsticks. Here are some of my absolute favorite splurge lipsticks for a special occasion in both shiny and matte.

The perfect orange-red that tastes good, too. 

It's a splurge-and it's worth it.

The best matte red ever.

Bobbi Brown

For shoes, I want shoes that are cute but comfortable for going to the pool and ones that are amazing but that won't kill my feet for nighttime outings to see LOVE (our second time-it's so good!), out for dinner, and even out to a club (!!) with friends. I think this will bring our times that we've gone to a club together as a married couple to...two? I think there was one other time? These shoes would be fun to wear in Vegas and would work with anything!

 The jeans and tanks haven't changed much. I still like to wear shorts, and I always bring a t-shirt to the pool so I can cover my shoulders and back when I'm getting too much sun. Here's one I'd love to be packing. I might even allow the red into my b&w theme for it!  

The reference to "pool head situation" is about covering my face and/or hair a bit while by the pool. My fine hair tends to flatten out, and I prefer to wear a hat or scarf while by the pool now. I love this look from Pinterest and need to dig around for a similar scarf that I have and practice my tying skills.

When I turned 30, I finally gave up trying to dress like everyone else when it comes to what season you all think it is versus what I think it is. For me, it's almost always cold. I'm almost always colder than everyone else, and I gave up grinning and bearing it around age 30. Now, I pack ahead with layers for restaurants and casinos and shows with layers that I like instead of getting stuck in a VEGAS sweatshirt purchased in desperation on the Strip.

Sunscreen! Lotion! Vitamins! How we've grown, right? And books, always books. After law school I finally read books for pleasure again, and it's the best.

I'm packing Tiny Beautiful Things, The Confidence Code, and Centered Leadership, and I'll buy some magazines (my favorite vacation indulgence) when those run out.  

And just for nostalgia's sake, here I was with my best friend in the world, aged approximately 22 or 23, and, yes, still wearing black. I don't dress up and root for the Eagles anymore, but she's still my best friend, I still want to wrap my head up, and some things never change!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

4 Ways to Love Leather

4 Ways to Love Leather

I love how leather (faux if you please) looks for the end of summer and early fall. There's something so appealing to me about the shiny, slick look of leather with something softer next to it. Here are my ideas for how to wear leather in the next two seasons.

Mix Plaid and Leather

My goal as a personal stylist is to facilitate an environment in which women empower themselves. Leather feels powerful to me and is a quick way to unleash my inner badass. I think that's particularly why I like it mixed with something masculine, like plaid. I like the way women can play between masculine and feminine in style (as in life!). We're powerful shape-shifters like that, aren't we?

Layer It Up

Another way to mix soft and hard, shiny and wooly, is with a great leather jacket.

Monday, August 18, 2014

And the winner is...

And the winner is...


Congratulations, Margie! Please email me your mailing address to startclosein at gmail dot com, and I'll send this gorgeous scarf-pin set out to you this week! 

Monday Roundup: Fall's Upbeat Mood

Monday Roundup: Fall's Upbeat Mood

I really love it when fashion takes a whimsical turn, don't you? Last winter there were lots of foxes on sweaters, and this fall I've spotted some similarly cheery items. I for one love to feel the difference between Work Clothes and Play Clothes, and these stand out to me as things that would feel sufficiently like The Weekend. Also, I'm always a fan of bringing a little piece of weekendness to work clothes so I appreciate touches that feel playful.

Here are some favorite things-fashion and beyond-that caught my eye last week. Let's sit on the back deck with a grapefruit paloma and chat, shall we?

In this era of hyper bullying awareness, I love this shirt from Zara. If you lived near me, I'd be roping you into going to the new Zara store opening soon at the mall near us. I'm mostly not buying anything for fall until they open.

Via Zara

Then there's this awesome shirt by Asos, which I of course love. I taught in the Bronx, and it will always have a chunk of my heart.

I'm not usually very impressed by NY & Co's quality, frankly, but this dress is on sale and is a (universally flattering if it hits you in the right place) wrap dress in a funky, playful print. Why not?

While we're talking about waists, this wrap belt might be the coolest belt of the season. No, wait! This fox one is!

It was hard for me to choose just one of these minimalist manicures to share today because I loved them all (ok, except the evil eyes), and they all look completely doable at home with minimal skill.

And finally, I really liked this infographic on Cup of Jo to help you decide whether to say goodbye to the host of a party of whether to "ghost" and just leave the hosts to enjoy themselves! I hated saying hello and then goodbye to nearly every guest at our wedding. Maybe it's polite, but it felt like the party was over just as it started, ya know?

I hope you have a wonderful start to your week!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

SuziArtist Scarf & Pin Giveaway!

SuziArtist Scarf & Pin Giveaway!

I'm thrilled today to introduce you to an artist and reader who has recently opened an Etsy store called SuziArtist. She knew that I love scarves and asked if she could send me one-and one to give away to you (follow the directions at the end of this post to enter to win a scarf and handmade pin!) I think this would be a great thing to add some color to your outfits-and also a GREAT mom gift. And, she asked if I would suggest a few ways to wear her scarves with "panache and flair!" I hope I did them justice, Susan!

StartCloseIn: I've never seen anything like your scarf/pin sets! They're just gorgeous! How did you decide to take the leap of faith that here was a need for this style?  What is your creative process in making them?

Susan: I adore scarves - especially in the business world. They make quite a fashion statement without the larger investment of individual pieces of clothing if you are on a limited budget. One jacket -say in a royal blue color-can appear quite different depending on the colors in the scarf you choose and the material!

You can find pins, but I never found any that sparked the excitement that a one of a kind handcrafted pin that is created just for a particular scarf does. I discovered a technique that lets me create gorgeous, unique paper. I knew I had to find a way to showcase it. Along with my interest in using oxidized copper, colored foils, clay and Swarovski crystals, the brooches I have created are very unique and can stand on their own as jewelry even without the scarf.

 As a female small business owner, what do you find rewarding or challenging about your business? Do you have any tips for small business owners like me?

It's harder for small businesses to get noticed and takes a while to get going, unless you have a huge circle of friends to help spread the word. Most people recomment using Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and all of the media out there, but for me...I'd never have time to actually make my creations if I socialized for hours! Lol I started an Etsy store, so we'll see how that goes.


Who do you imagine wearing your sets? Where does she go? What does she like?
I think age is irrelevant to who wears the scarves and pins! The main thing is to incorporate the look into your individual style. The scarf sets look just as great with jeans and a t-shirt as they do with business attire. The scarves I carry are brilliantly colored and really catch the attention. I get stopped by total strangers every time I wear one ...because I try to wear it with artistic flair!

How thick are your scarves? Can they be worn in the summer, too?
The season determines the weight of the scarf I think. A floaty chiffon scarf isn't as approoriate in the fall and winter as one with a heavier material, but the colors can still be brilliant and go with anything.

Are you excited? The scarf above is the beautiful one that Susan graciously sent to me (here, I swirled it around a solid black infinity scarf), and here is the giveaway scarf and pin along with how to enter to win!

Here's how to win! Earn 1 point for each of the below. Tell me what you've done in your comment. I'll announce a winner on Monday morning. That's it!

1. Visit Susan's site.
2. Comment with something that you saw on Susan's site that you liked.
5. Follow StartClosein by email via the link on the right side of this home page. 

That's it! Good luck!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

In Praise of the White Jacket

In Praise of the White Jacket

Recently, I helped a client to take a fresh look at her closet. She's a mother of three, one four year-old and two twins under a year old, and she was transitioning from being home full-time with the twins to working from home part time. In what she called her "other life," she had worked full-time in an office where fashion was queen, and her closet was full of dry clean only, precious pieces. They were not working for her current life.

What we did was cull through her closet to separate out anything that was dry clean only; we stored it in a separate closet for special occasions. Then, we pulled out pieces that still felt young and fresh but could be Oxy Cleaned and thrown in the washer.

One of the things she had that we got a lot of mileage out of was a white blazer. I can't recommend more highly that you look through your own closet to see if you have a jacket or blazer that fits you well that you have been under-utilizing. In Debbi's case, she thought of the two piece white suit as impractical, which it was!

But, when we ditched the skirt and kept the jacket, we found that she could wear it in a more professional way for lunches or video conferences with clients and over a casual baseball tee with jeans for a kids' birthday party or other family outing. Since it was easy to clean, she wasn't worried about getting it dirty.

Here are two of the many ways I styled it for her.

You might do the same with a light colored jacket or blazer, or even a navy one for the fall. Black can be nice and provide some edge, but it can also read as very corporate, so try this first with a jacket that's not black. 

If you're on the market, I like this cropped linen open jacket on sale from Loft, or this twill moto jacket for a bit of edginess,  this doubleweave cotton for a more feminine fit, or any number of these Asos jackets, including curve sizes.

And if you're wondering whether a white jacket will serve you after Labor Day, the answer is of course! That fashion rule should only be heeded if you're looking for an excuse to buy something that's not white. Otherwise, a white jacket can-and should-be worn year round.

I'm linking up to the Fashion Informant!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fall Weekend Style Ideas

Fall Weekend Style Ideas

Don't get upset! It's NOT FALL YET. Let's make that clear, but I do know that the fall stuff is coming to stores, and you might be looking around. Here is what I want to wear this fall on the weekends. Let's pick pumpkins, sip hot apple cider, and make winter vacation plans for somewhere warm and by the water, ok?

This Jcrew tshirt would look great with jeans, a puffy skirt that was overly feminine in a nice contrast with this shirt, or patterned harem pants like they did here.  

Or this Born to Boogie tee, maybe Vote for Love on Saturday and this on Sunday? I'd love this with a blazer and a tight skirt for a date night out with my husband. Put on some heels and make him turn his head.

 I have loved the look of multiple rings since I was a kid, and I still love this look.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Roundup: Contouring Basics, Ideas for Kids to Play in Your Yard, Incredible Sandals, and a Sibling Gift for a New Baby

Monday Roundup: Contouring Basics, Ideas for Kids to Play in Your Yard, Incredible Sandals, and a Sibling Gift for a New Baby

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I took it easy after last week's disgusting bout with food poisoning, which meant trips to the dog park and the farmer's market mixed with reading magazines and putting away laundry. I hope you had a great weekend that was just what you needed!

I'm excited to share an eclectic grouping of favorite posts from last week. First up, makeup!

You see, contouring with makeup is one of those things that I am sometimes interested in doing but then decide that it's too much work or looks too made up. So I thought this post on Contouring Basics on A Beautiful Mess about simple contouring using 3 shades of concealer was worth a look! It seems like something most of us could do with what we already have at home or after a quick Target trip. I wouldn't spend this much time every day, but for a special event like attending a wedding these are some great tips. This is a "during" shot, by the way!

I loved The Mom Edit's tips on what to stock up on for kids to play in your yard. Whenever we have kids visit our house, I feel badly because we have lots of dog toys but no real kid toys. This made me think about how to have a fun yard for visiting kids with things we already have!

Friday, August 8, 2014