Friday, February 28, 2014

Quick Tip for Looking More Polished

Quick Tip for Looking More Polished

Wear accessories that mirror something in your outfit. Instead of focusing on "matching," pick a piece that has a similar element. Above, I find the blue repetition to be a bit too much, but I love how the long, flowing necklace feels just like the long, flowing dress.

This is why I love a maxi dress or skirt with a long necklace. I think the eye just reads it as more cohesive, more intentional. 

Today, I'm wearing pearl earrings to echo the polka dots in my shirt. It's small, but I work in an office that tends toward the conservative dressing side.  You might do this with a polka dot piece of clothing that you have and a necklace that has round stones on it or even by wrapping Heidi braids around your head in a circle.

Forgive the awful yellow lighting! Don't worry, Mom, I'm not that sallow looking!

For a more bold approach, try something like this!

One way to think about putting together an outfit like this is to pair wild things. She has a truly wild necklace there, and she went for it. She paired it with a wild print cardigan, which she buttoned up to pretend that it's a sweater. She then really went for it with a wild, bright color on the bottom. I'm hoping they're amazing yellow pants, but it might be a fun yellow skirt.

To replicate this, pick your most out-there piece of jewelry or other accessory. Then, look around for something else that's really bold to put with it.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nicer T-Shirts?

Nicer T-Shirts?

So after yesterday's virtual shopping at Old Navy, Liz emailed me to ask about higher-end t-shirts that will last a bit longer. I have a few ideas!

What about a linen t-shirt like this one?

Or this? I love a tank like this that you can wear a bra with. This is semi-sheer so you might also need a tank underneath it?


A good linen will set you back $40-50, but it will get softer with each wash and last for a long time. Might be a good purchase if you're interested in one or two great t-shirst that you'll layer and change up from spring to summer. Some ideas would be wearing one with a striped pencil skirt, tucking on into a floral skirt, layering under a jacket, or tying or belting over a maxi dress.

Of course, I also love a good jersey. Here's one that combines my love of soft fabric with stripes.

Not into spending that much money on a t-shirt? You don't need to spend a lot if you go with jersey. Try H&M to see if you like the feel and wear of their shirts.


Have fun with it!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Let's Go Shopping!

Let's Go Shopping!

This past weekend, I went to Old Navy twice. The first time was for jeans for me (a black skinny pair and a skinny pair with distressed knees) because they are on sale for $19 (and I got $5 at the time for trying on a pair-not sure if that deal is still running). I like Old Navy for basics and for things I'm experimenting with but don't want to commit to spending more than a few bucks.

The second time, I went with a personal styling client who was interested in trying the "skinny jeans" look for the first time. I think Old Navy's styles and prices are a great way to do just that! The same thing with black skinny jeans, white jeans, or even just a different fit than you usually try. They had some great boyfriend cut jeans, for example, and Old Navy would be a nice way to experiment with them.

So let's imagine that you and I were shopping together. Here's what I'd encourage you to try on.


Start with a dark wash and look for fit. Then, if you like the fit, try on a lighter wash, a black, or a white jean. Old Navy has plus size, petite, and tall, as well as many mid-rise jeans that really help a woman's lower belly appear as flat as possible. That's my pick.

Rockstar Mid-Rise

Plus Dark Wash Skinny Jean

T-Shirts and Tank Tops

Old Navy has some revealing tops and some horrible, stiff t-shirts that won't ever soften up no matter how many times you wash them. Avoid those! Instead, look for softer feeling t-shirts and tank tops that you can wear a bra with. For the next couple months, top one of these with a cardigan, moto jacket, leather or jean jacket, or (best!) a blazer.

I have a few guidelines when it comes to graphic t-shirts: I don't like ones that say Old Navy, and I don't prefer ones that are colors. I find the look more grown up and modern with a white, gray, or black background. Old Navy has a few (in a great range of sizes!) that fit the bill. I'd send you in to try these on with the jeans you're already wearing and a blazer on top.

J'Adore tee
LLL tee
I got the one above for myself, too! I'm imagining it with the jean jacket that my husband got me and white skinny jeans with low boots for now. I bought it a size larger than normal so that it balances out a shorter short when the summer hits.

Oh yeah, Old Navy? Not a sponsor.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Number One Styling Question I Get

The Number One Styling Question I Get

"Do I have to wear a belt?"

Via Girl with Curves
If you've been hanging around here for awhile, you'll notice that I often style clients with belts and frequently feature images with women wearing belts. As a result, when I work with women on falling back in love with their clothing (and bodies), one of the first questions I get is, " I HAVE TO wear a belt?!"

No. You don't have to wear a belt. You don't have to wear anything that you're not comfortable in, of course. But-and you knew there'd be a but!-I would love, LOVE!, for each and every one of you to think about different clothing choices (including belts worn at your natural/high waist) like a child trying new food: try it a few times and then decide if it's "comfortable."

I think comfort is partially physical, but so much more emotional. Wearing a belt might not be the right style for you or style for you all the time, but if you try one out you might like it. You might not like a belt in the belt loops or a stiff belt, but you might like the feeling and the look of a soft piece of fabric or ribbon tied around you. If you have it at the right spot, which is high up on your waist, under your lowest rib, then you might find that it doesn't slip or smoosh or tug but actually helps you to stand taller and feel prouder.

Or it might not. Either way, I'd encourage you to find a way to highlight part of your body that you haven't been, whether it's your waist, your wrists, your legs, or your neck. Try stacking a pile of bracelets on your wrists to call attention to them, or wear a shorter skirt than normal, or swap a turtleneck for a boat neck.

Sometimes part of my goal in putting women in belts is to jar the way that they think about their bodies and what their bodies are capable of. A belt is a fast, dramatic way to do that, but there are others, like wearing a dress with a high waistband (as in the image above), or a twist on one side, or a jacket/blazer/sweater with pockets or a button that "points" to your waist like this.

Above all, have fun with it.

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Future Pixie Cut

My Future Pixie Cut

As my dear friend Erika would say "since I know you're all sitting on the edge of your seats..." Well, maybe you're not, but what I'm thinking about today is cutting my hair very short! It hasn't been pixie length for many years, and I'm ready for the ease of it.

So, since it's Friday and who doesn't like to look at pretty pictures on Fridays, here are some of my inspiration photos! I've realized that with my fine hair, I need to be careful with not fantasizing about short cuts for women with thick hair. I've also learned that I like either blonde (too much work) or very dark (more do-able) pixie cuts. What about you? What are your lessons learned about your own hair?

This is the perfect back, I think. Not too shaved, just enough movement. It's hard to achieve, though, since it stays this length for such a short period of time!

 This back is a bit longer, but also a good shape.

My fine hair will look more like this in the front, I think.

 Love this. Love her!

Want to see more hairstyles that I love or get the links to today's images? Visit one of my most popular Pinterest boards here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

In Person Styling: Jen

In Person Styling: Jen

I'm really, REALLY excited to show off my new friend (met her through Hannah, so you know she's good people!) Jen. She and I talked about having a day in her closet months ago, and Jen was so patient with Hannah and me as we cancelled on her again and again.

Last week, we finally got together to play dress up, putting together outfits for Jen to wear to work, for play, and on stage, too!  I'm going to let the pictures do the talking because I think you'll see just how gorgeous she is-and how that beauty radiates to the outside, too!

Thanks to Hannah for snapping most of these pictures and for pampering Jen with some hair and makeup!

In Her Words

Here's what Jen had to say:

StartCloseIn: What were you hoping to get out of our time together?
I needed help with my style, focusing it and naming it.  And calling in the experts (you and Hannah) was a dream come true.  I had ideas of what I might do or who I wanted to emulate but couldn’t quite put my signature on it.  I was also looking for an outside perspective on what to keep and what to donate (pieces that weren’t working at all – no more hiding underneath shapeless sweaters).

What was the experience like for you?
Fantastic and exhausting.  I can’t remember a time I changed clothes so many times in such a short period.  There were only a couple of outfits that you put together that were similar to what I already wore, but the majority of the time you kept coming up with combinations that blew my mind.  And when I showed you the “Promise” closet of dresses and coats that I hoped to one day wear again (or for the first time), you were like, “Try it on, let’s see” and stuff actually fit.  Having tangible proof that the diet and exercise changes I’d been making were working was incredible.  And inspires me to keep up the hard work and see what else I can pull out of that Closet.

Has anything changed for/in you since our time together?
I ordered a black bomber/biker jacket to mix in with my outfits (and a white one!), since I couldn’t keep Ms. Hannah’s J.  And I had fun trying on different accessories while I was out shopping with my aunt last week, keeping an eye out for longer necklaces that I can layer with ones I have at home.  I also grabbed two new fashion scarves to work in.  Even though I have to wear a lanyard at work for identity purposes, doesn’t mean I can’t layer up on the necklaces and / or scarves too.  I realized I have a pretty awesome collection at home that wasn’t getting enough limelight.  I’m still on the lookout for striped shirts and more of the fun/quirky T-shirts.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I had a rough couple of days at work after our consult and having the outfits ready to go in my closet was such a relief.  And, I felt my confidence level rise with each piece I put on, almost as if I was putting on a suit of armor.  I could take on that day’s trouble because I looked GOOD.  That piece of mind was my calm in the storm last week.  I knew we’d have a great time and we did.  Also, the “Look at that hourglass”, “What time is it? / Time is Up!” comments were hilarious and encouraging.  Notes I distinctly remember:
o   Show off your wrists – roll up your sleeves
o   Show off your ankles – roll up your skinny jeans
o   Lengthen your leg line by rolling long pants under or have them tailored; don’t cuff them on the outside
o   Think of it as combining at least three pieces to create the “Look”
o   If an item has conditions (e.g. these cutes shoes are fun for about 15 minutes), get rid of it and invest in something that you can wear with no limitations

Thank you so much for sharing all of this, Jen! I had such a good time, and I can't wait to see your new bomber jacket and celebrate that "What time is it?!" hourglass figure! Xo.