Sunday, August 31, 2014

Buy Now, Wear Now and Later: Fall Florals

Buy Now, Wear Now and Later: Fall Florals

Happy almost Labor Day! There are so many sales going on right now that I needed to pop on here and remind you that there are things that you could be buying now-and wearing now and later. Let's talk about fall florals, shall we?

The thing is, you don't have to wait for fall to wear floral prints with a dark background. The image above actually comes from Lovely Pepa in the spring, and it's equally wearable right now. Here's how I'd recommend that you wear a dark floral now-and once the weather changes.

For Now

Wear fall florals now with brights and whites. Try them over jean shorts or cropped pants or with a bright top like Monsoon-anything that clearly defines the look as summer-y. Feel free to add in a bright shoe or stick with a neutral.

For Later

Bring out the dark background of a fall floral and let the pattern shine by keeping the rest of your outfit dark, too. I particularly like how the jacket and pants are both shiny here.

Looking for something more work appropriate? Look to Boden's styling for a fall work look that marries a wool skirt with a dark floral.

Feeling inspired? Check out these fall florals on sale!

Love this button down from Asos.
Really into this simple rose tank from Anthro and the floral-stripe combo at Jcrew.
These Loft pants are a bit more subtle. This Loft shirt is gorgeous!
This Free People jacket is not, nor are these Anthro pants, but they are $100 off!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vegas, Baby: Burgers, Date Nights, Horn Earrings, and Pools

Vegas, Baby: Burgers, Date Nights, Horn Earrings, and Pools

Some of the highlights of our Vegas long weekend included bunless burgers at Bobby's Burgers, dressing up for dinner at Mesa Grill (get the lobster tacos and the grilled elote), Sushi Samba (with friends! Get the sea bass), and the beautiful but strange-menued RX Boiler Room (maybe just go for a cocktail if you're near by?), getting my first airport pedicure on the way out of town (there are those travel pants again!), and sitting by the pool for hours reading good books and magazines.

We stayed at Aria again, and I loved it. I like staying in newer hotels there that don't tend to have that old smoke smell. We saw LOVE again, too, and I would watch it five more times today. It's just so good!

I loved those bull earrings and wasn't sure I was cool enough to wear them, frankly. But my friend Hannah gave me the confidence to wear them, and I ended up really liking the way they looked-very edgy! Since I couldn't bear to wear heels with my back/hip problems, I felt like they dressed up the gift shop sandals I wore with the East Village Dress at least a little bit!

Oh-and I always wear pool accessories, do you? Just costume jewelry that I can get wet and still feel like myself by the pool.

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Best of Old Navy's Labor Day Sale

The Best of Old Navy's Labor Day Sale

I don't know if you were more aware of it than I was, but suddenly I realized that Monday is Labor Day! We are going to a food festival even deeper out into VA than we live, meeting friends for tapas and a comedy show, and hopefully getting some chores done around the house on Monday, too. I'm so happy to have my husband coming home after two weeks of work travel!  I'm probably also going to do some fall shopping, maybe even at Old Navy of all places! Sometimes I hate their stuff, but this time they've got some cute looks going on, and their sales are pretty awesome.

I've seen versions of this graphic tshirt styled adorably all over ever since seeing this one at Nordstrom, which is now sold out, and I was tickled to see that Old Navy has a spin off. Here's a cute picture from their Instagram feed with it!

I also love this You Me Oui shirt! White Coat Wardrobe had a cute idea for how to style it for the summer.

This dotted dress looks like it works best for women who are not very busty, according to the reviews. I love it to wear now with sandals or later with a moto jacket, tights, and low boots.

Ditto this wrap dress, which seems like it has fitted sleeves.

I like the idea of this gray dress with sleeves, but I'd need to see it in person to know what they mean by "fleece" and how thick that makes this dress. Also, what's happening on the sides there?

I love skinny awkward little pants to wear around the house, especially in the winter to tuck into fuzzy slippers. These look perfectly awkward-and STRIPED!

Maybe even throw in a hooded sweatshirt to wear at the same time like a crazy candy striper?

I'm fascinated with this skirt, and I'd have to try it on. I like the dots and the stripes, of course, but also the houndstooth, which is a big pattern for fall. I have a skirt from Old Navy that I think is the same one, and I do love it. However, it rides up a lot as you walk and goes from a mid-length skirt to a mini in about 50 feet. So beware! Oooo-and I love the idea of a longer version-especially in that leopard print!

Hmmm...I just noticed that each of my favorites is black and white. I'm really having a black and white moment here this late summer/fall, can you tell? Generally, I also tend to stick with neutrals when I shop at a cheaper place like Old Navy. I find their color choices to be less than sophisticated, and the neutrals tend to wear and age better.

Other favorites from the same chain of stores? Wool blazers on sale, this comfy looking work shirt, and my always-fall-favorite, buffalo plaid. Oh-and not a sponsor. I just like the sale stuff they're dishing out.

Prepping for Vegas, Baby

Prepping for Vegas, Baby: Hair color, lip stain, and comfy pants

Last week, I went with my husband to Las Vegas, and I promised you some pictures! I posted some to Instagram, and others are here for the first time. We've been there many times by this point because he often has work functions out there, and we like to spend time there together before or after those. It's an odd fit for us in some ways because we're not really club people, and I don't gamble at all.

But, we do love to eat well, see shows, and hang out by the pool so that's mostly what we do when we travel there!

Here's how I prepped for our trip: I haven't dyed my hair in all of our years of TTC, and I figured it was about time to do something more fun with my hair. Here's my before, during, and after. She warmed up my brown and added some sneaky underneath highlights that I couldn't seem to capture on film. They're there-I promise!

Then, on the morning I flew out to meet my husband, I suited up in my comfiest pants and my travel hat (Marshalls, men's section). I wanted to show you my lip stain, but somehow I ended up looking a bit like Michael Jackson with a duck face.

What are your rituals around going on a trip? I love to pack in advance, wear something warm enough for the plane, and put on fun makeup even for an early flight. I like to feel pretty when I deplane, is that silly?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Death of Skinny Pants?

The Death of Skinny Pants?

Something's up, guys. Something really interesting is up! Pants are getting less skinny, have you noticed? I love it! I personally really like fitted pants, and I think they're a great look on many women, but I also love a bit of variety. It makes me really happy to see pants like these cropping up!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sneak Peek: Unquiet Riot

Sneak Peek: Unquiet Riot

I can't wait to show you more of the shots from the recent photo shoot I helped style. It started as a celebration of redheads and became so much more. Here's a little taste.

Photos provided courtesy of Lauren Modny Photography.  Creative direction and styling provided by StartCloseIn Styling and Piccadilly.

Back to Cool- Sneakers for Even Us Non Student Types

Back to Cool- Sneakers for Even Us Non Student Types

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've been having some serious back problems. I drive too much, and my posture isn't great, and I've destroyed my feet for years. The problem has come home to roost, that's for sure. So it has me looking into all sorts of fancy accessories like inserts, car seat pillows, and stability shoes. And I know that my dreams of cute shoes are about to be dashed at this week's chiro and PT appointments...

Don't worry-today's post is not about any of those things! It's about the adorable sneaker-like shoes that I found in my travels. Maybe you could get away with them with an insert? But the point is just their good looks. Hey, we might not be going back to school, but who doesn't like a new pair of shoes in the late summer?

Here are some of my favorites.

Kate Spade and her dots! Man, I can't get enough of them. I also love the idea of the dipped laces. That would be easy to DIY, too!
Kate Spade NY

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Bold & The Bohemian: Go Boho in Just a Few Steps

The Bold & The Bohemian: Go Boho in Just a Few Steps

Add a Kimono

If you don't already have a kimono that you love, this is the place to start. I've been wearing my mom's vintage kimono from Japan for a few years, but there are also some great new ones out there. I recently purchased one from TJMaxx, for example. The thing that I love about a kimono is that it's light and airy but also provides a light layer for a trip to the movies or dinner in a chilly restaurant.

Via Asos
Look for one with colors that you typically wear so that you can throw it effortlessly over jeans shorts and a t-shirt or a maxi dress. At this time of the year, I'd recommend that you look toward neutrals or dark colors because this is something you can easily wear over jeans or leggings for fall. See how the rest of her outfit is not boho, but she still just looks cool?

Or, go whole hog and boho up the whole getup!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Monday Roundup: A Book You Must Read, Hate Comments, Happy Dresses, and Pattern Mixing-and Why I might Watch HSN

 Monday Roundup

Good morning! Happy Monday! I'm just back from a long weekend in Las Vegas with my husband, and I will share some pictures with you later this week. I don't gamble at all, but I do love to eat well, see shows, and hang out by the pool!

I'm breaking with my pattern and mentioning something that wasn't just out last week and is, in fact, a book. I mentioned last week that I was packing the book Tiny Beautiful Things, and I can't say enough good things about it. I could have devoured it on the flight to Vegas, but I milked it until my return flight. I didn't want it to end! I highly highly recommend it for women-and men. It might be under the Christmas tree for everyone I know-so get ready!

I loved how compassionate she is; I loved the advice she gives; I love how she is able to see the deeper questions that people were asking. I just can't stop thinking about it. If you want to preview it or can't wait to get it, the book is a collection of advice column entries from what seems to have been an incredible anonymous advice column called Dear Sugar. I had never heard of it. Some of the letters were published for the first time in the book, but you could get started there, too.

I thought the interactions that Kelsey Miller had online with an anonymous commenter were really telling about this day of over-media-saturation and the danger of hiding behind the screen, and I loved that she wrote about them. Sometimes I think all I want is for more people to care about what I write and for more comments, but then I read something like this and realize how hateful that can be, too. Good for her for standing up for herself!

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!