Vanity Sizing Fits No One!

Not sure what size you are? Welcome to the dilemma of the century. The so-called ‘vanity sizing’ has left all of us lost in the dust. We load up before entering the dressing room, usually with the thought that none of this is going to fit. Clearly women’s fashion has a fit problem and when we can’t find clothing that fits, it is infuriating.

We are left to fend for ourselves as clearly the fixing of this issue is not in the pipeline so we must take matters into our own hands.

One mistake that women make is hauling only one or two sizes of each item into the dressing room. Believe it or not, when I shop for or with my clients, you would think I was buying the store because I bring in three sizes per item. Yes, three sizes per item, just to increase the odds of hitting Bingo!

What the heck is vanity sizing? Vanity sizing is defined in Wikipedia as the practice of assigning smaller numbers to manufactured clothing in order to increase sales.

Seriously, why has this not happened in the men’s industry? I spent decades in the men’s apparel industry and one thing was for sure – a 40-regular was a 40-regular and it still is. And if a gentleman walks into Brooks Brothers today to buy a navy-blue blazer, he has approximately 62 sizes to choose from – from 36 short to 54 extra-long. We women have about 12.

The other mistake women make is not knowing their actual measurements – yes Mildred – height and weight are basically useless when it comes to finding the right size. You must know all the numbers! Height, weight, bust, waist, hips, inseam, outseam, front rise, back rise, torso length, preferred jacket length, sleeve length and more. Sound ridiculous? Trust me it will save you hours and dollars! Just note it once – put it in your phone under ‘me’ and tote your little tape measure along with you as you head to the mall.

Why again? If I asked two women who I knew were the same size, one might say she’s a size 10 at Ann Taylor and the other may say she’s a size 0 at Chico’s. So instead of dropping your pants twenty times in the dressing room, you can measure the waistband and the rise and get pretty darn close to bringing in the right size from the get-go. Knowing your preferred front rise is 9-inches will save you from the dreaded muffin-top look, which even at a quick peek, can be a devastating moment.

Here’s a bit of proof-in-the-pudding for you on how you can navigate by size before getting naked in the dressing room or even better, before entering the mall! I am a big fan of pre-shopping online as I need to be very efficient with both my time and my clients time.

So, follow along just for chuckles:

Okay, let’s pretend you are looking for a great fitting pair of jeans. Let’s just use Not Your Daughters Jeans for this tutorial.

Head here – http://www.nydj.com/

Scroll to NYDJ Denim Fit – http://www.nydj.com/nydj-fit

Click on Size Chart

For starters, they will note the natural waist, rise, hip, and inseam measurements by size. Perfect! Just whip out your tape measure and match up your numbers.

Then don’t forget to go through the Denim Style Guide to pick your leg shape, your denim wash, your sizing – petite, regular, tall or plus.

Do we have Bingo? Now you are in control of your own destiny.

Destiny #1 – You can purchase online – be sure to activate any discount you get as a first-time customer and then be extra sure to activate Ebates – the best money-back program out there for shopping online. Link here to sign up for Ebates and then they will mail you a check for shopping – easy as pie!

Destiny #2 – Note all the pertinent info (style number or name too) in the perfect pair of jeans that you just discovered and put that into the Google search bar so you can see if it is available at your favorite store. Once on that store’s website, use the online chat window to see if they have the jeans available at your local store, in your size, so you can try them on. You can even have them hold it for you or charge it and have it at pickup. (PS – still try or buy two sizes – I love fine tuning a fit.)

Easy as pie again!

Still need help? Let’s shop together or you can use my Virtual Styling Services and I’ll do the hunting and gathering for you!

Happy shopping! Stay in touch!

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Crushing on the Velvet Trend

In most of my frequent closet visits (not mine of course) there is always a trend in what is unearthed.

Most commonly spotted is a keepsake of Mom’s, a ghost-like empty plastic dry cleaner bag and something velvet –most certainly black velvet!

Well it’s time for all those things to come out of the shadows.

  • Do something with Mom’s keepsake item like actually wearing it, storing it properly or maybe even shadow-boxing it if it is display worthy.
  • Ditch the empty plastic bags and crappy hangers – breathing room is always welcome.
  • Update the black velvet Stevie Nicks palazzo pants and elevate your velvet collection with something rich, luxe and statement making in a bold color!

Sound post Halloween scary and want to start small?

Think velvet shoes, boots and booties. The colors? The sky is the limit!

Thinking smaller? Start with accessories – gloves, scarves, hats or handbags that are jazzed up with embellishments.

Getting braver? Let’s go full-on pants! Yes, you can wear skinny, but also note that the luxury of velvet looks even more luxurious when it flows, moves, shimmers and shines so think wide leg!

Not a pant girl? Love your gams – then show them off with a stunning velvet dress. This could be a slip dress, a wrap dress, a long dress, a short dress, a cocktail dress or a work dress. The store options are endless these days and what better way to make an entrance at one of those upcoming office parties than in something velvet and stunning!

More of a corporate gal looking for a fashionable power piece? Shop statement jackets – always a winner.

Not a jacket gal? Then just shop velvet tops in the search bar! You’ll find sleeveless, long sleeve, flutter sleeve and dolman sleeves. You’ll find turtlenecks, V-necks and off the shoulder. If you can imagine it, you can find it this season.

Lastly there is the coat option – yes ladies – coat season is upon us. What’s more boring than wearing the same coat every day? Think about it, you change your outfit every day and then pop on the same old, same old, coat to get anywhere and everywhere. Think new, stylish, fun velvet bomber jacket, you so deserve it! Did I say bomber jacket? Well you certainly don’t want a full length velvet coat now do you? You might get accused of wearing your bathrobe to work!

Need more help bumping up your style? Let’s connect for a free consult call.

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Embracing Leggings – Within Reason

The popularity of leggings skyrocketed way before Athleisure Wear was even a term! Their original use may be tracked back to Jane Fonda workouts, but most noticeably over the past decade as bus-stop-wear! The moms that just couldn’t take five extra minutes in the morning to pop on their mom jeans began showing up in stretchy black things that resembled half-pajama / half opaque hosiery. Now they are probably wrangling with their teenage daughters telling them that what they are wearing is too tight, too thin and too-not-a-pair-of pants! What goes around comes around gals!

So now that you are trying to practice what you preach, let’s share all the legging secrets that we ‘young’ adults have come to know. In a nutshell, just like every other category of clothing we own, we must invest the time and the money wisely. They must, as I always say, fit, flatter and function.

They must fit to flatter, not look painted on where they show every divot and dimple known to your butt and thighs. The public really is not interested in too much information about what lies beneath! They must flatter, did I not just cover that? Do you not own a full-length mirror? Do you not listen when I say you must look good when you LEAVE the room?? And lastly, they must function – this is a simple one – they must function as leggings, not hosiery!! Meaning if you think they are too thin – then you are damn right! Remember the old days when we wore slips so you couldn’t glimpse a gander on a sunny day – OMG – the things I have seen when a woman grabs something from the bottom shelf at the grocery store! Perhaps slips should come back in style to be worn OVER the leggings!! But I digress because we could end up like this recent Vogue runway outfit if we were to try to cover all the dimples! No words.

Here are some basic tips to shop by.

First, you have to be quite particular about the fabric, shape and size of your leggings! Don’t just shop by price! This is one category where cheaper is no doubt, not better!

When it comes to fabrics that flatter you want to look for quality, medium weight, with a combination of natural fibers and a bit of lycra or spandex. When it comes to the fabric, thicker is better and skin tight is not always right! Leggings have come a long way baby! The most popular fabric being the ponte knit with many now coming with welting, zippers and other styling details.

Look for high-waisted, perhaps an 8 or 10-inch rise from the crotch seam so that they cover your belly button (aka muffin top). You want to have a smooth midriff under your tunic tops or long sweaters. You want to make sure they are a quality fabric so they won’t pill or get baggy and make sure they are completely opaque. And remember, leggings are not pants! The only real estate that should be showing is about 8-10 inches above your knee where your tunic ends (tunic means your hips and butt are covered)! The asymmetrical tops work for most body types. Remember if the top is already long, you may benefit by trying it on in petite as well so it doesn’t overwhelm your frame. No charge to try!

How do we style these leggings so we don’t look like teenagers?

First pair them with fab flats, booties or riding boots as opposed to stilettos! Remember at our age the legging is only visible less than 50% of the bottom half.

Second, pair the leggings with fabulous tops or sweaters that steal the show. The leggings are just the foundation, like the wheels on a car. It’s what is on the upper body that counts!

Again, look for fabrics that flatter your curves, quality knits with a substantial hand like cashmere, lofty layered silks and jersey knits. The idea of the tunic is that it flows a bit off the hips (a bit I said) to add some fluidity to the outfit to balance off the fitted bottom half.

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Are Pantyhose Still A Thing?

In the last two weeks, I have fielded dozens of inquiries about hosiery. Not that I mind answering endless emails on the same subject, but there are so many other fashion faux pas to be written about, I would like to move forward. With that said, I am resurrecting a previous post that pretty much covered it all – pun intended!

So here we go – the Fall conundrum – hosiery or no hosiery?

During this transitional time of year I am continuously bouncing off questions about tights, pantyhose, stockings, L’eggs Eggs or whatever you call them.

The debate continues and I hear it all. “The millennials don’t wear stockings, why should I?” Hmmm, let me think about that answer before I stab myself in the foot.

To wear or not to wear hosiery remains a contested issue. Changes in fashion and workplace dress codes have caused some women to forgo hosiery for bare legs, while other women claim pantyhose are still essential. So, who is right?

Let’s start with your company and their dress codeIf if is in the rules, you must play by them. Another consideration is well…your legs! If you have a great pair of legs then perhaps you accentuate the positive and bare all. However, if you play co-ed soccer on the weekends and your legs are a tad banged up, the decision seems obvious, let’s disguise the liabilities!

Then of course, we need to talk about weather and peep toes. I don’t know about you but when it is 32 degrees, naked skin is painful and the last thing I am thinking about grabbing are peep-toe shoes. Those babies need to be packed away for the winter.

If you are on the hosiery side of the fence then it is seasonally time to incorporate those babies into your fashion statement either as a quiet canvas or a trendy statement.

Once you decide to wear or not to wear hosiery, the bigger question is where to buy them –CVS, Amazon, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Costco, even the train station. The options are endless and are based on what is convenient and what is in your budget. Do the homework to find the best option, then you are good to return to that particular retail shop throughout the season.

What should you pay? Women seem to be at a loss when it comes to defining, selecting and purchasing hosiery. Some think they should pay $2.99 and some think they should pay $40.99. Yes Lucy, the prices are all over the place – navigate the choices within your budget. I have clients who only shop at Neiman Marcus for their clothes and then go to Target for their hosiery. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to the selection process. Ladies are way more adept at choosing a bottle of wine.

Here are a few informational tidbits. We’ll go from minimal to ultimate bondage and include a few other textile finishes in between.

Ultra Sheer
Features: Made of fine nylon, ultra-sheer hosiery requires extra careful handling. These nylons are the best choice for allowing your natural skin tones to shine through.

Day Sheer
Features: Made from stretchy nylon that clings gently to legs. Less sheer, more durable than ultra-sheers. Perfect for everyday office wear.

Opaque Tights & Pantyhose
Features: The main difference between opaques and tights is the weight. Tights are typically heavier and less sheer than opaques. Tights are usually made of cotton, wool, or nylon/Lycra. Opaques are usually nylon/Lycra or microfibers.

Regular Pantyhose
Features: Made of nylon and available in various style options, typically with either a sheer or opaque brief.

Control Top Pantyhose
Features: Made with spandex, the control top adds compression, which provides you with mid-section and hip control. Several levels of control top choices are available including light, medium and turbo!

Body Shaper Pantyhose
Features: The full monty! Made with spandex, body shaper pantyhose offer a longer line control top which covers thighs in addition to the mid-section, bootie and hips. Like control tops, body-shapers are available in varying levels of control.

Control Top & Support Hose
Features: You have the torso control and the leg support that you may need.

Need more help with the office dress code issues? Join us next week! Early bird pricing ends tonight!

Executive Image Styling Workshop

Does your wardrobe carry you through the work week, the seasons or the promotions? Are you dressing for the job that you have or the job that you want? Join us for this image branding workshop designed to empower you to take your style, and possibly your career, to the next level.

EARLY BIRD PRICING THROUGH OCTOBER 12TH
USE THE CODE – doreen10 – TO REGISTER FOR 89.00

 

 

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How to Swap Out Your Seasonal Wardrobe

We just completed the first in a series of Fashion Workshops
last night and I felt compelled to share the ‘first steps’ with all of you in light of the recent spike in temps. (Global warming is fake news? Give me a break – get a grip!)

We fashionista’s are always anxious to embrace the new seasons – what’s better than a seasonal wardrobe swap where even the old stuff once reintroduced, looks new again.

WAIT – PULL THE BREAKS!

That is not necessarily true, which brings us to the beginning of the seasonal swap. You MUST assess your spring/summer inventory now while it is front and center, top of mind. Do not, I repeat, do not just haul all your summer stuff to the off-season closet without doing your due diligence!

Let’s be honest with yourself – start with a few yes or no questions:

Were there not summer items you hauled out last April that never made it onto your body?
Were there summer items that made the cut but now that you see photos, never should have?
Were there past years trends that you realized obviously were not trending anymore?
Were there items that ended on the morning discard pile, then magically reappeared in your closet?

Let’s begin…

  1. Assess the passing season’s inventory
    1. One category at a time
    2. Fit, flatter, function
  2. Make the decisions
    1. Keep or donate
    2. Keeping? Then prepare for storage
      1. Clean, tailor, repair
      2. Decide location / type of storage / swap hangers
    3. Now assess the current closet inventory – that would be what’s left
      1. One category at a time
      2. Fit, flatter, function
      3. Clean, tailor, repair, swap hangers
    4. Bring in the new season’s inventory one category at a time
    5. Perform the fit, flatter, function, clean, tailor, repair, hanger change
    6. Hang in your closet in an intuitive, organized way
    7. Once visible, take mental stock by category
      1. Email me for the 20 Essentials List  doreendove.com/contact/
    8. Create a precise shopping list
    9. Shop online first to see what the big picture options are
      1. Drill down specifically within each category
      2. Price shop, use coupons, search for free shipping
      3. Order 2 sizes – or use in-store hold options
    10. Make sure you love it, you want to see it in your closet for several seasons – it fits, flatters, will function and makes you feel pretty!

Now head out and look fabulous while toting your pumpkin latte!

Need more help? Grab a copy of my book,  Confidence Is Always In Style, where I will walk you through your own DIY closet edit and help you assess your wardrobe by category! Be sure to use the coupon code BA50  to reduce the price by 50%! Now that’s trending!

Check out our next workshop!

Executive Styling Workshop – October 19th
Use Early Bird code – doreen10 – to check out at a discount!

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How to Buy the Perfect Fall Handbag

When was the last time you performed a bag assessment? A purse is more than an accessory – it is a statement, an investment, and a daily companion.

Seriously, what do you hold more often than your bag? You carry it every day, so it has to be versatile, comfortable and good looking. It has to be able to endure being hung, dropped, stretched, stuffed, occasionally tossed in the backseat, and thick-skinned to take verbal abuse when you can’t find something inside.

Out with the old and in with the new? Are you ready to rumble?

Head on in your closet, take all your bags out, fish through for cash, line them up by type, step back and say ‘holy moly’ and then get a garbage/donation bag!

Now let’s start shopping with purpose. Shopping for the right bag can be painful. Totes, hobos, clutches, satchels, cross-bodies, messengers, duffles and more, where’s a girl to start?

Start where you most likely start each day – in the mirror! You must try bags on to make sure they fit! I mentioned to someone that I was writing on handbags today and she said – I love my handbags – they always fit! After I chuckled I realized that that is not always the case.

Here are some tips to ponder!

Let’s consider what a day in the life of your bag might entail. Placed on the seat of the car, or forced to the floor? Placed on the hook in the bathroom or gripped like cash while you use the facilities? Thrown in a file drawer at the office or nicely displayed on your desk as a status statement?

Would you like your bag to be proudly standing and waiting for you so you can easily reach in and find your priceless things lined up in an orderly fashion? Would you like said bottom of bag to stay relatively clean? Then consider grommets on the bottom of your bag.

Are you looking to spend an arm and a leg on one bag and carry it everyday for the next decade to get your cost per wear down? Or are you looking to have a few bags so they actually can be styled along with your seasonal outfits?

Choosing a handbag is not to be taken lightly. Speaking of weight, you need to consider the weight of the empty bag before you add your 40 pounds of stuff. Just ask your mail carrier how much it sucks to haul around a bag that is too heavy.

Let’s talk details:

HANDLES:

  • Do you like the straps over your shoulder or do you prefer the hand straps? Remember you still have to carry your latte.
  • Are you large breasted? – if so, let’s skip the dreaded cross-body boob splitter.
  • Ever owned a bag that the handles fall off the shoulder? I do – it’s totally annoying – it’s like a full time job configuring the handles. Wish I had read this article before purse shopping.
  • Try them on with and without your coats. Be sure if it is a shoulder bag it will fit over your jackets when the weather requires outwear!

SIZE:

  • Buy a bag that is in proportion to your figure. The right bag can accentuate your assets – the wrong bag – well we all know that accentuates the liabilities!
  • Are you tall and thin, then buy rounded or slouchy.
  • If you are curvy, opt for rectangular or sleek.
  • Think the 3 bears, too small, too big, just right:

-Too small – no place for your stuff.

-Too big – you are just going to pile in more stuff.

-Just right – lots of benefit to that! The right size and style can knock pounds and years off your frame!

COLOR:

  • Buying a basic bag? Consider buying basic colors, but opt for basic color blocking! Consider something that incorporates black and navy, brown and tan or gray and cobalt.
  • Color blocking has been the rage for years now – keep up ladies, it is not just for clothing but also for shoes and handbags as well.
  • Think versatile, but also think pop of color! Your purse is a great place to make a fashion statement.

STRUCTURE:

  • Never buy a purse without compartments. Trust me, you need them!
  • Dump everything out onto the counter (this could be scary).
  • Line up your bag essentials, items you carry everyday, no matter the bag – wallet, phone, glasses, makeup bag, keys, pens, notepads, etc. Now envision being in a store and your phone rings or you need your glasses to sign the American Distress charge slip. How long would it take you to find those items in a slouchy hobo bag, in a satchel, in a cross-body?
  • Your bag needs to be purchased with the contents in mind. Kind of like having the kids in mind when you buy a car, well not quite, but close.
  • Be sure your bag stays upright when you put it down as opposed to flopping over like a rag doll.
  • Be sure it has zippers or clasps for security – can you spell pickpocket?

QUALITY:

  • Seriously, what do you hold more often than your bag? Go for the more expensive bag – you are worth it.
  • Plus how many times have I preached about cost-per-wear? Say you pay $200 for a bag and use it for one season, half a year, a/k/a 182 days a year. Okay I’ll do the math for you. $200 divided by 182 equals $1.09 per day. How much do you pay for your coffee dear? Pay the $200 for the bag! Too pricey? Cut the math in half – a $100. bag will cost about 50. cents a day!!
  • Opt for leather.
  • Shop for known brands, Cole Haan, Coach, Tory Burch, etc.
  • Check the stitching and the seams for quality craftsmanship.
  • Opt for grommet bottoms to keep it clean.
  • Shop on sale or at off-price stores for name brands.

SCALE:

  • When it comes to scale, the size of the bag should be in proportion to your frame.
  • If you are tall or fuller size, you don’t want to be carrying a teeny-weeny bag – that makes you appear larger.
  • If you are of a tiny frame, carrying a large slouchy bag will overwhelm you.

Overwhelmed by the thought of bag shopping?

Call me – I am a great bag lady!

Need more help? Join me at an upcoming workshop.

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Stay on Trend With the Pantone Fall/Winter Color Palette

Keeping up with the latest runway looks, catalogue styles and featured store promotions can be confusing, expensive and a full-time job. Trust me,
I work at it daily!

What’s a busy wanna-be fashionista to do? Simple – update your Fall wardrobe by color!

Ever heard of Pantone? They are the leading color analysts in the industry. The company is best known for its Pantone Matching System (PMS), a proprietary color space used in a variety of industries, primarily printing, though sometimes in the manufacture of colored paint, fabric, and plastics. It has become known for creating the color of the year standard by which many of today’s designers create their fashion lines.

The following ten hues have floated to the top at Fashion Week 2017. Here are a few ideas for you to incorporate the palette into your sassy style. These are not links as this is not a shopping post, these are ideas! If I show a burgundy necklace, maybe for you it might be a burgundy bracelet because you prefer arm candy. Pick a color or two and begin noticing those colors as you peruse through the stores and watch how many items you see in those colors. It’s like noticing a white car, and then seeing them everywhere! Another way to search for the color is with your online search tools using the color options drop-downs – burgundy boots, burgundy cardigans and so on. Happy color searching!

Red – Want to rock a room? Wear red!

Grenadine

Merlot – What says warm and toasty more than a deep glass of Merlot!

Tawny Port

Pink – Ever heard the saying pretty in pink?

Ballet Slipper

Warm Caramel – Werther’s Originals, need I say more?

Butterum

Navy – The new black

Navy Peony

Gray – Softens the dark neutrals

Neutral GrayGorgeous Green – This color looks good on everyone!

Shaded SpruceYellow Green – When it’s right with your skin tone, it’s a great pop of color.

Golden Lime
Almost Periwinkle – A cool and refreshing blue

Marina
Rust – The perfect Fall tone

Autumn Maple
Need more help?  Join us at one of these fun and informative events!

FALL WARDROBE PLANNING WORKSHOP

EXECUTIVE IMAGE STYLING WORKSHOP

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It’s Time To Shake Those Booties

Seems like the minute that August arrives, so do the chilly feet!  It’s easy to throw on a sweater, grab a sweatshirt or don a shawl on a chilly afternoon, but the challenge of defining the footwear is so much more cumbersome. We get so used to the freedom of spreading toes, that we cringe at the thought of locking them in leather, especially if that also requires the buffer of socks. And seriously in mid-August it’s all too much, too soon, for us to deal with.Let’s smooth the transition and add a pair of open toe booties to the mix! They are all the rage, totally stylish, come in all heel heights, leather, pleather, suede, studded, strapped, textured or embellished. You name it you can find it and your toes can still sport that pedicure, but be sure to darken the polish to a merlot or navy blue!Here are a few favorites to choose from…
Vince TressaToms Majorca

Vince Lavette

Vince Kensa

 

Now go find a stylish sweater, sweatshirt or shawl to don with your new favorite booties!

Need more Fall wardrobe help? Join us at one of our Fall Workshops!

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The Top 5 Steps to Conquer Closet Chaos

How many times have we heard that we wear only 15% of what is in our closet? Okay then, let’s tackle the other 85% once and for all!

Follow along with me for a moment. I want you to close your eyes and visual your closet. Visualize the space, or the lack thereof, the assorted Target hangers, the shoe boxes, the piles of workout clothes, dog walking clothes, laundry and dry cleaning.

Imagine entering your favorite boutique only to find that it was set up like your closet! Filled with random plastic junky hangers, completely disorganized, with cramped clothing and plastic dry cleaning bags fighting for space. Pretty sure you would leave!

I am certain you understand the visual difference between how a retailer displays their inventory and how your clothing is displayed in your closet. It should be one in the same: organized, shop-able, and pleasing to your eye so you are enthused and inspired when you swing open the doors. It is completely possible for your closet to be an intuitive, inspirational source of joy. You should look forward to throwing open those doors and selecting all things that fit, flatter, and speak to your authentic style.

If this is not the case in your space, then let’s get started.

Step 1 – Schedule Closet Time

Grab your calendar. You need to schedule closet time on your personal calendar. If this is something you have never done and just the thought of it overwhelms you, then do not plan to get it done in one day.

Mind you, I can whip through your closet in several hours, but alas, I am the expert and have been doing this for decades. I can spot an outdated, out of style, ill-fitting piece of clothing in an overcrowded, chaotic closet a mile away. You, however are the student now, so let’s do this in stages! Schedule 3 two-hour blocks of time over the next week or so. Knowing what you’re doing is half the battle, learning as you go is the fun part. Once you have gone through a few categories, the balance of the work flows smoother and quicker.

Step 2 – The Ground Rules

You should be able to close your eyes, reach in and select anything (yes anything) and be happy with the choice because it fits, it’s flattering, it’s in season and it’s in style! If there are items in your closet that don’t fill those requirements, they are a waste of real estate and they need to move out!

Use the 3F rule to decide which items get the boot!

Fit – Does the clothing fit the body that you have now, or the body that you used to have? Are the items looming in the hope section of your closet for the body that you hope you will have? If you have fluctuating weight, keep only one size above your current size and one size below and donate the rest. You need to look and feel pretty today, and stop waiting to feel that way tomorrow or six months from now. You may need to hone your shopping skills and take practical steps towards buying the right type of clothing for your body and your current weight so you always look fabulous.

Flatters – Flattering means does it fit, does it need tailoring, is it age appropriate, does it even match who you are right now or who you want to be?

Function – If it has not seen the light of day in 10 years then I certainly don’t think it is going to be the first thing you pull out for your next important event. If it is not functioning, it is just a waste of space.

Step 3 –  Sort It Out

It’s hard to see what you’re keeping when there is a lot of clutter so grab some shopping bags and label them – donate, consign, tailoring, and have a collapsible rack for out of season clothing so you can move it to another closet. Warning – If you don’t sort out the unwanted’s right away by putting them in another area you may just find they have migrated back into your closet! 

Step 4 –  Conquer By Category

No doubt your closet is filled with fabulous things, as well as a few not so fabulous. By breaking your wardrobe down into the following categories, it will become very manageable for you. I recommend to work in this order – pants, skirts, dresses, tops, sweaters, jackets, shoes and then accessories. You could process one category per session and it will become faster and easier because you will be familiar with the fit, flatter, and function parameters. For a detailed description by category refer to my book, Confidence Is Always In Style, where you will find an entire chapter dedicated to closet editing.

Step 5 – Reintroduce In An Intuitive Manner

It’s time to reintroduce your garments to your closet in an intuitive fashion, left to right. Let’s assume you have the basic closet set up with 2 split rods, top and bottom. Set your clothing up like your body is set up – tops on the top and bottoms on the bottom. Work from left to right starting with sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve silkies, long sleeve wovens, light weight sweaters, and then jackets. All clothing should run white to black within each type, within each category. Be sure to use the velvet soft-grip-hangers which are seemingly available in every store in America because they are kind to the clothing and are amazing space savers.

The bottom bar will house pants running left to right – dress pants, casual pants, jeans –  again white to black within those parameters. Then your skirts, same theory. Use the 4-tier skirt hangers to save even more space!

Dresses, as well as some of our cardigans and toppers, are often a challenge because they require long hanging spaces. Within that space line up those items in a similar fashion, separating work dresses and special occasion dresses but trying to keep them lined up by sleeve length within.

Now add some lavender sachets and a florescent light if you do not have one as you need to be able to see what you are shopping for.

Your new system should make sense and make getting dressed every day stress-free. Remember – you are pretty so make damn sure there is a full-length mirror in your bedroom.

Need more help? Start here and I’ll meet you in your closet!

 

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Styling Something Old Into Something New

How does something old becomes something new again? It’s all in how you see it and how you style it.

This is the perfect time of year for you to take a few key pieces and start to transition them from the summer season into the fall season.

Some of your spring/summer items have a higher cost-per-wear simply because you don’t wear them as often during the short seasons.

We tend to wear our winter clothes, at least here in New England, seemingly for about eight months of the year so naturally the cost-per-wear on some of your more expensive fall/winter items can crank down quite a bit. Let’s pick a few key spring items that you might want to fall forward with in order to lower the CPW.

One obvious item would be your white jeans. Now if we lived in Los Angeles, we would see white jeans all year long, perfectly styled and in season no matter what month of the year.

On the East Coast if we saw a woman in white jeans beyond Columbus Day, well let’s just say that I’m sure there’s an emoji for the expression on your face 😱!

Check out a few of the photos below to see how you can add a fall feel to your summer whites and even a bit of a southwestern flare just to mix it up a little. Remember fashion is supposed to be fun if you wear the same thing every day you look the same every day.

Another category of changeover, a.k.a. style it up, is the work to casual or sophisticated to sassy change up.

If you’re a frequent reader you know that I like to have your closet set up by categories simply broken down by bottoms, skirts and pants, and tops organized by sleeveless shells, long sleeve blouses, sweaters, jackets and then of course dresses.

In addition to those category breakdowns, often my corporate clients have one area of the closet dedicated to their casual wear because quite frankly the red plaid flannel shirt doesn’t hang so well next to the 100% silk corner office blouse.

So, this exercise will allow you shop from two sections of your closet and pull together something sexy, sassy and sophisticated, including some otherwise boring work blazers!

Take a look at these photos from Lafayette NY.

Note that this is not meant to be a shopping expedition, this is meant to be just a lesson in how to style something, so don’t shoot the messenger that I selected very lovely pricey items to show you (hard to not find the pretty stuff in my line of work). The lesson is the same whether you’re shopping at Nordstroms or you’re shopping at Macy’s or you’re simply shopping in your closet.

The idea is to take something corporate, AKA conservative, or something sophisticated and style it so that it looks sassy, AKA maybe even a little bit sexy. I personally can’t wait to rock up my boring white blazer!

So throw open those closet doors with abandon and if you have brought wine to this party make sure it is white!

Need more help? Join us!

FALL WARDROBE PLANNING WORKSHOP

Date: September 27, 2017
Time: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: Studio On The Common, Winchester MA

Join us for The Fall Wardrobe Planning Workshop
This workshop will help you zero in on the 20 Essential Pieces that
will make your Fall transition sassy, sensible, stylish and budget friendly.
Wednesday, September 27th
6 – 9PM

Studio On The Common 22 Church Street, Winchester, MA
Workshop price $99.00
Limited to 12 Attendees
Register – https://doreendove.com/fall-wardrobe-registration/

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