Out with the old and in with the new.
Such a powerful statement, one that, for some, brings a rush of excitement for new possibilities and an excuse to shop. However, for others it is a paralyzing realization that things need to change. That the things we’ve become attached to or accustomed to will no longer be a part of our lives. You need to cut the ties and move on.
I am here to help.
When the seasons change, transition is natural. The leaves fall, the weather shifts, even our menus start to reflect the chillier weather with hearty stews and seasonal favorites. These changes mean it is only natural for us to venture into the depths of our closets and remove what needn’t be there anymore.
I am not talking your basics. There are going to be items that you will want to hold on to and we will get to those, but in any chaotic or overwhelming situation, we just need to take a deep breath and start somewhere. So let us start with the winter wardrobe you already have.
For some of us, your current winter selection is still hanging in your closet. Maybe it’s in the very back, deep behind all of your summer and fall dresses, light cardigans and capris. Maybe it’s mixed in with various seasonal pieces, or maybe, like me, they are in labeled winter bins in a hall closet. Let us open those, shall we? There are pieces that will work from year to year. Basic denim, vintage coats and black leggings are all pieces that can be kept and worn year after year. However, prints that are no longer in style, old tattered pieces that don’t hold any specific sentimental value, anything that looks like it’s been worn for decades, or should have been worn decades ago, needs to go.
For your spring, summer and fall pieces the same rules apply. If they are styles you believe will still work in the following year, are vintage collection pieces, are simple pieces that mix well with new trends or can be layered upon, those you will want to hang on to. The rest, you guessed it, needs to go. I promise it gets better from here. I can see you hesitating, clutching an old favorite, raggedy tee with a tear in your eye. Take a deep breath and put it in the bag. Like ripping off a band-aid.
Back to the basics. As I touched on earlier, you will want to keep your denim, your basic solid tee’s, your leggings and other separates that can be layered upon when ushering in your new winter pieces. It allows you to mix and match, create various outfits and stretch what you buy, so that you don’t end up maxing out your credit card on clothes, leaving you with no funds to go anywhere exciting to show them off.
Once your closet is organized and the old pieces have been donated or thrown away, it’s time to shop for the new. I told you it gets better. Just like the process of sorting through the old, you want to be mindful of what you are bringing home. Impulse shopping, rushed mall trips or not taking the time to try on the clothing is not the way to mindfully grow your wardrobe. To avoid having to throw away clothes every season, keep your eyes open for pieces that will work year-round, or at the very least, two seasons. If your purging left you without a decent winter coat, this is where you will want to splurge. A quality coat that presents both style and comfort is an important staple. Another tip when choosing your winter coat: make sure it compliments your winter holiday event cocktail attire. Scarves are a fun accessory item, but do look for basic prints or solids that will work with various outfits. If you scored a great pair of boots for fall those can work in winter as well, so shoe purchases can be limited so that you can focus more on sweaters, jumpers, coats and pants to fill out your own personal winter collection.
Change doesn’t have to be a negative experience. Just as you gave life to last year’s wardrobe, you can do so once again for 2015. Changing up your look can build confidence and allow you to utilize your creativity. Two very important contributors to health and happiness.
And isn’t that what New Year’s Resolutions are all about?
BY Mandi Pimental
L.A. Fashion Week took place in mid-October in multiple locations throughout Los Angeles, California. Numerous events hosted hundreds of designers, both established and aspiring, throughout the week. One event in particular was the Art Hearts Foundation, hosting shows from October 10th-14th, benefitting AIDS research. The Concept L.A. event also featured some of the hottest up and coming names in the fashion industry, as well as Runway’s Rock That Fashion event, Style Week LA and a handful of other various events throughout Los Angeles.
The fashion styles for S/S 2015 were quite diverse. From lingerie and swimwear presentations to edgy street wear and elegant gown collections, there was something for everyone to fall in love with.
Design house Tumbler & Tipsy presented a street wear collection that was fun, feminine and flirty. Tipsy logo hats accessorized cropped tops, short shorts and day dresses in a palette of neon hues and animal prints. The dresses were more avant-garde than classic resort wear, embellished with items such as 3D lily pads, leaves and frogs to name a few. Zhang JingJing presented a collection that was less street, more sleek. The designer put forth, once again, a collection of gowns that stunned. The palette was soft in nude, blush and icy blues while pearl and stone embellishments sparkled under the lights. Open back draping and fitted bodices added tasteful sensuality.
Dance and musical performances broke up the shows throughout the city, adding a unique, and very Californian, vibe to fashion week.
Maya Hansen presented a collection that was futuristic and powerful. Reminiscent of a female warrior, her designs included corsets, swimwear and gowns all accented with studded metal embellishments. Facemasks also adorned a handful of models, and while the creations were innovative and colorful, they felt more Hollywood red carpet than every day wear.
Jun Escario’s gown collection, though red carpet ready, is very wearable. The classic collection infused a modern edge through fabric choice, metallic accessories and drastic sweeping necklines and open backs. The champagne and gold mermaid style gown was a favorite of attendees.
The cute and confident sleepwear brand by Crystal Hefner presented a wide range of loungewear and sleepwear items. The bra and pantie sets were sporty and comfortable in a palette of nudes and pale pink, and the sleepwear was fun and flirty. A plum robe and nightgown both featured black lace edging, while a two-piece sleepwear ensemble in charcoal was accented with feminine ruffles and pale pink headwear.
The Pedram Couture SS2015 collection presented at Style Fashion Week in L.A. was breathtaking and ethereal. Designer Pedram Pasha Taheri put forth a gown collection that was feminine, elegant and a little provocative. A sheer, low-cut floor length gown in nude was a star in its simplicity, while other designs were more vibrant and strong, including a satin, strapless baby blue and floral print and a metallic gold painted pantsuit.
From daring to the demure, Los Angeles Fashion Week had it all. The weather was beautiful, the entertainers possessed true star power and the events are ones that will be remembered even after the stages have cleared and the champagne runs dry.
To see live footage from Rock That Fashion, visit http://www.RunwayTV.com
For more information on Art Hearts Fashion, visit: http://www.artheartsfashion.com/
For more information on Concept L.A., visit: http://conceptshows.com/losangeles
By Mandi Pimental
If ever you find yourself roaming the charming streets of Berlin, Germany you will want to take this guide along. Nestled throughout the city are hidden gems, such as boutiques and department stores, with some of the most fabulous fashion finds available.
Individualism and innovation are nurtured here, which allows indie boutiques to bloom alongside mainstream shops and thrive. Lala Berlin, a boutique that started as a knitwear and scarf producer, sells trendy separates, while Starstyling, a boutique that features photos of their clientele wearing their purchases, offers more artistic and eccentric pieces. The Weinmeister Strasse shopping plaza is rich with fashion that would appeal to the retro hipster type, while Rosen Hoefe and KaDeWe cater more to the modern fashionistas, featuring stores such as MAC, Chanel and high end German designer Kilian Kerner. In addition to new collections hitting the quaint storefronts, the vintage fashion movement has exploded in the European city. Vintage stores such as Stiefelkombinat and Aladdin’s Cave are highly sought after by locals and tourists alike.
Aside from guiding you to the top shops, we also got a sneak peek during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at the trends that will be popular this year, so you can pack accordingly and arrive in style. Highlights included new collections by Laurels, Dawid Tomaszewski and Malaikaraiss. Fashion in Berlin this season is very clean and features simplistic lines, a dominance of muted palettes and exquisite tailoring.
Laurels chief designer, Elisabeth Schwaiger, brought forth a retro sixties vibe in her new line, incorporating black leather, biker boots and studs. If you are wanting to incorporate this style into your personal wardrobe, opt for a blend of rocker chic accessories on delicate fabrics. A soft t-shirt dress paired with a leather cuff, chain embellished handbag or black booties would be a good starting point.
Designer Malaika Raiss presented a line that was charming and delicate. The designs were simplistic, yet did not bore. The details and original layering allow the line to feel fresh and unique with off-the-shoulder maxi dresses, short-sleeved sweaters, and knits worn over satin dresses. Inspired by the world of botany, Raiss said moss, algae and rocks inspired the palette of green and brown with an infusion of silvery blue nuances. It is a collection for the demure woman who favors youthful fashion.
In contrast to Raiss’ ultra-feminine line, designer Dawid Tomaszewski showed pieces that presented a more masculine side. Tomaszewski stated before the show, “The Tomaszewski woman is changing, she is more masculine (this season).” Shying away from some of the playful designs we have seen in the past, he used more classic cuts, a darker palette and more traditional tailoring. What we adore about this new collection is that, although we witnessed a new serious side in the assemblage of pantsuits, cardigans and wool coats, they were designed in lux fabrics upping their glam appeal. Cashmere, silk and Swarovski stone embellishments allowed the line to feel luxurious and unique. Highlights of the line included an embroidered black sheer blazer and grey cashmere trouser set, and a gray silk evening gown, worn with a black goatskin jacket that would be perfect for an after show gala.
Overall, the fashion was diverse and offered a multitude of options.
The Ferretti show sparkled with feminine oceanic beauty. Delicate fabrics moved with grace against a backdrop of cerulean. Sequins on a few of the ensembles glittered in the light as a mermaids scales would glitter against the setting sun. Ferretti’s imaginative line shows true creativity. One of the more delicate pieces was an ethereal pearl white gown that displayed a sheer and intricate beaded bodice. One of the more daring ensembles on the catwalk featured black satin shorts and an organza top with black lace overlays covering the models chest.
The runway for the BluGirl Spring/Summer show appeared as a group of sophisticated, and slightly provocative, women on their way to a garden tea party. With floral crowns and straw hats a top their heads the models were adorned in a sweet mixture of femininity. Sweaters paired with floral knee-length skirts and sweet ruffle-accented dresses cinched at the waist with bows, one might believe them all to be sugary sweet. On the contrary, BluGirl always shows us that a woman can have edge and with the overt sheerness of the pieces, paired with exotic animal printed notations; we are shown that the naughty pairs well with the nice.
Female power dominated the DSquared catwalk. In a word the show could be summed up as simply as, attitude. Leather, chunky gold and silver jewelry and police style caps rounded out the show and tops were paired with skirts and shorts that sat high on the models thighs. Leather gloves and motorcycle jackets added a hint of raw masculinity in with the power of pure female sexuality. Following in the ever-popular animal print trend, black and white leopard dresses paired with leather hearts, were seen throughout the collection. Finally, the pièce de résistance was the all leather floor length dress with the buckled waistline, gold side zipper and dramatic gold neckpiece.
The strength of geometric shapes and patterns of the Fendi line felt ahead of its time. A form of cubism in its own right the pieces were color blocks of mixed fabrics including the designers take on “summer leather.” An impressive note is that the leather is seamless and makes for a light wear. The multiple lengths seen through the jackets and dresses are “designed to have your eyes drawn into the pieces,” as opposed to being drawn to them, the designer goes on to say. Save for a few hints of melon and teal in a high-waisted short ensemble the lines main color palettes falls in black, icy blues and warm caramels and yellows. The show ended with an explosive punch of color from the elaborate light reflecting stoned dress with capelet inspired shoulders.
Trending this season is a designers love to tie in oceanic inspiration to this seasons collections, and JustCavalli is no exception. Except this line isn’t about simplistic beauty in mermaids and crystal blue waters on the shore, with Cavalli’s line we get to dive a little deeper to see the exotic creatures of the sea that Cavalli counts as one of his inspirations for the pieces in his line. The beautiful bright hues of sapphire and lime can be seen in a sheer off the shoulder top and mini-dress. The models hairstyles reflect a refreshing, clean, beach wave feel and their natural make-up feels sun kissed with shimmer around their eyes. In addition to the tropical fish, Cavalli listed a trip to India as inspiration and wanted to capture the beauty in the exotic flora, which gives us the color rich drop-waist dresses, and multi-hued foot wear. Keeping to his love of the hip-hop style his lines are not constricting and play well with the models movement.
Miuccia Prada definitely brought something unexpected to the catwalk this season. The show started with boxy, almost space age, designs with largely oversized tops in black and deep green, paired with clam diggers, long shorts and metallic booties. As the show transpired it began to tell a story, showing vintage Japanese silhouettes, Geisha inspired looks, and a more traditional color palette as it progressed. Kimono’s and Japanese footwear appeared accentuated by florals and pops of deep red. The show ended with toned down neutral satin pieces in blush pink, tying the show’s theme together nicely and proving once again that Prada knows how to tell a story through fashion.
Donatella stepped away, if only for a moment, from gothic bondage and moved into simpler and softer pieces, mixed with a little Greek Mythology, for her latest line. “I wanted to challenge myself to do fluidity and lightness...” she stated in regards to the latest in her fashion empire, and with the miniscule size of a few of the ensembles, she has done just that. Dainty high-cut, lace-embellished shorts paired with cropped tops make a perfect addition to any jet-setting girls’ summer wardrobe, and her drop waisted brightly hued dresses are reminiscent of a fabulous beach soiree. That is, if you do not mind Medusa joining the party. While the show started with simple lines and circular lace cutouts, the rest of the line hinted at warrior chic, featuring Medusa’s head in print as well as on metal buttons. The gowns intricate details were worthy to be worn by Greek goddesses or warrior princesses. Leave it to Donatella to “lighten her style”, only to give us something even more beautiful and breathtaking.
Gucci’s line takes us back to classic Italy. It is purely Rome in the 60’s and 70’s where women do not shy away from head-to-toe hues in bright pinks and cobalt. The show started strong with a bright pink belted tunic and trouser ensemble, paired with slicked back hair and oversized classics reminiscent of the time. Graphic patterns in similar hues and lighter fabrics followed until the show transitioned into classic black and white. A beautiful, pure white, deep V-neck, floor length gown featured billowing ruffled sleeves and rounded out the show with beautiful dramatic femininity.
By Mandi Pimental
London Fashion Week presented us with a diverse, and absolutely lovely, mix of trends for Spring 2014 both on and off the runway. The street style was an eclectic blend of the trends we saw throughout the designers’ displays on the runway and it stood to prove that the London fashionistas were truly tuned in to what is going to be popular come winter thaw.
The first of five, of the most popular trends of the season, were separates that shine. Crystal-adorned dresses and bodysuits, a plethora of metallic materials and mirrored embellishments will be available to dress up many wardrobes. Tom Ford was a fan of using sequins, Topshop used broken-mirror inspired additions on sundresses and Christopher Kane opted for shimmering fabrics for his collection. Tadashi Shoji presented a dress comprised of pure white sequins, accented with feathers and Marissa Webb showed us a favorite in a champagne metallic high waist skirt. The designers this season backed up our belief that a little sparkle is always a good idea.
Feminine florals are always a classic spring trend and have made their return for 2014. Opting for a palette of lighter, pastel hues, fashion house Burberry Prorsum displayed beautiful florals on belts, trenches and delicate tops. Mulberry opted for a more retro palette with oversized florals in bright orange and navy. BCBG and Rebecca Taylor used a rainbow palette for their floral pieces. When paired with dainty flats and simplistic jewelry, you can incorporate floral pieces into your wardrobe through skirts, sundresses, capris or tops.
One way to wear a feminine floral skirt is to pair it with a boyfriend-styled, button up. Bringing us to our third spring trend, boy meets girl fashion. Mixing in masculine touches with feminine pieces, designers showed ability to fuse the two sides together seamlessly. Tailored, nipped-waist skirts pair well with boxy-shouldered tops, while delicate camisoles couple with slouchy boyfriend pants. The key is making sure to keep it balanced. Designer Matthew Williamson paired basic tees with flirty skirts, while Henry Holland put models in trucker hats and lace skirts to lend an edge. Alexander Wang had models strutting down the runway in what could have been mistaken for their boyfriend’s pajamas, though we rather loved it, because what isn’t sexier and more comfortable than your guy’s pjs?
The last trend to get you through from spring to fall is pure edge. Dark and avant-garde pieces, sharp edges, deep folds and deeper shades such as blacks and browns have made a place for themselves in spring fashion this season. Leather jackets can be worn with lighter undergarments to incorporate heavier fabrics without being overly layered. David Koma, with his line inspired by Japanese samurais, incorporated warrior-esque pieces to represent tough femininity. Tom Ford’s collection also represented a stronger woman with body conscious lace and leather pieces, and though the house of Erdem incorporated florals, they did so in a darker palette of blacks and deep blues. J Mendel created a daring black netted dress with strategically placed cuts, proving that lace and mesh make the perfect dress fabric choices for evening.
Do not be afraid to mix and match the trends. Pair floral leggings with an oversized rock tee for a bold combination, or try a metallic dress with a leather jacket for a vibe that hints at retro eighties, which designer Ryan Lo could appreciate this year with his 80’s inspired line-up. With a palette of such a wide array of colors and fabrics, the possibilities are endless. And remember, spring is a time of renewal and creation. Create a new look that is uniquely you, by gaining inspiration by the amazing fashion seen throughout London.
by Mandi Pimental
Sometimes finding motivation for the gym can be hard, and we can sympathize. When you are seeking a boost of energy, its decadent things like a piping hot latte or an afternoon nap that sound more enticing than putting in a sweat session. The solution? Being able to rock extremely fashionable workout attire and gear that you’ll be excited to use. Let’s face it, kicking back on the couch watching the latest reality TV drama in our new bright sneakers would make us feel incredibly guilty.
We’ve compiled a list of who we think are the five hottest fitness designers, and our top choices from their lines, so that you not only look good while getting fit, but that you also gain benefits from your workout attire.
Juicy Couture is not just about matching velour and hot handbags anymore. They infuse youth and fun into their workout gear by pairing fun colors with youthful prints (hello hot pink and leopard!). With a wide selection ranging from yoga gear to hoodies, the clothes are designed to protect you from the elements. Juicy Couture offers something for everyone. The materials are also high quality, which means good support and fabrics, like their jersey knit compression sports bras, that will be comfortable during your stretching sessions. Visit www.juicycouture.com to see the full line.
Juicy Couture Racerback Sports Bra - $32.00
Reflective Leopard Short - $48.00
Slim Drawstring Leopard Pant - $98.00
Nike shoes may be cute and colorful, which is certainly an attribute that makes it fun when coordinating your workout ensemble, but Nike is a brand that truly knows how to make an amazing workout shoe. No matter your exercise preference, whether you are a runner, a climber, or tennis pro, Nike has a shoe for you. Comprised of breathable fabric, lasting materials and a shape that actually enhances your posture as well as your workouts, Nike is a definite pick on our top five list. With their wide array of shoes, clothing, athletic attire and workout accessories, this brand is a great place to start if you are going to make an investment in your workout gear. Without a good supportive shoe, running and certain exercises could potentially be harmful to your feet, knees, ankles, and hips. By investing in a good shoe now, you can save yourself money, and pain, later. Visit www.nike.com to shop or visit a Nike retailer near you.
Lululemon is a favorite line for female athletes worldwide. Not only are their workout clothes fashionable, they offer a full line of options for female runners and yogis alike, while designing attire that is made to last. Whatever your workout routine consists of, Lululemon has a style of clothing and fabric designed just for you. With five specifically designed categories and performance enhancing fabrics, they stand by their name of being a quality brand, utilizing quality fabrics that work and stretch with your body and its movements. Using a signature fabric called Luon, the pieces are designed to wick away sweat from even the hardest workout session. To check out all of the lines and styles that Lululemon has to offer, visit www.Lululemon.com to shop or find a store near you.
Tracker Stretch Short in white - $54.00
No Limits Tank in grey - $64.00
Luxtreme cropped running pant - $86.00
For the California girl at heart, Roxy is the top choice. For you fitness fashionistas that like to play in the surf, run along the shoreline and spend endless summer days playing sports on the sand, Roxy offers an extensive line of high quality workout attire. By incorporating fun prints and bright colors, like lime green, hot pink and melon, Roxy inspires energy before you ever put your foot to the pavement. Using an Italian-made, nylon-spandex fabric to create their pieces, the fabric stretches easily and won’t lose its shape. It is also quick drying and extremely breathable, making this line a perfect choice for sand volleyball under the sun or your hot yoga classes. Visit www.roxy.com/fitness for more styles and colors.
Pictured: Spike short in pink - $44.00
Roxy Neoprene Enhanced Capris -$34.00
Australian based fashion line, Mix, is now offering laid-back and affordable active wear and we couldn’t be happier. Known for simplistic design and quality clothes, their pieces are comfortable and cute. While not high-performance, their lounge style casual separates are perfect for light days in the gym, jogging and dance class. Offering sports bra and hoodies, cropped pants and a vast array of leggings in various styles and colors, the line offers a diverse selection for the girl seeking ultimate comfort. For more, visit www.mixapparel.com.
Pictured: Racerback runner tank $12.00
Drawstring lounge pant in pink - $20.00
by Mandi Pimental
You spend countless hours (maybe even days, weeks…) finding the right bathing suit to fit your body type. Did you know it’s equally as important to find one that complements your skin tone too? Just as a one-size-fits-all bikini only exists in a dream world, (or a Sisterhood of the Traveling pants sequel), a bathing suit in the right color will compliment one person far better than it would another.
If you’re fair:
Porcelain skin on the beach can be classically beautiful when you find the right bathing suit. The goal is to find colors that will make your skin appear warmer, instead of washed out. The favorite hue this season, for the fairest of them all, is bright apple red. Vintage cuts inspired by the 30’s and 40’s are also making waves this year. Designer Norma Kamali makes a 40’s inspired ruched bandeau swimsuit reminicient of Marilyn herself. This bold color works well if you are fair or have pink undertones. Pair this look with a large hat and glasses to further protect your delicate skin while adding an heir of mystery and elegance to your ensemble in true Miss Monroe fashion.
Other colors that work well on fair skin: Lime or apple green and warm browns, such as chestnut.
Colors to avoid: White, black, orange and yellow.
If you have olive skin:
The most versatile of skin tones, olive. Brozed and glowing naturally, olive skin-tones have the greatest selection when it comes to playing with color. Because so many colors will compliment your skin, try playing around with fun summery hues that compliment one another. Our favorites this season: coral and turquoise. Pair a ruffled coral bikini by River Island with a gorgeous turquoise Cole Haan tote to pack all of your lazy-day beach reads.
Other great color picks: Mint, yellow, baby blue, and chocolate.
Colors to avoid: Mustard, grey, and hues that are close to your skintone or hair color.
If you’re dark:
Dark skin is accented best with summers gorgeous jewel tones. A bright color such as emerald really pops when accented with muted tan accessories such as a dramatic straw hat or strappy sandals. Metallic accents also work very well. Try pairing the emerald green one-piece from J.Crew with classic logo cuff by Vince Camuto for a classy and trendsetting look while you lounge by the pool with your favorite cocktail in hand.
Other tones that make the cut: amethyst, fushia and yellow.
Colors to avoid: Beige and olive.
If you’re medium skin toned:
Caucasian and asian women with beige or yellow undertones, who tend to tan and not burn, wear muted naturals and pretty pastels well. The under-stated colors, such as lavender or soft peaches, compliment tanned skin.Try pairing the J.Crew lavender bandeau bikini top with cute denim cut-offs from H&M and tie the look together with the Alexander McQueen Skull & Shell scarf for a look that can take you from the barbeque to the beach.
More options include: mint, a bright white suit or classic black.
Colors to avoid: yellow, orange, or colors that clash with your hair color.
Always keep in mind that the color is just as important as the cut. This is true in diamonds, and this is true in fashion. Summer is a great time to have fun with color, to experiment and accessorize. For color is such a thing of beauty. You are the canvas, find your palette and paint away.
Fair Skin Tones:
Norma Kamali ruched bandeau bathing suit. £295.00
Forever 21 Spiral floppy mesh hat. $14.00
Mango aviator sunglasses. £18.00
Chanel nailpolish in “Dragon”
Olive Skin Tones:
River Island bathing suit. £15.00
Stella and Dot bracelet. $34.00
Cole Haan tote. $328.00
Max Factor nailpolish in “diva coral”
Medium Skin Tones:
Pink H&M bandeau bikini top. £9.99
Lavender tulle twist bikini top by J.Crew. $58.00
Alexander McQueen Skulls and Shells scarf. $575.00
Jean shorts H&M. £20.00
Essie nail varnish in “A Crewed Interest”
Dark Skin Tones:
Forever 21 Spiral floppy straw hat. $12.00
Emerald green bathing suit by J.Crew. $68.00
Vince Camuto classic logo cuff $88.00
Minnetonka strappy sandals.
By: Mandi Pimental
As women, we all have many things we are constantly juggling. Our careers, our families, our social calendars, charity obligations and, if we are lucky, time to shop to keep a wardrobe fresh. With all of these tasks one might wonder, when do we have time to organize such things, let alone do them all?
Any girl with a fabulous collection of clothes, shoes and accessories deserves an organized home to keep it all in and I’m here to help you find a simple way to put your closet together nicely. First, you need to take inventory. Choose a day to sort through what is currently in your closet. Everything, every single thing. It may get worse before it gets better but I promise you it’s worth it. You will be making three piles: keep, donate and throw away. I know as a woman I get sentimental when going through this process, and I can tell you it’s taken me a few of these sit-down sessions in front of my closet to make myself purge the unnecessary items. For instance, I had a hard time parting with maxi-dress that I purchased while in the Caribbean. It no longer fit since my slim down, and I knew I never wanted to wear this dress again but I was determined to keep it because I felt it held memories of my trip. I finally compromised by pinning the postcard from the tropical locale to my office corkboard, said farewell to the dress and moved on. Once you’ve done this task, and I will you tell you it’s probably one of the most time consuming tasks of all, you can celebrate that the hardest part is behind you and now we will work on the closet interior itself.
Making the space. This is your space, so make it uniquely yours. Unless you cohabitate with a spouse or roommate in which case you should get permission before making any permanent changes. A great place to start is with storage and shelving. If you have a traditional walk-in closet or sliding door closet, rods and shelves should already be installed. When deciding to add additional modular storage cubes or shelves take inventory of what you mainly use your closet space for. If you have a lot of shoes and handbags but not many dresses you could use more of your space installing shoe racks and upper shelving than long open spaces. If your collection is mainly long dresses, or work suits, use the higher storage for shoes and let the longer items hang freely without interference from beneath them. Once your storage set-up is in place, add color! Paint the back walls, or even just a coat of paint on an accent wall will make the space pop. Add a small mirror, a chandelier, or use a nice shelving paper to line your shelves. This doesn’t just help protect your shelves it also looks pretty. A word of advice: simpler is better in such a small space, so use a lighter palette. Your clothes are the main attraction, this just gives them a nice backdrop.
Neat and tidy. One of the easiest ways to keep your closet looking organized and clean is to keep the floor clear. Resist the urge to use the closet as storage or drop shoes inside the closet on the floor. Pair shoes together on a rack or in boxes on higher shelving. It will protect the shoes as well as keep your space clear. Having a space for folded shirts, or jeans, is a great addition as well and gives it a clean retail feel. Who doesn’t love feeling that they are shopping every time they get dressed in the morning? Save the hangers for your dresses, suits, pants, wrinkle prone items and delicate pieces. I would advise investing in some nice hangers, a wood, satin or at the very least matching colors in plastic to help bring unity to the arrangement. Resist bunching clothes close together, as you want the fabrics to be able to breathe. This will also decrease the chance for wrinkling. Another added touch that is esthetically pleasing is displaying your items by color. It is pleasing to the eye and will make it easier to locate items when putting together your ensembles. Make sure you clean your closet regularly as well. When I am tidying my room I do a light dusting of my closet and run the vacuum throughout to keep it nice and clean so dust cannot collect around my clothing.
Adding special touches. If you have a walk-in with space in the back as I do, you can add a simple vanity. It makes additional space to keep make-up and perfumes and allows you to have a mirror and small stool in the closet, which is convenient for seeing outfit pieces together or putting on shoes. If you have a walk-in that opens to the bedroom or bathroom, hanging a lace camisole, or feminine gown adds a luxurious touch to the overall look.
Jewelry. If you are like me, you may have an abundance of accessories. Scarf, jewelry, and sunglass collecting seems to be my favorite hobby. As I mentioned earlier, I have a small vanity set up in the back of my closet, which is home to a nice jewelry dresser. I have my necklaces hung on decorative hooks to add a vintage feel to the overall look of the space as most of my necklaces are antique. Decorate hooks can be purchased at any craft store. You can alternatively use a beautiful wood frame with the glass removed. Insert chicken wire, or string thin metal wire behind and secure to the back of frame. This makes for a great earring or sunglasses holder. Scarves hang nicely on hangers or can be kept in small boxes.
Remember: clean, efficient, and beautiful makes for the best space. This is a great rule for your closet or any room in your home. The closet is where you start your day to feel the best about you! Make it a place you are happy to be.
A Summer Short Story
by Mandi Pimental
In the dog days of summer we need to not only look stylish, we need to feel cool and comfortable. Jeans, the star of the casual wardrobe, are no longer the go- to option when you need to chill out or perfect your summer tan.
Cut-offs, both bought and handmade, can be the perfect solution. As a fix to recycling worn-out jeans or a weekend project with a great thrift store or vintage find, do-it-yourself cut-offs can be the best part of a versatile summer wardrobe.
To create your one-of-a-kind piece you will need a few tools of the fashion trade along with your chosen pair of jeans. The tools you will need are a marking tool, scissors, and an Exacto knife. An Exacto knife is used to create additional “cuts” in the denim to give it a more distressed feel, while optional, this really helps to mix it up and creates an edgier, more current, look and feel.
Step one, if you have purchased a new pair of jeans for your project, is washing the jeans in hot water, and then drying them on your hottest dryer setting. This ensures that the denim is pre-shrunk and your leg lengths will remain true and equal. If you bought a worn-in vintage find, or are using an old pair of jeans you may disregard this step.
Next, you will put the pants on and lightly mark the length you are wanting for your shorts. Always mark a little on the longer side just in case, and make sure to mark the front and back. A 1-2″ inseam works well. You can always cut more later. Remove the jeans once marked. You will then want to iron the jeans one leg at a time so you can have a smooth pair of pants that will allow you to cut evenly.
Once you have ironed you are ready to cut! Using a ruler, mark the lines at your desired cut point so that your cut is straight. Fold the jeans in half and cut. This will help ensure that both sides are cut evenly. Try on the pants once again to see if you need to cut off more length, and to check that both sides were cut evenly.
After you have cut your new shorts, you can play with distressing and adding embellishments. Using an Exacto knife on a cutting mat, you may slit horizontal lines in the denim. This will create frayed “cuts” upon your next washing. Make sure you wash them in a load of their own so the new frays do not get caught up on other pieces, creating unwanted tears.
If you have simple sewing experience, the options are endless. First being, you can give them a finished look with a cuff. Once you have created your cut-offs, fold the bottom of each leg to create your cuff. Press with a hot iron using the steam setting. Turn the shorts inside out and repeat with the legs still cuffed. You may add a small amount of fabric glue to the inner cuff to secure. Allow to dry and they are ready to wear.
Another popular trend this season is adding lace to shorts. One that is easy to accomplish without having to pay a high price for this popular look. All you need is two feet of white lace or crochet trim of choice, pins, white thread, fabric scissors and a needle. Lay your shorts out flat, right side out. Cut a triangle on each leg in the front about the size you will want the lace insert. It is important that it is centered on each leg and using a measuring tape may come in handy. Next, you will cut the lace or crochet to the desired size. Pin the lace in place over your triangle. Once you have threaded your needle with white thread, sew the lace (both the inner and outer edges) to the denim, tying a few knots where you finish to secure. It is an easy way to make your summer shorts really standout while adding a touch of femininity.
Lastly, a trend that is popular for summer is colored denim. There are so many options when it comes to colored denim and adding texture. Do not feel tied to your tried and true blue jeans. Express yourself this season with colors. Add metal embellishments, lace, or experiment with bleach to create “paint” stains and tie-dye. The possibilities are endless. Be creative and let your style show the world who you are.
(Fall Picks – 2014 - Handbags)
by Mandi Pimental
Christian Louboutin -
The Makimay clutch by Christian Louboutin is pure sparkle. Pink strass crystals lend this feminine accessory luminance, while the inner lining is comprised of red faille. The gold tone zip closure is hidden, for a sleek, elegant design. $2,895.00
Delvaux’s Brilliant Mini is the perfect handbag for midday fall lunch meetings. This cute and compact bag features a faux-gusseted body, rolled leather top handle and the distinctive "D" buckle closure in silver. $3,600.00
Dolce & Gabbana –
The sophisticated Miss Sicily bag by Dolce & Gabbana is made of the finest grained-buffalo leather and is pictured in light brown. This bag features a gold-tone and silver-tone plaque that is logo engraved as well as polished gold tone hardware throughout. The leather-lined interior features multiple pockets for the girl on the go. $2,395.00
The Jackie by Gucci is a buttery soft hobo bag with a fierce edge. The python print leather bag features hard painted edges and palladium hardware for durability. The perfect printed accessory to liven up a neutral fall ensemble. $3,950.00
Hermes –This high-end unisex shoulder bag is a luxurious way to tote your daily necessities. Whether for work, or weekend wear, the Hermes Jypsiere features a swivel clasp on a front flap closure and a padded adjustable strap for comfort. The inside features large and small pockets, as well as a specific cell phone pocket so that you are always connected. $9,100.00
The Cobble Hill cross body bag by Kate Spade is sophisticated in its simplistic style. Clean lines and black leather make this functional bag versatile. The pebbled leather is smooth to the touch, and the bag features Spade’s signature bookstripe lining. $398.00
Lady Dior -
This multi-colored, calfskin “Lady Dior” is couture with personality. Designed with classic Dior style, the Lady Dior is functional with its inner pockets and outer detachable envelope. And the oversized Dior charm will let everyone know just what, or should we say whom, you are carrying. $4,900.00
Marc by Marc Jacobs -
The Marc by Marc Jacobs Luna cross body bag is a streamlined bag that features sleek golden hardware. The exterior pockets make accessing important items easy, and the strap is easily adjustable for optimal comfort. $348.00
This small white leather tote by Prada is a pretty little addition to have on hand when you want to add a touch of glamour. The multi-sized gold stud embellishments add a luxurious flair to the white handbag crafted from fine Saffiano calf leather. $2,150.00
Ralph Lauren –
This timelessly structured satchel is made from the finest napa calfskin and features silver hardware accents and complimentary topstitching. The Ricky 33 by Ralph Lauren presents a preppy style that is both refined and functional. This moderately sized satchel will carry your day and evening accessories effortlessly, as well as a small tablet or makeup case for the woman who needs her world at her fingertips. $2,500.00
Saint Laurent -
The Saint Laurent Moujik Box Satchel is refined luxury at its best. Comprised of suede and fine calfskin, this elegant satchel is for the sophisticated modern woman that enjoys a modest handbag. It also features classic golden hardware and tonal topstitching. $2,490.00
Valextra’s Boston Satchel, shown in Oyster, is made of ultra-soft pebbled leather and lined with ivory leather in the interior. It features multiple inner pockets for organization and additional snap-button pockets for easy access and additional storage. A great choice for casual fall afternoons. $2,300.00