Wardrobing

KonMari Me

Okay, okay, this is the last Marie Kondo-inspired post (maybe!); but recently my good friend, Tina, asked me to help with her closet and of course I jumped at the opportunity.

See, some people find pleasure in completing the daily crossword puzzle or deep cleaning the grout in their bathroom. My organizational therapy comes in the form of “closet clean-outs” or wardrobe makeovers. Few activities give me as much joy as seeing a closet go from messy and stuffed to neat and color-coordinated.

Not to toot my own horn, but I was reorganizing closets before Mrs. Kondo’s book was published. While we have very similar methods, I’m less into folding and more into arranging items in a way that makes sense and feels second nature. Unfortunately, I was so eager to begin with with Tina that I forgot to take a Before photo, but keep scrolling to get a glimpse of what we accomplished in a four-hour whirlwind!

Step 1: Remove Everything
Seriously, take everything out of your closet and put it on the bed (or clean floor). This step is crucial to gaining perspective of how much stuff you have versus how much you actually wear. Then go through piece by piece and determine what you want to keep. Since I work with Tina, I was able to recognize items that she wears regularly for quick approval.

 

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Step 2: Keep or Release
Having trouble deciding what to keep? If I found an item I had never seen Tina wear I asked the well-known question, “does it bring you joy?” If she hesitated to answer I knew right away it didn’t belong in her closet. You either love an item or you don’t! It’s also important to try things on. Love an item but haven’t worn it in a while? Chances are it doesn’t fit (or fit properly). If something just needs tailoring, great, put it aside. Otherwise, get rid of it. This was true with a super cute pair of pink shorts Tina had bought but never worn. Being the gym enthusiast she is, they no longer fit in the bum. Other items we got rid of were just straight-up dated, like early 2000’s styles that didn’t make the cut into today’s “throwback” fashion trend.

With all the pieces that served you well (thank you, next) make piles based on condition: brand name clothing in good shape can be sold at your local consignment store ($$), where as older or more worn items are better taken to a donation center.

Step 3: Reorganize
Once approved, rehang garments to face the same direction, zip up zippers and button every other button (helps prevent wrinkles and isn’t as annoying as doing every single button), and return the item to your closet. But wait! Don’t just put it anywhere! Although you may end up shuffling things around as you go, try to keep like items grouped together. For Tina, I kept all of her work-appropriate shirts and blazers on the top rack (she’s taller, so it’s at eye-level) and her more casual/activewear tops on the bottom. Longer items will require more space; ideally, you would separate outerwear (jackets and cardigans) from dresses, but in Tina’s case we were working with a shared space. Still, by keeping categories separated, she has easy access to what she needs depending on the occasion. Organizing this way makes getting ready in the morning so breeze — you know exactly where to reach!

 

Now personally, I like to have all of my hangers match in material and color. This may be a slower transition for some, but at the very least get rid of wire hangers! They are tacky and I hate them.

Hangers

If you have quite a collection of wire hangers, I suggest bringing them back to your trusted dry cleaners for reuse. We want to reorganize your closet, not create more waste.

 

Let’s talk about what’s on the higher shelves: things you don’t reach for often. In Tina’s case, if she’s not at work it’s likely she’s at the gym (or in athletic wear). We stacked her jeans (grouped by color) so they are visible, but not cluttering her go-to sections. What’s in the shoe boxes, you ask? Not shoes! In the past, Tina had kept almost all of her shoes in boxes, something I’m not a fan of. Not only does this habit take up more space, but you forget what you have when you can’t see it! More on that later. We reused boxes in good shape to store miscellaneous garments and accessories. One box contains sporty pants and shorts (neatly folded into thirds) while two others house her scarf collection (lightweight VS heavy). We made use of matching shoe boxes for His & Hers glove and hat storage in the main coat closet.

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Over her dresses we displayed her fancier footwear. Makes sense, right? If she’s donning on a dress, she’s more likely to reach for one of these than a pair of flats. In the far corner, tucked away, are her situational shoes, i.e. cycling shoes and hiking boots. These are not regular activities, so the shoes don’t need to be easily accessible.

What about all those boxes I was talking about? Check out the Before & After of Tina’s every-day shoe collection! Sneakers are stashed at the bottom (same level as her casual clothes), while her most often worn are front and center.

Yes, we purged a lot of dated and worn shoes. Getting rid of the boxes also helped create space and a more visually appealing display. Shoes so often get tossed around and abused, but they are one of the most functional pieces of fashion. Give your shoes the respect they deserve and display them with pride!

Step 4: Replenish
While going through Tina’s expansive clothing collection, we came across several items that are wardrobe staples, but were too worn to keep. We began making a list of purged items that needed replacing. Some items she had multiples of, like white camisoles: I had her keep two that were her favorite and ditch the rest. Now, when she needs to get a new version, she knows exactly what brand and style she likes best.

Organizing by color also lets you better see your shopping trends. If you have way more black shirts than white it’ll become quite clear. Similarly, if you gravitate towards a certain color you’ll notice it more. In Tina’s case, she had two hot pink items that just didn’t seem to suit her (she’s more of an Autumn). I pointed out that literally nothing else in her closet was the same color and she agreed. Tina can now recognize her color palette and add to her wardrobe accordingly.

Since making over Tina’s wardrobe, she’s been keeping up with the practice and actually enjoys going into her closet! She has added a few pieces, but with intent and understanding of her personal style. She even talked her boyfriend into getting rid of superfluous denim and adopting the Thirds folding technique. Treating your closet like a boutique really does make getting dressed in the morning a pleasurable experience. Fashion should make you feel good and it all starts there!

Have questions about how to organize your own wardrobe?
Want to schedule a one-on-one consultation? Let me know!

 

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Styling, Wardrobing

Is It Spring Yet?!

Sometimes I wish I lived in California, or Florida, where it’s 70 and sunny like 24/7. Growing up in Raleigh I’ve become use to, and sometimes fond of, our unpredictable weather patterns. We have a saying; “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.” and it’s pretty true: two weeks ago I got sunburned and the next it snowed. But as charming as it can be, our bipolar weather really confuses my wardrobe! As soon as I change over to Spring we have a week of cool 40’s. Over the years I’ve come to transition slowly, mixing bits of winter with the inevitable spring season. Oh, and always bring a jacket wherever you go.

Last September I shot with one of my favorite photographers, Terrence Jones. It was a similar situation – technically Fall but with temperatures hovering around 75 degrees. For my styling inspiration, I decided to mix “winter” fabrics and colors with “spring” prints and silhouettes.

One of my favorite combinations is contrasting a cheery floral print with dark colors. This sheer vintage dress (not for the shy) has a petite scattered floral print to keep the look from becoming too bright. Black & white accessories give the feminine frock some edge.

“Florals? For Spring? Groundbreaking.” Sure, florals for spring isn’t new, but the color palette can be unexpected. Also, leather! I love this look – a little bit schoolgirl, a little bit wallpaper in an opulent home. Together these textures and colors can transition from hot to cold, work to drinks, and everything in-between.

For those less print friendly, try rocking a pastel knit. Personally, I’m obsessed with this vintage 1930’s dickie from Raleigh Vintage. It’s a great layering piece that can be styled jazzy or classy. Throw a leather jacket over your shoulders and hit the bar (like C. Grace) without feeling out of place.

Pastels not your thing? Just show some skin. Not in a slutty way, but in a “I’ve already got my beach bod so bring it!” confidence way. Plus, a fabulous scarf can help cover up should you feel the need (or just get a chill). Also, I’m a firm believer that a fabulous hat can elevate any look, no mater how technically simple it may be. This is one of those situations where less is more. Choose your pieces wisely.

How are you dealing with the sporadic weather? Need help dressing for the seasons? Let me know! I’m here to answer any and all of your fashion questions.

 

Look 1: Vintage everything – except shoes from Art of Style
Look 2: Vintage hat, Ray Ban shades, Topshop top, J. Crew skirt, Marc Jacobs heels
Look 3: Vintage hat, thrifted bralette, Raleigh Vintage knit, Art of Style trousers, Nasty Gal platform heels
Look 4: Vintage hat, Alexander McQueen scarf, thrifted bralette, Art of Style skirt

Big thanks to Melissa G. S. for creating my face and assisting me with my curls 🙂

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Styling, Wardrobing

New Tailor in Town

Ok style seekers, here’s the scoop on the next cool shop to hit downtown Raleigh. The crazy part is they don’t even sell clothes — they tailor them! Allow me to introduce Glenwood Tailors, conveniently located on Glenwood South (near St. Marys Square Apartments), the next best thing for your wardrobe since high-end consignment. I’m super excited to 1) not have to drive 15min to North Raleigh and 2) to have a tailor that gets it: style, fit, trends, and all the possibilities that tailoring allows for.

My love affair with tailoring began at an early age. I come from a long line of crafty ladies, so it’s no surprise that when things aren’t quite right I get creative.

As a tween, I had an unusual body type: strong legs of a dancer + a D cup at age 13 meant I couldn’t wear the cute things my friends were wearing. I remember shopping for a button-up shirt (the nemesis of any busty gal) and having to purchase a large in order to avoid the dreaded gaping hole between my boobs. Of course, this meant that my torso became a shapeless wash of floral print. My mom’s solution? Add darts! Darts quickly became my best friends as they were the magic trick to taking ill-fitting garments and making them hug my womanly curves.

I took sewing classes in high school, honing the skills necessary to alter patterns and create my own garments. This came in handy when looking for a job during college and stumbling across a Craig’s List ad for a tailors assistant. I came to the interview prepared with samples of my work and got the job! It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but the experience and knowledge gained have stuck with me to this day.

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My tailor mentor was a miracle worker. I came to her with vintage dresses that were four sizes too big (I’m a sucker for prints) and with a nip here and a dart there it became a one-of-a-kind, perfectly fitting garment. Once I realized the potential with tailoring there was no stopping me. Shortly after starting at the tailor shop, I began working at Revolver Consignment Boutique. There I would find amazing designer garments and unique vintage pieces, keeping the idea of tailoring in the back of my mind. Hem too long? No problem. Dress too big? Easy fix. Hate the sleeves? Take them off! When something is such a great deal, why not invest a little to customize?

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(I wore this dress once for New Years and wanted to repurpose it to be more versatile. The end result was a cute fit&flare mini dress + an a-line skirt!)

Not everything is worth tailoring. That cheap dress from H&M that’ll fall apart in a year? Nah. But I have collected the most delightful treasures that wouldn’t have been an option for me had I limited myself to the garment “as is.” More than designer and vintage apparel, I love taking clothes from my mom’s youth and transforming it for my wardrobe. I get more joy from wearing the dress my mom met my dad in than my prized Marc Jacobs shoes. The dress in question began as a frumpy 80’s day dress with a drop waist and tea-length hem (not the most flattering on my petite frame). I took up the sleeves to bring up the waist, took in the sides, and chopped off about five inches of the skirt.

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With this love and appreciation for tailoring as an art-form, my excitement for the grand opening of Glenwood Tailors of Downtown Raleigh comes as no surprise. Glenwood Tailors aims to change the experience of having garments tailored. From the cool vintage decor to their eye for style, Glenwood Tailors is going to revolutionize how society looks at tailoring. Our generation being so rooted in the idea of personalization; I can’t believe more people don’t take advantage of tailoring to create unique, stylish pieces to add to their wardrobe! Join me on Saturday, October 3rd from 12-6pm at 743 W. Johnson St. to see what Glenwood Tailors can do for your personal style.

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Wardrobing

Don’t Call This a Comeback

I’m baaaack!
After a brief hiatus, Style Asset has returned at full speed.

The past few months have been big.
I was promoted at my day job and began a new project for Style Asset. Some of you may know that my ultimate goal with Style Asset is to open a brick-and-mortar boutique and styling firm. Well this is a step in that direction!

Introducing: Style Asset Collections; a new way of presenting second-hand apparel.

The idea came to me while trying to figure out what to do with the clothes I had recently purged from my closet. I am a collector of fashion with a wide range of influencers, but I tend to buy things for their beauty instead of compatibility with my wardrobe. Why was I doing this?! I’m always telling my clients not to keep things they no longer wear or fit into, so why wasn’t I more strict on myself? If you’re looking to clear some items from your closet, ask yourself these questions:

When was the last time I wore this?
Does it go with more than three other pieces?
Do I really love it?

If your answers sounded something like, “forever ago, not really, & meh” then toss it. Not literally, like into the trash, because clothing is taking over our landfills, but do something else with it. Donating is super easy, but if you have quality pieces try taking them to your local consignment boutique. I had consigned clothes for years, but for some reason this time around I thought, “why not do it myself?”

I set out to sell my own clothes wanting to do something different, so instead of listing several, seemingly non-coordinating pieces onto a website, why not take a tip from the designers and present collections? I started to sort though all of my gently worn apparel and found about twenty articles that inspired me in their colors&shapes and voila! I had my first capsule collection.

Collection

Laurel Canyon is the name of the first group of goods available on Style Asset Collections. Check out my next blog post to see inspiration for the collection, featured designers, and a sneak peek at the beautiful pieces available JUNE 13TH! And of course, I have to thank my BFF Keisha Louise for helping me realize these crazy ideas that I get 🙂

Laurel Canyon Preview

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