Closet Chronicles: Assess the Damage

Well, it wasn’t easy, but I faced the depths of my closet and emerged a new woman. After really looking through everything, I’d estimate that within a standard month I wear about 25% of my shoes, 20% of my clothing, 5% of my accessories, and 1% of my jewelry.

And this is coming from a fashion blogger.

So, without further adieu, here’s what I own and wear often:

Closet Chronicles: What I Wear

If you’re noticing a theme of flannel, grandpa cardigans, romantic tunics, lace-up boots, and sequins, I’d say that you’re dead-on (what does that make me- Colonel Ethel of the Disco?). How did this happen?

I gave it some thought, and here’s what’s up (hey, I can’t let my therapist skills totally atrophy). I’m reasonably confident with my body, but my two areas of insecurity are my upper arms and my midsection (more insidiously known as love handles, saddlebags, or muffin top). To conceal these areas, I tend to wear tight pants topped with something that skims over the midsection and hits at the low hip, therefore avoiding the midsection area altogether. Hence, my tunic-and-leggings uniform.

Next, the unappreciated and underutilized parts of my closet:

What I Have (& Never Wear)

In this category, I’m seeing a lot of clothing that fits close to the hip and isn’t covered by a concealing drapey layer. The pencil skirts, close-fitting dresses, and flared jeans of yesteryear have been sitting and gathering dust. I unintentionally eschewed all aspects of my classic/preppy past as I embraced my edgy/romantic/grunge/mod/godknowswhat new style.

Finally, I started thinking about what my closet is lacking. Tunics make me happy, but what about something with an empire waist? I love things that flare out at the hips, so what about some skater skirts- even a leather one? I love my leggings, so why don’t I go for some skinny jeans in different colors? Let’s add in some super-long skirts while we’re at it! And why the hell am I so afraid of wearing jewelry? Huh?!

Closet Chronicles: What I Want to Add

Tune in (is that what you do? I suppose…) next week to see the closet version of Survivor, where the long-neglected clothes make their plea for salvation. I can reintegrate some things into my wardrobe, but others are going to have to go to that big donation box in the sky. It can be sad to give away once-loved objects, but the payoff of having a closet full of clothes that are really you is well worth it. I’m excited to see where this goes!

Are you in closet-cleaning mode right now? What patterns or fashion ruts have you noticed?

Continue Reading

Dresses and Sunshine and Champagne, oh my!

stylish dresses, floral dresses, Napa dress

Groth Winery, Groth Napa

As much as I love San Francisco, sometimes I need to challenge our monogamous relationship and spend some time in other cities. Hey, absence makes the heart grow fonder! So, I recently left my city behind to travel to Napa with a group of my girlfriends. The trip was to celebrate more than a few twentyschmuh and thirtyschmuh birthdays (“schmuh” being the appropriate suffix for an indeterminate age).

Honig Napa, Honig Winery

The weekend was full of blue skies, warm sun, and more than a little champagne. In an inspired move, one of the ladies suggested (strongly) that we all wear dresses when wine tasting. I wouldn’t have thought to dress up for the occasion, but it was the perfect excuse to bust out a dress that’s been sitting in the back of my closet since my grad school graduation back in 2010.

Napa3

As I wrote in the first post of my Closet Chronicles, it’s easy to get into a style rut and wear the same things over and over, neglecting the majority of your closet in the process. I’ll discuss it more in the second CC installment, but the closet evaluation process has made me realize how exclusively I dress in fitted, crewneck styles with short hemlines. It felt a little funny to put on this flowy dress with the deep v-neck, but after a few minutes and much encouragement from my friends, I felt like a new woman.

Napa15

After seeing each of my friends in their gorgeous dresses, I’m more inspired than ever to break out of my comfort zone. I tend to avoid vibrant shades and prints without even realizing it, but I’m rethinking my same-old, same-old approach after seeing my friends looking so spring-y and vibrant (case in point, the photo above).

Cheers!Honig Napa, Honig Winery

Napa13

Groth Winery, Groth Napa

Napa7

Mumm Napa, Mumm champagne, champagne glasses

Napa1bGroth Winery, Groth Napa

Napa12

Napa1bMumm Napa, Mumm coaster, champagne quote

Continue Reading

Prettier Than Pink: 7 Manicures to Love

Prettier Than Pink: Unique Nail Colors to Love

As recently as six months ago, I could count the number of times I’d painted my nails on one hand. Nail polish is one of the easiest ways to switch up your look, but it always intimidated me. The whole nail art craze inspired me to try it again- after all, if women are wearing fur and holograms on their nails, I should be able to handle a solid color. I’ve grown to love greys and dark plums, and I even go whole-hog with a true red on occasion.

Even though classic reds and pinks are always pretty, I love counteracting spring’s pretty pastels and florals dresses with colors that have a little more edge, like the colors below. Whether you’re a polish-phobe or nail art junkie, try these unconventional colors and tell me what you think!

nails1Instead of a light pink, try shades of grey, from medium warm grey to pastel. Like pastel pink, they’re soft neutrals that go with pretty much any outfit. Gunmetal is plenty edgy but can feel like a neutral piece of jewelry with more conservative clothing.

nails2Instead of classic red, try a deep plum or red that’s so deep it borders on black. These dramatic darks feel a little vampy and make an impact against lighter colored ensembles. If you’re concerned about the look veering goth (and that’s not your thing), start with a dark polish that has subtle colored shimmer. Keeping the nails short keeps the look away from Cruella DeVille territory.

nails3

Instead of bright pink or fuchsia, try unexpected pops of blue or green. Royal blue feels preppy without being stuffy (just like Kate Middleton, the woman who made the color famous), and forest green has a boho-chic vibe. These shades are an unfussy way to add a pop of color to any outfit.

Nail colors in top photo, clockwise from top center: OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, Sally Hansen Gunmetal, Essie Chinchilly, OPI Skull and Glossbones, Essie Stylenomics, Essie Mesmerized, OPI Every Day is Oktoberfest.

Continue Reading