Thursday, March 5

Under $50: Winter Wonders

Winter Wonders

Baby, it's cold outside -- and snowy, too. And while this does make for pretty Instagram pictures, it doesn't offer much outfit inspiration. Although one of the most basic functions of clothing is to protect us from the elements, wearing the same few garments for weeks on end can get... pretty boring. If you, like me, are tired of your cold-weather wardrobe, spruce it up with a few "winter wonders" -- cozy (yet cute) clothes and accessories that will carry you through the season -- and for under $50.00 each.

Happy snow day!


Tuesday, March 3

Simple Steps for an Effortless Closet Clean-out

Clean-out in progress.

I was skimming Vogue’s March 15, 1931 issue a few weeks ago when I came across an interesting article called “Rejuvenating the Wardrobe”. The article offered readers simple ways to spruce up their closets for spring: “A little judicious make-up in the way of white piqué and cuffs… freshens a suit very nicely…If you find the dress you trailed about in last winter bears the scars of tripping, cut it off a little… Take old lace scarves and make them into jackets to wear with your evening gowns.” 

Although our views on clothing have changed over the past eighty or so years – from maintain, maintain, maintain, to buy new, new, new – the article inspired me to rejuvenate my own wardrobe (rejuvenate by today's standards, that is). Five hours and several piles later (more on those below), I have a fresh wardrobe and six tips to share so you can have one, too:

1.       Take everything out. First thing’s first – Empty your wardrobe. This does not mean just your closet, but all dresser drawers, bins, shoe boxes, jewelry boxes, and other storage containers.

2.       Group “like with like”. Pair similar items together to quickly take an inventory of your wardrobe. This will not only help you assess your wardrobe's strengths and weaknesses, but eliminate multiples. (You don’t really need five black pencil skirts, now do you?)

3.       Try on everything and then…

4.       Question everything. Does the item still fit? Have you worn it in the last 12 months? Would you wear it again? If you saw it a store now, would you buy it? Do you like the way it looks on you? Is it damaged, stretched out, etc.? And, most importantly, do you feel confident when you wear it?

5.       Divide and conquer. Separate all items into keep, sell, swap, donate, repair, and trash bins. If you have asked the questions above, it will be easy to find the keepers. But how do you determine which items fall into the other categories? Those fabulous designer jeans that are now too small on you are perfect to sell (I use Tradesy or local consignment stores); that dress that your best friend loves is perfect to swap; the fast fashion top that’s super cute -- but not on you -- is great to donate; and the price-y LBD that’s missing a few buttons is ideal for repair. Piled, stained, or otherwise in un-fixable shape? Trash it.

6.       Get organized. Group like items together and hang them neatly with everything facing in the same direction. Use garment organizers to separate items by category or season, and fold and store heavy clothes or items that can stretch out (i.e., sweaters and knits). I also recommend storing clutches and other small accessories in storage bins or containers, and keeping shoes in their boxes (with photos on their lids) for easy storage and styling. 

Happy cleaning!


S.S.W. Asks: Have your own closet cleaning tips? Share them below!

Monday, January 26

Tried & Tested: Uncommon Goods

 What makes a memory?
 Often my work (as a blogger, writer and curator) explores the history – the collective memory, if you will – of different clothes, accessories and fashion trends. So perhaps it’s no surprise then that when sustainable retailer Uncommon Goods asked me to review products from its website, I chose products that – in my mind – touch on different kinds of memory.

Uncommon Goods offers unique and handcrafted products that are created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people (check out some here). Most of the products that they carry are created in the United States, and about one-third of their entire collection incorporates recycled/upcycled materials (a.k.a. materials with histories and memories already tied to them). Uncommon Goods’s wares include metal Forget Me Not rings to ceramic tasting plates, which were my products of choice.

While tying a knot around one's finger has always served as a reminder of an important task or moment in time, Kiel Mead’s Forget Me Knot hand-cast sterling silver ring is a lovely twist on this tradition. The ring is very lightweight and easy to wear, making it not only a great fit for special occasions but also for day-to-day wear. Mead designed the ring to serve as permanent reflection and celebration of memories – like the kind that form when family and friends gather around the table for a good meal.

With the celebration of memories in mind, it seemed especially apropos to wear the ring – which I had already been sporting for a week – when Kevin and I sat down for snacks (+ wine) this past weekend. As we filled our new tasting plate with cheese, crackers and four different dips (each neatly separated in its own slot), we set out to make a lovely new memory of our own. Uncommonly good, indeed.