How To Do A Complete Closet Overhaul

As you know, I am here in Michigan, currently without a closet. As I packed up my life to make the cross country move, I took the opportunity to edit and refine my closet. In my 20's I would have described my style as mix between Zoey Deschanel and Carrie Bradshaw. I couldn't resist a quirky print and I often frequented my favorite vintage shops hunting for charming fit and flare dresses. I paired those with blazers and finished the look with a vintage belt and the most ridiculous platforms or stilettos you have ever seen. Now, not so much. These days I live in jeans, a tee with a blazer or a blouse and mules. My heels don't get much play and my vintage dresses were stuck in the back of the closet. It was time for an overhaul. 

Back in January one of my favorite bloggers/Instagrammers, Jen Pinkston of The Effortless Chic posted a closet overhaul series over on Instagram. I've read lots of closet makeover posts in my day, but Jen's philosophy stuck with me. You can read all about her method here, but I'll give you the cliff's notes version in this post. 

How to do a closet overhaul

Step 1. Separate your real life from your fantasy life. Be honest with yourself, when you're reviewing your closet, and you come across a pair of heels you hastily purchased after seeing them on your favorite blogger at a high fashion event, remember that her life isn't yours. You need clothes that work for you. 

Step 2. Journal your outfits for a week. Notice what kind of outfits you wear most and what kind you don't. If you live in lounge wear, might be time to consign the pencil skirts and invest in chic casual wear. 

Step 3. Make a mood board. I feel like most of the closet overhauls I read about start here, but I love that Jen's method started with you evaluating your actual life and how you wear clothes. This is my favorite step, but even if you're not as much of a mood board enthusiast as I am, this is a very important step, as these visuals will be your North Star as you're evaluating your clothes. 

Jen goes on to explain that this is hugely important - every time you go into a store or on a website, that store is trying to sell you on their brand vision. That's why when you go into Free People you suddenly feel like you could pull off the boho goddess look, but if it doesn't align with your vision of your style, put down the fringe vest!

Here is my style vision board, French "it" girl meets California casual for coffee in SOHO (you can come up with anything, and I mean anything that resonates with you). But what on Earth does that mean. For me, I am often attracted to all the best French girl style, the effortless chic jeans and blouse look isn't exactly what I gravitate toward in store, but it's what I like to wear and the balance of dressy and casual that fits my lifestyle. Because the denim and tee look is such an important part of my wardrobe, I had to register the California vibes that wear on the daily. I also love blazers and some more polished pieces bring in a little New York style. Here's what that looks like to me:

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I would also take this a step further and create a color palette, this will ensure maximum mix and match versatility in your closet. Stay tuned for my palette in an upcoming post. 

Step 4. Purge! Ditch anything that doesn't fit, is worn out or damaged and doesn't fit your vision. 

  • pull anything out of season and store away or at least put aside for now
  • organize your closet by category - this way you can see if you have 6 blazers that you haven't worn in a year, or not one skirt that suits your stule
  • pull your three favorite outfits that fit your style vision, use them as your guide and as you go through your closet. If you're on the fence, ask yourself if each piece can mix and match with your outfits. 

Keep going until you have a closet full of clothes you love to wear. 

How to do a complete closet overhaul

Step 5. Begin to fill the holes in your wardrobe. Through your journaling or organizing you may have noticed some pieces you may be missing. In my recently closet I tossed all my tees with stretched necks or distorted hems, currently I'm shopping for more polished tees that look great layered under blazers or stand alone with jeans or a skirt. 

  • Consider a favorite piece, do you love the cut? would you benefit from having it in another color? or lighter or heavier weight fabric?
  • Does your work wardrobe need a refresh? Maybe a chic trouser that can be paired with several tops that already live in your closet. 
  • be mindful about your purchases, think about your ratio of the tops and bottoms you already own. Similarly, think about your shoe closet in the same way, do you need another pair of shoes that you might only wear to a wedding once every other year?

My favorite piece of Jen's advice: Will this piece make getting dressed much easier in the morning? Can you easily think of three different ways you would wear it and three different places you would wear it to?

The goal at the end of all this is to have a closet full of clothes that you love, that fit your style and that style together seamlessly. The goal is to be more intentional and less spontaneous. 

photos: 1 / 2 

Simple Spring Look

As we pack up to make the big move, I am forced to do a try capsule wardrobe for the next few months. If you've been following along on Instagram, you may already know I've been honing my look and editing accordingly. Since closet space will be very very limited until we get a space of our own, I can only bring the absolute essentials. However I will be meeting up with fellow creatives, for which this is the perfect outfit, I will be working from home, hello leggings, and I will be going on interviews, definitely need some heels. I've got a post coming up all about the look I'm going for and how I'm approaching narrowing it down to about 50 pieces (not including workout gear). For now, a spring look that will be on repeat all season long! 

All white for Spring
All white for Spring
All white for Spring

culottes: H&M / shirt: men's H&M (similar) / belt: Gucci / sunnies: Target / bag: Zara (similar) / shoes: M4DE


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Costa Rica Packing List

Did I tell you guys that we are taking a family trip to Costa Rica!? We leave two weeks from today!!! Kyle and I took a trip to Costa Rica back in 2010. It was our first trip together. We fell in love there. It was magical. Plus, it is super affordable! So we decided to go back and bring our little. Last time we surfed, ziplined, catamaraned and relaxed on the beach. This time around we are staying at a kid-friendly resort in Playa Hermosa. I hope to catch a few waves, but I think the majority of the time will be relaxing around the pool and beach. I don't need much as far as clothes go for this excursion, just some great basics, perhaps a new pair of sunglasses and a fab straw bag, because doesn't everyone want a few new pieces to take on vacay! 

Vacation Packing List

1. swim suit / 2. overalls / 3. sunnies / 4. straw bag / 5. slides / 6. bag / 7. shirt / 8. dress / 9. shorts


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How To Stay Chic in February

I don't know about you, but I find February to be the longest shortest month. This is about the time where I long for some spring temps, but in New York, Mother Nature rarely delivers. It's so hard to muster the effort to "try" in February. You are so tired of your sweaters, your boots are looking worse for the wear and all you want to do is buy blouses and sandals. How do you pull off looking chic in the final stretch of winter? The good news is that everything winter is on sale, like super sale! If you are in the market for a brand new coat, pull the trigger, it will make this last month of bitterness a little happier, especially if you score a great deal. If you are not looking to spend on a coat, try picking up a new scarf or hat, berets are making a huge comeback this season. Finally, the key to looking chic and staying warm is layers. Layer on the sweater, scarf and coat, and like I did in the bottom photo, even layer your coats. 

Chic Winter Look
Chic Winter Look
Chic Winter Look
Chic Winter Look

photos: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 


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This is 34!

This is it, my scary age, the number my younger self would think about and cringe. But here I am, coming off a rough year and ready to own this number. Cause age ain't nothin' but a number, amiright? And if 34 is all the same as 24, why can't I rock a micro mini and thigh-high boots? I fell in love with this Reformation dress and snagged it in a Black Friday sale. They seriously have the most flattering frocks! And this jacket! I can't believe I've never photographed this jacket before! One of my all-time best flea market finds. Back when my Saturday ritual involved popping over to Chelsea to the Antiques Garage Flea Market (RIP), I saw it hanging just at the top of the ramp, asked the vendor the price and couldn't have run to the ATM fast enough. Still a staple of my dress-up wardrobe all these years later! Cheers to conquering my scary age! May 34 be as fabulous as the outfit I choose to celebrate it in!

Reformation Dress
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Reformation Dress
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dress: Reformation / boots: Marc Fisher / jacket: vintage / sunnies: & Other Stories / bag: vintage


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Holiday Look // Draped in Velvet

This year I was stumped when thinking of my holiday look. I picked up a old Bloomies catalog and fell in love with this Joie velvet suit. I immediately hopped on to check it out. Luckily I that catalog was so old that it was now on major sale. Score! Once the packages came I threw on the jacket with the some jeans and was loving it, then I tried the whole look on and it just seemed a little much. I went back and forth, but once I saw these photos of the whole look I knew this outfit was a keeper. I love that it's such a huge departure from a dress. I also love that it's dressy and casual (and comfy) at the same time and most of all I love that the pieces work separately as well as they work together.  Scroll down to see the looks I'll be rocking this holiday season. What are you wearing this party season?

velvet pants
velvet pants
Holiday look

LOOK 2

velvet suit
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velvet suit
velvet suit

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Currently Shopping // Velvet

Have you hit the stores to find your looks for your holiday parties? If you haven't, let me tell you, it's all about velvet. Like ALL about velvet. In my browsing, I saw velvet bras, velvet socks, velvet belts and just about everything else. The velvet has is shiny, matte, burnout pattern, embroidered, crushed and plush. I shopped around and found some fabulous pieces for you to build your holiday outfits from. 

Velvet Holiday looks

1. shoes / 2. kimono / 3. jacket / 4. maxi dress / 5. trousers / 6. tank / 7. jumpsuit / 8. mules / 9. skater dress


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What To Wear For Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, it's always a great mystery of what to wear for this holiday. You want to dress up a little, but still want to be cozy as you stuff yourself silly, drink wine and play games. You need comfy layers, but want to be able to let air in if you are stuck in the kitchen cooking away. I found what I think is the perfect look, a maxi wrap skirt with a light weight cashmere sweater. This skirt, scored on Poshmark, is in my favorite color of the season, rust, is a wrap skirt, while it's not stretchy, it's a tie, so easily adjusted after a long night of gorging. The sweater is a staple in my closet, a simple boyfriend cashmere v-neck. Topped with a suede moto jacket and a fur scarf gives you the cool factor and keeps you toasty on your post-dinner walk.

what to wear to Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving outfit
Thanksgiving look
Thanksgiving outfit

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