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How to Build a Versatile Wardrobe Part 2: The Game Plan

17 Feb

buildawardrobeNow, let’s hope at this point that you have successfully completed The Purge! CONGRATULATIONS! Purging your closet is not easy! Consequently, you deserve a big fat congrats for getting through it and you are now one step closer to creating your dream, versatile wardrobe. So, now what comes next? When taking on any large or potentially difficult task it is always helpful to have a Game Plan and that is what we are going to talk about today.

Since you have hopefully let go of a lot of your clothes, it is clear that you are going to need to do some shopping. However, some of you might feel really lost when shopping. It might be hard for you to find things that fit properly or you might just feel really overwhelmed when you step in to that large department store. Creating a Game Plan will really help you tackle the large task of building a new wardrobe and make it feel much less daunting. So here are some questions that you need to ask yourself prior to embarking on your shopping trip that will help you feel more prepared.

What do I like? That might seem like a really strange question, but sometimes our wardrobes really do not reflect what styles, trends, and fashions that we actually like. It is easy to convince yourself that you can’t wear a trend or use your old clothes as a security blanket or to be afraid to branch out. So, before hitting the mall, browse Pintrest, fashion magazines, catalogs, blogs, etc and find outfits that you really like. Save them on your phone or print them off your computer. Then you will have them for reference and be able to look for those pieces once you are actually at the clothing store.

What do I need? Now this probably seems like a really huge question however the answer (even if you don’t realized it) is almost always BASICS. Long sleeved t-shirts, solid basic t-shirts, camisoles, solid oxfords, a fitted blazer, and jeans. If you do not have any or many of these (that fit well! And if they don’t fit well, you should have already tossed them out!) in your closet, they need to be a huge part of your game plan. Endless outfits can be created through mixing and matching these pieces.

Where am I going to go shopping? Figuring out where to find clothes that really fit you well can be hard. The fact is, you are probably going to have to visit several different stores. Don’t be discouraged! This is normal! Also, if you are used to shopping at one particular store – branch out. Remember, you threw out a lot of those old clothes for a reason! Going back to the same place you bought them might not be the answer. Pre-shopping isn’t a bad idea either. Visit different retailers’ websites and see if they have items that fit your style. This might save you some valuable time by prevent you from wandering into a store that totally does not compliment your size or style. If you possible, it is always a good idea to bring along a honest friend on your shopping adventure. A second opinion is usually never a bad thing.

How much is this going to cost? Set a budget prior to shopping and do not go over that budget. If you love to shop like me, this might be hard. In order to not be tempted, I usually withdraw cash from an ATM prior to shopping and leave my debit and credit cards at home. That way I won’t be able to exceed my budget even if I, in the moment, want to. If you foresee yourself having trouble staying on budget, you might want to do the same. Better to be safe now than poor later. Unfortunately, clothes are not cheap. So, in order to stay on budget and make the most of your money, prioritize what you items you spend the most on. Invest in quality pieces that you know you will wear forever (black pumps, a blazer, oxford shirt, etc.) and do not spend much on trendier items that will only be cool for a season or two.

All righty! I hope this advice will help you towards your goal of achieving a brand new, versatile, “I love my closet so much” wardrobe! Stay tuned for the next installment of this series COMING SOON!

Danni

How to Build a Versatile Wardrobe Part 1: The Purge

21 Nov

buildawardrobe

Do your clothes make you look like you belong in a different era? Do they fall off because they are too big or are they uncomfortable because they are too tight? Do you feel like you are in a fashion rut? Have you not been shopping in years? Or do your shopping trips yield little results? Does shopping make you feel overwhelmed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this series is for you!

This is the first installment of my “How to Build a Versatile Wardrobe” series! In this post, I’m going to walk you through a very important part of creating a great, new wardrobe: purging. Getting rid of some of your old pieces is essential to creating a new wardrobe but it can sometimes be easier said than done. For some reason, we can get really emotionally attached to clothes or we hope that someday they will fit again but, in reality, they are just clothes and it is better to have ones that look and fit good than have a bunch of old pieces that are simply just taking up space. So, how do you decide what to get rid of and what to keep? Here are some tips to help you make great fashion decisions.

When considering whether or not to keep or get rid of an item ask yourself these questions:

Does it fit? Although it will take a while, make sure to try on everything. Don’t tell yourself “well it doesn’t fit right now but it might if I lose/gain weight”. NO! Dress for the body you have now. Size is just a number and you might be surprised at how great simply wearing clothes that fit can make your body look. If it does not fit or the fit is not great, toss it out.
Is it in good condition? No matter how much you like it, if it has holes, looks terribly worn, is really faded, or has any stains, its time to let it go.
Is it outdated? If you bought it years ago, have had it since high school (all that Hollister and Abercrombie stuff from junior year…), or it is something that you know is no longer in style (fanny packs I’m talking to you!), get rid of it. Clothes and accessories that are from a different decade, are really worn, or are too young/old for you never, ever look good.
Will you be tempted to wear it somewhere you shouldn’t? Everyone needs some clothes for lounging around, mowing the grass, and cleaning the house, but if you are ever tempted to wear your toilet cleaning clothes to dinner or out shopping remove the temptation and throw it out.

Funny-80s-Memories-with-Fanny-PacksThis might have been okay then, but please don’t let this be you now!

Now that you have gone through all your clothes, what do you do with them?

Sell them! Taking your old clothes to a local consignment store can make you some extra cash to go towards your new wardrobe!
Donate them! Anything the consignment store doesn’t take, donate them immediately. As in, swing by the Goodwill or Salvation Army before going home! Why? Because if you take those purged clothes back home you might be tempted to hang on to them and unfortunately they might sneak their way back into your closet. Sneaky little boogers…

For some, purging is the hardest part of the process. Letting go isn’t always easy! But after you have removed some of the problems from your closet, you have a clean slate and are ready to start creating that fresh, new, versitile wardrobe!

xoxo
Danni

p.s. Check back! “How to Build a Versatile Wardrobe Part 2: Creating a Game Plan” is coming soon!

DIY: Burlap and Holly Berry Letter

20 Nov

On a recent trip to Michaels, my mom and I both bought some really big, really cool wood letters for around $2. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it at the time but I figured I would figure something out. While browsing Pintrest, I found this picture and fell in love.

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Since we are moving into the Christmas season, I decided to keep the rustic feel of my inspiration letter but take it into a more Christmas-y direction. Here is what I used:

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I also used a small piece of sandpaper to rough up the letter a little bit to give it that vintage look. I also turned to Pintrest to figure out how to make a burlap bow. This tutorial was great.

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She used burlap ribbon but I didn’t have any so I just used actual burlap. Also, she used floral wire which I also didn’t have (and was too lazy and cheap to go out and buy) so I just hot glued the entire thing. Here is the final product!

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I’m really pleased with how it turned out! It has surely got me in the Christmas spirit!

xoxo,
Danni

5 Easy Tips to Make Your Nail Polish Last Longer

10 Nov

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Taking the time out of your busy day to paint your nails is not always easy. I love having freshly polished nails, however I sometimes have to force myself to sit down, take the time, and just paint them. Because it takes such an effort for me to actually give myself a manicure, when I do I really, REALLY want it to last. There is nothing more aggravating than spending thirty minutes on your nails just to have them dull and chipped the next day. So not cool.

The bottom line is: we all want our manicures to last longer. Preferably until we just get tired of the color. Here are some simple tips that will help you get closer to achieving that goal.

1) Start with a good basecoat. Yes, it is an extra step so it adds a little bit of time and work to your manicure, but it is so worth it in the end. It often will double or even triple the life of your manicure. Before applying the basecoat, it is essential that your nails are super clean and dry. This assures that your basecoat and polish will adhere properly; if there is any oil, dirt, or resudue polish will not adhere to your nail. The basecoat that I recommend is Orly Bonder Rubberized Basecoat. Read more about it here.

2) Steer clear of hot water and hand sanitizer. I’m totally not telling you to skip showers in order to preserve your nail polish. Everyone would rather you have chipped polish than stink! Instead when you are doing chores or something else that involve your hands being submerged in hot water for a long period of time (i.e. washing dishes, hot tubs, long baths, etc) try and keep your hands above water as much as possible. A quick fix for the dish washing problem is to simply wear gloves (or have your husband do them! Ha!).

3) Update your topcoat. I’m assuming here that you are using a topcoat in the first place – which you should be. A quality top coat is essential to preventing chips and keeping your manicure shiny. However, though you may be using a topcoat, you might not be updating it. What I mean is, after about two days of wear, your topcoat will typically begin to wear off and your nails will be more susceptible to chips and will lose shine. To prevent this, just slap another quick top coat over your nails every few days and, if you do have any chips, another thin coat of polish will quickly take care of that. You will be amazed at how great this keeps your manicure looking.

4) Speaking of topcoat, don’t forget to apply it under the tips of your nails. The very tips of my nail is where my worst chipping always occurs. But, after I began extending the application of my topcoat over the tip and under my nail, my polish has all but stopped chipping. My favorite topcoat is Revlon Quick Dry Topcoat and you can find out more about this product, including where to buy it, here.

5) Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Wearing rubber gloves when doing housework can really prolong your manicure, however applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to your nails and cuticles will not only moisturize but also provide protection for your polish. Applying a quick absorbing moisturizer frequently and liberally to your hands will keep your cuticles and nails healthy and, in turn, make for an altogether better manicure.

If you follow these tips, you might really be surprised at how well your manicure will wear. I have had my polish last for more than 10 days! Though many would disagree, I really do not think it matters much what actual brand of polish you use. I have oftentimes had just as much success with a $5 bottle as a $25 bottle. In the long run, it is more about proper application and maintenance, not labels.

I hope you enjoy!

xoxo
Danni

DIY: Burlap and Muslin Wreath

29 Aug

Today was my day off. Since I have been working so much lately, I vowed to make it an actual day off with only minimal housework and lots of relaxation. Of course, I just couldn’t resist another project and here is what I came up with!

What you will need:
burlap
muslin
raffia
scissors
hot glue gun
stick wreath (You can get these for super cheap! Mine was only $3.00!)

I began by cutting a piece of burlap into a long strip, wrapping it around the wreath, and gluing it into place with my hot glue gun.

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Next, I made my little muslin flowers. I really love these guys and think they would be super cute on pillows and tons of other projects. To make the flowers, cut a piece of muslin into a long strip. The length and width of the strip are up to you. Obviously the longer and wider the strip, the bigger your flower will be. Then tie a knot in one end of the strip.

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Then you want to begin wrapping the remaining length of the strip around the knot gluing it with your glue gun every wrap to secure. I like to twist as I wrap every now and then just to make the flower bulkier and more interesting.

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Continue wrapping until you have reached the end of your strip of muslin.

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When you reach the end, simply tuck it on the back of he flower and glue down with your glue gun. I made five of these for my wreath.

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After finishing my flowers, I began cutting the burlap into strips.

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In order to get that ruched, scrunchy look I wanted, I took one end of the strip, picked out one of the little frayed strings and began pulling.

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Once it has scrunched up about half way down the strip, I switched and repeated the process on the other end of the strip.

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I did this to five strips for my wreath but you could always do more or less. After this was complete, I arranged them into circles on the wreath itself and secured them with my glue gun.

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To make the “leaves” for my flowers, I took the raffia and tied several pieces together to form a bow.

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After the bow was tied, I cut the looped portion of the bow to make the frayed ends.

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Using my glue gun, I then fastened these under the burlap on the wreath.

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Finally, I added my little muslin flowers and yay! All done!

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I am so happy with how it turned out! I think it would be just precious on a front door or on a wall inside! If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Hope you enjoy!

xoxo
Danni
p.s. I must admit, I did have some good help! 🙂

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White after Labor Day? *gasp!*

28 Aug

Here in the South, white after Labor Day is strictly forbidden. No white dresses, no white jackets, absolutely no white jeans, and don’t even think about white shoes. Breaking the rule is as much a social faux-pau as not drinking sweet tea. As a result, in this last week before Labor Day, that dreaded end to summer, many of my friends have been cramming in as much white as their wardrobe has to offer; frantically wearing those white jeans one last time or sporting that white tunic only to stow it away in the back of the closet on that fateful Monday. But…why? Who said that we can’t wear white after Labor Day?

After a quick Google search and a bit of brief research, I discovered no one person is particularly responsible for the white can’t be worn after Labor Day rule. In fact, experts can only speculate how this rule came to be. According to Time U.S. magazine, there are several different theories about the origin of no white after Labor Day. Some believe that it was once a practice based on practicality that slowly became ingrained into societal etiquette; white was cooler, and since no one had air conditioning, white was obviously the color of choice in the blistering summer months. In big cities, white kept fashionistas cool during the summer while in the winter darker colors kept them warm and dirt and grime from city life hidden. Other experts don’t buy this practical explanation for the rule and instead reason that no white after Labor Day was a sign of wealth and status. The wealthy could vacation away from the bustling city life and therefore wore white clothes that could only be kept clean in the leisure of extravagant vacations. As a result, white became a sign of status and having enough money to spend your days at leisure.

No matter the explanation for the rule, it has become ingrained into our culture in many ways. However, fashion icons have strongly opposed this rule from the beginning. Coco Chanel, for one (but do we really need another?), featured white in all their collections no matter the season. I guess I must say, if white after Labor Day is good enough for Coco Chanel, it is good enough for me. Check out these awesome fall outfits featuring the forbidden fall color.

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As we head into fall, I am going to put away my flowy white sundresses and probably even my favorite white shorts, but I think these fun and fabulous outfits are absolute proof that white can transition easily into fall. As seen in these examples, choosing white pieces in a a sturdier fabric (denim, sweaters, blazers, tunics etc) and layering are key to making white work in cooler weather. Armed with this new knowledge, I hope you can go forward into fall with your favorite white clothes in hand!

xoxo

Danni

How To Find That Perfect Pair of Jeans

16 Aug

perfectpairofjeans

Every girl wants to find that perfect pair of jeans. A pair of jeans that hugs her curves in all the right places, flatters, fits perfectly, goes with everything, and is comfortable. Unfortunately, many women think that it would be easier to find the Holy Grail than those coveted jeans. I hear it all the time: “I’m made funny”, “My thighs are too big for jeans”, “Jeans make my butt look saggy”, “All jeans highlight my love handles”, etc. etc. Even more unfortunate is that women think that their jean problem is caused by them or their bodies. Nothing could be further from the truth!


Rock Revival Miss me jeans

Miss Me Glitz Straight Stretch Jean and Rock Revival Betty Mid-Rise Boot Stretch Jean

If you don’t take anything else away from this how-to, please remember that there is nothing wrong with your body. If the jeans don’t fit, it is the jeans fault not your bodies.

Understanding a few basic terms from common jean lingo can really help you better understand what type of jean is right for your body. Something first to consider is the fit. Now, contrary to popular belief, the fit of the jean has nothing to do with leg openings (i.e. bootcut, flare, etc.). Instead, fit is how a jean will fit from the hip through the thigh and down through the knee. Some words that commonly describe fit are: curvy, slim, relaxed, and straight (this will vary from retailer to retailer). It is important understand that each fit is going to be different. You might be a 5 in one fit but a size 7 in another. So trying each pair on is crucial. How do you find which fit is best for you? TRY THEM ON! Never ever buy jeans without trying them on.If you find a fit you love ask the sales associate if that same fit comes in multiple colors. Retailers often offer numerous washes in the same fit which makes jean shopping so much easier! Another mantra I hear over and over is “I’m a curvy girl! I can’t wear slim fit jeans!” Yes! Yes you can! As a matter of fact, slim fit jeans can sometimes be much more flattering than a more relaxed fit! The name of a fit should not discourage you from trying them on! 

Vigosssilvers

Vigoss Premium Embellished Slim Boot Jeans and Silver Jeans Co. Suki Destructed medium wash jeans

I’ve preached this before in my “How to Manage Muffin Top” post but this could seriously be the most important aspect of jean shopping so it is worth mentioning again: pay attention to the rise. The rise of a jean refers to the length of the pant from the crotch to the top of the waistband in the front and the back. Finding the right rise for your body is crucial to finding a comfortable and flattering pair of jeans. Most retails will have several different rises from low rise all the way to high-waisted varieties. Trying on several rises is so important and remember when the rise changes there is a good possibility that the size you will need will change too. Consequently, don’t be afraid to try take several different sizes with you to the fitting room. Getting the perfect rise can really be the difference between a jean that causes severe muffin top or is otherwise unflattering and a super slimming, “I want to wear you everyday” jean.

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h&m

620 Mid-Rise Super Skinny and H&M Straight Regular Jeans

Another thing wise and informed jean shoppers do is check the labels. See how much cotton, spandex, and other fabrics are in the jeans. Obviously jeans with a high percentage spandex or elastic are going to have a lot of stretch which makes them very forgiving and curve-hugging. Jeans with a lot of cotton are often very soft and good quality but slightly less forgiving because of their lack of stretch. A 98% cotton 2% spandex blend is a good medium however you must find what is most comfortable  for you.

Something else to consider is the wash of the jeans. Wash refers to the color and amount of distressing/lack of distressing on the jeans. There are TONS of washes to choose from: dark wash, light wash, medium wash, and endless variances. Not to mention blasting, baking, whiskering, and other ways of detailing jeans. All of these can really impact how the jeans look on; even if the fit is perfect, these details can make or break how slimming and how the jean looks on. Generally, dark washes are the most flattering however this does not mean that trendier, lighter wash jeans are always a no-no. Instead of shying away from lighter washes completely, pay attention to where the lightest area of the jean is. These lightest areas are practically a spotlight. Consequently, if your thighs are not your favorite body part, avoid any wash that goes lighter at this area.

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Rag & Bone Boyfriend – Moss with Holes and Denim Flex Dark Wash Jegging

Believe it or not, the leg opening on a jean really is all about personal preference and has little to do with the overall fit. Whether you purchase a bootcut, flare, straight leg, skinny, or boyfriend jean is really all up to you. Though there are some fits that flatter certain body types more than others, choosing the best leg opening is all about what you prefer.

When jean shopping you really need to be prepared to just buckle down, hit the fitting room, and try on numerous options. Finding the perfect apartment, car, or even boyfriend can take a lot of work and finding the perfect pair of jeans is no different! Making sure you go to a denim retailer with numerous options and knowledgeable sales associates is also key. They are experts on their product and most likely know what will fit your body better than even you do! So, listen to them and be willing to try on their suggestions. It never hurt to try and may ultimately be the difference between you leaving the store frustrated or exiting in denim bliss! Don’t forget that having a good tailor can also really increase your chances of finding denim perfection. If you find the perfect fit but they are just a tad long or have some other minor problem, it could be just a quick, inexpensive fix for a tailor and the end result will be your custom, fits-like-a-glove jean that you will wear forever.

I hope these tips have not only encouraged you to go try on some jeans but also help you find that perfect pair! Any questions about jeans, buying jeans, fit, or jean lingo? Just ask!

xoxo

Danni