Editing Your Wardrobe

It's inevitable.  When we're talking about style and fashion and how we'd like to have more pulled-together looks, cleaning out your closet and streamlining your wardrobe is going to come up, especially since spring is almost upon us (for those of us in colder climates).  Spring means spring cleaning and organizing, and hopefully, packing away your bulky winter clothes for lighter items.  You may do a closet turnover, swapping the winter for the spring and summer clothes, or you may have a closet that houses them all at the same time.  Either way, the change of seasons is a great time to weed out what you don't need.  And if you're like me, you have way more clothes than you actually need.

Last week I mentioned that a whole bunch of style-based posts and ideas were popping up all around me, thus inspiring my foray into some fashion posting on the blog.  The first of those was this fantastic post from Kanelstrand, which totally explains how you can simplify your wardrobe and wear pieces again and again.  I don't know if I could pare down to just ten pieces, but it's encouraging to see how far just ten pieces can go.  From this I went in search of wardrobe editing posts and information, and I found a ton.  Even though this is for packing, I think it could totally be used to streamline your everyday wardrobe:

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This next one we've actually done.  It's excellent for those things you think you're wearing, but actually aren't.  I want to turn all of our hangers around again when I clean out the closet this spring.

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Another great list that's easy to follow:


If you still want more there are these posts:

Wardrobe Editing (This is a great infographic that said don't republish without permission, so I'll just send you over there instead!)







And of course, a book (our library has it- yay!):


I can guarantee you that I will be pulling all the clothes out of my closet soon and weeding out what I really don't need anymore.  I want to only keep things that are flattering on me and that I will wear in public (not counting my pajamas, of course).  In my last clean-out I finally got rid of the last piece of clothing I owned from Aeropostale.  Does that store even exist anymore??  My hurdle is going to be whether to keep t-shirts with those little pinholes in them where your pants button rubs at them.  Do you keep those or toss them?

Do you do a seasonal clean-out?  Is it time for you to weed out too?  Or are you happy with your closet as it is?  Could you make it on only ten pieces of clothing?

Opinions and Feelings

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Today I may very well upset some of you, and I'm sorry if that happens.  I want to talk about opinions, sensitivity, and the like.  I mentioned on Friday that there was a lot going on in my head, that the Internet was giving me a lot of food for thought.  I've been trying to figure out how I want to piece it all together and I'm still not sure I'm going to get it right but here goes.

Part One: I have read a lot of posts lately expressing the opinion of the author on a particular subject: "My Opinion on X Subject".  It's stated over and over in the post, "This is just my opinion......I'm just telling you how I feel....." which after awhile, I find annoying.  Of course it's your opinion- you're writing it.  But I read through to see what the author has to say and then I read the comments, which are either so mindless and sickeningly sweet: "Oh my God, I LOVE you.  You are awesome and every single thing you say is so right!!" or they are well-written commentary expressing the opposite- non-argumentative, nicely stated opinions.  Those are the ones I find most interesting because so often there is a reply from the author stating, "That's fine if you think that, but this is MY opinion."  Boom, done.  No follow-up dialogue, not saying thanks for your point of view, nothing.  That type of response bothers me so much because the author is basically saying that their opinion is worth putting out there and the follow-up, contradictory ones are not.  This is about my opinion, not yours.  How dare you not agree with me on this post? (even though it's stated in the post at least once that not everyone will agree about x subject).  The whole point of an opinion is that it is a personal thought, and therefore, not everyone is going to think the way you do.  There's nothing wrong with that.  And if you are going to write a post where you have to start off with "This is just my opinion....." then maybe don't be surprised if some people don't agree with you.

This blog is full of opinions.  I'm writing what I think about something.  I know what I say doesn't always resonate with everyone, and it doesn't have to.  I don't mind getting comments that say something to the contrary because it might make me think a little bit differently about something.  (Nice, well-stated thought out comments, that is.  I don't include angry, nasty comments in that.)  Everyone is entitled to their opinion even if it's not a conformist one.
Part Two: On Friday I also referenced this article, entitled "17 Cultural Reasons this European Never Wants to Live in America."  I found it fascinating given that I am an American- I really wanted to see what someone from another country has as an opinion of our society.  It's a really good read if you're open-minded.  If you're not, you may want to skip it because his very frank post may upset you.  But that's his number one point: Americans are too sensitive.  We cannot handle straightforward upfront speech when it is less than flattering toward us.  After I read that, I starting thinking about it and it's true: everything is qualified by, "This is just my opinion...."  Even my post today started with a disclaimer so you know it's not my goal to make you mad, because heaven forbid I say something that might not mesh well with your opinions.  Maybe I shouldn't have put it there, but I did.

We have to buffer our opinions with qualifiers so we don't lose readers, we can't speak frankly to someone about work performance because we might get sued due to perceived racial/gender issues even if there aren't any, we can't tell people that we don't like something about them without worrying about them dropping us as a friend, you can't tell someone they're doing something that makes them look funny or that they're overweight without hurting their feelings.  You don't want to be responsible for sending someone into a tailspin.  And all of this is completely ok in our society- we are so very politically correct- which may contribute to the mess we're currently in.  Everyone has to have the best of everything, everyone has to be equal and no one can be better or different than anyone else or else we hurt someone's feelings, and we're just not allowed to do that.  "Everyone gets a trophy!"  That drives me crazy.

One thing I found this week when I was working on my style posts was this, from someecards:

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Honestly, it cracked me up.  But I didn't post it because I didn't want to make anyone mad, didn't want to offend anyone and lose a reader.  I'm still ok with that decision because that isn't necessarily the tone I want to bring to the blog, but the first thing I think about shouldn't be whether or not someone reading isn't going to like it.  Honestly, I'm not a mean-spirited person, but I laugh at most of those e-cards, even when it's something about my own personality.  It's just an e-card.  I can take it.

I am not, however, personally good with constructive criticism.  Perhaps it's the Type A perfectionist in me, but I want to do everything right the first time and not mess up at all.  I hate constructive criticism, but I'm getting better at taking it.  One person who does not hold back on me is hubs, and I hate not being perfect to him, which I realize is silly.  I'm sensitive to his remarks and they often hurt my feelings, but then I think about it and realize he's not telling me whatever it is to hurt me, he's just trying to help.  It's me that's taking it the wrong way.  I need to get over myself, and maybe the rest of society does too.

So, that's my two cents.  It's okay if you don't agree with me.


Fashion Pet Peeves


I loved reading the comments on Monday's post.  Because so many of you agree that sweatpants are not part of the the ideal look we're going for, that basically inspired this post.  (Did I say three giveaways this week?  Ok, maybe two this week and one next week.)

My plan was to find some great outfits to share (and I did, and I will) and when I went in search of some wardrobe options I was so dismayed by some of the looks I found that I decided to make a list of some of the fashion trends that make me cringe.



1. Sweatpants with words on the butt.  Sweatpants are bad enough but adding words to the tush is even worse.


2. Dresses or skirts way above the knee.  She should look great, but the skirt kills it for me.


3. Streaky/chunky highlighted hair.

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4. Ripped jeans.  A perfectly nice outfit taken down a notch.


5. UGGS.  Ok, I get that they are warm and cozy, but she's wearing a tank top, so is she really going for warmth?

I don't want to be all negative, though, so I tried to think of some easy trends that I do love.


1. Scarves.  She looks nicely pulled together in this outfit.  Scarves are an easy accessory to add, and can add a punch of color, or like this can tone an outfit down.  I want to start adding some lightweight ones to my wardrobe.


2. Skirts (not the short kind).  A simple, classic sytle knee-length skirt can be dressed up or dressed down and can instantly make you look pulled together.

The Weekender


3. Fitted button down shirt.  On its own or under a sweater, it always makes for a clean look.

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4. Classic, simple jewelry.  I'm learning that it really pulls a look together.

What I really want to know, though, are what your fashion pet peeves are, and what are your classic go-to always-look-good favorites?

Style

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This is not a fashion blog.  You have probably already guessed that by the lack of self-portraits, outfit posts, what-I-wore-Wednesdays, cute accessory shots, and so on.  However, this week we are going to talk style.  Crazy as it may be, this topic has pretty much fallen in my lap and set me up with a string of posts for the week.  I like when that happens.

Let me start with the book. 


When I posted about this book on Friday, I hadn't really started reading it yet, but now I've gotten a little bit into it and I'm really enjoying it.  The author describes various people who influenced her style from a very young age.  Each "chapter" is a different person from her past, and she talks about what it was about that person that made them so stylish to her that she wanted to copy it and how it eventually formed her overall style.  I relate to it completely, and I bet many of you can too.  You know you've seen someone while standing in line at Starbucks, or while running errands, or maybe a coworker or other mom at school, who is wearing something enviable, so much so it makes you want to run out and buy one of whatever it is you're eyeing.  That happens to me a lot.  But I've been thinking about it and here's my take on that: I don't think it's totally what they are wearing so much as how they are wearing it, and you know how they are wearing it?  With confidence.  I think that's one key element to looking great, and I wish I had more of it.

Anyway, from that post, Paige left me a comment with this link to a post titled, "No More Yoga Pants: How to Dress Like a Frenchwoman."  Of course I clicked over to it immediately.  I love the message of it: women in France do not wear yoga pants or sweatpants or any other kind of workout attire out of the house, and they look nice because of it.  They wear simple pieces with great accessories and they know how to mix and match.  I think we in America have fallen into this "comfort" pit.  I'm not saying that we need to go back to the days when women wore dresses all the time (though how nice did they look?) but maybe we've gone a little bit too far in the other direction where it is acceptable to look sloppy in public.  I'm not trying to be insulting; I just think we could maybe present ourselves in a better light.

Personally, I am not one to wear any kind of yoga/sweat/running pants or pajamas out of the house.  I always manage to pull on jeans and a sweater, which I find to be just as comfortable.  I am not necessarily what I would consider stylish- in terms of being hip and trendy- though I don't think I'm a total dowdy dud either.  I fall somewhere in the middle of managing to put regular clothes on but falling short of a stylish outfit.  I really would like to change that.

While searching for a good link to I Want to Be Her!, I happened to find this book:

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Hello, entire book based on dressing like the French.  Coincidence?  I think not.  In fact, the library has a copy of it, so I think it must be fate.  I had to put it on hold but I'm excited to get my hands on it and see what it says.  It looks like it has tips and tricks to dressing more classically.

Where am I going with this post?  I want to find out what style means to you.  For me, it means classic clothes with perhaps one trendy piece thrown in accessorized nicely with hair and makeup in place.  On average, I'm hitting 1.5 to 2 out of 3 of those things, but even on a "2" day I still never feel as pulled together as that chick in line at Starbucks, you know?  So how do you define style?

Do you feel like you always look great, or do you feel dowdy?  Do you manage to get regular clothes on, or are you a workout wear lover?  Love trendy clothes or no?  In what style areas do you excel and which not so much?  Are you French, and would you like to chime in?  I'm really interested in getting a sense of what your opinions on the subject are!

Right now I feel like I need to weed out my closet and try to hone in on one particular style, and I've been feeling that way since I've been able to pack away the maternity clothes.  I kind of feel like I have clothes and I have jewelry but no style.  And I want to work on that.  So this week will be a little exploration of style and closets and clothes and hair and jewelry- actually, LOTS of jewelry.  I have not one, but three jewelry giveaways for you this week to help you on your stylish way.  I think it's going to be an interesting week!

Lots of Love

Happy Valentine's Day!  Today is a day to celebrate love.  I hope you all have a happy day, whether you celebrate it or not.  We don't really make a big deal out of Valentine's Day.  Our anniversary is two days after it (that just happened by accident) so we tend to go out to dinner alone and celebrate that day instead, which to us is a little bit more important occasion.  I think we need to think about love more often than just one day: think about slipping your loved one a Valentine's-style card one day in June, just because.  That might make their day more because they don't know it's coming.

And so I thought, since there may be some of you who are not celebrating love in the traditional sense, that I could share with you some shops and links that I love, and maybe you could stop by and show them some love.  That's a lot of love going on right there.

Things I'm loving right now:


Gorgeous turquoise jewelry from this shop. 

Stunning prints from this shop.

Adorable cards from this shop.

Everything in this shop.

This post by Julie.  If you by or sell handmade you should definitely read it.



And because I love reading your comments, please, please, please make sure you're not a no-reply commenter.  That means that if you leave me a comment, and I go to reply to you by e-mail, instead of an e-mail address, I get "noreply-commenter@blogger.com" which means if I go to write you back, my happy, joyful "thank you!!" goes into the void.  And that makes me sad.  You can remedy it with a few quick steps, found here.

You know who I also love?  My sponsors!  Say hi to Laura from La Caseta de Paper.  I asked her to tell you a little about her blog, and since it's V-day, what love means to her.


La Caseta de Paper is my "little corner on the internet", where I share the love about everything that is handmade: crafts, photography, and my Etsy shop. It's also where I like to connect with other crafters, and share wonderful creations I find around.

Love means... giving. There's no love that doesn't involve giving a little bit of yourself: a little bit of time, a little bit of patience, a little bit of who you are for somebody who totally worth it.
blog // shop

I couldn't agree more.  Stop by and say hi to Laura!

Let me know what your plans are for today!  Are you celebrating or not?

Putting it Off


How true is that quote? This is becoming a theme in my life lately. In the morning (or the night before) I make a list with every intention of getting it all done.  And by the end of the day, there are always several things not done.  They are to be pushed off until the next day, or the day after that.

For that I am thankful, because I can work on my shop when I feel like it, write blog posts when I have time, sew new things when the mood strikes.  I can work when I'm inspired to, and some days, I just don't have the energy or interest in making things.

That can also lead to frustration, though.  I have a timeline in my head when I want to get new pieces made, new posts written, to get promotion done, and when it doesn't happen, I feel like I've let myself down.  Then that compounds on itself, and I don't get anything done the next day either, until finally I have to break through the mood and get working.

The past few days I have been pushing off until tomorrow (and the day after tomorrow) all kinds of work, and I know I need to force myself to get moving now.

Do you have energy/motivation-blocked days?
How do you push through?

Island Hopping

Happy Monday!  Thank you to all who checked in with me over the weekend and left astonished comments on Saturday's post.  I'm happy to report that after over four hours on the driveway, hubs was able to clear it, for the most part.  When Greta went for an afternoon nap, I set Gus up with a video and headed out to help.  By the time we finished, this is where we were at:





Because all I see right now is a great white expanse, I decided to perk myself up with a few photos of where I'd rather be.


Turks and Caicos.  Hubby and I took our honeymoon here and we'd love to go back.  Now.

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Tahiti.  Because I really want to stay in one of those cabanas.

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Hawaii.  Because everyone I know who's gone there has loved it.


Aruba.  Because, well, why not?

As you can see, I really wouldn't mind a tropical island vacation right about now.  I totally enjoy the whole lay-on-the-beach-and-read type of trip (which I've done all of twice, but both were wonderful).  

In reality, school is closed again today to help keep people off the roads, and while the roads are not officially closed by the governor like they were on Saturday, he has advised businesses to keep all non-essential personnel home so they can continue clearing snow.  Hopefully the wintry mix that we're getting right now will turn right into rain, which will help melt some of this down, although all the storm drains are covered so I'm sure that will eventually become a problem, too.  I hope you're in better shape weather-wise than we are!  At least we all get to stay home together again; no one has any place they need to be.  Maybe we'll do some baking.

What are you up to today?  Anyone else home due to the snow?  Taking an island vacation, perhaps?

It Snowed








So, it snowed a little last night.  The fifth photo down is the car, in case you were wondering.

How are you faring?

Loving Lately


This snowman:


And this one:


This free printable.  I thought I'd like them for the kids' rooms, but then I was thinking "H is for Home" for the entry.


This shop:


This comic/card:


This sweet post from Rebecca.

What are you loving lately?

Working with Trends

Whether you are buying or selling goods, there is one thing that is hard to avoid: trends.  Personally, I find that I am always behind on trends, and only once it's pretty much everywhere do I notice it.  When it's a clothing trend, sometimes I'll decide to jump on the bandwagon or sometimes I'll decide that I can let it pass (hello, neon), but when it comes to business, having a product that follows trends can be a great boom.  Edi from Memories for Life is here to talk about some current trends and how they are working in her shop.

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Hello milo and molly readers! My name is Edi and I am the owner of Memories for Life. I'm super excited to be guest posting here today!

I have to admit, when it comes to my personal life, I don't usually pay attention to trends. I'm so out of fashion it's not even funny :) But when it comes to my shop, I really try to pay attention to what's popular and trending. Today I thought I talk about 3 trends that I've seen popular and that are doing well for my business.

Woodland Creatures:
One of the first trends I started using in my shop was the cute little woodland creatures. I mean, how could I knot love them...they're adorable! I first made this cute set of magnets (which recently shipped out in an Umba Box!).
I then added this adorable Baby Shower Guest Book

and the theme continued on to new jewelry items as well. Once I got a set of cute little creatures that I liked, I was able to expand and use them on several items.
Mustaches:
I have to admit, I didn't "get" this trend at first. I didn't understand why everyone loved mustaches so much. And I held off on putting them in my shop because I really didn't like them. But the more I saw them, the more they grew on me. Now I'm loving creating with them and get requests to put them on everything in my shop!

 
This Mustache Valentine has been very popular this year.

 
And these Cuff Links were very popular for holiday gifts.

Chevron:
The most popular trend I've started using is chevrons. They're such a fun pattern and can be used so many ways. I recently blogged about some fun magnets and earrings I made using the chevron design and some paints. I love them!
I also just added this Chevron Wedding Invitation to my shop as well. My invitations have done really well on Etsy and my goal was to expand this line during 2013. So I started with a trendy choice and I'm hoping it will do great as well.
One of my biggest words of advice when it comes to adding trendy items to your shop is to make sure you like what you're creating. Don't just make something because it's popular and you think it will sell. Like I mentioned above, I didn't start adding mustache items to my shop for quite a while because I didn't really like them. Not until I saw how fun they were did I add them to my shop. I wouldn't ever create something I didn't totally love.

If you're looking for new trends to add to your shop, look no further than Etsy itself. The front page is a great place to start. The Etsy Finds emails are also a great place to look for new trends and popular selections.

Thanks for reading and I hope you liked the post :)

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Thanks so much, Edi!  Readers, do you tend to follow trends either in your daily life or in your shop?