Who wants to lug around a heavy bag while on vacation? Or pay extra for baggage. Packing efficiently is all about great planning. Using the cluster system will ensure enough pieces for dressy or casual occasions, warm days, cool nights and a dozen different outfit options all in one itty bitty carry-on bag. That's right. Dust off that small bag...you know, the one that fits in the overhead. This system will give you more looks, with more style, and less weight so you won’t have to wait and wait for your bag after you get to your destination. Which means you can start exploring and snapping pictures that much sooner!
7 Pieces for 7 Days - the system
1. Find a source of inspiration–a pattern of colors in a print, stripe or plaid–to inspire the color scheme of your cluster.
2. Plan for 6 easy pieces of clothing, at least 3-4 tops and 2-3 bottom pieces. It's often nice to have one of the tops be a third layer piece.
3. Select pieces that are basic/classics–simple in style lines and shape.
4. Select pieces that go together–will work with at least three, four or more other pieces. Every piece in this group can be worn together.
5. Select pieces that are distinctly different from one another (no two pieces alike) for maximum versatility.
6. Select accessories to go with the clothes, beginning with essential basic accessories first. Comfortable shoes are a must on vacation.
7. Finally, throw in a swimsuit, pjs, underwear, essential grooming items, a couple of books, sunscreen and you’re ready for piña coladas!
1. We start with the button-up blue, red and white shirt as the inspiration piece.
2. Then we added three more tops, with the denim jacket as our third layer piece. Also a dress which can double as a skirt. 2 pants are also added, the white and blue jeans. The blue jeans are a lighter weight, wide leg, denim and therefore cooler for warm weather. The colors of these pieces all coordinate with the original blue, red, and white inspiration piece.
3. Clothing shapes are classic and flatter this owner's figure.
4. They are also simple enough that they can all mix and match to be worn together. (See coordinated outfits below.)
5. The pieces are definitely distinct from one another. We have a dress, button up shirt, wrap style top, and henley style shirt that all create a different mood and message when worn. You will not look like you are wearing the same uniform every day!
6. Accessories include a hat for sun protection, gold and red earrings, blue/red necklace, scarf, brown belt, navy sneakers, and brown sandals. (See individual outfits for all of the accessories.) Jewelry and scarves don't take up much space and can completely change the look. Feel free to add more of these. Be choosy about your shoes. It's smart to have comfortable shoes that are in different styles. Nothing is worse than getting a blister the first day of vacation and having to wear a shoe that continues to rub that blister for the rest of the trip. Be sure the styles of shoes are different enough that they contact/rub your feet in different places. (I will often throw in a pair of flip flops in case the horizontal strap of the other shoe rubs on my foot.)
7. Add a red swimsuit and maybe cut-offs to go over them and you ready for a water day.
1. We start with the Hawaiian print blue, red and white shirt as the inspiration piece.
2. Then we added three more tops, with the light-weight utility jacket as our third layer piece. 2 pants and 1 pair of shorts are also added, the shorts and blue pants can be for warmer weather and the red denim will come in handy if the it gets cool. The blue tech pants are a lighter weight, no iron, lovely fabric and therefore cooler for warm weather. The colors of these pieces all coordinate with the original blue, red, and white inspiration piece.
3. Clothing shapes are classic and work well with this owner's body build.
4. They are also simple enough that they can all mix and match to be worn together. (See coordinated outfits below.)
5. The pieces are definitely distinct from one another. Although they all have collars, which is a great way to frame the face, we have a polo, short sleeve button-up, long sleeve button-up, and light weight jacket. Roll up the sleeves on the long sleeve shirt if it gets warm. Wear the jacket on the flight when the air conditioning is turned up. Each piece creates a different mood and message - these combinations are far from boring. How can red pants be boring??
6. Accessories include a hat for sun protection, navy sneakers, and grey sandals. Be choosy about your shoes. It's smart to have comfortable shoes that are in different styles. Nothing is worse than getting a blister the first day of vacation and having to wear a shoe that continues to rub that blister for the rest of the trip. Be sure the styles of shoes are different enough to contact/rub your feet in different places.
7. Add a swimsuit (in blue, red or grey) and maybe t-shirt to go over it and you ready for a water day.
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I was walking through the mall and saw a mannequin just outside the door of a menswear store. The mannequin was getting a lot of attention, it seems the dad belly it sported was not what people are used to seeing on a clothes model, but it stopped me in my tracks. I thought it was brilliant. There are so many guys with a belly who have no idea how to dress for it.
Have you developed a tummy bulge or your man developed a Dad bod? Here’s how to look taller, slimmer, & leaner without dropping a pound.
1. Wear a similar color shirt or jacket and pants to create a longer and therefore slimmer visual line.
Use the same art of illusion when matching your shirt to your pants. Monochromatic is classic.
2. Put the contrast near the shoulders - P.S. horizontal stripes are your friend when placed well. Stripes or any contrast near the shoulders draw the eye out horizontally, making the shoulders appear broader and the waist narrower.
3. Put the contrast in the center front and near the face with buttons, jackets, and a tie.
You can look taller, slimmer and leaner without dropping weight - give these three tips a try. Check out the video below where Bookie gets his own dad bod makeover.
Need your last minute gift for Dad? Might I recommend 2 hours of in person or online shopping? He will also receive an exclusive and private online closet with the purchased items uploaded and styled - up to 12 clothing items and 10 different looks.
Life Moves Pretty Fast, Are You Ready For It? Use This ready-For-Anything Checklist For Worry-Free Dressing
The door to life beyond the house seems to be creaking open. Can you feel it? Are you ready for it? I'm hearing from many clients who have return-to-work dates that they simply don't have the right clothes to return to the office. Or the right clothes for family gatherings, vacations, the gym...basically all forms of life outside the home bubble. Do you have a worry-free wardrobe that takes you from one occasion to the next without stressing about what to wear? With the right clothing in your closet, you'll be prepared for the variety of situations you want to look your best for. Here's one client's experience...
I had a last minute presentation today- I got ready so fast! And I looked great which gave me confidence to present well in front of a group of full uniform pilots today. Thanks for your help Dani! I was prepared and things turned out great. Might have been a different experience if this happened prior to the work we’ve been doing.
Which of the following occasions apply to you? Do you have the right thing to wear? Not only clothes that pass but make you look and feel amazing and spot-on-appropriate for the occasion?
Use this checklist as you evaluate your wardrobe to identify gaps before that last minute event comes up for worry free game day preparation. (Don't forget the shoes and accessories.)
DO I HAVE THE RIGHT CLOTHES FOR THIS OCCASION?
1. When I need to be active, as in...
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Looking for a fun way to jump into Spring? Jumpsuits are trending big time this year. What is a jumpsuit? Basically, it's a one piece garment that includes pants or shorts. Are they right for you? The answer is yes if you’re looking for something that’s...
Check out these jumpsuits from Madewell
As always, you have options! Do you wish there was a way to create the appearance of a jumpsuit with all the lovely benefits that a separate top and bottom provide? Let’s be honest, using the bathroom isn’t always a simple task in a jumpsuit. This problem is solved with the 2 piece jumpsuit, separate pants and top that work together to look like a one-piece jumpsuit. This may be a great option for you if you're looking for...
Check out this 2 piece jumpsuit option from Madewell
You CAN be comfortable AND look put together. It is possible to achieve both at the same time! Put a spring in your step with a jumpsuit.
Does anyone else have the reoccurring nightmare of being cornered in the playground by the St. Patrick's Day green patrol? You know, by those obnoxious kids who insist if you're not wearing green on that day, it's their right to pinch you? And by the time you were able to spit out "I'm wearing green underwear!" it's too late and you were pinched anyway. While I have graduated from feeling pressured to wear green on that one day in March, I've still noticed that many people still have very strong feelings about wearing green. Instead of looking at it as a revitalizing, refreshing color, some feel it makes them look sallow or sickly. Some versions of green may have this affect, such as chartreuse, but there's no need to avoid this fresh color completely. And no need to limit your clothing color choices. Here are 5 ways that you can wear green, with or without the red hair, to look as vibrant, renewed, and yes, as lucky as an Irish spring.
1. Repeat your green or blue-green eyes
Small amounts of color tend to change when you place larger amounts next to them. This explains why blue-green eyes can shift to look marine blue or forest green depending on the color that is repeated in your clothing.
2. You don't have green eyes? Repeat the color in your clothing up near your face with accessories and make-up
If you love the earthy green vibe, but you aren't wearing it every day with your eye color, add it to your face in the form of hats, glasses, make-up, or jewelry.
3. Add your hair, blush or lip color to the green
4. Repeat the same degree of warm or cool as your hair
5. Repeat the same degree of warm or cool as your skin
Not sure what your skin tone is? Looking to feel vibrant every day? Let's do a color evaluation!
When you hear the word investment, what comes to mind? Real estate, stocks, gold, bitcoin? Investment is defined as the action or process of investing money for profit or material result. In other words, you purchase something with the expectation that it will eventually generate income. Having said this, would you consider your clothing an investment? Think of someone whose appearance or image you admire. What investments have they made to get to where they are? Do you think they were just born that way? Good looks, great style, comfortable income? Think again.
People with the "money" image use their clothing as a resource, something they can control and use to help them achieve their goals and objectives. Sound familiar? People with a successful image invest in clothes that get them where they want to go, which would include financial goals as well as more personal goals such as genuinely feeling like a million bucks. Your wardrobe is an investment and should be cared for as you care for a property or portfolio from which you generate a material result. It is, after all, made from material... LOL
Here are 8 ways to protect your investments, your wardrobe investments, so they provide BIG returns for you.
1. Snag Repair Tool – consider this one from Joanne's. Instead of throwing out your favorite rayon blouse or sweater because of a snag, use a snag repair tool by gently pulling the snag to the back of the fabric and realign the fibers. Find the snag repair tool Here. Watch this video on how to do the repair. It's so EASY!
2. Fabric Defuzzer - Don't throw out the sweater that's starting to have little fuzzy balls appear on it. (It's called pilling, by the way.) This cute little gadget removes unsightly fuzz balls and pilling from knit garments and other clothing. Get it HERE.
3. Sewing Kit – this sewing kit is great because it has many different colors of thread to easily match the garment. It's time to finally sew the button back on that shirt! Remember, your clothes can’t work for you if you don’t work for them. Take five minutes and get sewing during your next Netflix series binge. Find the sewing kit HERE.
4. Iron-On Hem Tape - This is a lifesaver if your hem has fallen out or if you need to add a completely new hem to pants or a skirt. It takes sewing out of the equation. All you need is an iron and a pair of scissors. Get the iron-on tape HERE. Catch the how to video HERE
5. Steamer - This one is a game changer! No more ironing. Just hang and steam. Get the steamer HERE. Or even better, when you pull your clothes out of the washer, lay them on a flat surface and run your hands over them to flatten the garment as if ironing with your hands. The less we wash/dry our clothes the longer they will last.
6. Leather and Suede Protector – creates a resistant barrier that protects against water, stains and dirt. If you have not used this, you know how quickly suede gets damaged by dirt, water, etc. Spray on this protector as soon as you buy those blue suede shoes to keep them looking fabulous for years. Get it HERE.
7. Baking Soda & Hydrogen Peroxide – How to remove yellow arm pit stains from white shirts? White shirts can be classic pieces that will stand the test of time, but how to keep them looking timeless? Mix baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and laundry detergent. Scrub the paste into the armpits with an old toothbrush or fingernail brush. Let sit for an hour. Wash and dry-not with high heat. See the how to video HERE.
8. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser - Make scuffed shoes look brand new again. If the white portion of your sneakers hasn’t turned a uniform color of dishwater gray, there’s a good chance it has at least a scuff or two. It doesn’t really matter though, because a Magic Eraser can make your sneaks sparkle like the day you bought them.
Spending a few dollars and a little time on closet care will save you time and frustration every time you go to get dressed. Take care of your wardrobe and it will take care of you. Don’t take care of it and your closet will feel cluttered with pieces that you can’t wear – limiting your ability to be amazing every single day. Start the year off on the right foot by utilizing your most undervalued and yet most profitable investment …. your wardrobe.
Are your holiday decorations up? Gifts ordered? Then it's time to focus on your daily routine of looking and feeling amazing with or without the holiday party glam. Let's be honest, with all of the Covid 19 restrictions, the limited ability to be out and about takes its toll on our physical & mental health. Often times, it's getting dressed up for your day that makes everything feel lovely again, which includes those small holiday and New Year's parties. Sometimes, the simple act of changing can help put you in the right mindset to channel enough productivity to take on the day and all the responsibilities that come with it.
Here are some expert stylist-approved styling tips that may just help you through these quarantine holidays with a bit more pep, comfort, confidence and productivity.
Holidays at Home Styling Tips- which of these do you already have in your closet?
Not sure what to wear to lift your mood? A wardrobe evaluation will help with that. We'll discover which of your clothes will make you feel dynamite and organize them to repeat that feeling on the daily. I'm just a click away.
Let’s be honest, we’re not wearing the variety of clothes that we once did. Thank you very much Covid 19 for limiting my social life! That doesn’t mean we have to look frumpy all the time, so adding a little spice to your wardrobe is a great way to lift your mood and get excited about the future. With sale season mayhem coming up, there will be plenty of fun new clothes to buy.
Are you someone who loves the clothing hunt? Someone who gets excited about Black Friday sales? Which have now spilled into the entire month of November. OR are you so happy for the invention of online shopping because you never have to feel overwhelmed in a store again?
Whichever category you fall under, you have a finite area to store clothes, you are particular about what you choose to wear as your “second skin”, and let’s not forget about all the cash you have lost in poor clothing choices. How do you know if that new clothing item is worth the investment? Worth the storage space, worth the risk to your personal style, and worth spending money on? Answer YES to these three questions and you are guaranteed to love your new clothing purchases.
1. Does it work with at least 3 other things in your wardrobe? (Things you actually wear on the daily, this excludes the ball gown for now.) If not, is it fabulous enough to build a whole new cluster around? Not sure what a cluster is? Check out the cluster guidelines HERE or schedule a wardrobe planning session HERE.
2. Does it include your personal colors OR wardrobe neutral colors? Hint: your personal colors are the colors you wear every single day. They’re found in your hair, eyes, blush/lip and skin. Wardrobe neutral colors are more than just gray, navy, black and white. They’re actually any color on the color wheel that has been dulled down. To receive your personal color swatches, schedule a brilliant coloring session HERE.
3. Does it fit? More important, does it create the illusion of the ideal figure? As a basic rule of thumb, try Judith Rasband’s blink test. Stand in front of a mirror, close your eyes for a few seconds, open them and notice the first place your eyes go. Are they drawn to the most attractive place on your body? If you don’t know where that is, or if you’re not sure what your figure type is, we have some work to do. Book your Fabulous Fit session HERE and you will also learn the specific clothing styles to appear taller, slimmer, leaner and absolutely fabulous.
There's no need to pass on something both wonderful AND on sale. A wardrobe evaluation is a great way to know exactly what you need based on what you already own. We'll evaluate what you have, create new looks (guaranteed to amaze), and make a focused sale-season ready shopping list for you to chip away at. LEARN MORE HERE
What costumes do you already have in your closet? The trick to putting together a quick Halloween costume isn't a trick at all...not when you start with the "costume" pieces you already have in your closet.
What? You say? You don't keep your Halloween costumes in the closet with your every-day clothes? Maybe you do. What are everyday costume pieces? At one point they were associated with a certain “look”. They usually have some sort of decoration that makes them interesting and confines them to a certain mood or feel.
So how do you take those costume pieces and turn them into an actual Halloween costume? Here are a few ideas for some last minute costumes - they're quick, easy and inexpensive.
Do you have something that's black and white and kinda unusual hanging around? It may be perfect for a Dead Man's Party. Complete this spooky vibe with basic black pants and top, choose an accent color (purple here), add some bony elements and you're ready for your next spooky venture.
This look was inspired by the pin stripe pants that were just hanging around. They pair easily with a black jacket, white shirt and tie, fedora and don't forget the iconic gangster flower. If your child happens to be a nerf gun collector, even better!
Is there a jumpsuit or romper hanging in your closet? Add some grease to your face, a bandana, baseball cap, name tag and fix yourself a grease monkey look.
Do you have a trench coat? Add sunglasses, a little beret or black fedora and voi la you've got yourself the classic spy costume.
Yes, I actually own a pair of sequins pants. And yes, they have doubled as a New Year's Eve roller queen outfit. They also happen to inspire my Disco Diva look. So you don't have sequins bell bottoms? Any pants and top with shine, glitter, sequins, etc. will be fabulously diva like and oh so Mama Mia. Change the sparkly cap below for a light up cowboy hat and you've got yourself a trendy space cowboy look.
Take a second look in your closet, consider the stereotype associated with this less than basic piece, then google the costumes that fall under the stereotype. You could also google, sequins pants costume, for example, and you'll get your share of ideas. If you look with a bit of creativity, you’ll find the inspiration for a costume already waiting in your closet.
Ask me about my top ten childhood moments of drama and my answer will likely include family photos. The pressure for everyone to wear matching colors when the person choosing the colors has vastly different taste, looks, and personal style. Color schemes are pulled from midair and look good on maybe one person in the group - but not everyone - and the color I'm assigned to wear doesn't fit well in the clothes I have in that color. Instead of feeling fabulous and smiling like a movie star, I'm left feeling like my personal expression has been completely stifled for the sake of the group photo, the photo that will grace the wall with my presence for years to come. Maybe that's why it took ten tries to get a good photo of me. Sound familiar? Now that my job (aka professional stylist) includes choosing clothes for joyous family photo moments, here are a few golden tips I have learned to have your photos not only turn out lovely but also preserve each family member's version of personal expression.
1. Know what the photo shoot location looks like. What are the colors in your background? Which do you want to emphasize? When you repeat these colors in the clothing, you will also highlight them and your people in the photo will become more in harmony with the surroundings. We knew this photo would be taken at sunset and chose to focus on the pinks, blues and dark greys. (Favorite colors of each family member.) It was helpful to have a photo in advance to know which colors to work with.
2. Find a patterned inspiration piece - a print, stripe, or plaid that includes a color scheme. The ideal inspiration piece will have a color in your home’s decor, where you will put said portrait, and/or the colors in the background of your photo, and should be enjoyed by the wearer. The color schemes for the examples below happen to both be inspired by the mother's scarf. (Yes, the inspiration piece can be something other than a scarf.) In this case, the scarves are very different from each other, and both contain colors from the background, the people and even the dogs. Who knew?
3. Choose clothing colors that have the same colors in common with your inspiration piece. These pieces of clothing should reflect the personality of the person wearing them, to a degree, or they may look and feel grumpy wearing them for the picture. (Not ideal.) They don't all have to be solid colors, hello creative expression. Mixing patterns is more advanced however, check out my guide to mixing patterns HERE.
4. Create your ideal figure when you opt for more fitted clothing for a slimming look and less fitted to fill out or enlarge. We come in many different shapes and sizes after all. Keep in mind that dark, dull, and cool colors tend to minimize and fade into the background while light, bright, and warm colors will appear to advance and maximize the place you put them. If you want your hips to look slimmer, put the dark, dull, cool color on your hips. If you want the adorable little girl/boy to stand out, put the light, bright, warm color on him/her. Tie the light, bright, warm color back into your look by putting it in a place you wish to emphasize.
5. Plan your outfits, don’t forget the accessories. The more time you give yourself, the less stressed you’ll be when the big day finally arrives. It helps to lay the clothes and accessories out on the floor, scarecrow style, to see how they all fit together.
6. It's also helpful to consider where your picture will be placed in your home. “Since a few of these photos will most likely be hanging in your home and on display for a long time, make sure that the clothing you select blends with the color scheme of your home.” Thank you Shutterfly for this tip.
Does the task of choosing clothes for your family photo op still seem daunting? Click below to take the stress out of family photos and truly enjoy your photo perfect memories.
Image consultant and personal stylist. Dani is happily married, the mother of 3 charming children, and an Aussie named Josie Wales.