About Melanie

Melanie is a stylist who adores bold prints, local farmers markets, and getting down to 90's music.  Her mission is to make women feel confident through their clothes.  This native New Yorker currently resides in the Bay Area with her fantastic husband, adorable, chubby baby and her impossibly cute puppy.  

Tuesday
Jul252017

Inspired By The Invite


Why hello there Style Blazers!

Since we last spoke I've moved into a new town and Head Over Heels is sure to be inspired by our new surroundings. That's what today's post is all about. Being inspired by what's around you and letting it influence your style! Today I've partnered with Paperless Post not just to talk about their incredible invitations, but how to have fun with style and be influenced by your surroundings.

With summertime in full swing and so many reasons to celebrate, my husband and I knew we had to throw a BBQ in our new backyard. I happen to love BBQs and the relaxed yet fun nature that this kind of party suggests. For our party, I knew the first thing that needed to be decided on was the invites. I headed to Paperless Post to find a killer invite with style and man, do they deliver! I love that they have designers create exclusive invitations that can be online or printed. I chose a quirky yet sophisticated design by Indigo Bunting to set the tone of the party. And let's be honest, what says BBQ more than watermelon? I just adored the vibrant color palette and hand crafted nature this design conveyed.

With a stylish invite like this one, a stand out ensemble is also in order. When deciding what to wear for your next BBQ where do you seek inspiration? Why not allow yourself to be stimulated and energized by something new and exciting? Take this fantastic invite for example? I let my style mind be as creative as possible and came up with a few different outfit ideas inspired by this one of a kind watermelon design.

Style can be seen in so many aspects of our life. One ways to keep things exciting and to stay out of a style rut (and believe me, those style ruts are REAL) is to allow yourself to think outside the box. I like to create style challenges, such as "Can I create an outfit influenced by this invitation?". My favorite way to dress for a daytime party is casual with a little extra something special. In this case, these loafers for comfort with a conversation starter like these pineapple and palm trees is the perfect example! This board is meant to inspire, excite and remind you that clothing can be playful and sophisticated at the same time.  

1)Shirt 2)Skirt 3)Dress 4)Romper 5)Watermelon Purse 6)Lipstick 7)Loafers 8)Pants

 As I was writing today's post, I got to thinking about what's truly important when it comes to planning. Three things really came to mind.

1) Whether you are planning an outfit or a party, let your style shine as bright as you do. Use these moments to express yourself in a unique way.

2) Think about the outfit from head to toe and then some. Clothes truly become an outfit with the details like a bright lip color, a pedicure, or the perfect accessory.

3) Feeling stylish doesn't mean dressy. Take your t-shirt and jeans to the next level with a quirky watermelon purse. Wear a jean skirt with an extra detail. Finding something special in the casual pieces elevates the whole look without making you feel out of place.

Do you have any parties coming up? Make sure to check out Paperless Post for all your party needs and to be inspired! Here's to lots of hot dogs, relaxing conversation, cocktails, and of course, watermelon. :)

XO, Melanie 

Hair and Makeup by Melissa Hoffmann

Photography by Krista Marie Photography 

Sunday
Jan082017

Everybody's Talking 'Bout a Fresh Start

When you think about the New Year, it's kind of hard to not think of it as a clean slate. That's a good thing in theory but sometimes it can be a challenge to know where to begin. It's not that I necessarily think I do a terrible job at everything but all of a sudden New Year's Day comes around and I feel like I'm nitpicking at everything that I could possibly work on and let's just say... it's not pretty. Please tell me I'm not the only one that goes down a shame spiral of resolutions?? That being said I truly do love the idea of a New Year, a fresh start, and goals of working on a happier and more confident life. 

So, all of that is to say, where DO you start? For me, it starts with the home. It starts with your environment. If your closet, is a mess and filled with clothes you hate, it truly is hard to navigate every other aspect of your life with ease. So it's clear now that we have to take our first step. But it still feels so BIG. Such a huge undertaking! Especially right after the holidays when we may have had some extra christmas cookies and spent a little too much money. Which is why I want you to start small. I have three small changes you can make that will get you on the right foot. Tackle the big guy later... you know... with The Confident Closet (my online course that helps you clean out your closet and enjoy it in the process. wink wink). For now, let's start with a few small basics that will have a big impact. Promise. 

Three Small Things You Can Do NOW That Will Get You Started On That Big Closet

1) Pick one drawer. That's right. Start with one small space. Maybe for you it's not a drawer, it's shoes, or scarfs etc. But just choose one. When we "chunk it down" (as I endearingly like to call it) it no longer feels as overwhelming. Pick a drawer or area in your closet that has been bugging you and start there. For example, our underwear drawers ALWAYS get neglected. Finding a system that works to organize your bras and underwear and keep them neat is a great place to start. The foundation of your outfit starts with what's underneath. 

Another thing to remember is that once you get going sometimes it's easier to continue. So maybe you start by cleaning out one drawer and then it seems easier to do the one below. And suddenly you've cleaned out your whole dresser. Sweet!

2) Clean out your purse. Your purse ends up being a catch-all, and then sometimes even a garbage can if you eat on the go or have kids. Since you use it so often, and are constantly needing to know where things are, a purse is a great place to see an instant change. Seeing the results will make you more eager to get started on other items in your home.

HOH Tip- Start by taking EVERYTHING out of your bag. Chances are you'll need to dump some things out, and it's always a good idea to see what you've been carrying around so you can truly make sure it's something you need. 

3) Get clear on your style. Maybe you aren't ready to get into the nitty gritty yet. Gaining clarity is a crucial and overlooked step when it comes to cleaning out your closet. Head over to Pinterest and create a new board called "My Style NOW". It'll be easy to notice trends and things you are gravitating towards this way. Then ask yourself if your current closet is representing that style. By doing this first, you will be able to make decisions on whether or not to keep something in your closet much quicker. 

There is another piece to this puzzle which is that you need to make sure the styles you like on Pinterest work on your body type, but that's for another post my friend. =) 

Ok! So you have your much smaller task and it feels way more manageable right? Let's do a happy dance! (embarrassing happy dance pictured above). So get going and let me know how it works out for ya? Did you get motivated? Was seeing the results helpful? I want to know! You can comment below or find me on Instagram or Facebook and let me know how it went!

xoxo, 

Melanie

All Photos by the talented: Rosa Delgado Photography

Friday
Dec302016

Jovani Feature and a Happy New Year

Photo by Scott Andrew Photography

Hello there Style Blazer! How's your holiday season going? It's almost New Year's Eve and everyone is getting ready to rock their sparkly best, and I'm over here like... PJs and in bed by 9? 

New Year's Eve is one of my favorite holidays due to the fact that it doesn't involve anything put putting your best foot forward, enjoying and reflecting on the year's past, and there is so much hope and appreciation. Oh, and it involves confetti, cocktails, and sparkles so I'm not mad about it, you know? 

Over the years I've shared several New Year's Eve posts like this one and this one. But one thing I haven't discussed enough is how to shop for these formal events. One thing I love about shopping for an evening gown is that it doesn't need to be as versatile as most of the items in your closet. You can think about the event, and what you envision for that one night. Which is pretty fantastic if you ask me. 

In all honesty, who doesn't love a great reason to dress up? Today I'm a featured expert on Jovani's blog and I couldn't be more thrilled to share my advice. Jovani is an amazing formal gown retailer who focuses on stunning dresses that make every woman shine. When they asked to interview me for their expert series I was so flattered and so excited because let's face it, I could talk about dresses all day. Especially vibrant and unique ones like the ones Jovani has. Since I spent a lot time in bridal, I have A LOT to say about prepping for your event, whether it's a wedding (yours or someone else's), a prom or a work event it's important to cover your bases and be prepared from head to toe! 

In today's interview we dish on everything from how to pick and accessorize a formal gown, do's and dont's of dress shopping, and even some closet tips. 

Here is a sneak peek from the feature:

JOVANI: Once a woman has chosen the perfect formal dress, how should she go about choosing accessories? What are some of the items you need to consider to complete your outfit?

 
MELANIE: Before we talk about accessories we gotta talk about undergarments! Does the dress need Spanx or a strapless bra? What specialty items help to make your item complete? Then when it comes to accessories it’s important to complement the dress. I usually pick one statement piece and other accent pieces. For example, if you have earrings that are large and gorgeous, then maybe you don’t wear a necklace and a smaller bracelet to let you and the dress shine!

 

JOVANI: What are 3 Styling Don’ts for formal attire shopping? 

 
MELANIE: Style Don’t #1: Don’t buy a dress too small and tell yourself you’ll lose weight by the time of the event. Hello! Too much pressure! I know this one might seem silly but this happens ALL THE TIME. Don’t do it, girl! It’s so much easier to take a dress in at the tailor than to let it out.
 
Style Don’t #2: Don’t overdo it. Pick a dress that flatters and makes you light up when you wear it and know you don’t need a big earring, huge necklace, colored shoe, bright lip and a big updo. You know, balance baby! 
 
Style Don’t #3: Don’t forget about getting your dress hemmed! This is soooo important. If your dress is too long you will be stepping on and tripping over it. Here’s a pro tip: Wear the undergarments to the tailor so that it’s completely accurate. A padded bra can change a hemline significantly! 
To see the rest of the interview where we talk about personal style, where The Confident Closet started and where I style three of their formal dresses head over to their blog now! And while you are there you should probablyl peruse their incredible dresses too. Ya know, cause we all need a few more dresses.
Ok, so between all this formal wear and New Year's Eve talk.... what are you wearing for NYE?! Head over to Instagram or Facebook and let me know! 
xoxo, 

Melanie 

 

 

Monday
Sep262016

How To Accessorize a White Dress Shirt in 4 Ways

When I used to get more dressed up for work, my go-to was always a crisp and classic white dress shirt.  Now that I have more freedom in my wardrobe I STILL gravitate towards that same white dress shirt.  The only difference is the accessories and let's face it, accessories can COMPLETELY change the look of an outfit.  As I always say:

An outfit without accessories is like a cupcake without frosting. 

So I set out on a mission. To show you four ways you could transform a dress shirt using a few small accessories. That's it.  

The Blinged Out Office Look

By adding a touch of bling and a bold lip you are instantly transforming this shirt into the perfect dressed up work look.  Pair it with a pencil skirt, dress pants (maybe even in a fun color!) or a pair of fitted skinny jeans and you are good.to.go.

Stylist tip: A white dress shirt is great to layer under a sweater or unbuttoned and tied over a dress.  Don't limit yourself!  Think outside the box.

The 90's Princess Look

I like to think of my hair as an extra accessory.  That's why I decided a side pony was the ONLY thing that could really compliment a Zack Morris pin.  Kelly Kapowski inspires me til this day. Say what you will, but I own this part of my style hard.  Fashion pins are all the rage these days and I have to say, I'm mildly obsessed.  They are so quirky and fun that there is no WAY not to enjoy yourself while wearing them.  Also, talk about a conversation piece!  

The Clean and Casual Look

I used to be someone who overaccessorized.  I wore lots of army parties, big necklaces, big earrings, you name it, I wore it.  Now that I have young kids (one of whom is very 'grabby') I tend to choose smaller pieces.  This necklace was a Mother's Day present and I wear it daily.  Also, everyone should have a pair of small gold studs.  These from Madewell are perfect because they are matte (which I like way more) and an octagon shape making them slightly unpredictable.  If accessories make you nervous start small.  The key word in that sentence is to START.  Baby steps!

The Bold Bow Look 

To say I'm inspired by Kate Spade is an understatement.  I live for their bold statement ads every year and think they are so fun and refreshing.  This necktie from Zara can be tied in so many different ways.  By pairing it with this dress shirt it REALLY stands out.   I like to spice things up and wearing these big cocktail earrings with it made for a super fun, glamorous look.  See, a white dress shirt collar can be glamorous too!  

So there you go, four different ways to change up a white dress shirt.  Accessories are one of the most talked about things with my clients, and are mentioned several times in The Confident Closet.  Figuring out what's too much, what's not enough... it can be overwhelming! Accessories are important and not only to make an outfit complete, but to tell the story of who you are.  

The Confident Closet is still open for enrollment and now is the time to jump on board!  

*** Tag me in your white dress shirts so I can see how you are styling them!  

Photo Cred: Rosa Delgado 

Shirt, Bling Necklace (similar), Bling Earrings (similar), Zack Pin, Sad Pin, Green Earrings, Gold Earrings, Gold Name Necklace, Big Bow Tie (similar), Bling Bold Earrings(vintage)

 

Monday
Sep122016

Fall Outerwear Essentials

Have you ever been about to go out, and then you realize you don't have the right coat?  So you end up wearing something that doesn't go with your outfit, or even worse you don't wear anything and then spend the whole night freezing.  

Being confident in your clothes means being prepared.  

Sometimes the thing that makes you insecure is not your outfit or your body, but not having something necessary in your closet.  This is actually a GOOD THING because it's a much quicker fix.  Ya just gotta have the right things in your closet.

So this fall, let's put an end to that feeling.  Girl, no one wants you standing out in the cold.  Also, fall jackets are the beeeest, so there's that!  

Fall Outerwear Tips

Before I go through each piece, there are 3 essential tips that help when picking your outerwear for the fall season.  

1) Make sure you have different color options.  Brown and black are must haves.  Those two are the most important to go with shoes and belts. Other colors like dark green, rust, gray and tan are perfect additions to round out your color palette.

2) Different details make each piece feel unique and serve different purposes.  Maybe one has zipper details and the other has more feminine ones.  Maybe one has a longer length and one is is waist length and a side zipper.  Think about having different options for versatility.  

3) Practicality plays a big factor.  Make sure at least one is waterproof.  This is CRUCIAL.  If all your outerwear is cute for a fall day with a slight breeze, what happens when it rains?!  

Ok, so now that we covered the basics, let's dig a little deeper into each piece.

Fall Outerwear Essentials

Brown Lightweight Jacket (similar) - Mine happens to be vegan leather but yours can be anything that's easy to throw on when your shoes and belt are brown (or a color that doesn't go with black easily).  I personally like having a brown leather and a black leather and both get worn often.

Black Leather Jacket - A black leather jacket is such an important staple.  It works over a tee shirt, a dress, you name it.  Love love love it's timeless appeal.  

Green Military Style Jacket - So it doesn't need to be green, but something in a different color (brown and tan work too).  I love that this style of jacket is cool and fashionable but also completely functional.  

Red Suede Moto Jacket - Suede is just killing me lately.  I'm INTO it.  Probably because I can't really have a lot of it with all those baby stains.  Seriously, milk stains man... #momlife This color red just screams fall.  I love having a variety of colors that are versatile but still current and fresh.  

Camel and Gray Cape/Sweater - Ok, so I guess Anthropologie calls this a poncho but really, to me you just want something chic and comfortable.  The joy of a piece like this is that you can wear it with a white t shirt and jeans and it completely elevates the look.  

So, what is your go-to jacket for Fall?  Do you have the options you need? You may have heard the Fall round of The Confident Closet is open for enrollment RIGHT NOW.  If you sign up by Friday (September 23rd) you will ALSO be getting a 30 min Skype session with me!  It's the perfect opportunity to get your closet in tip top shape.  Click here to learn more and enroll!  Happy Fall!

With love; from my closet to yours,

Melanie 

Top photo cred - Rosa Delgado 

Jacket, Shirt, Necklace, Earrings