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.  

Thursday
Nov132014

A Secret Thanksgiving Gift for You!


 Photo Credit:  Camille Stallings Hair and Makeup: The Glamourist

I’m someone who believes in sharing the wealth.  Paying it forward.  My home is your home. All the usual cliches about giving? I’m into that.

It is mind blowingly amazing how rewarding it can be to help someone else.  It doesn’t matter to me if I’ve never met you, if you want to talk with me for an hour about Spanx, I will share my knowledge with you.  I will share it until I’m blue in the face.  

My dear friend Becca from The Dabblist is currently leading a Gratitude Experiment on Instagram and if that doesn't get you in the appreciative mindset I don't know what will!

So today on Thanksgiving Day, I wanted to share with you some (seriously top secret) info to show you how grateful I am for you!

Remember a couple weeks ago when we talked about me being the stylist in your back pocket?  

Well, these style bombs are my gift to you!  

Melanie Kluger’s Top Ten Stylist Secrets for Optimal Confidence

  • Always shop satiated but not stuffed.  Satiated was my favorite SAT word so I try to use it whenever possible.  In all seriousness, you don’t want to shop hungry and you don’t want to shop stuffed.  Finding that middle ground is crucial.

  • If you have a big event, plan your outfit out from head to toe the night before.

  • Instead of “google searching” when looking for something vague like “Black Boots” try www.shopstyle.com .  They are much better at weeding through the junk to get to the good stuff!

  • If accessorizing is overwhelming, pick one major statement piece and let the rest compliment.  Big necklace / small earrings. Patterned scarf, / simple hat.  Bold lip / natural eye makeup.  You get my drift.

  • A positive attitude will get you WAY FARTHER in any fashion crisis.   Getting overwhelmed in your closet will make you unable to think clearly.  Shopping when you are hungry will get you nowhere.  If you have a tendency to throw yourself pity parties then let’s try this:

    Imagine me with you shopping, or with you in the AM when you are getting ready for the day.  I’m there saying the same thing over and over to you.  Almost like a mantra.  

“Damn girl, you look good!  Damn girl, you look good!”  

I guarantee it’ll make you smile and get ready with confidence.  

  • NEVER shop with greasy hair.  You will not like a single thing you try on.  Even if you DO like it, you won’t even be looking at it because you’ll be too busy focusing on the thought “Why didn’t I shower today?”.  Even if it’s going to make you 15 minutes late, it’s ok.  I give you permission to shower. You’ll end up having a faster shopping experience if your hair is clean so it all evens out. Trust me! 

  • If you are online shopping and not having any luck, I know what you need to do.  You need to NOT ONLINE SHOP.  Ya need to go into a store.  In this day and age we have a tendency to want things quick.  I’m the same way.  I automate my paper towels for god sakes!  That being said, for me, when it comes to clothes, sometimes you have to just go to the store and try things on in person.  This mostly applies if you are: 

1) someone who is never one size.

2) someone who doesn’t know their size

3) someone who is picky about fabrics

4) someone who changes their mind about necklines and silhouettes

5) someone who likes interaction and asking help from experts.

  • Don’t allow yourself to be distracted.  Phone calls and texts can wait until you are in line to pay.  It’s much harder to focus on the task at hand if you are thinking about something else.

  • The buddy system works best.  I’m a huge fan of shopping with a friend.  Since I can’t ACTUALLY be in your back pocket, the next best thing is a trustworthy friend.   

  • Organization will change your life.  Every morning I go into my closet and know where everything is.  By eliminating the stress of “I could have sworn I had a pair of pink heels!!!” you give yourself a chance to get dressed in a calm manner.  Nothing makes me happier than when everything has a home.  

So there you have it!  Which one speaks to you?    

 

Xoxo, 

Melanie

 

Monday
Nov102014

The Stylist In Your Back Pocket

One of the most common phrases I hear from clients is:

“I wish I could have you in my back pocket!  I want you with me every time I get ready.”

While this is very flattering, it can also be frustrating!  I mean, helloooo!!!  I want to be in your back pocket too.

(Wait; let me rephrase that, I don’t literally want to be in your pocket.  Maybe I should be on your shoulder.  Yes, shoulder sounds better.  Let’s change it to the stylist on your shoulder.  But, back pocket has more of a ring to it… I’m getting off topic!)  

But really, that is EXACTLY how I view what I do.  I want you to feel like I am always with you.  Reminding you how beautiful you are, how you CAN do this, and that the biggest gift you can give yourself is to trust your own instincts.

Here are a few things you can hear me saying on your shoulder (or back pocket as it may be…)

  • “I can tell how much you LOVE that, why are you second guessing yourself?!”

  • “I know, that pair of jeans IS more expensive than the Goodwill pair.  They will last you 10 times as long, but the call is totally up to you.”

  • “You already know the answer, listen to your gut and go for that red lipstick!”

  • “Your ass looks amazing in that romper!”

  • “I’d like to gently remind you that that sweater you are holding is from Junior High and you haven’t worn it in 15 years.  Maybe it’s time to find it a new home?”

  • “It’s time to stop shopping and get you a coffee.  Pick me up time!”

  • “Never doubt the power of lots of gold accessories.”

I could go on and on of course, but ultimately I want you to take a moment.  Think about the last time you got frustrated standing in front of your closet.  The thought you always dread seeps into your brain.  “I have NOTHING to wear!”  

Now I want you to think of it with a different perspective.  Take a deep breath and go BACK into the closet.  Say this question to yourself:

“If Melanie was here, what would she say?”  

My answer will help you find yourself in any style predicament.

“Every problem in your closet is solvable.  YOU GOT THIS.  Let’s think creatively so you can leave the house feeling great.  Tomorrow we can go shopping.  For now, let’s focus on what we can work with!”

I know it may sound silly to say “Picture me on your shoulder!”  but I’m telling you, I get texts and emails all the time saying “I pictured you there with me and it made shopping way easier!”  

There is something about having a stylist with you that makes you think “Yea… I GOT THIS!”.  So I’m asking you to be your own stylist in that moment and remind yourself that “YOU GOT THIS!”.  

I really do wish I could be with you when you end up in a style pickle.  Since that isn’t the reality (yet!), I’m going to continue to give you nuggets of wisdom that will help you when I can’t be there in person.  I’m calling these little nuggets “style bombs”.  

So let’s all say this style bomb one more time together to really drive it home! Ready?

“Every problem in your closet is solvable. YOU GOT THIS.” Tweet it!

Feel free to write in the comments below with a problem you’ve been having and how you think the reframe of changing your “can’t” to a “hells yes!” will change the outcome!  

I’d love to hear it and help!  After all, I can’t be in your back pocket but the internet is the next best thing. ;)

 

Xoxo,

Melanie


Photography by Camille Stallings Hair and Makeup by The Glamourist

 

Wednesday
Oct292014

What I believe in...

Hello my sweet!

When was the last time you sat and wrote about what you believed in?  I was asked this exact question this week by a brilliant friend.  She said:

"Mel, what does Head Over Heels believe in?  You know, what do you love so much it makes you giggle with excitement? What does it really stand for?"  

So I sat down to write about all the big, important, beautiful things that I felt were inherently me.  The things I wanted my business to stand strong for.  I started with the actual name.  

The phrase "head over heels" has two different meanings.  

a) Hopelessly Smitten

b) Excited, and/or turning cartwheels to demonstrate one's excitement

When I first started my company I wanted you to fall in love with yourself and your style.  I wanted you to be so freakin excited about the content you saw on this blog, that it made you wanna do cartwheels.  Do cartwheels right into your closet and make some changes.  

As I wrote about what I stood for, I could feel the electricity in my finger tips.  It came naturally to me because I was speaking my truth.  What I loved about what came out of me was that it turned out not to be that serious.  This came as a shock since I believe so seriously in helping you.  But, loving something that is silly, in the really small moments, is just as important as the big ones.  Why not state the importance of a margarita AS WELL as confidence and singing Tay Swift at the top of your lungs?  

So here it is.  The Head Over Heels With Melanie Manifesto.  What I believe in.  What makes me me, and what I hope will inspire you to be exactly who you are.

I'd love to hear if this resonates with you!  Leave a comment below telling me one thing that you adore that you truly believe makes you happy.  It can be as simple as a heart design in your latte.  I can't wait to hear.  

xoxo,

Melanie

P.S.  I'm going to be sharing a few of these statements on Instagram and Facebook! If you agree with me on the emancipation of the phrase "mom jeans" or the importance of stripes I'd love for you to spread the love!

P.P.S. Assorted Photography from Camille Stallings, Melanie Duerkopp, Krista Marie Photography, Em the Gem

Assorted Hair and Makeup by Melissa Hoffmann and The Glamourist

Tuesday
Oct142014

Five Easy Ways to Rock a Scarf this Fall


I've been doing a lot of research lately.  Asking my arsenal of women what they need help with.  Maybe it's because fall is on the brain, maybe it's because they see me wearing one almost every day, who knows.  But one thing was loud and clear.  Everyone wanted help with scarves.  So you asked, and I delivered!  

My love affair with scarves began at an early age.  I always felt more put together in a scarf.  It wasn't until much later that I realized 1) That's why I'm so hot all the time.  2) How one amazing accessory can pull together an outfit in no time.  3)  Layering is my friend.  

I get it, scarves can be intimidating.  There is this large piece of fabric and it NEVER looks the way you expect it to.  Well, today I'm breaking it down for you.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how many different looks I would show you.  And the bottom line was, I didn't want to over complicate it.  There are tons of resources out there for some really complicated scarf tutorials.  Twist it, braid it, you name it!  But I don't think that is realistic or practical.  

What I have found is that the simpler the style, the more likely you will implement it.  Also, some of these scarf tutorials are STRETCHING IT.  Like, I guess you could twist it under your arm and call it the archery scarf style, but no one is going to actually wear it.  I'll give you creativity points though.  

Some of these styles may seem basic.  That's the point.  I WANT them to seem easy because they ARE easy.  So you no longer have to be intimidated by scarves.  You're welcome!

Before we get started I want you to keep these 3 major points in mind throughout.

1) Scarves come in all shapes, weights and sizes.  So don't feel like you automatically can't wear one if the weather is slightly warmer.  Just wear a lightweight scarf such as silk or linen.  These add a nice layer to your outfit without the extra weight.

2) The power of finessing or "jushing".  Gosh that is a hard word to spell.  After you finish putting your scarf on, you are REQUIRED to look in a mirror and jush it for 30 seconds.  I'm telling you.  Those 30 seconds will make all the difference.  Open the fabric up, pull it away from your neck, lay it out nicely etc.  Take the time to look in the mirror and fix it up a bit.  

3) Let the scarf speak for itself.  Today's outfit is casual and simple.  My intention was to let the scarf be the statement.  Also, this proves the point that by adding a scarf you can complete any look.

Let's get going!

The Casual Loop

This one is quite simple, but one of my favorites.  It can be done with scarves of many different shapes and sizes as long as it's long enough to go around your neck.  

Step 1 - Lay your scarf out in front of you with both hands.  

Step 2 - Bring the scarf to the back of your neck. Slide it so it is slightly longer on one side.

Step 3 - Take the longer side and loop it around your neck once.

Step 4 - Pull the center away from your neck.  You don't want it to choke you or look too tight.

Step 5 - Walk away with a strut, cause you are looking good!

The Double Infinity

 Ever see those REALLY long infinity scarves and not know what to do with them?  Loop it a few times with care.  As you loop, take your time with the fabric so it doesn't get twisted.  Easy peasy!  

Step 1 - Hold out the infinity scarf and put the tag (or seam) in the back

Step 2 - Place over your head and check to make sure you aren't twisted.

Step 3- Loop the scarf around your head once.  

Step 4 -  And again!

Step 5 - Play with the fabric and open it up.  

Step 6 - Look cozy and chic.  Done

The Pull Through This style is as easy as it sounds.  It looks great by itself or under a jacket.  Versatile and Easy.  Just how I like it!

Step 1 - Fan Yourself.  Just kidding.  Take the scarf and fold it in half. 

Step 2 - Put the scarf around your neck, still folded in half.

Step 3 - Put your hands through the loop and pull the ends through.

Step 4 - Loosen the knot (what used to be the loop) for a casual, easy breezy look.  

Step 5 - Walk confidently down the street knowing your scarf is staying put!

The DIY Infinity 

Don't you hate when your scarf slips off?  Or it doesn't stay the way you put it when you walked out of the house?  Here's a way to make your scarf into an infinity scarf and never worry about it falling again!

Step 1 - Place around neck with an even amount on either side.

Step 2 - Find the two ends and tie a double knot.  

Step 3 - Twist once and loop back over your head.

Step 4 - Separate the fabric so it's not one long piece but spread out.  Continue to play until you look like the hottest mama on the block.

Step 5 - Do a little "my scarf looks good" dance. 

The Secret Knot

This last style is actually another way to achieve a similar look to the DIY Infinity,  Also, depending on how long your scarf is, you may have extra ties that show at the end which makes for a completely different scart style!  By the way, I feel like I should mention that I got this scarf on my honeymoon in Italy.  It's one of my favorites. Sooooo, it needed to be incorporated into this post.  Don't you think?

 Step 1 - Place the scarf around your neck and slide all the way to one side. Hold onto that end!

Step 2 - Wrap the scarf around your neck twice (depending on how long your scarf is).

Step 3 - Once you have an end in each hand, tie it in a loose knot underneath both layers.  This will ensure your scarf stays in place. 

Step 4 - Finesse and play with scarf until desired look is achieved.

Step 5 - Jump up and down and do a handstand because your scarf isn't going anywhere.

Whew!  So there you have it!  5 fool proof, easy peasy ways to wear your scarf without any fuss, confusion or hassle.  Do you have a favorite way to wear a scarf?  Share below!   

Happy Thursday and Happy Fall!

All Photography by the incredibly talented Krista Marie Photography

Outfit Details - Sweatshirt, Earrings, Jeans, Sneakers (All scarves are from my personal collection.  Some are vintage, some are "vintage" H and M)

xoxo,

Melanie

Tuesday
Sep302014

A Tale About Boobies

This incredible photo was taken by the lovely Em the Gem for an article I wrote on The Refined Woman.

Boobies. That's my 17 month old daughter Zoe's new word.  Yup.  She points to my chest or her own and says it sooo matter of factly. (Thanks to the hubs for this one.) I'm teaching her where her nose is and his contribution is boobies. But it's true. She's learning parts of her body and that is just as much a part of her as her toes. But why did I react differently the first time she said it?

Maybe it's because the first time she said it I was changing and it caught me off guard. It actually made me feel vulnerable. Oh.. Holy moly.... This kid is old enough to know what boobs are. And then it seeped in. That negative thought that I didn't see coming.

"It's probably because they are so big now that she noticed them."

Ummm excuse me?! I had to check myself. First of all, I should probably recognize that I breast fed for a year so this baby is very well acquainted with my breasts.  Also, no. Just... No. What's so amazing about children is they aren't tainted by anything. All she knows is that this is a different part of the body. But my own self conscious thoughts made me go to a place that I don't want her to go. And that's where the real story lies.

I have always loved my boobs (it makes me laugh just typing that!). Seems funny to write it down, but it's true. These puppies have really come in handy. I used to wear sexy bras and always thought of them as one of my best features.

Then breast feeding happened. Actually, pregnancy happened. The second I became pregnant my breasts changed. They got bigger. And when you have big boobs you do NOT want them to get bigger. I was so jealous of my friends who had smaller breasts because when they got pregnant their boobs were ah-mazing. Mine just wouldn't stop getting bigger. Then I had Zoe and my milk came in. I mean... Ayoooooga! Just ask my husband. I remember waking up on the third day of Zoe's life and asking Andrew if my boobs looked different.  Insert crazy eye emoji here. His tongue literally fell onto the floor like a cartoon.

For the next year, I was more self-conscious of my chest. Maybe that's because you are so much more aware of them all the time. Whipping them out in public to feed or feeling engorged after going out to dinner. 

Once I was no longer breast feeding and it had been a few months, I decided it was time to shop for a bra.  HOLY BAJEEZUS!  It had been a long time since I had lifted and supported (if you know what I’m saying)! It was time to practice what I preech.  Because wearing the right bra is an essential part of feeling good.  It’s one of those things you don’t even realize is wrong before it’s right.  You know what I mean?  There I was going about my life in my old lifeless bras.  Then BOOM.  Ummmm did I just lose 15 pounds?! 

That’s right.  A well fitting bra can help make you look slimmer!  It also relieves back pain, changes how clothes fit, and can add LOADS to your self esteem! 

I asked 10 women to go bra shopping and tell me what they learned.  What was so interesting was that the answers were SO consistent!  Here were the top three things women learned when they went bra shopping. 

1)    Size Matters – That is correct!  9 out of 10 women surveyed found out that they were wearing the WRONG BRA SIZE! 

2)    Rolling out the Rotation – All of the women who were surveyed did not realize that they should have more bras.  They admitted to wearing the same bra for several days not knowing how much that ruins the shape.

3)    Bigger Bra Size = Looking Slimmer – All the women who were wearing the wrong size magically felt smaller by going up a size.  This is actually true for most shopping.  You don’t realize that by wearing a smaller size you are creating more bumps and lumps that don’t really exist.  A bra that is too loose will make you appear larger as well.  You could be wearing a shirt that feels tight, and then with the right bra it makes the shirt fit much better.

So, here is what I would like you to do.  Take a look in your underwear drawer (I know.. those undies gotsta go too.  But that’s for another post) and if it’s been awhile since you refreshed the bra drawer then it’s time to get going!  Head over to a bra store that has a bra SPECIALIST, whether it’s a Nordstrom’s or a local bra whisperer store it doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is that it’s not a Victoria’s Secret.  I repeat… DO NOT GO INTO VICTORIA’S SECRET. 

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but “Vickie’s” is part of the whole “I don’t know my size problem.”.  They don’t measure or size their bras the same as anyone else and it’s confusing.  Also, if you are a real D or above, chances are you don’t fit correctly into a lot of their styles.  I know it’s hard because they are the most readily available store, but you must look elsewhere! 

Once you have been fitted correctly, make sure you get a nude bra, a black bra and then a few fun ones to make you get your groove back.  Whether that’s lace or hot pink is up to you.  The important thing is you know your size and you are refreshing something in your closet that desperately needed to be replaced.  Just watch your confidence level soar. 

When it comes to confidence you have to start with the basic foundation.  It will help lift your mood (and something else…) without you even realizing.  That’s always my goal.  To teach you ways to make you feel great, that become an innate part of your routine.  So you are feeling amazing and the effort is already done.

I’d love to know if you have any bra shopping stories. 

Ever go and be shocked by the size?  Felt different after purchasing a new fancy bra? Spill the deets girl!

 

Xoxo,

 

Melanie