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.  

Wednesday
Jul062016

The No Brainer Uniform

What if you could wake up, walk into your closet and know exactly what you were going to wear?  If you knew when you put on that outfit that you were gonna feel so.damn.good.  It would start your day in the best way right?!

Lately I've been toying with this idea of how to create something that makes me feel great, that is special and unique but also a no brainer.  What I've come up with is what I'm calling "my no brainer uniform".  Now before you start groaning, I want you to take a moment and hear me out.  I'm not saying to wear the same exact shirt with the same exact pants.  I am also not saying to take the fun out of outfit planning.  I mean, that's my favorite past time.  What I am saying is to simplify and analyze what makes an outfit work for you so that in a pinch you feel confident.  In classic Head Over Heels fashion, I've broken it down for you into three questions. 

1) What makes me feel confident/what do I want to minimize?

When you are in your closet, I always think it's important to be real with yourself.  Lying to yourself about things you SHOULD wear doesn't get you anywhere.  So sometimes we have to ask questions like "What style makes me feel good?"  I do know that this can be tricky and I want you to love your body and own your style, and that means wearing clothes to show your body off.  BUT only if when you actually wear those pieces you feel confident.  If you tell yourself "Girl, just love those hips and wear a pencil skirt."  But you secretly are self concious the whole time?  Well, that's not really working for ya is it?!

For me, if I'm being fully honest with myself (and you guys, why is it SO hard to be honest with ourselves?) I feel the most confident when I'm wearing something that is loose around my midsection and shows off my legs.  That's just what I feel best in.  Do I own shirts that are more fitted.  Of course.  And I tell myself "Mel, you should rock this!"  But then there is the reality.  I wear it every 6 months when I'm feeling extra zesty. I want items that I wear weekly.  

***I will say that there is a fine line here.  If you wear clothes that are too oversized you end up looking larger than you actually are.  A shirt that doesnt cling to my midsection makes me feel way more confident on the daily.  Ya feel me?

2) What fully represents my style?  

I find that a lot of my clients have clothes in their closets that they bought because they are flattering, not because they actually liked the style of them.  So here they are, wearing a dress that technically looks good on them, but in reality they are still self conscious because it's not their style.  

The ideal outfit is equal parts cool and flattering.

What do I mean by this?  I mean that what makes you feel cool is just as important as what makes you feel like you are flattering your body.  It really needs to be both or you run the risk of feeling self conscious. 

3) How do I need my clothes to function for my lifestyle?  

If you have clothes that you LOVE but they don't fit into your lifestyle, are you still aren't going to wear it?  For example, I used to own a ton of cute dresses from my days as a bridal consultant.  I loved wearing dresses and heels and loads of accessories.  That is just not what my life calls for now.  What do I need now?  FUNCTION.  I need to be able to bend down, run, pick up one or two children from the floor, get dirty and look cute doing it.  I also was nursing for a long time and needed clothes that would allow me to feed my son whenever and wherever I was.  This may have seemed like a tall order, but that is where my No Brainer Uniform came from.

I'm working on being more real with you guys, and to me, nothing is more real than "I'm wearing the same sort of thing and it feels really good."  My goal with this blog is to help you feel great in your clothes and when you step out of the zone of "This is what I THINK I should be wearing." and start wearing what actually works everything shifts.  

Do you ever catch yourself with clothes in your closet that you aren't wearing but THINK you should be?  Comment below and let's start the conversation!   

With love; from my closet to yours, 

Melanie

 

Photography: Melissa Hoffmann 

Shirt, Jeans, Belt, Watch, Necklace

 

Wednesday
Jun152016

The Art of Adulting

Have you guys heard the term "adulting".  It essentially means you do something that an adult would do, but it doesn't come as second nature to you.  Some of my favorite examples of adulting: 

Buying throw pillows

Not wearing socks with holes

Having appropriate rain attire

Thinking about a well balanced meal

Anything involving taxes

Rebuying lotion, toothpaste or shampoo BEFORE it runs out

Setting your alarm and not hitting snooze

Cleaning your makeup brushes in a timely manner

Not forgetting your Credit Card at the bar four times in a month (I mean... I'm guessing... not like this happened to me or anything...)

The list goes on and on (and it's super fun so please chime in with some of your favs).   I'm sure by now you are thinking, "Sure Melanie, this game is a blast but I have NO clue WHY you are talking about this."  Ok, Ok, hear me out.  While I absolutely am an adult (that whole 32 year old mom of two thing doesn't really allow me to throw my responsiblities to the wind) I recently realized there were certain things that I've been doing since college and maybe it was time to start adulting.  

On a recent trip to New York I stayed in the home of a dear family friend.  When I was in her bathroom I couldn't help but notice her skincare products.  I instantly noticed a few trends.  

1) They were mostly the same brand.  It was a high quality company that she clearly trusted and loved.  I find that I have a tendency to not stick with brands long term but try a lot of new things out.  I'd like to find "my brands" and take some of the constant guessing "Is this going to work well?" out of the equation going forward.

2) She didn't have an abundance of anything but instead focused on the quality of the product.  If you are using something you love and that works, you don't need to have all that extra clutter lying around.  This is something I preach all the time and LOVED seeing a perfect example of it.  

3) She bought the larger size.  I tend to buy smaller sizes as to not have to commit.  But, if you know you are going to use something you can buy the larger size and save yourself a little cash in the long run.

(assorted pictures of me adulting when Melanie Duerkopp took pretty pictures and Melissa Hoffmann made me look pretty)

You may have heard me talk on the blog or in my online closet course The Confident Closet about something called The Beauty Basics.  The main principle behind The Beauty Basics is, if you are doing the right things for your hair, skin, nails, etc you are laying the foundation for a more confident self.  That's not to say I don't throw my hair in a top knot 3 times a week (who are we kidding 4), but that if my nails and eyebrows are done, chances are I'll feel better about the lack of time to get ready.  Everyones beauty basics are different, but it's important to identify what makes you feel like your best self, so you can put those things into a regular practice. 

So here I am, setting an easy "adulting goal" for myself in hopes to up my Beauty Basics game.  Oh, and because I believe their is strength in numbers and accountability there is a fun giveaway on my Instagram today as well.  But before I get into that, here is my goal.  In bold so that I don't chicken out (obvi).

Adulting Goal: To find skincare products that are made with ingredients I trust even if that means spending a little more money. I plan to find products that work and then stick with them instead of constantly trying something new. 

*HOH Tip - How organized are your makeup and skin care products?  We have a tendency to overbuy these items and then can't find what we actually want to use.  Since these items don't have a long shelf life it's important to use what you have and discard the rest.  Over buying these products will only make your morning routine overwhelming and it will take much longer if you can't find what you are looking for due to clutter.

*** Giveaway time!!!***  I'm picking a favorite to win a FREE Keihls starter kit with a $75.00 value!  I want us to get on this "adulting train" together! What is one small adulting goal you can make for yourself?  Let me remind you that you can be 85 and make an adulting goal.  It's not really about your age or becoming an adult, but doing something with more care and responsiblity (in the best way).  

The Rules:

Head to my Instagram
1) Like my page - @hohwithmelanie
2) Comment with your adulting goal (which means you need to go to the blog and read the rest of the post!!!) under the picture of the Keihls giveaway. 
3) I'll be announcing a winner on Friday! You can enter up to 5 times (must tag a different friend each time!)

See you on Instagram to win!

xoxo,

Melanie

Tuesday
May102016

That Feminine Touch

(Photography - Stephanie Court, Purse - Jordana Paige Hair and Makeup - Melissa Hoffmann Styling and Art Direction by Moi!)


Sigh... guys, its been awhile since I really, truly felt feminine.  I know this may come as a shock since what is more feminine that being pregnant right?  Well, not really.  While I did feel this incredible sense of "I am woman, hear me roar" when I was pregnant, between recovering from Jude's birth and the day to day life of with two young kids, I usually feel anything but feminine.  I feel motherly, yes, but not FEMININE.  I'm not saying I need to wear flower crowns and flowy dresses all the time, but sometimes that's how I want to feel.  

This became even more apparent to me when I was in New York last month.  I was reminded of my former, childless self.  The one who wore sexy underwear, loads of flowy skirts, bras that weren't for nursing and heels on a regular basis.  Who ran around the streets of Manhattan seeing shows and going out to dinner and dates.  Where did she go?  Now she spends her days praying for time for a shower and wearing clothes that need to be F.U.N.C.T.I.O.N.A.L.  Ok, I know that is dramatic but what can I say, sometimes that's how I feeeeeeel guys!

So here is the deal.  She's still there.  I just forgot that she's important too.  I'm not saying I am going to wear heels to the park or throw away all pairs of functional underwear.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves.  There should be a middle ground though.  My goal is to find it and be consistent about making it a priority.  So, how do I plan to do this? I'm SO glad you asked.  

It turns out my dear friend Sarah (also a mama to two young kiddos) was feeling this lack of feminity in her wardrobe TOO!  So when she came to me for styling advice I was so suprised that I knew exactly what to tell her.  Weird how when it wasn't me and I was playing stylist I could fix the problem.  Sigh... could "practice what you preach" be more appropriate?!  So below is essentially what I shared with Sarah on easy ways to add femininity into your wardrobe without feeling like you needed to buy all new clothes.  

Skirt, Shoes, Hair, Nails, Blazer

1) All The Flowyness Please - Anything that has a flowy, romantic feel will do the trick.  I tend to stear clear of fabric that can't get stained for obvious reasons.  That being said, I'm starting to buy certain items just for me, that I can wear when I'm not with my kids.  I'll leave the decision up to you, but a flowy top can also work for those people that need their clothes to all be washable.

** Bonus if you start incorporating a lightweight patterned scarf to your look too!

2) Feminine Shoe - This could be a strappy sandal, pair of floral flats or a shoe in a color that exudes the feeling you are looking for.  

3) Change Up Those Tresses -  Our hair can be used as an extra accessory if we let it.  When I was giving advice to Sarah, I mentioned wearing braids, or soft curls that allowed for her to feel like she wasn't just throwing her greasy hair in a top knot every day.  I love a good top knot and dry shampoo situation as much as the next girl (more probably) but if we are talking about ways to amp out our femine energy that's not it.  

4) Makeup and Nails - I always feel my best when my nails are done.  It's my thang.  Three of my favs are coral, light pink or cherry red.  This rings true for lipstick shades.  Pink lipstick is my jaaaaam.  

5) What's On the Outside That Counts - A cardigan, jacket or sweater that adds that little something something is what I want you to look for here.  Something that you can add to a more basic look that will instantly transform your look to something more romantic. 

*** HOH Tip - If this stumps you I want you to ask yourself: If I wanted to dress up a t-shirt and jeans in a feminine way what pieces would I add? The goal is to add pieces that can be versatile and work more than one way.  

This is definitely not the last post about this from me.  That's for sure.  It's going to be a process ladies!  Stay tuned!  I've been pinning away for inspiration so if you are looking for more check me out on Pinterest here.  

 With love; from my closet to yours,

Melanie

 

Wednesday
Aug262015

Mama's Back

The only time I was successfully able to write consistently in a journal was when I was thirteen.  It was actually an amazing time to have documented.  I have my first kiss/makeout sesh written down sooooo that's pretty awesome.  One thing that I find hilarious is that I continually felt obligated to catch my diary up.  Like my diary was a person and this person needed to know that I had been busy with my dance recital rehearsal and thats why I haven't written.  I apologized to my diary for not being "better" at writing more in almost every entry.  I also mostly just talked about my friends character traits because my diary clearly needed to know WHO I was talking about for reference.  The entries were never me just talking to me.  I started my diary right after reading Anne Frank so maybe I was just hyper aware that someone else might be reading it eventually.  Fast forward to today and that context was actually super helpfull so maybe I was on to something.  That all being said, I wish I just wrote for me.  Of course, there are also some VERY SERIOUS entries about how I knew that if I met Leonardo DiCaprio I knew we would be together.  Life is so unfair!  I may or may not still feel this way as a 32 year old married woman.  What can I tell you, old crushes die hard.  #leoforever

So why am I telling you this story?  It's because I have written this blog post over and over again.  Since I last wrote on this blog I have had a baby and have had to navigate the world of having two kids.  I have had to figure out all sorts of wardrobe situations with a body that is new and different and ever changing.  I feel like a lifetime has passed and I'm not really sure how to just pick up.  That said, I have SO MUCH I want to share with you about what I have learned.  I can't wait to fill you in on all my new discoveries, struggles and triumphs.  I want to hear about yours as well.  SO I'm going to learn from my diary of a thirteen year old self and NOT spend a lot of time catching you up.  I'm just gonna say "Damn that sh*t was cray.",  show you a few cute pics of my baby and then get back to our regularly scheduled programming.  Cause guys... I have SO MUCH great stuff to share with you.  I kind of just can't wait anymore. 

Being a mom to two young children has been such a roller coaster.  The highs are so high and I'm wildly obsessed with both of them.  The lows have really taken me by surprise and in all honesty, I'm still figuring it all out.  The good news is, I'm back and ready to rumble.  I'm taking my experience, mixed with my current post pardum situation, (which involves an in between bod and a lot of clothes that I used to love) and it's really igniting something inside me to help women find their personal style and gain confidence through their clothes EVEN MORE THAN BEFORE.  I'm having to really practice what I preach in my own closet and I'm dying to share with you my journey in hopes to inspire and help others.  If there is anything I try to project here it's that we are all in this journey together.  Now more than ever, I'm "in it".  I'm having to figure out my new style that suits my lifestyle and makes me feel confident and stylish at the same time.  Finding crafty ways to accessorize and make clothes my own while not spending all my money on clothes that won't fit me in a month.  I'd love for you to go on this journey with me.  

I am also starting something called "The Confidence Project" where we will be hearing from some amazing guest bloggers.  I've asked them to share what makes them confident and where style has come into play in their life.  If you have an experience with how a specific experience has affected your style, how you gained confidence through your clothes or something of that nature, I would love to hear it.  Shoot me an email at melanie@headoverheelswithmelanie.com.  We already have some incredible stories.  Can't wait for you to see. 

So here is to picking up where we left off, yet in a newly inspired place.  To loving your past, present and future self without judgment or expectations and to committing to the best version of yourself.  I'm here for you as well as with you.  So happy to be back.  

If seeing cute baby stuff is your jam you should totally be following my personal account on Instagram @whatmelaniesees and of COURSE you are already following my styling account for Head Over Heels on Instagram, right?  It's @hohwithmelanie.  Get on it sistah.  

With love; from my closet to yours,

Melanie

 

Monday
Jun292015

Combatting Outfit Envy

CONFESSION:

I have dreams of:

Being someone who can rock a flowing, loose mumu like a Stevie Nicks goddess meets FIT student meets 6 ft tall model who walks like she's in heels even when she's in flats.  

I sometimes find myself thinking... "Maybe I can pull off a crop top".   

In my heart of hearts I want to get bangs a la Zooey Deschanel and rock the pastel hair trend like it's my job.

Why am I telling you this?  Because I've been noticing a trend lately and I want you to know that you are not alone.  

EVERYONE has outfit envy.  

What is outfit envy you ask?  It's when you see someone wearing something that you loooooove, and then it doesn't happen to look the same on you.  Or, in this case... me.  Outfit envy can also be known as "a case of the super jellys" or "Why can't I pull that off-itis?". So what do you do when you find yourself having total outfit envy?  

1) Appreciate it. - What I've learned is that I can love and appreciate an outfit on someone else, and NOT get bummed that I can't wear it myself.  For some reason, when we try a new style on we can go down a shame spiral and get SO down on ourselves!  I encourage you to compliment this woman on her style (if it's someone on the street or in person).  Making her feel good about her killer clothes will give her a confidence boost as well as you.

2) Focus on what you love about your style. - Start to notice what makes your personal style unique.  Do you love your ability to wear bold colors?  Is your accessories game totally on point?  Do you have the most impressive scarf collection out of all your friends?  Give yourself a pep talk and focus on what makes YOUR style so freakin awesome.

3) Realize the grass is always greener. - Chances are that girl who has the cool Stevie Nicks style is having total outfit envy on your awesome curve hugging dress.  Like I said earlier, this is something all us girls go through. It works both ways!  

4) What do you REALLY love about her style? - Take a moment to think about what it is that you are REALLY into?  Is it the actual clothes?  Is it the feeling she exudes?  Is it her confidence when she walks down the street?  Think about aspects of her style that you actually can implement such as a print, or accessory etc.  

I know it can be a total bummer when you get caught with a case of "outfit envy-itis".  By taking the advice to not let it get you down, you are making a powerful mind shift.  What do you think?  Think you can appreciate a look on someone else and at the same time continue to feel good about the style you've been rockin?  Let me know your thoughts below!

With love; from my closet to yours,

Melanie