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.  

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

Saturday
Sep102016

How to Get Your Closet Ready for Fall

It's here... my FAVORITE season for clothes.... drumroll please...

FALL!!!!!

Yeeees. I love me some scarves, boots, layers,hats and jackets.  In fact, I feel the most complete when I'm wearing the majority of the things I just mentioned all at once.  That being said, sometimes when a new season comes around we are tempted to run right to our favorite store and buy ALL the new things.  BUT WAIT.  Before you go buy 45 more cashmere sweaters (No?  Just what I want to do?  Ok cool.) I want you to check yourself before you wreck yourself!  

THREE WAYS TO GET YOUR CLOSET READY FOR FALL

1) Take inventory.  I get it.  It's tempting to run out and buy that sweater you saw in the J Crew catalogue instantly.  And ya know what, all the power to ya IF you don't have anything like it and you know it'll be worn a ton.  But let's take a minute.  It's been awhile since you wore a sweater.  Your memory might be a little foggy between all the sandals and summer dresses.  It's always important to ask yourself "Is everything in my closet something I would wear?"  If not that's where the real work begins.  As you go through your closet make a list of the things you would like to get for the season.  Even write down some things that you currently have but would like to replace if you found something better.  Which brings me to my next point...

2) Think about replacing instead of buying the same thing.  One of the biggest reasons we have clothes in our closet we don't wear is we dont REPLACE worn in items.  Sweaters tend to pill and not last over time.  Especially if they are worn a ton.  They are harder to clean and take care of.  So what happens?  It sits in our closet for years and years because it USED TO BE a favorite.  Sound familiar?  The best way to make sure this doesn't happen is to replace the sweater with a new, fun and exciting piece that will make it feel easier to donate the old.

3) Think of ways to make your existing pieces shine.  We have a tendency to wear outfits on repeat instead of mixing it up.  Think about it!  Do you wear that polka dot sweater with jeans, and your red dress pants, and under overalls, and with a pencil skirt AND over a dress?  Probably not.  Our brains aren't wired to think about all the options, all the time.  We are going for quick, easy and accessible.  I am inviting you to think about as many options as you can.  When you are taking inventory of your clothes (see Number 1) think about as many ways as possible to wear each piece in your closet.  This exercise is quick, easy and effective.  

The outfit I'm wearing above is one of my favorite ways to transition into fall.  This black dress can easily be dressed up or down, worn in 85 different ways and I love it.  It's flattering, affordable, and a great length.  I can go on and on.  Ultimately, when you are looking for pieces that work year round, think about what you would wear it with in fall and then again in winter.  I also love that this dress can be worn to work or out with friends.  Versatility at it's finest.  

Something I think is important to mention is I already owned all of most of these pieces.  The dress I bought recently (linked below) and the jacket and hat are still available (woot!), but everything else I've owned for awhile.  I know that may not seem like the "cool blogger" thing to do, but I think it's way more realistic for what we all want out of our closets.  Am I right?

When you step into your closet, does it feel like everything is accounted for?  Do you know where everything is and what is missing?  Can you easily get to everything without having to throw your shoes out of the way, or push all of your hangers into one direction?  We are gearing up for another round of The Confident Closet where I help you not only clean out your closet, but replenish it with amazing clothes that you love.  Over the next few weeks I'll be sharing extra closet tips and tricks to give you a taste of what will be in the course.  Make sure you are signed up to receive weekly emails with all the awesome info as well as what you need to know to sign up for the course.  

Happy almost fall!

Melanie

Outfit Details: Dress, Jacket, Hat, Scarf (similar), Boots, Purse (similar here), Earrings

 

Thursday
Sep082016

Do You Trust Your Fashion Gut? (Free Gift!) 

Photo: Rosa Delgado

This morning I was getting ready for a playdate (which at this age means I like the moms and we hope the kids like each other too) and I decided to pull out my overalls.  Maybe it was the fact that I have a love for fashion of the 90's, maybe it's because playdates make me feel younger, or maybe it's because overalls mean easy breezy cool mom to me (Why?  I have no clue, but I don't question this thought), but I wanted to rock those overalls hard.  So I put them on and instantly started to doubt my decision.  Was this too bold of a move?  Would I look like I was 12?  Have I been watching too much Pretty Little Liars and now I think I'm in high school and this is appropriate when it's not?!  

As you can see I was spiraling.  So I took a moment and did a mental check in.  Why was I doubting my style?  More importantly I was doubting my style intuition.  We all have it, but we have a tendency to think someone else knows it better.  That's the thing about your style.  It's YOUR style.  No one else knows you better or what you like.  So why does this sneak up on us?

When we try to attempt something out of our comfort zone we no longer feel like we are the expert.  I may feel like the master accessorizer and a wiz with a scarf but ask me to wear overalls and the confidence is out the door.  The silly thing is...

EVERYTHING is new before you've done it.  

 I know this seems like an obvious sentence, but it's true.  We get ourselves in this mindset of "I can't do this because I've never done it before."  You don't know until you try.  I tell this to my daughter every.single.day.  Such a true life lesson.  If she has never tried mozzarella cheese how will she ever know the joys that are mozzarella cheese?  Pretty soon she's tried all different kinds of it and knows all about it and loves it.  BUT their was a time she was scared to try it.  Ok, I may be talking too much about cheese here.  Let's get back to the point.  

BAM.  That's right.  I just threw this picture out there to put things TOTALLY in perspective.  You know what you are looking at here?  Some back to school confidence realness.  I love the innocence of childhood style.  I LOVED this swatch watch sweatshirt and I was SO proud of my missing teeth.  I had CLEARLY just gotten these bangs and had no clue they were way too short.  I was loving life and life was loving me.  No doubt in my mind that I was rocking life. I like to throw this picture up on the blog about once a year just to spice up your life.

I completely understand how that doubt creeps in and I'm here to help.  In my course The Confident Closet (open for enrollment September 16!!!) we talk about our style intuition a lot.  Asking the right questions is the first step into true style confidence.  So I'm sharing a style sheet straight from the course.  Just. For. You.  

Click here to download Trusting Your Intuition.  

I'm so excited for you to check out this style sheet.  This gives the perfect glimpse into the course and all the awesomeness that comes along with it.  Definitely check it out.  

The line can sometimes be blurred when it comes to knowing our personal style and stepping outside our comfort zone.  The only way to know if something is your style sometimes is to give it a shot.  If you are intrigued, you go for it.  Just know that going with your gut can never be a bad thing!  Comment below on any "aha" moments, struggles and style woes that come up!  I'm here for ya!

With love; from my closet to yours,

Melanie