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.  

Sunday
May102015

How's Your Closet Doing, Girl?

Every morning you wake up, check your emails on your phone (ugh or maybe that's just me.. bad habit), brush your teeth, etc.. but no matter what your morning routine is, one thing is proooobably gonna happen.  You are going to have to go into your closet and get dressed.  It's an inevitable part of your day and well, it's my firm believe that it should be a pleasant one.  No, not JUST pleasant.  It should be a freakin PARTY.  

What would it feel like if it was a party in your closet?

Your closet should be a place that you genuinely enjoy.  Let me clarify what I mean by closet.  I mean, the feeling when you walk in, the organizational system that makes you able to find things easily, and most importantly... the clothes in your closet.  I want you to love it all and be excited to go into your closet and get dressed.  So often we forget that this is a real possiblity.  We get so used to our closets being a frustrating and overwhelming thing that we don't even realize that this stress filled morning doesn't need to be our reality.  

This is something that really hits close to home for me.  I've seen first hand what having a closet and wardrobe you hate does for your self confidence.  How this one experience in the morning can have a serious effect on your entire day.  Your mood, your actions and even your ability to make decisions, can all take a nose dive if you don't feel good about yourself.  Yes... your closet can seriously mess with all.these.things.  

There is a way out, and not only do I want to help you get there, I want to show you that it's possible to have fun while you do it.  

Over the last few years I've become sort of a... closet doctor.  The more women's closets I went to, the more I started to see common threads.  I was actually shocked to see how similar these scenarios were.  While everyone's style is unique to them, the clothes that they don't like, or weren't wearing, usually had a similar answer.  We would talk about the "WHY" behind it.  Why are you holding onto that?  Or, if you don't like it.. why is it still in your closet?  These questions change everything.  I started to use the term "closet rehab" to describe the day.  After awhile I realized that I wanted to change that.. yes... it's a closet rehab, but what I'd like it to feel like is a closet party.  Cleaning out your closet can be FUN.  With a positive and understanding person there to guide you through, and by giving your closet and personal style the care and attention it deserves you are opening up the possibility for a killer party.   

So, how do we get there?  First, we need to identify the problem.  In my three part video training series The Top Three Mistakes Women Make In Their Closets (and what to do about it), I talk not only about what these three mistakes are, but how to change that habit.  These mistakes happen to ALL OF US, which is why I want to address it head on.  You are not alone, but that doesn't mean you need to stay frustrated every morning! By checking out the video here, you'll have the videos sent directly to your inbox over the coming week.  I'm here for you!  If these videos resonate with you, I want to know!  Comment on Facebook, Instagram or on this blog post.  Let's talk about it!  Girl, you are about to have an awesome closet and I can't WAIT to help you get there!

With love; from my closet to yours,

Melanie

Sunday
May032015

The Tale of The "Cool" Mama

Hey there style blazers!

With Mother’s Day fast approaching I started to think about all of my favorite mamas, mamas to be and everything in between.  There is SO much I learned once becoming a mom that I didn’t know before.  Some of these things are pretty obvious, like now I know what is a good diaper rash cream and how to keep baby clothes from shrinking.  Then there are the not so obvious things.  For example, I had NO idea how much my perspective would change on time.  Also, you can not foresee how much your priorities shift.  I also learned that things that used to embarrass me or that I would give some thought to just didn’t matter anymore.  

Here’s a perfect example: I used to have so much time to get ready in the morning. I didn’t even realize it was a lot of time before it was gone! As a personal stylist and confidence coach, one of the first things I teach women is about how to allow for time in the morning to get ready. How this little fact can totally change your mood for the entire day. So I felt pretty ridiculous when I woke up late the other morning and met up with my client BEFORE I realized I had a big ol dried oatmeal stain on my shirt. This used to be something that I would be embarassed by. For a moment, I froze thinking what my client would think of me?? Instead I laughed and brought it to her attention.

This is my life as a personal stylist and a rockin’ mama - I own my oatmeal stain and food glazed hair because that’s what having a toddler and a busy life as an entrepreneur will do to you. Somewhere along the line, we have decided that being a Mom is an “uncool” thing. We do anything we can to avoid the dreaded “mom jean” or “looking like a mom”. I just don’t buy it. To me, if I can run my business, take care of my household (so the laundry gets done a week late.. it still happens!), be a good friend, wife, mom, daughter and still manage to have killer unique personal style… I deserve all the medals. There is nothing lame about it. In fact, I think all us mamas should be admired. I also don’t think that a little oatmeal or waking up late should change that.  We should take ownership of our messy mom lives! Chaos and mess can live harmoniously with confidence if we let it.

I can be an unconventional stylist. You normally don’t hear people who love fashion talking proudly about the stains on their shirt. Nor do you hear people who love fashion not caring much about the latest fashion trends (gasp!). What gets me excited about fashion isn’t always the clothes, shoes or accessories. It’s the woman wearing them and the feeling she has when she feels amazing in something she loves. I’m way more interested in how the dress makes you feel. If something isn’t working and making them feel confident -  I want nothing to do with it.

Currently I’m pregnant with a baby boy and a mama to a very adorable and sassy toddler. I am surrounded by amazing moms everyday. I love helping these busy women combine the style they had before they had kids with who they are NOW. We are all in this crazy mama game together, and the last thing we need is to be associated with is a stereotype of “uncool Mama” that bares no truth to our reality. To me, finding  your unique personal style and trusting your intuition help tremendously when getting dressed for optimal confidence. Also, us moms need to focus on all that we ARE.  Not all that we used to be or think we should be. I really believe they are the cornerstones to a more confident lifestyle, as well as a closet you love and that works for you. I’d like for us all to start changing the stigma around mama style and believe we can do so through one small act.

No more apologizing for our “cool mama-ness”. Start to view all your crazy mom antics as what makes you amazing, not something you need to be sorry about. Cause ever mama deserves to rock those killer mom jeans with pride!  

Whether you are a mama or not, chances are you have a lot on your plate, and your confidence level could use a bit of a boost.  Who knows, maybe you are not a mama, but you really want to wear “mom jeans” with pride!  With all of my style blazers in mind I created a five day challenge called The Confident Style Challenge.

Five days of confidence boosting acts that can lead to big results. Oh!!!  Also, one lucky lady will win a FREE spot in my online closet clean out course The Confident Closet.  This winner will be picked at the end of the challenge on Friday, May 8th.   

With love; from my closet to yours,

 

Melanie


 

Sunday
Apr262015

My Love Affair With The Confident Woman

 

My mission has always been to make women feel great.  Even as a little girl, I used to compliment my mothers friends on their clothes.  What can I say; I live for the moment a woman lights up from a compliment.  The older I became, the more I realized what a profound impact clothes and feeling good could have on a person’s life.  It wasn’t until right after college that I really understood the full impact I could have on the world.

Just after I graduated college with a degree in Costume Design I was lucky to find myself working in New York City as an assistant costume designer.  This was the first of many exciting twists and turns my career would take; ultimately leading me to my true calling.  Which is working with women to gain confidence through their clothes and their closet.  

Working in Manhattan had its perks and hanging around gorgeous, talented actresses was one of them.  I had the pleasure of working on several Broadway shows and (lucky me) one of my all time favorite actresses.  While I can’t tell you her name (sorry for the major bummer!)… the point is, she was STUNNING.  She was one of those natural beauties.  When I first met her I was completely awe struck.  Unfortunately, the more I got to know her, the more I realized how insecure she was!  I was shocked, as is anyone who has a preconceived notion that all celebrities are confident.  

I thought, how could someone famous, talented and beautiful be so insecure?

That’s when I realized that the way she felt in her costume was the key to tapping into a great performance for her.  She needed a good old-fashioned confidence boost!  I knew just the trick. I made it my mission to find her an outfit that she’d love and feel great in on stage.  I started asking different questions and paying attention to what made her light up and sparkle.  By the time the play opened, she was beaming with confidence.  It completely changed her performance.

If you feel great in your clothes, everything about your outlook changes.  

 Confidence is the key to positivity and success.Tweet it

Once I started working with brides this became even more apparent.  I remember one of my favorite brides of all time had a similar story.  She visited the bridal salon where I used to work at least 6 times before making a decision.  Every time, she walked in quietly and requested to work with me.  She had a really hard time committing to her wedding gown because she kept on saying “Nothing feels like ME.”

We sat down and talked about the vision for her big day, and I kept on asking her “How do you want to FEEL in the dress?”  

Her reply was always the same. “Confident.”  

So that’s what we aimed for.  She didn’t mention anything about any particular style or fabric that she loved.  She only knew how she wanted to feel.  When she finally put on her wedding dress, she became a different person.   She walked differently, talked differently and lit up the whole entire place.  

Wearing clothes that we love can change how we see ourselves and how we carry ourselves in the world.

After styling actresses, brides, entrepreneurs, mamas and everything in between, I have come to two conclusions.

1) We start our day by getting dressed, and if that is a terrible experience, it makes the rest of our day MUCH HARDER.

2) If you want to feel more confident, the answer is through your clothes.

I used to struggle with the second one.  Did I really think that clothes could have THAT big of an impact?  Yes.  100 percent.  Here’s why:

When we don’t feel great in what we are wearing, it affects every other thing we do.  For real.  Have you ever gotten dressed in a hurry and then got to work only to realize your outfit totally clashes?  Or that you wore a pair of jeans that you didn’t know had a hole in it?  Have you noticed how it affects your mood?  Take that, and magnify it by a million.  That’s what it feels like all the time if you don’t like your style or wardrobe.  SUCH a bummer.

This reframe is so powerful.  What would it feel like to start every morning loving your closet and what was in it?  That’s my goal for everyone I meet.  How can I help you start your day feeling more confident?

Which brings me to some SERIOUSLY exciting stuff.  Next week I'm hosting a free challenge called The Confident Style Challenge.  Each day for 5 days I'll be sharing a small act you can do, to add more confidence into your life.  By commiting to this challenge you not only are giving yourself the opportunity to gain a major (and much needed) self confidence boost, but you are also going to be entered to win a FREE spot in my upcoming course The Confident Closet.  Ummm can you say WIN / WIN?!!?

I want to help as many women as possible, and since I can’t be there in everyone’s closet, I created this free video training series for you.  It’s called The Top Three Mistakes Women Make in Their Closets (and what to do about it).  It’s EXACTLY what it sounds like. In these videos, I talk about specific mistakes that we all make and how to make a real change.  I've been bursting at the seams to share it with you!  So excited the moment is finally here!  Head here now, to check out what it’s all about!

xoxo,

Melanie

Photo Cred: Abi Q Photography / Hair and Makeup: Melissa Hoffmann

 

Sunday
Apr192015

The Truth Behind "I Have Nothing to Wear"

 How many times have you opened your closet and thought “I have nothing to wear?!”

The first time I realized how frustrating having a closet full of clothes you can’t wear could be, I was about 6 months pregnant.  Your body changes instantly and you don’t really know how to dress it anymore.  Also, all of your favorite clothes don’t fit the same way. So you have to either get creative in your closet or buy maternity clothes that you know also have a pretty short shelf life.  As much as I wanted to love my body, getting dressed wasn’t as fun as it used to be.  And yes… it totally started to affect my self-esteem.

This got worse before it got better too.  Once I gave birth I thought, “Now I can wear all my old clothes again!"  Of course, this was not the case.  My old clothes either weren’t practical to wear while taking care of a baby, didn’t fit me the same anymore, or were no longer my style.  A lot can happen in a year and the majority of my closet no longer felt like me.  I felt stuck.  I didn’t want to throw out my favorite pair of polka dot pants, but it was pretty clear I wasn’t going to be wearing them anytime soon.  That’s some bad closet juju right there!  I knew something had to change and that I needed to become my own client.  What I learned wasn’t just closet changing but completely life changing.

 That common phrase, “I have nothing to wear” actually has a lot of weight to it.  We don’t ever dig deep to figure out WHY we are feeling this way.  Chances are there is a good reason and we are going to get to the bottom of it together.  Promise.

 Most women only wear 20 percent of their closets.  Yep!  That’s it!  That means that when you open your closet, you are looking at 80 percent of things you don’t like or that don’t fit you.  If you are looking at clothes you don’t like, no wonder you don’t feel like you have anything to wear!

My goal as a personal stylist, confidence coach and closet connoisseur is always to help women get a much higher percentage when they open their closets.  Realizing this statistic is the first step in fixing the problem.

There are three main thoughts that cause you to have “I have nothing to wear” syndrome.

1) My clothes don’t fit.

What’s really going on:  Maybe you are like me and you had a sweet little bambino.  Maybe you just lost a ton of weight.   Maybe you are still wearing clothes from your junior high days and your body has changed and your clothes haven’t.  No matter what the reason, if you are opening your closet every morning and nothing fits things have got to change!  I mean how frustrating is that?

 The remedy:  It’s time to go through your closet asking yourself the same question on repeat.  “Is this something I like on my body NOW.”  Not, three months ago, not 4 years ago.  Only keep the clothes that work for you now.

If you are currently in a non-permanent body status (such as on a major diet change or having just had a baby) you need to ask yourself a follow up.  “If this fit me now, would I LOVE it?”  Chances are you are holding onto these items as an idea and not the reality of what it actually looks like on you.

2) Everyone has already seen me in all my clothes.

What’s really going on:  This feeling of “been there, done that” can be SUCH a buzz kill.  I know this is going to sound crazy, but… no one you ACTUALLY care about will care if you wore that dress already.  I know that’s a hard concept and a little harsh but seriously.  What if you took out of the equation the fact that you’ve worn it already and actually thought about if you liked how you felt in it?  More importantly, are you wearing it the same way every time?  You may need to look at your clothes and accessories with a fresh eye.

 The remedy: Girl, you may think it’s time to go shopping but it’s actually time to get creative.  Ask yourself this question: “If I love this dress how can I make it new and exciting again?”  That being said, SOMETIMES we do actually need a few new items to spruce up and replenish our wardrobe.  I am in no way saying to never shop again.  That would be talking crazy.  I do however think you can ask yourself specific questions beforehand to make sure you aren’t just shopping instead of working with what you have.  You’d be surprised at how much a statement necklace and different shoes can change a look.

 3) All my clothes are old and I’m over them.

What’s really going on: This actually tends to be a combo of the above two thoughts.  Why do you feel like your clothes are old?  Is it because they have actually been in your closet for years and are worn in?  Or is it because you’ve been wearing them the same way for so long that they don’t seem new and exciting anymore?  Both those answers are totally valid and legit.  Sometimes your clothes are old, but you are actually keeping them because you have an emotional attachment to them.  That right there is the reason you are holding on to it, even if you never plan on wearing it again.

 The remedy:  You need to start getting real with your clothes.  If something truly is old and you can’t throw it away or donate it, it’s time to start asking “WHY?”.  Are you attached to a memory associated with them?  If you can’t wear it but you love the idea behind it, I’ll cut you a deal.  You can keep FIVE sentimental pieces that don’t fit or are too delicate now to wear.  This may seem like nothing to someone who is deeply attached to her clothes.  But trust me, this is a really helpful exercise and most of my style clients don’t even end up keeping all 5!

 If you are saying your clothes are old it’s probably because they ARE old. It’s time to replace them.  I know where you are coming from.  You bought an amazing gray t-shirt that was so soft and fit just right and you love it beyond all words.  It now has 4 stains and a hole in it.  It’s time to replenish it with a new fresh one.  You don’t have to do anything with it until you buy a new one.  Here’s the kicker, once the new t-shirt is in your possession, you have to let go of the old.  That’s the rule!

 No matter what your closet woe is, there IS a solution.  I have faith that if you ask yourself the right questions and are committed to making a change that you can actually have a closet full of clothes that you wear.  Trust your gut and don’t look back!  

 If this post resonated with you, it’s time to take it to the next level and make a real change.  That’s why I’ve created a FREE video training series The Top Three Mistakes Women Make in Their Closets (and what to do about them).  The first video will go live on Monday May 11th and you DON’T want to miss out.  Make sure you sign up HERE to have the video sent directly to your inbox.  It’s my mission to help as many women as possible to leave their house feeling confident and amazing.  Who knows what we can accomplish when we feel incredible in our clothes?!

With love; from my closet to yours,
Melanie
Photo Cred: Abi Q Photography / Hair and Makeup: Melissa Hoffmann

 

Sunday
Apr122015

One Stylish Mama: Emily Scott

I am often asked to talk about personal style.  How to achieve confidence in personal style is one of the most important factors when it comes to feeling confident in your clothes.  In my opinion, if you don't know your personal style or you don't feel confident in your ability to create an outfit you love, it can become pretty impossible to love your clothes.  In the upcoming weeks we are going to be talking about ways to make your closet uniquely your own, how to make sure you don't wait to have the style you've always dreamed of, and  organizational tips for having a closet that showcases your amazing wardrobe.  It's my goal to inspire you to start asking yourself questions when you go into your closet that start the wheels turning.  Always remember to ask yourself: "Do I really love this?"  If the answer is no, get it out and find something that does!  Life is too short to be in clothes that don't represent you!

That's why I am SO stoked to have Em from Em the Gem and The Refined Woman here today.  She truly is the epitome of "owning your unique personal style".  She knows how to keep it real, while having an effortless, chic, and timeless sense to her clothes.  She mixes sneaks with fur coats, lace with denim, and bold red lips with t-shirts.  Her combination of function meets high fashion is what makes her unique.  

Em is an incredible photographer whose ability to capture dreamy, well lit moments is unparalleled.  She is half of the dynamic duo behind the fashion blog The Refined Woman.  She's totally a mama who you look at and think "Wow, she can do it all." while still managing to be honest and real.  Em is also the mama to a one year old baby girl who seriously could charm the socks off of anything that crosses her path.  She's just too much!  Check out my interview with Em below.  Can you handle how amazing her style is?  She's also QUITE the photogenic subject, don't you think?

Introduce yourself and your business:

My name is Emily Scott, my photography business is Em the Gem but I also am a co-founder of a blog called The Refined Woman. 

What is the biggest difference in your style from before you were pregnant, to pregnancy, to mamahood?

I can no longer sacrifice functionality in anything I wear. I used to make sacrifices for style but now I am always looking for ways to not only find stylish clothing but clothes that make me happy to wear them - good fabrics, flattering cuts, and classic pieces. I am looking now to pare down my wardrobe to tried and tested items, and less fast-fashion or super trendy pieces. 

Was there an item of clothing or turning point where you can distinctly remember thinking... things are changing with my style?

The last time I went through my closet I threw away a lot of short cutoff jean shorts and I haven’t looked back. 

How has your business influenced your style?

I love the challenge to find polished and refined pieces, and I find myself mixing them with my distressed jeans and hi-tops. It’s been a fun way to blend of being a boss lady and a real mom and woman. 

Where do you get your style inspiration from?

I love thrift store shopping and I’m always inspired by older items that are really well made and stand the test of time. I love playing with different silhouettes that have come and gone throughout the years and remaining them on myself. I also love fashion magazines and editorials and love seeing how they interpret different designers. 

What style icons do you love?

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are the bomb.com

What item of clothing or brand are you currently loving:

I currently can’t get enough of my pieces from Everlane, AYR and Stylesaint. 

Favorite item of clothing or brand that you love for your kids:

I am always surprised by the cute things I find a BabyGap, but I also love everything I’ve ever bought from Bobo Choses. 

What is one thing you love about being a mom?

When she laughs. 

What is one of the hardest things about being a mom?

When she cries. 

If you could describe your style in 3 words what would it be?

Fun, fancy, free.

Anything else about being a mom and style that you'd like to mention?

 I’m still trying to have fun with it and experiment and take risks. 
I'm truly inspired by mamas who find a way to blend their love of fashion and their need for function into amazing style.  To me, that's what REAL style is all about.  While I love a good fashion mag or runway show; real fashion is about clothing that you can wear and feel incredible in.  Em does this seamlessly and I'm pretty sure I'll be stepping outside my comfort zone a liiiiittle more after this interview.  haha
To personal style, confidence and finding the balance between crocs and stilettos... cheers!
With love; from my closet to yours,
Melanie