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
Mar112015

The Shoes You Need In Your Closet

Hey there!

Yesterday, while shopping with a fabulous style blazer for her upcoming photo shoot, we started chatting about shoes.  Or, in this case, we were talking about her lack of shoes. 

“I’m just not a shoe person.  If it’s comfortable, I’ll wear it.”

 Women fall into two categories.  1) Shoe obsessed or 2) I could not care less.  There really is no in between.  Or is there...

To me, whether or not you are a lover of all things shoes, you need to have a variety of styles in your closet that will always come in handy.  You’d be surprised at how many shoe obsessers still don’t have FUNCTIONAL shoes in their closet.  They are too busy buying the really unique (sometimes even uncomfortable) shoes over the functional pair.  That’s always been a huge shocker to me.  No matter where women fall on the spectrum of shoe love, rarely do they have a closet full of shoes they actually wear on a consistent basis.

It is due to this realization that I decided to create a "must have" list for you!  This list has all the shoes you need in order to have a fully functioning shoe closet.  One thing I want to make a note of is that I don’t really get into specifics.  That’s because I want you to fill in the blanks.  A neutral sandal can mean a lot of things to a lot of people.  That’s how it should be! 

Even when talking about a "basic item" in your closet, always see it as an opportunity to infuse your own personal style.  - Tweet it!

In my upcoming online course The Confident Closet, I give you the tools to ramp up your personal style every chance you get, while still making sure your closet is filled with the items you need every day.  Click here to be the first to receive all the deets!

This list is a bare bones, must have list. Everything else is icing on the super moist, delicious cake.   I don’t go into all the fancy different shoes you COULD have.  That being said, while I always suggest sticking with neutrals for versatility, I also believe in owning some fun, bright, (slightly impractical) shoes. You gotta throw a pair in there at some point for fun!

I'm curious to know where on the "shoe love" spectrum you are?  Are you a shoe obsessor or could you care less?  Is there ever a shoe that you constantly find you wish you had?  Or a pair that you can't live without?  In the comments section below, I'd love to hear alllll about it!

Photo Cred: Abi Q Photography

 

xoxo,

Melanie

 

Thursday
Mar052015

So You Want to Sell Your (gently used) Clothes Online

Last week I was talking with some women in a coffee shop.  They were mutual friends and the subject of cleaning out their closets came up.  Before I was able to tell them that I knew A LOT about this, they started to say things that surprised me.

I’m going to wait until I’m the size I want to be.

I spent money on these clothes and there is NO WAY I’m going to give away money! 

I’ll do it next week…  Or next month… Ooooor next year.

Ugh, it’s such a hassle to get rid of my old clothes. 

There are lots of excuses we give ourselves in order to avoid cleaning out our closets. While I understand that cleaning out your closet is hard, painstaking, a drag and the LAST thing you want to do, it’s so important to not wait.  The longer we wait, the worse the problem gets. 

Every time we make these excuses, we are putting up a wall
making it harder and harder to make that change.  TWEET IT

Well, I’m about to eliminate TWO of those excuses in hopes that I can convince you to pull the trigger and STOP waiting.  I’m determined to help as many women clean out their closets because I KNOW you can do it!  I’m gonna start by telling you a little trick I use on the internet.

Yep, the Internet can help you clean out your closet and sell your clothes.

You know that first excuse about how cleaning your closet is a drag?  Well that just ain’t the truth anymore.  I have created an incredible online course called The Confident Closet, that not only makes cleaning out your closet fun, but also helps you gain confidence in your personal style, shopping abilities, organizational prowess and soooo much more.  One of the “style sheets” in The Confident Closet is a compilation of tons of different ways to creatively get rid of your clothes.  Which brings me to the second excuse you can no longer make…

You really can no longer say that it’s a pain to get rid of your clothes after you clean out your closet.   There are SO many amazing online resources to sell your clothes.  They make it so easy.  It ‘s seriously awesome.  You can literally sell your clothes without leaving your house.  Below, I’ve compiled a list of some killer ways to get rid of your unwanted items after you purge your clothes.

6 Awesome Websites to Sell Your (gently used) Clothes

Bib and Tuck – A REALLY cool website for selling your uber fashionable threads and finding some new ones.

ThreadUP - is a fantastic company that allows you to give them your gently used items for them to sell.  They don’t take everything, as they only have certain brands they accept. They send you a bag and then you fill it with your clothes and accessories (including handbags) in good condition.  They send you a check and donate what they don’t want to a reputable charity.  Sweet deal!

Twice – Similar to Threadup, Twice makes it easy to sell your clothes.  Here is how they talk about the process on their site:”Twice is a hybrid between traditional online retailers like Amazon and peer-to-peer marketplaces like eBay. If you’re cleaning out your closet, simply request a free Selling Kit or label, fill it up and ship it to Twice. We’ll make you an offer as soon as we get your package, and you can get paid instantly. Then, we’ll list your items for sale, along with thousands of other high-quality items from sellers all over the country.” 

Poshmark – Poshmark is like if you took Ebay and Instagram and combined them.  In theory, if you buy something you like from a seller, you might want to continue to buy from them since you have a similar size and style.  You make 80 % on each Poshmark sale. 

Threadflip – This is probably one of the most popular sites for selling your gently worn clothes.  Threadflip is reputable and you can make up to 80% commission.  Keep in mind, they also don’t except certain brands. 

Tradesy – Tradesy only takes 9% commission, which is much less than other sites.  Another attribute that makes this site unique is that they have a separate section for wedding dresses if that’s your thing.  They also allow you to send them a photo so they can suggest a price. 

This is only part of the “style sheet” in The Confident Closet that talks about creative solutions for donating, selling and giving your clothes a new life.  Take the first step to cleaning out your closet by entering your name and email right here and you’ll be the first to find out all the deets.  Only a few more weeks before all can be revealed!  I got you girl!

xoxo,

Melanie

 

Photo Cred - Krista Marie Photography and Hair and Makeup - Melissa Hoffman

Wednesday
Feb252015

One Stylish Mama - Alexandra Evjen of Aves Styles--

I've got another great One Stylish Mama post for you today and I'm preeeettttyyyyy stoked about it!  Alexandra Evjen of the incredible fashion website and blog AVE styles is an amazing mama, entrepreneur, stylist, fashion blogger, and Pinterest maven.  Somehow she manages to make it all seem effortless and that comes through in her uber cool yet easy going outfits.  Her style is a mix of classic silhouettes, rocker chic, and sweet feminine touches for good measure.  

Alex reminds us that taking risks and combining unexpected pieces is a great way to create an outfit that feels completely, 100 percent YOU. - tweet it

I am so excited that she took the time out of her busy schedule to answer some of my questions on what makes her One. Stylish. Mama.

Introduce yourself and your awesome business:

Hi there! My name is Alexandra Evjen (people call me Alex), and I'm a fashion stylist and art director creating brand awareness for businesses through pin-worthy imagery. My business is called A.V.E. Styles, which are my initials, and I started it back in 2010. I live in sunny Phoenix, Arizona with my husband and two year old daughter.

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

 Before I was pregnant I didn't really have a defined style. I just wore whatever was on trend. During my pregnancy, I wore whatever was comfortable, especially in my third trimester in 100+ degree weather. After my pregnancy I noticed I had way more confidence, and my body had never looked better. It has been in the past two years that I have added a bit of a tomboy/rock flair to my wardrobe.

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

I think it was a combination of overalls, kimonos and hats that showed that there was a bit of an L.A. street style girl in me.

How has your business influenced your style?

I think being in fashion every single day has made me keenly aware of trends that are coming and trends that are going. I'm able to spot things from afar, and I'm also able to hold onto what looks good on me rather than sway from one extreme to another.


Where do you get your style inspiration from?  What style icons do you love?

Alexa Chung is my style icon. Everything from her hair to her makeup to her clothes...I adore it all. I even love her name. ;)

 What item of clothing or brand are you currently loving?

I am currently loving the simple, well made basics of Bailey 44. You can find their clothes in Nordstrom, and pretty much everything they make is affordable, well-made, sophisticated and has a bit of an edge.

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

We shop at H&M a lot for Elle. You would think I have an easy time shopping for my daughter, but she grows like a week and I always find myself out of clothes for her to wear. H&M has been such a lifesaver with offering affordable clothing that's stylish.

What is one thing you love about being a mom?

There are many things I love about being a mom, but the biggest thing I love is how I am better able to understand God's unconditional love for me. It was a big idea for me to grasp before being a mom, but now that I know what it's like to have unconditional love for my daughter it doesn't seem so far fetched that God loves me the same way.

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

How selfless you need to be to love your children well. I literally have to put my wants second to want is best for my family as a whole. It's haaaard!!! The sleep deprivation in the first three months of Elle's life was probably the second hardest thing.

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

classic, tomboy, boho

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

 Do the best that you can and pray a lot. That's all you can do!


I mean... can she BE more real??  I love that being in fashion every day has made her appreciate clothes that aren't trendy for her wardrobe instead of the other way around.  Alex just posted a killer closet makeover on her blog that seriously has me swooning.  You KNOW how I feel about closet purges and makeovers. It's my favorite thing to do with my clients!  I could help people figure out all their closet woes all day long.  Which is why I created my upcoming closet course The Confident Closet.  Enter your email right here to be the first to get all the deets about this amaaaazing course.  Can't wait to show you more, but until then we will have to just go here to AVES Styles and drool over her new closet digs.

xoxo,

Melanie

 

 

Wednesday
Feb182015

5 Bad Skin Care Habits That are Making your Skin Worse

Confession time!  I used to take the WORST care of my skin.  Believe me, it wasn’t because I didn’t break out or cause my skin was clear and perfect.  In fact, I had lots of issues with my skin.  So what was the issue?  I knew what I had to do and I just WASN’T DOING IT.  Why do you ask?! The answer is embarrassing and so, so true. 

I was lazy.

Yep, that’s it.  I was so freakin lazy that I would rather sleep than take care of my skin!  Then, one day I had a really bad break out.  It was “my lady time” and I was totally eating chocolate and wine and being super dramatic about it all.  My skin was a MESS.  The last… LAST thing I wanted to do was take care of my skin! 

We’ve all had these moments, but in this instant I decided to take matters into my own hands and not look back.  It was time to practice what I preached.  Sigh… doesn’t there always come a time in our lives where we realize we’ve been talking the talk and not walking the walk?  This was me with my skin.  Hands down. 

I am a firm believer that in order to feel confident we have to start with basics like this.  That if we start with the basics like hair, nails and especially our skin we are setting a foundation that allows us to soar with self-confidence.  That’s why in the first week of my course  “The Confident Closet” we start with the basics.  Not just talking about what they are, but how to do them on a regular, routine basis.  I live by this philosophy and have seen it change the lives of several friends, style blazers (aka my clients and HOH believers!), and anyone who will listen to me talk about it.  The concept is simple and life changing. 

When you feel confident in your clothes, who knows what you can accomplish? - Click to Tweet

Below are five of the most common skin habits that could be making your skin worse.  We all do them and with a little bit of discipline and some steady reminders (from sweet ladies like myself) you can make the change.  Your skin and overall confidence will thank you!

1) Touching your face.  You probably don’t even realize you are doing it.  The more you touch your face, the more dirt and grime you are essentially rubbing into your pores.  Gross.  Make sure your hands are clean when applying makeup or lotion as well. 

2) Popping Pimples.  I know it is BEYOND tempting to want to squeeze, touch, or pop that pimple.  But trust me, it ends up looking worse, hurting more and can leave a scar.  So even though you think you are remedying the situation you are actually just making it worse. 

3) Not Applying Sunscreen – Over the years we have become so lazy about applying sunscreen.  This does so much more then just preventing a burn.  Wearing sunscreen can help block harmful rays that will do long term damage.  I have learned to love the beach just as much under an umbrella or wearing sunscreen.  I know… that statement totally just aged me.  

4) Not removing makeup at the end of the day.  Ummm. Ok, I KNOW this one is hard.  In fact, even I have had my moments of “Forget it!  I’m too tired!”  Talk to any beauty expert and this is their number one piece of advice.   They all say that sleeping in your makeup can break down collagen (causing fine lines), clog pores and promote acne.

5) You aren’t drinking enough water.  Water really makes such a difference in so many parts of our body.  This is one of those daily practices that if you can make it a habit you can see a change pretty quickly.

So there you have it!  What is a daily practice you’ve been avoiding even though you KNOW it’s good for you?  Let’s all try a small experiment.  I want you to do this activity for one week.  No pressure, just to see if you notice a change.  Post your results below or on Facebook and Instagram using hastag #confidentcloset and tag @hohwithmelanie so I can help cheer you on!

xoxo,

Melanie

Photo Cred - Melanie Duerkopp Photography and Hair & Makeup - Melissa Hoffman.

Wednesday
Feb042015

Are you taking clothes shopping too personally?

The other day, I was shopping with a friend and we came across an AMAZING dress.  On the hanger it was everything she wanted, interesting pattern, great length, a cut she usually loves… it had major hanger appeal.  We ran to the dressing room to see this beauty on her STAT.  

WOMP WOMP…

Once she had it on, it no longer was the dream dress we had created in our minds.  It was big in some places, smaller in others.  The print ended up looking too overwhelming on her body and even though it was a maxi dress... it was hitting her at a weird spot on her ankle.  Ugh, so frustrating!  As much as I tried to help my friend out of her shame spiral, I could tell she was disappointed.   Then she said something that made me stop.dead.in.my.tracks.  

She said “If only my boobs were bigger and I was shorter it would fit better.”

Have you ever found yourself criticizing your body because something didn’t fit you?

I hear this all the time from clients and friends and even women on tv.  I have something very important to tell you.  I want you to listen closely because this is really important.

It’s the CLOTHES not YOU.  – tweet it

Why is it that when a piece of clothing disappoints us or doesn’t look how we expected, we immediately wish to change our bodies?  It’s not you or anything you’ve done.  It really isn’t!  It’s just that this particular item of clothing isn’t made for your body.

When a designer decides to make something for a store like Anthropologie (for example), they have fit models come in and those fit models are what they base the shape off of.  Every item of clothing isn’t going to fit your body type unless you are the fit model or you are magic.  If a pair of pants is too long on you, you need to get them hemmed, not bash your body and say your legs are too short.  Get my drift?

There are three ways you can prevent this negative way of thinking from happening again the next time you go shopping:

1) Don’t have any expectations.  I know it’s hard.  I even find myself seeing something on a hanger or mannequin and getting excited.  There’s so much potential for awesomeness!  If possible, I’d like you to control your excitement.  Wait until you see it on yourself before you plan your next party in it.

2) Remember that clothes can be altered.  Somewhere along the line we all collectively decided that clothing has to fit perfectly off the rack.  I know it is an added expense, so when you buy the item, factor in the cost of altering it before you purchase.  This will make you head to the tailor quicker since the decision was already made (ence not having something in your closet that doesn’t fit.)  

3) Don’t dwell on something that doesn't work.  Something doesn’t fit?  Oh well.  Move on.  Don’t take it too personally.  Chances are you WILL find something else amazing if you aren’t still festering over “the little dress that couldn’t”.  I know it can be hard to snap out of a funk, but whatever you can do to move onto something else, the better.

I know this is a HUGE mind shift.  All I can ask you is to try and notice it.  The more aware you are of this, the less likely you are to let these negative thoughts take over. Is this is something you’ve caught yourself doing?  I’d love to hear, in the comments section below, if this is something that resonates with you.  You are beautiful, and there are tons of clothes that look gorgeous on you.   If that dress doesn’t work, on you, no harm, no foul. Promise girl.  

Shopping is one of the main topics we cover in my upcoming online closet rehab course: The Confident Closet.  That’s right, we talk about shopping in a closet course.  If we are overwhelmed shoppers, or we buy clothes that don’t work for us, our closet can become filled with clothes we don’t wear.  So frustrating!  If you want to be the first to know about this online course, sign up HERE.  You’ll get the scoop FIRST as well as added perks.  I know I’m totally biased but I highly recommend popping your email onto this list ladies!

xoxo,

Melanie

Photo Cred - Krista Marie Photography and Hair and Makeup - Melissa Hoffman