domingo, 24 de fevereiro de 2013

Perfect Closet Series: Dresses

I just want to make sure you end up with a perfect closet but this week is so simple it should go without saying. Start by taking out all the dresses in your closet and go!

  • Purge: Donate any dress that doesn't fit or that you don't wear. Then separate what's left in categories
  • Sweater dresses: or other sweater-like knits should be folded as not to stretch out. Keep them in a dresser drawer or closet shelf, folded as this: spread it and smooth it out, fold the sides inward to end up with a rectangle (fold the sleeves in too if applicable), then fold a small section in and finish by folding the whole thing in half. It's pretty much like folding a regular sweater, except for the beggining
  • Cocktail dresses: should be hung in a garment bag to keep out dust and kept together in a side of your closet (mine are to the furthest left, decreasing in formality towards the right)
  • Sheath/ Work Dresses: should be clean and hung in a regular hanger, wood is best, plastic does the trick, wire should be tossed out. Most "rigid" dresses can go in this category if they have enough structure not to stretch when hung.
  • Flowy/ Beachy Dresses: can get stretched out if hung and just take up a lot of space. You can fold them and keep them in a drawer or shelf. I fold them and then hang the folded dresses from a pants hanger, with place for multiple ones. It still lets you see them all, keeps them organized and they don't stretch (triple win!). You can also fold them in half and hang them from those pant hangers with clips, although you should be careful with your choice of clips as they mark clothing
That's pretty much it! Donate unwanted dresses, send dirty ones to the wash and those in need of repair to a tailor or your sewing pile and you nailed it! Did you tidy your dresses this weekend? Tell us how it went in the comments!

sábado, 16 de fevereiro de 2013

Perfect Closet Series: Jewelry

Don't you want a perfect closet? Like those you may have seen on Pinterest or Instagram, so tidy, neat, beautiful, like it's the owner's personal upscale department store. Dreamy? Absolutely not! It's, in fact, completely attainable, although it takes some work.

Do you already have a perfect shoe closet? Then it's time for you to tackle your jewelry! Fortunately, this one will be easier than the shoes, mainly because we're talking about smaller items that take out less space.
Don't worry about costume jewelry yet, we'll get to it later!

Sort
If you haven't already, weed out of your jewelry box anything that isn't actual jewelry, like costume pieces or hair accessories. Take this time to pass on seldom used pieces as well and send any to a repair shop if needed.
Now take your big (or small) "pile" of jewelry and sort in how many categories you see fit (rings, earrings, both long and short or by colors, you're the boss)

Care
If any of your jewelry came with a care booklet, obey it under any circunstance, seriously.
Other than that, you can care for your jewelry with some basic guidelines.

  • Send gold to a professional cleaners if it's lost its original color and scrub silver with non-gel toothpaste and an old toothbrush.
  • Dry everything thoroughly
  • If you keep jewelry in their original cases, clean and vacuum them
  • Dust and vacuum your jewelry box if you have one
  • If needed, rub some (clean) old pantyhose over jewelry to dust and shine it
Organize
This is always my favorite part! You can completely personalize this to your tastes, style and even make it match the rest of your room if you want to! Start with your things separated in categories, as many or as little as you please and try these methods before you decide which you like best
  • If you like to keep everything in their original boxes, sort the boxes by category or color and line them up on a fairly clear surface.
  • With a jewelry box, try to decide where each category goes before starting to put things into it.
  • My favorite jewelry organization tip ever is to separate things that used to be together with mini-cupcake liners. This is very useful when working with a jewelry box with big compartments in making things neat and not jumbled together. It also prevents things from scratching each other
  • Are you a DIY-er? You must have (faux) leather scarps around the house! If you don't, head to a small shoe or furniture shop and ask for last year's leather samples. Cut small rectangles and, with a pushpin/thumbtack, make two holes in each rectangle. Use it to keep your earrings together. It looks better than whatever they came in and all pairs will look the same. I have tan leather in my box but imagine how pretty it would be in pink or baby blue or maybe even bright orange!
Does everything look neat yet? Good! Enjoy you're perfect looking jewelry collection and if you want to be featured in this article, send me before and after pictures to chica_esperta@hotmail.com
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quinta-feira, 14 de fevereiro de 2013

How to look cute for Valentine's

(and without looking like you tried)

Here's a question that must be in many of your minds:


What to wear for Valentine's Day? I would like to wear something casual for school, like teen-ish. And I had this nice lace top in mind.

Gingystyle

I'm guessing you're looking for an outfit that looks romantic and sweet while being casual, not like yo "tried too hard" but still a  step up from your regular outfits. Here are some tips:



  • First think what is your regular everyday outfit: jeans and a sweater? Dresses? We're going to base your new outfit on that one, so it doesn't stray much from your personal style
  • Now choose a semi-fancy or standout piece. Looks like you already chose yours (the lace top). This is a great way to showcase a trend or wear something "formal" in a casual setting. Other suggestions would be brightly colored jeans or a special piece of jewelry.
  • Choose your shoes. In the words of Stacy London «The shoes set the tone for the outfit» so they'll be the difference from dressed up casual to dressed down formal. Go with your everyday shoes to capture that "I just happen to look extra cute today" or choose something a step from them but still in the casual zone like neutral ballet flats.
Take this regular to "fancy casual" transformation:



Now to really make this outfit yours (and Valentine-y) choose some romantic and dainty accessories. If your top has a "plain" neckline leaving a lot of empty space in the chest area, try wearing a long pendant necklace. Cute earrings are also important to bring attention to your face.
Your choice of coat will be limited because most people don't have many coats for each kind of weather so go with what feels right,If yiu have a choice go with anything with muted colors and a romantic feel.

The finishing touches will bring this together. Paint your nails in a coordinating (but not matching color) and for make-up, if you wear it, do a five-minute face with only foundation, mascara and gloss. Leave your hair the way it usually is and maybe add a tiny barrette for extra polish.

Did you like this guide? What did you wear for Valentine's? Leave your outfits and extra tips in the comments!
Send me your questions to chica_esperta@hotmail.com and subscribe at the top of the page so you won't miss one post!

sábado, 9 de fevereiro de 2013

Perfect Closet Series: Shoes

Hi!
While I'm trying to remodel my own closet to be more inviting and beautiful I'll let you in on the tips I find and write up a guide for each area as I go. My best advice right now is to take it one section at a time so that when you're done it looks absolutely perfect, like the dream closets of Instragram or a fancy boutique catered to only you. Put on some upbeat music, open the windows and blinds and put on comfy clothes/shoes. This is going to take a while.

Extra tip: If you are short on time/will power try doing only a couple of steps now and leaving the rest for tomorrow or next week. Depending on your current state, this can be a very difficult and tiresome process.

Today we're going to tackle shoes! No matter how many or how little you have, let's make the best of it!

Tidying up the shoes
  • First, you knew this was coming, take out all the shoes from wherever is your shoe keeping area (neat area on closet floor, top shelf, over-the-door shoe storage,...) and take out everything else (non-shoes) out too. 
  • Take advantage of this to give the place a good cleaning with a damp rag or a vacuum cleaner and get rid of shoes that hurt you, don't fit anymore, are damaged beyond repair or that you plain don't wear anymore
  • Decide if you want to keep your current shoe storing system or try to change to a new one. Before changing, do some re-search. I'll leave some suggestions below


  • My personal favorite is the shelves on the upper right corner but it's up to you what works best with your lifestyle. If you are changing to a new system, assemble it and put it in place before continuing. When purchasing a new storage solution take into account how it's color and style will play with the rest of the closet, to create a more uniform and neat look. Also pay attention that all your shoes should fit in there without cramming them in and preferably leaving some space for new purchases.
  • According to how many shoes you have, separate them in as many or a little categories as you like (heels, flats, sneakers, boots, ...) and think how will you arrange them once you're done.
  • Separate the leather and fabric shoes from the rest. Wash the fabric shoes in your machine or preferably by hand with a nail brush and mild soap. Make sure they are thoroughly dry before storing (maybe wait a couple of days). It's more practical to do this with only a couple pairs of shoes at a time
  • Take the leather made shoes and give them a good shine. Leave them to dry a couple hours in a well ventilated place before storing. Regular shines help prolong the life of your shoes and makes them look brand new for years.
  • Inspect all your shoes for damage and put aside those that need to be taken to the cobblers. Then take them! This is also one of those things better done a couple pairs at a time.
  • If your shoes smell, put some baby powder or baking soda inside and a wad of crumpled newspaper. This can also replace shoe trees if the paper is packed tightly. Put rolled up magazines inside tall boots to help keep their shape
  • Put the shoes back where they belong according to your plan from before. Try facing all of them forward, backwards and then one of each pair forward and the other backwards. See what is most practical to you and uses best the space you have. Just try to make sure the categories stick together and they all face the same way for a beautiful final look.
  • If you have the space try hanging a good smelling satchet near the shoes for extra goodness everytime you go in to fetch a pair

Keeping up the good work
From now on you'll have a more inviting shoe closet that'll help make sure you wear all your shoes and that they all look their best. Never struggle to find a pair again or need to plan a new outfit because the shoes you wanted to wear are scuffed! But remember this will take some minimal effort to maintain:
  • When you take off your shoes, try to leave them airing out for about a day in the sun. This prevents smells and excess moisture. Then stuff them with newspaper or shoe trees before putting them back
  • Allow 24 hours between wearings to better preserve all your shoes
  • And the most simple and often most forgotten, put them back neatly in their designated space and don't just "throw them in there" ever again or you'll have to start from square one!
  • About once a year or when the seasons change, do this all over again. If you did a good job with maintenance, it should take you half an hour tops to weed out the unworn shoes, care for the others and put them back

This weekend, let's tidy up our shoes and share the before and after experiences in the comments!
If you have any questions, still need a hand with something I didn't mention here or would like to see another subject featured here, send me an e-mail!

domingo, 3 de fevereiro de 2013

Fashion Challange: revive a closet orphan

Today we're going to take a closet orphan, perhaps even an old favorite, and start wearing it again, fabulously, of course!
#1

First, pick your orphan. It should be something you rarely wear (if at all) and, at the top of your head, you wouldn't know how to style. Keep in mind this item should still fit you.

Then think of why you haven't worn it soon. Is it a very bright color? Is it a trend from waaay back? Is it too grown up or on the other hand, too young for you?

Take some time to think about outfits that will counter-balance this garment's flaws.

  • Piece too stuffy? Add denim (example: wool shift dress + denim jacket; bouclé jacket + jeans)




    #2
  • Piece too bright or statement-y? Pair with an all neutral look! (example: black pants + breton striped sweater + kelly green trench; we've went with this stategy before when styling red pants!)

  • Something isn't your style anymore? That could be a great look in the making (example: you went from preppy to gunge, try a prim button down with black studded shorts and edgy jewelry; reverse? wear a regular look and add edgy accessories)

  • Something looks too young for your age? If you aren't comfortable in it, don't wear it. If you are, tone down the girlie look with tailored and sophisticated pieces (example: pink tank top + camel blazer + white pants)
#3
When you figure out how you can "fix" this item to fit your style again, try to come up with at least three different outfits for it. A good first try would be to pair it with all neutrals, whatever those maybe to your current style. If you are up to the challenge, create five different outfits and register them (draw them or write them down somewhere), and make it a point to re-wear this piece as often as possible until it's second nature to you.

What closet orphan did you save this weekend? Share in the comments the item you chose, why, and how you gave it a stylish new spin. I can't wait to read them!




#4
If you've got any style/fashion question, send it to chica_esperta@hotmail.com