Month: January 2014

Summoning Your Inner Neat Freak

Being that I pretty much live in my car nowadays and I’ve moved like 16 times this year, I’m getting good at getting rid of my stuff. If you run around as much as I do, it becomes a real pain to lug stuff that you don’t need. It’s kind of like the universe forcing you to clean out your closet.

Even though this doesn’t mean that I stop buying more stuff, it does mean that I have become the guru of closet cleansing and learning the proper way to fill up a wardrobe. Check out my tips for going through your own junk… and buying some more (because we all know that’s what you were going to do anyway). 

1. Get in the mood. You really have to be in a purifying mood to be able to honestly get through your stuff and determine what’s worth keeping and what belongs at the dump (or on eBay). So if you’re going through everything and you’re dreading it and keeping everything anyway, you’re wasting your time. Save it for a rainy Sunday when there’s a great Lifetime movie on. 

2. Be honest about utility. You may have a super cool purple fur vest that your great great grandma gave you, but have you ever worn it? Will you? If the answer is no, be honest with yourself. Trust me, grandma isn’t going to mind, especially if you can pocket some change for it. The more stuff you can get rid of that you don’t really use, the more stuff you can get that you will use, making the morning struggle to pick an outfit out a little more promising. 

3. Shop like the French. The French have surprisingly small closets. This is because unlike an American, a French woman will buy one thing she absolutely cannot live without while an American will buy seven things that are trendy for the season, but ehh not sure if they are absolutely perfect and leg warmers are going to be out of style again next season anyway. 

4. Treat your purchases like investments. Alongside only buying things you truly love, don’t be afraid to drop some dollars on a great classic piece you will wear forever, like a designer trench coat or the perfect leather boot. If you treat your purchases like investments, not only will you have a beautiful closet, but you’ll have just one of everything instead of 18 pairs of black heels that all look kind of similar and are all falling apart. 

5. Remember everything has a place. Your clothes are your children, especially if you can’t keep a plant alive. So don’t throw them on the floor, don’t stuff everything in a box, but determine the best place for your bags, your belts, your coats, your scarves, and stick to it. This will also make it easier for you to put great outfits together… quickly. 

6. Coordinate like your mom would want you to. Don’t just blindly hang everything up in the closet, organize it, whether it’s by color, style, or season. If you’re thinking that plaid shirt will look awesome with that white cord sweater you just bought, you don’t want to sit there wondering where the hell it could be. You want to know that it can only be in one place. 

7. Clothes are not memories. They are clothes. Don’t keep an item just because you went on this awesome date in it once or because you really don’t want to hurt your sister’s feelings. Forget sentimental value, because unless you’re 97 years old, you’re going to remember it anyway. Ditch it. 

8. Donate or sell? Never throw away a piece of clothing (unless it’s truly destroyed). There is no reason your pieces can’t go to a good cause, whether it is donating to the less fortunate in conveniently placed Good Will boxes in every town in America or learning how to sell it on eBay (which is surprisingly easy – pick up an eBay for Dummies). 

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This warms my heart. 

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Dress Your Friday Like Your Monday

When you started your big-girl job, I’m betting that you wore heels and a blazer everyday. Maybe you took a lot of effort to make sure all your accessories matched, your blowout was perfect, and you didn’t have any lipstick in your teeth. However, now that you have a couple of months under your belt, things have changed.

Now, once in a while, you’ll throw on a pair of jeans or some flip-flops instead. You wonder if it’s really worth it to put the extra eye-makeup on or if anyone is going to notice that you wore this exact same outfit on Tuesday.

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. 

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OK, so this quote probably wasn’t meant to persuade lazy postgrads to get dressed for work. However, it still reigns true. It’s easy to get lazy when it comes to trying your best at work, looking your best, and remaining on your best behavior and keeping a friendly and professional attitude, but it is important nonetheless.

When your annual review comes around, your boss isn’t going to remember that one day where you did a good job but forget about the other 364 days where you sat there on Facebook smacking your gum. Instead, she will remember how everyday, no matter what the weather or what your job title, you dressed like the boss and you acted like her too – you remained efficient and professional and always got the job done – well. 

Dressing well goes hand-in-hand with this – it is a gentle reminder that no only are you awesome at your job, but you look like you’re awesome at your job too. This isn’t something to forget. Dress for success and you will never fall behind.

Where To Build Your Business Wardrobe

When you’re a happy, skipping college student, you know all the best spots to score your party clothes, your bar clothes, your club clothes… and oh yeah, your school clothes. However, I know that for me, and pretty much every other soon-to-be-graduating college kid that I knew, I had but one outfit to interview for jobs in. And it wasn’t a nice one.

However, when you finally do take that big leap from college to post-grad life, you’re not really sure where to start when it’s time to build your adult wardrobe, free of fur, hooker heels, and Uggs. So, here’s a quick guide on the first steps to building your brand-new big-kid wardrobe for that coveted full-time job with the same budget you worked off of when you were delivering pizzas.

1. J. Crew is the Heaven of quirky professional clothing, chock full of brightly colored flats, patterned pants, and funky accents. Yes, some stuff at J. Crew starts out pricy… which is why your best bet is to head backwards to the awesome sale rack hiding in the corner, or better yet, the J. Crew Factory Store. Here, you can snag some classic sweaters, cute blazer basics, as well as must-have accessories.

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2. Ann Taylor is another great locale to score killer sales on some great pieces like basic pencil skirts, solid colored cardigans, and fun work tops. Remember, never pay full price, which is made even easier with the Ann Taylor card. Don’t forget about Ann Taylor Loft, a division of Ann Taylor, that features some younger (and cheaper) pieces that can sometimes be a hit as well.

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3. Target is one that I’m actually kind of embarrassed to present to you, but whatevs. You can get some quality (and cool) blazers, cardigans, basic sweaters, flats, and business heels that you can take to work on a very limited budget. And guess what? No one is ever gonna know. Muhahaha.

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4. Gap is a spot where you can score all the basics you need because let’s get real, if you can get it anywhere, why would you pay a lot for it? You can grab some cute spring jackets to take to work, leather bags, patterned flats, and of course, scarves in every color you can ever dream of.

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5. Banana Republic can’t really be classified as a bargain store like our good friend Target, however, with sales, you can definitely grab some good deals on blazers, business suits, slacks, heels, and accessories such as jewelry and headbands that you can take to the workplace.

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How to Wear Winter Boots to Work

So it’s snowing outside. Actually, it’s blizzarding. So what the hell are you gonna wear on your feet to work today?

Heels are out of the question (besides, it’s Friday) and so we are left with the can-be-acceptable winter footwear… boots. Check out the ways that you can wear your favorite weekend boots out on the town on Monday… er, out in the cafeteria.

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1. Opt for a heel. As long as they aren’t super-high skank heels, a heeled boot is a great way to bring that wow factor back to your workplace outfit and make you look more professional and put together, even if it is a small heel.

2. Just avoid anything that smells like Western. Anything that has a Western feel to it – a pointed cowboy boot-esque toe, a Western design, a ruffled leather – is just not going to work for work. This is too casual. Stick to designs and styles that scream professionalism and chic. Sleek, tall, shiny, and clean boots are the way to go.

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3. Keep everything else fitted and put-together. Sometimes it’s OK to wear a more casual top with more professional pants and vice versa. However, if you’re going to be rocking boots, if everything else isn’t perfectly put-together you’re going to look like your on your way to second period math class. Stick to chic jewelry, neutral colors, fitted pants, and professional tops.

4. Don’t do above the knee. I’ve been seeing blogs all over the Internet instructing viewers on how to wear thigh-high boots to work, but generally, this isn’t OK. Jeez I feel weird wearing these boots out to the bar, let alone a place where I’m trying to get people to think I’m over the age of 15.

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5. Leave the patterned or brightly colored boots at home (always). I’m not sure why you would want to wear boots like this anyway, but if you were… don’t. At work, still to neutral colored boots, like brown, black, and nude.

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