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Monday, January 26, 2015

Winter Clothing Maintenance

How are your winter wares holding up? After testing out all of your sweaters, boots, and other cold weather apparel essentials, you might notice that they are a little worse for the wear. Check out my tips to keep your clothing and accessories like new!

Pesky Pilling

Some of my favorite sweaters, the super cozy ones that I wear 'round the clock (and around the house) are pilling like crazy. Since chunky knits are in the wardrobe rotation more often than not, I need to keep them looking more vibrant than vintage. My solution? Costs less than a buck and you have it at home.

Winter Clothing Maintenance- Remove Sweater Pilling

Grab a disposable razor (they come in multi packs at the Dollar Store) and make sure to remove any moisturizing strips (this will cause a nasty soap buildup on your sweater...ewwww). Then, simply "shave" the fuzzies from your sweater, taking care not to push too hard. It is best to use a single or double blade razor as opposed to those six blade deals- too many blades or pushing too hard can cause holes. You can also grab The Laundress New York Sweater Comb for $18 if you are concerned about taking a razor to your knits.

Cleaning Up Cashmere

I have a few cashmere sweaters, and when they hit the dry cleaning bin, I don't see them forEVER. It is like a black hole. Instead, I started washing them at home with The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo (no, I don't have a tie in to The Laundress, I just think their products are high quality).

Winter Clothing Maintenance: Wool & Cashmere Shampoo

Hunters in Bloom

Do you Hunters (or other natural rubber wellies) have a grey/white wax buildup? Don't worry, totally normal. Since they are made out of natural rubber, some wax is included and "blooms" to the surface in particular environments. The fix? Armor All. Yeah, the stuff you use on your car. Spray it on, let it sit for a minute, then wipe it off. Good as new! You can also get the Armor All Protectant Wipes to make it easy. Also, I purchased these Sheepskin Insole Replacements to keep my feet warm in the winter, and they are a lifesaver.

Winter Clothing Maintenance- How to Clean Hunter Boots

Ladders and Hose

Not talking about firemen! I am SO sick of buying tights, pantyhose, whatever you want to call them. I have a drawer full of these things, each with a run in a different place that I rotate depending upon my hemline and what it will cover. Want to protect your investment? Freeze those assets. Seriously, freeze them. Doing this prolongs the life of your hose by strengthening the fibers. Run your new tights under water, pop in a freezer bag and slip them in the freezer for 24 hours. Let them thaw naturally and wear as usual after they dry.

Switch Up Your Sorels

I love my Joan of Arctics, but I want to switch them up from year to year (and yes, these are an investment that I plan on keeping for years and I don't care if everyone has them- they are THE BEST BOOTS EVER). One of my fabulous best friends, Shibani of CLE Shopaholic: Things I Luuuuurve, solved this quandary for me recently. Her solution? Purchase different colored Derby Laces!

Winter Clothing Maintenance: Switch Up Sorel Laces

I bought these Gold SPARK Derby Laces on Amazon and they definitely changed the look of my boots for less than $10. Sorel stock laces are about 53", so these gold ones are a bit long. If you want shorter laces, try these Red 60 Inch Derby Laces- perfect pair to spice up those Sorels! Thanks, love!
Here are a few of my favorite Sorels- some are on sale right now so why not pick a pair up? You won't regret it, these last forever.

Any tips or tricks for your winter wear you want to share? 

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which yes, I do make a small commission on. It doesn't affect the price you pay- just allows me to buy more lovely things to review for you! As always, all opinions are brutally honest and my own.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Maxi Skirt Styling

I remember Christmas, circa 1998...I rocked a silver taffeta maxi skirt from Express. Well, this look is back and better than ever! Are you into the whole full maxi scene? I'm down and excited to show you my favorite way to flaunt it. And if I hear you say "But I have no where to wear it!" I am going to tell you right now- your question should be instead, "Where can't I wear it?"

I wore this to an amazing Valentine's lunch at DL Loft (more on this in another post, with a full set of photos of this amazing venue). It was daytime, slushy outside, yet I popped this skirt on and felt like an urban princess (whose carriage is a 4WD Highlander...I live in the Midwest, after all). I styled it with a cropped black and white striped cowl 3/4 sleeve sweater and kept accessories simple. With this bold of a skirt, I matched the shoes to the exact shade so they wouldn't stand out. My theory on long dresses or skirts- They should almost hit the floor. If you are going to wear a statement shoe, they should peek out when you walk, not be the focus standing still, IMHO.

TIP: If you are wearing a crop over a high-waisted pant or skirt, use fashion tape to secure it in place. Otherwise, you will end up subconsciously tugging it down all day (like I did!). 

Royal blue maxi skirt with black & white cowl sweater
Styling a maxi skirt- TIP: If you are wearing a crop over a high-waisted pant or skirt, use fashion tape to secure it in place. Otherwise, you will end up subconsciously tugging it down all day!
Royal blue maxi skirt with matching shoes

Taffeta skirt is Akira: Out of This World Maxi Skirt in Royal- $39.99; I had to size up because it was squishing me. Sweater is from The Limited 5+ years ago; similar here:
The shoes? Target. I had a bunch of gift cards from buying diapers (that's my don't end up on the CC bill if you gather those bonus gift cards) and purchased them as my reward for CHANGING all those diapers!
Here are some other styles and colors of maxi skirts you can test out- ring up one of each, please!! These are going to be perfect for breezy spring lunches on the patio (or veranda...let's bring that word back, ok?). Pair these with a basic white v-neck, black silk tank, or white button down and you are in business.
How do you style this fabulous trend? Or do you recall it in full effect in the 90s?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Words of Wisdom from Mark Ronson

I am not exactly a music aficionado. I don't know what amazing music is out there until it is actually popular (so uncool, I know).  When I write about music, I am going to automatically assume that you have already heard of the song and are most likely sick of it already. Nonetheless, I have to express my incredible love for "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars. I often get inspiration from (mainstream) music, and this is one of my FAVES. Plus, the fashion in it is just spot on- from the slightly cropped sleeves of Bruno's blazer to the suspenders and tank Ronson is wearing. (Am I the only one that didn't know he is Charlotte and Samantha's brother? Talked about a talented gene pool...).

Let me break it down for you, and why I rock out with this song a dozen times a day.

Haters gonna hate...(ahh Taylor Swift. Told ya I am mainstream and proud of it). In my current occupation, I have experienced some haters hating and it has taken until this point in my life to shake it off (see what I did there?). I don't feel the need to explain myself much anymore, and if people don't believe that I am capable of kicking ass, they can just watch me do it. This is a great pep talk to give yourself. If someone is going to doubt you, just prove them wrong by doing what you do best.

Being a woman, we are taught that being sexy is often akin to being slutty. I love to get dressed up and flaunt the parts of me that I feel are still sexy, but have learned to do it in an age-appropriate and classy way.

As for being freaky, my wardrobe selection is quite often "freaky." I remember being criticized for wearing some crazy stuff back in the day. Snakeskin pants? Check. Full length velvet leopard dress? Uh huh. I wore a moto jacket and black leather ankle boots in high school and was self-conscious about it because there were occasional "who does she think she is" comments. Who did I think I was? I had no clue, that is why I was mixing up my wardrobe to try and figure it out. I should have owned it. Now? I do my best to (although I do have moments of "Really? Does this high-waisted tulip skirt look like a sack of potatoes or am I crazy?"...ok, I had that moment last weekend but was given a stern talking-to).

If you frequent social media, you see the perfected art of the #HumbleBrag. Need examples? Check out the Twitter account @Humblebrag, a stream full of those backhanded self-compliments. SHOW me how great you are, don't tell me. I might have had a #HumbleBrag- being stuck in a puddle of self-consciousness and insecurity from time to time does that to you. That is what the humble brag usually stems from. Some of the best I have seen include:

What songs do you groove to, mainstream or otherwise? Any words of wisdom you have gleaned from them?